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The Chr ist m as is s ue

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hristmas offers something for everybody, which of course probably explains its widespread and enduring appeal. A Christian festival, it is part of a belief system that underpins our society, our laws and customs. However alongside that expression of belief, festive observance offers opportunities for individuals and communities to celebrate and enjoy in their own way. Obviously not everybody follows the same beliefs but in the way that we do, we pick and mix among the rituals, traditions, music, family, giving and generosity, holidays, making things, fun and food and find something to enjoy. We hope that is what we put together for you every month. Something for everyone. In my family Christmas is a bit of a flop if we don’t all receive at least one book to curl up with on Boxing Day. Our books writer, Sarah Lang, again has compiled an interesting look at the books people love to give and to receive. Chris Tse, who in an earlier life was one of our Christmas Chrises (Cap #37, p32), has selected a seasonal poem for Re-verse, our monthly poem. Roger Walker extols the beauties of the new Toyotas and Melody Thomas in her newly reshaped Wāhine column chats about the conflicting beauty messages women absorb about summer and their bodies. The enduring importance of family is highlighted in the story of artist John Walsh’s ‘Muriel’. Sarah Lang talks to him about the initial response of his whānau to the work and the impact in the direction his life took. In the USA some states have legalised the selling of marijuana. John Bishop looks at how it works in Colorado. And although ‘tis the season of good will and great tidings, we also welcome spice and differing opinions and Stephen Franks provides some analysis of the claims made by light rail protagonists. Our design team including Leilani, Luke and Lauren have worked hard to test run and create our DIY Christmas decoration for you. We’ve kept it sheepish with food. The Shearers, mother and daughter, have offered a festive chicken dish and as another gift we present The Three Shepherds with their take on nativity food. Merry Christmas. See you in 2019.

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All the best for Christmas.

And just like someone else we know, the brothers deliver for free* during the festive season. It’s our gift to you from December 1st until Christmas Eve. So don’t forget to order online for all the best summer juices. *Offer applies to all orders above $30 during this period.


Staff Managing editor Alison Franks


Campaign coordinators Lauren Andersen Haleigh Trower Lauren Edwards Lyndsey O'Reilly General factotum John Bristed

Art director Shalee Fitzsimmons Designer Luke Browne

Writer Francesca Emms

Editorial assistant Leilani Baker

Accounts Tod Harfield

Contributors Melody Thomas | Janet Hughes | John Bishop Beth Rose | Oscar Thomas | Joelle Thomson Anna Briggs | Charlotte Wilson | Sarah Lang | Bex McGill | Deirdre Tarrant | Craig Beardsworth | Griff Bristed | Dan Poynton Sarah Catherall | Oscar Thomas | Megan Blenkerne | Chris Tse | Sakura Shibata Claire Orchard | Sam Hollis | Stephen Franks

ST E P H E N F R A N K S C olum n i st

LEILANI BAKER E ditori a l assi st ant

Stephen Franks is a Wellington commercial and constitutional lawyer, and former MP. His firm, Franks & Ogilvie, specialises at the intersection of government and business, where private and public bodies have to deal with similar basic issues — controlling power, and replacing the powerful peacefully.

Leilani is a sporty Hamiltonian trying to survive in the windy capital. A journalism graduate of Massey, she loves writing about sports which gain little media coverage, You can find more of her writing at

M E G A N B L E N KA R N E Fash i on c olum n i st

O S C A R T HOM A S D e si g n i ntern

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:

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Megan writes about personal style as a working woman and the fun and power to be found in dressing up on her blog, Mode & Methodology. Living proof that owning [undisclosed] pairs of high heels won’t diminish your intelligence, and she is a huge fan of New Zealand design.


Oscar is a graphic designer, filmmaker, photographer and university dropout. He is currently a graphic designer for NZ Police and an intern at Capital. He's available to be stalked on Instagram at



to NELSON or BLENHEIM Book ‘Sounds Best’ for last minute flexibility. see you there.





Sparkly new products from your local favourites





WHILE SHEPHERDS WAT C H E D Three Shepherds' give their favourite Christmas recipes





A hidden masterpiece finally on display


6 events to get you ready for the silly season

Stephen Franks on the pros and cons of light rail transport


Give the gift of creativity and joy in Martinborough, 2019 workshops are ready for booking.

Ventana Creative Collective 8 Kitchener St, Martinborough | | 06 306 9488


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A DIY Christmas decoration

Book picks from Jacinda Ardern, Justin Lester, Queen Olivia and more


61 62




Warmer weather wardrobe


John Bishop talks marijuana in the USA



Chicken, pomegranate and cucumber salad

59 DECK THE DECK Give your outdoor space a spruce-up

69 71 73


82 84 86 89 90 92



20 years of Moore Wilson’s Fresh 1998 - 2018

TO COVET Covet is a word not heard very often these days. I am intrigued that you chose it as a theme for the month and I enjoyed the lighthearted essay by Michael McDonald (Cap#56, p38) that looked at the meaning of coveting. Although not used often, it was not such an unfamiliar word in my schooldays. A Catholic school, of course. Thank you for the nice surprise in my local magazine. S Adams, Wellington NOT MY FUNERAL I was interested in your Agony Aunt’s view of what to do at funerals when the deceased doesn’t want a fuss at ‘their’ funeral (in What Would Deirdre Do? in the November Capital #56). I disagree with her view that whatever the deceased wanted should happen. A funeral is not just ‘for’ the dead person, it’s ‘about’ him or her, but a rite ‘for’ living friends and relations. In the majority of cases a funeral should in some way celebrate ‘their’ life. Deirdre suggests a separate celebration for people who want that. But most of us wouldn’t go to a second event especially if you have to travel from afar. I have been to a number of funerals where the dead person had prescribed no fuss, no speeches, and instead of enjoying all the stories and interest (everybody has interesting stuff) there were no speeches or memories shared at large. Wasting a special occasion like that makes me really sad. The main event should be a celebration at whatever level of a person’s life. Also a private funeral makes it a very difficult day for the family. The reason friends and family attend is to pay their respects and to provide some comfort to the remaining family by their presence. J Simpson, Wellington


Garage Project Sparkling Summer Wit, a classic Belgian style wheat beer with a fresh citrus twist. Limited release colab with Moore Wilson’s Fresh.

It’s really good news that the Council is assisting the Sculpture Trust with the placement of Quasi by Ronnie van Hout, (Cap #56, p16). It is a weird and wonderful piece that will add interest in the city and fit well with that other delightfully mad piece (The Philanthropist’s Stone) in lower Cuba St. Art lover, Wellington name and address supplied

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Stone, a Foxhound puppy from Eketahuna, has won the Puppy In Show award at the 2018 Black Hawk National Dog Show. Stone belongs to Miss Amorine Ward of Sarangrave Beagles and Foxhounds. Over 700 dogs representing over 100 different breeds put their best paw forward at the event which was held in Porirua in October. Events included a full obedience show, dancing with dogs and junior dog handling. Best in Show went to Tai, a Lowchen from the Bay of Plenty.

Art or Rebellion? Art for sure. Why did you choose the design? I’ve wanted it for quite a while. I love the art of Henri Matisse and my tattoo represents my passion for dancing and performing (the piece is called Dance). To me it has a joyful look and feeling which makes me smile. It also relates to my family – the five of us holding hands, staying strong together. Family - for it or against it? Mum thought I was joking when I said I was gonna get it. Where is the tattoo & why? My tattoo is on the outside of my upper right arm. I like the look of it poking out of my t-shirt.

KAT H Y I N THE KITCHEN Katherine Mansfield as home girl is yet another unexpected plot twist in the Mansfield story. ‘I feel so gay and at peace – the whole house takes the air. Lunch is ready. I have a baked egg, apricots & cream, cheese straws & black coffee. How delicious!’ she writes. Now a new publication, The Katherine Mansfield Cookbook, offers a fully illustrated guide to some of KM’s most mentioned dishes. The 44-page booklet is a fundraiser for the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society. Available from Katherine Mansfield House & Garden, or online.




OH SNAP A Wellyworder was stunned to overhear an unreasonably aggravated driver chant, ‘old person, old person, old person, another old person,’ as a group of Gold Card holders filed onto a Number 1 bus. The unperturbed biddies either didn’t hear or didn’t give a …

HANDS ON A Wellyworder lulled into a reverie while watching ballet The Nutcracker rested her arm for an unknown time on what she thought was a comfortable armrest. As a solo finished and she lifted her arm to clap, she suddenly realised her armrest was the leg of the woman next to her. She whispered sorry and no reply was forthcoming (mortified? not bothered?). The culprit failed to repress somewhat strangulated laughter, and had to briefly leave the Opera House to regain composure. After the performance finished, said Wellyworder bolted before the two could make eye contact. No complaint was laid.

GHOSTBUSES Last month a Wellyworder overheard a conversation between disgruntled passengers who'd waited too long for a bus in the rain. ‘Who you going to call - ghost buses?' one said. 'It's like an episode of Wellington Paranormal but not as funny,' the other replied. Glad they have a sense of humour about it.

IT'S COOL TO KORERO Ki hea koe e Kirihimete ai? Where are you going for Christmas?

THINK PINK Pinky Fang, an illustrator, designer and maker is the brains behind our tea towel this year. Looking for inspiration Pinky put the call out on Twitter asking people what they associate with Wellington. Locals, ex-residents and visitors contributed to a lovely list of Wellington moments and things. It makes for a pretty cute read (see @PINKYFANG). Pinky loves the capital for its colour and variety, its arts scene and how you can get almost anywhere by walking or taking the bus. Pinky describes herself as ‘a creative mess’ and would love a pair of prescription sunglasses for Christmas. All gift subscriptions will receieve a free teatowel. To subscribe visit

H E AV Y HA N D E D An unusual and generous invitation went out when the Gazley brothers recently opened their swish new Mercedes/Mitsubishi operation in Cambridge Terrace. It went to a charity – the Wellington Soup Kitchen. Four of their collectors marched around the huge crowd of Gazley guests, swinging their buckets. They deserved to do well, and we hope they did.



FUND FOR FUN Five events will take the lion’s share of event funding in the Kāpiti area. They are the Kāpiti Food Fair, 1 December, the Ōtaki Kite Festival and Coastella Music Festival in February next year, the Māoriland Film Festival in March, and an international horticultural festival, which is expected to debut in Kāpiti in 2020. They will be funded through the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Major Events Fund.




Significantly more work than expected is needed to bring the historic St James Theatre up to 67 per cent of new building standards, it has been discovered. It was supposed to reopen late next year but will now be closed until September 2020, meaning the biennial New Zealand Festival won’t be able to use it for the 2020 festival. Executive director Meg Williams says the festival will ‘have to get creative’ and they’re already looking at alternative options such as pop-up venues, Shed 6 and the TSB Arena.

Native bird numbers are soaring in the capital. A report prepared by Wildlife Management International Limited for Greater Wellington Regional Council says that all native bird species are on the increase in the city’s reserves. Tui and silvereye are the two most abundant species. Kakariki have increased about 700 percent since 2011. Kereru have increased 350 percent and Kākā at least 250. WCC says the report was ‘data deficient’ regarding Ruru (morepork) and it is ‘investigating opportunities to learn more about the elusive species.’

Cafes in Upper Hutt have agreed to refill reusable drink bottles free of charge, even for people who are not paying customers. Businesses happy to refill drink bottles are now displaying a blue BYOB (bring your own bottle) window sticker. The move is intended to reduce plastic waste, and increase access to fresh water throughout the city.

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OVER T H E WAT E R Refurbishment work on Rona Bay Wharf is due to be completed before Christmas and refurbishment of Days Bay Wharf is expected to start in February, says the Hutt City Council. Work on the Petone Wharf has been deferred to 2023. It is currently safe for public use. Engineers have confirmed that the Point Howard Wharf, currently closed because of pile failure, can be demolished without affecting the aquifer below. On the WCC side of the harbour the Patent Slip jetty is marked for demolition and urgent repairs are needed on Seatoun Wharf, Cog Park Wharf and jetties at the Evans Bay Yacht Club.




