Supporting Teens with Grief

In July, Hazel Neser presented a workshop to parents and caregivers of rangatahi, to discuss how to best support them through their grief.

Below is Hazel’s presentation. A big thanks to Hazel for her allowing us to share her work here.

You can contact Hazel using the detail below:

Hazel Neser (she | her)
Kairuruku Ritenga Utua | Professional Practice Fellow
Te Tari Haumanu Hihinga Iraruke | Department of Radiation Therapy
Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo ki Pōneke | University of Otago, Wellington  

Imera | Email:

Waea | Tel +64 27 444 8640

A bilingual Pae Tū Mōkai – a research framework

On October 20th, 2019, Fab Feathy facilitated a community forum titled “Ka Mua, Ka Muri: Looking Back & Moving Forward.” During this forum, members of the Featherston community acknowledged the need to support, develop, and meaningfully celebrate Tangata Whenua and Te Ao Māori within the Featherston community.

After this forum, mana whenua Sophronia Smith (who was at the time a Fab Feathy kaiwhakarato) met with local whānau to develop a plan.

This plan included research on Te Reo Māori use in Featherston. Fab Feathy contracted Reo Rua back in 2020 to undertake this research project on behalf of the Pae Tū Mōkai community. The scope of this research included the current use of Te Reo Māori here in Pae Tū Mōkai, to understand who is championing the language and how te reo can be supported to flourish further.

This resource was created in consultation with schools, families, businesses, community groups, and wider (South) Wairarapa marae and whānau.

Hītori – Te Horopaki – the wider history and context of Te Reo Māori in Aotearoa

1807 was the first attempt at a Te Reo orthography

1816 First missionary school est. Thomas Kendall – English curriculum, Te Reo instruction

1842 Te Karere o Niu Tireni – name of the first Māori language newspaper

1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi

1845 – 1872 NZ Land Wars

1847 Education Ordinance Act – English instruction, law meant only English as language of instruction/teaching in schools

1867 Native Schools Act, law meant that NO Te Reo could be spoken at all in and around NZ schools

1896 Total Māori population (decline): 42,113

1920-60 Less males (because of the world wars) and Urbanisation

1972-75 Ngā Tamatoa and Te Reo Māori Society Māori Language petition, first Māori Language Week, Whakatupuranga Rua Mano initiative

1978 Ruātoki Bilingual School (First)

1982 First Kōhanga Reo – Wainuiomata

1985 first Kura Kaupapa Māori – Hoani Waititi

1987 Māori Language Act, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo, Te Ūpoko o te Ika radio station – law meant that Te Reo Māori was officially recognized as an official language of NZ; both socially and in the legal system

1993 Te Māngai Pāhō

2004 Māori TV

2008 ‘Te Reo’ channel

2016 Māori Language Act updated/enacted by govt. Includes the national Māori Language Strategy ‘Te Maihi Karauna’



If you have any questions on this mahi, please contact Te Ataahia Hurihanganui by emailing or contacting her via the Reo Rua website.

It’s Plastic Free July! A great time to revisit theme #13

One of the key themes in the Our Future Featherston Community Plan is waste not want not. There was some blue sky thinking back in 2017, wanting Featherston to become ‘the upcycling/recycling/recovery centre of the Wairarapa’.

Fast forward to Plastic Free July 2023, how are we going?

Well there are heaps of organisations and businesses here in Featherston who make it easy for you to choose to refuse single use plastics, and responsibly dispose of used plastics and waste.

The Baker’s price list – big savings if you BYO cup!

The Baker:

Save $1 off a coffee by bringing your own resusable cup, or 50c by using one of their mugs and refusing a disposable cup.

Use the opportunity to sit outside the Baker and enjoy that Featherston sunshine – do you really need to use a takeaway cup?


Ā Mua resource centre and Featherston Op Shop: Why purchase brand new when you can save money and resources by purchasing items from these fabulous places?!

Ā Mua is also a drop off recycling point for soft plastics, milk bottle lids and batteries AND has a tool library!


The Featherston Toy Library:

Borrow toys and cut down on clutter in your house, save money and reduce waste!

Open Saturday mornings and run by volunteers, it’s a great place to connect with other whānau in Featherston.


