Blenheim Sun Newspaper

Last Modified: 13-5-2020 22:30

Offices of the Blenheim Sun
Offices of the Blenheim Sun
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

The Blenheim Sun is a free, full colour newspaper in tabloid format established in 2002 by Katrina and Les Whiteside. The couple were previously involved in other community newspaper publications elsewhere in the country, including The Northern Outlook in North Canterbury, which is now owned by Fairfax Media, who also own The Marlborough Express, the incumbent and competitor to The Blenheim Sun. Initially published as a weekly newspaper on Wednesdays, publication expanded to twice weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays with the first issue of the Friday Sun launched on March 9th, 2012. Although named The Blenheim Sun, and with offices in Blenheim, the paper is distributed throughout Marlborough.

Reaction by the Marlborough Express

The Marlborough Express created some controversy when it countered the arrival of the Blenheim Sun with a free mid week community paper of its own, the Marlborough Midweek, launched in November 2004, after an extensive and rather opaque advertising campaign, however the reaction from the community was mixed, with some seeing it as an attack on the underdog, while the quality of content in the Midweek, much of it republished from other Fairfax properties failed to produce a Sun killer.


Features of The Blenheim Sun include a popular 'Out and About' page with photos of locals in various public settings, a baby page, an opinion poll, and letters to the editor. With the launch of the Friday Sun, a new section, Text Talk was introduced, which publishes commentary from readers submitted by text message. The Friday edition also introduced '5 minutes with', a section including questions and answers with some Marlburian. It includes a weekend events guide. For a time, the Sun ran a series, 'What's in a name?' investigating the origins of street names around Marlborough.

For some years the Sun contained the somewhat controversial 'Bible Answers with Pastor Jeff Williams'. The editors of the Sun stated when queried by readers that 'Bible Answers' was an advertisement, however the regular column was  an institution of the paper for several years. Controversy arose from what some readers considered Jeff William's rigid and literal interpretation of the Bible, which on occasion provoked some heated letters to the editor. The final 'Bible Answers' ran in the Sun edition of August 3, 2011. 

The Sun regularly runs themed advertising features, with 'Men in Business', and 'Women in Business' as recurring features.

Online Edition

Up until 2010, the Sun did not have any online presence, however from July 2010, a facscimile of the print edition began to be made available online through the Issuu platform,  rather than a fully interactive and searchable site as has tended to become the norm with other online newspapers. Editions as far back as March 3, 2010 are available on Issuu. During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, the Sun was forced to cease physical publication as community newspapers were not deemed an essential service, however continued with the digital edition during the lockdown period, as a single weekly Wednesday edition. The print edition resumed with the Wednesday, April 29 edition.

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Blenheim Sun Newspaper. (2020) Retrieved December, 5, 2023, from