Toast Martinborough General Manager Anna Nielson said the 2019 event would be remembered as the best yet.
“Even though the weather leading up to the day had me a little nervous, we had all the ingredients to make a great day – people were dressed to impress, some great wine was drunk, … View moreToast Martinborough General Manager Anna Nielson said the 2019 event would be remembered as the best yet.
“Even though the weather leading up to the day had me a little nervous, we had all the ingredients to make a great day – people were dressed to impress, some great wine was drunk, incredible food was eaten, and no matter what vineyard people were at, they were entertained by a fantastic line up of music acts.”
Ms Nielson said the biggest highlight of the day was fantastic feedback on the food and wine.
“Everyone was thinking pink today and really enjoyed the range of Rosé on offer in particular, but it was also great to see people trying varieties new to them, and older vintages as well.
“The bar also continues to be raised on the food front. We had 14 restaurants and caterers at Toast this year offering everything from freshly shucked oysters and whitebait fritters to fire pit paella, lamb on a spit, and gourmet doughnuts and ice cream. It’s safe to say no one went home hungry!”
Behind the scenes everything went without a hitch as well, thanks to months of meticulous planning.
“Attention to detail is everything when managing a multi-site event of this scale – the buses ran seamlessly, vineyards managed the flow of people well, and our cashless payment system, centralised control centre and Toast app all contributed to people not having to worry about a thing.
“In all it was a great day in the vines for everyone and a wonderful wine showcase for the region – whatever the weather!”
New Zealand’s sporting leadership is world-famous, and on Thursday night some of the country’s most successful sporting leaders came together to support Wairarapa’s teen parent mentoring programme.
Big Talk Little Talks was set up to support Leaving The Ladder Down, an initiative which … View moreNew Zealand’s sporting leadership is world-famous, and on Thursday night some of the country’s most successful sporting leaders came together to support Wairarapa’s teen parent mentoring programme.
Big Talk Little Talks was set up to support Leaving The Ladder Down, an initiative which connects parents from the Wairarapa Teen Parent Unit with mentors. Organised by Women Who Make The Calls (WWMTC) and REAP Wairarapa, the event was far from a typical evening of speeches.
Debbie Fuller, former player and now Assistant Coach of the Silver Ferns, led with the “big talk”, while “small talks” were delivered by athletes and leaders from disciplines as wide-ranging as waka ama, equestrian and motorcycle racing. Over 200 people attended the sold-out event and the night also included a silent auction, with all proceeds from the night going directly to Leaving the Ladder Down.
“It was wonderful to see such a cross-section of the community come out to support such a great programme,” says Trudy Sears of REAP Wairarapa.
“[The speakers] all talked about resilience and how you cope with challenging situations,” she says. “And that was a powerful message for everyone to hear.”
REAP Wairarapa provides significant support to a number of community initiatives and WWMTC founder Mena Antonio says she is grateful for the organisation’s assistance in growing the Leaving the Ladder Down programme.
“The mission is to build diverse leadership from the ground up,” says Antonio. “We grow people, not buildings.”
“[So far] eight women are paired to mentor teen mums and the funds raised enable us to mentor more mums.”
Wings over Wairarapa manager Jenny Gasson, former Superbike racer Aaron Slight, Black Stick Dane Lett, Waka Ama champion Patrick “Paddy” Rimene, former Māori All Black Shannon Paku, and Equestrian NZ High Performance Director Sarah “Cec” Dalziell all had their place at the podium.
Along with resilience, strong leadership and the support of others were common threads, and event attendees were treated to unique insights into the minds and experiences of the country’s sporting elite.
The amount raised for Leaving the Ladder Down is yet to be finalised, but according to Sears, the audience couldn’t have been more supportive.
“Everybody there was really interested, and all six speakers were really amazing,” she says. “It was a real success.”
Other event supporters include Matahiwi Wines, Hello World Travel, Trust House, and Sellar & Sellar Accountants.