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Masterton’s Block Party ready to wow

Flax making at last year’s Block Party. PHOTOS/FILE


Emily Ireland and Cal Roberts

A whole block in Masterton’s CBD will come alive on Saturday with the second annual Block Party, offering up more than 40 activities for people to enjoy.

Northern Queen St, between King St and Park St will be off-limit to vehicles as revellers take in live music and explore the best the block has to offer, between 10am and 2pm.

The free community event, initiated by Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History and Urban Dream Brokerage in 2017, celebrates the diversity of the neighbourhood.

Coordinator Madeleine Slavick of Aratoi said the event was a celebration of talent, knowledge and diversity, and a way for the museum to reach out into the community.

She said not every block could boast an arts quarter, two museums, an archive and library, a range of ethnicity, and also a huge range of shops and services.

She said some highlights of the day include a painting relay at ConArt, steampunk at King Street Art, a Wairarapa Roller Derby car wash at Parkview Challenge on Dixon St, the launch of a CBD nature trail Open Air Life, street-printing off Masterton-made manhole covers onto tote bags, and an array of activities at Te Patukituki o Wairarapa (Te Pa) on Queen St.

Mats will be laid at Te Patukituki o Wairarapa (Te Pa) where anyone can learn to weave a tuna (eel) or ika (fish) for a large “community hoop” installation.

There will also be a public unveiling of Te Pa’s carved entrance at 7am followed by Ti Rakau, traditional leaf tea.

Jade Waetford of Te Patukituki said there will be demonstrations of Rakau Mirimiri-traditional massage with a stick, pottery wheel with Sam Ludden, and woven hats and kete for sale.

“What’s cool about kete is that once they are well used, you can compost them and just make a new one,” Waetford said.

Celebrating artists from the Cameron Block in Masterton is one of their major excitements.

The Block Party team is wanting to “draw a connection for them because they identify as The Block and so we want to bring them here to this Block and have a party.”

At Te Pa, people will be able to carve a small waka for racing in Robinson’s Park as part of the the Friluftsav- Open Air Life launch.

“That is part of our kaupapa – to be guardians of the land through our arts.”

“Aratoi also relates to this sense of guardianship,’ says Slavick.

“Aratoi is offering tours for kids of taonga in the Aratoi collection.

“We’re also designing the map of Block Party activities to be available via a QR Code – a cool way to protect our natural resources.”

Historian and archivist, Gareth Winter, will be taking people on a tour behind the scenes at the Wairarapa Archive on the day.

“It’s a chance to see what we do and how we do it, and how it relates to the community.”

Bookings are essential, but three separate tours will each begin on the hour from 11am.

The Block Party team thanks the Masterton District Council Events Fund for covering the basic costs of the event.


Block Party programme



– Sausage Sizzle by Friends of Aratoi at New World

-Live music at ConArt front lawn through the day

-Painting relay at ConArt – 6 Artists paint on all 6 canvases – paintings sold at end of day

-Pop Up Shop at Aratoi, by The Jewellery Box, fine contemporary jewellery

-Free Tours for Kids of the Aratoi collection store, 11am and 1pm, book: 370 0001 / [email protected]

-Live music by all-female group Novella (11am, 1pm) for the ‘Museum cafe’ with Entice

-View 100 amazing MINKISI masks and objects from Africa and make your own mask at Aratoi



-Free Bouncy Castle at Trust House Recreation Centre

-Join up at i-Site and be in draw to win FREE Family Fun Pass to 4 Wairarapa attractions (value $100)

-Free entry and shearing demonstrations and Open Day at The Wool Shed

-Art sale by Masterton Art Club at Trust House REAP Education Centre

-Wairarapa Roller Derby car wash at Parkview Challenge



-‘Come Sew With Me’ Open Day in the Rose Cottage of QE Park

-Open Day – podiatry, chiropractic, physiotherapy, midwives – at Park St Health Centre

-Masterton and Me photo-stories by Anna Rutherford at WBS



–Road will close from 7am to 2pm between Park St and King St

–Live music & more at ConArt all day, with An Am Cara, Ben Blake, Stefan Brown, and Wayne Manson

–Play music in middle of Queen St: 50+ instruments with Jonas Koukl and Earth Rhythm Wairarapa

-A special display of ‘BLOCK PARTY orange’ items at Wairarapa Hospice Shop

-Behind-the-scenes tours of Wairarapa Archive, 11am, 12, 1pm [email protected]

-Arts and crafts and book sale by the Library at Masterton Library Square

-2-day quilting workshop at Quilter’s Lane – 1-2 slots still left!

-Masterton Art Club street-printing of manhole covers onto tote bags made by Come Sew With Me

-Doll House by Wairarapa Embroiderers’ Guild for raffle at Fashion Connection

-Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers display at Yvonne’s

-King and Henry will display range of outdoor furniture and Autopaint Hardware will also display items

-Barbershop Jordy arranging food stalls beside library: Man Up, Revolution Youth, Scoffies Real fruit ice cream, BBQ, baked goods, candy floss (Flossy Pops), Indian food (KOI) and more

-Waldorf Café will display and sell special food out front

-The arts group Wai Art will have an arts sale on Queen St

-Confucius Institute Mandarin Tutors: calligraphy, music, garments at MACs Fish’n Chips (11-1)

-Chase gives out free balloons (11-12), courtesy of Festival Hire

-Art and Vintage sale and a Giant Crossword with NZ Pacific Studio at Masterbowl

-Steampunk workshop at King Street Artworks – book your place [email protected] / 378 9777

-Weave re-usable kete, carve a harakeke waka and enjoy art from Cameron block at Te Pa

-Carving with Wayne Pitau and pottery and project WAI with Sam Ludden at Te Pa

-Join Open Air Life – collect an urban forest map and make bark pendants and seed bags at Te Pa

-Enjoy special spicy papaya salad, bubble iced tea, porridge and sticky rice from Thai Aroymaak



-Special Ugandan coffee at Don Luciano Café, with live music and more!

-Tour The Hubb, join Block Party Bingo and a free fitness session (arrive 10.15am with gear)

-Great range of goods for sale and the lovely Shar Pei dog ‘Jazz’ at Wairarapa Resource Centre



-Big Brass Bang – an ensemble of the Masterton Brass Band will rock the block!

-Photography of Uganda by Geoff Walker at Aratoi and in shop windows around CBD block

-Launch of Open Air Life – Waipoua riverbank walk at 8.30am, book 021 256 7441

-Lucy Cooper of Arrow FM will chat with folk around the block

-Celebrate the Outdoor Poems trail, initiated by Chris Daniell

-Enjoy stencil artwork made by FabLab Masterton, banners made by King Street Artworks

-Wairarapa Farmers’ Market is open from 9am – 1pm at Farrier’s carpark




Programme accurate as of October 15.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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