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Th e home i ss u e





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The Christie family home. See page 34 for the full story. Photograph by Anna Briggs


here is a lot in our own mythmaking about the importance of houses and home ownership. The “New Zealand dream” of the rapidly disappearing quarter-acre section even featured in a popular book, “The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise”. The title tells us how long ago it was the norm. Housing – both its price and its availability – looks as though it will be an election issue. Certainly affordability as an issue is not going away in a hurry. While one generation is enriched by rising prices the next is left resentful and disenfranchised. Is this new? Or just the way things have always been? In this issue we look at homes, houses and loosely associated things big and small. Rat catcher Neolani Narayan who features in our Tales of the City, for example, de-infests houses; while writer Ben Schrader has written an award-winning history of urban New Zealand. Journalist Sarah Lang has talked to Mayor Justin Lester and other people charged with improving Wellington’s housing availablility. And our food writers Nikki and Jordan provide delicious ways to make the most of autumn produce and engender a sense of home and wellbeing at the same time. And we reproduce some of our favourite home images for you to admire. As always our Welly Angel, Deirdre Tarrant, offers practical advice to those who share our homes and lives – our families. As always we want to leave room for you to interpret our theme in your own way, so do let us know what you think.

SUBSCRIPTION Subscription rates $77 (inc postage and packaging) 11 issues New Zealand only To subscribe, please email

C O N TA C T U S Phone +64 4 385 1426 Email Website Facebook Twitter @CapitalMagWelly Instagram @capitalmag Post Box 9202, Marion Square, Wellington 6141 Deliveries 31–41 Pirie St, Mt Victoria, Wellington, 6011 ISSN 2324-4836 Produced by Capital Publishing Ltd


Alison Franks Editor

This publication uses vegetable based inks, and FSC® certified papers produced from responsible sources, manufactured under ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems

The opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Although all material is checked for accuracy, no liability is assumed by the publisher for any losses due to the use of material in this magazine. Copyright ©. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of Capital Publishing Ltd.



Staff Alison Franks Managing editor Campaign coordinators Lyndsey O’Reilly Haleigh Trower Fale Ahchong Griff Bristed Factotum John Briste d Craig Beardsworth


Art director Shalee Fitzsimmons Designer Rhett Goodley- Hornblow Editorial assistant Laura Pitcher Accounts Tod Harfield Gus Bristed


SARAH LANG Journ a li st Sarah Lang, Capital's books and culture writer, lives in Mt Cook with coffee-geek husband Michael and Theo, nearly three. She works from Toi Poneke Arts Centre, but often pops into Capital HQ with baking. She also runs the Wellington Classic Literature Meetup group.


J O E L L E T HOM S O N Wi n e c olum n i st Joelle Thomson was bitten by the big buttery chardonnay bug at Aro Street Café in the late 1980s and has never looked back. She has written 16 books and now comments on wine for RNZ National. Joelle loves Wellington’s hill walks and runs around the harbour. Check her out at

Melody Thomas | Janet Hughes | John Bishop Beth Rose | Tamara Jones | Joelle Thomson Anna Briggs | Charlotte Wilson | Sarah Lang Bex McGill | Billie Osborne | Deirdre Tarrant Sharon Stephenson | Francesca Emms

Stockists Pick up your Capital in New World, Countdown and Pak’n’Save supermarkets, Moore Wilson's, Unity Books, Commonsense Organics, Magnetix, City Cards & Mags, Take Note, Whitcoulls, Wellington Airport, Interislander and other discerning region-wide outlets. Ask for Capital magazine by name. Distribution:

Submissions We welcome freelance art, photo and story submissions. However we cannot reply personally to unsuccessful pitches.

Thanks Cheryl Goodley | Jess Hill Emma Fitts James Ford

C R A IG B E A R D S WO RT H Fac totum

L AU R A P I T C H E R E ditori a l assi st ant

Craig is the assistant editor of our sister publication Art Zone. Because the office is small and he’s opinionated – he invariably gets involved in the production of Capital. He writes, dreams up pithy headlines, sells advertising, sings, teaches and occasionally reviews theatre. He’d prefer his official title to be ‘taonga’ but no one agreed.

Laura has been lurking around the Capital office for a couple of years now as a writer, designer, resident popcorneater and previous Capital intern. After recently graduating from Massey, she has stepped into her brand new role as editorial assistant while she polishes off her Masters in international journalism.


Episode 31 • Tuplet • Cacti Black







St James Theatre 17 – 20 May SUPPORTED BY




1 – 10 JUNE




TALES OF THE CIT Y Meet Neolani Narayan, an 18-year-old female pest exterminator


40 STUCK HOME SYNDROME Sarah Lang talks to people affected by the Wellington housing shortage – asking how we’ll avoid an Auckland-style issue

26 SAYING YES Industrial designer and entrepreneur speaks on virtual reality, 3D printing and his new jewellery line XYZ collective


DANCE PART Y Spanish dancer and teacher Fernando Troya introduces the RNZ Ballet to a challenging new work

27 ON THE HOUSE Looking back on six of our favourite homes over the past few years at Capital

WORK PLACE CATERING Free delivery in CBD for teams of 10 – 100 Try us for your next informal meeting or work social event THECHIPPERY.CO.NZ/CATERING

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53 55 57 58





Get your arteries pumping with interiors inspired by local artists

In a trying time for travel agents, Paul Rennie has taken House of Travel Wellington to the top of the market




ENVOY AHOY In the first of a series, we sit down with a resident diplomat – Cuban ambassador Mario Alzugaray









Rediscover the art of preserving and pickling – straight from the garden to the jar

Ben Schrader shares why his NZ history book took more than a decade to write

WORLDLY INDULGENCE Queenstown welcomes a new Grille restaurant overlooking Lake Wakatipu

80 82 84 86



GROUPIES Seeing double with the Wellington Multiple Birth Club





TURNED ON TOURIST I was in Wellington a couple of weeks ago and saw your magazine. I found this the best magazine as a tourist to see what is on for our family when down there. Nice to see some authentic places as opposed to the zoo and Te Papa for a change. W Susans, Auckland OFTEN FUNNY Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your headlines and descriptions. They are good fun, often funny and apt. “Taco Belle” in the March issue (#39, p 33) was good. What a lot of energy she has for all her good works. And I like your covers, they are creative and fun. Keep up the good work. N Smith (email) GO OD CAR COPY I am not especially interested in cars, although my partner is, but to my surprise I find we both enjoy your car stories each month. Roger Walker manages to make all sorts of aspects of cars lively. I like seeing the cars photographed in local settings. R Rhodes, Wellington




20 MAY


MORE GROUPIES I was amused by your “Groupies” book club in the recent issue (April#40, p 92) and liked the previous issue, with the Morris dancers. Is this a regular feature? B Acton, by email Ed: Yes, it is a regular feature, until we decide to change it.

wvv V I SI T



You can send letters to with the subject line Letters to Ed



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COLOURS OF THE WIN Congratulations to Samuel Pepper (above) and Saskia Young who took out our popular Summer Colouring-in Competition. Samuel and Saskia, who won the adult and youth sections respectively, have each received a creative prize pack worth $750 thanks to our friends at Gordon Harris. The Wellington-inspired illustration created by local artist GWIL is still available for download on our website if you’d like to colour for fun.

SOYUN PARK What led you to get a tattoo? When I was young all I wanted was to be cool. Especially growing up in Korea where getting a tattoo is an act of rebellion.


Rebellion or art? A mix of both. I am an artist so the idea of getting a really well done piece of work appealed to me. I wanted something that didn't necessarily have to mean something but was beautiful to look at.

“It's very difficult to impersonate Donald, I can tell you that much, and I really mean that by the way. Very difficult. But it's a tremendous job, a tremendous job, a lot of fun. Seriously.” That’s Alexander Sparrow telling Capital about impersonating Donald Trump by impersonating Donald Trump. As we went to press, the Wellington writercomedian was competing to be crowned the world’s top Trump impersonator in Los Angeles. Sparrow’s new show DJ Trump is at the Cavern Club (24–27 May).

Family – for it or against? I had to hide it from my parents for two years because they are Korean and it's not in our culture, but eventually after I made my sister tell them they came around.




ATOMIC TRAVEL The traffic woes caused by the threeyear lag between the newly opened Kapiti Expressway and Transmission Gully has spawned some wishful thinking. A Wellyworder overheard musings between a couple of frustrated millennials who had clearly been sitting in traffic too long. “Teleport!” one exclaimed as he got out of the car. “Have a portal in every suburb from the coast to Wellington.” A spirited discussion ensued about what was more likely to occur first – the road or the technology to atomise humans. Sci-fi won out.

WIND BREAKER In the recent spate of April showers a couple of violent wind gusts scored a hit on a slender pedestrian. A Wellyworder watched from her office as a young woman was knocked off her feet. A couple of more heavy-set strangers hauled her to her feet and waited while she recovered. Maybe this obesity epidemic is evolutionary and we’re growing bigger in Wellington to keep grounded in the southerly? Did you eat plenty of chocolate at Easter? Might save your life.

REACHING THE PEAK Local firm Peak Electrical has reached new heights by winning the Wellington Master Electrician of the Year Award – for the third time! The company, which services the wider Wellington region from their hub in Petone, won in 2010, 2013, and now has the 2016 title under their belt too. These Masters aren’t just great electricians, they’re also deeply involved in the community. They train apprentices from the local polytechnic, offer work experience, and provide support to local sports clubs and charities.


IT'S COOL TO KORERO He kāinga haumaru, he kāinga mahana: he āhuru mōwai mōku. A safe home, a warm home: a sheltered haven for me.

Soothe your savage breast at the Queen’s Birthday Music Festival. Expressions Whirinaki, who run the annual festival in Upper Hutt, have announced an impressive line up including Kiwi greats Anika Moa and Don McGlashan, as well as international Jazz and Blues superstars. Festival Director Rodger Fox says that the Festival reaches out to all music lovers with pop, jazz, blues and indie rock programmed over the four day event. Info and tickets at



PERFECT STORM Capital hears that not everyone at the council is happy about the mayor’s sudden announcement of a $500,000 injection into the arts sector. Justin Lester’s Capital of Culture initiative includes funding for new events, getting more public art on buildings, growing the Matariki festival, and helping groups hire venues. He says this won’t require a rates increase, because existing funding has been reprioritised. The move follows a councilcommissioned report that found a perfect storm of issues was threatening Wellington's reputation as the cultural capital.




It’s proving quite the 10th-birthday year for Wellington’s best-known start-up, Xero. The global cloud accounting platform has just passed one million subscribers (including Capital we should add) in more than 180 countries. Xero has doubled subscriber numbers in less than two years and added nearly 300,000 subscribers in the last year alone. Founder/CEO Rod Drury says the next wave of accounting innovation is Artificial Intelligence.

Victoria Spackman has quit as CEO of production company the Gibson Group, which she co-owns, to start work this month as the inaugural director of Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity. Established by WelTec and Whitireia on Cuba/Dixon Streets, it will offer creative-technologies and applied-arts programmes from next year. Spackman, who has an ONZM for services to theatre, film and television, chaired BATS Theatre for 12 years. “I’m incredibly excited” she says.

Dr Jen Blank, an astrobiologist from NASA, is one of the speakers at the Women in Tech Leadership Breakfast on 10 May, part of the third annual Hutt STEMM Festival (6–21 May). Hutt City Council and other local organisations have organised events related to science, technology, engineering, maths and manufacturing. A focus this year is how to inspire more young women into the technology field.

THE perfectlY bAlAnced ipA BIrD




U TOPIA N VISION What would Porirua look like if it was redesigned to focus on providing good homes and amenities for its communities, and to convey the identity of its mana whenua (historic iwi/ hapū)? Victoria University is asking that question in collaboration with Ngāti Toa. Its urban-design competition Imagining Decolonised Cities ( – funded mainly by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO – is inviting utopian visions for two Porirua sites. Submissions, which close this month, can take various forms including poetry, essays, images, masterplans, artworks and short films.




The New Zealand Deaf Film Festival and its short-film competition – a biennial Wellington event – was one of two organisations awarded $4,000 at the latest grants round of the Creative Communities Funding Scheme. A partnership between councils and Creative New Zealand, the grants allocated over $65,000 to 29 creative and cultural projects. Also granted $4,000 was Wellington filmmaker Kathleen Winter for Minimum, a short documentary-in-progress about three women working minimum-wage jobs.