A group which uses cycling to promote better health and wellbeing for Pacific and MÄ ori won the Supreme Award at the 2018 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards last month. USO Bike Ride encourages getting regular medical checks, being smokefree, eating healthily and exercising regularly. Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, said USO Bike Ride embodied the spirit of the Regional Community Awards. Winners of the various awards included Ghost Fishing New Zealand (see Capital #45, p22) who took out the Heritage and Environment category.

Golfer Daniel Hillier was named the supreme winner at the Porirua Sports Awards at Te Rauparaha Arena last month. He won the Michael Campbell Trophy in recognition of his efforts in the past year. Daniel has a current amateur world ranking of 19 and won a gold medal at the US Amateur Championship. Daniel also won the Individual Sportsman award, beating out All Black TJ Perenara and downhill mountainbiker Bryn Dickerson.

An independent review into the Wellington City and Hutt Valley bus network implementation is being carried out by global transport experts and analysts L.E.K Consulting. Their final report on the first part of the two stage review, which focuses on what happened during implementation, will be presented to the Greater Wellington Regional Council on 13 December. The second stage of the review, a complete post implementation review including the inherent design of the network, will begin in early 2019.



Christmas edition Brush off your elf costumes, cloved oranges, and pine allergies - Yuletide is upon us. To celebrate, here are some Christmas carol titles and some connections to our fair city. Read, hum along and marvel at how I managed to shoehorn facts about Wellington using a tenuous link in the title. Someone buy me a Christmas gin.

Carol of the Bells

Angels we Have Heard on High

There are 74 bells in the National War Memorial Carillon in Pukeahu Park (the thirdlargest in the world)

$9.5 million was fundraised to earthquake strengthen St Mary of the Angels in Boulcott Street. After four years swathed in scaffolding the 95-year-old church reopened last year.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

Jingle Bells $6 billion was spent in New Zealand during the month of December 2016. On 24 December Paymark recorded 171 transaction a second. Expect it to go higher this year.

Wellington is ethnically diverse – it is second only to Auckland in its proportion of residents with Asian heritage. About 33,000 or 8.4% of the population reside here.

The Holly and the Ivy

God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen

On Three Kings Islands; 50km north of Cape Reinga, there is one known example of Tecomanthe speciosa – a native climber (ivy – geddit?). All other plants in cultivation are derived from it. That’s almost as rare as the baby Jesus.

The Wellington Club opened in 1841. Originally a ‘gentleman’s club’ it is now has 1,300 members including women.

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

60,000 babies are born every year in New Zealand. Roughly 10% or 6,000 are born in the Wellington region.

110 cruise ships are scheduled to visit Centreport between 2 October 2018 and 22 April 2019.

Compiled by Craig Beardsworth

19 19


3. 1.



7. 7.

6. 5. 4. 10.


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Full bloom W R I T T E N BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S P H OTO G R A P H BY A N N A B R I G G S







Emma Bass (photographer)

Johnny the Border Collie



Florist Vanessa Prockter has downsized to fit more in.


s the end of the year draws nigh Vanessa Prockter still has a big goal on her list – she wants to brew a special beer before Christmas. ‘A friend puts on a private wee beer festival, Bayvana, every summer where everyone brings their brew and lots of delicious food.’ She says she’s out to impress by trying to make a German cherry ‘ladies’ brew. ‘We’ll see how that goes.’ And does Vanessa have any Christmas wishes apart from the usual? Yes. She covets having her own bathroom. ‘I live in a house full of boys,’ she explains. ‘Or a 1964 Mustang. Either would be fine.’ A year and a half ago Vanessa decided to downsize her business, Woodstock Florist. ‘I needed a bit more balance in my life plus I wanted to spend more time with my boys,’ she says. The florist and mum of two (15-year-old Ben and 11-year-old Oskar) now runs the business out of her Kent Tce workroom. Despite the downsize Vanessa’s life is still busy. She spends ‘a fair amount of time running the boys around to sport.’ Both her family and her partner’s live in Wellington and the Kāpiti Coast, ‘so we try and visit as much as we can.’ She gets outdoors with Johnny her Border Collie as much as possible, and also tries to squeeze in Pilates, though she admits she hasn’t been for a bit. And work wise? Well, she's just done a huge Christmas wreath for

Moore Wilson’s (where she is the flower buyer) and the wedding season is about to kick in. Like any proper Wellingtonian, Vanessa loves a good coffee: ‘Raglan Roast & Queen Sally’s are my favourite, plus Maranui. Their oaty slice is yum.’ Good takeaways: ‘Taste of India & KK Malaysia are family favourites.’ And culture: ‘I love art and photography. Anything that is inspiring or visually interesting. At the moment I’m loving the work of Emma Bass.’ She also loves to fish: ‘We have a little boat which we take out any chance we can get. This I am quite competitive at. I like to out-fish the lads!’ Vanessa says, ‘I will happily spend time anywhere by a beach. Winter or Summer. I love the sea air.’ Last year the family went to Tonga. ‘It was everything we wanted,’ she says. ‘Relaxation, great food, and the boys got to surf.’ Closer to home, Vanessa and her family spend a lot of time at Lyall Bay. ‘My partner Wayne and my two boys all surf, plus we are very involved in The Maranui Surf Life Saving Club.’ It’s one of her favourite spots in Wellington. ‘I think we take for granted how lucky we are to be so close to the ocean,’ she says. ‘I also love when I drive to the market early in the morning and the sun is just rising over the harbour. Everything seems so still.’



B R AV E S O U L S A century ago, 8,600 New Zealanders died during the influenza pandemic. Wellington was the hardest-hit city, and Island Bay was its firstafflicted suburb. Sixteen nuns from Our Lady’s Home of Compassion in Island Bay nursed the sick in temporary hospitals and patients’ homes. To pay tribute to them, the convent has created and hosts an exhibition, The Sisters of Compassion: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918. ‘One sister in charge of a hospital delivered her reports in a sidecar driven by a boy scout,’ says Sister Josephine Gorman. One nun died.




The NZ Symphony Orchestra performs not just one but three Christmasthemed concerts this year to appeal to a wide audience, particularly families. Expect classical works alongside festive favourites like Santa Claus is Coming to Town at “Christmas Brass” (7 December) and “Christmas Pops” (15 December). Locally-trained soprano Madeleine Pierard (pictured) sings in the orchestra’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah (8 December).

A Capital staffer who joined A Slightly Isolated Dog’s interactive performance The Odyssey at CubaDupa confirms that the theatre troupe demolishes barriers between the audience and performers. Its production Santa Claus at BATS in December has Santa scolding Wellingtonians for this year’s sins (such as stealing milk and not giving up your bus seat). Shy sorts shouldn’t stay home. ‘If you don’t want to participate,’ says performer Andrew Paterson, ‘we’ll move onto someone else. But people sometimes change their minds!’

Formerly a texture artist at Weta Digital, Belinda Griffiths now creates her own textured artworks from Shelly Bay. Her exhibition Virtual Matter displays new series ‘Sea of Clouds’ (NZ Academy of Fine Arts, 7 December – 13 January), which merges sculpture with painting. To evoke windswept waves, Belinda used visual-effects software driven by ocean-wave algorithms to create digital art, which a CNC machine milled into pine-wood sculptures (painted later). Other pieces evoking moving clouds are framed like mirrors, by ornate resin sculptures.

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C HA RG E D Sometimes we need to charge our phones or rest our feet while out and about. That’s why there’s an iPhone docking station – and seats and a bed to sit on – within the City Gallery’s new exhibition Yona Lee: In Transit (8 December–24 March). The KiwiKorean artist is spending two weeks installing the work. Internal walls in the downstairs galleries have been removed to make way for welded stainless-steel pipes that form interconnected structures, snaking around corridors and columns, and alongside windows and vents. ‘It resembles a subway system,’ says curator Aaron Lister.




Filmed at Wellington High School, comic children’s web series Lucy Lewis Can’t Lose was a finalist for Best Web Series at the NZ Television Awards, although it lost out to Baby Mama’s Club last month. Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, star of the US film Leave No Trace, plays Lucy, a self-conscious secondary student. ‘Thomasin’s mother Miranda Harcourt and grandmother Kate Harcourt appear in it too!’ says Lucy’s director Paul Yates. He also produces the TV show Wellington Paranormal, of which a second season has just been commissioned. ‘We need prime-time shows from Wellington.’

Waikato business Soldiers Road Portraits takes vintage-style photographs of people wearing the traditional outfits of their culture. Its photographer and stylist also create pro-bono portraits at Waikeria Prison to help connect youth to their whakapapa. Wellington director Louise Pattinson’s three-minute film about this project, Soldiers Road, is one of nine shorts selected for the fifth series (themed ‘Impact’) of Loading Docs, New Zealand’s web-based short-documentary initiative. ‘Having only three minutes makes you really focus on what’s most meaningful,’ Louise says.

Who knew Wellington had a Tokelauan dance group? Hutt Valley resident Selina Alefosio is artistic director of the youth-focused O Mata! Tokelau Dance Group, and tutors Whitireia students and high-school groups. During the Measina Festival, Selina and her husband Sale Alefosio’s dance production Kupega Affect will be performed twice at Te Auaha on 15 December, honouring their Tokelauan culture and grandfathers.


New Zealand’s largest fruit and vege co-op is the latest institution to say goodbye to plastic bags. Wellington Regional Fruit and Vegetable Co-op will save over 114,000 plastic bags a year by using cloth bags which can be washed and re-used at least 26 times. The regional coordinator of Wesley Community Action, Sallie Calvert, says customers are excited about the change. ‘This is just a first step towards making the co-op more environmentally sustainable. We will also continue to explore options with the other recyclable materials that come from our produce suppliers.’ The food initiative was launched in 2014 to provide cheap, healthy produce to areas without a local supermarket. There are now 10 packing hubs that deliver to 14,000 households each week. Wesley Community Action partner with Regional Public Health to produce the 7kg bags of produce, which cost $12 a week. This is close to half of what you would pay for the same produce at a supermarket. In the Christmas spirit, the pre-Christmas bags contain festive produce such as a box of Jersey Benne potatoes and berries. The 250-hours a week which volunteers provide will also be celebrated at Christmas events hosted by Wesley Community Action.


















Coastella returns to the sunny Kapiti Coast with an eclectic lineup of international and local artists. Featuring Trinity Roots, C.W. Stoneking, The Beths, Mama Kin, Bullhorn, Soaked Oats, The Miltones, Richter City Rebels, and Rosy Tin Teacaddy. Bring on the sunshine and don’t miss New Zealand’s most anticipated boutique festival.

A favourite storybook ballet told by over 100 young dancers - a family treat for your Christmas Celebration - Good Fairies vs evil - celebrations and fairy tale favourites... All tickets $15 at

Give the gift that is local this Christmas. Each gift subscription purchased before Dec 20 will receive our 2018 limited edition tea towel illustrated by Wellingtonian Pinky Fang.

