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Th e p owe r issue

Wines of Distinction

Palliser’s 1st Single Vineyard release. Beautiful reflections of site, soul and season. These limited edition S.V. wines are now available for sale through our cellar door &


Expressive pinot and chardonnay from our organic vineyards and home in Martinborough


31 OCT 23 NOV 2019

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CAPITAL Made in Wellington O

ur local body elections, which were widely dismissed around the region as a ‘yawn,’ have delivered some substantial shocks and shifts of power, including new mayors (Wellington, Hutt City, Porirua, South Wairarapa, Carterton), a youngest-ever mayor (Lower Hutt), and a raft of new councillors. It will be an interesting three years as we watch the balance of power shift and new roles and fresh ideas play out over the next term.

SUBSCRIPTION Subscription rates $89 (inc postage and packaging) 10 issues New Zealand only To subscribe, please email

Curiously, and coincidentally, this issue also looks at power in several mostly light-hearted ways. Sarah Catherall talks to three Wellington power couples, and in Flour Power we look at the rise of artisan baking.

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

Money is power is a pretty universal dictum; John Bristed talks to local Robert Fisher about his business decisions and his moneymaking hobbies. Dan Poynton chats to NZSO leader Hamish McKeich about changes in the way power is wielded in the role of conductor; and drag racer Alan Marshall explains his love of horsepower.

Produced by Capital Publishing Ltd

If LARP-ing is a term new to you – it mystified me – check out the Sword Symposium to be held in Wainuiomata mid-month. Benn Jeffries has investigated for us. The Shearers indulge us with a tasty pāua recipe to fit our theme, and regular By The Numbers compiler Craig Beardsworth indulges himself with a power pun. All this and much much more. See you for Christmas

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

Alison Franks Editor

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



Staff Managing editor Alison Franks


Campaign coordinators Haleigh Trower Emily Wakeling Factotum John Bristed

Art director Shalee Fitzsimmons Designer Luke Browne

Writer Francesca Emms

Editorial assistant Benn Jeffries

Accounts Tod Harfield


E M I LY WA K E L I N G C amp ai g n c o ordi n ator A keen coffee drinker, shopper and traveller, Emily emerged from 6 years in retail to join Capital as our newest Campaign Co-ordinator. Her dream dogs are dachshunds, so if you have one, please contact her for all dog walking needs.

SHA L E E F I T Z SI M M O N S Ar t di re c tor Shalee blew in on the wind from up north many years ago and couldn't figure how to get back. She's our resident Art Director, stylist and designer. She can often be found working. Quite a lot.

Melody Thomas | Janet Hughes | John Bishop Beth Rose | Oscar Keys | Joelle Thomson Anna Briggs | Charlotte Wilson | Sarah Lang Deirdre Tarrant | Craig Beardsworth Griff Bristed | Dan Poynton | Sarah Catherall Oscar Thomas | Chris Tse | Claire Orchard Freya Daly Sadgrove | Brittany Harrison Sharon Greally | Finlay Harris Jayson Soma | Jess Scott | Katie Paton Marguerite Tait-Jamieson | Maddie TaitJamieson | Jessica Roden

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

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

JESS SCOT T Writer Jess is a writer, eternal student and shopping fanatic. In her high school leaver's quote, she said her aspiration was to be a trophy wife with a PhD. Six years and ⅔ of a Master's degree later, she still thinks this is funny. Her boyfriend does not.


BENN JEFFRIES E ditori a l assi st ant Benn is a writer, photographer and Capital's editorial assistant. A lover of all things outdoors – you’ll find him out on the water with his rod and reel or in the bush scribbling down god awful poetry.


partridge bespoke opening in october

Partridge Jewellers are proud to announce the soon to open Bespoke experience. Located directly across the road from the current Partridge Jewellers Wellington shop you will now be able to enjoy the relaxed environment of crafting your special piece of jewellery directly with their team of inhouse designers and goldsmiths.

O P E N I N G O C T O B E R , 2 1 7 L A M B T O N Q U AY.








A pirate who conducts the symphony

Meet three of the capital’s power couples

32 NEW BLO OD Ian Apperley gives his opinion on Wellington’s new council





The rise of artisan bakers in Wellington

We talk turkey with Robert Fisher

129 Willis Street 11:30 - Late Everyday






Pāua power

Robyn Mathieson secures her dream house




Rose Lu’s coming of age

Chris Tse introduces At Low Tide by Kiri Piahana-Wong


88 90 91 93 94


96 MADSHREW Illustrator Maddie TaitJamieson takes us to a pest symposium


A PA S SI V E DO-UP Thanks for your story on passive houses. I hadn’t heard of this before and it seems obvious to me that this should be used for all new housing. I’m interested to know if houses can be renovated to become passive, or is it only an option for new builds? Hopefully our new council is reading Capital and takes these developments in housing on board. Jade, Island Bay TOP P IC T U R E S Loved the photo of Rebecca Hardie Boys in your Tales of the city this month. I’m not an arty person or anything, but I’ve noticed that the photos I like the most in Capital are often by a photographer called Anna Briggs. I don’t know who she is but I’m a fan. B Allan, Hutt Valley Ed: We loved that photo too. Anna Briggs is one of Capital’s regular photographers.

Comprehensive eye care and advice you can depend on

I D O N ’ T WA N T TO BE ALONE What’s happened to Groupies? It was one of my favourite things and I always used to read it first. S Smythe, Waikanae Ed: Glad you enjoyed it. Groupies is taking a temporary break. MARKETING GONE MAD After spotting Fix and Fogg’s promotional squirrel gallivanting around the city, I can’t help but wonder why a squirrel? We don’t even have squirrels here! Why not use a kiwi or kakapo? Surely a New Zealand-based company would want to celebrate its own native wildlife! Concerned Kiwi, Mt Victoria (Name and address supplied) 77 Customhouse Quay


Send letters to with the subject line Letters to Ed

473 6275 12

The Defining Mercedes-Benz E-Class Range. Mercedes-Benz Wellington are offering zero percent finance with three simple payments on Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan, CoupĂŠ or Cabriolet. Take one of the exceptional E-Class vehicles home today and pay only a third now.^ Includes 3 years complimentary scheduled servicing. Available until 31st December 2019, or while stocks last. Visit Mercedes-Benz Wellington today. Mercedes-Benz E 200 Sedan from





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Payments shown are based on E-200 Sedan MRRP $102,400* Fixed interest rate: 0% p.a. Total amount payable $103,900. *RRP includes GST and excludes on-road costs and any optional extras. ^Offer only available on new E-Class models excluding demonstrator and AMG models. 1/3 of the purchase price plus on road costs and any optional extras are payable as deposit upon vehicle delivery followed by 1/3 payable 12 and 24 months after delivery, respectively. Standard Mercedes-Benz Financial Services New Zealand Limited credit assessment and lending criteria apply. See for full terms and conditions. Sample image used, vehicles shown may show optional extras.

Mercedes-Benz Wellington, Gazley, 75 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro Wellington, 04 886 1064,




LIZ A PANTELEEVA What led you to get a tattoo? I just wanted one. That’s how I get most of my tattoos. I just wake up one day, see something that makes me happy and think, ‘why not get this on me?’ How did you choose the design? The design of my Mother Earth tattoo is based off my own body – I wanted to become more body positive and comfortable with myself. I aspire to be like her, carefree yet powerful, knowing who she is and what she is capable of. Art or rebellion? Very much art. This one is done by Jean Chua, a local artist. I'd admired her work for a while, so when I found out she was starting to ink, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Family – for it or against? My family is Russian and they have a very staunch ‘no tats or piercings’ rule. Unfortunately for my mother, I have actively disregarded this rule. I knew she would be especially shocked at the nudity with this tattoo.

S h i p ‘ n’ c h i p History aficionados are invited to dine on fish and chips on a ship (well, a ferry), while hearing tales of Wellington's harbour. Wellington Museum is hosting guided tours of Matiu Somes Island this summer, inviting visitors to explore the island and learn about its history and wildlife. Tours depart daily at 11am, with return sailings throughout the afternoon.


Penguin hotel Kororā are checking in to a brand new hotel, which the Worser Bay Boating Club has built just for them. The little blue penguins return to the bay at dusk after hunting at sea, and can now rest their weary heads in small tunnels built into the club’s new retaining wall.




Spice up yo u r b o o ks h e lf Pass It On is a new Indian Gujarati cookbook made in Wellington by mum and daughter Shobha Kalyan and Keryn Kalyan. It’s bright, bold, and full of authentic recipes passed down through generations from Gujarat to New Zealand. Pre-order at www.passitoncookbook. before they’re launched in mid-November. The perfect Christmas gift.


Wa s t e n o t wa n t n o t A cycle-powered smoothie machine will be in use for Hopper Home Eco Shop’s first birthday party this month. Throw in a brown banana or squishy avo, jump on the bike, and make your own ‘Food Waste Smoothie’. If that’s not your jam, there’s also a Repair cafe staffed with skilled volunteers to show you how to give your wellloved items new life, and workshops on how to make your own eco Christmas Crackers.

Four Te c h o b s e s s e d Do you suffer separation anxiety from your phone? Unsure what to do with your hands without it? You aren’t alone. Read NZ Te Pou Muramura have found New Zealanders spend half their waking lives online and 70% of what we read is now online. Their study found that two-thirds of us are reading at any given time, skimming and switching between multiple devices, usually social media, emails, or online news.

Arborist advice Long time arborist company Harbour City Tree Care has launched the Pre-Tree Check Company. House sellers will get a report on how to enhance their trees to entice buyers, purchasers will find out if there are any tree problems and future expenses, and homeowners have peace of mind about their trees.



It’s daylight!


SHA K E U P SHA K E D OW N A survey of Wellington businesses shows half of them have faced difficulties purchasing insurance. The Wellington Chamber of Commerce, who conducted the survey, say 30 per cent of respondents had also experienced significantly increased premiums. ‘Wellington has been shaken by several moderate earthquakes, and insurance companies are now moving to so-called “risk-based pricing”,’ says Chief Executive John Milford. The Wellington Mayoral Taskforce on insurance is developing recommendations for government action, which the Chamber of Commerce sees as urgent, he said.

B O OM Now that Wellington’s sky show has moved to the much more culturally appropriate Matariki season, there won’t be a public fireworks display for Guy Fawkes this year. Sparklers, Roman Candles and other pyrotechnic paraphernalia will still be on sale from 2 to 5 November, despite a push to ban the private sale of fireworks. A ban would save on sirens – last year’s Guy Fawkes saw 26 firework-related emergency callouts within 24 hours.



An innovative new material is being used for the refurbishment of the Days Bay Wharf. The precast concrete deck is being replaced with a fibre composite deck. Hutt City Council Strategic Advisor Bruce Hodgins is excited about it, saying the new deck is strong and significantly lighter than the previous concrete one. ‘It’s in panels which can be easily removed making future maintenance work simpler and more cost effective, and it’s flexible which means it will be more resilient in an earthquake.’

A fenced area for dogs will be built at Plimmerton Domain this summer. A volunteer design group including vets, animal health specialists, and local dog club members worked with the Porirua City Council to create the design. It includes three zones – high and low energy, and a limited zone for owners or dogs that need a separate area. ‘The limited zone is a safe space that I’m particularly proud of – Porirua is leading the way here,’ says design group volunteer Antonia Allum.

SIX BARREL SODA CO. x twenty-seven names ‘Rose Lemonade’ soda syrup - a light floral lemonade with a pink blush. Available online at | twenty-seven names stores Moore Wilson’s | Iko Iko | Tea Pea | Wanda Harland


W E L LY WOM E N W I N Professor Diana Sarfati won the Health & Science Category and was named Supreme Winner of the 2019 NEXT Woman of the Year Awards for her work in cancer treatment and control. The Sport Category was won by Lower Hutt’s Neelusha Jennings (pictured), a disabled endurance athlete and founder of charity Limitless with Support. Dr Dianne Daniels, founder of digital literacy charity Digital Wings, was named the winner of the Education category. Wellington women took out exactly half of the nationwide awards.



Five local writers are finding early silly-season success with their box-set of Christmas-themed romance novellas. Romancing the Holidays is a collection of ‘sweet, contemporary romance’ stories by 12 Kiwi and Aussie writers, says Anne Kemp, one of the writers. Romancing the Holidays hit #1 for Australian and Oceania Drama within two days of going up for pre-sale.


Kāpiti Coast homeowners and councillors are confronting the cost of the impact of climate change on coastal properties. The district council has set aside $16.8 million to replace a coastal seawall and will spend $400,000 to temporarily patch up another. In May they declared a climate emergency, and the Greater Wellington Regional Council announced plans for a 40-metre buffer zone to prevent further erosion. Councils have made it clear that homeowners are responsible for covering their own costs.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Handford, national facilitator for School Strike 4 Climate NZ, has been named New Zealand’s youngest councillor, winning a seat on Kāpiti Coast District Council. Handford has mobilised climate strikes nationwide and intends to use her position to initiate action against climate change. The Wellington region has also elected the country’s youngest-ever mayor, 28-year-old Campbell Barry, Mayor of Hutt City.