It is not sexy design, but it’s seriously useful. Victoria University software-engineering graduand Jack Robinson has won the IPENZ Ray Meyer Medal for Excellence in Student Design for his web-based traffic-management system, which takes online the tricky, prolonged but necessary process of creating traffic management diagrams. A Google Maps-like page shows a planned roadwork site and its surroundings (details like driveways), required speeds, the placement of signs, and so on. Robinson graduates this month and is now a developer at Xero.

Nikau Foundation has offered Pomegranate Kitchen an interest-free loan to expand their business, which employs Wellington-based former refugees to cook food from their homelands for catering, lunch deliveries, and at classes. The foundation – a charitable community trust funded by legacies, trusts and gifts – is looking to make more interest-free loans to social enterprises. In 2014, one helped kickstart Zeal Education Trust’s Stories Espresso coffee-house on lower Cuba.












12 11 10


H ou se wa r m i n g 1. Polka dot reversible queen quilt – $239.99 – Trade Aid 2. Aura vintage linen throw – $169.95 – Moore Wilson’s 3. Paqme ombre universal umbrella – $59 – Tea Pea 4. Norm bottle grinder set – $139 – Let Liv 5. Ethique Suave shampoo and shaving bar – $25 – Sustainability Trust 6. Windermere mohair throw – $185.95 – Moore Wilson’s 7. Polka dot reversible pillowcase – $29 – Trade Aid 8. Pinot Noir Leah 2014 – $33 – Seresin 9. Bonnie & Neil brush strokes blue plate – $85 – Small Acorns 10. Rants in the Dark – $35 – Unity Books 11. Soma small linen cushion – $129 – Let Liv 12. Black and white cotton floor rug – $109.99 – Trade Aid 13. Active mineral body scrub – $35 – Wiki Skincare 18









Vladimir Nabokov


DREAM JOB Food critic

Neolani Narayan is exterminating the stereotypes about being a female pest controller, one rat at a time.


hen 18-year-old Neolani Narayan first tells her friends about her occupation, she usually gets a confused look, followed by the question: “You’re a girl doing that?” Working as a pest controller, she wants everyone to know that, contrary to popular belief, not all girls need a man to fight their bug battles for them. In fact, battling spiders, fleas, rats and bed bugs is a daily task for Neolani. Why she does it, she says, is because “It’s an awesome hands-on job where you get to help people and put their minds at ease.” With her father in the trade, Neolani has been working in the family business as an exterminator for only a couple of months but has been involved with it for as long as she can remember. Born in Fiji and raised in Samoa, she has childhood memories of riding around in her father’s van having a blast meeting new people, which she says is her favourite part of the job. Moving to Wellington as a teenager, Neolani finished high school at the end of last year. Since then, she has been in full-time training, learning how to deal with often toxic pesticides, which she says is “easy to pick up as long as you have common sense.” Her two younger sisters will also get the opportunity to join the family business once they finish school. In the male-dominated industry of pest control, Neolani says to come across another female is far more rare than finding your house has a pest problem. “There’s

not many of us”, she says, “I only know of three others in Wellington.” The reason, she suggests, is the image of the profession. Neolani says she often gets calls from distressed Wellingtonians who say they have bites all over their body. The most frequent culprits in Wellington, says Neolani, have been bedbugs and fleas this summer. While rodents can usually be dealt with using traps, cockroaches, ants and fleas need a gel or a sprayable bait. When one customer kept contacting Neolani saying the treatment wasn’t working, it turns out bugs were not to blame for the woman’s troubles but a rare skin condition. “I’m glad the poor woman has now managed to get that under control and can finally get a good night’s sleep” says Neolani. When Neolani’s not saving Wellingtonians from lessthan-friendly home visitors, she can be found playing pool at Murphy’s Bar or in her friend’s kitchen, eating and playing Rummy. For now Neolani is happy to be working with her Dad, but hopes to one day work in the food industry. Her childhood spent in the islands, she says, gave her a particular love of cooking seafood. While Neolani has no fear of any of the bugs she treats, she says birds are an entirely different story. “What people don’t realise is that pigeons and birds can be considered pests,” she says, “Now, I’m petrified of them”.





A NEW VOIC E Maori musician, poet and academic Vincent (Vini) OlsenReeder (left) has written te reo lyrics for six songs to be performed at the latest concert in Te Papa’s Vanishing Voices series, honouring endangered indigenous languages. The lyrics were set to music by Isaac Stone from Wellington choir Supertonic, which performs them at Pataka (20 May) and Te Papa (21 May). “Mara TK co-wrote one about the government’s lack of involvement in the housing crisis,” says Olsen-Reeder, the first person to complete a te reo PhD at Victoria University. He now lectures there.




You may recognise James Clayton from his title role in the NZ Opera’s most-recent production The Mikado. Well, you might recognise his baritone, given his extreme physical transformation for different roles. He’s suiting up to play bull-fighter Escamillo and singing the famous Toreador Song in the company’s production of Bizet’s sensual opera Carmen (1–10 June). He’s an Aussie, but don’t hold that against him, as he loves living in Wellington, where he tutors voice at the New Zealand School of Music.

The Wellington comedy scene’s new It-Girl, Molly Sokhom, was born in a Thai refugee camp to Cambodian parents, who immigrated to the US. Her NZ International Comedy Festival show Sokhom Syndrome (Cavern Club, 16–20 May) is about her first trip to Cambodia to meet her half-brother. Sokhom, a graphic designer by day, moved from the US to Wellington in 2014.

It’s not often that a New Zealand documentary not only gets a national release (on 4 May) but is also picked up for US distribution. Wellington filmmaker David White wrote, produced and directed Meat: a documentary about New Zealand’s meat industry from the points of view of three farmers and a deer hunter. “It’s not anti-meat,” White says. “I eat meat, and I’d never tell people how to live their lives. It’s about people finding out more about where it comes from, and the people who get it to our supermarket shelves.”

Marsden Schools – Open Day Come and tour our beautiful campuses on Sunday 7 May. Our students look forward to showing you around. Visit Marsden School Whitby any time between 11am and 1pm, and Karori between 2pm and 4pm.

Marsden School Karori Girls Years 1–13, co-ed Preschool

Marsden School Whitby Boys and girls Years 7–13


YO U N G DREAMERS Massey fine-arts student Bena Jackson, 20, is completing her 100-hour internship by spending a day a week co-ordinating Wellington Museum’s new collective youth space Flux, created by and for 18–30-year-olds. “We’re inviting submissions on anything you can think of,” Jackson says, “and hosting events like fundraisers and workshops”. For Flux’s second exhibition Somnium (18 May to 14 June), visitors note down a memory from a dream, and “feed” their scrap of paper to a papier-mâché beast made by special-effects artist Leda Farrow.




Check out three fragile original constitutional documents – the 1835 Declaration of Independence of the Northern Chiefs, the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition – on permanent national exhibition at He Tohu (The Signs), opening at the National Library on 20 May. The design of this Department of Internal Affairs project was led over two years by Wellingtonbased, internationally-acclaimed exhibition designers Story Inc. They brought in architects, engineers, conservation experts, and local company Clickbait to design the interactive area.

Tawa comedian Brad Zimmerman was sad to see dedicated comedy club VKs close down in January after two years – and to keep seeing capital comedians move to Auckland. “I wanted to give our current incredible crop of talent the exposure they deserve, and help keep them in Wellington.” So he crowdfunded for and made web series Wellington Mic Drop (, which filmed 10 local comedians performing solo acts. Zimmerman hosts monthly joke-swapping show I Didn't Write This at Cavern Club.

In Europe in 2015 for a residency in Denmark, Karori ceramic artist Richard Stratton often sat beside London’s River Thames. “When the tide dropped, I scurried to the foreshore with gloves and plastic bags, and found bits of historical ceramics.” This “mudlarking” inspired many of his enigmatic sculptural pieces showing at The Dowse exhibition Richard Stratton: Living History.

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By Sarah Lang

By Sarah Lang

If you thought last year’s no-show meant LUX Light Festival had disappeared after just two years, think again. The celebration of light, art, technology and design takes over Wellington’s waterfront, laneways, Cuba Street and Civic Square from 12 to 21 May – and my, has it grown. “We had growing pains,” says festival director Mary Laine, “but we’re here to stay, so we took a break to redevelop, and make sure we offer something for everyone.” New partnerships with audio-visual company Streamliner, Singapore Airlines and Rydges Wellington have helped, along with funding from the usual suspects. The result – five themed and interactive precincts, among them Urban Edge (street and window art on lower Cuba), The Galleries (a laneways gallery) and Te Aō Marama , a precinct of Maori art around the Wharewaka. Families will enjoy The Playground with light games and workshops in Frank Kitts Park, and Circus in Civic Square with wandering performers and a light projection on the town hall. In a pilot scheme, 10- and 11-year-olds from around the region have created lightworks based on a precinct theme in relation to their community. “They’re on display in their town centres, which brings LUX to the regions,” Laine says.

It’s all happening for The Jac, a jazz ensemble led by composer/ alto saxophonist Jake Baxendale and Callum Allardice (composer/guitarist), alongside Lex French (trumpet), Nick Tipping (bass), Chris Buckland (tenor saxophone), Matthew Allison (trombone), Daniel Millward (piano) and Shaun Anderson (drums). “Lex is in Montreal and Dan’s in Melbourne,” Baxendale says, “but now we’re getting good enough gigs to fly them back”. As part of Chamber Music NZ’s Encompass regional tour, this “small big band” with two records to its name stops into Lower Hutt (Little Theatre, 17 May). Then they’ll be rehearsing furiously with South Korean jazz ensemble Black String for their collaborative concert Seoul Jazz (Opera House, 10 June). Commissioned by the Wellington Jazz Festival (7–11 June), it was funded by a $40,660 Creative NZ grant for artistic exchange. Baxendale and Allardice visited South Korea in December to spend time with Black String, and particularly its multiaward-winning composer Yoon Jeong Heo. “We are together writing music that draws from both bands but is also new and different,” Baxendale says. “I’ve never done anything remotely like this before.” A concert in South Korea and other Asia gigs are likely.

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An exhibition drawn from several private collections including nine works that have not been seen for over sixty years, An emerging talent, early works by Frances Hodgkins spans 1890 to 1913. Also showing, Liminal by Lynda Mapplebeck until 7 May, and Lynette Rawlingson, Paintings from 10 May. 20 Mahara Place, Waikanae Ph: (04) 902 6242, Tues–Sat 10am–4pm, Sun 1–4pm, Free entry. image credit : Frances Hodgkins. San Remo market 1902. Courtesy private collection.



Upper Hutt’s annual Queen’s Birthday Music Festival features some of New Zealand’s best performers including Anika Moa, Don McGlashan and Shayne Carter, and Rodger Fox alongside international jazz and blues superstars.

Named after a brand of gumboot this is a terrific show. Loosely linked by an old man’s reminiscences of his days in the mines, to which many men were drawn from the townships. The dance routines and the songs tell of the miners’ back breaking work, their longing for home and the way in which their songs and those gumboot dances eased the pain.

Four concerts over 1–4 June Tickets $ 45 Expressions Whirinaki Arts and Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt (04) 527 2168

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23–31 May 2017, Hannah Playhouse 12 Cambridge Tce (04) 801 7992 Tickets $30–35

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On the house Compiled by Craig Beardsworth Photography by Daniel Rose & Anna Briggs

As the saying goes – you can buy a house, but not a home. A house is a material thing, made of concrete and wood and nails. A home is what you make of your house. You fill it with things and memories. It can be a reflection of your personality. Over the past four years Capital has regularly traced the lives of people who make their houses into homes – sometimes on a tight budget but always with flair and individuality. We look back at six of our favourites.






McMillan House

Patte House

Capita l issue #16

Capita l issue # 24

Meg and Scott McMillan are all about breaking the rules. The couple found a house in Khandallah nine years ago that had been in one family for 58 years. Most of the changes they’ve made are cosmetic, as the layout still works for a modern family, but they have had fun with styling. They pulled up the carpet and painted the walls and the floor white, but have also added colour. The statement pink staircase sums up their approach to interior design: why follow the rules when you can have fun? “There's no rhyme or reason, and it's not serious,” says Meg, describing their style. “It's just about surrounding ourselves with things that we love.”

Finding an Island Bay house listed for sale in the paper, sculptor Max Patte did a drive-by and saw the owner outside. He was invited in before the open home and knew he wanted to buy it. At 70–80 sqm, Max’s pad, which he shares with partner Amy Fitzgerald, is half the size of the average New Zealand house. It should feel small but mirrors and French doors bring light and a sense of space inside. He has moved away from sculpture towards art that uses light. Two large lightworks hang in the bedroom and Amy's office. “At the moment I'm playing with different lights and the fading of lights reflect the qualities of the evening sky, only found in Wellington, especially the south coast.”