Boomerang Bags from a community sew bee a few years ago


Boomerang bags: these are community-sewn reusable bags made from donated fabrics that can be picked up at Supervalue if you’ve forgotten your bag! Don’t forget to drop empty ones back off there once you’ve used it – they are boomerang bags after all!


Divine River at Featherston library


Divine River: this local charity has been busy upcycling donated towels and fabrics into free eco period pads to distribute to schools and the wider community. They also host educational workshops for school students.


The SWDC Transfer Centre: accepts recycling (soft plastics, metal, glass, plastic, paper/carboard/tins)

What to do in Featherston these school holidays!

H199 at the Fell Museum

Featherston is bursting with things to do during the school holidays, there’s no reason to be bored! Loads of places to go for a walk, for a picnic, to explore history or even learn a new skill! Pae Tū Mōkai is the place to be this April!

Explore the worlds only remaining Fell Engine and learn how different life was in Featherston when the Incline was in use 1878 – 1955. The Fell Locomotive Museum: open Saturday and Sunday

Explore the history of the Featherston POW Camp during the World Wars and have a look at the beautiful 1932 Fire Engine at the  Featherston Heritage Museum: open Saturday and Sunday

Flex those creative muscles! At Fareham Creative Space you can bring your crafts along to the open studios Tuesday and Friday 10am – 3pm

Stretch out and relax at Kids Koha Yoga at the Featherston Community Centre! Every Saturday morning.

Grab some lunch or a sweet treat and enter the colouring competition at Everest Cafe

Tea and cake at the Dickensian

Get a bit fancy and have some delicious afternoon tea at the Dickensian Bookshop and Tearooms (Thursday – Sunday)

Picnic time! Take your pick from sushi from The Bento Box, chips from Quinwah or Town and Country, a sandwich from The Baker or a pie from Pioneer and walk to one of our lovely local spots to enjoy your lunch. Bubble Tea from Happy Thoughts would make a really special picnic! Our playground, Clifford Square, Dorset Square or Barr Brown Bush are great options (can you find the fairy houses in Barr Brown Bush?)

Get prepared for Booktown next month by visiting our lovely library who have lots of activites on during the school holidays! Our little town also boasts seven bookshops! A particularly good spot for the school holidays is the Chicken and Frog bookshop, full to bursting with beautiful childrens books.

Take your wheels down to our skatepark, great for both scooters and skateboards! If your child want to increase their skateboard skills , OnBoard Skate School are running school holiday programmes on the 18th April at AOG in Featherston. Pretty cool!

Get on your bike and head down to the Windy Wheels Community Bike Track at Featherston School. There’s even a skills track to help increase confidence!

Walk the Featherston Heritage Trail

Head down to the Moana and see how many different types of birds you can spot!

Climb up to the lookout at Lone Pine Hill/Featherston Domain – how far can you see?!  

Visit the new Science Table at Donalds Creek and read all about our native freshwater critters

Local funding opportunities

Below is a list of some of the funders that may be able to help you with your community group or project. We will update this list as we come across any other funds.

Please click through to the funders website to find the most up to date information. And as always, if you would like any support, call in to see us at the Community Centre.

Eastern Central Community Trust: Eastern & Central Community Trust’s aim is to support community initiatives that can help build stronger, more sustainable communities
The Community Assets & Facilities Fund (CAFF) is for capital developments and is designed to help communities create and maintain the community assets and facilities needed to meaningfully participate in community life. If you have a community asset that needs to be built, developed or maintained, and you’re looking for between $30,000 – $250,000 this is the fund to apply to.”
The Grassroots Fund is to ensure communities have access to services, events and initiatives that they value. The goals of the fund are to maintain valuable community services, events, clubs and other community initiatives; support a range of social and recreational activities that help build stronger, more sustainable communities; and build capacity and collaboration.”

Featherston’s Own Charitable Trust: application forms are available to pick up from the Op Shop

South Wairarapa Rotary: You can apply for funding from Rotary at any time.  Their objectives are: “To foster the betterment and enjoyment of residents of the South Wairarapa district. To benefit as many as possible within the South Wairarapa community.” You can read their information sheet here, and apply for funding here.

Trust House: Has multiple funding rounds each year. The funding must go towards an event or initiative that enhances one or more of their communities: Wairarapa, Flaxmere, Pahiatua, Rimutaka or Porirua. Check their website for funding round dates and application forms.