H O L I S T I C T H E R A P I E S , O R G A N I C H E R B A L T E A , N AT U R A L S K I N C A R E , A R O M AT H E R A P Y, B E S P O K E B L E N D S & W O R K S H O P S OPEN










S T R E E T,







W E L L I N G T O N A P O T H E C A RY. C O . N Z



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Dressing with power





decade the Chanel Suit appeared – the origins of power dressing

year that John T Molloy’s manual Dress for Success was published

decade power dressing was in vogue

number of shoulder pads required

Spearheading the power-dressing movement and empowering women in the workplace



year of the first appearance of Power Rangers (an American remake of a Japanese animated cartoon)

Toying with power


number of television series

6 billion

number of seasons that have been filmed in New Zealand

generated in toy sales – bodyhugging coloured lycra and cheesy posing sells eh?

Singing with power

1:1 ratio of poodle-permed band members to successful 80s power ballads



place in the NZ charts of Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart


Position of I Want to Know What Love Is in Rolling Stone mag’s greatest hits of all-time list…. 479? Rolling Stone clearly anti-Foreigner…

year Black Velvet came out technically not an 80’s power ballad, but the perm Alannah Myles sports in the music video must have been brewing since 1987

Dining with pāua






million-$$$ value of the pāua industry to New Zealand

minimum millimetre length required for a yellow-foot pāua to be harvested

the maximum number you’re allowed in your possession at any one time

the number of puns I’m contractually obliged to deliver per column

the number you’re getting this month – but holy crap ‘pāua/ power’ is a doozy

Compiled by Craig Beardsworth 19




3. 3.


4. 7.



10. 11.


Floral morals

1. Sage & Clare wall hanging, Shut The Front Door, $500 2. Classic paleo cereal, Ceres Organics, $16 3. Lumiere Art & Co darling pillowslip, Tea Pea, $125 4. Pink and green jewellery pouch, Trade Aid, $15 5. Furninova Alexa daybed, McKenzie Willis, $2,100 6. Multi-Bene make-up stain, Kowtow, $49 7. Kester Black nail polish, Mooma, $22 8. Fazeek Terrazzo Australian bush soap, Mooma, $18 9. Bonnie and Neil linen throw, Small Acorns, $550 10. Rose lemonade, Six Barrel Soda Co, $19.50 11. Lumiere Art & Co pansy cushion, Tea Pea, $125


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Power trip 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 E D BY A N N A B R I G G S




Cheese scone from Pravda




Yoshi sushi



How Ezel Kokcu went from university dropout to CEO


zel Kokcu knows what she will wear at least a week in advance. ‘Because I’m out the door in under 20 minutes most days, I have a uniform that I switch out bi-weekly so I don't have to think about what to wear in the mornings,’ she explains. ‘So I just rotate. That way I never have to worry about what to wear ever, which is so helpful.’ There’s a reason the 26-year-old tech entrepreneur is so pushed for time. Ezel is CEO and Co-Founder of Passphere, a ticketing and analytics platform that has merged with iTICKET. ‘I work a lot. Whoever said there is such a thing as work–life balance, I’d challenge them on that.’ Passphere is Ezel’s third business. ‘I was lucky enough to find my calling at 18.’ She essentially created a role in business for herself after dropping out of her Computer Science degree in the first semester and co-founding her first company, STQRY. ‘We had built a ticketing/ admissions platform for museums so my love for software stemmed from that.’ Over four years STQRY raised $5.5 million and grew to 50 people. Ezel sold STQRY and moved onto her second start-up, Non-Stop Tix, a ticketing platform for small venues. She sold that one to a local promoter. And now Passphere keeps her busy. The biggest challenge? ‘Constantly being underestimated for being a young person in technology.’ Ezel moved from Nelson to Wellington at 17 and the rest of her family soon followed. ‘My little brother moved a year later to go to Olé Football Academy

in Porirua and my parents really missed us so they followed us up. I always ask them if they would have wanted to stay in Nelson and they always tell me how happy they are that they moved.’ She describes her parents as her biggest supporters. ‘Even though half the time they have no idea what I'm doing – technology is hard to get sometimes,’ she laughs. Their family life mostly revolves around the kitchen and dining room, both of Ezel’s parents being excellent cooks. ‘They put a lot of love in what they do. I still remember, even last year, mum and dad getting up at 5 am to go to the markets to pick out the best produce from local suppliers.’ The couple have just opened a new restaurant, Zara's Turkish Kebabs, in Porirua. ‘They have built their business from nothing to where it is now and I think my work ethic absolutely comes from them,’ says Ezel. Aside from the family home (where she spends any free time she has) Ezel’s favourite thing about Wellington is the drive around Oriental, Breaker, and Karaka bays and the airport. She travels a lot, for work and pleasure. Her favourite destinations include Queenstown (‘hands down’) in the winter, or for ‘a little more peace and quiet’ she likes Poronui Lodge near Taupō. Outside of NZ it’s the USA, as ‘Most of my friends are there and I love seeing them.’ Travel has its downsides though. ‘I love animals and would love to get a Shiba but spending so much time away rules me out of being a dog mum.’



C L AY H O O R AY Ceramic artist Jane McCulla is the 2019 guest artist and selector of Ceramicus, the Wellington Potters' Association annual showcase of contemporary ceramics. Jane will showcase her pieces alongside new works by members of the association at the Academy Galleries from 2 to17 November. She will also choose a winning artwork, which will become part of Wellington Museums Trust’s collection.




Close to 100 rarely seen photographs will be on display at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery from 21 November in Being Chinese in Aotearoa: A photographic journey. Created by Auckland Museum, the exhibition celebrates 175 years of Chinese life in New Zealand. The Wellington iteration includes new works created in response to the exhibition by Kerry Ann Lee (pictured). Lee, an artist of third-generation Chinese descent, often explores cultural intersections in her art.

A comedic mystery set amongst Prosecco grapevines, a big gay Italian wedding, and a Nonna in the freezer. You’ll find all these and more at the fourth Studio Italia Cinema Italiano Festival, when 20 modern and classic Italian films play at the Empire Cinema at Island Bay from 6 to18 November. This is the second-to-last stop for the touring film festival which this year expanded to include Masterton and Martinborough.

As a young girl in Madagascar, Lala Simpson listened to Radio France International every night. This was the start of her love affair with French chansons. Now a Wellingtonian, the singer and community music educator will perform Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel songs in a fundraising concert for the earthquake strengthening of St John's in the City Presbyterian Church on 9 November.


The name’s Bond. Part of Experience Wellington. Principal Funder Wellington City Council.


Experience the heart of Wellington hospitality in two of the most iconic and unique destinations.

Happy Hour Cocktails 2 for $20 between 4–6pm daily Book a table now:

Book your Christmas Luau or function with us and whisk your crew away for a taste of the pacific. Check out: for more information.









M U LT I TA L E N T E D Rachael Rakena and Johnson Witehira (CAP #5, pictured) have created a moving-image installation, depicting Cook and Maui travelling through the Pacific, especially for HERE: Kupe to Cook (Pātaka Art + Museum, until 23 November). Rakena, a Massey University academic, recently curated Mana Moana, where films were projected onto a screen of sprayed water for Wellington’s Matariki celebration. Witehira, an artist and designer, holds a doctorate in Māori art from Massey University. His projects vary greatly, from toys and playgrounds to digital art, typefaces, and large art installations.

ROSS’ RESTRUCTURE Ross McCormack, recipient of the 2015 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship, has created a new work especially for his alma mater, the New Zealand School of Dance. For its world premiere on 20 November, Re:Structure will be performed by current students of the school as part of their annual graduation show (20–30 November). Also being presented for the first time in New Zealand is classical work Round of Angels by Gerald Arpino, and a contemporary piece, Carnivale.4, by NZSD graduate Raewyn Hill.

NATURALLY A Wellington industrial designer and 3D modeller Dylan Mulder used artificial intelligence (AI) to create his award-winning World of Wearable Art garment. Mulder, who won the Aotearoa Section and the Wearable Technology Award for his piece Natural Progression, says ‘From flint to steel tools to dremels - AI is just another tool in the shed.’ The judges described his work as ‘a striking combination of different processes that seamlessly marries traditional design with new technology.’


GROWING PAINS The Secret Life of Plants, a 1973 book about the psychology of plants and plant perception, tells of a woman called Vivian. Vivian picked two leaves, then watched one, and ignored the other. The watched leaf was still looking fresh after a month, while the other had died. In her exhibition For Vivian, (at the Dowse until February) watercolour and sculpture artist Zina Swanson explores the idea of plants responding to humans and experiencing feelings.


Ship ‘N’ Chip Tour

Mahara Arts Review

Astronomy on Tap

Begin with a guided tour at Wellington Museum hearing the myths and histories of Wellington Harbour before feasting on the Kiwi classic ‘fush 'n' chups’ and journeying by boat to Matiu/Sommes Island, day hiking to the lighthouse, learning the stories of the island and enjoying nature.

The highly anticipated biennial exhibition celebrating the diversity of Kapiti artists. $1,000 John Mowbray Open Award. $500 Jean Fleming Highly Commended Award. $300 Barry Herbert Student Award. $200 Jane Hyder 3D Award. $200 Kapiti Signs 2D Award. $200 Picture Perfect Framing Special Merit Award. $200 Kapiti Coffee Company People’s Choice Award.

Get amongst the stars with your best date, mate, or flying solo. Share drinks, nibbles, and front row seats to the Universe as experts guide you through the inner workings of the cosmos. An infinitely enjoyable way to spend a Tuesday evening.

From 11am daily 3 Jervois Quay, Wellington.

2 Nov–8 Dec 20 Mahara Place, Waikanae.

5 Nov | 3 Dec. 8pm Space Place, Carter Observatory, 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn.

100 Years of the Sarjeant


Power pack

Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery is celebrating its 100th with a major new exhibition called ‘Turn of a Century’. It tells the story of the Sarjeant’s 100 years of collecting and exhibiting. Alongside is multidisciplinary artist Julia Holden’s fabulous post-Tylee exhibition ‘Her Indoors’ (image pictured). Both on until February.

New Zealand arts icon photographer Ans Westra is responsible for the most comprehensive documentation of New Zealand culture over the last 60 years. The {Suite} Westra Museum is a dedicated exhibition space for Ans' photographs. Prints are available for sale.

Art Zone celebrates NZ art with these limited edition cards. Ten exclusive cards by five NZ artists, all presented in one beautiful package. Artists featured are: James Tylor, Kate Woods, Cam Edward, Amy Unkovich & Harry Culy. Cards are blank on the inside and envelopes included. Only $34.99.

Tues–Fri 11am–6pm, 11am–4pm Saturdays 241 Cuba St

Sarjeant on the Quay, 38 Taupo Quay, Whanganui.



You Are Here

Welcome To The Death Cafe

Thrilling Dance Programme

Sharon Greally’s new solo exhibition is a journey through visual meditations, evoked by landscapes, memories, and everything life throws at us. Using metal leaf, oil, acrylic, and mixed media, Sharon has created visual meditations to rest your mind and soul.

Humorous, moving, frightening and ultimately uplifting, the play takes the audience on a roller coaster ride. A Death Cafe meeting is happening in Masterton. People turn up to have coffee and cake and talk about death. Very civilised. The subject turns to euthanasia. The fireworks begin.

The New Zealand School of Dance 2019 Graduation Season promises outstanding performances of both classical and contemporary dance. The programme combines the efforts of an array of influential guests with the hard work of students and tutors from the school. Celebrate the dancers of tomorrow.

13 Nov–21 Dec, 111 Taranaki St, Wellington.

19–23 November 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington.

20–30 November Te Whaea National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown.

KILLJOY - Podcast

Sci Fi Sundays: Tremors

Exhibition: Rust + Restoration

Chicago podcast reporter Amy Upbright journeys to small-town New Zealand to investigate a crime that happened 30 years ago, the murder of beauty queen Joy Ford. KILLJOY is a true-crime satire made possible by the RNZ/NZ On Air innovation fund. Binge the series now.

‘Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star in this pitch-perfect Creature Feature that was monster hit on VHS video back in the day. Enjoy a rare chance to see, hear, and feel the earth move on the big screen.’- Aro Video.

What happens when a stack of rusty tins containing rare footage of the 1931 Napier earthquake is uncovered? This exhibition features a 20-minute showreel of the earthquake footage and other films, as well as exhibits exploring how Ngā Taonga preserves our audiovisual heritage.

30th September

Sunday 24 November, 7pm Space Place, Carter Observatory, 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn.


11 October–22 February Te Puna Foundation Gallery, 70 Molesworth Street, Wellington.



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car parks, where cars sit unused 96% of the time.