Schaefer House

Read Family

Capita l # 37

Capita l issue #32

When Jamie and Charlotte Schaefer spied a 1907 Northland dwelling in 2002 there were rats living in the walls, floorboards were rotten, there were worms in the skirting boards and the ceilings were mouldy. The first stage of renovations involved knocking down the poky lean-to kitchen and replacing it with a whitewashed, open-plan space that opens out to a courtyard garden. The new kitchen is home to a 3.7-metre-long table made by Jamie from American ash (actually two tables that can be separated or configured as a large square). It forms the heart of the home, and can seat 20 people. As designers the Schaefers were never going to shy away from daring colour choices and they regularly answer the door to curious passersby wanting to know what colour the house is.

“It was the pressed tin ceilings,” says Teresa Read, “When we saw the ceilings, I knew we had to have it.” The Kelburn villa that Teresa and husband Marty subsequently bought was split into two flats, so a lot of renovating was required. When it came to redoing the sitting room a happy compromise was arrived at between the old and the new. “I got my pink and tassels,” says Teresa “and he got his antlers and taxidermy.” With grey walls and wooden floors, an intimate atmosphere is created – add a roaring fire and it’s the perfect room to curl up in with a book in a Wellington winter.



Easy flooring choices - naturally

11 Walter Street Wellington Ph 801 5974 (Just off Vivian Street - motorway end. Free parking)








Holland House

Christie House

Capita l issue #29

Capita l issue #27

Originally a pharmacist, Amanda Holland decided to turn her hobby of interior design into a business. Her parents were horrified. “They’ve since come around” she laughs. Her Mount Victoria house is warm and inviting, a busy family space. “My personal style is totally eclectic and colour-filled without being in-your-face-bright…a curated mix of things that I love, that make me smile” she says. A piece of advice from 20 years in her business, Small Acorns, helping people decorate their homes. “Without a little bit of vintage a modern space can look a bit cold and clinical and without a bit of contemporary in a vintage space, it can look a bit Nana-ish.”

Sarah and Matt Christie found a Gray Young house in 2014 to accommodate their growing family. The house in Kelburn, built in the early 1900s, had been “butchered” in the 1970s as Sarah puts it, by a haphazard extension. “The house was a bit wrecked really: boxy, dated, freezing.” During renovations the lino was ripped off the kitchen floor to reveal matai floorboards with generations of stains. Sarah went against her builder’s advice and kept the floor, with its slight slant. When the plasterboard was ripped off a wall, she kept the old strips of nail-studded wood. “I love the simple rustic look of wood. Imperfections have their own beauty, and I wanted to preserve the character of the house while also putting my stamp on it”.






20 MAY - 29 OCT 2017 It’s the story of all of us

the people and the politics the real country and the real truth

A SHOWCASE OF BAROQUE ERA GIANTS & MUSICIANSHIP Tuesday 30 May, 7.30pm Presented in association with The Juilliard School through the generous support of Sarah Billinghurst Solomon.


Free Prelude event prior to concerts PRICES START FROM $30* PER SEAT

*Booking fees apply


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Saying Yes W R I TT E N BY SA R A H L A N G | P H OTO G R A P H BY M A R K TA N T R U M


ndustrial designer Dylan Mulder thinks big. Last year, he partnered with World of Wearable Art sponsor Air New Zealand to design WOW’s first “virtual-reality garment”. Using virtual-reality headset HTC Vive, he created a design on a computer-generated mannequin, then assembled the 3D-printed components into an unnamed sculptural garment. It was displayed in the foyer outside the WOW shows, while another Mulder creation was in the competition itself. Digital Stealth Gods won WOW’s $5000 Wearable Technology Award and the Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award. The latter earned him a month’s internship at Cirque’s HQ in Montreal, with $6,000, flights and accommodation. There in March and April he did three presentations about modern design philosophy, led a team of five in creating a wall sculpture about innovative creative thinking, blogged about the trip at, and even made a pitch to become a costume designer for upcoming shows. “We’re a perfect match.” So much so that Cirque extended his stay by a week. And let’s just say he’ll be back.

At home this month, Mulder launches his first jewellery line XYZ Collective (xyzshop. online) – made-to-order blocky metal pieces with 3D printing as their point of difference. He flies to Singapore to promote XYZ at the TFWA Pacific Exhibition for the duty-free and travel-retail industry. Then the 30-year-old returns to studio commissions, turning his concept sketches into three-dimensional computer models, and physically creating prototypes using five 3D printers. Currently he’s developing 3D-printed “bad-ass prosthetic covers” that will attach magnetically to Paralympic gold-medallist Liam Malone’s prosthetic legs (think body armour). Leading by example, Mulder is building relationships between New Zealand’s digital designers and global industry contacts, with a network-building Asia trip planned. “Digital talent is a sustainable resource New Zealand can outsource to the world.” He’s all about leveraging opportunities to create others. His advice: “Know your worth and say yes more often.” (see also Capital #24 for an earlier story on Dylan Mulder)



Dance Par ty P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N N A B R I G G S

SARAH LANG watches dancers convulsing and writhing on the floor as the Royal New Zealand Ballet learns a challenging new work.


his is ballet, but not as you know it. Thirty dancers are lying on a studio floor, convulsing as though they’re being electrocuted, as they rehearse Alexander Ekman’s high-speed work Episode 31. Some suddenly sit up and shout out a number before throwing themselves down again. They’re wearing knee pads and big grins. Wearing baggy trackpants and a t-shirt, their instructor Fernando Troya sits on a hard wooden chair, clicking his fingers and gesturing almost like a conductor. “Good, guys. Shall we speed it up a bit?” Several times, he lies down himself to demonstrate the exact speed and range of motion he’s after. “It should be more fluid than a slap,” he says as he hits the floor with one arm. Man, he moves fast. The Spanish dancer, choreographer and teacher has flown in to teach the company Episode 31 for their triple-bill performance Three By Ekman (St James, 17 to 20 May), choreographed by the boundary-pushing Swedish wunderkind. Ekman can’t come just yet, so Troya is here as his répétiteur: a ballet tutor teaching a work by another choreographer. Troya, 27, has never performed Episode 31, but learned it from a DVD a year ago (and also asking Ekman a few questions) to teach it to the Finnish National Ballet. “Its energy goes from very focused to very energetic, like a party. It’s fun, but this work also demands focus. Lose concentration and it falls apart.” Troya is squeezing into two weeks what usually takes six, leading rehearsals from 11.15am to 6pm (with breaks, of course). In his slightly imperfect English, he likens himself to an information chip. “I’m giving the dancers the information they’re seeking and helping them bring their best.” Alexandre Ferreira, a Brazil-born dancer who joined the RNZB nine months ago, is grinning during


rehearsal. “I came to the company to expose myself to a different variety of styles, and this is exciting because it’s my first time performing Ekman. Fernando is great at delivering the message and meaning behind each movement, and really capturing the dance’s feelgood energy. Dancing is so much better when you’re all having a good time.” Longtime dancer Alayna Ng laughs out loud several times during rehearsal. “I’m enjoying throwing myself around at speed. Fernando is really relaxed, has great energy and throws himself into moves to show you how to do it. He makes it easy to ask questions.” For Troya, creating a relaxed atmosphere is crucial. “As a dancer I know how important it is to be relaxed and ask a question if you need to.” Troya was dancing at the Netherlands Dance Theatre when he met Ekman, who is known for his collaborative approach. “You try different things and he’ll say ‘I like that, let’s put that in.’ We clicked as choreographer and dancer but also as human beings.” Now he’s been Ekman’s répétiteur for three years. “In the beginning it felt like a big, big responsibility. It still is, but now that I’m also a choreographer, I find that’s the greater responsibility.” Troya travels a lot as a freelance choreographer, as well as a répétiteur for Ekman, Ivan Perez and Jiri Pokorny. “Sometimes the stress level is high, but it’s very fun. I love new places, meeting people, helping people. It doesn’t get boring.” Once Troya leaves, another Ekman répétiteur flies in to teach the company Tuplet and revise Cacti (a 2016 New Zealand Festival hit). Then Ekman arrives to add the finishing touches. Three By Ekman Royal New Zealand Ballet, St James, 17 to 20 May.



Stuck home syn d ro m e I L LU ST R AT I O N S BY S H A L E E F I T Z S I M M O N S

With no end in sight to Wellington’s housing shortage, SARAH LANG talks to people being squeezed out of rentals and home ownership – and asks how we’ll avoid an Auckland-style housing crisis.

Facts compiled by Craig Beardsworth.




aitress Bella Chisholm sleeps in a cupboardsized room in a “four-bedroom” flat on Macdonald Crescent off The Terrace, with only enough leg room to get in and out of bed. It was advertised as a bedroom but she thinks it was intended as a tiny office. She’s moving overseas, and when she advertised the room recently, she received 60 messages in a day. “People are desperate.” No one’s taking kindly to Prime Minister Bill English’s comment that Wellington’s rental squeeze is “a problem of success”. Tell that to the students still sleeping on friends’ couches and in tents. “These horror stories aren’t a problem of success,” says Wellington deputy mayor Paul Eagle, the council’s housing portfolio leader and also Labour’s candidate in Rongotai this year. “There are problems with rental availability, affordability, and low quality.” Rental prices have risen nearly seven per cent in a year, and waiting lists for social housing and emergency housing keep growing. Meanwhile, home ownership has moved out of reach for most. With a low supply of houses for sale, Wellington recently ranked 16th on a list of 150 global cities for the fastest-growing house prices (beating Auckland). House prices rose nearly 21 per cent in the year to January, when the median price reached $530,000, with sale volumes down eight per cent. With Wellington currently short 3,590 houses, how is this affecting people?

Our group fell apart.” The other guys found rooms in established flats, and in late January Fred moved home. “I’m lucky. Others have to sleep on couches or pay ridiculous prices like $220 per room. Studylink’s living-cost payments [up to $178.81] don’t even cover rents.” He also says landlords prefer girls. Waiting in a queue of around 50 people for a Mt Cook flat viewing, he saw a group of girls carrying “a really thick folder, probably full of references”. By chance, I stumbled on said girls at a neighbourhood barbecue: they got that place thanks to that folder full of references, CVs, even bio photos (and perhaps thanks to their gender). Beauty-therapy students Anna Britz and Sarah Sutton and design student Joy Lloyd-Jones share a Rolleston St flat with two nursing students and one commerce student. Moving to Wellington from Gisborne to study, Anna and Sarah were shocked by the difficulty of finding a flat. They stayed with a friend for a month, three of them taking turns sleeping on one proper mattress and one tattered foam mattress. The “drastic” folder tactic worked but they felt compelled to turn down three places: one landlord was charging a letting fee despite there being no letting agent, another landlord said there was insulation before later admitting there wasn’t, and yet another insisted they agree to a sudden rent hike late one evening, otherwise he’d give the place to someone else. “Landlords have the power, and other groups were so desperate they gave in,” Sarah says. Their current landlord treats them well, but their student loans don’t cover their $185 each in rent. “You can’t learn properly because you’re working so much in part-time jobs,” says Joy. They’ve also put up friends who can’t find a place, with two friends staying at present. A male friend is living illegally in someone else’s damp garage. Other friends are living far from their campuses, with long commutes. Another friend gave up and moved back to Gisborne. “We’re pissed off,” Sarah says. "The housing shortage needs sorting, and landlords need to stop treating people like shit.”

Students squeezed out Fred Schrader, a 20-year-old law and biomedicalsciences student at Victoria University, began looking for a flat with friends last October. They were still looking well into January. “There were massive crowds for a few rundown places. One landlord asked for my IRD number and any criminal convictions. Another landlord asked ‘What’s the highest amount you’d pay?’. My friend went to what was effectively an auction and people had their bond on them, ready to sign immediately. It got tiring.


Average house price in Wellington as of May 2016

Eastern $619,000

Central $456,000

Northern $540,000

Hutt Valley $388,000

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

2016 stats as of Dec 2016





increase in house prices nationally

increase in house prices in Wellington

decrease in number of house sales nationally

increase in number of house sales in Wellington

The people

average earnings, per hour

WCC website





50k 49k 48k 47k 46k 45k 44k 43k

55% of Wellingtonians own their own homes



Wellington’s median income

The national median income



with many parents building self-contained units on their properties for adult children. Keith Grainger, 68, is a Wellington builder whose three offspring have all “boomeranged back” as adults at various points. When his daughter moved out of the downstairs floor of his house in September, his son and partner and their baby moved in. He can’t afford to give them money, so putting them up rent-free helps them save for a home otherwise out of their reach. “You’ve got to help your kids.” One daughter has managed to buy in Stokes Valley; the other had to move to the Wairarapa. Of course, not everyone can rely on their parents either for accommodation or an early inheritance.

