Investigators probing an overnight fire at an isolated Wairarapa cafe have confirmed that it was the work of an arsonist.
Emergency crews found the rundown Summit Cafe fully ablaze when they arrived at the top of the Rimutaka Hill Rd about 3.30am on Monday.
The tearooms were built decades ago beside the road linking Wellington and the Wairarapa.
Just last week, Carterton Mayor Garry McPhee revealed that he was looking personally to invest up to $100,000 revitalising the area.
Mr McPhee says the fire is a personal blow that has left him in shock.