Saturday 23rd February 2019 Southwards Car Museum Grounds, Otaihanga Rd, Paraparaumu

Sunday 9th December 4.30pm & 7.00pm The Opera House, 113/111 Manners St, Wellington

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Christmas Made Delicious

Scene at last W R I T T E N BY SA R A H L A N G P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N N A B R I G G S 30


Forty years ago, elders at John Walsh’s home marae rejected the mural he’d created for them. Now that it’s finally on display, have the wounds healed? 31



sually, ground-breaking art gets seen – in a gallery or at least in a private home – even (or especially) if it’s highly controversial. But John Walsh’s mural A Portrait of Ūawa, Tolaga Bay in 1980 has, at his request, been hidden away for 38 years in a friend’s studio in Napier. John, a likeable man with a lively sense of humour, meets me at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. He has just seen the mural hung, for the very first time, before the opening of the exhibition John Walsh: A Portrait of Ūawa Tolaga Bay (on until 10 February). The career survey also displays some of his rarely-seen portrait paintings, largely of people from his iwi. They are striking taonga, but it’s hard to look away from the main attraction. Twenty metres long, and 3.6 metres tall, the massive mural he painted tells a story about the landscape, inhabitants and heritage of Ūawa (the Māori name for both Tolaga Bay on the North Island’s east coast and for the coastal village there where John grew up). Ten conjoined panels depict 60 or so people from a crosssection of the community, including a postie waving from her truck, a surfer riding a wave, and an elder shucking pāua. The mural merges real and imagined worlds by depicting living people alongside spiritual figures. On the far left, John’s mate Jay Gibson stands next to the spirit of an ancestor, and further right is Jesus (because Christianity became intertwined with Māori culture). ‘My mother is under Jesus’ elbow. That’s my son below her.’ The artwork encompasses not just the past and present of Ūawa but also the future; for instance, a rocket with a tiki attached flies towards a space station where humans may have to live one day.

As John looks over the mural, he has a half-smile on his face. ‘It’s pretty amazing to look into the eyes of all these people. Of course, they’ve all changed since then – kids have grown up, many older people have passed on. I feel all sorts of emotions because it has such a full-on story behind it.’ It sure does. In the late 1970s John, a local portrait artist, approached kaumātua (elders) at Ūawa’s central marae Hauiti. He suggested he create a large-scale painting to celebrate the community. The kaumātua said yes. ‘It was intended to greet manuhiri [guests] as they came onto the marae.’ Why make it so huge and unusual? ‘I wanted to do something different for my art practice, for the marae, for Māori art.’ In 1978 John set to work in an old woolstore behind the Tolaga Bay wharf. ‘One day, I was in my mother’s cookery shop, and someone came in and asked me how I was getting on with that “muriel”. The name “Muriel” stuck.’ It took him 18 months. But, on seeing it, the kaumātua decided the mural was too radical for the marae and that it challenged established concepts of traditional Māori art. They turned it down. John was upset. ‘Back then, many maraes welcomed the changes in contemporary Māori art, but my marae was very conservative.’ He says he was trying to help them move forward’. John was ‘a little surprised’ that some Māori artists openly disliked the mural. The controversy attracted media attention. When everything died down, he felt the mural had been 'broken' – as in tainted – to the point he didn’t want it displayed. Did he feel angry? Resentful? Confused? ‘All those things. But I have no bad feeling towards anyone. They made up their mind and that’s



what it was. They’re good people. To me it’s a story about human nature. We all put forward ideas and we don’t always get the response we want. We all have to battle our egos.’ He began his career by attending Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch from 1973 to 1974. ‘I ran away from Ilam. I wasn’t prepared to be barked at by post-modernists!’ So, in between farm work and fishing, he taught himself the fundamentals of painting by tackling portraits. John became the first Māori artist to paint realist portraits of Māori individuals (particularly kaumātua); they capture the spirit, identity and pride of his people. ‘But after a while I wanted to get away from portraiture which to me – and I don’t want to offend anyone – is intense copying.’ Cue the Muriel affair. The hangover of emotions was one reason he eventually shifted to Gisborne, in 1987. Leaving Ūawa wasn’t easy, after years of sun, surf, fishing and close ties with whanau. His iwi is Te Atinga-a-Hauiti (the descendants of Hauiti). One of his ancestors established the wananga Te Rawheoro which taught tribal traditions and carving for many generations at Ūawa, but closed soon after European settlement. He worked throughout the 1980s on restoring historically important wharenui and creating kōwhaiwhai (painted designs) for them, continuing a Māori art form begun in the 1860s. He soon became the regional representative of Ngā Puna Waihanga (a national collective of Māori artists and writers), ran art courses, then became Tairawhiti Museum’s exhibitions officer. In 1993 he moved to Wellington to become Te Papa’s inaugural curator of contemporary Māori art, and subsequently a general art curator there, partly for steady money to support his family of six. John

enjoyed interacting with artists, curators and collections. ‘I didn’t enjoy the bureaucracy.’ In 2002 he became a full-time artist, but didn’t consider leaving Wellington. ‘I like its energy, and my close contact with many contemporary artists and the arts industry.’ John, who lives in Lyall Bay, has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, in Wellington with Page Blackie Gallery and overseas. The new exhibition includes many of his early portraits of people from his iwi. ‘Most of the portraits went into private homes, so this is the first time they’ve been together in a public gallery’. You’ll also see two of the many narrative landscape paintings he’s created in recent decades. This body of work depicts New Zealand landscapes (or dreamscapes) derived from Māori culture and European myths – for instance, depicting ancient gods and mermen. Each tells a story. ‘Muriel’ tells two stories on two levels – about the people of Ūawa, and also about their reaction to the artwork. Some locals have always supported him. Carloads of people from Ūawa – Māori and Pākehā – road-tripped to Wellington for the exhibition’s opening. Ūawa art collective Toi Hauiti had encouraged Walsh to exhibit the mural, but he didn’t suggest it until curator Helen Kedgley asked if she could put together a survey exhibition of his career. What’s next for Muriel? ‘Well, this exhibition won’t resolve anything. It’s just part of the mural’s story and the story will carry on.’ Yes, he would like it to find a permanent home. ‘But I’m not holding my breath. I’m not anxious about it.’ Would he ask his marae to have it, now? ‘I’m not going to ask. It’s up to them. It’s been a long time, and the community still has mixed feelings about it. But I’ve moved on. The wounds have healed.’


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Whi le Shepherds Watched W R I T T E N BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N N A B R I G G S

It’s a busy job looking after a flock of sheep. So we asked three Shepherds to give us their best ‘simple but effective’ recipes to contribute to a Christmas feast. They’re fancy without the fuss.


Finn S h e ph e rd In recent years Christmas has meant only flying visits to family for Finn Shepherd. ‘Working summer jobs in between university means you are usually flat out right up until Christmas Eve. When I finally stop on Christmas day, I often don’t know what to do with myself,’ he says. Finn has just completed his Masters in Creative Writing (scriptwriting) at Victoria’s International Institute of Modern Letters and also works at Moore Wilson’s in the produce department. He flats with his girlfriend Dani and another couple, Matt and Rach. ‘We are all into flat festivities and last year had a massive Christmas feast before we went home.’ This festive season Finn is planning to spend time with his family. ‘There will no doubt be a large feast

somewhere, most likely at Mum and Dad’s. I tend just to turn up wherever it is,’ he says, ‘We always eat too much and then complain about eating too much, which I think is pretty typical.’ The decorating of the Christmas tree has become a tradition, ‘usually involving heated discussion about where to put decorations, but it’s always nice to spend time laughing and winding down after a long year.’ Family Christmases always centre around heaps of good food. ‘My Mum and I are particularly fond of arguing about what we will have each year. Roast pork seems to always make the cut, along with potato gratin and for dessert it is often a toss-up between a chocolate pav or the most over-the-top triple-choc brownie imaginable.’



Roast po r k & gravy Roast pork 1.8–2kg of pork (rolled shoulder or loin) 3 tablespoons of oil a bunch of rosemary, chopped salt &pepper Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. When hot, pour two tablespoons of the oil into the roasting dish and place in oven to heat up. While the oil is heating, prepare pork by cutting the fat with a sharp knife (either a crisscross pattern or straight lines). Rub the remaining oil all over the pork along with the chopped rosemary. Season well. Once the oil is sizzling in the oven, bring the dish out

and place the pork in. Roast the pork for 20 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 160 degrees and continue to cook for 30 to 40 minutes per 500g. Turn the heat up to 200 degrees for the last 10 minutes to get the crackling extra crispy and crunchy. Using a meat thermometer is the best way of judging if the pork is cooked. Pierce the thermometer into the thickest part of the pork and if it reads between 63 and 70 degrees, leave it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes and the roast pork is done. Gravy handful of flour cup of water 39

splash of Worcestershire sauce brown sugar (optional) Place the pork on a board or plate to rest and then place the roasting tray onto the stovetop. Turn the elements onto a medium low heat and add a cup of water to the tray. Let the water reduce with the leftover juices in the tray. Once reduced add a handful of flour and begin to stir. Whilst stirring, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar (if you want a little bit of sweetness). Continue to reduce until the flour is cooked through, add more flour if it is not thick enough. Strain the lumpy bits out and pour into your desired serving dish.

La ra S h e ph e rd


or Lara Shepherd, Christmas used to be just her parents, sister and sometimes her half-brother. ‘My parents had moved to New Zealand from the UK before I was born so my extended family are all still on the other side of the world.’ The ‘outdoorsy’ family often went camping. Mahia and Taupō were popular spots. ‘Typically we would spend time tramping, kayaking, swimming and watching Dad fish − the latter was not popular with us kids!’ In her teens Lara’s grandfather moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom and they were more likely to spend Christmas at home in the Manawatu. Her Mum

would cook a traditional roast dinner ‘because my grandfather felt it wasn’t Christmas without it.’ These days there are more people to see so Lara splits her time between her and her partner’s families. Though one memorable Christmas Lara, a research scientist, and her partner, who is a botanist, went to the South Island and spent Christmas Day tramping up Mt Owen looking at plants instead. Lara is a research scientist at Te Papa. ‘My role has involved developing the first genetics laboratory in a New Zealand museum. I use DNA to understand the origins and relationships of New Zealand’s plants and animals.’



Sm o ked sa l m o n a n d avocado can apés She says highlights include working with the amazing treasures in Te Papa’s collections and making new scientific discoveries, such as finding new species. Lara’s mum is the only real foodie in the family. ‘She spends a long time planning (and stressing about!) Christmas dinner. The rest of us are more relaxed and would rather not spend our holidays worrying about what to cook. We all like seafood and smoked salmon is something I often take when staying with relatives.’ She promises that this simple recipe requires very little preparation.

Oatcakes, pumpernickel rounds or water crackers smoked salmon avocado cream cheese horseradish cream (I used Adventure Kitchen’s Horseradish Lemon Cream, available from Moore Wilsons). lemon zest & pepper Mix horseradish cream and cream cheese to taste (I used 1tsp horseradish cream for each 1T cream cheese). Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mix onto oatcakes, pumpernickel or crackers. Place a slice of smoked salmon on top, followed by a slice of avocado. Top with lemon zest and cracked pepper.


Pat r i c k S h e ph e rd


hen Patrick Shepherd wants to treat people he turns to his Mum's Scottish recipe for tiffin cake. ‘It's crazy sweet but soooo delicious,’ he says. ‘Crushed up Digestive biscuits, golden syrup, cocoa powder, butter all mixed together and topped with chocolate. So easy and so good.’ Around about the turn of the century, a 20-yearold Pat packed his bag and headed to the southern hemisphere for his big OE. ‘Growing up in Scotland means lots of grey and rainy summers, so suddenly I got to experience what real sunshine and beaches

meant.’ He says he was blown away by his first sunny Christmas. ‘That was a huge change from cold, white Christmas in Scotland – I’m definitely converted to loving the hot Christmas now.’ Six years ago Pat launched One Percent Collective, where people give 1% of their income on a regular basis, which has now raised over one million dollars for charity. He’s kept pretty busy running the Collective, so loves getting a proper summer break. ‘I think New Zealand does Christmas so well, as everyone takes a good amount of time off to recharge



Tiff in Ca ke 100g butter 25g soft brown sugar 3 Tablespoons drinking chocolate 4 Tablespoons golden syrup 225g Digestive biscuits 225gr milk chocolate

the batteries and enjoy plenty of outdoor time with family and friends,’ he says. ‘In the UK it was a few days off, then back to work. Christmas in NZ is the best!’ This year Pat’s Mum is coming to visit. ‘She’s been here a number of times, but this will be her first Christmas in NZ. I’m super excited that she will get to experience a Kiwi Christmas in the sunshine.’ He’s looking forward to plenty of food and lots of ocean dips. But who will make the tiffin cake this year? ‘Great question!’ Pat laughs, ‘I’d say we might have to team up so I can show her the local chocolate flavours I’ve brought to her recipe.’