Priced out Stokes Valley renter Melanie (not her real name), as she doesn’t want future landlords holding her comments against her, Roger, her husband and their two children had to leave their Stokes Valley rental a few months ago, because the owner was selling. They tried to buy it with a 15 per cent deposit ($45,000), and spent $2,000 on building and valuation reports. “But we were turned down by every bank in town, and the second-tier lenders. Four different brokers told us to ask our parents for money. Our parents aren’t in a position to help us but, based on the people I know who’ve bought, that’s the only way to do it now.” So they looked for another rental, wanting to stay in Stokes Valley where their eldest had just started school. “But a search for Stokes Valley and three surrounding areas brought up maybe two houses every few days. Houses would go up, viewings would be set, but the house would be let out before the viewing. Most places I did look at were awful. Overpriced and awful. One crappy two-bedroom place in Naenae had an incremental rent: $360 for two people, $460 for three and $560 for four. You could smell the damp and the mould.” Her asthmatic husband got respiratory infections in an earlier rental. “Landlords know people are desperate, and aren’t fixing up places.” They were running out of time to find a place, and didn’t have anywhere to go. “I called the letting agent every day for two weeks to secure the place we're in now. Landlords want everything short of a blood test, including as many as four character references, but you don’t know anything about them. And letting agents are on their side. I feel super angry and resentful. We don’t like renting – we’re in our late 30s, have worked hard and saved, and don’t do frivolous spending.” They’re now considering buying in the Wairarapa or Palmerston North. There’s also been a spike in multi-generational living – up 57 per cent in New Zealand since 2001 –

Answers, please The bottom line is that we need new houses. That’s around 3,600 more right now, 7,000 by 2019, and 21,000 by 2043. In nine of the past 13 financial years, the number of dwellings built in Wellington has fallen short of the number required to house the population. But Wellington City Council is finally getting close to its annual target of 1,500 new-building consents, granted to 1,204 new dwellings or sections in the six months to February. And owners of new homes and new apartments get a $5,000 rates rebate from 1 July. Unusually for New Zealand, Wellington City Council is a major provider of social housing, currently owning around 2,200 units in 40 locations. Ten years ago, the council pitched a Housing Upgrade Programme partnership to central government, which contributed $400 million. They’re halfway through rolling the programme out in a 20-year partnership, with $180 million left. Mayor Justin Lester recently committed the council to building 750 social and affordable homes over the next three to five years. The week after Lester’s election, he set up the inaugural Mayor's Taskforce on Housing. Eagle is chairing the taskforce, which includes representatives from the



construction industry, property developers, communityhousing organisations, iwi, Housing New Zealand, other government agencies, and housing and finance experts. They quickly found that the issues extend right across the spectrum, from homelessness and social housing to private rentals and home ownership. The taskforce, which has recommended that council act urgently on social, affordable and emergency housing, is considering possible actions. “There are so many good ideas,” Eagle says. Some of them will be floated at a housing forum on 4 May at the Wharewaka, and the taskforce will report its recommendations in the coming months. After the election, the council will present a long-term Wellington housing plan to central government. “We don’t want to be like Auckland,” Eagle says. “We’re not in an Auckland-style crisis, but we’re staring down the barrel of one.” That’s what the taskforce is trying to prevent. “It’ll take a combination of many things to resolve this,” Eagle says. “Everything is on the table, as there’s no magic bullet.” Steps may include fast-tracking consents for affordable developments, and dictating the types of consents granted. Lester also plans to penalise land-bankers, such as the two developers who own 90 per cent of 490 hectares of land on the city's fringes but aren’t developing them; these “landbankers”, however, blame the situation on laborious building-consent processes. The taskforce is also considering which suburbs can become higher-density, suggesting perhaps Newtown. What about collaborations with, say, Massey, to earmark accommodation for students? “That’s possible. What’s key is that council keeps an open mind and adopts a master-planning role.” The taskforce is seeking ways to get more affordable private housing, as people ineligible for social housing are spending too much on substandard accommodation. “Right now, developers aren’t getting the housing mix right,” Eagle says. With the Housing Upgrade Programme’s long-term pipeline as an incentive, the council is requesting proposals to partner with third parties such as developers, community-housing groups and iwi. The idea is that the third party co-invests in the site; the

council builds social housing, and next door its partner builds affordable housing, temporary accommodation or even rent-to-own properties. After feedback from the taskforce, the council has decided to trial the third-party-partnership concept at Arlington council flats on Hopper Street in Mt Cook. Currently 105 social-housing apartments are being rebuilt on one of Arlington’s two sites (as they’re modular, they can be reconfigured from one-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments in the future). The council is now looking for a partner for a joint development on the second Arlington site, to build affordable housing next to the council’s social-housing units. Historian and urban-housing expert Ben Schrader supports this third-party model, often used overseas, “as long as it’s an adjunct to, not a replacement for government social housing”. He says social housing provided by local or central government is important. “The history of New Zealand housing is that, when there’s no intervention, you do get housing crises, because generally developers won’t build affordable and decent quality housing for the poor.” Ian Cassels, a developer who sits on the taskforce, reckons relocatable private housing can help solve the housing shortage. His prefabricated CitiBlox apartments can be detached and moved if necessary, making them suitable for vacant land earmarked for possible development down the track. Cassels is in final stages of talks with government about placing 2000 CitiBlox apartments on vacant Crown land in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. He’s also talking to councils. Eighteen two-bedroom CitiBlox units will go up on Porirua City Council land shortly, the first six becoming available for renting mid-year, and Wellington City Council has shown interest. Cassels says Lester and Eagle aren’t just blowing hot air. “They’re looking at how to do things differently and genuinely changing the game. I think we’ll react and avoid a crisis in time.” Here’s hoping.


Shortages – by the numbers 3,590




number of houses Wellington is short of

number of houses Wellington needs to build over the next 25 years to keep up with predicted demand. 840 a year.

number of houses built in Wellington City 2014/2015

number of houses built in Wellington City 2015/2016

The WCC 70


percentage of market rate the rents are kept at

number of houses WCC owns and operates across 40 locations

Average rent of a three bedroom house

as at Feb 2017

Titahi Bay $390

Lower Hutt $485

Seatoun $745

From the selection displayed, the Tenancy Services Division figures show that in the Wellington area the most expensive average rent for a two bedroomed house is in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn costing $520 per week. The cheapest is in Lower Hutt – Wainuiomata costing $280 per week.

Brooklyn $620

Karori $562

For a three bedroomed house in the Wellington area, the most expensive average rent is in the Wellington suburbs of Oriental Bay / Seatoun costing $745 per week. One of the cheapest suburbs is in Porirua – Porirua East / Waitangirua costing $350 per week.

Coming soon in June

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Home is where the art is Get your arteries pumping with interiors inspired by local artists.

Photography by Rhett Hornblow



Bateman floor lamp natura – $199 – Freedom Furniture Twist queen slatted bedstead – $1,599 – Oakano Design Milton queen mattress – $1,099 – Oakano Design Natural seagrass belly basket – $49 – LetLiv Flora cotton buds – $35 – Freedom Furniture Round Hogla floor mat – $79.99 – Trade Aid Taupe cushion with pompoms – $58 – Inhabit Design Store Linen duvet cover set in fog grey – $389 – LetLiv Mulberi Arden throw – $108 – Inhabit Design Store Butterscotch Castle lumbar velvet cushion – $125 – Small Acorns Natural cushion cover with coloured tassels – $47 – Trade Aid Butterscotch Castle penny round cushion – $109 – Small Acorns Bonnie & Neil Heirloom black gold cushion – $195 – Small Acorns


Emma Fitts Emma Fitts has recently returned to New Zealand after working in the UK and is exhibiting at The Dowse. From Pressure to Vibration – The Event of a Thread, open until 2 July, explores the relationship between feminism, modernism, Maori weaving and Fitts’ medium of choice: textiles. Necessary Distraction, fabric, 200cm x 90cm

Elizabeth chair – $348 – Inhabit Design Store Gold Castle penny round cushion – $109 – Small Acorns Small matte gold swivel table – $368 – Inhabit Design Store Pink vases – $34-38 – Inhabit Design Store Rogue quince blossom stem – $25-35 – Freedom Furniture Neon poodle-shaped neon light (pink) – $155 – Tea Pea Terrazzo vase in rose – $64 – LetLiv New Zealand wool sheepskin, rosa – $275 – Tea Pea Pink Castle penny round cushion – $109 – Small Acorns Designers Guild Polonaise peony cushion – $299 – Small Acorns Palm Springs ottoman vista flamingo – $199 – Freedom Furniture Shaped neon light, Little Love (white) – $259 – Tea Pea Dhurrie rug – $1,350 – The Cotton Store

James R Ford James R Ford moved from the UK in 2009 to set up home in Island Bay. Ford’s work explores performance, play, chance and repetition. Untitled (potential drawing #28), 2016, Marker pen and acrylic paint on canvas, 80 x 80 cm Take Care (painted arrangement #4) 2017, Oil paint on canvas, 102 x 76 cm




GLOW WHERE? Do you have a knack for designing clothes that draw the spotlight in a crowded room and in, well, the dark? The Project Glow Wear Reflective design competition is back, encouraging fashionable reflective design for cyclists and runners to keep them safer after dark. Entries close 6 July and the prizes are $10,000 worth of goodies, including a two-month paid internship, sewing machines, and cash. Judging criteria include creativity, quality, wearability and, most importantly, reflectivity. Visit to get involved.




Wellington brand, Aida Maeby, is inspiring shoppers to purchase sustainably this autumn with the release of their ‘Kawakawa’ collection. Designed and made ethically and locally by Jessica Matthews, all pieces in the collection are designed to be able to be worn across three seasons. Jessica had the ’30 wears’ ethos in mind when designing to produce long-lasting wardrobe pieces that counter throw-away fashion culture.

As winter approaches, boots become a necessity for people braving the Wellington weather. RM Williams, a favourite Australian boot manufacturer and retailer that now has a local presence, recently welcomed newly-appointed Head of Design Jeremy Hershan with the launch of its AW17 collection. Jeremy wore his RM Williams boots daily when working overseas for Aquascutum and Alfred Dunhill, so jumped at the chance to return home to Australia to work for them. “The AW17 collection, for me, was about going back to the heart of the brand’s DNA,” Hershan said.

Two local businesses, Thunderpants and Zebranos, have joined forces to produce animal-themed underwear with the paws for a cause. The two companies have agreed to donate $10 from each sale to Taiz Zoo, improving the lives of animals in the war-zone of Yemen. As they put it, these undies will “do more than cosy your butt”.


Your W inter Hideaway Double the Delight with two night stays in May & June To book vist


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2. 1.



3. 6.

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Carb-free and better for


“Bringing people together you since 1882” than mac ‘n’ cheese, feel satisfied with these autumnal treats.





10. 10.


1. David briefcase olive – $380 – Mandatory 2. Hansel from Basel socks – $35 – Tea Pea 3. Possum merino beanie – $59 – Global Culture 4. Lace dusky pink top – $425 – Harry’s 5. Lyngby cable jumper – $249 – Goodness 6. Forest green Chelsea shoes – $465 – Shoezies 7. Trelise Cooper Hot Fluff jacket – $279 – Designer Clothing Gallery 8. Frank pyjama set white – $229 – Let Liv 9. On Point sunglasses lilac – $249 – Designer Clothing Gallery 10. Trelise Cooper Hairy Potter coat – $599 – Designer Clothing Gallery 11. Summer Slide slippers – $139 – Minnie Cooper 12. Davines Momo Shampoo – $34 – Loxy’s 13. Sway T in ribbon stripe – $329 – Zebrano 55

44 Courtenay Place, Wellington

INFUSE. INDULGE. INSPIRE. Cocktails, Gin, Rum.

‘Sapori Antichi A Sarsa da Nunna’ is the Calabrian dialect for ‘Grandmother’s Sauce’ and is the next best thing to homemade sauce. It even comes in brown bottles like the early Italian immigrants used! This puree is uncooked and preservative free and made from the best Italian tomatoes from the region of Calabria, Italy.

42 Constable Street, N e w t o w n , We l l i n g t o n 04 939 8989

337 High Street, Lower Hutt 04 566 8232

Coastlands Shopping Centre, Paraparaumu, Kapiti Coast 04 892 0010



Spotty Name: Spotty or spotted wrasse Māori names: Paketi, pakirikiri

larger fish eat just about anything that will fit in their mouths – including crabs, shrimps, shellfish, brittlestars and worms.

