Page 1







Th e C h r i st m a s issue

Wines of Distinction

Celebrate the best of the season with Palliser’s bubbly duo It’s hard to choose between The Griffin and The Rose, so we recommend getting both! Delectable bubbles that make any day an occasion.


Available at specialist wine stores & directly from palliser estate


PRECISION1™ contact lenses are tiny bits of genius that offer precise vision1, all-day comfort1, and are easy to wear1. What that really means is they give you the unstoppable freedom to do the things you’ve always dreamed of.

PRECISION1™ contact are#SeeWhatHappens tiny bits of genius that Trylenses them and offer precise vision1, all-day comfort1, and are easy to wear1. What that really means is they give you the unstoppable




Tiny bits of genius statement is based on the proprietary lens technology. *Professional Fees may apply. Until stock runs out. For first time contact lens wearers only. 1A prospective, controlled, double-masked, clinical trial to evaluate the performance of PRECISION1™; Alcon data on file, 2018 (available upon request). ©2019 Novartis. Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd: 1800 224 153, New Zealand: c\o PharmaCo, Auckland, NZ: 0800 101 106 NP4: A21903970590

freedom to do the things you’ve always dreamed of. Try them and #SeeWhatHappens

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTION FOR USE. Tiny bits of genius statement is based on the proprietary lens technology. *Professional Fees may apply. Until stock runs out. For first time contact lens wearers only. 1A prospective, controlled, double-masked, clinical trial to evaluate the performance of PRECISION1™; Alcon data on file, 2018 (available upon request). ©2019 Novartis. Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd: 1800 224 153, New Zealand: c\o PharmaCo, Auckland, NZ: 0800 101 106 NP4: A21903970590 77 Customhouse Quay


473 6275


PAGE GALLERIES 42 Victoria St Wellington 6011

Monday – Friday: 10am – 5:30pm Saturday: 10am – 4pm

+ 64 4 471 2636

Spy Valley Wines, for every moment worth toasting.

Seek Spy. Find why. Sustainably crafted // For wine lovers // #seekspy

Proudly distributed by Red + White Cellar -


Made in Wellington

Christmas angel Photography: David James Make up: Islay Payne Model: Freya Priest from Kirsty Bunny Management


his month we have gone all-out on things starry, sparkling, and festive; not least our Christmas fairy on the cover.

Sarah Lang enthuses about her starry experience in the planned dark sky reserve, and the benefits it will bring to the Wairarapa.

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

Gold was the first of the gifts presented by the Three Wise Men at Christmas and Francesca Emms took the opportunity to chat to recent arrival, goldsmith Rachael Bird. Our food writers the Shearers have provided special family recipes suitable for you to make as festive gifts and treats. And our annual play with traditional Christmas references continues. Each year we think we will come up with something better and each year we are amused by our own jokes and do another. In this issue it is Deck the Halls, with three fab Halls sharing with us the special dishes their family likes to enjoy each festive season.

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

We’re never quick to let a good idea drop, and you have told us before how much you enjoy it, so our annual sampling of the books people love to give and receive makes an appearance, this year compiled by Francesca Emms and Benn Jeffries.

Produced by Capital Publishing Ltd

And lest we become too comfortable, Ian Apperley crisply sums up some of the highs and lows of the year for the region; and, unusually for her, columnist Melody Thomas provides the sting in the tail with her account of native bees, Ngaro Huruhuru. In a grand ending to our year, the great civic developments that shaped the Capital are looked at by Matthew Plummer. And to take us into the next decade, Roger Walker reports from the Tokyo Motor Show on the mind-boggling future directions of motoring. Merry Christmas

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

See you in 2020 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.