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and drinking chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Mix in crushed biscuits and press into greased lined tin. Melt chocolate and spread over the mix. Cut into squares when cool.



Christmas countdown Six festive events to get you keen for Christmas. It’s that time again. The silly season is upon us. The carols have started, Advent calendars flood retail stores, and people slowly erect their Christmas trees. Some of us don’t truly feel Christmas has arrived until work winds down for the year, and then all of a sudden it’s over. If you don’t want to miss out on the early Christmas cheer, try these events to build your Christmas spirit.

Green and red

Johnsonvi l l e Pa ra d e

Trying a waste-free Christmas? The Sustainability Trust kicks off this month with their Dreaming of a Green Christmas Market Day. Shoppers can try for a guilt-free Christmas and buy ethical, sensible and sustainable presents. Local organisations including Nisa, Underground Soapery and the Paper Rain Project will have goods on offer.

Watch dressed up people strut their stuff down Johnsonville Road. The Johnsonville Christmas Parade is a family-friendly event which will leave you with warm fuzzies. A range of magical floats and familiar characters will bring Johnsonville streets to life.

Sustainability Trust, December 1, 11am–3pm

Johnsonville Street, December 1, 11am – 1pm

DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF TARANAKI From mountain to sea, perfect coffee to gleaming galleries, and epic events to cool culture, there’s a lot to discover in Taranaki. Put the region on your to-do list this summer.


Wh a t a trea t

Ch ristma s Pops

Movi e ni g ht

Heel s and h orses

Spend the day whipping up treats for gifts or gatherings with friends. Wellington High School is hosting a full day of Christmas cooking for keen bakers. The recipes include festive favourites using chocolate, fruits, and nuts and participants will leave with six lots of goodies.

A sing-along evening for the whole family. The NZSO is performing a range of Christmas favourites including Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. Thrown into the mix will be works from composers including Tchaikovsky, with selections from The Nutcracker.

Old St Paul’s in Thorndon is hosting a Christmas movie night to raise money for an upgrade in 2019. The Polar Express is a family friendly movie. Movie snacks will be available and the Christmas gift shop will be open for any last-minute Christmas shopping.

Take the afternoon off work, get dressed up and celebrate Christmas at the races. Otaki Racecourse is hosting a day in the sun with great food and drink and the opportunity to win the chance to attend the 2019 Melbourne Cup.

Wellington High School, 8 December, 9.30am – 4pm

Michael Fowler Centre, 15 December, 7.30pm

Old St Paul’s, 15 December, from 5:30pm

Otaki Racecourse, 20 December, from noon


Southern Cross gem Use this template to create your very own Southern Cross gem decorations this Christmas. For extra special gems you can use patterend paper or add glitter.



How to 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Trace gem template onto a sheet of paper Cut along solid lines Score and fold along dotted lines Circle indicates where to thread string Use glue or doubled-sided tape to stick tabs in place 47


Airpor t Lig ht Ra il Let’s h a ve Counci l fun ded free rid e s ha res in stea d

Light rail is being put forward as the answer to the traffic woes in Auckland. Lawyer and commentator, Stephen Franks questions that enthusiasm and says light rail for the capital is not a public transport solution.


conomic reality (essentially how we actually behave as opposed to how well-meaning enthusiasts think we should behave) keeps blowing raspberries at the light rail bandwagons rolling in Auckland and Wellington. Recent reports now cite cost estimates for Auckland’s new tram to the airport of between $2.3 and $3.5 billion. In Wellington, the Mayor with others are trying to bury the Spine Study’s benefit cost ratio of only 0.05 for the enormous spend needed to get trams blocking Wellington streets again. That is, a benefit of 5 cents total, ever, for every $1 spent. See, for example, Kerry Wood’s August 15 piece, then the comments, pointing out that operating cost per passenger is vastly different from operating cost per passenger seat, full or empty. More pertinently rail’s big public transport cost advantage is that drivers are costly, and rail can have many passengers per driver (when full). But driverless road vehicles are getting closer. Rail zealots will not be able to continue to ignore comparisons with driverless buses, and smaller driverless vehicles. Comparisons of energy usage may not favour mass vehicles. The competition may come down to whether people prefer personal capsules (cars) taking them driverlessly from point to point, over mass vehicles on fixed and limited routes. It is not as if the implications aren’t evident. In 2015 Rutt Bridges summarised the problem, in his book Driverless Car Revolution: Buy Mobility Not Metal. ‘Driverless cars are coming, and they will change our lives. Most people won’t choose to own these electric vehicles. A few button clicks on a smartphone will bring a driverless car to your door in minutes. If you are willing to share a ride you’ll pay half as much. You will be able to request a ride share with someone of the same gender or age group. Plus, your fellow traveller will be pre-screened by your mobility service. Traffic congestion will plummet because ridesharing is hassle-free and half the cost’.




Losing enthusiasm for light rail could allow our Council to promise free ride sharing to airport travellers and still save money for other public transport. Unless the Council sets out to ban ride sharing and other personal transport, driverless rides shares could be so cheap by the time the trams are ready that few will choose even a free airport service tied to rails. This generation of Councillors may be remembered for its light rail excitement, but not in a good way. Statements championing spending on a white elephant vanity project may be quoted in future decades. They could be poster examples of official inability to recognize how dramatically different the future will be from the past and present. ‘Light’ rail for Wellington now could be the equivalent of building ‘world’s best and biggest’ stables and smithy for the horse-drawn trams in 1910. Within 10 years horses were redundant. I predict that by the date any light rail scheme is ready to run no Councillor will want to be seen cutting the ribbons.

outside peak periods. Only airport workers and business passengers typically travel to the airport more than three or four times a year.

Summary of success and failure factors (before driverless vehicles) A professional business researcher friend has put together some sobering information on silly political spending overseas. Key problem indications for NZ proposals are obvious from her summary of the success factors: • • • •

Rail appeals to zealots who expect rarely to use it

Ride share services offer point to point speed, convenience and security. No lugging bags down the street. No standing at a ‘hub’ studying obscure timetables or apps, wondering if the promised service has gone, or is delayed. No worrying whether the vagrants in the drafty waiting area will harass you. No having to leave half an hour earlier to allow for en route passenger stops. Fully electric Uber (and other ride share services) may be kinder to the environment. They move only when needed. When few want to travel, little metal is on the move. Light rail is not light. Moving heavy mostly empty carriages outside peak hours wastes energy. They block other traffic, causing it to waste energy stopping and starting. And people may still need to be driven to and from light rail stops. Early and late flight times mean that airline workers and travellers may need to travel very early, and late at night. Rail’s advantages apply only for peak period loads. Late and early rail services blow running costs way above that of a normal commuter service. Workers may be concerned about security at otherwise deserted stops even if a late service is provided. Airports are not huge destinations by volume. The regular passengers are unlikely to sustain a service

• • • • • •

The airport rail link is part of an integrated regional network and is not standalone. It serves passengers and commuters past the airport stop. It connects easily with dispersed suburban locations and the central city. Total travel passenger time is efficient in terms of number of stops and the train timetable. Travellers with baggage do not clog it (they go point to point without hub transfers or intermediate stops). Operating times serve both air travellers and airport employees. They build on longstanding use patterns; for example the Heathrow Express came after a less expensive London Underground service. Successful services run in societies with existing high public transport usage. They are rarely in high car ownership societies (where rail link patronage is low almost irrespective of the link’s characteristics). They must be much cheaper than alternative point to point transport. They require cities with a sufficiently large population base.

The New Zealand Super Fund has indicated it is keen to build, operate, and own Auckland's new light rail service. We have not heard from the fund on the Wellington proposal. But even if it does put up its hand, that does not say it is a commercially rational project. We should treat such offers or interest with respect only if they expect no subsidies and accept the full risk of zero value if driverless vehicles send passenger rail the way of the horse.


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Otsu kagerou hat, $225, Service Depot Hansel from Basel socks, $49, Mooma Halfmoon mocha earrings, $35, Shut The Front Door Cotton linen knitted tank top, $200, Goodness Carol orange wonders, $290, I Love Paris Short sleeve sheer shirt, $225, Goodness Marigold tie back swimsuit, $230, Kowtow Kester Black peach melba nail polish, $20, Mooma Cactus plant embroidered patch, $10, Ventana Creative Collective Mind bomb ochre sunglasses, $70, Shut The Front Door Bella yellow slides, $130, I Love Paris Curated by Trelise Cooper Mrs Parker in blush, $417, Zebrano Ingrid Starnes ziggy dress, $375, Harry’s 53


Life is shor t BY M EGA N B L E N K A R N E


here are codes and rules in fashion that determine what a person can and cannot wear. Society has adhered to such rules – and sometimes even legislated for them – for centuries. Even Ancient Greece had rules about clothing and who was permitted to wear what! The rules are no longer as explicit as the Act of Parliament passed in 1571 requiring all males over six years of age, except nobility and persons of degree, to wear woollen caps on Sundays and holidays. But they still have a presence in our day-to-day lives. This is why the internet is full of answers to questions about what you should wear, when. One of the obvious ones relates to which clothes are considered ‘age-appropriate’ for a woman through her life. I’d like to claim that I hold no truck with this and will gleefully wear whatever the heck I like as I age. Sadly, as I’ve entered my mid-30s I’ve come to realise that deciding whether or not something is ‘too young’ for me has, somehow, become a part of my purchasing process. These shorts are a prime example of a thing that I thought I might be too ancient for. Googling revealed to me that although wearing shorts in my 30s was, frankly, scandalous, it was maybe okay for me to wear shorts ‘as long as I had the legs for it’. We all know what that means – it means ‘legs that look the way that I, anonymous person writing this fashion advice, would like them to look.’ It doesn’t mean ‘legs of any shape and size, connected to a person who likes wearing


shorts.’ It’s immediately obvious that determining whether something is ‘age appropriate’ is just another version of the age-old game of determining whether or not a woman is sufficiently attractive for a particular item of clothing. It’s not so much ‘mutton dressed as lamb’, as it is ‘mutton that doesn’t look enough like lamb, dressed like lamb’ (which really rolls off the tongue). You could choose to believe that the pendulum has started to swing the other way, and that the fashion industry has finally copped to the fact that older women like to dress up and can have incredible style, too. Sure, there’s advertising featuring octogenarians, but even the briefest of looks at mainstream media will tell you that fashion is still obsessed with youth, and the beauty of youth - and it’s that obsession with youth that is the foundation of the ageappropriate dressing rule. As a result, women who dress for themselves, who wear miniskirts past 50 or wear their hair long past 60, are considered rebels. One article I read expressed amazement that Giselle – who, let us recall, is a supermodel – was wearing shorts…because she was in her 30s. Let’s be very clear. There’s absolutely no reason why a woman can’t wear her hair long or her shorts short, if that’s what she’s happy with, regardless of age or leg aesthetics. I don’t see any kids wearing woollen caps on Sundays these days, so ladies, let’s be rule-breakers too.

Q u a l i t y, c r e a t i v i t y & s o c i a l g o o d .


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KOW TOW KEEPS IT FRESH To celebrate summer, Kowtow has launched their first collection of sustainable swimwear. Each piece is made from regenerated nylon manufactured in Italy, which consists of pre-and post-consumer nylon waste material including fishing nets, discarded carpets, plastic components and fabric scraps. And not forgetting the boys, Kowtow just released an updated (and refined) version of their classic men’s tee made from mid-weight certified fair trade organic cotton jersey.