New blood BY I A N A P P E R L E Y


ellington has a new-look city council, with a new mayor and six new councillors. The makeup of the total thirteen elected officers, including their diversity, is changed significantly, with eleven of them women. What does this mean for Wellington over the next three years? How will the current city plan change? How will the big issues move forward? Andy Foster narrowly coming in ahead of Justin Lester shocked a lot of people. Justin was expected to retake the Mayoral chains easily, a young, good-looking, professional man who displayed leadership qualities when we most needed them. Andy was the council veteran of many years, and while he had good name recognition he was sometimes accused of stopping things rather than progressing them. He received a significant endorsement from Peter Jackson for his position on the Shelly Bay issue, a contentious topic that refused to die during the elections. In short, the city had two choices. It could vote for the continuation of the annual plan under Justin Lester, which includes a lot of bigticket investments along with a commensurate rate increase which was going to be very substantial over the years. Or, they could vote for a more back-to-basics platform which promised to remove funding from ‘vanity projects’ and invest it in more fundamental services such as infrastructure, which is under increasing threat from climate change. Andy also promised that spending would

be under the microscope and rate increases would be reduced. The city chose the latter, and in choosing, they removed several sitting councillors and replaced them with new blood. In the northern ward Jenny Condie, a bluegreen, displaced Peter Gilberd. An interesting result given that the ward is traditionally conservative, and Jenny is more progressive. Jenny is a very capable, intelligent character and will make a difference to the council direction. In the western ward Rebecca Matthews, on the Labour ticket, joined the council for the first time. Neither western nor eastern wards have traditionally voted for Labour candidates; yet in both wards, we have new Labour councillors, while some of the Labour-friendly wards got rid of theirs. New councillors elected in the Eastern ward are Teri O’Neill, on the Labour ticket, and Sean Rush. Backed by the Wellington Party, Rush replaced Simon Marsh and pushed out the city’s former Transport portfolio holder, Chris CalviFreeman. The departure of David Lee from the Southern ward left a seat open for another Green, Laurie Foon joining the council table. Lambton’s two stalwarts remained in office, while Tamatha Paul joined the council as one of its youngest members. The city grappled with four major issues during the campaign: transport, housing, climate change, and Shelly Bay, which represents a microcosm of all the city issues in a tidy package.



The breakdown Wellington City Council

Porirua City Council

Kāpiti Coast District Council

Mayor: Andy Foster

Mayor: Anita Baker

Mayor: K Gurunathan

Councillors: Diane Calvert, Jenny Condie, Jill Day, Fleur Fitzsimons, Laurie Foon, Sarah Free, Rebecca Matthews, Teri O’Neill, Iona Pannett, Tamatha Paul, Sean Rush, Malcolm Sparrow, Simon Woolf, Nicola Young

Councillors: Mike Duncan, Izzy Ford, Moze Galo, Geoff Hayward, Ross Leggett, Euon Murrell, Faafoi Seiuli, Joshua Trlin, Nathan Waddle, Kylie Wihapi

Councillors: Angela Buswell, Gwynn Compton, James Cootes, Martin Halliday, Sophie Handford, Janet Holborrow, Rob McCann, Jocelyn Prvanov, Bernie Randall, Jackie Elliott

Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt City Council

South Wairarapa District Council

Mayor: Campbell Barry

Mayor: Wayne Guppy

Mayor: Alex Beijen

Councillors: Josh Briggs, Keri Brown, Brady Dyer, Simon Edwards, Deborah Hislop, Tui Lewis, Chris Milne, Andy Mitchell, Shazly Rasheed, Naomi Shaw, Leigh Sutton

Councillors: Dylan Bentley, Chris Carson, Blair Griffiths, Paul Lambert, Angela McLeod, Heather Newell, Hellen Swales, Steve Taylor, Tracey Ultra, Dave Wheeler

Councillors: Pam Colenso, Garrick Emms, Rebecca Fox, Leigh Hay, Brian Jephson, Pip Maynard, Alistair Plimmer, Ross Vickery, Brenda West

Carterton District Council

Masterton District Council

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Mayor: Greg Lang

Mayor: Lyn Patterson

Councillors: Steffen Bertram, Robyn Cherry-Campbell, Steve Cretney, Brian Deller, Jill Greathead, Russell Keys, Rob Stockley, Rebecca Vergunst

Councillors: Gary Caffell, Brent Gare, David Holmes, Bex Johnson, Frazer Mailman, Graham McClymont, Tim Nelson, Tina Nixon, Chris Peterson, Sandy Ryan

Roger Blakeley, Jenny Brash, Ros Connelly, Penny Gaylor, Glenda Hughes, Chris Kirk-Burnnand, Ken Laban, Prue Lamason, David Lee, Josh Van Lier, Thomas Nash, Daran Ponter, Adrienne Staples

Newly elected



Let’s Get Wellington Moving, which so far has done anything but, may have been the primary factor that tipped the mayoralty toward Andy Foster. Over months we saw obfuscation, allegations of political interference, unpopular priorities, and a general absence of confidence that the process could produce anything positive in the short term. Not much is likely to change under this council. It may be that the new mayor can use his Beehive links to bring about some action, but in a central government that has great trouble finding consensus on almost anything, this is unlikely. We may see another central transport authority established to manage the city’s transport future; however I think this is probably not going to fly. Also not likely to fly is any airport extension; with the looming threat of climate change the many younger, greener, councllors will see it as a white elephant belonging to the past. There has been chatter about the council selling its third of the company and using the money for other projects, but I can’t see that happening because, at the heart of it, the airport is a significant asset for the city and worth a great deal of money. You can expect to see many more cycleways, as the mayor and a majority of the council have strongly supported them over the last triennium and in election campaigning. Also, the council has little control over larger transport infrastructure, and cycleways are one of the few things that they can contribute to the mix and directly manage themselves. The buses will continue to be a major problem for the city. The residents generally do not understand that the WCC has very little control at all over services. This responsibility belongs to the Greater Wellington Regional Council, which has also undergone significant change. Undoing one of the worst messes in transport in the region is going to take many, many years. New projects are going to be under much more scrutiny, particularly as to cost. We may see some pushed back (a new arena, for example), or scrapped altogether. Civic Square will be on the minds of new councillors. With potential rebuild costs of hundreds of millions, perhaps up to a billion, some tough choices are going to have to be made.

Shelly Bay will remain as it is. Most of the new council are suspicious or opposed to the development and have said so in campaigning. To make any progress here will be very difficult, and even resource consenting for the privately-owned land may prove impossible. It is an incredibly complex issue, which does not bode well for consensus. I suspect that issues of wellbeing and of a social nature will gain more prevalence. With a council that is somewhat centred and a majority of women, we can expect the good work to continue regarding reducing sexual violence, minimising alcohol harm, helping communities that are struggling, and other very human topics. Housing is largely out of the council’s hands aside from its social aspect, where they do well and will continue to do so. Property prices will not fall in Wellington until some external factor impacts, an economic downturn or fall in immigration, for example. Nor will they drop until the government itself moves back, in its inevitable cycle, to National. One thing is certain. This council has a strong environmental focus, and as we move past the fire alarm of a climate emergency, and into action, we can expect substantial investment in protecting the environment and in providing new green spaces for the city. I hope that the younger members of the council will bring new ideas while the older members mentor the younger. Andy as Mayor is the consummate administrator and understands the machinery of council intimately, which should allow the changes that we need to see to progress smoothly. Despite the low voting turnout, there is a beautiful balance to this council, and we can expect good things to happen. Ian Apperley is a freelance writer who has covered local body politics for many years. Ian lives in Strathmore with his partner and a small menagerie. He can often be found at the Strathmore Local, ‘Working.’



Treble maker BY DA N P OY N TO N P H OTO G R A P H E D BY A N N A B R I G G S

Looking at Hamish McKeich you might guess he’s a rocker, an actor, or maybe a Wellington barista. But he’s actually Associate Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. After a heavy day conducting rehearsals for the orchestra, he sat down in his dressing room at the Michael Fowler Centre to have a chat with Dan Poynton.


licking on Hamish McKeich’s webpage you might think you’d stumbled on Johnny Depp’s instead. Grungy industrial scenes, subway underworlds, and haunted houses appear. And there’s the man himself with his shaggy rock-star hair and moody gaze. Hell, he’s even got a Jack Sparrow pirate moustache. Hip, but not hipster. A bohemian from the Belle Époque maybe? This is not usual. Well, not for a classical conductor, though he has been known to put on a penguin suit. But then this leading New Zealand conductor is not usual. Hamish is unusually wide-ranging and is known for exploring conducting no-go zones – everything from Mozart to Frank Zappa to garage punk. Hamish has been Associate Conductor of the NZSO since 2002, with the odd break here and there. He’s conducted numerous gigs with the NZSO, but his baby is the Shed Series he created last year as ‘a bit of an experiment.’ It consists of concert-cum-parties of orchestral exploration held in the waterfront’s laid-back Shed 6. ‘There’s booze and some nibbles,’ say Hamish. ‘You can go in and out of the gig. But people do listen to the music!’ They do small sets, with a smorgasbord of shorter pieces revolving round some theme. ‘There’s just not enough time for people to get bored,’ Hamish smiles. And anything’s fair game: classical, cabaret, jazz, contemporary classical, ethnic, rock – you name it. The series started with music by Radiohead guitarist

and co-writer, Jonny Greenwood – not exactly a staple of orchestral fare. ‘It’s proved really popular with people who want to do an informal concert,’ says Hamish. He says they’re getting a lot of younger people who don’t usually go to classical concerts. There are cushions on the floor for kids, and unexpected things happen. Instruments sometimes pop up in the audience. ‘People go “wow” cos they’re so close that keeps them on their toes.’ The Shed Series is finishing the year with Unwound on 30 November, promising to unwind you with music both relaxing and upbeat. Duke Ellington’s jazzy take on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite shares the bill with meditative music by Pulitzer-prize winner John Luther Adams. Other pieces will draw on blues, jazz, and funk, as well as the sounds of Rio de Janeiro. Also featuring will be genre-bending US oboist Russel Walder. He’s internationally known for his ambient improvised music. The backing music will be specially arranged by Wellington composer-star John Psathas, known for his beautiful use of exotic non-classical sources. So be prepared for some otherworldly music. Now living in Wellington’s Aro Valley, Hamish was born in Christchurch. His father teaches oboe and bassoon and he passed the craft down to Hamish. At 16 he was already studying bassoon at Wellington Polytech and freelancing with the NZSO, valuable experience for one so young.



Then off to study at the Sydney Conservatorium. He only lasted a year there before the Sydney Symphony Orchestra offered him their Associate Principal Bassoon job. ‘I went ahead pretty fast so I had that job at 19,' Hamish grins, but already his mind was wandering. ‘The bassoon repertoire is limited. I began to think, “I don’t know if I actually want to do this forever”.’ He wanted to go deeper into the music but wondered how he could do it. ‘There’s only one way to do it, right? Conduct it!’ he says. ‘Whatever spoke, the ego spoke? I don’t know.’ So in the early 90s Hamish set off to London and then to Amsterdam, his base for nine years while he developed his conducting. He freelanced on bassoon to make ends meet. At first being on the other end of the commander’s baton was a bit weird because of Hamish’s disciplined training as a rank-and-file. ‘It was like, oh yeah, I’ve got to move first, right?’ says Hamish. ‘Everyone was looking at me, waiting for me to move.’ Hamish was acutely aware of how difficult conducting is and of his lack of experience and technique at the time. ‘I don’t like people who get up and conduct and think it’s just going to happen. It’s bullshit – it’s a craft,’ he scowls. ‘There are things to learn and there’s humility. Usually when people get up like that it’s all ego-based.’ Although part of the job description, taking authority didn’t come naturally. Hamish hates the old tradition of conductor-as-dictator, finding it ‘insulting’ to the players. ‘It’s not about you getting up there and having a wank, right?’ he blurts. ‘It’s about the composer.’ Hamish was inspired in this by great conductors like the Russian Valery Gergiev. Gergiev and his legendary teacher, Ilya Musin, both taught Hamish. He had ‘the most amazing classes’ with them, ‘shadowing them’ round Europe. ‘They’re so nice to the orchestra – really respectful,’ he says fondly. ‘There’s no histrionics. This whole maestro myth is bullshit, but it did exist.’ Hamish says orchestras are much more player-run these days, including the NZSO.

‘They vote on you every year. I’m surprised I’m still here,’ he says, looking only half-worried. Originally a ‘classical nut’, Hamish discovered contemporary avant-garde music in the thriving Amsterdam scene. Soon after his return home in 1999 he set up NZ’s leading ‘new music’ group, Stroma. Next year it’s celebrating 20 years of far-reaching music making, featuring lots of music by New Zealand composers. ‘Some people come along and say “wow, that’s amazing” and hopefully we convert a few to it,’ he says, pointing out how hard new music is for today’s digitally-distracted people. ‘With a new painting you can leave it at any time but you come back to it. With [live] audio you might not hear it again.’ Hamish’s conducting has made him a globetrotter. Listing all the countries he’s performed in – and all the orchestras – would be a bit of chore. But one big thing he’s into is crossover. He’s conducted for the Pointer Sisters and collaborated with bands like NZ’s Shapeshifter and Dutch punkers The Ex, which ‘wasn’t great for my eardrums but we had a blast.’ Then there was performing with Serj Tankian, lead singer of world-famous heavy-metal band System of a Down. Hamish first performed here with Tankian, a Lebanon-born Armenian, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Later they ended up performing together with the Armenian Philharmonic and Lebanese Philharmonic. ‘Interesting orchestras. The one in Lebanon was crazy,’ he says, remembering the first rehearsal. ‘There were a couple of guards with machine guns sitting behind the cello section, just hanging out...I’m guessing they were there for us – they weren’t shooting us.’ The US-Armenian pianist they had seemed concerned. ‘He kept coming up to me in rehearsal going “Don’t mess up, they’re here for you”,’ chuckles Hamish. ‘It was all very funny but it wasn’t that funny. I’ve never had a couple of guys with machine guns in my rehearsal.’ So life for jet-setting Hamish hustles on and a day after the interview he’s off overseas to somewhere I can’t possibly remember. But for now it’s Saturday night in the capital and Hamish is starting to look distracted. He’s got to take off to meet his friends at the pub.