Monday, Tuesday & Saturday: 16:00 - Late Wednesday - Friday: 12:00 - Late

Atlas Wellington 36 Customhouse Quay @atlas_wellington 04 471 1313


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

Contributors 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 | Elliot Martin

YOA N J O L LY Ph oto g r aph er Born and raised in a small French village, Yoan has been a Wellington resident for over a decade. He has his hand in many creative pies: photography, video, illustration & textile design. When not working, you will find him wandering around with a camera in one hand and a piece of cake in the other. @it.alredy.exists

SU Z A N N E LU ST IG I l lu str ator Suzanne was born and raised in the heart of the Netherlands. Her sense of adventure brought her to New Zealand about four years ago. Suzanne has a brain that never stops creating – she works as a graphic designer by day, and by night turns into an illustrator, pattern maker, screen printer, and experimental artist.

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.

DAV I D JA M E S Ph oto g r aph er David James aka Marlborough Lights is a photographer from Marlborough – though he calls Wellington his spiritual home. He regularly shoots fashion for retail and labels like Lela Jacob. Emotional images come first for David, who prefers a fun, energetic, low-fuss aesthetic.


E L L IO T M A RT I N Writi ng i ntern Elliot is a British music graduate who loves writing. Having written for UK publications and managed his own online magazine, he's now in New Zealand experiencing and writing about Wellington.

Beautiful wines of distinction that honour our unique, pristine winegrowing environment. CELLAR DOOR & RESTAURANT Summer Hours 7 days from 11am and Friday evenings.



Three Halls each share a special Christmas recipe















NEW BIRD Rachael Bird is the new chick at Partridge


22 THE GREAT WELLINGTON GIFT GUIDE Stocking fillers, treats, and special gifts


A IS FOR ... From Andy to Zealandia, Ian Apperley recaps the year


IC ONIC A beautifully painted church in a Wairarapa paddock



CUTTING SHA PE S Three infrastructure projects that made modern Wellington






Tanya’s nutty pies and Aunty Eleanor’s shortbread

Book picks from a Conchord, a councillor, and a cop (of the paranormal variety)



67 RE-VERSE Freya Daly Sadgrove introduces ‘The flexitarian’ by Rebecca Hawkes

O HOLY NIGHT The stars are brightly shining in Martinborough

74 MORE THAN A VIEW Annie Patterson’s Thorndon pad



PERFECT FIT I must admit I usually skip your car column (once it gets into the automotive jargon I’m lost) but I made the effort to read all of Hondamentalism because I’m a Honda fan too. I love my little Honda Fit, and now that someone in the know says it’s fine to be a Hondaphile I’m not ashamed to admit it! Claire, Trentham GUTTED As a recently diagnosed coeliac, your feature on bread was very painful for me. Those lovely photos had me salivating. Hot crusty bread with melty butter is definitely what I miss most. Although – has anyone found gluten free roti bread in Wellington? Or can someone start making it please? Hannah, Karori WO R D SM I T H S I think the title ‘Lawsuits and rugby boots’ is one of your best. Sam, Hataitai RON R AG E

Summer exhibitions open now

I’m sorry what? Hermione and Ron are NOT a power couple. Your own definition says ‘a relationship where both couples are equally as cool as each other.’ This is clearly not the case with Hermione and Ron, because Hermione is infinitely cooler (and smarter, braver, kinder, stronger and more interesting) than Ron. Shame on you. Potterhead, Wellington

Send letters to with the subject line Letters to Ed

Free entry image Baloji Peau de Chagrin/Bleu de Nuit 2018









Dead good Jasmine Johnson, a teenager from Wellington, will receive a year’s supply of burritos as a prize for designing the best Day of the Dead emoji – as chosen by Cartel Food Co co-founders, Melissa and Jason Phillips. ‘We choose Jasmine’s idea because she was creative and innovative. A lot of the entries were direct copies from the internet. We were inspired by her youthful creativity,’ says Melissa. Jasmine’s design will be presented to Unicode Consortium, the governing body that oversees emoji development.