Dunedin Fashion Week’s iD Emerging Designer Show will be celebrating its 15th birthday in March. The 2019 iD International Emerging Designer awards, for graduates with up to five years experience, will be judged by Tanya Carlson, Margi Robertson of Nom’D, Benny Castles of WORLD and Kate Sylvester. Anjali Burnett (pictured) was a finalist in the very first iD International Emerging Designer Awards. She has since gone on to create Wellington label TwentySeven Names with Rachel Easting.

With each kilo of landfilled clothing representing three kgs of carbon dioxide the consequences of not addressing clothing waste are large. A new Textile Reuse Programme, led by sustainable textile research and development company The Formary, aims to move us to a circular model where clothes are re-looped back into production, significantly reducing environmental impacts and saving resources. The Formery’s founder Bernadette Casey was in London recently to present the programme at the Global Fashion Conference at the University of the Arts.

A Housing New Zealand tenant has been busy repurposing old fabrics into handbags, reusable lunch bags and ‘Shirty Shoppers’ – reusable shopping bags made out of New Zealand Post uniforms originally destined for landfill. Linda, an experienced sewer, used to sit home alone knitting hundreds of jumpers but is now a regular at the ReMakery, part of Wellington charity the Common Unity Project Aotearoa. Linda says, ‘When I found this place, I had a reason to get out. I just love it here; it’s what I do now.’

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Forget the halls, give your outdoor space a spruce-up this silly season and create a space that’s worthy of Santa himself.


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Sage & Clare enamel tumbler, $24, Tea Pea Home White paper Uashmama Italy storage bags, $10, Tea Pea Home Skarpo outdoor armchair, $199, Shut The Front Door Large round white paper lampshade, $45, Trade Aid Urbanlite asher tripod, $119, California Home and Garden Saber stainless steel BBQ, from $1499, Wellington Fireplace Ltd Castle Penny round cushion, $115, Small Acorns Cove Alexander 3 seater sofa, $4465, McKenzie & Willis Toyo-Sasaki sanfare tumbler sets, $132, Newtown House





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Part of Experience Wellington. Principal Funder: Wellington City Council image Yona Lee In Transit (Double-Function Form) 2018,

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8 December 2018 – 24 March 2019


Bluebottle jellyfish Name: Bluebottle jellyfish or Portuguese Man o' War

tentacles and paralysing it, then reeling it in towards the digestive polyps.

Māori name: Ihumoana, katiaho

Catch: Watch out! They’re more likely to catch you.

Scientific name: Physalia physalis

Cook: Best not to eat this one − though if you search ‘Portuguese Man o’ War recipe’ there’s a video from the BBC that shows chef Keith Floyd, possibly drunk, cooking a meal of organisms of that name with pork, onion, garlic, bacon, parsley, tomatoes, mussels, cockles, scallops and prawns. If you do try this please let us know how it goes.

Looks like: A small, cobalt blue, inflated plastic bag with tentacles. It gets the name Portuguese Man o’ War from its large, purple, gas-filled float, which is thought to resemble an old warship at full sail. The tentacles on a bluebottle are usually about 9m long, though they can reach over 30m (so give them a wide berth when swimming nearby!). Also, despite being known as a jellyfish the Portuguese Man o’ War is actually a siphonophore, which is not a single multicellular organism (as true jellyfish are) but rather a colony of organisms called polyps working together, none of which can survive independently. Habitat: Portuguese Man o’ War are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, the Caribbean and the Sargasso Sea. Each year as the water warms up, bluebottles turn up on New Zealand beaches − floating in with the tides, wind and current and using the crest that runs along the top of their pneumatophore like a sail. Feeds on: Small marine organisms like fish and plankton, trapping prey in its venomous


Did you know? Beware bluebottles washed up on the shore! Dead bluebottles and even detached tentacles can sting just as painfully as the live creature in the water. If stung, the advice is to splash lots of sea water straight onto the sting from the sea and pull any stuck tentacles off with a dry towel or gloves. Elevate the area, apply ice and take pain relief. But don’t bother with the vinegar – it won’t help with a bluebottle sting. If it were human it would be: We don’t usually like to compare the creatures featured here to despicable humans, but given the name, as well as the capacity for harm, the Man o’ War can’t help but remind us of Brazil’s far-right president elect Jair Bolsonaro.


TEN YEARS OF BOSH Wellington food charity Kaibosh is celebrating ten years reducing food poverty and food waste around the Wellington region. Kaibosh was founded when its original donor, Wishbone, wanted to donate its surplus food to charities but found that nobody could pick it up after 5pm. Robyn Langlands, a volunteer at Wellington Women’s Refuge, offered to pick it up. She and her husband George realised that many other businesses created unnecessary waste. This shaped the beginnings of Kaibosh, New Zealand’s first food rescue operation. In the past decade Kaibosh has rescued more than one million kilos of quality surplus food, provided 2.9 million meals’ worth of healthy food to people in need, and reduced carbon emissions by 795,512kg.




Last month it became legal to sell hemp seeds in New Zealand for ‘human consumption’ rather than only for ‘animal consumption’. Cameron Simms, founder of Plant Culture, says that hemp seeds are the most nutrient-dense seed on the planet, and we should have taken this step long ago; he suggests that New Zealand is behind the play world wide. He cites the obvious stigma of hemp being associated with drugs as a barrier which had to be overcome.

Gino from Mediterranean Foods has hand-picked several new products from Italy for his customers with the Christmas period in mind. The Sinatti Panforte is a new product from Siena, which is incidentally where the traditional chewy dessert was first made. There are also two variants of Nocciolata, which is a spread similar to Nutella but of a much higher quality. Santa might need to make a last-minute trip to Italy (or Mediterranean Foods) to keep his sweet tooth happy.

The Moore Wilson’s story has been told by Rebecca Chapman, in a new book released by the institution celebrating a century as a business. It details the origins of Moore Wilson’s, and how it has passed from generation to generation. Interesting anecdotes from the 100-year history pepper the book, which covers key people involved, and how supply difficulties were overcome. The cover image is by Dick Frizzell. This writer was pleasantly surprised by the number of stories which resonated personally, and thinks they would do so with any Wellingtonian interested with food.

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MORNING S TA P L E Nik O’Connell, Felix award winner 2018, never expected any such recognition when he and his partner opened their coffee shop Staple nearly a year and a half ago. Nik’s focus on customer service and satisfaction is one of the reasons he was nominated in the Outstanding Barista category. Every day he puts quirky ‘dad-jokes’ on the board outside his store, plus he has a knack for remembering people’s orders. Simplicity is the main theme in Staple, from the stripped-back interior design, to the coffees he makes – there aren’t many fancy syrups or variations here, a recipe which seems to be working. Find Staple at 175 Victoria St.




Trade Aid have added new flavours to their organic chocolate range, including Extra Dark, Caramel Crunch, and Dark Raspberry. A bonus is that all their chocolates are wrapped in compostable packaging. The dark-chocolate-coated almonds are the perfect vegan substitute for the New Zealand staple scorched almonds this Christmas. Their organic 70% Salt Toffee Crisp chocolate is proving to be a winner too, claiming a bronze award at the New Zealand Chocolate Awards in October.

Wellingtonians are struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to a recent study from food company WOOP. Over 40% of us eat takeaways every week, saying they are too tired or busy to cook a healthy meal after a long day. A surprising 69% of respondents say information about healthy eating is confusing, and a third of them have tried restrictive diets. WOOP design quick, healthy dinners which are available in Wellington.

Wellington's first Iranian fusion eatery is open for business. Eden Eatery serves healthy, eco-friendly meals including rice porridge for breakfast, baba ghanoush for lunch and Arabic coffee, which is great for those watching their waistlines. The coffee is said to be low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates. Now that's something for the coffee capital to get excited about. The store is in Manners Street and has kept customers happy since opening its doors at the beginning of November.

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

Chicken, pomegranate and cucumber sa lad BY N I K K I & J O R DA N S H E A R E R


he holiday season in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand, boats and barbecues in the back yard. Think turkey and cranberry, replaced by chicken and pomegranates in this dish.Toss it all up with a little Kiwi fun, freshness, and wash it down with a cold glass of bubbles to celebrate this holiday season.

Pomegranate molasses is such a delicious ingredient that adds a great intense tang (and specialness) to the dressing in this dish − it’s also pretty easy to make if you’d like to give it a go. We will be serving this salad as an entree on our Christmas table this year, but it’s also great as a shared salad plate with the meatballs served warm or cold.


Serves 4–6 Meatballs 500g chicken mince ½ cup cooked couscous (we used Herb and Spice Mill spinach and pine nut couscous) ½ red onion, finely diced 3 cloves garlic, finely diced 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp sumac ½ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp flaky sea salt ½ cup white sesame seeds 3 Tbsp light olive oils Dressing ¼ cup light olive oil ¼ cup pomegranate molasses 2 Tbsp liquid honey 1 tsp cumin seeds Salad ½ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and shaved into ribbons 1 pomegranate, seeds removed (reserve 3–4 Tbsp for serving) 120g mixed lettuce of your choice ½ cup roasted pistachios 2 spring onions, finely sliced Handful of mint, roughly chopped




To make the meatballs, add all ingredients except the sesame seeds and oil to a bowl and mix to combine well. 2. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes. 3. With damp hands, take teaspoon amounts of the chicken mixture and roll into balls. 4. Then roll these balls in the sesame seeds to coat. 5. Heat a frying pan on a low-medium heat with 3 Tbsps olive oil. 6. Cook the meatballs for about 4–5 minutes on a medium heat until golden on all sides and the chicken is cooked through (beware – the sesame seeds can spit). 7. For the dressing, add all ingredients together and mix well until combined (we love shaking our dressings in a jar). 8. To serve, toss all ingredients for the salad in a big bowl, adding dressing as required. 9. Add cooked meatballs and drizzle with a little extra of the dressing. 10. Sprinkle with remaining pomegranate. 11. These meatballs can be served as individual portions or in a big bowl for sharing.


Discover the flavours of Auckland


mongst a stunning backdrop of volcanoes, parks, harbours and islands sits Auckland, our biggest city. Visitors have long been drawn to this region, which offers cosmopolitan sophistication that rivals the world’s best cities, and treats the eyes to jaw-dropping views. Adding to its metropolitan energy is a strong culinary scene; entrepreneurial young chefs, world-class restaurateurs, artisans, wine-makers and brewers are integrating the flavours, ingredients and cooking techniques of a wide variety of traditional and contemporary cultures from the Pacific, Asia and beyond. New Zealand’s most multicultural city has a rich and diverse culture and as a result, Auckland has an abundance of exciting culinary experiences amid a vibrant and wonderfully eclectic food scene. Of the top four restaurants in the country, three are in Auckland. And two of those (Ponsonby’s Cocoro and Kazuya on Eden Terrace) are Japanese restaurants. Street food is having a particularly strong moment in the city. Think of the famous Auckland Night Markets. Or Pūhā & Pākehā, the Grey Lynn eatery which runs a food truck in addition to the restaurant. You can try their modern Māori fusion food at markets all around Auckland. Despite the ‘big city’ vibe Auckland still offers the authenticity and homely feel of fresh and locally produced food. Whether you’re a foodie, fancy fine dining, or just want to feed the family, it’s on offer. And right alongside the eager foodies are winemakers, coffee roasters and craft brewers grouped in evergrowing abundance throughout the CBD and the greater region. All refining, honing and experimenting with their recipes and products.



Fusion at its finest In the world’s biggest Polynesian city, the influence of the Pasifika community is particularly strong. Auckland boasts the first fine dining restaurant dedicated to Pacific food, Mt Eden’s Kai Pasifika, which offer a fusion of tradition with contemporary cuisine. Owned by Robert Oliver, it serves up a delicious fresh menu inspired by the South Pacific while reflecting the diverse communities which make up the fabric of modern day Auckland. We’d take the train any day to try braised taro leaf and lamb, goat curry or taro with warm coconut sauce.

