Woman hit by bus near Toast Martinborough

MICHAEL FORBES, SOPHIE SPEER AND SEAMUS BOYER
Last updated 19:31 18/11/2012

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A woman has been hit by a bus near a vineyard where Toast Martinborough festivities have been taking place.

Inspector Ken Climo, of police central communications, said ambulance staff reported that a woman had been hit by a bus about 200 metres north of the Palliser Estate Winery about 7pm.

An ambulance communications spokeswoman said the injured woman was in a serious condition.

DARK SKIES, TOUGH SECURITY GREET FESTIVAL-GOERS

Thousands of festival-goers started their descent on Wairarapa for the annual wine and food festival early this morning and were greeted by dark grey skies, strong winds and a beefed-up security presence.

Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said ''a howling southerly and pouring rain'' meant most punters stayed in the square or went to nearby pubs before lunchtime.

But the bad weather had since cleared and the event was now well under way.

Attendees were expected to slurp their way through 9500 litres of wine and 30,000 portions of food, in what has been a favourite day out for people around the Wellington region since 1992.

The first of three packed trains rumbled into the railway station at Featherston at 9.55am.

The second and third trains were delayed by up to 30 minutes after a train packed with people headed to the festival broke down at Waterloo Station in the Hutt Valley.

Those arriving by train were greeted by a line of security guards who checked bags, poured out bottles and told punters to put food they had brought with them into a line of bins.

The guards, along with a police officer, were also conducting visual alcohol checks for signs of pre-loading.

Ms Watson said there had been no early arrests and by 2pm only two people had been taken to the St Johns Ambulance alcohol recovery tent to sober up.

Toast general manager Rachael Fletcher said the 21st edition of the popular event was going well and train delays earlier in the day had done little to quell the enthusiasm of festival-goers.

Among those first off the train was first-time festival-goer, Ritchie Winter, who said he was excited about the day.

"If it doesn't rain I'm going to be a happy chappy," said the Dunedin man.

"Then I won't get my tweeds wet."

Among Mr Winter's group was Bafta-award winning special effects artist Marie Jones, who said she had just finished work on The Hobbit.

Wellington woman Brigid Kean said she wasn't concerned about the weather.

"We've been to Glastonbury and been covered in mud - we can handle this."

Related stories:

Twenty years of Toast

Feral side of Toast fesitval targeted

Your survival guide to Toast Martinborough

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- The Dominion Post

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