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Movers and shakers P H OTO G R A P H E D BY A N N A B R I G G S & J O R A M A DA M S

There’s Kim and Kanye, Barak and Michelle, Jacinda and Clarke, Gemma and Richie, Hermoine and Ron. Urban Dictionary defines a power couple as a relationship where both people are equally as cool as each other. Sarah Catherall chatted to our quintessential Wellington power couples.



Lawsuits and rugby boots


hile Hanna Tevita is called a ‘rugby wife’, her fiancé, Nehe Milner-Skudder, jokes that he is a ‘lawyer husband.’ Hanna, 25, a commercial lawyer, and Nehe, 28, a professional rugby player, are engaged to marry later this year. Sitting around the dining table in their renovated Island Bay villa, Nehe is recovering from shoulder surgery. He remains in a coaching and mentor role at NZ Rugby. The Hurricane and former All Black has recently signed a contract to go to Toulon, France, to play for two seasons from December. Hanna is a commercial lawyer at Simpson Grierson, and also an actor who has played leading roles in two Kiwi feature films, Fresh Meat (2012) and Terry Teo (2016). The couple met about seven years ago in a student bar in Palmerston North on Hanna’s 19th birthday. Nehe was playing for the Turbos in Manawatu, and Hanna was studying towards a business degree at Massey University in Palmerston North, while also playing netball for the Manawatu under-19s. ‘When we met, Nehe wasn’t playing because he was injured. I didn’t know much about the Turbos. Growing up in Wellington I only knew the Hurricanes and the Lions.’ Hanna, of Dutch and Samoan descent, grew up in Island Bay, and attended Wellington East Girls College where she developed a love of acting. She was in her last year of high school when she secured the leading role in Fresh Meat, playing Temuera Morrison’s daughter. Last year, she had a cameo role in the musical film Daffodils. ‘I love acting, which is like a hobby that I would do regardless. I always knew I needed

something more behind me and that’s why I went on to study law,’ she says. The couple have spent many days or weeks apart, as rugby has taken Nehe around the country and overseas. But when he was in London for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Hanna watched in the stands as her fiancé scored the first try in the final. Says Nehe: ‘Obviously it’s cool sharing it with the boys and you get a bit of man love but having the ones that you love there is pretty special.’ Says Hanna: ‘I was extremely proud of him and everything he had achieved that year. It was very emotional to see Nehe perform the haka in the final and then to go on and score. Truly an unforgettable moment.’ Hanna was the co-president of the Pasifika Law Student Society, promoting the rights of Pacific Island legal students at Victoria University. Says Nehe: ‘She has done so much in her personal life. She did seven years study and also a lot of acting, but she is always supporting me and all those around her. She is big on service and being there for others.’ The couple haven’t yet decided what they will do when Nehe goes to France, but Wellington will be their long-term home. Says Hanna: ‘We are really supportive of what we each want to do in our own lives. He’s really supportive of me putting my career first. I want him to do everything he wants to set out to do, too. He doesn’t expect me to drop my life to support him. We try to be there for each other as much as we can but we’re realistic about each achieving our own goals.’




Together, virtually all the time


at Lintott and Ben Forman watch their oneyear-old daughter, Willoughby, toddling around their contemporary, stylish offices at Wrestler, a multi-media storytelling agency in Wellington. The Wellington tech power couple combine their work and personal lives in the creative agency they co-founded and run jointly on Jessie Street. Says Kat, who is head of VR/AR (Virtual/Augmented Reality): ‘I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. We take the risks together, we’re creating something together, and if all fails, we’ve done this together.’ Wrestler was named New Zealand’s most innovative company in VR and AR by the magazine Idealog last year, and was in the 2018 Deloitte Fast 50. With their team, Kat and Ben create stories and human-centred content for film, documentary, web-series, virtual reality, and augmented reality. ‘We see ourselves as storytellers who play across different platforms. We’re also the leaders in the VR/AR space, because got into it right at the start,’ says Ben, the CEO. Before they launched their company, Ben had a background in media and marketing, and cut his teeth making online videos. Kat, who has a degree in marketing and communications, previously worked for virtual reality start-up, 8I, and also as head of communications at Wellington airport. They got together when Ben gatecrashed Kat’s party, and afterwards their first working stint was making videos for luxury hotels, which took them to 15 different countries in 2013 – with free accommodation and food in each. Ben shot the videos, and Kat produced them. One of their first big clients was the shoe brand Allbirds. Now they create cross-platform campaigns for businesses and agencies such as Education New


Zealand, Kiwibank, Wellington NZ, the Ministry of Education, and Worksafe. At a time when technology can get a bad rap, Kat – who is on the board of the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge – strives to ensure their content is valuesled, and will ‘push the collective consciousness forward’. It should improve rather than clutter or stress people and the planet. They also try to make any Wrestler campaigns represent all ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations. ‘We ask all our potential clients about their sustainability policy. It’s our job to help our clients with that too, to help them be more progressive,’ says Ben. In their new custom-built offices, sleeping and resting pods are nestled in one part of an open plan space, and staff are encouraged to use them for time out. Ben and Kat want to create a nurturing work environment with caring, family-based values. Employees are encouraged to bring their children and dogs to work, or to work from home if they need to. ‘You’re going to get the best out of people if they feel happy, inspired, and safe,’ says Ben. Kat and Ben are both committed to growing their team in Wellington, a city they say has the right vibe and is easy to get around. Says Ben, who was named one of the 2019 Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 in April: ‘We’re bringing talent to Wellington which is fantastic. We couldn’t imagine having our head office anywhere else.’ Asked if they put any boundaries around their work and home lives, they both shake their heads. Nor do they ever fight or disagree. Says Kat: ‘It truly doesn’t feel like work, and we love it. We’re both excited by what we do.’


It’s getting hot in here


ames and Annabel Shaw share a home and a life, and they also share a number one burning issue – climate change. When the couple met on a blind date in Wellington back in 2011, James was working for social enterprise Akina, along with a UK-based consultancy, and also campaigning for election to Parliament. Annabel laughs: ‘My friend hadn’t told me that James was running for politics. We met at an art gallery at a sustainability-type exhibition which was actually a campaign event.’ Three years after their first date, James was elected a Green MP, and was chosen as the party’s co-leader a year later. Annabel is a teaching fellow at Victoria University law school. According to her husband, she is also one of the country’s top dispute resolution specialists and executive mediators. This year, she began a PhD on climate change dispute resolution – something she decided to do after she and James had been tramping over the summer of 2018, enjoying one of their favourite hobbies. Now James is the Climate Change Minister, Annabel describes his role as ‘our work’. Her uncle, Teddy Goldsmith, was an ecologist and one of the first voices on global warming in the 1980s. ‘That was always something I was aware of before (climate change) was a thing. I knew that the planet was changing and we were going to be in trouble. Now this is James’ life work or a calling, and I love that.’ When James isn’t working, they start each weekend sitting down with a glass of wine on a Friday night to catch up on each other’s week. They like to walk around Zealandia, the Botanic Gardens, Te Ahumairangi Hill, or the city's walkways. They also try to get to the gym together once a week. ‘When James is home we share the cooking. He's the master of brunches in our house. We like to entertain and have friends or family around for drinks or dinner, or go out and enjoy restaurants and bars,’ says Annabel. Annabel walked with her husband on the 15 March climate change march, and they talk about global warming and what New Zealand is doing about it around the dinner table. They drive an electric car, and

Annabel has minimised their carbon footprint at home by putting in energy-efficient lights, and improving their home insulation. She has helped plant trees in the town belt, and also planted trees at home. They eat a mainly vegetarian diet. Details of some of James’ work, such as the Zero Carbon Bill and the ETS (emissions trading scheme), for example, are confidential. ‘We do talk about the much bigger issues though,’ he says. With the topic consuming most of his waking hours, he says: ‘Some of the language that gets bandied around is not grounded in science and is apocalyptic. The situation is bad and getting worse and we can fix it. But the longer we take to do that, the more expensive and harder it gets. There is momentum building and I see stories every day of companies making huge breakthroughs and countries making some really bold moves. I think it’s really important we pay attention to those stories. There is really so much we need to do. We are only just getting started. Everyone has a role to play.’ Annabel sees the momentum and desire for action among her law students. ‘Climate change is a very serious threat. I’m also hopeful we can do something about it if we all take action, and I’m heartened by the next generation: young people saying we need to take action. It’s not a matter of choice. That’s one of the reasons why I love being married to James, because it feels that we are involved in making that change.’ They often work at weekends, together at their desks in their Northland home. While James is away for work a lot, it helps that Parliament sits in Wellington. ‘We are both incredibly supportive of each other professionally. I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing if I hadn’t met James,’ she says. While James is the household name, he smiles talking about his talented wife. ‘Annabel gets called in to talk at conferences and is notable for her work. Occasionally I’ll be in the airport and someone will come up and say, “Hello, you’re Annabel Shaw’s husband aren’t you?” which I really like.’


Ho rsepower BY J O H N B R I ST E D P H OTO G R A P H E D BY B E N N J E F F R I E S

How do you convert a fifty-year-old Ford Falcon into a drag race car? Ask Alan Marshall: he’s done it, and with his ‘new’ racer he’s chasing a New Zealand record. At 20, he had a serious accident street racing in an old Valiant, and, after very little thought figured he’d prefer to stay alive. He moved to drag racing. For the next 30 years Alan raced a Ford XY GT replica, with the 250 other drag car licencees in the Wellington region. When the Ford XY became too valuable to race, he found an old Falcon XR. With the help of his old mate Gary Cawthra, Alan turned it into a fierce two-door drag racer. He’s a hands-on man, a builder by day, and self-taught. Mostly by himself, he set up the car’s new space-frame chassis, the new body, and the completely ‘souped’ motor and drive train.

Astonishingly, the car now boasts more than 1,000 horsepower (nearly 750 kw) and from a standing start can cover a quarter mile (402metre) drag strip in 9.33 seconds, at which stage the car is doing 145 miles an hour (nearly 233 kmh) and uses, from 15 minutes of warmup to finish, 16 litres of a fine mix of 120 octane petrol and nitrous oxide. That’s more than a litre a minute. He points out that he doesn’t do it very often. Parachutes are needed to slow it down again. Alan says that is just the beginning. He’s after the New Zealand record for an engine capacity/weight category, and is within a hundredth of a second of it. For many years drag racers leased time at Masterton’s airport to run their events, but now they race at the Masterton Motorplex. ‘There will quite often be 120 cars taking part, and in March at the National Championships we’ll see around 160,’ says Alan.


Fro m t he (under) ground up BY J E S S S COT T P H OTO G R A P H E D BY B E N N J E F F R I E S

How do you entice a crowd to do their shopping in a subterranean car park? By employing a gang of sandwich-board-clad roller derby skaters to promote it, according to Helena Tobin, co-owner of Wellington’s Underground Market. While it was popular with tourists, Helena says it was initially difficult to attract regular shoppers. So they used ‘guerilla’ marketing tactics to lure in locals, ‘sneaking around the city at night’ to attach signs to lampposts (along with their bewheeled promotional posse). Helena and co-owner Wendy Jasper, as mothers to young children, had struggled to find work that used their skills and allowed them the flexibility to parent and pursue creative endeavours. Helena wanted a space to sell her art and develop her own creative business, but she says the market became all-consuming, and she did not start selling her own work until 2016. The pair wanted to create an alternative to the traditional seven-day retail model, allowing emerging businesses and


artists space to experiment, without the commitment of a permanent space. ‘We have a weird business model where our mark of success is when we lose a client who goes on to bigger things,' says Helena. The Underground Market has been a springboard for Wellington businesses, including Lashings, Sweet Cakes and Bakery, Verdant Design, and House of Dumplings. Helena said she worked part-time for the first few years, but was now able to focus on the market full time. After barely breaking even for the first three years, the market now has a rotation of over 100 regular stalls, with 70 weekly vendors. Stallholders range from a miniaturist to a Peruvian tea-maker, a henna tattooist, a beard beautician, and a social enterprise aiming to eradicate period poverty. The Underground Market celebrates their tenth anniversary at their 16 November market, with festivities, games, and product giveaways.