BREND ON VENTER Favourite tattoo and why? The image of Osaka Castle on my left forearm. Why did you choose the design? Spending a sunset alone at Osaka Castle, I had a moment which changed my life. I realised how insane it was for a place like that to have been built such a long time ago, without technology. You could feel the power in the air. An elderly man I met showed me a secret place behind a pond, which ended up having one of the best scenic views of the castle. I took a photo on my film camera: the image I had tattooed. Since then, I have always tried to see the peace and beauty in the world, and my tattoo reminds me of that. Any regrets? My first tattoo was a shitty stick-and-poke I did myself, a dollar sign on my ankle. I don’t regret any of my tattoos, even though some look shitty – I kinda like them that way. Family – for or against? My dad isn’t keen on them, but he’s just glad I don’t have a face tattoo.

Two B a r k ye a h Depending on who you talk to, the New Zealand police dog calendar is a more anticipated drop than a Game of Thrones season. Featuring twelve adorable photographs of the pooches who help keep our streets clean, all funds raised by the calendar go towards the Police Dog Charitable Trust.



F i ve

S u m m e r l o v i n’

Three Fruity

Our South Coast Drink Bottle is inspired by kiwiana and sweet Wellington summers. Illustrated by Logan Smith, this eco-friendly flask will keep your wai chilled on scorching summer days at Scorching Bay. It's the ideal size, 500mls – big enough for two coffees, small enough not to weigh you down. Available exclusively at

An inside out fruit bowl won the Supreme Award at the ECC NZ Student Craft / Design Awards 2019. Ceramicist Oliver Cain’s Banana Fruit Bowls questions social constructions of shame and sexuality in a whimsical and light-hearted way. Victoria University students Samuel Bryan and Steven Almond received the ECC Lighting Award and the L'affare Innovation in Sustainability Award respectively. Sian Hosking Berge of Massey University Wellington took out the ECC Furniture & Product Design Award for BOU, a kitset balance bike.


Love h a te True-crime fans have been google-ing a small Kiwi town in the hope of finding out more about the murder of beauty queen Joy Ford 30-odd years ago. That’s a win for Wellington’s Laura Robinson, the co-writer, co-director, and producer of Kill Joy, a satirical podcast set in fictitious Sharon’s Valley. Those who’ve clicked to the game call it ‘hilarious’, ‘spot-on satire’, and ‘brilliant’. Others have tried to educate Amy, the podcast’s American host (played by Laura) on Kiwi culture, language, and facts. ‘I think the sweet sincerity of RNZ listeners gently telling Amy on twitter that “RNZ is not a college radio station” really takes the cake,’ says Laura.

Four Sugar Plum Stalwart of the Wellington dance scene, mum of Bret McKenzie (see page 68) and our own Welly Angel (see page 93) Deirdre Tarrant presents The Nutcracker. Enjoy Tchaikovsky’s famous melodies as young dancers from Tarrant Dance Studios bring their talents to the stage to tell this traditional story of Christmas magic. The Nutcracker, Hannah Playhouse, 7 & 8 December.

IT'S COOL TO KORERO Kei ngā wā e pua ai ngā puāwai o ngā kōwhai, ka kitea te nui o ngā kina e mōmona ana.


When the kōwhai blossoms the kina are fat!


TO O FEW Without action, Wellington city will face a shortfall of between 4,600 and 12,000 dwellings by 2047 according to the Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment (HBA) report released last month. ‘This makes the conversation about quality, affordable housing even more important,’ says Wellington Mayor Andy Foster. The HBA showed that Porirua City will face similar housing pressure. Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says that Porirua does not have enough housing either now or to meet future demand, and that housing affordability is getting worse.




At the Wellington Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Debate earlier this year Andy Foster said the city was looking at a rates rise of 70–80% over the next 10 years. According to the Chamber’s Chief Executive John Mitford, the Mayorto-be said: ‘We should be cutting that in half and I have a plan to do that.’ Milford says that’s ‘a big call’ so the Chamber of Commerce is ‘very keen to see his plan.’

‘Accessibility and transparency’ will be the new way forward for the South Wairarapa District Council now that Alex Beijen has been elected Mayor. Water has been a major issue for the area with two outbreaks of e.coli in Martinborough’s drinking water this year, and a highly unpopular proposal by previous councillors to dump waste water in South Featherston. Beijen says the public need to know the council is on track and to be kept informed of what's happening.