Scientific name: Notolabrus celidotus.

Catch: Because they will take practically any bait as soon as it comes within range, spotties are considered a nuisance by fishermen targeting bigger species. They are great first fish for kids, though.

Looks like: Growing to about 24cm, all spotties start life as females, with a handful changing sex later on (see below for more on this). So the female spotty, with the trademark brown-black thumbprint spot on each side, is the one most often seen. Male spotties have an irregularly shaped row of blackish spots or blotches high up on the back.

Cook: Some fishermen target spotties, much to the bemusement of those who swear they are no good. But apparently spotties can be delicious… we hear they make great fishballs for curries, and are good steamed with ginger and soy. Just mind the bones!

Habitat: Ranging from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands, this ubiquitous species will be familiar to anyone who has snorkelled or dropped a line in off a wharf. Because they are so common and widespread they are often overlooked – but they are actually endemic to New Zealand (meaning you won’t find them anywhere else in the world), and they are an important part of our biodiversity.

Did you know? Sometime around age three or four, some of the larger spotties change sex from female to male – and which spotties transition and why is determined by a complex social structure. Male spotties spend their time defending territories against one another, maintaining a harem of females within the territory’s border. When the male dies, the dominant female in the harem changes sex over a few days and takes control of the territory!

A fun tip for divers – male spotties continuously patrol their territories, swimming round and round their boundaries along a very clear route. So if you happen to encounter one, stay in that same spot for a few minutes and you should see him swim back past.

If they were human they would be: An unstoppable professional force – imagine if women were able to use this last minute sex-swap to side-step the glass ceiling, take the top job, demand the promotion, ensure equal pay. Brilliant!

Feeds on: Juveniles feed mainly on small crustaceans which cling to kelp and other seaweed, while

Remarkably Fresh Fish

WELLINGTON SEAMARKET Lambton Quay | Cuba St | Lower Hutt 57

In-store at Porirua Prestons 04 384 4056


H U G O Y O U R WAY, I’LL GO WHISKEY Spirits of all sorts are undergoing a renaissance, with boutique gins and rums everywhere. One that never went out of fashion was whiskey. Now, hidden away above one of Wellington’s oldest party bars, The Establishment, is Hugo’s. A dedicated, sophisticated whiskey bar for everyone, complete with more than 150 varieties. If you are feeling especially sophisticated Hugo’s have a humidor filled with Cuban and New Zealand cigars so can treat your lungs as well as your taste buds. The bartenders here were picked for their knowledge and can answer most questions about their wares.




A regional theme will dominate this year’s food show at the Westpac Stadium from 26 to 28 May. The usual wide range will still be there, but arranged loosely by geographical themes. This year the show is expected to attract upwards of 15,000 people and more than 115 exhibitors. In the European quarter locals like Le Marché Français will ply their trade. Annabel Langbein is headlining the cooking theatre, closely followed in anticipation by the Capital magazine stand.

Kiwis are one step closer to knowing exactly where the fruit and veges they buy come from, since the first reading of the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin) Food bill was passed. In a recent survey by Consumer NZ, 71% of people said they would like mandatory country of origin labelling on fruit and vegetables, a change to the current voluntary labelling, which often doesn’t give people the information they want to make informed decisions. Only 9% of those surveyed didn’t support mandatory labelling.

Victoria University Law student Connie has started a company called Silk Road Tea, importing premium, ethically made teas directly from Taiwan and Japan. She fell in love with tea while in Taiwan on a gap year. Finding a lack of variety available in New Zealand, the Cambridge native has addressed the problem on her own terms. Silk Road Tea is available online at silkroadtea. Connie’s favourite is the organic milky oolong because of its scent.


ORDER FOR MOTHER’S DAY NOW Order by Friday 12th May and go in the drawer to win a gorgeous hamper for Mum Courier fee will be donated in support of the Rotary’s Youth Program

www. juli e t t e f l or i s t.5 8c o. n z / 0 4-93 9 97 97














DON’ T G E T S A LT Y Foodie fashionistas may be paying up to 50 times as much for essentially the same product according to a Consumer NZ report. Some gourmet salt brands claim high levels of essential minerals. However the minerals are actually found in the salt only at a trace level. To substantiate mineral claims the products must contain at least 10% of an adult’s recommended daily intake. For the record, Himalayan pink rock salt is only pink because it contains traces of rust, or iron oxide.




Leroy’s Bar has taken over the Hideaway at the Plimmer Steps. At Wellington’s newest dive bar you can enjoy finger-licking spicy fried chicken (by the kilo if you feel the need) and tacos, and also pour your own pints directly from the tap. There is such an extensive range of craft beers you might find it difficult to make a decision. Unusually, you can also grab your own beer from the fridge and then pay at the counter. They have themed week nights for special deals, and live music is coming soon.

Jackson St is home to a number of quiet hidden gems. One of the newer restaurants to fit this billing is Comes & Goes where they serve Korean fusion food. Head chef and co-owner Sean Lim is of Korean ancestry and has nearly a decade in the food business. They say you eat with your eyes; if that is the case then every dish at this restaurant gets five stars, with beautiful presentation throughout the menu. The bibimbap is especially good and the fresh coconut espresso was exactly what I needed.

Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre has introduced several new short courses for those of us who’d like a little more know-how in rural life. They include fencing, chainsaw skills, shearing, animal husbandry and butchery. The butchery course would be extremely useful for weekend hunters. Taratahi say their bee keeping courses are becoming much sought-after as preserving bees becomes important for our future.


41 Dixon Street • 04 894 6982

S H E A R E R S ' TA B L E

Sha ke your jelly BY N I K K I & J O R DA N S H E A R E R


here are many talented cooks who influence our experience of cooking through our home kitchen, recipe books, the internet, social cooking schools and our favourite restaurants. For us, that is what cooking is all about. Food is about sharing and the recipes this month are inspired by family traditions and familiar cooks (international, domestic and in our own families). Our great desire is to take seasonal ingredients and make them into something “homemade” –

Quince jelly Makes 4 x 250ml jars INGREDIENTS

600ml water 1.1kg sugar 1 cinnamon stick 6–7 large quinces, washed and cut into quarters METHOD

1. Place the water, sugar and cinnamon stick into a large saucepan and bring to the boil until sugar is dissolved. 2. Add the fruit and simmer for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the liquid turns red. Test by placing a teaspoon of liquid onto a chilled plate and if it turns sticky it is ready. 3. Remove cinnamon stick and strain liquid through a sieve. Keep the pulpy fruit to make a quince paste and pour the clear quince liquid into your prepared jars. 4. Keeps in the fridge for ages.

creating recipes that can be enjoyed by generations to come. Rediscover the art of preserving and pickling, harvesting the produce at its finest … straight from the garden. To sterilise your jars heat oven to 120C, wash jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, then sit them in oven upside down for 10–15 minutes. We didn’t want to make huge quantities of preserves – these recipes are enough to make a couple of jars for yourself and a couple to give away.

Red and white pickled onions

Spiced fig and pear chutney

Makes one large or four small pickling jars

Makes four small jars


2 Tbsp olive oil 2 small onions, diced 3 cloves garlic, crushed 3cm ginger, peeled and diced 1 red chilli, sliced 2 firm pears, diced 4 large and firm figs, diced ¾ cup sultanas 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cinnamon stick 4 Tbsp dark muscovado sugar ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp sweet paprika ½ tsp garam masala Flaky sea salt – to taste

500ml white wine vinegar 1 cup water 6 Tbsp flaky sea salt 6 Tbsp white sugar 2 Tbsp coriander seeds 1 Tbsp mustard seeds 4 white onions, halved & sliced thinly 2 large red onions, halved & sliced thinly 2 bay leaves 6 sprigs fresh thyme METHOD

1. In a pot bring to boil white wine vinegar, water, salt and sugar until it dissolves. Remove from heat. 2. In a small pan, dry toast coriander for 1 minute until fragrant. 3. Add mustard seeds and toast until popping, approximately 30 seconds. 4. In a sterilised jar, layer different types of onions, mixing in toasted seeds and herbs at random. 5. Pour over pickling juice. 6. Seal and refrigerate for 3 days. 7. Consume. These pickles can last up to 3 months in the fridge.




1. In a medium pot on a low heat, add olive oil and saute onions, garlic and ginger until soft. 2. Add the remaining ingredients (minus salt) and simmer, uncovered for approximately 30 minutes. 3. Remove from heat and season with salt if needed. 4. Allow to cool slightly and then divide between sterilised jars.


The woman in the wine W R I TT E N BY J O E L L E T H O M S O N

Carol Bunn is the newest kid on the Wairarapa winemaking block and a dab hand at producing “pretty” pinot noir.


arol Bunn is on a mission to bring a new style of pinot noir to the Wairarapa. The style of wine she is known for making has been called “feminine”. This term describes the style of wine itself, not the drinkers it targets. I asked her recently exactly what the term meant. She explained that from the start of her winemaking career, she was told repeatedly that her pinot noirs were “too soft, feminine and pretty”. She had reacted against the assumed connection with her own gender: “I felt that was a bit rude, so at one point I made bigger and bigger wines each year” (the 2002 Akarua Pinot Noir – gold and trophy winner at the annual Air New Zealand Wine Awards – is just such an example). “We left wines like that in contact with their grape skins for a long time to get bigger flavours, more tannins (from the skins) and a gutsier style, which won lots of awards and

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became the big, bold style of pinots from down south that we all know about.” They were wines of their time and place. That time was nearly 20 years ago. The place was Central Otago. Last year, Carol left the deep south to move to the Wairarapa and take over winemaking at Urlar Estate, a small winery near Gladstone with 100% organic certification from Bio-Gro New Zealand for its 31 hectares of grapevines. She was attracted to the winery because of its organic focus and she liked the wines. Owner Angus Thomson asked her to consider the role, and here she is. She has since bought a house halfway between Gladstone and Martinborough, and loves living in the country but admits she spends most of her time enjoying the vibrant wine village scene of Martinborough. Then there is her partner, known in Kiwi wine circles as the King of Pinot.


Larry McKenna is, she confesses, the main reason that she moved north. But not the only one. “The lure of Martinborough was strong because I worked there as a young winemaker when the region was still in its infancy but today the tourism in Arrowtown is wearing a little thin for me,” she says. “Arrowtown is almost like a little Auckland now. I love it, but it’s becoming a harder place to relax. Our family has a farm of a couple of hundred hectares there and when the new cycle-way was put through the farm, it caused huge stress to my parents and family. There was no choice, and it has changed the face of things.” Her move north also heralds a big change in her winemaking. The pressure to create high volumes is off because Urlar winery is relatively small.

Central Otago has the highest proportion of pinot noir of any region in New Zealand, with 80% of its 1943 hectares of vineyards completely devoted to pinot noir, with many star pinot performers, such as Akarua, Felton Road, Gibbston Valley, Mount Edward and Mount Difficulty. It is home to 5.4% of New Zealand’s total wine production. Even Cloudy Bay has a stake in the Central Otago pinot landscape today. By contrast, the relatively tiny Wairarapa wine region is home to just 2.8% of New Zealand’s total wine production and is much windier and therefore a more challenging place to grow grapes. Its styles of wines tend to be more savoury, too, a stark contrast to the fruit bombs of Central. This has a lot to do with the Wairarapa weather. Wind can reduce the size of the grapes, thickening their skins, and

reducing the size of the bunches, so that the tannins from the grape skins (which give that firm grip) taste more savoury. And so we come back to Carol and her aim to make softer styles of Wairarapa wine. She first worked in Martinborough in 1995 at Dry River Wine with Neil McCallum, so the ups and downs of the area are not entirely new to her. “I personally really liked the wines of Urlar and especially the whites, which impressed me because I think they have that nice subtle element you get in some Sancerre and Chablis [French styles of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay respectively].” Where the reds are concerned, Carol wants to let the fruity, grapey flavours speak a little more loudly than in the past. To give their softer side a voice, their more feminine side if you accept this way of thinking.


