Fab Feathy Survey Results 2022

In May 2022, fifty-three members of the Featherston community completed a survey run by Fab Feathy. The survey aimed to give Fab Feathy a sense of what was working well in the community, and what should come next.

Analysis of the responses identified twelve key themes. The first set of themes captured what is great about living in Featherston. It seems that the people, the groups, and the community set Featherston apart. To top it off, it is close enough to Wellington to reap the benefits of urban living, but far enough away to stay connected with nature. It is also small enough to maintain a small-town feel.

The second set of themes captures what is working well in Featherston. Community groups, community-led facilities, and community activities are a real strength. This is no surprise given how frequently community members spoke of Featherston’s helpful and supportive community. Local news and events also appear well communicated, and there is a sense that retail and hospitality is a boon for the town.

The final set of themes captures what would make Featherston an even better place to live. Infrastructure, amenities, and services top the list, with people wanting to see improvements in the likes of water, electricity, footpaths, green spaces, and public transport. These desires were closely followed by hopes that both the look and function of the main street could be improved. There were many ideas about how this could be done, but the general sense was that the main strip needs to be tidied up, and that spaces need to be better utilised. In addition to these two major themes, respondents also wanted better collaboration with the council and the other South Wairarapa towns, and to see even more activities run in Featherston.

To close the survey, residents were asked what Fab Feathy should do next. For those that answered this question from the perspective of “should Fab Feathy continue?” the mandate is clear: Fab Feathy’s mahi should continue. Others in the community answered this question from the perspective of “what actions should Fab Feathy pursue?”. These ideas are summarised in Table 5 at the end of the full report.

Though the future of Fab Feathy is not yet decided, the feedback provided by the community provides plenty of direction; both for Fab Feathy’s next ten months, as well as if its mahi continues beyond 2023.

If you would like to find out more about our mahi, feel free to call into the Community Centre to say hello, email us, or keep an eye out for our monthly column in the Featherston Phoenix and our updates on Facebook!

To read the full report on our survey findings, see below:

Kākano collecting with South Featherston School and Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira

Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira is a local rōpū of passionate people. Last week I had the privilege of joining them and a group of curious tamariki from South Featherston School for a morning of seed collecting and kōrerō.

Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira was established to promote the revitalisation and sustained kaitiakitanga of te taiao, with an emphasis on Wairarapa Moana and its surrounding natural environment. One of their current projects is the creation of a native tree nursery. They are learning (alongside our tamariki) how to painstakingly collect seeds from local, established trees, then how to process and plant them. The aim is to raise them into seedlings big enough to be planted out around our moana. Both DOC and GWRC have shown interest in using these locally grown trees for their own conservation efforts at our moana.

The kākano (seed) collection with South Featherston school focussed on three species of native tree, the kowhai, tōtara and tī kōuka, and the tamariki did a fantastic job of carefully collecting the seeds and asking lots of pātai. Did you know you can eat the berries of the female Tōtara tree? One of the tamariki assured me they taste just like pomegranate seeds! Another thing I learnt was that all parts of a kōwhai are toxic, and that it’s really important to wash your hands after popping out the lovely yellow seeds from their pods. It was awesome to hear the tamariki so enthused and wanting to share their knowledge with me.

We also talked about predators and the importance of trapping. The tamariki were thrilled with the ‘trail of death’, a path with multiple traps along it.

It was such an inspiring morning, I’m always blown away by the passion and dedication we have in this community. Both Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira and South Featherston School were so welcoming and enthusiastic, I can’t wait to see this project evolve and to witness our moana thrive under such generous kaitiakitanga.

Ngā mihi nui to Riki, Anne and Derek for your hospitality. Ngā mihi nui to the tamariki of South Featherston School for sharing your wonder with me.

If you would like to hear more about the work of Pae Tū Mōkai ō Tauira, you can follow them on Facebook here, find their website here, or email them here.

Looking ahead to 2022!

There is so much mahi being done around town, planning for our community this coming year. Fareham Creative will soon be announcing their programme and we are so excited to see their plans. Aroha for the Skatepark and the Windy Wheels Bike Track are getting things done for our tamariki and rangatahi – follow them on Facebook for updates. The Featherston Matariki Event Group have been planning away and we can’t wait to see the lineup of events for celebrating Matariki in June! Featherston Booktown have confirmed their festival dates in May and we hear only good things about what’s being scheduled at our fantastic Featherston Community Centre. Phew! That’s just a taster of what’s going on in Pae Tū Mōkai in 2022! 

We’re working alongside Jo at Featherston Community Centre to organise a ‘Have A Go Week’ for our community in March – watch this space for how you can join in! We’re currently reaching out to our community groups and organisations to see if they would like to be involved. Please fill out this form if you would like to find out more. 

Spring Forward!

November 2021

The clocks have changed, the weather is warmer, and things are really hotting up in Pae Tū Mokai Featherston this Spring. Fab Feathy is loving seeing all our community groups putting on such great events for our town.

Featherston Organics have been running some awesome events for our community – and there’s more to come! Check them out on Facebook or look out for their posters around town if you’d like to find out more. 

The Fareham Creative Space held their first makers market in October, and they will continue to run on the first Saturday of the month at Fareham House. These will help them fundraise for their exciting community creative space as well as showcase local makers. 

There are some new courses organised by REAP Wairarapa, including a Digital Basics course and some creative courses too! Check out the Wairarapa REAP website for more information.

Featherston.info is a great resource for the Featherston community, and you will find event, business and community group listings there. This has been spearheaded by Jennifer Grey at the Wairarapa Gateway Business Group, and she’s done such a marvellous job. If you have a business, event, or community group in Featherston, we recommend listing on this site. Ngā mihi Jennifer for all your hard work. 

Fab Feathy has 19 months left of our CLD partnership with the DIA. If you have a community-led project that you would like our support with, we encourage you to get in touch! You can visit us at the Featherston Community Centre on Monday mornings, or email us.

A New Face

With a change of seasons comes a change of faces! Hana Makin has joined the Fab Feathy team and can be found working down at the community centre with Jack every Monday during office hours – or out and about in the community at various other times. Here’s a quick get-to-know-you:

Hi, I’m Hana and I’m so excited to get involved with the amazing mahi happening with Fab Feathy. I’m originally from Manchester, UK but have called Aotearoa my home for five years now. I moved to Pae tū Mōkai Featherston in December, and have been blown away by the awesome community we have here (and the wind!). I’ve had a varied career, most recently working in audience development for a not-for-profit. I originally trained in archaeology, with a focus on community archaeology which I really loved. I’m also a silversmith, which is a great creative outlet in my spare time. I love working with people and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with the many thriving community groups here in Featherston – so drop me a line via email at hana.m@fabfeathy.nz.

The Fab Feathy Facilitators Hana and Jack