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Martinborough

Events In History

6 June 1996

Commissioned by Genesis Energy, New Zealand’s first commercial wind farm opened in the windy hills of Wairarapa.

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Township 18 km south-east of Featherston. Martinborough began in 1870 as the township of Wharekaka, close to the Māori settlement of Waihenga. In its first decade churches, a school, hotel, general store and post office opened. In 1879 John Martin, a wealthy local runholder, purchased neighbouring land and founded a new town, naming it after himself. The 1880s depression meant Martinborough grew slowly. Unlike in other towns, Māori retained a significant presence. Grapes for wine production were planted near Martinborough in the late 1970s. Since then, the wine industry has had a dramatic impact on the town, providing work and economic stimulus.
Meaning of place name
Named after Sir John Martin