Flour power P H OTO G R A P H E D BY A N N A B R I G GS

First there was coffee, and then came craft beer. Today, the rising trend in Wellington’s food and beverage scene is handmade artisan bread, writes Sarah Catherall.


n Shelly Bay on a sunny Saturday, Sam Forbes has been baking bread at his bakery, Shelly Bay Baker, since three o’clock this morning. The Welsh-born chef turned baker pours a bag of organic wheat into the flour mill, watching it grind. Inside the bakery, his bakers Kathryn Walker and James Dwight shape pieces of dough into oblong loaves, then slice lines across the back of each sourdough with a razor. Next, they line the loaves up on a heavy metal tray, and push it into the oven. In the next 40 minutes, the steaming oven will bake 120 loaves. Fourteen different varieties of bread are baked here, mainly sourdough, seeded and wholemeal breads, baguettes, bagels, and ciabatta. This picture is not unique: around the city and in the suburbs, artisan bread is becoming big business, as Wellingtonians relish buying fresh-baked bread directly from the baker who handcrafted it. In Shelly Bay, as cyclists in lycra whizz by on the main road, a customer pulls up in his car to buy his Saturday loaf. Shelly Bay Baker has no sign out the front, and most of the 1,100 loaves baked since 3am will go to wholesale customers and to markets: Harbourside Markets on Sunday, Newtown and the Hutt markets on Saturday, and markets at Victoria University campuses during the week. ‘Saturday is a big baking day,’ says Sam, who set up the bakery two years ago. This could be a scene straight from a small French village. There is something romantic about buying fresh bread straight from the source. Sam agreed. ‘We’re trying to bring back the idea of the local baker.’ He says people are seeking a sense of community and want to know where a product comes from.’ Beside the flour mill, bags of organic wheat are piled on the floor. Sam has just ordered three tonnes of wheat from the same Marton grower, Suzie Rea, and put in an order for 30 tonnes for


Flour power


next season. The stainless steel mill can grind 25 kilograms in about 30 minutes, producing fresh stone-ground flour. ‘This process adds some time and effort, but the breads that result are well worth it,’ he says. Sam started his bakery with a small, bench-top flour mill before buying this larger mill from the United States. ‘I mill my own flour for the flavour. It’s just so much better. It means every loaf we bake is made of flour that has been freshly stone-ground that morning.’ One of nine children, Sam grew up eating white, store-bought bread. He began cooking at the age of 10, went to cookery school, and worked with Gordon Ramsey in London. He arrived in Wellington in 2013, and had stints cooking at Capitol and then The Larder. While working for Larder chef Jacob Brown, Sam first began kneading dough. ‘I was baking bread for the restaurant three or four days a week. I then had an epiphany that I should bake bread as a career,’ he says. While some other artisan bakers are selftaught, Sam did a bread baking course in San Francisco, and visited bakeries around the United States before he launched his business. Jacob was an initial shareholder and helped with its early days, before Sam struck out on his own. Today, about 60 per cent of his bread goes to wholesale customers, and restaurants and cafes on the Miramar Peninsula and in Te Aro. Sam likes the idea of making for a local market, and reducing his food miles. ‘It’s less about the final product and more about creating relationships with the farmer and our customers. Yes, I think what we do has commercial potential. The only issue is you can get a loaf of bread at the supermarket for $2 and we charge about $8, so people can question that.’ Another rising artisan bakery is Wellington

Sourdough, operating in Left Bank. Its co-owner, Catherine Adams, is a pastry chef who made her name in Sydney making passionfruit pavlova for restaurants belonging to the Rockpool group. Born in Featherston, Catherine spent 20 years working as a pastry chef in Sydney. She returned home in 2014 to make desserts at Whitebait, since closed, which was owned by her sister and brother-in-law, Louise and Paul Hoather. Catherine also started making sourdough for Whitebait and its sister restaurant, Charley Noble. She was self-taught, and says: ‘I was dessertfocussed but they wanted bread, so we had a bread starter, and I learned on the job. I loved the challenge of learning something new and it’s nice to focus on a tight range of product.’ In her stylish, purpose-built bakery, Starta Bread Kitchen & Shop, husband Matt Whiteman is out the front, selling sandwiches and fresh loaves to customers. Catherine soaks seeds she will add tomorrow to breads such as her spelt and sprouted rye with sesame loaf. She loves the moment when the room starts filling up with baking smells. ‘It’s so satisfying, especially when the loaves start crackling. They say that the bread is singing,’ she smiles. Matt thinks customers are drawn to the romance of the handmade bread story. They can look through into the kitchen and see dough being made, hand-shaped into loaves, then pulled out of ovens. ‘This type of bread has been around for ages, but industrialisation meant you can make a factory loaf in three hours, as opposed to the three days it can take making artisan loaves.’ Catherine says she is still learning – even though her loaves on the bakery shelves look like the work of an expert.’ Something can change from one day to the next – there can be an element of surprise sometimes depending on the humidity and getting the temperature right. It can all be challenging.’

Catherine Adams





Is it commercially successful? Matt nods, but says he thinks the market has a ceiling as there is only so much artisan bread that Wellingtonians can eat. ‘I feel strongly that bread should not be a luxury item. It should be readily available to the majority of people. We could move to machinery, but then it becomes a factory. That’s not something we want to do.’ Their bread is also sold at Moore Wilson’s, and feeds diners at Loretta, Floriditas, Bresolin, Scopa, and Atlas, while Customs cafe serves their soughdough toast with caramelised butter. Catherine adds: ‘We make something we feel strongly about by hand. It’s labour intensive. Each loaf takes a lot of people and a lot of time.’ Supplying their own restaurant was a motivation behind Leeds Street Bakery, set up by brothers Jesse Simpson and Shepherd Elliott. Originally, they tried to bake their own bread and all their baked goods at Ti Kouka Cafe on Willis Street. However, they ran out of room in the kitchen, and so Leeds Street Bakery was born. Today, head baker Jack O’Donnell bakes for both Shepherd and Ti Kouka, along with a range of other Wellington cafes and restaurants and also supplying Commonsense Organics. The story tracing the bread back to the farmer or grower is also important at Leeds Street Bakery, according to Shepherd, who says: ‘In our most popular bread, we use biodynamically grown and milled

wholemeal wheat flour grown on the Canterbury plains. The flour is milled to order on the farm where it is grown, then shipped straight to us full of amazing flavour and vigorous biota.’ ‘Being a small, family-owned business, it is all about building and maintaining positive and sustainable relationships with both the people and terroir that make what we do possible.’ While these bakeries offer both wholesale and retail sales, it’s a different story at Baker Gramercy in Berhampore, which is primarily a retail destination. Owner and self-taught baker James Whyte set up his bakery six years ago, concerned he couldn’t find a decent crust in the city. Baker Gramercy is now a destination, and, says James, a weekday or weekend ritual for many living in Berhampore and the eastern suburbs. Concerned about nutrition and gut health, customers increasingly want sourdough bread – bread that is good for them. For example, his campani loaf is simple, containing flour, water and salt. ‘People want to get away from generic, mass-produced products. There has been a push as people want to eat bread and baked goods that have integrity and flavour. ‘Our customers can see what we are making. It allows them to connect with us and the food we make, which is what we all want.’

Sam Forbes


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Life’s a lottery P H OTO G R A P H E D BY A N N A B R I G G S

Robert Fisher became a partner in Harcourts real estate company at age 28 and his ‘drought-prone sheep farm’ became the Cape Kidnappers Golf Course. He talks to John Bristed.


obert Fisher grew up in Khandallah, eventually following his father, Heathcote (Hec) Fisher into the management of Harcourt & Co. Hec as a young man of 20 had arrived in Wellington from Auckland in 1923. Thirty years later Hec was a widower who had for a long time been a solo and ‘somewhat Victorian' father of two boys and a girl.

I never worked directly for my father. I worked for the accountant. There was a Chinese wall; my father never interfered with the work I did at Harcourts, apart from on the valuing side because he was the senior valuer. I did a valuation course, and then worked in all aspects of the company; a bit of administration, residential selling, and commercial selling. Only a few years after I joined the company, I was 28, my father said to me, ‘I’m retiring, I’m out of here in six months and off to Taupō.’ And I said, ‘What about these old fellows?’ – our sales people plus a couple of valuers who were all in their fifties. He said, ‘Either handle them or they’ll handle you. You can sink or you can swim.’ Probably the best advice anyone could give a son. They accepted me, I don’t know how, because my experience was pretty limited. The real-estate business was simple in those days. Everything was done by the shake of a hand, very seldom did anyone welsh on a deal. Real estate deals now need 17 pages of fine print. It’s gone 180 degrees from Let the buyer beware, to Let the vendor beware.

What was your father like? He came from the no frills school. He was a good man but pretty strict, particularly on my sister. He came from an era where you didn’t have bread, butter, and jam. You had bread and butter, or bread and jam. How did he influence you? He didn’t influence so much as direct me. We had arguments because he was an arch-conservative, but in the end he would always do what he thought was right and most the time it was. He gave us a discipline. I had a slight mathematical bent so I took some commerce degree subjects in my last year at Scots College. I have to say I was surprised when at university I found there was an education unit as part of the degree which was far more interesting than much of the dry commerce subjects.

You were an accountant anyway so it was going back to something you knew? Yes. The job wasn’t difficult. The accounting side I enjoyed because it offered variety. My previous experience had included doing the accounts for big companies. It gave me a very good background. I became a member of the Wellington Rotary Club. I learnt a lot from that; in my early thirties, I was the youngest member. Listening and talking to people like the head of Banking New Zealand, the

What was your first job? Harcourt’s accountant departed on extended leave and I got to look after the rather large trust account for a short time. After an OE year in the 1960s I joined Wilberfoss Harden, an accounting company, and subsequently Harcourt & Co.


Money ta lks head of Mobil Oil, James Smith, Walter Norwood the motor magnate, taught me a lot. You didn’t go to Rotary for business, it’s a charity, but you rubbed shoulders with business people which made business, particularly in Wellington, a lot easier.

So you sold Harcourts? Yes, well that’s another story. In the early 80’s there was this move – the euphoric 80’s – good and bad, mostly bad. Everyone was going national, we decided Harcourt's needed to go public.

Did you earn a lot of money at Harcourts? No, people think real-estate is a licence to make money, it’s not. It’s a service industry which has its ups and downs. In those days you’d have four to five years of relatively good times and then you’d have a down-turn for a year or two.

Why did you want to go public? It was the only way we could see that we could become a New Zealand-wide company. We needed access to capital. We bought three firms in Auckland, and one of the more important firms in Christchurch joined



us, to put together a national operation. Then there was bank interest in the company, as especially after the 1987 stock market crash, the banks wanted a safe place to put their money. They wouldn’t lend on commercial or development properties, but they thought that residential would be safe to lend on. You mean someone would buy a house and…? The bank would provide the mortgage. At that time we’d begun work on franchising. That was definitely the right way to go for a service industry like ours. I see Harcourts have 900 offices now in New Zealand and around the world. A good legacy. You should be proud. It was a lot of hard work and if you want any advice, going public in a service industry is the start of losing your hair and going grey. Did you invest money elsewhere while you were with Harcourts? I invested outside of the firm as a hobby. Aged 28 I bought a share in a Paraparaumu dairy farm which for some reason had been owned by the Wellington Racing Club. That was my first taste of farming. I enjoyed the farming side and I suppose farming become my main hobby. Where did you get the money for that? I dragged in three other friends in Wellington and ordered them to participate. We knew Paraparaumu would inevitably expand. We had the tip at one end of the farm and finally the Council took part of it for the sewage plant and we divided the rest into lifestyle blocks. In those days borrowing money was difficult but I was lucky enough have a bit of a cash flow from Harcourts which meant I could handle the outgoings. Why didn’t you retire when you sold Harcourts? I still wanted challenges. I bought into a number of small businesses, ranging from lighting in Auckland, cigarette filters in Wellington, industrial battery and compressor rentals in Nelson, to Italian TV dinners. A good investment was Te Mata


Cheese who made a really nice blue which went well with a glass of wine. We sold it to Kaimai Cheese. I like an involvement in businesses that actually interest me. I’ve had a one in six success with businesses: one is so good you hang on to it for grim death and make the most of it. Four are mediocre and take time and effort, and one will be a dog you cannot get rid of it. You have hits and misses and you hope the hits are better than the misses. And on the whole they have been. What are you going to do when your body gives out or you retire? Well I’m lucky enough to have been married twice to very good women. Charlotte, my wife, is 19 years younger than me, and has a great deal of energy. She also shares the same interests. She’s more energetic than I am, so I’m hoping she’ll carry me through. What has had the most financial impact on your life? I’ve had this interest in farming. A partner and I had a kiwi fruit and boysenberry farm in Nelson and a farm out of Whanganui which we developed. Eventually my wife Charlotte and I decided to look for something more substantial in the farming line. We bought Summerlee Station, Cape Kidnappers. This 2,225-hectare sheep station was only 25 minutes from Napier, and it had the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. And I got involved with that progressively over two years. It was very run down. We developed that together and put a lot of money into it. We put in 16 dams, 14km of fencing. We built the farm up from 2,500 stock units to 9,000 stock units which was about as far as it could go. We also did up the original 600 square metre 1926 Summerlee homestead into a luxury retreat, and operated that as a tourist destination to get cashflow. Some years later, we were at Summerlee when Mike Cormack, an Auckland ex-All Black lawyer who I had played rugby with (we even won sometimes) rang up telling me he had a client who’d just arrived in Auckland, and he’d like to look at the farm.


Mike mentioned it was Julian Robertson who’d already built a World Series golf course and lodge at Kauri Cliffs in Northland. I told Mike that we were just off back to Wellington, but we’d love to meet Robertson. We’d be delighted to pop back to meet him any time. Mike said ‘He’s on his way there in a helicopter and he’ll be there in 25 minutes, where does he land?’ We thought he wanted to see the house but he said, ‘I don’t want to see your pretty little house, I want to see the LAND,’ and off we went in his helicopter. We flew along the coast where there were some chaps who threw rocks up at the rotor blades as we passed. They were obviously taking illegal pāua, Robertson didn’t notice and said, ‘Look at those nice guys waving at us!’ He was very enthusiastic about the property: ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t believe it, this is just one big built in (golfing) fairway.’ At that stage we weren’t selling because we’d put all that sweat and tears into it; we had planned to spend half our life in Wellington and half up there. In the end, he made it sufficiently attractive, and in a very amicable arrangement bought the farm. He put the golf course there; it’s now called Cape Kidnappers Station, and rated number 28 in the world. There is probably nobody else in the world who would have wanted to buy that drought prone station and leave us with the beautiful homestead and river flats. We’ve become good friends. Do you still have business interests there? We kept Summerlee until a few years ago, but still have a house up there. I’m very involved with Gannet Safaris Overland, which buses 5,000 people every year over the sheep station out to that gannet colony at the end of Cape Kidnappers. Our only other business is a mussel farm and a remote farm in the Marlborough Sounds close to D’Urville Island.