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Havana’s man in Wellington W R I T T E N BY C R A I G G R E AV E S | P H OTO G R A P H BY S E BA ST I A N GA L L A R D O

Wellington is host to many foreign diplomats. The diplomatic corps is an inconspicuous but important part of the community. They work to advance their respective country’s interests, seeking to strengthen political relations with New Zealand on an official level, and connecting with locals in many ways to promote their countries.


uban Ambassador to New Zealand Mario Alzugaray is staunchly loyal to his family heritage of diplomatic service. Alzugaray’s father and grandfather both served as Cuban ambassadors, and he is dedicated to the idea that his country needs to be better understood. “It is difficult to find independent and non-

biased information about Cuba,” says Alzugaray. So getting New Zealanders to see his country in a different light is one of Alzugaray’s main goals for his four-year diplomatic posting in Wellington. The Cuban Embassy sits high atop Karori on Messines Road, and offers sweeping views to the east and north.



The embassy occupies a circa 1900 villa behind a low wooden fence, with a rambling front garden. Popular views of Cuba notwithstanding, it does not feel guarded or forbidding. The Cuban Embassy conveys a sense of accessibility and friendliness as does Alzugaray himself. These are the qualities Cuba wishes to project to the world, having announced in late 2014 a warming of relations between the United States and Cuba after a chilly 54 years. “The new momentum produced by this announcement made a huge change”, says Alzugaray. He acknowledges large obstacles to full relations (including a trade embargo), but says, “Cuba is more concerned about showing the will to maintain the momentum.” For Alzugaray, the capital’s peculiar affinity with Cuba generates a special opportunity to promote his country. Chance has put Cuba on the map of the city: Cuba Street, named for an immigrant ship the Cuba, has long been the centre of a colourful, bohemian district now dubbed the “Cuba Quarter”; and various hospitality-related businesses such as Fidel’s Café, Havana Bar and the Havana Coffee empire among others have picked up the Cuban theme. Predictably, Alzugaray is taken by “the beautiful imagery of Cuba in Wellington.” New Zealand is Alzugaray’s first posting as ambassador. He arrived in Wellington with his wife Elizabeth Vela Jaime and their two young children in 2015. Wellington was quite a change for the family from previous postings in Beijing and Shanghai. “We thought that we arrived in a small town, maybe a little boring.” They soon discovered, however, that “Wellington is a very lively city.” Alzugaray is enthusiastic about Wellington. He speaks of his joy at quick access to Mount Kaukau, near his Khandallah residence and his family also enjoy the Rimutaka Ranges. Not so much Wellington’s less-thanCaribbean weather. But “if the local weather is all that we have to be concerned about in Wellington, then it’s all very nice.” He believes Wellingtonians are characterised by courtesy and an easy-going attitude, which he concedes can be tested on the city’s narrow hill roads. New Zealand established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2001and Alzugaray declares the relationship to be “very positive and friendly.” “We are both small island nations with larger neighbours” he says.


A common interest is boosting development assistance in the Pacific. Alzugaray also covers various Central and South Pacific states. Cuba has been paying more attention to the region as it seeks to expand its influence and foster new relations. This Pacific focus led to its decision to open an embassy in Wellington in 2007. Alzugaray is the third Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand. He works with just one other Cuban diplomat. The embassy provides consular services to a very small expat Cuban population – of the fifty or so scattered around the country, many of them musicians and dancers. He is excited about coordinating, with the Spanish Embassy, a Latin American and Spanish film festival at Te Papa, in October. Alzugaray believes the city’s small size makes for a connected and effective diplomatic corps, whereas engaging with diplomats in Beijing and Shanghai required much logistical effort. Alzugaray’s engagement in Wellington is extensive and he considers it critical to his performance. “This is a strength of our work here”, he explains. “I cannot do my job if I don’t engage with the local community to promote my country.” Havana Coffee Works’ Geoff Marsland is a well-known Cuba enthusiast. Geoff knows Alzugaray both personally and professionally. Last November, Alzugaray spoke at the launch of Geoff ’s book Havana Coffee Works at Unity Books. And Alzugaray regularly goes in to bat back home to support Havana Coffee’s relationship with authorities in Cuba, where the company sources most of its coffee beans. “Mario will tell the Cuban government what work I have been doing and that I am flying the flag for Cuba in New Zealand”, says Geoff. He believes that of the three Cuban ambassadors to have served in New Zealand, Alzugaray, “a cool cat” is the most modern. Back at the Cuban Embassy, large photos of the late president Fidel Castro and revolutionary Che Guevara – iconic figures of the 1959 communist Cuban Revolution – overlook the reception area. They remind visitors that the country’s past remains its present in many respects. But recent events have changed things, and Alzugaray’s modernity shines a new and different light on Cuba.

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B RU SH W I T H D E AT H At age 26, Wellington-raised Rhodes Scholar Max Harris discovered he had an aortic aneurysm that could kill him at any moment. Heart surgery was successful, and this reminder of life’s brevity led him to apply for and get a prestigious Oxford University fellowship which funds seven years of study and writing. Now 28, he’s written The New Zealand Project (Bridget Williams Books, $39.99) which argues the country must confront monumental issues, from climate change to housing affordability. Harris gives the Michael King Memorial Lecture at this month’s Auckland Writers Festival.




Sarah Laing, author of graphic novel Mansfield & Me, runs a character-creation workshop – and a graphic-novel workshop alongside Dylan Horrocks – at this year’s ComicFest (6 May) at Wellington Central Library. Local cartoonists Jem Yoshioka, Giselle Clarkson and Sally Bollinger speak at A Wellington View, in another of the 12 sessions. Take home an armful of free comics, and enter the four-panel comic-drawing competition (the prize is, of course, more comics).

Tracy Farr’s absorbing new novel The Hope Fault (Fremantle Press, $29.99) is named after New Zealand’s second-largest geological fault, which was involved in the Kaikoura earthquake in November. But the faultlines in this book are the schisms and shifts between members of a complicated extended family, gathering to pack up the family home. Farr, a former research scientist, speaks about family dynamics on 21 May at the Auckland Writers Festival.

Lee Murray, a Wellington-based author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, will run a writing workshop at Featherston Booktown (12–14 May). After successful small festivals in 2015 and 2016, Featherston has been made a member (Australasia’s first) of the International Organisation of Booktowns: rural towns close to major cities and home to book-related industries. Lloyd Jones speaks at the opening fish & chips supper, and booksellers take over ANZAC Hall.


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Pioneer History P H OTO G R A P H BY A N N A B R I G G S

Ben Schrader tells SARAH LANG why his pioneering history of New Zealand’s cities took him a decade.


t became a long-running family joke: would Ben Schrader finish his magnus opus The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities 1840–1920 before his sons left home? “It was a close-run thing,” says Schrader, a 52-year-old with strong views, a soft voice, and a slightly nervous laugh. “My eldest son Fred went flatting a month after I finished it.” Schrader and partner Lis Cowey also have Carlo, 16. Over a cuppa at their Northland home, Schrader explains why the book took 10 years, on and off. For starters, it was a big job. The first-ever overview of the evolution of New Zealand’s cities plugs a big gap in our country’s urban history. Covering 80 years, it zooms in on five cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson), spanning social, cultural and economic history, housing, street life, and Maori experiences in cities. Schrader received grants to start and finish the book, but it often went on the back-burner while he earned a living as a freelance historian. Then in 2012, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. “It can come and go, but I’m in remission. Last year I was in hospital for 10 weeks for a splenectomy, then I got pancreatitis. Now I’m on a new cancer drug, but it’s still early days, so I don’t know the long-term prognosis.” He talks about it matter-of-factly. “I think it's good to acknowledge chronic illness rather than trying to hide it from public view.” While having chemotherapy, he sent some draft chapters of The Big Smoke to a publisher. “The publisher said ‘They’re not very good and we don’t want your book.’ That gave me a crisis of confidence but he was right, partly due to the effects of the cancer and


chemo on me cognitively.” He revised the chapters, and publisher Bridget Williams was keen. “I did get it right in the end,” he says. The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges certainly thought so, shortlisting it for this year’s General Non-Fiction category. “I was surprised but gratified because I put so much time into the book.” He’s off to the awards ceremony in Auckland this month. “I’m not holding my breath to win, but it’ll be nice because as a writer you can be a bit of a lonely atom.” The ceremony is part of the Auckland Writers Festival, where he’ll take part in a session called Town and Country. The Big Smoke busts the “rural myth”: that New Zealand was predominantly a nation of farmers, smallholders and small-town folk, when in fact many early New Zealanders lived in cities (actually, most of us have since 1911) and had urban identities. Schrader opens the book with his great-great-grandfather James Schrader, who immigrated to New Zealand as a young widower, remarrying and spawning generations of urban dwellers. A century after James’ ship docked, Ben and twin Tom were born in Christchurch in 1964, joining five siblings. “My mother died of a blood clot soon after we were born which was tragic all round. We had housekeepers, and my older siblings helped look after us younger ones.” Their father, a Presbyterian minister, remarried two years later and the family moved to Wadestown, Wellington in 1970 when Ben was six. (His only half-sibling, Paul Schrader, runs Nikau café.) So why history? “For my 10th birthday, I got William Main's book Wellington Through a Victorian Lens. I remember spending hours imagining myself in the


photographs. And my 90-something neighbour told me about growing up in Wellington as an orphan in the late 1800s.” Schrader studied history at Victoria University. “I wanted to be an architect but I couldn’t get a grip on the maths and physics. So I brought that interest into my history career.” His MA on the social and spatial planning of Naenae sparked an interest that eventually led to his feted book We Call It Home: A History of State Housing in New Zealand. He also spent five years in Melbourne, doing a PhD on the rebuilding of the Melbourne CBD between 1900 and 1950. “Now I’m trying to open up the neglected field of urban history here, because it’s so important to how New Zealanders have experienced their lives and seen themselves.” Schrader, who hopes future historians will expand on the cities and themes touched on in The Big Smoke, is now being called the pioneer of New Zealand urban history. “But there’s a running joke in New Zealand history circles that we’re all pioneers because so little local research has been done.” As a public historian – someone who works outside universities – he fits writing books around a freelance career. “The upside of contracting is a variety of different work, and meeting interesting people. The downside is always looking for your next job and less financial security.” Over the last decade, he’s often picked up research contracts at Heritage New Zealand (formerly the New Zealand Historic Places Trust), working on conservation plans and classification reports including a recent proposal to make the late Ian Athfield’s Khandallah home a historic place (status: pending). Between 2007 and 2014, Schrader also wrote for New Zealand’s online encyclopaedia Te Ara (a Ministry of Culture and Heritage project) and coedited its Cities and Economy Theme. “That was the perfect launchpad for The Big Smoke.” No dry historical tome, the book has an accessible


style, lively anecdotes, evocative detail, and illustrations to break up the text. “I think visually, and I knew when I’d hit gold.” Think photographs, posters and art, such as a satirical 1908 sketch of Mrs Sourgrapes dissing Mrs Fazunplate’s showy outfit while they’re “doing the block” (promenading down the street to see and be seen). There are photographs of the Grainger St “slums” demolished to make way for Blair and Allen Streets, and a “typhoid map” showing that Tory Street was best avoided between 1890 and 1892. Schrader found out much he didn’t know: for instance, that settlers brought with them prefabricated cottages which weren’t up to Wellington’s gales, then turned to raupo huts built by Maori. The flammable raupo huts lost popularity when an 1842 fire destroyed 57 of them, with no lives lost, though the heat made John Plimmer throw himself into the sea. Of the five cities, Wellington is perhaps the book’s protagonist, simply because Schrader knows it best. “We’ve had brief stints in Auckland, Melbourne and London, but Welly’s home. I love its dynamism and diversity. At CubaDupa, we watched bands and people interacting, and four hours went by just like that. In the past, we had the street as a living room and I think we’re heading back that way, with urban planning and shared public spaces.” He’s often out and about, cycling, swimming and running. What’s next? Thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, he’s now cowriting a book on the history of New Zealand’s built heritage. “I’m confident it won’t take a decade!” People have asked if he’ll eventually tackle The Big Smoke Volume 2, covering 1920 on. “It’s a big job and right now it’s a no.” What about a history of Wellington? “That’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. There are many untold tales about Welly, that’s for sure. Whether or not they’re told by me, we’ll have to see.”