More than 2,800 people took part in a recent survey about the Naenae Pool, and the message was clear says Lower Hutt Mayor Barry Campbell. ‘People want the pool back, and quickly. They want everything they had returned, with some improvements to things like accessibility, the entrance way and the changing rooms.’ The pool complex was closed in April because of earthquake concerns. Council will look at the options this month.

Our hands-on Postgrad programmes provide industry exposure and real-world experience Master of Design Technology / Master of Software Development / Master of User Experience Design / Master of Professional Business Analysis


BIG BRAIN ISSUES Nineteen Wellington-led projects, tackling issues such as climate change, gender-based violence, and the potential extinction of the kākāpō, have received funding from the government’s Marsden Fund. Associate Professor Sue Jackson from Victoria University’s School of Psychology received $842,000 for her research project entitled ‘#MeToo: A Cultural Shift? Young New Zealanders’ Exposure and Responses to Sexual Harassment Media’. Professor David Ackerley from Victoria’s School of Biological Sciences received $960,000 to look into how entirely new antibiotic resistance genes evolve.



Drax Project have received the International Achievement | Tohu Tutuki o te Ao Award at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. The group began busking on the streets of Wellington while studying jazz, and last year won Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Drax Project are best known for their 2017 single Woke Up Late which was certified triple platinum in New Zealand, took out the 2018 VNZMA Single of the Year, and was certified double platinum in Australia earlier this year.

More water tanks are popping up around Porirua. The 25,000-litre emergency water tanks are part of the council’s plan to ensure the city has water sources in the aftermath of any potential disaster says Porirua City’s Manager of Emergency Management, Scott Martin. ‘People may see the tanks turning up in their neighbourhoods. Council will continue to do this work. We see it as our responsibility.’

W HA L E T R A I L Hoardings have been set up around the intended site of a sculpture, Tohorā, designed by New Zealand artist Kereama Taepa (Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa), at Te Uruhi/Maclean Park in Paraparaumu Beach. The nearly 10-metre sculpture will symbolise the journey of whales and other travellers through Te Rau o te Rangi – the strait between Kāpiti Island and the mainland. The work will be unveiled in early 2020.

“I learned the whole production PipEline from experienced industry professionals” Enrol now for 2020 at

A customised classic 2019 has seen BurgerFuel release three innovative and successful alternative protein and meat free campaigns, and now the New Zealand company are teaming up with Australian group, The Alternative Meat Co. Throughout December, BurgerFuel will be offering a customised classic, The Alternative Muscle. Available for a limited time only, this special is an alternative take on their successful gourmet beef burger, the American Muscle. Emulating the taste profile but with a patty produced by The Alternative Meat Co. that was formulated to look, cook and taste like real beef. This new to market patty is similarly paired with melted cheddar, tangy sandwich pickles, Dijon Mustard, batch-brewed tomato relish and free range BurgerFuel Aioli all encased between a large artisan wholemeal bun. The Alternative Meat Co. patty is 100% plant-based, vegan friendly, packed with protein and fibre sourced from plant ingredients and is non-GMO and palm oil free. The company from Down Under have been crafting their patty for those that want to reduce their beef intake, promoting healthy plant-based diets where possible.

BurgerFuel is offering this alternative to those interested in a flexitarian or reducetarian based lifestyle. Believing that this customised classic, cooks, tastes and looks just like any other burger in their famous smashed juicy, 100% pure grass fed NZ beef range. Designed for anyone looking for a change and prompting the idea for people to practice Flexi Friday and other meat-free days, The Alternative Muscle comes as a large gourmet burger which will truly satisfy all curious eaters. Available for a limited time, this special edition burger will be available at all 56 stores nationwide while stocks last.

Alternative Muscle Alternative Meat Co. patty


American Muscle 100% grass-fed NZ beef


12 days of blitheness ‘Twas the night before deadline and all through the ‘hood the cries of your columnist burst forth in flood, ‘Why do I wait till the last?’ he enquired ‘It means I‘ve no time to finish the rhyme scheme for my cheesy introduction….’ 12 facts about Wellington, to be sung to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas.