Does money make you happy? No, but as people say, it provides you with choices. Too much money is a bad thing, if you look at examples around the world as to how families have risen and sometimes fallen by the wayside. But if you’re lucky enough to have choices and you appreciate what you’ve got, get yourself involved in charitable things as a balance. I think it gives you a reasonably happy life. What has been your attitude to money for your children? I can’t remember what we did for pocket money, but I remember the kids had to do lots of chores. My approach is very simple. Give your children a good education, help them with a house, and spend the rest. If they are up against it you might have to do more. And inheritance? I’ve got two families so it’s got to be scrupulously fair. But again it’s very simple. My wife has to have enough to keep her comfortable for the rest of her life. Whatever’s left at the end of the line the kids can share equally. Do you give to a charity? Yes. It’s an offset for my more frivolous spending. We’re very much involved in community support. I have a boat and a nice car and a few other things that give us enjoyment, but those things have got to be in balance with the more important things in life. Did you get financial advice from anyone else? Not really. I listen to people and ask questions of people who might have some knowledge of whatever the subject might be, but I tend to go by gut feeling. If something feels right and good you go for it and if you’ve got some doubts about it, don’t do it. Be cautious about business advice from lawyers and accountants, because they are marvellous in their particular field of activity but they have limitations when it comes to giving business advice.

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EXPOSED Collections at this year’s Massey graduate fashion show include loungewear based on hospital gowns, which means a robe with a two-metre-long train and a dress with built-in sweatpants; another uses knitted images and cyanotype prints. The Exposure graduate exhibition will be open daily from 2 to16 November and the fashion show runs from 8 to 9 November.




For the second year running, Dyrberg/Kern have won the Judge’s Choice Award in the #WellyLovesWow window-dressing competition, with a 12-metre luminous creation by previous WOW winner Kris Ericksen (pictured). The installation was inspired by the designer’s 2014 entry, Phoenix Transformer, which came second in the South Pacific section. It was inspired by honeycombs, using one of Kris’s original design inventions, the Plato System, a series of flexible, interlocking 2D pieces.

Next time you’re slinging a passive-aggressive email to a coworker, stop and consider its carbon output. New research shows a standard email creates four grams of carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that a year of incoming emails adds 136kg of emissions to a person’s carbon footprint, the equivalent of driving more than 300km. That is a lot of ‘as per my last email’s.

Ducklings, dog trials, and diggers are only three of the many things you can see at the Wairarapa A&P show, held at the Clareville Showgrounds from 1 to 3 November. If wood chopping or a tractor parade doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s all those scary amusement park rides, heaps of food, prize-winning cows, sheep, and horses, and an exhibition of entries in various crafting and cooking competitions.


华夏人 与长白云故乡 Being Chinese in Aotearoa: A photographic journey 慶祝華人移民新西蘭175週年 Visit this new exhibition celebrating 175 years of Chinese New Zealanders 21 November 2019 – 16 February 2020 New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata, Shed 11, 60 Lady Elizabeth Lane, Wellington Waterfront,

Dr Phoebe H Li

Appo Hocton, the first Chinese New Zealander, 1876. WE Brown Collection, Nelson Provincial Museum: 13043

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Chris and Kathy Parkin

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Leaf-veined slug Name: Leaf-veined slug

on large leaves. There is a wonderful, spiky specimen on the Zealandia website and stories of sightings on their night tours – so if you’re super keen give them a call. If you’re lucky enough to find one in your garden – leave it be! Unlike introduced slugs, leaf-veined slugs will cause no harm to your cabbages.

Māori name: Putoko ropiropi Family name: Athoracophoridae Status: Varying Description: If you’re not sure how to tell if the slug you’re looking at is a native one, the answer is simple: Check for a leaf-life pattern on its back. New Zealand has over 30 native slugs (as well as about 30 introduced species) and while the colour and size of the natives varies, all are leaf-veined. Habitat: Loss of habitat is an issue for many leaf-veined slugs, which prefer moist, earthy native bush. They are also predated upon by rats, mice, and other pests – so if you like the look of them and want to see more around, get a trap set up in your backyard. Look/listen: Leaf-veined slugs can cluster around small pools of water or wet spots


Tell me a story: Have a look at an introduced slug and you’ll likely see a flat, fleshy lobe on the top of their body – this is the mantle. In snails the mantle secretes the shell, but in slugs the mantle is vestigial, meaning it’s become functionless in the course of evolution. In leaf-veined slugs the mantle is much smaller and less obvious than in introduced slugs (the leaf-veined slug’s family name Athoracophoridae refers to this – translating to ‘without a breastplate’), which is taken as evidence of just how ancient our native slugs are.

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A B S O L U T E LY NUTS To celebrate their launch into the American market, Six Barrel Soda have released a limited-edition Peanuts collaboration (the comic – they’re strictly nut-free), with three exclusive soda syrups: Joe Cool Cola, Charlie Brown Ginger Ale, and Woodstock Lemonade. The holiday gift packs will be exclusively available at Nordstrom Pop-In stores. They cannot be purchased in New Zealand, or anywhere else outside the US, so if you’re heading over any time soon can you grab us a bottle?




Spring has brought a slew of new openings with a nod to the bird fanciers among us. Mockingbird, Birdcage and Puffin have emerged (all within cooee of Hummingbird). Mockingbird, formerly Basque, have almost fully veganised their menu with burgers, smoothies, bowls and dumplings. The team behind Hanging Ditch have launched new nocturnal haunt, Birdcage, the only bar in town with Fernet Branca on tap. Wine bar Puffin has gone all out on the bird theme with a menagerie of taxidermied birds, including a puffin.

Capitol and La Boca Loca are leaping from the city into the hinterland for the Horowhenua Taste Trail on 23 November. It is a live paddock-to-plate experience. Jump on the bus at Wellington Station for a guided tour of eight producers, including Lewis Farms, suppliers of top strawberries and asparagus for the Wellington market, and Genoese Pesto, makers of traditional pesto and new plant products.

Organic wine connoisseurs rejoice; the team at Everyday Wine has done the labelling legwork for for you. Cuba Street's newest addition, Everyday Wine carries New Zealand's largest selection of natural wines. Co-owner Dan Gillet said their 200-bottle offering consists entirely of organic, wild-fermented, unfiltered wines, most of which are also vegan.



S U S TA I N A BOWL New Zealanders spend $2.7 billion on takeaways annually, creating enough packaging waste to fill Lake Taupō. Reusabowl are trying to tackle this with the launch of their reusable container recycling programme, which will be trialled in Wellington over the next few months. Users can purchase takeaway meals from participating Reusabowl outlets, then return their container to a collection point, where they are cleaned and passed onto the next diner.

WELLINGTON WOES According to Wellington City Council there are nearly 900 eateries in Wellington, more per person than in New York. Wellington has one eatery per 236 people, compared to one for every 460 New Yorkers. The turnover of businesses is very high, with 75% of them less than three years old, reportedly because slim profit margins, at about 4%, create an insecure environment.



Wine enthusiasts will be able to sip bubbles while in a giant bubble, or create their own using six footlong wands, at Palliser Estate's bubble extravaganza this Toast Martinborough (17 November). The team at Pop will be pulling out the stops with an interactive display involving hundreds of bubbles, to accompany Palliser Estate’s brunch-time rosé and bubbly bar, with whitebait fritters and Mahurangi oysters.

Petone’s gastronomic scene has welcomed a new burger joint and New Zealand’s first macaroni and cheese bar. Dirty Burger lives up to its name, dishing up messy, New York-style burgers, while Wholy Mac offers a mix of macaroni creations, with burgers and bowls, macaroni bites, and even mac-and-cheesetopped nachos.


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

Seared pāua with Jerusa lem ar tichoke soup BY N I K K I & J O R DA N S H E A R E R


his dish is one of those special treats that you remember long after you have eaten it. Pāua is the Māori name given to a species of large edible sea snails which are highly valued by Māori, recreational fishers, and the commercial fishing industry. Our family has grown up surrounded by New Zealand's best beaches and coastlines and there is nothing better than heading out to gather fresh kaimoana. In New Zealand, pāua are commonly found in shallow coastal waters, along rocky shorelines in depths of 1–10 m. You can find pāua along most of the

Wellington coastline that is rocky with tidal flow – try Makara or Red Rocks. Remember to always dive in pairs! In this recipe we use Jerusalem artichokes which are in season from June to late spring, but you could substitute your favourite root vegetable. Jerusalem artichokes have a taste that is sweet and nutty with a hint of oyster and a dash of soil.The texture when pureed is of unparalleled velvety smoothness and the pāua/mushroom combo is the perfect companion to this earthy gem. Serves 4

Ingredients 50g unsalted butter 1 leek, washed and thinly sliced (white part only) 1 large onion, peeled and diced 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 250g Jerusalem artichokes, (scrubbing clean works, or peel using a teaspoon) ½ cup white wine 2 bay leaves 2 cups unsalted chicken stock ½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms 100ml cream flaky sea salt ¼ tsp white pepper 1 large pāua truffle oil

Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.


In a large pot on a medium low heat, melt the butter and sauté the leek and onions until soft but not coloured. Add garlic and sauté on low for a further three minutes. Chop the artichokes into chunks and add to the onion mixture. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add bay leaves and chicken stock and simmer, reducing by half. Place the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Continue to cook the soup, adding ½ cup of the liquid from the mushrooms. When the artichokes are soft, take off the heat and puree with a stick blender until silky smooth. Stir the cream into the soup, season with salt and white pepper, and keep warm. Prepare pāua by levering flesh off shell, separating the foot from the membranes and guts. Push out the pāua teeth. They feel like small bones and can easily be pushed out. The teeth are at the front end of the pāua. Rinse pāua in fresh water and slice as thinly as possible lengthways. Sauté the pāua slices in a dash of olive oil on a high heat for 30-40 seconds on each side. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and drain on paper towels. Thread slices of pāua and mushrooms onto skewers. Pour the soup into the serving glasses. Drizzle soup with a small amount of truffle oil and freshly cracked pepper. Place pāua skewers on the top of glasses and serve.

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INLAND ‘Cli-Fi’ (climate-change fiction) set in a dystopian future is a global literary trend, and Wellington authors aren’t lagging behind. Kāpiti Coast author Lawrence Patchett’s new book The Burning River sees swamp-dweller/trader Van attempt a perilous inland journey. In Waterline by Chris Else (out 1 November), a family loses its beachfront home and moves to an inland city run by artificial intelligence. Meanwhile Tim Jones’ novella Where We Land has a NZ Navy frigate torpedo a refugee boat. ‘Climate change is an existential problem writers can no longer ignore,’ Tim says.




Coping with her own and family members’ illnesses was partly why Wellington author Elizabeth Knox went six years between published books. But her 650-page fantasy novel The Absolute Book was published, and reviewed favourably, in September. In October Elizabeth won a 2019 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement. She’s written 13 novels, most notably The Vintner’s Luck (the terrible screen adaptation made her cry), three novellas, and an essay collection.

Data scientist and visualisation designer Dr Chris McDowell (Victoria University alumnus) and graphic designer and illustrator Tim Denee (Massey University alumnus) have spent five years creating an atlas of Aotearoa. We Are Here is a mixture of charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, and illustrations. The pair say we each have a particular view of New Zealand but nobody comprehends the whole. This book attempts to do so by making data visible, each graphic revealing insights into Aotearoa. Published by Massey University Press.

New Zealand children often find books through their own research, like reading series, and enjoy local authors. These are the findings of the Whitcoulls 2019 Kids’ Top 50 Books List, voted for by Kiwi kids. Twelve of the 50 are by New Zealand authors. This proportion of local books is ‘much higher than we see in our Top 100 List for adult readers,’ says Whitcoulls Book Manager Joan Mackenzie.


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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

AT L O W T I D E About the poet: Kiri Piahana-Wong is an Auckland poet and editor of Māori (Ngāti Ranginui), Chinese, and Pākehā ancestry. Her poems have appeared in more than 40 journals and anthologies, and she has edited issues of JAAM and Flash Frontier. She is the publisher at Anahera Press, a small publishing house that specialises in publishing poetry and novels by Māori and Pasifika writers.

At low tide, I walk for miles to swim. The mud sucks at my feet. I abandon my mud-covered jandals halfway, follow the lines of rock, try to avoid the sharpest shells. Far out by the headland, I lower myself carefully into the water. If I dip too much, my stomach touches the bottom. What I am doing is not swimming, surely, it is basking, perhaps, or floating, or absorbing.

In brief: ‘At low tide’ is taken from Kiri’s wonderful debut collection, Night Swimming, which draws inspiration from water and our shared connection to it. The Pacific Ocean is a powerful presence throughout the collection acting as both character and setting. Literal and metaphorical tides give way to moments of reflection and transformation. Why I like it: The first time I read this poem, it tapped into my fear of open bodies of water – I could feel my feet sinking, caught in mud, or worse, sliced open on shells and jagged rocks. Kiri has a bit of fun shattering the illusion of swimming as a graceful act – in this poem, it’s awkward, perhaps even dangerous. But the poem also presents an opportunity for catharsis for both the speaker and the reader. The visceral physicality of the first few stanzas gives way to a moment of peace and contemplation, where the speaker is one with the ocean, suspended in time. The unexpected whimsy of the final stanza encapsulates how protective many of us feel about our natural environment (‘tide keeper,/cloud guardian’). I might still be reluctant to get into the water, but I fully understand the speaker’s wishes to float forever, unburdened by the noise of daily life.

