The Martinborough Fair

The Martinborough Fair Craft market is usually run in Martinborough, South Wairarapa on the first Saturdays of February and March..

The South Wairarapa District Council issues a blanket hawker's license to the Martinborough Fair for the use of the public spaces in a defined area around the Town.  We divide that area into stall sites and rent the space to applicants.  The money from that rental pays for the Fair administration and all profit is given to charities throughout the year by the South Wairarapa Rotary Club, who owns the Martinborough Fair.

Applying for stall sites

Feb/March markets

Applications open on the 1st of October each year.


Applications are collated and await payment before processing. They are not opened or considered until then. If an application is declined, the pre-paid fees will be refunded in full.

During October, we process returning stallholders' paid applications and sort new applications in date received order ready for processing from 1st of November on.  During this time, all sites that have not been allocated during October are made available for new or late applications once payments are received.

Once an application is paid, we check on the proposed product range and the site plan and allocate a site from the pre-defined site layouts. Stalls are not set up randomly.  Many stallholders have been coming for years, and we try to protect their claim to the site they have held previously. When an application is approved, a 'Pass Pack' is sent out by email.  It consists of a sheet specifying the site allocated, and any additional facilities allocated, such as Trestle tables, power or Food license fees and a tax invoice  - usually showing a zero balance.  A proforma invoice can be provided if an organisation requires one for generating payment. 

Multiple sites

Our system has been designed to allow only one site per application, and that used to be a 6x3 site only.  We have recently set up some 3x3 sites (half-site).

Multi-site applications can be achieved by making multiple separate stall applications, applying for one site on each one and paying separately.

Skipping one or other market days

The Martinborough Fair budget is based on running two market days, so stall applicants are expected to pay for, and come to both days.  If you can't come to one of the days, let us know and we will try to fill it for you.  If the site can be filled we will consider refunding that day's site fees (less some administration costs).


The Martinborough Fair will run - Rain or shine - if it can be done safely. In event of extreme weather or any other conditions that make running the market impossible on the day, we will first try to postpone.  Cancellation due to weather or your inability to attend an alternative date will not be considered grounds for refund.

Site fee refunds will only be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Stall sites

The town is divided into sectors for the purpose of allocating stall sites to applicants.  Each sector is further divided into a number of stall sites in such a way as to make the most of the area we have available. Sites are then allocated to stall site applicants.

Sites are marked out on fair-ground segment maps. We have decided to use a static layout with stall sizes and positions set as either half (nominally 3mx3m, or full (nominally 6mx3m) prior to the Fair days.

Some sites may be a slightly different size due to the presence of obstacles, but we try to maintain a fair allocation of space so that at least the stated area will be available.  In some cases, trees or poles may make erection of a tent or other shelter, or the use of a trailer/van difficult, or even impossible so we try to reflect that in price or stated size.

We do not change the site sizes once the application process has begun - either to increase or decrease - so if you ask to change from one to another, you will normally expect to be moved to another site that is already the size requested. 

If you had a 6x3 site previously (say OX22), if you select 3x3 (half) site on your application, you will be moved to a site that size. We will not split existing sites. (So you can't have the same position, but only use half of the area). Similarly, if you had a 3x3, we will not expand it - you will be moved.

Payment by bank transfer 

If you choose to pay via bank transfer, your application confirmation email will have our bank information on it.

DO NOT pay for a site until you have the application confirmation email which will have your transaction reference number.

NOTE: if you have us in your payees list, please make sure you update the reference number before making the payment.

Pricing (2024)

We have decided not to raise prices this year, in acknowledgement of the hard time the country is getting from the unusual weather patterns and the follow-on effects of COVID.

The Fees quoted cover you for both Fair days (February and march)

  • Stall site - 6x3 metres - $390
  • Stall site 3x3 metres - $240
  • Power - $120
  • Health & Safety (food preparation and/or consumption on site) - $80
  • Foodstall License (food packaged for off-site consumption) - $30


  • Trestle Tables - hire rate per table - $40.00 (covers both fair days)

Food stalls

If you are selling ANYTHING intended for human consumption, either at the Fair or after, you must have a District Council-issued Food Stall License.

There are two food stall categories to choose from on the Stall Application form;

  • Food/Drink (for consumption on site) - This is for any food that is processed in your stall and/or provided to be consumed at the fair.
  • Food/Drink (Other) - This is intended to be for any food that is pre-packaged and is intended to be taken away and consumed off-site. 

Other stall categories like artisan and natural product lines might include food so if your selected category is one we think applies, you will be asked about that during application.

Registered food businesses will be required to provide a copy of their food business registration certificate, and to send in an updated version if the current one expires before the March Fair Date.

Here are a couple of links to Council advice on food handling and food safety.

Basic food safety

Food safety tips at occasional events

Increase your chances - get in early

Applications for the Fairs open on the 1st October each year.

Returning stallholders have preferential booking during the opening month to apply and pay for their previous year's site.

After the opening month, ALL remaining sites are open for general allocation.

For first time applicants, early application and site payment could increase your chances of gaining a site. To make applying easier, register as a website user on this site so that you can be included in our mailing list and have automatic access to the application form when we open.

Stall allocations

Priority stall allocation is given to stall holders who attended the previous Fair(s) until end of the opening month. From beginning of the following month, all remaining stall sites are allocated on a site availability, product suitability, first-come, first-served basis. We place previous stallholder requests first, and then evaluate and place new applicants.

While every effort is made to accommodate stallholder needs and site requirements, the Fair organisers reserve the right to make site allocation changes as required, in order to best serve the interests of the Fair.

You snooze - you lose!

Stallholders who miss a Fair without letting us know, may lose their site priority consideration even if they have held it for some time. This has a positive effect for others opening the way for new stallholder applicants and for those who wish to change to other sites.

Knowledge is power

In order to give yourself the best chance of gaining a first time stall at the Fair, make sure your application gives us a clear idea of what you are proposing and what your stall will look like. Our decisions are governed by the desire to provide an interesting, eclectic and fun-filled day for our fair-goers.


Updated Stallholder Information sheets and maps will be available for your reference closer to the time, and you are invited to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or pose any queries. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.