I n t h e m a r ke t m o m e n t

Oh shucks

A cheeky bevvy

Markets are about adventure! Visiting a new place to watch (and listen to) the locals chat and to sample neverbefore- seen- treats, think elaborate icecream flavours and delicious looking sausages. Sniff the aromas, listen to the hum and be in the moment. Each market has its own flavour from the night markets and La Cigale, from Otara to Clevedon. Matakana Farmers Market has a focus on fresh, sustainable and local artisan goods. It’s zero waste so don’t forget your basket.

Do you know how to shuck an oyster? No? Then jump aboard The Shuckle Ferry, to enjoy New Zealand’s only oyster farm tour. Cruise out on the Mahurangi Harbour to historic Browns Bay to truly experience Auckland’s wealth of waterways. Your skipper will take you to the centre of the farm and teach the way these salty bivalves are caught, grown and eaten. Pacific oysters have come of age and we know many a millennial who prefers them over their Bluff brothers.

In reality everything in Auckland is close by. Award winning wineries as far afield as Kumeu, Waiheke and Matakana are all a relatively short trip from the CBD. Auckland also has a solid emerging beer brewery scene, with around 40 craft breweries dotted throughout the isthmus. Craft brewers have been popping up in the CBD and local neighbourhoods as well as destination locations.

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F R E S H LY SQUEEZED Roger Young, founder of Havana Brother’s Bakehouse attended the first organic juice conference, JuiceCon, in California last month. The two-day event was hosted and selffunded by American juice-pressing companies and covered everything from repurposing juice pulp to the health benefits of raw juice. Roger says Havana Bro’s cold-press juices are, ‘great for our gut health, weight loss, immune system and even your skin.’ The company focuses on sustainability and uses local, organic ingredients. ‘We have an amazing label that allows us to re-use eight times,’ says Roger.




Cartoonist Sharon Murdoch has produced the labels for South Cider, a Wellington brewery in Mount Cook. Her penguin designs feature on the labels, t-shirts, and posters. And her cartoon cat Munro, in book form, has been on the Unity Books best seller list. Sharon was the first female to regularly produce political cartoons for New Zealand media. South Cider is available at Moore Wilson’s and Regional Wines.

The gentrification of Wellington's Laneways continues with the opening of Denizen Urban Distillery in Lombard Lane last month. The craft distillery will use rainwater, along with native botanicals to flavour their gin. It is located alongside a burgeoning fashion community, which owners Eamon O'Rourke and Mark Halton say is ideal because gin is the only spirit consumed by more women than men.

Pinot Noir dominated the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards held in Wellington last month. The 2017 Maude Pinot Noir, Central Otago, was the winner on the night. One local winery stood out. The award for Best Single Vineyard Red Wine was awarded to Craggy Range Pinot Noir from Te Muna Road Vineyard in Martinborough. Chief winemaker Matt Stanford says, 'It's a dark and brooding Pinot Noir, grown at our secret place in Martinborough.’

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HOME AT L A S T Before they died, three WWI veterans questioned why British historian Peter Liddle never returned their Gallipoli diaries following his visit to New Zealand in 1974 (he said they were gifts). Some of their descendants continued to raise the issue, including Porirua’s Claire Bishop. Now, after negotiation with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the National Library, the University of Leeds Library’s ‘Liddle Collection’ have sent the diaries to the Turnbull Library (along with digital copies of other New Zealand diaries and documents). Claire and other descendants enjoyed reading them.




Paraparaumu 12-year-old Ben Spies has written three children’s fiction books in three years. The newly-released World of Greek Mythology ($20) ‘is my take on ancient myths, gods and goddesses, with a few new characters!’, Ben says. His parents Renata and Robert Spies set up Spies Publishing to publish his books, commissioning Kapiti designers Luke and Vida Kelly. Renata and Ben run workshops where children write, illustrate and bind mini-books.

The brilliant, tortured novelist, poet and journalist Iris Wilkinson – aka Robin Hyde (1906–1939) – has been honoured with a shiny plaque outside her childhood home at 92 Northland Road. It’s the third ‘Heritage Plaque’ installed in a new scheme led by Wellington City councillor Nicola Young. ‘Wilkinson fascinates me,’ Nicola says. ‘My greatuncle was her close friend, and I’m reading her son Derek’s biography of her. He’s delighted about the plaque.’

Wellington High School history and social-studies teacher Jean-Paul Powley, who is Pākehā, considers himself a ‘kaitiaki o te pō: caretaker of history and memory’. His first book Kaitiaki o te Pō: Essays ($35) is published this month by Seraph Press (its first foray away from poetry into non-fiction). Powley, who combines memoir with observations on history and culture, often explores how our history plays out in our present, especially for Māori.

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Re-verse I N T R O D U C E D BY C H R I S T S E

Christmas Christmas, and I went looking for presents for the children. In a toyshop I found myself standing beside a man I had, some time ago, spent almost ten years of my life with. I said Hello my old life— which is a line from a Grace Paley story with one word added. Hello, he said.


Then we talked about our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. He bought Lego and a train set. Me, a small plastic swimmer whose arms circled in a useless hilarious fashion in water and on land.

Jenny Bornholdt is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed and beloved poets with a number of poetry collections, anthologies and children’s books to her name. Her most recent publications include Selected Poems (Victoria University Press, 2016) and the anthology Short Poems of New Zealand (Victoria University Press, 2018). She was New Zealand’s fifth Poet Laureate from 2005-2006.

THE BREAKDOWN Ah, Christmas. Tis the season of anxiety-inducing trips to the shops, overeating, and long summer days spent with family and friends. The holiday season is ripe for moments of reflection – although as Jenny Bornholdt’s poem makes clear sometimes you don’t necessarily have a say when they might occur. The book in which this poem first appeared, The Hill of Wool (Victoria University Press, 2011), is described as ‘a book about memories’. Many of its poems play out as records of intimate memories, whereas others untangle the sometimes nebulous and complicated act of remembering and all the joy and pain that can bring. What I love about Jenny’s poetry is how relatable it is, with its sly humour and empathy. Through

By Jenny Bornholdt, from The Hill Of Wool (VUP, 2011)

her economical and precise use of language, she creates scenes that zero in on quiet drama and the emotional to and fro of human interactions. She is a master of the short poem, and many of my favourite poems of hers (like Make Sure and The boyfriends) feel very much like short films. Her body of work taken as a whole could be seen as one neverending ensemble drama with characters drifting in and out of a lifelong narrative. In fact, Christmas could easily have been a deleted scene from Love, Actually (and I mean that in the best way possible – there will be no Love, Actually hate in this column). It’s a relatively small moment, but it captures and says so much about how our pasts are always trailing one step behind us. In the poem, Jenny refers to a story by American writer Grace Paley (Wants) and her variation of a quote from that

7 37 3

story (‘Hello my old life’). Paley’s story has nothing to do with Christmas, but it does recount a woman’s charged confrontation with her ex-husband, who blames her for the breakdown of their marriage. Jenny’s take on her own unexpected chance meeting with a former partner is much gentler. She and her old life are able to catch up with the goings-on of each other’s family and leave the meeting without opening up old wounds. Even so, the final image of a plastic toy swimmer relays the awkwardness and slightly comical nature of such meetings. How many times have you walked away from a brush with an ex wondering whether you made a fool of yourself? In a city as small as Wellington it’s as inevitable as Mariah Carey in December, but we’re still never fully prepared for the outcome.


N ove l suggestions Jaci nda Arder n BY SA R A H L A N G

Jacinda Ardern is the Prime Minister, and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

I’m currently reading cabinet papers! Those are interspersed with the books we read to our daughter Neve: ABC books mostly, and Hairy Maclary books by Lynley Dodd, the quintessential author for Kiwi kids.

Looking for a cracking read for beach, bach or hammock this summer? Wondering which book to give as a Christmas gift? We’ve asked some keen

I’d like to get onto reading another one of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners over the Christmas break. I read Diana Wichtel’s wonderful memoir Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search For A Lost Father (Awa Press, $45) while I was on maternity leave. The Illustrated Non-fiction winner – Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds (Bridget Williams Books, $45) by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa – has had great reviews so that might be next. It’s about a young Ngare Raumati chief who sets off for England in 1817. But then again there’s the fiction, the poetry and the children’s book winners as well…

readers from the Wellington region to choose their favourites

*Most of these titles are available at Unity Books (except Bob Jones’ picks)

For Christmas, I would like to give Hillary’s Antarctica (Allen & Unwin, $49.99) by Nigel Watson, with photographs by Jane Ussher, to my Dad. We share a love of Antarctic history and exploration. Alfred Lansing’s Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage would be my favourite book of all time; it’s not only a chronicle of immense human courage but a fantastic insight into the adventurous spirit that has inspired new generations of explorers.



J ustin Lester

Tho masi n Harcour t McKenzi e

Justin Lester is Wellington’s mayor

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is an 18-year-old actor who recently starred in US film Leave No Trace

I’ve just read my two current favourite books, by Madeline Miller. Circe (Bloomsbury, $32) is about the immortal sorceress banished to a deserted island, where she encounters Odysseus. The Song of Achilles (Bloomsbury, $20) tells the story of the Trojan War from the point-of-view of Achilles’ friend Patroclus. When I finished Achilles, I sat at the kitchen table crying while my sister laughed at me!

The book I’m currently reading is The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. I spend a good amount of time looking at how we can improve Wellington public spaces. Published in 1961, it provides insights into urbanplanning theory and experiences across American cities across many decades. It blames 1950s urban planning for the decline of many neighbourhoods and proposes ideas for rejuvenating them. A really interesting read.

I’m tempted to give those same books for Christmas. But I might give Tessa Duder’s 'Alex' series about a 1950s Kiwi girl who represents her country overseas at swimming, and who experiences triumphs and challenges. These have inspired me.

The book I’d like to get for Christmas is The Raupō Dictionary Of Modern Māori by P M Ryan (Penguin, $60). I’m learning te reo Māori and often need a dictionary at my fingertips to flick through for new vocabulary. People have told me I could use an online dictionary, but it just wouldn’t be the same and going on the internet might actually interrupt my reading!

Recently my friend Alissa posted me her five favourite books. That was a cool glimpse into her development as a person and I’ve loved her picks. Four are novels: Rules of Civility is about a young woman in 1930s Manhattan; The Nightingale is about two sisters in France during WWII; The Dinner Party is about two families connecting through their children; Everything I Never Told You is about a Chinese-American family whose daughter drowns. And The Glass Castle is Jeannette Walls’ memoir about her poverty-stricken upbringing. So that’s what I want for Christmas – a list of five favourite books from my favourite people.

For Christmas I’d like to give my wife Liz The Cuba Street Project (Penguin, $25) by Beth Brash and Alice Lloyd. Cuba Street has an important place in my life with its unique community and quirky nature. I love how this book pulls together the essence of Cuba Street along with some of Wellington’s best food. I think Liz will love it (I hope she doesn’t read this before then!).



Q u een Ol ivia St Redfern

Si r Bob Jones

Queen Olivia St Redfern is a drag queen who reads to children at Wellington City Libraries’ Rainbow Storytime sessions

Sir Bob Jones is a commercial building investor who has read between 100 and 130 books annually for 30 years

Monitoring Wellington on Twitter takes more time than I care to confess to. However, my trusty e-reader and I spend quality time snuggled under the covers (some paper books are far too heavy to justify the cost). I’m reading Elysium Fire ($38) by Alistair Reynolds, a sci-fi detective story set many light years away. Reynolds is my favourite sci-fi author, for his cinematic breadth and his vocabulary. I consulted a dictionary to decode this line from Absolution Gap: 'a delicate tracery of filigreed stanchions'.