Wellington food banks


% of commuters in Wellington walk to work

million tonnes of cargo handled by Ports of Wellington each year




sister cities


surf breaks

Sydney & Canberra in Australia, Beijing, Xiamen & Tianjin in the People's Republic of China, Sakai in Japan, Harrogate in United Kingdom, Hania in Greece, Çanakkale in Turkey.

Arras, Terrace, Mount Vic, Seatoun, Karori, Northland, Moa Point, and Hataitai Bus

Breaker Bay, Moa Point, Lyall Bay, Houghton Bay, Island Bay, Plimmerton, Titahi Bay




general electorates

railway liiiines

local tribes

Hutt South, Mana, Ōhāriu, Remutaka, Rongotai, and Wellington Central

Hutt Valley, Melling, Kapiti, Johnsonville, Wairarapa

Te Āti Awa ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tara



LOTR films

Flight of the Conchords

produced here... and we’re still banging on about it 18 years later

members living in the city

Compiled by Craig Beardsworth 19

1 And a bucket fountain that spills water on your feeeeet


Drummer boy W R I T T E N BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N N A B R I G G S




Cicio Cacio





Time and Again by Jack Finney

Kikagaku Moyo

Taiko drummer Jos Coolen knows how to activate spaces


hen Jos Coolen joined Taikoza, a traditional Taiko drumming performance group, the tall Dutchman had to import his pants. ‘My long legs give me some trouble finding a good fit in New Zealand, a typical problem for Dutch people,’ he laughs. The pants he wears for Taikoza performances were imported from a shop in the Netherlands that specialises in long legs. And it’s not just costuming that can be a bit tricky for him. ‘The most challenging part in Taiko drumming is probably the stance that we use in some pieces where we play low to the ground, where our knees are bent so much that its almost at the same level as the hip. For a tall Dutch person like myself it takes quite a bit of commitment to get that low but it’s very satisfying when you manage to do it.’ Jos arrived in New Zealand five years ago. Looking for a way to be socially active, and with a background in percussion, he found Taikoza was the perfect fit. ‘It is a great way to empty your mind and release your energy. As Taiko drumming is quite physical and can be a good workout, it saves you a gym membership as well.’ He now manages the day-to-day activity of the group, which includes performances, lessons, and group practice. Taikoza often perform in public spaces, something Jos is passionate about as a performer and as a designer of urban spaces. By day, Jos is an urban designer at Boffa Miskell. ‘This involves planning and designing the environment around us in a way so that we all have an attractive and

sustainable world to live, work, and play in.’ He says his ambition for both his work and drumming is ‘to activate our city's open spaces and see those places as playgrounds for creativity and where random things happen.’ It’s no surprise that Jos’ weekends are Taiko heavy. But he makes time to get himself down to the Harbourside markets on a Sunday (usually as a shopper but sometimes performing too). ‘Nothing can beat Wellington’s waterfront. Everything that makes our city awesome comes together here; people meeting each other, street performers, ice cream, wildlife, people running or working out, or just hanging out in the grass. Even the wind. The quality of life is so much better in spaces that are designed for people, away from cars. Who doesn't like to be surprised by a random person producing some beautiful tunes on the piano?’ Living in Hataitai with his partner Bertie, Jos enjoys their garden overlooking Evans Bay, ‘with noisy birds and beautifully coloured flowers everywhere’. His favourite coffee spot is Coolsville in Hataitai, and for a dinner out he likes Cicio Cacio in Newtown for its ‘very authentic, and delicious food.’ Italy is Jos’ favourite place outside New Zealand, although the cold Himalayan mountaintops in Nepal and the hot temperatures of the Pacific Islands are close contenders. Italy takes top spot because of the ‘great food, history, diverse nature and a very rich culture. I admire how people in Italy celebrate everyday life.’





3. 5.