The Lion Foundation: Funds are available for charitable, philanthropic or cultural purposes that benefits the local community. Funding is distributed between the areas of community, which includes arts and culture (30%), health (15%), sport (40%) and education (15%). You can apply using their form here.

Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa provides funding for programmes or projects delivering play, active recreation, and sport experiences for tamariki and rangatahi. These may be new or already operating. Nuku Ora is proud to be managing the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund on behalf of Sport NZ for the wider Wellington region, with a total of $1,423,435.00 to distribute over the next 12 months.

Supervalue Community Cash Each month, every SuperValue Supermarket will make a charitable donation to a deserving community group or individual as part of the SuperValue Community Cash charitable grant program. If you are a community group such as a club, school or trust, or an individual with a community project underway and just need a hand, you could be chosen as your local SuperValue Supermarket’s monthly recipient. At least $200 is donated by every store, every month.

Freshchoice Community Fund: If you are a community group such as a club, school or trust, or an individual with a community project underway and just need a hand, you could be chosen as your local FreshChoice Supermarket’s monthly recipient of at least $500

Nikau Foundation: Nikau Foundation understands that every organisation needs different kinds of support to grow and give back to the community. Whether you need help to keep the lights on and rent paid, to expand key services, to keep great team members or to transform blue sky ideas into reality, Nikau Foundation may be able to help.  
The 2023 Grants Round is open 20th Feb – 20th March

DIA Administered Funds:

Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) – the objectives of the Wairarapa COGS committee are:

  • Organisations are connected and collaborate to achieve sustainable community outcomes.
  • Geographically and socially isolated members of our community are connected and have access to services.
  • People accessing mental health, disability, prevention and early intervention services are supported and integrated into the community.
  • People are empowered to engage and positively contribute to their local communities, including the environment.
  • Vulnerable people/youth/whanau are strengthened and empowered to be socially and physically and mentally well. 
  • Volunteers are valued, well trained and resourced.
  • Te Āo Māori/Māori aspirations are enhanced and supported in our rohe/region.

Lottery Grants – there are a number of Lottery Grants available, including the Lottery Environment and Heritage Fund, the  Lottery Community Fund and the Lottery Community Facilities Fund.

Both COGS and Lotteries funding is administered by the DIA. We are lucky here in the Wairarapa to have Winifred Mahowa as our local advisor. Please contact her with any questions you may have, she is a wealth of knowledge and a champion for Wairarapa community projects.

SWDC Administered Funds:

Featherston Community Board: The community board can normally dish out small grants (up to $500). One of their key functions is to work with and support community groups. You can also present to them to have your project on the official council paper trails. You can apply using this form.

Māori Standing Committee: The Māori Standing Committee considers grant applications at their 6-weekly meetings. The maximum grant that can be applied is $500 for individuals and $1,000 for non-profit organisations.

Council Community and Youth Grants

Creative Communities Scheme: The Creative Communities Scheme supports and encourages local communities to create and present diverse opportunities for accessing and participating in arts activities within the South Wairarapa. You can check the application guidelines here.

Feed and Fund – Round 1

Last week we held our first ever Feed and Fund event! Inspired by our friends at Ka Pai Carterton, this event is all about bringing the community together, hearing from different community projects, sharing kai and microfunding a project that benefits our town!

Our community came together to fund Athletics Featherston Inc a grand total of $451.10 to go towards much needed equipment for our tamariki 💙

Big thanks to MC Mark, Top Chef Erin, prize giver Deputy Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futler, our amazing pitchers, and to you the community who showed up, shared a feed and funded a very special community group.

We hope to do more of these events in the future – watch this space!

Athletics Featherston Inc

Ingrid gave a very passionate pitch about the need for new equipment for the Athletics Club, and even brought along a real life model to showcase their awesome new uniform!

An upgraded athletics club in Featherston would boost the towns image and popularity as our athletes are competing in various regions outside of the Wairarapa and we could host events such as interclubs. We are doing the best with what we have but long-term the club will not survive under current conditions, with competing clubs like Masterton and Upper Hutt having better training facilities and equipment. I’m confident we could attract larger numbers with some key upgrades. The kids we do have absolutely love this sport and alot of talent!

Contact or find them on Facebook

Bucks Road Campsite Upgrades

We are a group of local residents who are excited to be working in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DoC) to upgrade current facilities at our fabulous Bucks Road campsite.

