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 athleticsfeatherston@gmail.com 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.

Contact edharcourt61@gmail.com

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 divinerivernz@gmail.com 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 crosscreekrailwaysociety@gmail.com, 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: hana.m@fabfeathy.nz

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.

Resources:

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.

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. 

New Steering Group Members

It’s nearly the end of another year, with all the changes that a new year brings – but at time of print, it’s that old pest of COVID-19 which is threatening to make a comeback to the region. Take care, stay safe, be nice and build a support network with your immediate neighbours: post-quake research from Christchurch shows that it’s the communities with strong networks which bounce back most quickly after a crisis. 

With the new year, we’re also welcoming some new members on to the Fab Feathy Steering Group (FFSG) and would like to tell you about it. Fab Feathy is a partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to build up community-led development here in Featherston, and FFSG sets the strategic direction for Fab Feathy activities according to aspirations set out in the Community Plan. This helps the kaiwhakarato staff Hana and Jack know what work they should be focusing on. You can find the Community Plan on the Fab Feathy website – and one of the first activities coming up in the new year will be to reach out to everyone in town once again and update the Community Plan fresh for 2022.

Over the next couple of Phoenix issues, we’d like to introduce you to some members of FFSG – because Fab Feathy is about everyone in Featherston. How many do you already know? 

Kat Riwaka is well-known as one of our legendary firies, as well as all the other boards and committees with which she volunteers. 

Both a super-mum and super-volunteer, Rae Karaitiana is always keen to roll up sleeves and get things sorted for our youth.

Martin O’Connor is an experienced facilitator, guiding parents through courses for behavioural management and other areas of parenting. 


A retired academic from VUW’s school of Psychology, John McDowall has watched Featherston grow to become a vibrant place in which to live. He is committed to keeping this development going.

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

Bikes and Boards September 2021

Bikes and Boards

Lockdown or not, wheels just keep on spinnin’. Right now in Featherston, two groups are investigating some exciting opportunities for ways to get people moving and stay active. Why not check them out and see if you’re interested in getting involved? 

Aroha for Featherston Skatepark 

A little over ten years ago, legendary volunteers like Reanne Tawharu and others mobilised youth to beautify the skatepark, including an art wall featuring local youth’s names. Well, some of the names on that wall have now got kids of their own! And some of the skatepark facilities could also use a little bit of TLC. 

Enter a new group of local parents and kids calling themselves Aroha for Featherston Skatepark (AfFS). This fast-growing movement already has over 200 people signed up to their Facebook page. A couple of representatives presented the skatepark rejuvenation idea to Featherston Community Board at the August FCB meeting, and the AfFS team will be working with youth and SWDC to come up with an awesome customised plan for the skatepark that everyone can have their say on. 

So if you’re interested, please head over to the ‘Aroha for Featherston Skatepark’ page on Facebook to link up and be a part of the action! We’re looking to get everyone involved, so that everyone gets a chance to see a part of themselves in our new rejuvenated skatepark. 

Wairarapa Moana Trail

For a couple of years now, some locals have been looking at creating an opportunity to link Featherston township with Wairarapa Moana – the eye of Maui’s fish. They’ve now secured funding to start planning and investigating the different ways down to the lake. 

Philosophically speaking, trails can often be metaphors for a journey. A moana trail could acknowledge and teach about the precious bird and aquatic life in nearby ecosystems. A trail could signpost and educate about wahi tapu – areas culturally or spiritually significant to Māori – using local motifs such as kaituna (eel). A trail can drive a journey of fitness by inspiring regular exercise – or even kindle an internal journey of reconnection with one’s own whakapapa (lineage).  
If you have any thoughts or would like to be a part of the team, please write to MoanaTrail@gmail.com