When I try to swim, I cut my hand on a rock. The blood streams out around me, but it doesn’t hurt. In the water, all of my pain is numbed. I want to be a fish, or a bird, or a person whose job it is to float in the water all day, tide-keeper, cloud-guardian. By Kiri Piahana-Wong from Night Swimming (Anahera Press, 2013)

Best moment to break out this poem: At the beach, or on the Wellington waterfront while the salt-speckled wind roars at you. Roar back with this poem.



Privilege and pressure P H OTO G R A P H E D BY A N N A B R I G G S

Sarah Lang talks to Chinese New Zealander and debut author Rose Lu about sex, sacrifice and social ignorance.


elf-confessed ‘brash extrovert’ Rose Lu, 29, has never come out as bisexual to her Chinese immigrant parents. Not verbally, anyway. But her mum and dad found out about it while reading the manuscript of Rose’s personal-essay collection All Who Live on Islands (VUP), launched on 14 November at Unity. This beautifully written comingof-age story has the migrant experience at its heart, and she writes about key experiences from different times in her life, including her first visit to China and her first sexual experience. Rose, who lives in Newtown with policy-analyst boyfriend Tom, didn’t ask her parents to skip certain parts. ‘When I was watching Mum read that passage about me and my ex-girlfriend, she looked really cross, pointing at the page. But we didn't talk about it [being bisexual]; they’re not going to acknowledge it, and I think that’s best for everyone.’ Her parents didn't request any changes to the text. Neither did her 20-year-old brother, who was okay with Rose writing about his depression. ‘My mum did comment that it was very personal and she herself would never do anything like this.’ Some readers may think Rose’s intimate detailing of sexual experiences (with people of both genders) is TMI. Why include it? Last year, while Rose was doing a Master’s in Creative Writing at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML), she was advised to write as if no one was reading. ‘To just put down what you think is true.’ So she did. Her portfolio won the IIML’s first-ever Modern Letters Creative Nonfiction Prize: $3000 and a book deal with VUP. ‘I didn't know the prize existed, then I suddenly got this email.’ Rose wrote an extra essay and revised some others for publication – and


decided not to cut the sexual stuff. ‘I’ve always been a very open person. I’m the one in my friend group who wants to talk about sex.’ Hers is a bold new voice amongst a generation of Asian New Zealanders who have lived here all or most of their lives. ‘I feel like we’re at a point globally where there’s a sudden interest in migrant stories as their children are coming of age,’ Rose says. She inserts and translates some Mandarin characters (mainly for dialogue) and writes very short chapters about China's emperors and empresses. The book’s title comes from the fact Rose was born on Chóngmíng Island, near Shànghai – and that she now lives on a different island. Her parents were among a tiny handful of their peers to get into university, and trained as engineers. Rose’s father worked his way up in a major company, then was told to become a Communist Party member. ‘His words were that he loved his country, but he didn't love it that much.’ Rose was five when they emigrated to New Zealand, before her brother was born. ‘We came after the removal of a “preferred race” clause and the introduction of a points-based system that my young, university-educated and relatively wealthy parents met. Like many migrants, they were fleeced by an immigration broker, who had them pay the 2019 equivalent of NZ$10,000 for helping them to navigate the administrative system of a foreign country.’ That was all their savings gone. ‘They knew they were being exploited, but felt they didn't have another choice.’ Even after completing a Master’s from Massey University, her father couldn’t find a job to support his family. ‘Many New Zealanders don’t recognise


how much landing jobs relies on connections and word of mouth,’ Rose says. Plus there’s sometimes a language barrier and conscious or unconscious bias. The family lived in Auckland, Rotorua, and Palmerston North before moving to Whanganui. Here Rose’s parents became owner-operators of a dairy/takeaway joint, often praised for its fish burgers. They worked long hours, and took only one day off in 15 years, when her mother had an operation. When Rose was nine, her maternal grandparents moved from China to live with them, becoming socially isolated, largely housebound, and homesick for China, despite the efforts of their family members. Her parents – now retired in Auckland – are still caring for Rose’s ‘Kon-kon’ and ‘Bu‘uah’. From what Rose can tell, her parents aren’t disappointed at how their lives have turned out. ‘What they wanted most was stability and security, and they weren’t too proud to do what needed to be done to get there.’ Her mum once told her, ‘We have eaten so much bitterness in our lives just so that you and your brother could have more comfortable days’. Did their sacrifices make Rose feel grateful? Or pressured? ‘Many migrants’ children feel indebted to their parents. I owe my parents so much.’ Moving between towns, Rose went to five primaries, one intermediate, and two high schools. ‘Leaving friends was upsetting.’ In Whanganui, she worked part-time at the Mad Butcher, and a night out was driving down the main drag, then congregating at a petrol station. ‘Whanganui was a toilet stop that had gone on too long.’ Her parents hoped she’d become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. ‘I totally get where they were coming from. I just thought “I have to do something vaguely sensible”.’ Rose studied mechatronics engineering in Christchurch. Shifting to Wellington 2014, the software engineer is currently Technical Lead at Flick Electric. Her brother also studied engineering. Their parents always saw their children’s interests, like writing, just as hobbies. Rose was always a big reader. ‘But I didn’t think writing was a feasible career option.’


Rose has experienced much racism. The hardest thing wasn’t the playground rumour that her family ate cats, or being called Ching Chong. ‘The most confronting thing is when it [racism] is unexpected – when it’s someone I know, and suddenly they say something racist because of stereotypes or ignorance.’ She bought into stereotypes herself. ‘I thought of China as an impoverished, totalitarian, and lacklustre country. I had acquired a passive form of racism that is pervasive among well-intentioned New Zealanders, one born of unaddressed ignorance.’ She went on a journey of discovery – and self-discovery – by visiting China. ‘Listening to people’s stories undid the assumptions I held about China and I could hear people’s joy and pride about being from here… I saw the shape of a life that nearly could have been mine.’ Back in New Zealand, she began reading books by Chinese New Zealanders – most influentially Old Asian, New Asian by Emma Ng – and got the writing bug herself. She cut back paid work to two days a week to do the IIML Master’s, having contacted Asian writers like Chris Tse about their experiences. Rose and Sharon Lam (who designed Rose’s book cover) connected over being the only Asian person in the years of their respective Master’s. ‘We joked about establishing an “Asians of the IIML” club.’ Rose became her classmates’ go-to person for reading parts of their writing related to immigrants or Chinese people. She sees the need for this ‘sensitivity read’ as a product of systemic cultural ignorance. ‘It was well-intentioned but kind of frustrating.’ It’s estimated that Asian New Zealanders write just two percent of New Zealand books, though there are signs of progress, including the New Asian NZ Voices anthology being compiled by Alison Wong and Paula Morris. ‘I feel a sense of responsibility with my work,’ Rose says, ‘because I know it will be seen as an act of Asian New Zealand representation.’ That carries both privilege – and pressure – but she’s up for the challenge.

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An Evans Bay home with history.


obyn Mathieson used to drive past a mid-century house on Evans Bay Parade and imagine she would one day be its owner. Eleven years ago, both units of the two-storey house on two separate titles came up for sale. Robyn, who is now a real estate agent, recalls the separate listings: ‘One was listed as Evans Bay Parade and one was Haitaitai, and they had two separate vendors, with signs on the front lawn pointing in different directions. ‘I realised my dream house was on the market. I had always driven past and thought the house was so grand.’ Determined to own the entire house, she bought it and has spent the past decade turning it into a striking two-home residence. Today, Robyn lives upstairs with her children, Thor, 15, Lola, 18, and their dog, Sadie. Earlier this year she sold the downstairs three-bedroom residence to friends. From the top floor, the house has a bird’s-eye view of the Evans Bay boat sheds and trailer sailers parked up, and yachts bobbing in the marina beyond. It is distinctive from the outside, with a brick exterior on the bottom storey and painted batten and board covering the upper storey. It was built in 1958 as separate homes for two Jewish couples, who were two sets of twins who married each other – Hannah and Esther Zimme married brothers Maurice and Michael Hayvice. The Hayvices – who still owned the top storey when Robyn bought it – also ran a tailoring business on Willis Street, Zimme’s. ‘One family lived downstairs and one lived upstairs. This area was known as a Jewish enclave and this particular




house as a bit of a party house,’ says Robyn, who has only recently shipped off the liquor cabinet that came with the house. The owner of the Robyn Mathieson clothing brand, which she closed three years ago, Robyn spent decades designing floral, abstract, and geometricpatterned garments for women. Today, along with working in real estate, she continues to design and sew a small range of clothes in a workroom in her garage selling them at selected outlets and online. Her interior style shares design characteristics with her clothing – loud, retro prints and bright colours. She made most of the cushions and all the curtains in her home. Mid-century architecture and style has always attracted her. The living room is decorated with things she has made and found over the years, and she has deliberately tried to source items that are used rather than bought new. Robyn laughs that she doesn’t do minimalism. ‘I’m a hoarder and a junk queen. Everyone who knows me knows that about me. I struggle to throw

anything out, particularly if it has been laboured over and crafted.’ Many of the mid-century features in the house are original – glass light fittings hanging from the walls and ceilings and the glass and wooden doors date from 1958. In the entrance way, the brown patterned wallpaper has been there since the house first went up, along with the quirky wallpaper in the kitchen. The pale green bath and pastel pink bathroom tiles scream 1950s, as does the wood-panelled stairway entrance. The kitchen is eclectic and inviting. Robyn left the original island but had a wider bench top built to match the original red formica benches. She found the vinyl mid-century kitchen stools on Trade Me, and many of the cups, plates and glasses, along with her art glass and crystal decanter collection were found by ferreting online or in secondhand stores. She stripped back the original kitchen cupboards, and painted them cream and powder blue, and got a matching powder blue Smeg fridge, which is in




keeping with the home’s retro look. ‘It’s quite a cosy room too. This is where Sadie sleeps and it’s really warm in the morning,’ she says. Some of the pieces in her home have their own stories – the deer head in her entrance way is from a deer that her father shot in Fiordland, where she grew up. She also likes skins, bones, and taxidermy, and has thrown a zebra skin on her living room floor. Her mother and father crafted the wooden coffee table in the living room, while Robyn bought the 1970s leather lounge suite from a woman who was moving out of her Kāpiti home into a retirement village. ‘I went to buy a table and chairs, and I asked her, “Gosh, you’re not thinking of selling that are you?” And she told me that she had tried to sell it but no-one would buy it.’ The original stone fireplace now boasts a modern wood-burner. German and mid-century pottery displayed on shelves nearby add colour. In the corner of the room, Robyn’s vinyl collection is stored in a mid-century Backhouse cabinet. The dining table came with the house, and the mid-century-style dining chairs are a mix of new and second hand. Just like the home’s previous owners, Robyn continues to

entertain in the 50-square-metre living room – her favourite room in the house. ‘It does look amazing in here at night when it’s all lit up outside,’ she says. Her bedroom has an alcove dressing room and a view of the harbour. Lola’s room is decorated with artworks the teen has made. Robyn – who received an MNZM in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Jubilee Celebrations for Services to Fashion – also loves the proximity of her home to everything she needs. A keen swimmer, she is close to Kilbirnie pool and heads to Hataitai beach and Shelly Bay in summer. Several days a week, she takes Sadie to Lyall Bay beach, where she meets up with other dog mums. Her partner, Anthony, alternates between living with her and on his boat moored across the road in Evans Bay. In summer, she loves using the covered outdoor barbecue area she built up the back of the house, nestled into the green bush backdrop. She likes to sit in front of the chiminea and socialise with friends. ‘My last house was down 130 steps and it’s so wonderful to just drive on to the property. ‘I love the view from my home. That has to be one of the best things about living here.’