I recently read Lisa Picard’s lively Dr Johnson’s London (if I had my life over again, I’d opt to be a social historian) – and former Guardian editor Alan Rushbridger’s excellent new book Breaking News (HarperCollins, $36.99) which explains his slow (like mine) coming to terms with collapsing newspaper readership and the new electronic order. I highly enjoyed Josyane Savigneau’s revealing biography of US author Carson McCullers: A Life. On the fiction front I’ve read some splendid Alan Bennett short stories but, best of all, I’ve discovered Ireland’s top living novelist Brian Moore. Half a dozen of his novels were in my library unread. After plucking The Emperor of Ice-Cream from my shelves, I promptly read Lies of Silence then Catholics.

The kids at Rainbow Storytime keep me engaged in children’s books. For Christmas I’d love Inside The Villains by Clotilde Perrin (Gecko, $34.99). The stories about a witch, wolf and giant are excellent and the illustrations are extraordinary: origami-esque paper pop-ups. A little delicate for the youngest readers, but I can see an eight-year-old loving it.

Don’t give me a book for Christmas as I’ll likely already have it. Knowing that, friends and family should search out something esoteric or offbeat. Last Christmas my lawyer found me a funny book of nutty letters received by a 19th-century New York mayor. Most memorable: a complaint about meddling clerics protesting at a cage in a zoo containing pygmies.

The book I’d like to give a niece or nephew is Paraweta by Stephanie Blake (Gecko, $19.99), the te reo edition of the popular Poo Bum with delightful illustrations. Just a bit naughty, it’ll have kids falling around laughing, and it’s helping keep te reo Māori vital. Sometimes I want to travel back to 1991 and tell my fourth-form self to try harder in te reo classes.

Christmas gifts are dictated by what the recipient might like, but if they’re our office staff, for example, I’d introduce them to Evelyn Waugh’s pre-war fiction.



L i b by Ha ka ra ia

Emi l y Per ki ns

Libby Hakaraia is the director of the Māoriland Film Festival and Māoriland Hub in Otaki

Emily Perkins is a novelist, and lecturer at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters

I’m currently reading Home Fire (Bloomsbury, $22) by Kamila Shamsie, a poignant novel about a girl raising her siblings in London. Its plot reminded me of a Greek tragedy. The siblings will do anything to protect those they love – but get rent apart by radicalism, politics, and religion. With one of the most incredible endings I’ve read, it’s a timely commentary on the world we live in.

I’m currently reading the first volume of A Fence Around the Cuckoo, the late Ruth Park’s autobiography. I’m not sure why we don’t lay more claim to her as a New Zealand writer. She probably spent as long here as Mansfield did, and the autobiography renders her wild childhood around Te Kuiti and Auckland, the Depression, and her family life with the blazing intensity of formative memories.

For Christmas, I’d like to give Your Duck Is My Duck (HarperCollins) to my wonderful niece and hard-working rangatahi co-ordinator Maddy de Young. Deborah Eisenberg is a master of the short story and her latest collection is imagination at its best. A little boy questions the nature of gravity, a woman sends e-mails in her pill-induced sleep.

For Christmas, I’d like to get Rebecca Traister’s hardback Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (Simon & Schuster, $47) which tracks the history of female anger as political fuel. Or Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey ($30), which has been praised for its swift and subtle telling of the epic, with a refreshing focus on the experiences of women.

For Christmas, I’d like to get sci-fi novel The Power (Penguin, $26) by Naomi Alderman. What would happen in a conventional society if women were the aggressors? I was intrigued by the New York Times review: ‘The “power” of the title is embedded in young women. Lodged within a strip of muscle running along their collarbones, it can produce a deadly electrical charge that renders them able to zap men at will, enfeebling or exterminating them, or just jolting them for sexual kicks'.

I’ll be giving Chessie Henry’s memoir We Can Make a Life (VUP, 2018) for Christmas – if there’s anyone left I haven’t yet pressed it on! Chessie writes about her family and their experiences of the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes with a rare emotional fluency. Her book is honest, hopeful and has a fair bit in common with the Ruth Park book – charting how massive events interrupt and reshape individual lives, and just how much people need each other.




Getting lit in America With improved access to medicinal cannabis progressing in New Zealand John Bishop explores marijuana legalisation in America.


on’t expect to rock up to a marijuana shop in the American states where it is legal to grow, buy, sell and consume marijuana and then walk down the street smoking a big wedge. It ain’t like that in Colorado, California or Washington, three of the main states where marijuana has been legalised for both medical and recreational use. While the rules vary a bit from state to state, in general you can buy from a marijuana dispensary (like a chemist’s shop) and consume if you are over 21, but smoking in the dispensary, on the street, in the park, in your car on the street, or in a bar or café are all banned. Smoke at home or at a friend’s place. No one wants to see this on the streets. This is not Amsterdam. This is the United States of America, and, like many other things in the land of the free, your ability to do what you want in this respect is heavily regulated. In Colorado you are free to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for your own use, and you can share the product with friends. But you can’t sell any of it, and if you do the full weight of the law is likely to descend upon you just like in the bad old days.



If you want to grow marijuana for fun or profit, you have to jump through a series of serious bureaucratic hoops. And if you get a licence to be a cultivator (you can’t legally call yourself a farmer), then you have to invest in a lot of equipment and you will be subject to regular inspections. By law all marijuana is grown indoors, and all of it is in sealed rooms monitored constantly by closed circuit television. Inspectors check on how much you have planted, and they calculate how much product that should yield making allowance for left overs, prunings, buds, stalks and the like. As a cultivator you must account for everything and explain any discrepancies, like why your declared crop varies from what was expected at the planting stage. (Tobacco growers in Australia have very much the same regime, and they don’t like it much either.) There is also a state/federal issue. Because marijuana is not legal at a federal level, cultivators are not allowed to deduct the costs of doing business from their income as they would normally be able to do in a trading situation. The IRS does not allow wages, equipment and raw materials etc as legally tax deductible, which also has an interesting effect on growers’ behaviour. It is an incentive to sell product for cash illegally. Total sales in Colorado were valued at US$1.3 billion in 2017, and the revenue to the state government was valued at US$247 million. That’s useful but not huge in a total state budget of US $29 billion. Sales tax (which varies from 2.9 percent to 11.2 percent) brought in nearly twelve times as much. I visited a medical marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado. It was in a modest building and there were no signs outside to say it was there. Inside there were couches and book cases and

some desks where people worked. It looked like the waiting room of an expensive consultant. The most important room was the dispensary itself, which had all the trappings of a secure pharmacy, and a solid door with a warning sign that you had to be 21 to enter. CCTV was in operation and the product was in glass cabinets. A staff member got these out for you. This was a medical transaction and is intended by the authorities to be just that. The CCTV tapes are kept for three months and are regularly reviewed by the authorities, the owner of the dispensary Erik Santus says. There is a special Marijuana Enforcement Division in the Police Department. 'It is more difficult than normal small businesses because of all the regulations you have to watch', Erik says. Marijuana industry lobbyist Cindy Sovine told me that the enemies of the marijuana industry are alcohol and big pharmaceutical companies, both of whom see marijuana as a threat to their industry’s products. They aim to curb cultivation and use. It was proposed that smoking marijuana would be allowed in bars which users would love. The alcohol industry quashed that. It’s also illegal for anyone holding a liquor licence to also be a seller of marijuana. Doctors who were prescribing marijuana for too many patients got threatened with malpractice suits. Colorado and the other states where marijuana is legal are not hippy heaven. Yes, you can purchase. Finding a place to consume is another matter. And woe betide you if you are caught taking it from one state to another. That’s a federal offence and you can still do jail time for that.


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FIT AND FESTIVE What better way to get active and embrace the festive season than the 10th Great New Zealand Santa Run. The annual fundraiser is coming to the Wellington Waterfront on 5 December. Participants will complete a two-to-three-kilometre fun run or walk wearing a free Santa suit provided by event organisers. All proceeds go to the Graeme Dingle Foundation which works on positive youth development for kiwi children aged five to 18. Registration opens at 5pm, and the event officially starts at 6.30pm.

HOW’S THAT The first five-day test of the Black Caps v Sri Lanka series is at the Basin Reserve from 15 to19 December. Costumes, crowd-catches, and high-quality cricket will all be part of the entertainment, and even better if it’s a sunny afternoon. It will be a tight battle against a strong Sri Lankan side. The test will be a great indicator for how the Black Caps are looking for the 2019 Cricket World Cup where they are up against Sri Lanka in their first match.

SCOT TISH SHENANIGANS The annual Scottish Night of Miles event on 8 December at the Basin Reserve is hosted by the Wellington Scottish Running Club. It includes mile-long races mixed with Christmas fun. Donations from this year will go to Bellyful NZ who provide meals for families with newborn babies and young children struggling with illness. The first race starts at 4pm and the All-Comers Mile race will be the final event at 5.40pm. The event is open to the public.


NEED FOR SPEED Keen speed cyclists are gathering at the Hataitai Velodrome every Sunday afternoon throughout summer to get their adrenaline fix. The Burkes Cycles Speed League aims to promote track cycling by attracting newcomers and allowing seasoned riders a chance to compete regularly. Sponsors Zeal Interiors have supplied prizes for the event which runs from 4 Nov to 17 March with a break over Christmas.

Bell’s Boutique Christmas Trees Open for reservations and sales between 11am and 2pm every Saturday up until Christmas, from 24 November.


January 2019: 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th & 20th 10am–3pm


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Electric flower 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 LU K E B ROW N E


he Corolla is the ring of petals around the central part of a flower. To me the original Corolla was Japan’s brilliant answer (60 years later) to Ford’s Model T, except the Model T came only painted black. In the mid-seventies, I needed transport for my young family, but in those days without foreign funds you could not buy a new car. Commercial vehicles were exempt from this ridiculous rule. The two-door Corolla van was on the market, and available in NZ dollars. With the simple insertion of side windows and a rear seat, it became a station wagon, and suited our needs perfectly. It performed loyally and reliably for the next 12 years. It was never garaged. The only thing I can report that went wrong was nothing to do with the actual car. I had put the fish and chips on the dashboard, which fogged up the inside of the windscreen. Driving down College Hill in Auckland toward the late afternoon sun I didn’t see the motorcycle cop crossing my path. Fortunately he wasn’t hit too hard, and, possibly frightened of the three screaming children behind me, did not press charges. I really love the idea that cars, like clothing, are not merely reliably functional tools. We know that the primary purpose of transport is to get from A to B (I have actually seen an ‘A to B’ number plate). To truly enjoy the journey, I believe, you actually have to like your car, be comfortable with its design and be happy to be seen in it. At its outset Toyota overwhelmed the European manufacturers, by selling cars that actually started when the key was turned on, and didn’t break down inexplicably, leak oil all over the garage floor, or have bits falling off. Reliability has been Toyota’s mantra since their inception but recently, and at no extra cost, they have added style and beauty to the mix, proving that I am right. Bread and butter is now croissant and cream. This new Corolla’s body now sits between its very pretty wheels, rather than on top of them, and is visually planted on the road, with sculpted flared haunches and a sexy stance. In terms of propulsion, Corollas have historically been petrol-powered frugal fours. To their credit they have never been attracted to diesel engines (fuelled by a hydrocarbon not much more sophisticated in my view, than coal), with their unpleasant clatter and fuel smells; and we still don’t know, after the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, to what extent they actually pollute the atmosphere.