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Time t r a ve l AS TO L D TO J O H N B R I ST E D P H OTO G R A P H Y BY SA R A H B U RTO N


t’s been a tough 30 years for travel agents in New Zealand – nearly two thirds of them, (that’s 550) have closed their doors. In that time Paul Rennie has developed one House of Travel store in Wellington into a group which is now New Zealand’s largest single travel agency. With his wife Adrienne, Paul Rennie owns Wellington House of Travel, and he and the company have won a stack of “best in New Zealand”’ travel and tourism awards. His staff say they appreciate Rennie’s huge work ethic. They also report that he’s happiest in his black singlet in the heavy metal mosh pit of a KISS concert. Where did it begin? I was fortunate as a kid. I grew up on a farm outside Te Awamutu. That was a pretty cool lifestyle. Dad was a tough dairy farmer who taught me how to work. If I was doing a job and paused for a minute, he’d say “Why look at it, just paint it”. I went to boarding school in Hamilton: Southwell, then St Paul’s. I loved sport and heavy rock music. Still do.

exactly the same solution that they had in 1947, and it had failed! What it taught me was that old heads can save a lot of problems, because some problems just keep recurring. And then as a 27-year-old they sent me to Christchurch to be the South Island manager for British Airways, and a year and a half later they restructured. I didn’t really want to take up their offer to be sent to the Middle East with my young family. Did you have ideas about starting your own business? I had always thought I might start as an antique dealer. But 30 years ago I met Chris Paulsen, the man who began House of Travel and was instrumental in my buying into the franchise. How did you get the money to start? Chris lent me the money in 1987 – I think he lent me about $40,000, and we were the first House of Travel in Wellington (after Timaru and Blenheim). I’ve never had to borrow any other money for the business. You’ve grown since then. How do you keep up with it all? I talk to staff all the time, and do the rounds as often as I can. In Wellington we’ve two House of Travel outlets (one in Lower Hutt), one Adventure Travel, and Orbit World Travel (business travel), plus Orbits in Palmerston North, Albany, and London. That’s 142 staff including me. I’m sure some say they never see me or that I’m not there when they want me. I’m sure that some think I interfere, but it’s part of the job, and part of the thing is to try and keep it fair and even, around everybody as much as you can. I do have one saying for them, which is “If you can’t add value, you shouldn’t exist.”

How did you like boarding school? You either like it or hate it but it teaches you respect. Although I’ve never forgotten my housemaster there after I’d failed university entrance. He said “I think you just need to find a wealthy farmer’s daughter and that will be your lot.” Instead I became a cadet with Atlantic and Pacific Travel. They sent cadets to university, so I spent three years working through different departments in the mornings and at lectures in the afternoon. That was great training which enabled me to get a job with British Airways in Wellington. I spent five years with them as a sales rep. I think I earned $8,700 a year.

What’s changed? The development has been hugely interesting. In the early days all the systems were so slow, and information was so slow. I remember someone wanted to go to Pattaya and that was a big deal. I’d never heard of the place. Now, travellers share their stories on the net, and few places are secret any more.

Did you travel with them? They sent us to London on courses, and some of them were really relevant for life. In one they set us a problem. We spent four days analysing it and coming up with a strategy about how to fix it. They didn’t tell us till later, but it had actually been a real problem from back in 1947. We came up with



In those early days it could take three or four days to just get a reservation. In the mid-eighties people used to ring up and ask if they could go on (say) a Friday flight and the office would check they had seats, then send a telex.… There was no technology. I could ring up and ask “Could I book Jo Bloggs on this flight?” and they’d sell it, but they’d have no way of actually knowing that you’d paid or that you were on the flight. We used to book you a flight, then – when you wanted to go, maybe six months later – we’d issue the ticket for the price that was six months ago. Today we have to pay for it within a few days. That change has actually made tickets cheaper. Have you travelled much, and do you have favourite places? I did a lot of travelling with British Airways. I remember selling [East Coast Maori elder] Pauline Tangiora a ticket to go to Jerash and other places that I’d not heard of in Jordan. Hearing about exciting spots like that made me want to look around. It’s hard to say where the most interesting place to travel is – there’s so much … The Ganges to see Varanasi, Moscow is pretty awesome. The Bungle Bungles in West Australia are unique too, certainly in that region. One of my greatest memories comes from Italy – going back about 30 years. We went down to Sorrento with the family (Rennie has three children, with one son working in the business) and found a cabin that looked over the Mediterranean and we sat under the olive trees and looked out and had a great time. Where do most people want to go? Other than Australia, Europe. Now, people have done France or Italy and are going back for the second or third time, so they go further, into places that are a wee bit different like the Czech Republic. Then they get into bicycle tours and small trips round the Mediterranean… Why have you opened in London? We look after a number of large New Zealand Government accounts and we needed to cover their people when they were working in England or Europe and needed something done “right now”. Our people were finding it difficult working late here in New Zealand to answer their calls from across the world. I just saw that wasn’t good for them. We have a staff member in Brazil as our night manager and now we’ve got five of our staff from Orbit working in London. If someone in New Zealand wants to ring Orbit or House of Travel in the middle of the night they may well be talking to someone in London. So we’re covering the whole globe, and because of the internet, the calls are practically free.


And that’s good, because we estimate that in 2017, in the New Zealand night time, there’ll be more than 9,000 phone calls. What are the biggest changes in the past five years? We book a lot of Airbnb and we’re probably Expedia’s biggest client in the country. And technology. We've developed our own app which means our travellers can see their itineraries on their phones or laptops. It covers taxis, flights, accommodation, meals, meetings, maps, and even weather reports anywhere they are. So many different planes, the number of carriers, and the long direct flights like Auckland to Europe with a stop in Dubai or Doha – that’s amazing. Seventeen hours is long time in a plane though. We celebrate 30 years in business this year and our sales have increased by nearly 50% over the past four years. Why has the business grown so much when others have failed in today's market? Hard work, an excellent team, and looking after each client like they're part of the family. That's been the cornerstone of our business for 30 years. Have you had financial advice? I don’t really need financial advisers, I can lose my money on my own. Have you bought yourself anything interesting? I bought a nice Mercedes – but that’s years old now. I’d like to buy something like a Lamborghini but I just can’t make myself do it. We enjoy our bach on Waiheke Island. Charities? Yes, especially Volunteer Service Abroad and American Field Scholarship, because VSA philosophy is helping other people to help themselves, and AFS believes that if people understand other people they might not fight. We also do SPCA, and we put a sizeable amount of money into putting birds back in the wild with DOC and Massey. So are you still working just as hard? I still work as hard as I ever did. It’s funny, some say you ought to have a spell but I’d rather give it all or not do it at all. I can’t do in between. I’ve been really fortunate in my career and I’m grateful. I really do enjoy what I’m doing, and it doesn’t matter what happens in business because there’s always another challenge and you always have to have a plan. It’s been fun and far more interesting than I ever thought it would be.

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Wo r l d l y indulgence W R I TT E N BY J O E L L E T H O M S O N


ark storm clouds hang heavily over Lake Wakatipu, casting a shadow on the lake, which we gaze at from the vast windows of the town’s new Grille restaurant. This dramatic dining room, which opened its doors in November last year offers the most breathtaking view of the lake to be had. It felt a bit strange, however, to be a small group in the large new Grille dining room, built on a former carpark facing the waterfront. The owners of Eichardt’s hotel right next door, Andrew and Sarah Cox, are now the owners of the new Grille at Eichardt’s restaurant. They say it’s a relief to finally open the doors of the new eatery after many inevitable building delays. Before it opens to regular guests, they are hosting a bunch of journalists. We are here to learn and report on Andrew Cox’s expanding business empire in Queenstown. The empire includes the high-priced Eichardt's Private Hotel & Bar, The Spire Hotel, and No5 Church Lane as well as the new Grille. They belong to the Imperium Group, established in 2001 by Cox, a Melbourne-based Kiwi, who visits Queenstown about six times a year. Born and bred in Christchurch, he would love to own a house in Queenstown but business commitments mean that regular visits have to suffice for now. He describes himself as the custodian of Eichardt’s rather than its owner. He says that the heritage of the building and its history still inspire awe in him. The building that is the hotel today first opened in 1866 as Eichardt’s Queen’s Arms Hotel. It was a partnership between two early settlers, Albert Eichardt and William Rees. Rees was a farmer who initially established a wooden hotel on the site. The commanding stone structure that stands there today is listed as a Category 2 historic place by Heritage New Zealand. There will be no shortage of visitors, whatever the weather. The numbers confirm that Queenstown tourism is on a continuing roll. Recent figures from reveal a record increase in overnight visitors every month over the previous year. International guests represent about 65.6 per cent of those staying overnight. It’s easier to visit now than it used to be since Jetstar, Qantas, Air New Zealand, and Virgin Australia have all increased the frequency and capacity of their flights to Queenstown. And it’s not only visitors to the region who will enjoy the new top-tier restaurant and posh accommodation. The Queenstown Lakes District has had explosive population growth of 22% since 2006. Add to this the fact that 89% of

the population in the district earns significantly more that the national average – the median income in the Lakes District is $35,100 compared with $28,500. A higher than average percentage of the Lakes District’s population has a formal qualification, so this adds up to good prospects for spending by the locals as well as visitors. The new restaurant’s menu has been designed to reflect the growing diversity of the local population with an international-but-mainly-European emphasis. Tapas predominate on the Grille’s menu, designed by British-born chef Will Eaglesfield, whose international experience includes stints in London, the French Alps and the Mediterranean. Eaglesfield says the new menu reflects his international experience but also his passion for using local ingredients. “The crayfish meatballs, for example, are chargrilled for a little extra smoky flavour and served with handmade tagliatelle and a rich tomato broth infused with Otago-grown saffron. This menu focuses on local produce, with a splash of worldly indulgence,” he says. So too does the wine list. Cox ensures that his guests are as well watered as we are fed, with Moet 2006 Grand Vintage Champagne from his cellar. This crisp, chardonnay-based champagne is on the Grille’s wine list. As might be expected, the list has a focus on Central Otago Pinot Noir. Mount Edward is one of Cox’s personal favourites, and he works with the winery to offer his own Eichardt’s Mount Edward-labelled Pinot. As we sip champagne and watch the sullen clouds turn to dusk, we contemplate the impressive architectural transformation of what was once a concrete carpark. Architect Michael Wyatt was commissioned to use a palette of local materials to create an opulent, hospitable environment, but also to recall the pioneer days of the region. He chose Oamaru stone, weathered and exposed steel and dark slate tiles to evoke the dark bars of pioneer days in one of the country’s largest high-price eateries. Yes, it’s a tough job and all that, but somebody has to watch chocolate-making, learn to shake cocktails and drink champagne at The Grille in Queenstown. The Grille is on Marine Parade, Queenstown and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days. For more information visit: Joelle Thomson travelled to Eichardt’s in Queenstown as a guest of The Imperium Group.



W h a t wo u l d D e i r d r e d o? FAMILY TRUTH OR FICTION


My sister was an absent and neglectful mother, daughter and sibling. She abandoned her children and died in very difficult circumstances. Some details have never been discussed in the family. How much do I tell her adolescent children, when they ask? Their grandmother has given them a very unreal picture over the years. I understand her need to forget the bad parts but am also not keen to lie to them. Unsure, Northland

Should young children, under five years of age, often be taken to visit a sick and dying family member? My partner and I have opposing views about the benefits for the family versus the stress for children in seeing a very sick and unhappy grandparent? Tired, Karori People have strong views and you don't say how often is “often”. I think memories are important, and evidence suggests that we don't recall much from younger than five, but we are certainly developing and experiences shape us in our early years. For the grandparent or ill relative visits from the children will be special and this for me would be the decider. It also depends on the illness but if the event can be short and relatively stress free then surely children can and should be part of the family.

Families are famous for selective amnesia. Their mother was your sister and I can understand your mother wanting to keep some good in the story as these children grew up. Adolescent is not adult and adolescence is a vulnerable and tough time. Think carefully before you rock the boat – you don't need to lie but they don't need blurted negatives or to be set questing just yet. Try to consider them, and balance your story with what they have been told. You could alienate others and start doubts and disillusion and “too much information ” too soon can be more harmful. Are you sure you are right? Be kind.

NO TO NEW PARTNER My new partner’s grown-up children refuse to engage with me, and my partner accepts that. I can see that it will ultimately limit our partnership; do I say so now, or just wait and see what happens? Unhappy, Upper Hutt

OUT IN THE COLD I have been excluded, deliberately I feel, from a family event. Other members of my family in the area have all been asked. I don’t know why. Can I ask? Or should I just suck it up? Annoyed, Alicetown

You probably can see this from their perspective and understand it. Be pleasant, inclusive and interested in them and focus on your relationship with their father. Time will tell; and you will at best be friends with them in an adult way and will never replace their mother so don't push it. One day at a time.

Definitely ask. Unless you know or suspect that there is a reason then it truly could be a mistake – so find out. Don't leave it till the last minute so there is time to be sure and for amends to be made etc. And if you were not invited, then suck it up – it could be worse, and at least you will know where you stand!

If you’ve got a burning question for Deirdre, email with Capital Angel in the subject line.


