A refreshed GB Weekly is launched today with a new banner and some subtle tweaks to style and layout. The most notable changes are to the title font and the introduction of the mohua bird roundel. The latest “facelift” follows three decades of continuous evolution and marks a new chapter in the ongoing story of The GB Weekly and its predecessors. The story began in the 1980s when demand for local news led to the launch of The Golden Bay Community News, a monthly sheaf of stapled A4 pages produced by an editorial committee of longstanding residents including Derry Kingston. It relied entirely on contributions and advertisers depositing copy and money in a box outside The Wholemeal Café in Takaka. The publication featured covers designed by local artists and ran for 20 years, but advertising was limited by its monthly schedule. In 1992, to address the need for weekly advertising, Derry published the first copy of The GB Weekly.
It was intended to be a local information service – produced “in the Bay for the Bay” – and to compliment the Community News.
By its third edition, page one displayed public notices, page two classifieds, and page three shopping and page four employment. It didn’t take long for The GB Weekly to become part of the Bay’s culture. By its third birthday, Derry’s successor as manager and editor, Maria Koch, had turned it into a small business that supported several part-time workers. Minor articles began to appear and Letters to the Editor was established. A move to computer-based publishing meant hand-drawn adverts gave way to a more professional look. Production of the Community News eventually ended and by 1999, The GB Weekly had assumed its familiar character with its Algerian font title, bar headings and extended news articles. Three years later, Maria Koch sold the paper to schoolteachers Marg Braggins and Neil Wilson, who had moved from Geraldine where Marg had founded a monthly community newspaper. Along with the change of ownership, the publication’s HQ moved to the couple’s home in Pohara. I n 2008, as newspapers moved increasingly online, Marg and Neil introduced a website allowing The GB Weekly to be read anywhere in the world. A year later, reflecting changes in the publishing world, the paper changed from A4-size to tabloid format and was produced in colour for the first time. The change in format meant that printing was moved out of the Bay, first to Blenheim’s Marlborough Express and later to Inkwise in Rolleston, where it remains. In 2017, GB Weekly reporter Jo Richards and wife Charlotte bought the title from Marg and Neil. They initially retained the HQ in Pohara but, in early 2019, moved the office to the Golden Bay Workcentre. The current owners have continued to develop the publication by incorporating additional content, setting up a Facebook page and by working closely with FreshFM’s breakfast programme. In keeping with our commitment to buying local, all design work was carried out by Takaka-based X Plus Y Creations, who are currently working on a re-designed website for The GB Weekly to compliment the refreshed print version. This is due to be launched in February.