The great Wellington gift guide



1. Extensive range of art, homewares, books, clothing, beauty products and jewellery.

2. The Limited Edition AIR Essential Oil Blend & Burner – Made in Wellington.

3. Designed & printed in NZ on 100% black cotton canvas eco bags. Spread some Aroha.

4. Handmade in our Wellington Studio, celebrating Aotearoa’s unique wildlife.

Stylized New Zealand Tui, $64.90, Te Papa Store

AIR Essential Oil Burner, $110, Wellington Apothecary

Aroha nui Tote Bag, $38, Natty

Feather Bracelet by The Wild, From $220, The Makers

5. Quality unisex hoodie for all beer lovers. Support local, wear local, drink local.

6. Grow our land, not our landfill, and give a gift that matters this Christmas.

7. Everyone’s favourite shopping bag has just gone into 70s mode!

8. Add a retro twist with a beautiful recycled blanket cushion cover.

9. Intense skin nourishment using all natural, organic, plant based ingredients.

Choice Bros Hoodie, $75, Husk Bar & Eatery

Gift a native tree, $10,

Baggu Shopping Bags, $20, Mooma

Kombi Cushion Cover, $60, Wellington Museum

Intense moisturiser, $38,




















19. 17.


10. We curate a new roaster each month and deliver fresh coffee to your door.

11. Share the best that Wellington has to offer, this box has something for everyone.

12. Know a cheese lover? Cheese Cartel boxes feature artisan NZ cheeses delivered to your door.

13. An elegant Méthode Traditionnelle rosé that is perfect for special celebrations.

14. Made in Italy from beautiful oiled beech wood, the classic Lyre easel.

Coffee Subscription Box, $20,

Leeds Street Box, $49,

Cheese Cartel CheeseBox, $66,

Tohu Rewa Rosé, $40, Tohu Wines

Mabef M13 Classic Lyre Easel, Christmas Special $169.00, Gordon Harris

15. Enjoy the summer with fruited sour beer from Maiden Brewing Co.

16. This is the perfect gift to glam up any festive table. Christmas Table Arrangement, From $75, Juliette Florist

18. Made locally at Pickle & Pie, these pickles are the perfect gift for foodies.

19. Indian wooden box with drawers and brass fittings.

The Multiverse Series, $8.50 – $10, Maiden Brewing Co.

17. This portable grill is perfect for endless Summer BBQ’s at home or the beach! Everdure Cube Charcoal BBQ, $249.99, Palmers Miramar

Bread & Butter Pickles, $13, Pickle & Pie

Hand carved jewellery box, $99.99 Trade Aid



LOOK AGAIN Wellington photographers Shaun Waugh and Harry Culy, along with Australian Justine Varga, take on the three biggest clichés in photography – the window, the horizon, and the still life – in News from the Sun, a new exhibition at City Gallery (until March). They’ve each taken one motif and manipulated it beyond the cliché. Culy tackles the horizon and twists beauty and life into horror and death, presenting photographs taken from a notorious suicide spot at various times of day.




Hands up if you’ve watched the short films showing on the screen in Mason’s Lane. Where, you ask? Instead of sneaking into lifts between Lambton Quay and the Terrace, take the steps in Mason’s Lane and view the screen installed on the wall. The current flick is a hand-animated collage called Not My Autobiography? by Rachel O'Neill. ‘The brooding aura of the concrete thoroughfare is perfect for the screening of a low-fi psychological thriller,’ says Rachel. Mason’s Screen has been playing short films since February 2016. Who knew?

Originally composed for Easter, Handel’s Messiah has become a renowned Christmas event. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual recital of the oratorio on 7 December at the Michael Fowler Centre. Graham Abbott, who has conducted the work more than 70 times, will be joined by four soloists including New Zealand’s Anna Pierard (pictured), who returns to the mezzo-soprano part after moving up to soprano.

Producing an album over the course of a year is an achievement for any artist, but the Spectre Collective decided to do a ‘King Gizzard’ and release three in the past 12 months. Ahead of their fourth studio album release in January 2020, the psychedelic-jazz infused band have curated a live show (Wellington Museum, 14 December). Our musicgrad intern describes the Wellington trio’s sound as merging almost every genre, leaving him in awe.


