Talking bicycles

The Cycle Trail is coming to Featherston. Well nearby. People are talking about making the town friendlier for users of bicycles. I think this is a great idea. There are currently no bike parks in town.  While I was in Masterton last week I came across this bike park outside the Greater Wellington Regional Offices. Perhaps we need something like this in town.

20140724-01_Masterton - Wellington Regional Council Offices bike

Happy cycling.


Public Food

I picked this up off my Facebook Feed. From Science Alert. A tree that has 40 kinds of fruit from it.


This brings up some more ideas for the #FeatherstonZenGarden. A friend suggested herb planters.

Would it not be fantastic if people could use the plantings for food? The Council keeps the public gardens tidy anyway, but when they do pull edible plants out you have to be there, or know they are doing the pulling out to get any benefit. How about we work out a way to get that food to families who need it. Distribute it somehow. Through the school? Or the Community Centre? Or the Library?

I’m not saying turn the whole area into a communal garden. Just the bits that end up planted, along with the existing Council gardens. Even some roses are edible.

Working Bee

On Sunday 20 July 2014 a Working Bee was held by the members of the MenzShed on the site where the Trusthouse BottleO will be moving to. They have removed some of the horrid fence I disliked so much and moved some dirt around. This is in preparation of the move of the BottleO over to its new site.

20140721-05_FeatherstonZenGarden 20140721-06_FeatherstonZenGarden

The Featherston MenzShed have a Facebook page you can follow if you are interested in what they do and the movement of their building. I applaud what they are about. I am sad that they have been put in this situation by the Council. But I am hopeful of the contribution which they will give to the town. I hope the best for them as a group.

Someone said to me last night. What about the Gusto/Lotto building? What is happening to that? Why not move that onto the #FeatherstonZenGarden so it can be used as a commercial building? Perhaps with some work it could be the central Information Centre people keep asking for? Perhaps it could be a shop for a baker or a bookbinder or a milkshake bar, with pool and pinball machines. A warm hangout place.

And could someone please put some seats up so we can sit in the sun on a dry winters day! The only seats around are either out of town or under the trees.

I like to think the rain washes things clean. The buildings and footpath and rocks take on a sheen not seen during the summer. You see a place at its worst in the winter and hope for a bright summer. I like rocks, funnily enough having spent 4 years of my life looking at them. People always make fun of the rocks. But the rocks are the only things that will endure, and even then they too will change their appearance. This may be why I like the idea of a Rock Garden so much. No matter what happens to the people, the houses, the plants, it’ll be the rocks that tell our story in millions of years. It will be the roads and foot paths and toilet bowls that will show how we lived now to the future.

Mountains will rise and fall.

Seas will come and go.

Ice will carve monuments to time in the rock.

The silliness of man will be forgotten amongst the stars that we are made of.

A group formed from rallying around the #FeatherstonZenGarden


July 8, 2014

Featherston finds a voice

At a meeting on July 4, South Wairarapa Mayor, Adrienne Staples, invited the newly established Featherston Resident and Ratepayers Association (FRRA) to be a part of the Featherston Town Centre Working Party.

The Chairman of the FRRA, Perry Cameron, said “One of our goals is to engage with the Council on issues that impact Featherston, so this is a great first step. We would like to see Featherston transformed into a vibrant and attractive gateway to the Wairarapa.”

The FRRA believes an urban designer should be employed to explore and present options for the development of the town centre. This would include looking at Featherston’s unique challenges and opportunities and would take into account submissions already made by community members.

On June 29, at a packed out meeting, members of the Featherston community elected a committee for the FRRA. The association has been formed to build a relationship with territorial authorities to get the best possible results for the Featherston community.

If you want more information or are interested in joining the FRRA contact the secretary, Robyn Ramsden, on 021 303 553 or email

Enquires: Perry Cameron, Chairman FRRA

06 308 6938


The Students are coming!

For various reasons I attended the Featherston Community Board Meeting last Tuesday night. Some students from Victoria University are coming over to use Featherston as a case study for their 4th year Landscape Architecture Projects. Details in the link at the bottom of the page. But they are still looking for billets. If you have space please contact the Community Board and let them know.

I think this is a great opportunity for Featherston. What ever the outcome these talented students are coming to our little town for their studies. Please give them any support you can.

Victoria University, Landscape Architecture Design Opportunity for Featherston

The waiting game

The problem, I suspect, with having a blog around an empty lot, is that for long periods of time nothing happens. The flurry of activity around the Annual Plan has stopped. A decision has been made on the MenzShed relocation, its not due to happen for a few weeks yet. Though I plan to take photos of the relocation. We can dream of a new fence, or at least the mess of one that is there coming down so it looks less like a forgotten place. Perhaps some levelling out and rounded river gravel put in place that can be walked on and parked on in the mean time…

Meanwhile the school holidays are on the youth are back at the skate park. Great to see it been used. This does leave me wondering how to engage with the towns youth. What do they want to see happen? What kinds of things to they want to see in their space? Because like it or not the skate park is their space. I did see, one sunny afternoon, some young people mucking about on Clifford Square. They looked comfortable and relaxed. That, I thought, was nice. Always in the back of my mind is that in 10 years, I’m going to have youth. What will they do? Where will they hang out? Will we have dozens of them over at our place like it was when I was growing up? Or will my boys be out and about?

Busy times

But, nothing in the media for a couple of weeks. I attended three meetings last week. The Featherston Community Board, Positively Featherston and the inaugural meeting of the Featherston Ratepayers and Residents Association. What was achieved? Lots! Invites to discussions and some great ideas and the formation of a group to support and push Featherston towards success.

Feeling positive about the future here. The days of the Zen Garden are numbered. The MenzShed will be moved onto the back of the site in August. There will be an entrance off Fox Street. The Trusthouse Supermarket complex is well underway and due for completion in October. It has a huge car park. I’m wondering if anyone can park there. Something I’d like to clarify.

I’ll be sure to keep abreast of any movements on the Zen Garden and get over there with my camera to document it.