It’s clear to me, as we see the atmosphere warming at an alarming rate, that wholly electric-powered cars are inevitable. But electric motors have very few moving parts, and there’s no need for a radiator or gearbox. So I can’t quite understand their current costs (no pun intended) – they must surely be cheaper to make. It must be the damn batteries. But these will inevitably become cheaper and more hairy-chested as time goes on. Major electric vehicle manufacturers are enthused about the new technology. They have begun to energetically but quietly promote an electric future by showcasing their cars in competition racing on central city circuits in locations like Riyadh, Hong Kong and Brooklyn. In the meantime, here’s Toyota’s glimpse of this future: petrol/electric motoring within reach of most, tiding us over the wait until affordable, long-range, pure electric cars arrive. The newly introduced Corolla Hybrid has a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine producing 72kw. This is boosted by 53Kw/163Nm by the electric motor, through a continuously variable transmission, to the front wheels. An affordable $32,990 drive away, the GX model comes with a ‘safety sense package’ including autonomous emergency breaking, stop-start at the lights, reverse camera, lane departure alert and pre-crash safety system. The $38,490.00 drive-away ZR model, (the one I drove), adds features such as larger wheels with low-profile tyres (less rolling resistance), leather upholstery, digital speedometer, eight-speaker audio system, auto-dimming inside mirror, 7-inch multi-information colour display, two-tone seat option, and a head-up display on the windscreen that shows both the vehicle’s speed and the local legal limit. It also informs you as to the rate of fuel use and the car’s geographical orientation. Phew. But what is it like to drive? Performance wise it’s not a tyre fryer, but it’s not meant to be. It’s an eager puppy always wanting to please. It feels solid, and its low-profile tyres grip the road superbly. It’s quiet and civilised, and changes imperceptibly between petrol and electric modes. Its steering, ride and handling are exceptional. It has a capacious interior and an impressively sized boot. WOFs are free for the first four years and the new vehicle warranty can be extended to five years or 150,000km with free WOFs. The plain Jane is now the Belle of the Ball. Raise a glass of sake and toast her inevitable success.



Summer mindset BY M E LO DY T H O M A S


elcome to summer! Boy oh boy hasn’t 2018 been a ride, and come to think of it, aren’t we lucky here at the bottom of the world that just when the weight of another intense year starts to feel like it might break us, in rides the sunshine on a glorious wave of Vitamin D! Every year my husband and I bicker about what season is the best season, and every year he comes close to convincing me that autumn (so still! so mild!) or winter (so cozy!) are superior. Sometimes I’ll nearly convince myself of the merits of spring − one day daffodil-framed, crisp and full of frolicking lambs, the next heaving and wild. But then every November, when that first summer-like day rolls up trailing the smell of sunscreen, nude baby bodies, fresh, sweet strawberries, sand between the toes, fresh cut grass and tents pitched in the shade, I sign myself back over to my one true love. For me, summer is freedom. But I know it isn’t all roses. The other day as I rode the bus home, the woman next to me scrolled through an app on her phone, perusing ‘summer weight loss’ exercise routines. There it is, I thought. The annual reminder for women everywhere not to forget the number one essential item for a day in the surf − her ‘beach body’. From the moment the weather warms and clothing begins to be shed, women are forced to snap out of their lazy winter mindsets, and to shrink, wax, tan, exfoliate and sweat their ways to a more acceptable shape, and I am not immune. Despite having done a lot of hard work to shortcircuit the narratives that tell me I’m not good enough as I am, and finally coming to understand that the patriarchy is nothing more than an insecure and jealous lover who routinely, intentionally undermines the self-confidence of incredible women, distracting them with petty, unimportant things so that they may never wake up and leave… every year as I don my togs and head to the beach I must force myself not to care what my body looks like. When it starts to feel like all my hard work is for nothing, and that as much as I can logically under-

stand all of this I will never fully believe it in my bones, I reach out to the women around me and ask what secret reassurances they whisper to themselves. This year I thought I’d share some. Saffron Kingan: ‘The most helpful saying for me is… “Who benefits?” ... a good reminder that self-hatred isn’t helpful, doesn’t motivate me or contribute to the world being a better place.’ Lucy Black: ‘I’ve found surrounding myself in alternative media has helped. I seek out podcasts and instagrams and books and tv and films with normal, fat, ageing, disabled people. Each new thing I read or watch or follow balances out the barrage of toxic messages I get from regular media.’ Jess Berentson-Shaw: ‘Once I stopped confusing well-being, health, fitness with the unliveable rules about appearance it helped. It also helped me to look at other women of all sizes, shapes and abilities and consciously practice acceptance and kindness and generosity towards them; it then came easier to practice it on myself.’ Emma Kernahan: ‘I think about a woman I saw literally 10 years ago in Costa Rica. She was riding down a track on a quad bike in a camo bikini and a gold helmet. Her give-no-f**ks vibe just came off her in waves. I barely remember what her body looked like. Just the vibes. Oh man.’ Gem Wilder: ‘I remember someone saying once that there is literally no way to go back to a pre-baby body. Pregnancy and childbirth are major events that change your body. Your organs shift, your muscles and skin stretch. You may return to your pre-baby weight, but your body will never again be a body that hasn't grown another human being inside of it.’ And Hannah Clarke: ‘It’s the clothes’ job to fit you, not your job to fit the clothes.’ Happy summer you babes



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W h a t wo u l d D e i r d r e d o?

CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CHRIST My religious parents want to go to church on Christmas Day, but since going away to Uni, I’ve become a staunch atheist. How do I approach not wanting to go to church this year without breaking their hearts? All grown up, Mt Cook They are your parents and Christmas is firstly a family occasion. You can go with them and use the service for your own reflection − going to Uni is always going to be a time of questioning and personal grandstanding so they will probably be more understanding than you expect as you find your own values. They will want you to be with them. Make the effort.

MEAT-LESS My daughter is vegan and we’re a meat and three vege type of family. Do you have any resources or recipes for what we could cook for Christmas dinner this year? In a flap, Karori There is a brilliant chocolate/raspberry vegan cake you can order to pick up Christmas Eve from the magnificent Wellington institution that is Moore Wilson’s and everyone will want to share it too. She can eat all the vegetables you cook. Cook them away from meat and serve separately. Make a green salad with nuts and fruit in it − pomegranates and pumpkin are gorgeous red Christmas ingredients. There are lots of options − just respect her wishes and everyone will eat it all. Check

out Ottolenghi’s Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate Dressing and make one hero dish for her. You can still have turkey.

NO PLASTIC PLEASE I’m trying to have a plastic-free Christmas but the eco-message hasn’t quite caught on with my family yet. How do I encourage them to reduce our waste without sounding like the Christmas grinch? Eco-warrior, Johnsonville It feels like there is a lot of goodwill out there on this topic and you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy this may be. Give everyone plenty of warning that this is your feeling and wish − maybe get a stack of beautiful boxes to put by the tree so anyone who wants to can ‘rewrap’ as it were?

iCHRISTMAS My grandchildren spend a lot of time on their various electronic devices. Can I tell my children and their families when they all come for Christmas that they are only allowed to be in use for set times at my house. My house, my rules? I accept it might be a big issue and they may well hate it or it might be a whole lot more fun. Gran on a mission, Miramar Good luck. Give it your best shot and ask nicely. No phones at the dinner table for Christmas seems a very reasonable request! Happy Christmas!


BRANDED My underage daughter has come home with a tattoo. I’m not impressed with her and she’s grounded for life but it’s the tattoo parlour I have a bone to pick with now. They surely should have checked her ID. Should I talk to their manager or is the damage done? Ready to rant, Island Bay Oh dear I feel for you but what is done is done I fear. The popularity of body art is part of our time although incomprehensible to many. Try to think positively and focus on how lovely your daughter is. ‘Grounded for life’ is impossible and threats that cannot be followed through will always weaken your position. It could be worse. She may want to reverse it one day but in the meantime don’t put up resistance that will create ripples.

GO OD GUEST What is the best gift to take on Christmas Day to thank my hostess? Grateful, Kapiti Something you have made is always special or something that can be added to the evening or kept and eaten later, a treat.

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


F r e e we l l y

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3…2…1… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wellington City Council is throwing its annual New Year’s Eve party again this year with a night of toe-tapping music, food and fireworks at Whairepo Lagoon by Frank Kitts Park. Everyone’s invited to ring in the New Year with a special kids’ countdown at 9pm with some fireworks for the little ones who can’t make it to midnight. Food trucks will be close by in Odlins Plaza (Cable St) to keep the hunger at bay. The Richter City Rebels, known crowd pullers, will kick off from 8pm with their blend of RnB, soul, hip-hop, jazz and funk. Then from 10pm The Cutouts will keep you dancing until the blast of fireworks at midnight.

December S






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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

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30 Years

C HR ISTM AS BR AS S Festive season classics performed by the NZSO. Cathedral of St Paul, 6.30pm




Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, until 9 December

THE E XT R AVAGANZ A FAI R Queen Elizabeth Park, Masterton, 8–9 December, from 9am

LEONARD’S F IF TIES The work of New Zealand artist Leonard Victor Mitchell.

C HR ISTM AS AT T H E R AC E S Trentham Racecourse, from 11am

Mitchell Studios, Khandallah, until 22 December A PORTR AI T OF ŪAWA TOL AG A BAY HE WHAKA A HUA O ŪAWA

C HR ISTM AS C ARNI VAL Te Rauparaha Park, Porirua, 2–5pm

16 AL L W E WANT FOR C H RI STM AS Dance party fundraiser hosted by Shut Up & Dance. San Fran, from 7pm, $25 L’AFFARE SU NDAY SE S SIONS The Underground Sound. 27 College St, 2–4pm 2 7 T H ANN UAL WAL L AC E ART AWARD S 2 0 1 8 Exhibition of winners and finalists.

MES SIAH NZSO’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. Michael Fowler Centre, 7.30pm

Pātaka Art & Museum, until March

YONA L E E : I N T R AN SI T Hundreds of metres of stainless-steel pipe form large, maze-like installations. City Gallery, until March

Westpac Stadium, 7:35pm

Myele, Manzanza & Friends.



27 College St, 2–4pm



A major survey of John Walsh's portrait paintings. NZ Portrait Gallery, until February





Tinakori Road and Hill Street, 10am



Clyde Quay School, Mt Victoria, 6pm

A F TER HOU RS : R AC I NG T H E W EL L I NGTON 5 0 0 An open public Remote Control tournament celebrating the Wellington 500. Wellington Museum, 5pm






Tauherenikau Racecourse, Wairarapa, free entry

V EGAN VAULT All vegan night market.

Visual artist Belinda Griffiths exhibits traditional themes and modern-day technologies.

PHOEN I X VS C E N T R AL C OAST M ARI N E RS Westpac Stadium, 7:35pm

New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Queens Wharf


2 A day at the races.

5 PICK YOUR OWN LAVENDER Lavender Abbey, Carterton, 5–6 Jan



䴀攀最愀渀 匀愀氀洀漀渀



匀琀攀氀氀愀 刀漀礀愀氀




G ir ls a lou d W R I TT E N BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S P H OTO G R A P H BY SA N N E VA N G I N K E L


wo years ago George Fowler impulsively ran a poetry show with an all-female lineup. ‘The girls really wanted to do more and the vibe on the night was so lovely. And the rest is history!’ says George, who performs and produces as Hugo Grrrl. Since then the Wellington Feminist Poetry Club has been meeting at the Fringe Bar every few weeks to deliver ‘whip-smart and biting’ spoken word poetry. The biggest challenge was figuring out what to call themselves. ‘Finding the name that accurately captures what we were up to was a mission. And even now we're still misunderstood and get the odd message calling us man-hating or exclusionary. Sigh.’ The aim of the club is to encourage good writing and sharing. ‘We like to say the poetry read


doesn't necessarily need to be feminist at all, it's the environment that's feminist − in that it opens the floor for women and gender minorities to tell their stories and share their writing in a safe space.’ George’s advice for all budding poets is to get on stage and share their work. ‘No matter what kind of experience you have, it'll be educational. Nothing can teach you about yourself like a live audience can.’ A favourite moment from the year’s poetry readings was having ‘powerhouse’ Jess Holly Bates headline a recent show. The poetry scene is fast expanding, George says. ‘I'm really excited and am so stoked to watch the dope crew of young women and non-binary folk at FPC continue to kill it and grow creatively.’

Summer OU








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