Marlborough Express

The Marlborough Express is a newspaper serving the Marlborough area of New Zealand. Its headquarters are in Blenheim and has been published there since 1866.


The Marlborough Express was set up by the printer, journalist and editor Samuel Johnson and his brother Thomas. They arrived in Blenheim in April 1866 and intended to set up weekly that served all of Marlborough Province, in opposition to the parochial papers serving Blenheim (Wairau Record) and Picton (Marlborough Press) already.[1][2] Johnson sold the newspaper to Smith Furness and James Boudy in 1879. It remained in the Furness family until 1998, when it was acquired by Independent Newspapers Limited (INL).[2] Fairfax New Zealand, now Stuff Ltd, bought the INL mastheads in 2003.[3][4]


The Marlborough Express was published from 1866 as a weekly. It became a daily in 1880 and took over its rivals, the Marlborough Times in 1895, and the Marlborough Press in 1948.[2]

The paper made headlines nationally in 2013 when it published a cartoon by Al Nisbet about the Government's introduction of food in schools that was widely criticised as "racist".[5][6] The editor of the paper defended the cartoon's publication, saying it was meant to generate discussion.[7] Race relations commissioner Susan Devoy called it "out of line".[8]

The current editor is Ian Allen, who was appointed in 2018.[9]


  1. Edwards, D. G. "Samuel Johnson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  2. "Marlborough Express". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  3. "Fairfax buys INL's NZ business". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 May 2003. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. "Stuff's journey from newspaper pioneer to website to 'portfolio' business". Stuff. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  5. "Meals in Schools cartoon – From the Marlborough Express". RadioLIVE. 30 May 2013.
  6. "'Racist' cartoon slammed". 30 May 2013.
  7. "Editor defends controversial cartoon". 3 News NZ. 30 May 2013.
  8. "Editor defends controversial cartoon". 3 News NZ. 30 May 2013.
  9. "Look who's talking: New Marlborough regional editor Ian Allen". Marlborough Express. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2020.