Hemp hemp hooray, organic peanut butters to enliven your day!








HEMPALCHEMY NZ organic fairtrade fairtrade organic cotton cheeky NZ made goodness cheeky goodness Workroom 42 Naples St, Martinborough open 10am - 1pm every saturday

Hemp is at the heart of what we do. New Zealand made Hemp skincare. Come find us on Instagram & Facebook @hempalchemynz


PA C I F I C POWER HOUSES Pati Umaga (left) received the inaugural Pacific Toa Artist Award of $10,000, which recognises the outstanding contribution of a Pasifika artist with the lived experience of disability, at this year’s Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika Awards. Umaga has a long career as a music artist and songwriter. Another Wellingtonian, actor, director, and producer Eteuati Ete received the Senior Pacific Artist Award ($25,000). Ete is best known as one half of the comedic duo Laughing Samoans.




Porirua-born artist Wayne Youle says his parents and mentors sayings’ over the many years have inspired his solo exhibition 20/20 words of wisdom, which opens at Pātaka on 15 December. Becoming a parent has also been an influence. My fact is no match for your fiction is a work based on conversations with his child on the nature of the sun and Māori legends.

Moses Viliamu, Zac Mateo, and Jack Kirifi will represent Tokelau at The Festival of Pacific Art & Culture in Hawaii in June 2020. The trio of artists have known each other since they were at high school in Porirua. Their three-part installation, Cry of the Stolen People, tells of the enslaving of Tokelauan people by Peruvian pirates. ‘The blackbirding of Tokelauans by the Peruvians in the 1860s is an important part of our history but is not spoken about much,’ says Mateo. Viliamu says the people of Tokelau are very humble, ‘but this means our stories don’t get told as much as other cultures.’

Wellingtonians Megan Dunn, Jane Arthur, Pip Adam (pictured), Tina Makareti, and Maria Samuela are among the 20 writers offered Michael King Writers’ Centre residencies in 2020. The MKWC Trust says that during their time in Devonport’s Signalman’s House, writers will work on two memoirs, seven novels and short story collections, three children’s books, two stage plays, two collections of poetry, and four non-fiction projects.



Art for Christmas

A retro Christmas treat

The Stranglers + Mi-Sex

Jane Hyder will exhibit her archival framed prints at the annual resident artist group’s cash ‘n carry exhibition Toi 3 Hundy. Visit her in Studio 21 noon–3pm on Saturday 15 December for original artworks, cards and prints. Exhibition opens 5.30pm, Thursday 12 December.

Treat yourself and your family to a classic Christmas comedy in the Space Place planetarium movie theatre. ‘A Christmas Story’ will lighten the end of the year for all. Enjoy good ol’ fashion humour at its best. $15 per person.

Don’t miss the double-bill of the Kiwi summer, live at the Opera House in February. From The Stranglers’ favourites like Golden Brown, Skin Deep, and Peaches, to Mi-Sex hits like Computer Games and People - get ready for the soundtrack to your life!

12-21 December, Toi Pōneke, 61 Abel Smith St.

Sunday 15th December, 7pm Space Place, Carter Observatory, 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn.

Friday 14 February 2020 111 Manners St, Te Aro, Wellington.

Kuki Koori

1980 Tour: Midge Ure + Mockers

Spectre Collective

Iain Gordon (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and his electronic instruments lay down a trail of hypnotic notes to be chased by Mick Finn’s swirling and ephemeral dashes of painted light then projected onto the large circular theatre screen of the planetarium. $15pp, doors open 8pm show starts at 8.30pm.

Live Aid and Ultravox legend Midge Ure brings his Band Electronica to the Hunter Lounge to perform Ultravox’s classic Vienna album, plus more hits from these pioneering 80s influencers. Also performing are The Mockers with a full-length set of their Kiwi classics.