At this stage we are fundraising for a sum of $3,852.50, which is the cost for the removal of two large Eucalyptus trees at the site. Site preparation including removal of the trees is the first step to upgrading the Bucks Road campsite. A new site plan has been drawn up that includes a new toilet facility, shelter with kiosk, covered table and seating area, more defined camping sites and planting of eco-sourced native trees.

The Bucks Road campsite on the DoC’s land is a valued taonga (treasure) to locals throughout the Wairarapa and beyond. The popular swimming hole, close to the campground is the only place consistently considered safe to swim in summer according to regular water testing by Land Air Water Aotearoa.

Unfortunately due to COVID 19 restrictions, international tourist numbers have been severely impacted which has constrained the DoC’s budget. Although we know the DoC supports the upgrade there is simply not enough money in the DoC’s budget to fund the full amount. However the DoC will look much more favourably at our application due in December 2022 if we are able to raise some funds ourselves. Also the DoC look positively at projects where they are able to work alongside a motivated community group.

As indicated earlier, the first step of the process is the removal of two large Eucalyptus trees. We have been supplied a quote (see attached) for the dismantling of the 2 trees, and the chipping of branches, whilst leaving wood on site. The DoC is keen for this 2nd option as it means they can use the wood to supply DoC huts throughout the Wairarapa.

Upgrading the popular Bucks Road campsite will have many benefits for local residents and community as well as businesses. Especially given the completion of the nearby cycle / walking bridge that connects Featherston to Greytown that will attract many more visitors to the Bucks Road site.


Divine River

Divine River NZ Trust is a local charity aiming to nurture sustainable personal care choices. We facilitate Community SEWstainable workshops and in-school workshops to engage with communities to provide the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to build connections.

Our goal is for community-led volunteer groups to grow from these initial workshops that enable communities to provide sustainable personal care options for themselves, their whanau & their communities.

We have already delivered a series of Community SEWstainable workshops earlier this year at Fareham Creative Space and have another planned for Term 4 2022 at Featherston Community Centre. We would love to continue to build relationships with the Community Hubs and Schools within Featherston to share our passion to bring about positive community-led solutions to the current climate change issue.

Contact or find them on Facebook

Cross Creek Railway Society Inc

A ride on the Mini Fell Engine H199 and Kiwirail DC “Sam Mac” DC4450 is a highlight for many when they visit Featherston. The group is always happy to hear from new volunteers who want to drive the train or upkeep the facilities.

Contact Cross Creek on (021) 150 2024 or, or find them on Facebook

Ā Mua Community Resource Centre

This is a facility by and for the people of Paetumokai – Featherston. Located at 69 Boundary Rd, already home to Featherston Foodbank, A Mua will initially comprise a resource recovery centre – the Re-Use It Shop, which will accept donations of a wide range of reusable items which otherwise might have been destined for the landfill. These items are on-sold to the public at reasonable prices to be given another life- either as they are, or repurposed into something new. All profits from the shop will fund other centre initiatives as well as being made available to Featherston community groups by way of grants. It is our hope that A Mua will become a community hub for all those wishing to deepen community connections and resilience, share knowledge and skills and do something to lessen the impact on our environment.

Contact: Ā Mua Community Resource Centre on Facebook

Community Comms 101

Ngā mihi nui to those of you who came to our kōrero about how to use digital comms for your community group or organisation!

Below is a list of resources we discussed on the night, along with a copy of our presentation. If you have any questions feel free to email me:

You’ve got this guys! We look forward to seeing your groups continue to thrive and show off your mahi in the online world.

Hana (Fab Feathy Facilitator) and Marina (Fab Feathy Steering Group)

Canva – a free design website, with lots of templates for social media amongst other things.

Community Comms Collective – Giving a free communications boost to community
organisations in Aotearoa so their efforts go further.

Buffer – a third party app to help you schedule your posts ahead of time. You can also do this via Meta Business Suite (in-house on Facebook)

Community Net – CommunityNet Aotearoa is an online hub where you can find and share resources designed to strengthen organisations working with New Zealand communities.

Reo Māori – resources – to help you incorporate te reo kupu in your comms

Digital Stuff We Love – links to digital tools that can help you save time and get the word out there

Digital Boost – predominately aimed at small businesses, but with lots of free tutorials available

Pexels – a free stock images collection

The Kids Should See This – curated videos on any topic you can think of!