Bat t le of Wa inuiomata BY B E N N J E F F E R I E S

Swords will clash, arrows will fly, and heroes will emerge at the New Zealand Sword Symposium in Wainuiomata this month. Event organiser Selwyn McCallan says the event brings together the Live Action Role Play community (LARP), Historic Medieval Battle athletes (HMB), and the wider martial arts community. While these groups rarely interact with one another, almost all share a fascination for times past, or a different world entirely, and revel in dress-ups. Selwyn is well versed in combat. He’s been involved in European Martial Arts (EMA) for over 30 years. ‘I got into it at university and never looked back. I’m most familiar with the bow and the long sword.’ These weapons were most popular during the medieval period. Selwyn says nowadays the best weapons come from master swordsmith Peter Lyon of Weta Workshop, whose weapons have appeared in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. HMB is a full-contact gladiator-style fighting sport

with real consequences. The Steel Blacks, New Zealand’s national team, are a rugged bunch with thick beards and black armour. Selwyn refereed at this year’s HMB World Championship event in Serbia and says the team performed well and managed to snatch a few medals. Over the three-day event here, some of the world’s foremost swordfighting experts will be hosting classes on historic combat techniques and sharing insights into the art of swordsmanship. ‘Classes cater to all levels,’ Selwyn says, ‘with presentations from leading historians, LARP specialists, and HMB fighters.’ The Wellington EMA community is one of the strongest in the country with several groups around the city, some with 40–50 members. The Sword Symposium is a highlight on the calendar for enthusiasts, some flying in from the other side of the world. NZ Sword Symposium, Wainuiomata, 15–18 November


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Hondamentalism BY RO G E R WA L K E R P H OTO G R A P H E D BY LU K E B ROW N E


eaders will know by now that I am a Hondaphile. I have been the proud owner of a darling little bright yellow Kei class 1997 Honda Beat for the past 20 years. (To purchase a car in Japan you must have an off-street park or garage, or buy Kei class, a very small vehicle with an engine less than 660cc.) Honda’s Beat epitomises the brand’s creative genius. There is emotion blended with logic in its cute design. I have written before about the genesis of the company. It began with Soichiro Honda as a child, sniffing the oil dropped by an ancient vehicle perambulating through his dusty village, and remarking to his mother that ‘it smells like perfume’. If the internal combustion engine ever suffers a mass extinction, history will record that the company he started made far the greatest number of such engines for powered devices. Counting the cars, motorcycles, outboard motors, hedge trimmers, lawnmowers, and numerous other items, Honda produces around 14 million petrol-powered ‘things’ a year. I have a deerstalking friend who regularly hunts in Stewart Island. The fridge in his hut which keeps his venison cool is powered by a dear little red portable generator made by guess who? Honda’s expertise with petrol engines doesn’t, however, mean a profligate use of fossil fuel. In the 1980s their engines learned to sip. They invented the VTEC variable valve timing system, which varies oil pressure to shift between different cam profiles. This means that at higher engine revs, the cam profile permits more valve lift, allowing more air into the cylinder, and thus generating more horsepower while using less fuel. Their technology led to legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna’s success, and of course our own kiwi hero, Denny Hulme to Formula One world championship glory. Honda engines are now giving wings to the Red Bull team. But Honda are not complete petrolheads. In 1999 they launched their petrol/electric hybrid Insight – a month before Toyota’s Prius. Honda expects all its European cars to be fully electric by 2025, and interestingly they also

produce the Clarity, a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell hybrid, which they lease in California. Maybe we’ll hear more in that direction in the years ahead. Here in Wellington, I am introduced by Hamish Jacob at Honda Wellington to one of Honda’s most popular vehicles, the second generation HR-V. These cars sell all over the world – more than two million so far. According to Honda’s website, HR-V stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle. This practical and affordable utility vehicle is available in five guises: HR-VS, HR-V Active, HR-V Limited, HR-V RS and HR-V Sport NT. All are powered by a 1.8 litre VTEC 4-cylinder, 16-valve 105KW engine, but they offer different features. The interiors are spacious thanks to the compact packaging of that motor. All HR-V’s have ‘Magic seats’ in the rear, with 18 different configurations for carrying kids, furniture, surfboards, skis, bikes, and even animals. My first look at all that space reminded me of the time that I transported a goat called Bentley who had finished dealing with my florally cluttered garden and whose munching services were required by a friend with a similar problem. That was an interesting exercise. Hamish showed me into Honda’s sporty HR-V RS version, with designer wheels, black exterior trim, sports steering, and handling extras. As I drove it I discovered the intuitive touch-screen audio, multi-angle reversing camera, built-in navigation app and Lane Assist navigation. Turn on the indicators and a picture pops up of the turning side of the car. Brilliant. There is also electronic brake hold, which automatically holds the car in position at lights and releases as soon as the accelerator is pushed. And a ‘city brake’ (CTBA) which recognises the potential for a collision and brakes accordingly. It’s great to drive. Practical, however, doesn’t mean aesthetically challenged. The car is beautiful to behold, its body well proportioned with sensitive design and clever details. Part of Honda’s design DNA is to express the significance of what I regard as the world’s best invention. I love them.



Don't throw in the towel BY M E LO DY T H O M A S

This week I finally bit the bullet and called a couples counsellor for an appointment. We’ve been talking about it for a while – mostly just to get some tools for better communication, and to put to rest a few fights that seem to pop up again and again in slightly different forms. But like so many things when life (and especially life with kids) refuses to pause, seeing a counsellor was put on the back burner. This must be why so many psychologists don’t meet a couple until they’re near breaking point. Other things take priority and we tell ourselves the relationship will be fine, that we just need to get through this tough bit. And while we’re busy looking in every other direction, the foundation on which our union is built slowly erodes. Maybe this is one of those things where no matter how much someone warns you, you’ll never understand til you experience it first hand – but does anyone else feel like they weren’t adequately prepared for the challenges of long-term commitment? Sure, we hear that marriage is hard, but the way it's pitched implies a Great Walks of New Zealand-level hard – tough in places, requiring care and preparation but totally doable by basically anyone – when in reality it’s Mount Bloody Everest. Like, be prepared to kill yourself trying to get there, but if you survive the view is pretty sweet. Yes I’m being dramatic for the sake of a halfbaked metaphor, but when you stop to think what we’re actually expecting of ourselves when we enter into a 'til-death-do-we-part' union, it’s actually not too far off the mark. First you need to find someone you can talk to and laugh with and agree with on enough of the important stuff that the smaller stuff doesn't matter, who understands you and challenges you but in a respectful way, gets on with your mates and who you quite like being naked with too. Having completed that near-impossible task, you're then expected to maintain that same

level of happiness and lovingness and horniness for your ENTIRE lives, despite financial stress, depression, health scares, midlife crises, differing libidos, parenting differences, and constant lowlevel anxiety about the collapse of the planet? Under the circumstances, isn't it a wonder that anyone manages it? Of course some people do. Maybe like mine, your grandparents have been married for more than 50 love-filled years. But putting aside the fact that for many women of that generation leaving wasn't an option, it’s also worth pointing out that the expectations on a romantic union then were different. Back then your spouse wasn’t expected to be your best friend and single pillar of support; nor was the level of intimacy assumed to be that of two bare-naked souls communing in the spirit realm, their days filled with laughter and regular, deeply fulfilling sex. Not only is the pressure we put on modern relationships immense, but many of us find our communities eroded – the sense of connection we once got from a whole bunch of people increasingly expected from just one. From what I’m told during the research for my podcast BANG!, it can work. If you both really want it, you're both committed to putting in the work, and clearing time and space to prioritise your relationship (and as a bonus you’re in a position to be able to call in the experts for advice when needed), you can get there. There will probably be times when you want to throw in the towel. Having children is likely to amplify difference and erode common ground. But so long as the relationship is fundamentally good, these difficulties are actually all part of what makes the view so sweet. There is something wonderful about a relationship formed over decades, made resilient by a million tests through which each person made the conscious decision to stay.



S K AT E R GIRL Skate board instructor Melissa Warner will be teaching Wellington girls to kick flip, ollie, and grind at Waitangi Park, 10 and 24 November. Classes are run by Onboard Skate School, every fortnight from midday. Whether you want to learn how to simply stand on a board or to shred up the pavement, all levels are welcome. Bring your own board and safety equipment.




With the weather warming up it’s about time for firing up the BBQ or getting sunburnt at the cricket. T20 returns to the Westpac stadium where the Black Caps clash with England on 3 November. After a sour loss to England in the ODI world cup, the Black Caps will be out for revenge. The Wellington Firebirds also kick off their season with their first home game against Canterbury on 21 November at the Basin Reserve.

Mountain bikers and runners alike tremble when they hear its wretched name. Wellington’s undisputed gut buster the ‘Tip Track’ is not for the faint hearted, starting in Happy Valley Road and snaking its way up Hawkins Hill. This 16 November sees the return of what organisers call ‘everyone’s least favourite race’, six laps of the track to make up a marathon. Entry is free because if you actually want to do it, well, good on ya.

Pull on your pinkest and loudest outfit for the 5km or 10km Pink Star Walk. In New Zealand, more than 3,300 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The walk raises funds to help breast cancer research. The walk begins at 5pm at Frank Kitts Park, 9 November. Tickets at



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



There is a debate happening in my extended family about how much children should be protected from knowing about family issues including finance, sex, marital happiness etc. My view is that children should be sheltered from such issues unless it is essential that they know, and too much information too early has probably contributed the high incidence of depression and anxiety among teenagers. My daughter disagrees and overshares with her children and the world (in my view), with far too much personal detail, far more than I want to know about the state of her marriage, sex life, friends, finances, and family relationships. She says we kept too much from her. How do we determine an acceptable level? Sqeamish, Karori

My dear friends have asked me to be a godparent, to their new child. It’s their fourth. I don’t want any children of my own, I am not interested in any of their earlier children, and I don’t think they should keep on having more children. Am I allowed to say no? Grumpy, Kelburn

You can’t! Everyone is different and communicates in their own way, so let it be. It is unlikely that the blame for the huge issue of youth depression can be levelled at one factor. Opening up and keeping communication lines between children, parents, and family is the key – maybe your daughter is right? There is undoubtedly a time and place but ultimately ‘tell it as it is’ is surely not a bad thing?


Goodness! You sound pretty heartless for a dear friend! Having children is their decision and most consider it an honour and special to be asked to be involved as a godparent and to be part of the growing up of another human being. You should certainly say no – try to be pleasant – as you do not sound a good option and they should definitely ask a friend who is more supportive.

I think my, male, friend of 45+, has anorexia. He won’t countenance any discussion about it. How do I help him? F Tuck, Brown Owl He is an adult and may have had this many years ago – it does not really go away. Suggest he sees his doctor who can help and refer him to help. You do not know and should not guess, but clearly let him know you are a friend, are there for him if he needs you, and that you are concerned. Tell him what you are basing this diagnosis on and be prepared to help whatever. Good on you.

BU Y E R B EWA R E A parent at our kindy is a really bad baker, but is always generously donating items for our fundraising bake sales. Do we say anything? Or should we just hide the items and pretend they sold? I don’t feel we can sell them in good faith. Foodie, Aro Valley O dear – her/his heart is in the right place! Tricky but maybe next time suggest that a group of contributors do the same items, and provide the recipes: make it something easy – coconut ice. There is also that age-old reality of volunteer fundraising – let the buyer beware; or you could just put the things you receive out to sell. Everyone likes differently and you are not there to provide quality control.

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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HO HO HO Think November is too early to get into the Christmas Spirit? Think again. A Very Welly Christmas offers a host of family-friendly festive events from 23 to 24 November on Lambton Quay. Highlights include the arrival of an ecowarrior version of Santa via a ‘walking parade’ at midday on Saturday, and carol singing in Midland Park that night. From noon on Saturday and Sunday there’ll be live entertainment, an ice skating rink, a kids’ craft centre, and the chance to have your photo taken with Santa.

November S






































Walk down the aisle at Wellington’s Old St Paul’s

N ove m b e r



Performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet

TOAST MARTINBOROUGH Various vineyards around Martinborough, from 9.30am

Opera House, 6–9 November RUST + RESTORATION See historic films rescued by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


Te Puna Foundation Gallery at the National Library Building, until February

Empire Cinema, Island Bay, 6–18 November

HERE: FROM KUPE TO COOK An exploration of the first voyagers to NZ Pātaka Art and Museum, until 23 November


Italian film festival


Clareville Showgrounds, 1–3 November



NZSO perform Schubert’s Symphony, The Great


Michael Fowler Centre, 6.30pm

Sound art installations and live performances Wellington Museum, 7.30pm

Exhibition of work by Wellington Potters’ Association and Watercolour New Zealand Academy Galleries, 2–17 November

GRADUATION SHOW NZ School of Dance, 20–30 November




WELCOME TO THE DEATH CAFÉ A play about euthanasia BATS Theatre, 19–23 November





BEGINNERS JEWELLERY MAKING The Makers, Abel Smith Street, 9 & 20 November

PODIUM SERIES – RESURRECTION Mahler’s symphony Resurrection, performed by the NZSO with Voices NZ and the Orpheus Choir Michael Fowler Centre, 6.30pm





A showcase of art and artists working in and around Kāpiti

Julia Holden talks about her exhibition Her Indoors

DIWALI FESTIVAL TSB Arena and Shed 6, from 1.30pm, fireworks,9pm

Various locations, 2–3 and 9–10 November

Sarjeant On The Quay, Whanganui, 2pm YOU ARE HERE

MAHARA ARTS REVIEW Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, until December

3 BLACKCAPS VS ENGLAND T20 Westpac Stadium, 2pm

Exhibition of art work by Sharon Greally Art Walrus, 111 Taranaki St




Artist Chevron Hassett investigates his home suburb of Naenae


Toi Pōneke Art Centre

A five-week course about the night sky Space Place, Mondays from 4 November to 2 December, 7pm


SCI FI SUNDAYS: TREMORS Watch Tremors (1990), a family-friendly comedic horror film Space Place, 7pm


SOAP-MAKING WORKSHOP Wellington Apothecary, Cuba St, 6pm

30 SHED SERIES – UNWOUND Light, relaxing music performed by the NZSO Shed 6, 7.30pm

Three photographers explore windows, the horizon, and the still life


City Gallery

VERB FESTIVAL Annual writers’ festival in the capital


Various events and locations around Wellington, 6–10 November

City Gallery

A six-screen video installation showing fireworks

5 DON PASQUALE A comedic opera performed by Wanderlust Opera Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, 5–8 December


䰀甀氀甀 匀漀甀氀


䔀甀瀀栀漀爀椀愀 䴀愀愀椀欀攀

䰀攀洀漀渀 吀爀攀攀 吀爀愀瘀攀氀氀攀爀猀




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Capital 66  

Capital 66