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The International edge W R I TT E N BY RO G E R WA L K E R | P H OTO G R A P H Y BY R H E T T G O O D L E Y - H O R N B LOW


s a small kid it was simple. There were motorcycles, cars, vans, and trucks, and their exciting cousins that are legally allowed to go fast: fire engines, ambulances and police cars. Growing up I got to know racing cars, sports cars, supercars, convertibles, utilities, pickups, four-wheel-drives, hot rods, coupes, station wagons and recently, hybrids. But even as a lifelong car culturalist, I struggle with current vehicle categories. Nowadays we’ve got all of those, plus crossovers, MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles), People Carriers, and SUVs (sports utility vehicles). And to further complicate things, Range Rover have recently launched a 4x4 which is convertible! What’s that? I regard AWDs, MPVs and Crossovers as car-based species. They pinch each others’ ideas with the aim of being versatile, good looking, light and fuel efficient. They look a little like big 4WD vehicles, but they’re smaller and generally of chassis-less unitary construction. MPVs are basically vans with windows. SUVs, on the other hand, have a truck-type ladder chassis, but carry people rather than goods.This makes them strong, safe, good in the rough, and able to tow big things, but at the cost of weight. This brings us to Korea, that appendix hanging off the west coast of China between the Yellow Sea and The Sea of China. In North Korea they build Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles which don’t work and they have a leader who executes people he doesn’t like. But South Korea makes a fifth of the world’s new vehicles, which they execute rather well. The global population of all these species is now over a billion, and increasing daily as they pour out of over 50 factories around the world. Ssangyong is the oldest car company in Korea, and its only specialist 4x4 and SUV manufacturer. The company is international, and now has Indian management; it uses German-sourced (Mercedes Benz) engines and gearboxes, and Italian body design. The Rexton, Ssangyong’s mid-size SUV, was originally launched in 2001. An updated version arrived in 2006, featur-

ing technologies to reduce emissions, and in 2014 the Rexton R was launched, with its brand new 2.2 diesel engine and smiley front end. They offer three versions in New Zealand: the Sport 360 2.0 litre, the Sport 2.2 litre, and the top-of-the-line SPR 2.2, all with 2WD and 4WD and high and low gear modes. The 2.2 models have big tow ratings and are rated to haul 3.2-tonne caravans, horse floats or trailers. I drove the SPR, which adds (among other things) side airbags for the front passengers, and clever heated leather seats which remember the shape of your bottom. I particularly noticed the turn circle and manoeuvrability, which are impressive for a large 4x4. The high driving position gives a great view and the security of knowing that in an accident, the other vehicle will probably end up underneath the Rexton’s pretty front end, rather than coming through the windscreen. There’s not a creak or body rattle, and I enjoyed a comfortable ride delivered by the quiet and powerful new-generation diesel engine. The seven-speed auto gearbox with its manual override was smooth and light to operate, and at 100kmh the engine was turning over at a lazy 1200rpm. The interior design is clear, well finished, and user-friendly, with easy-to-read dials and chunky button controls. The three rows of seats can be configured multiple ways for maximum utilisation of the spacious interior. The next-generation 2018 Rexton has just been previewed at the Seoul Motor Show. Interestingly, it will keep the same proven chassis and mechanicals as the 2017, but the body will have a shrink-wrapped taut design with planes, folds and creases to match Ssangyong’s Tivoli and the new Korando. In the meantime, the current Rextons are available off the floor, with a five-year 100,000km warranty and Roadside Assist; the Sport 2.2 at $42,990.00; and the SPR 2.2 at $47,990. They represent astonishing value for such capable, well constructed, well equipped, spacious vehicles.


B A B Y, B A B Y

Emotional labour BY M E LO DY T H O M A S


t’s 8:35pm, and the day that felt like it might never end is over. You know the ones – where you’re counting down the hours until bedtime from the moment you get up, fuelled only by caffeine, sugar and the half-mad moxie of eternal sleep deprivation. Even now, as I settle into bed trying not to disturb the baby or further upset my aching back, it’s not to sleep – but to work. How fitting that a mother sits down to write a column about Mother’s Day in this way. It was a Dad who first told me that “mothers never stop”, when I was pregnant with my first. His tone was admiring, directed at his wife, so I was too busy thinking about what a superwoman she was to notice she was at her wits’ end. But after my kids were born I began to notice that while the children and partners of the women I loved were thriving, the women themselves were not. More and more these amazing mothers confided that they were so exhausted they were sleepwalking through their children’s lives, that they mourned the energetic women they were before kids, and that while they never had a moment to themselves they felt completely alone – that no-one saw how much they were struggling, or even cared to try. My friends are great people and most of their relationships at least strive for fairness in childrearing, so it took me a while to put my finger on what was going on. Then sometime last year I read an article about “emotional labour” and it all fell into place. The concept was introduced by sociologists examining workers in service industries, who were required to manage others’ feelings as well as their own and were left drained and detached as a result. In 2015 the term began to reappear in feminist articles and essays, with the focus shifted from the workplace to the home. Think about who in your household keeps track of birthdays of loved ones, books doctors appointments, manages childcare, researches parenting advice, plans meals, spends the most time managing distress and disputes (between siblings as well as for the other parent with issues at work or in the extended family). In terms of housework and childcare we

are, thankfully, moving closer to equality – but emotional labour is still very much considered the territory of women. It seems like small stuff but it very quickly adds up – and the weight of this “worry work” seems to go a long way towards explaining why mothers are having such a hard time. The tricky part is, because women have always done these things they have become pretty good at them, and so any discussion on how to split the emotional labour more fairly inevitably comes up against, “You’re just better at it than me!” Yet research into emotional labour suggests the link is not to sex (being born female) but to gender construction – or the expectations and behaviour learned over a lifetime of navigating the world as female: to be nice, to be aware of the feelings and needs of those around you, to put yourself second. It’s certainly worth having a go at dividing up the tasks that fall under emotional labour more fairly, and at the very least making sure the person who does most of the heavy lifting is given credit for it. But I also think mothers need to prioritise time to regularly do the things that remind them who they are – be it a weekly yoga class, the odd night out dancing or a little time every day for a hobby or work. It’s no easy ask. Depending on how supportive your partner is and how long you’ve spent devoted to everyone except yourself, just the thought of it can bring about a huge wave of guilt. In which case, maybe try to think of it like this. If one of your children was desperately in need of something, but it was difficult to do – would that stop you? Or would you move everything to make it happen? You are such a great Mum – your children know that no matter what, you are in their corner fighting for their best interests. But you need someone in your corner too – and if your loved ones aren’t up to it, you need to have your own back. And what better day to start fighting for yourself than Mother’s Day.



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F r e e we l l y

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POLITICA RAP It’s our home issue so for Free Welly visit New Zealand’s largest “house” – The Houses of Parliament. Poke your nose into the hallowed halls where policy is made, play spot the politician and head down into the basement to see the base isolators and earthquake strengthening. Tours are free and leave on the hour from 10.00am Monday to Saturday and 11.00am Sunday. If you want to watch the house sit there are about 90 days between February and December to choose from. Tuesday – Thursday is standard. Question time is the most entertaining (or depressing depending on your expectations of how adults should talk to one another). This happens at 2pm every day the house sits.








































Fine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2]Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television advertisements flash text fine print in camouflagic colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to rea Fine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2]Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television a colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to rea Fine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2]Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television advertisements flash text fine print in camouflagic colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to reaine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2]Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television advertisements flash text fine print in camouflagic colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to rea Fine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2] Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television a colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to rea Fine print, small print, or “mouseprint” is less noticeable print smaller than the more obvious larger print it accompanies that advertises or otherwise describes or partially describes a commercial product or service.[1] The larger print that is used in conjunction with fine print by the merchant often has the effect of deceiving the consumer into believing the offer is more advantageous than it really is, via a legal technicality which requires full disclosure of all (even unfavorable) terms or conditions, but does not specify the manner (size, typeface, coloring, etc.) of disclosure. There is strong evidence that suggests the fine print is not read by the majority of consumers.[2]Fine print may say the opposite of what the larger print says. For example, if the larger print says “pre-approved” the fine print might say “subject to approval.” [3] Especially in pharmaceutical advertisements, fine print may accompany a warning message, but this message is often neutralized by the more eye-catching positive images and pleasant background music (eye candy). Sometimes television advertisements flash text fine print in camouflagic colors, and for notoriously brief periods of time, making it difficult or impossible for the viewer to rea

Buying or selling property? Use our experience. We SEE the small print.

PARTNERS Ramona Rasch LLB David Leong LLB 38 Onepu Road | Kilbirnie, Wellington | Tel 04 387 7831 |

30 Years





LŌEMIS WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL: SOMNIUM 19 May–14 Jun, 10am–5pm, Wellington Museum



CHAMBER MUSIC NEW ZEALAND: KATHRYN STOTT & NZSO British pianist Kathryn Scott joins the New Zealand String Quartet for a programme of solo and chamber music. 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre




Part of the 2017 Comedy Festival which runs until 21 May 2–6, 8.30pm, Hannah Playhouse

8.30pm, San Fran, Cuba St INSIDE CHILD POVERTY – POLITICS ON FILM SERIES 4 & 18, 5pm, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

5 NZSO PRESENTS – AOTEAROA PLUS: FARR, ADAMS & BOULEZ As part of WW100: Remembering WW1 – 100 Years On, the NZSO commemorates the 2016 death of Pierre Boulez with a performance of Notations I–IV. 6.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre

BOOK TOWN Literary festival including workshops, talks and readings 12–14 May, Featherston

7pm, TSB Bank Arena


LUX LIGHT FESTIVAL Illuminating Wellington with five precincts featuring work from artists, designers and architects. 12–21, Wellington Waterfront

13 ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON – FIREBIRD 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre


8–11.30pm, Public Bar & Eatery WHANAU WORKSHOP: ROOTS MAKES SHOOTS Plants don’t just grow from seeds. Bring the kids and learn how to turn clippings into plants. 2–3pm, Sustainability Trust, Forresters Lane SOMETHING FOR MUM, MOTHERS DAY MARKETS 6 & 13, 10am, Wellington Underground Market, Jervois Quay

7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre

28 PAINT LIKE REMBRANDT MASTERCLASS In this hands-on workshop, Mary Amour outlines the painting style and techniques of Rembrandt. 1pm, Expressions Whirinaki, Upper Hutt



ROYAL NEW ZEALAND BALLET: Fowler Centre seminars and dinners. Offering excellent facilities for Corporate 7.30pm, FunctionsMichael including conferences, THREE BY EKMAN W ith various spaces for groups from 10 to 300, AV equipment and tailored food and beverage menus. The RNZB present Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, 31 Tuplet and Episode 31 together for the first time 04 CLEAR 801 8017 CRYSTAL SHAKESPEARE in the world, joined on stage by the New Zealand String Quartet. 31 May–3 June, 7.30pm, Circa Theatre @ 17–20, St James Theatre


9am–4pm Town Hall, Ottawa Rd, Ngaio

8–11.30pm, Red Rocks Nature Reserve, Owhiro


BLUE DRAGON NGAIO BOOK FAIR 2017 Support the work of Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Vietnam.

Book on






THIRD THURSDAY: POETRY SLAM Poetry in Motion and Wellington Museum present a night of word against word and rhyme against rhyme in this poetry competition. 6.30pm, Wellington Museum

Carmen is a parade of hit tunes set in an exotic locale with a fearless heroine. Accompanied by Orchestra Wellington, sung in French with surtitles.


1, 3, 6, 8,10, 7.30pm, St James Theatre

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Double trouble W R I TT E N A N D P H OTO G R A P H E D BY L AU R A P I TC H E R


here has always been safety and support in numbers. The Wellington Multiple Birth Club was established by a group of mothers with twins in the 1970s on this premise. Originally called the Gemini Club, the club has always aimed to provide friendship, education and support for those venturing into the chaos surrounding multiple births. Michelle Kitney, president of the club, says that mothers tend to join before birth for multiple-specific birthing advice and usually stick around for about five years – “those hard years”. Michelle says that after finding out you are carrying twins, “you often do need support”, which is what draws mothers in.

Pre-natal classes are among the support networks on offer. The club hosts Christmas parties, weekly playgroups, clothing swaps and equipment hire. A registered charity, it currently has around 120 member families in Wellington alone, with other Multiple Birth clubs fanning out to cover areas from Tawa to the Hutt Valley and to Kapiti. Jess Cameron, who regularly attends the weekly Wellington playgroup, says she turned to the group when she needed some twin-specific advice and realised she didn’t know anyone else with twins. As she celebrates Mother’s Day, she says her favourite part of having twins is that “Twice the trouble comes with twice the fun”.

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