Information is Beautiful – data visuals to share

LGBTQIA+ community awareness kōrero

Featherston Community Centre and Fab Feathy joined forces to present an LGBTQIA+ commjunity awareness kōrero in September. This evening was open to all members of our community, to hear from two incredible guest speakers. The intention was to raise awareness of our rainbow communities, increase confidence around the use of inclusive language and provide a greater understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.

Throughout the evening, there was conversations and shared stories from the speakers and from the audience, as well as kai and refreshments.

We had a full house, with more than 30 people attending on the night! The feedback was very positive and we look forward to continuing to supporting our rainbow community to continue with their events going forward.

Georgia Andrews (she/her) is an independent intersex human rights activist living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Growing up on a sheep and beef farm in Central Otago, she is passionate about advocating for enhanced social and health outcomes for rural LGBTQIA+ communities. As the first ‘out’ intersex youth activist in Aotearoa, Georgia has held national intersex advisory positions for groups including the Ministry of Education and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand. Today, outside of her paid work Georgia is the Stakeholder Manager for YOUth&I (an intersex youth anthology that shares the stories and experiences of young intersex people), facilitates global virtual intersex peer support networks, and is a United Nations LGBTIQ+ Women’s Rights Defender.

Kevin Haunui (he/him) (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Āti Hau, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Ūenuku, Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe). Kevin is a Trustee and Co-Chair of Tīwhanawhana Trust, a Wellington-based takatāpui (Māori LGBTQIA+) charitable trust. Tīwhanawhana advocates for the rights of takatāpui and indigenous Māori cultural views that are inclusive of people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Tīwhanawhana organises space for takatāpui in Wellington to meet socially each week and pathways for takatāpui to experience regional, national and international LGBTQIA+ events. Kevin is Chair of Hau Ariki Marae Committee in Martinborough. He has been a member of this community for twenty years and is supportive of strength-based Māori community development for iwi/hapū and mātāwaka in South Wairarapa.

Proudly brought to you by the Featherston Community Centre and Fab Feathy – Ātaahua Pae Tū Mōkai, supported by the Tindall Foundation. With thanks to Big Sky Wines and Abandoned Brewery for providing refreshments.


All About Intersex
Growing Up Takatāpui

Queer & Trans 101
Takatāpui – Part of the Whānau
UN Free & Equal Fact Sheet
Rainbow Terminology

Upcoming Events

There’s lots of events coming up that we’re involved in, we’d love to see you!

Community Drop-In with Fab Feathy

Join us at the Featherston Community Centre for free coffee and food as we discuss the results from the Fab Feathy 2022 community survey! 

We want to share, discuss, compare and interpret community survey results as researched recently by YOU and your feedback. This is also a chance to help shape the future of Fab Feathy, as our formal partnership with central government finishes in February 2023. What should happen? What *could* happen?

Wednesday 24th August, 4pm – 6pm
Tuesday 30th August 6 – 8pm
Featherston Community Centre

Thinking of becoming a JP?

Colleen from Wairarapa JPs is coming to the Community Centre to talk all about what a JP does, how that works in the Wairarapa and what the process of becoming a Justice of the Peace involves.

Come along for a chat and find out if this role would suit you!

Thursday 25th August, 3.30pm
Featherston Community Centre

LGBTQIA+ Community Awareness Kōrero

This evening is open to all members of our community, to hear from two incredible guest speakers.
This event aims to raise awareness of our rainbow communities, increase confidence around the use of inclusive language and provide a greater understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. There will be conversations and shared stories, as well as kai and refreshments. The session will cover a wide variety of topics followed by an opportunity for some judgement-free Q&A.

Wednesday 21st September, 7pm
Featherston Community Centre

Please RSVP for catering purposes

Windy Wheels Working Bee

Windy Wheels Community Bike Track is excited to open Featherston’s brand new skills track this September – it has been designed alongside our tamariki and built by our community!
You are invited to help put together kit-set obstacles or plant out wind grasses at our working bee. Perfect for the whole whānau to enjoy so please join us to celebrate another milestone in this awesome community project. Naumai haere mai!

Sunday 28th August, 9am.
Windy Wheels Bike Track, Featherston School Field

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.