Mischievous catchy grooves, dreamy sci-fi dance numbers, hectic polyrhythmic beats from Jonathan Shirley, Lochie Noble & Will Agnew. Also joined by musicians Anita Clark (Motte), Hunter Jackson (Doprah) & Riley Dick (Transistor). Expect an unpredictable eclectic set comprised of new, old & spontaneous atmospheric explorations. Koha, doors open 8pm show starts at 8.30pm.

Sunday 8th December Space Place, Carter Observatory, 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn.

Sunday 8 March, 2020 Hunter Lounge @ Vic Uni, 1 Kelburn Parade.


Saturday 14th December 3 Jervois Quay, Wellington.

Wellington Sat, 7 Dec, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre


Graham Abbott Conductor Celeste Lazarenko Soprano Anna Pierard Mezzo-soprano Andrew Goodwin Tenor Hadleigh Adams Bass Orpheus Choir of Wellington Handel Messiah





Summer at Te Manawa Museum

Being Chinese in Aotearoa

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.

Te Manawa Museum in Palmerston North offers a range of summer experiences in Art, Science and Heritage, including five art galleries with seasonal collections displays, the historic Santa’s Cave celebrating 100 years, and the hands-on science interactive ‘Mighty Small, Mighty Bright’.

Explore 175 years of Chinese life in NZ through rich and varied stories, and compelling, rarely seen photographs. New artwork in response to the exhibition, created by Wellington-based artist Kerry-Ann Lee, is being shown at the same time. Free entry.

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

Daily from 1 Dec 326 Main Street, Palmerston North.

21 Nov–16 Feb Shed 11, 60 Lady Elizabeth Lane Wellington Waterfront.

s n o i t a l u Congrat TIM FAIRBROTHER

National recognition from your premium business partners


Gift ideas that twinkle. Things we love for those you love. All thoughtfully & carefully curated to make choosing that special something just that little bit easier.

cnr Blair & Wakefield Streets, Wellington / 0800 22 67 67

Jewellery for Wearers of Makers

Open 10 - 6 Wednesday to Friday and Saturday 10 - 4 65 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington Rosehip drops by Tomas Richards


New bird BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N N A B R I G G S


achael Bird’s mother has a wooden jewellery box with little drawers in it. It’s full of all sorts of jewels and trinkets. As a little girl Rachael loved going through them all, looking at all the different colours and styles. A pair of diamond and ruby earrings were particular favourites. She remembers holding them up to her ears as a small child and watching them sparkle. ‘They’re tiny studs. An old-cut diamond with a ruby below, set in yellow gold,’ says Rachael. The old style cut of the diamond is a clue the earrings are probably from the eighteenth or nineteenth century, perhaps passed down through the family. ‘I hope they’ll be passed to me,’ says Rachael with a laugh (she has a sister who might want them too). As a goldsmith Rachael deals with family jewels regularly. She spends her days creating high-end jewellery, setting precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds into platinum and gold. Often pieces are brought in to be updated and remodelled. ‘I reuse diamonds and gem stones so the sentimentality is still attached.’ If she does get the earrings, though, she won’t change them. Rachael had an interest in art and creating from a young age. She credits helping her dad with woodwork and DIY with fostering her interest in ‘creating three dimensional objects.’ She completed a Bachelor of Arts in jewellery and silversmithing and worked in the jewellery industry in the UK for 15 years before immigrating to New Zealand specifically to work for Partridge Jewellers in Wellington. Rachael had her own bespoke jewellery business in the UK but saw the job at Partridge Jewellers as a chance to ‘level up, career wise’. She already knew of the firm. ‘They’re known for


their high-end jewellery and the quality and love that they put into their family business. I’d heard that Partridge Jewellers were a great company to work for.’ Rachael applied for the job, and accepted it – without ever having been to New Zealand. James Timothy Partridge, the grandson of a manufacturing jeweller from Devon, set up shop in Timaru in 1864. James’ three sons all became jewellers and the youngest, Linnaeus Partridge, headed to Wellington in 1898. He set up a small workshop in Willis St making everything from medals to trophies and Prime Ministerial gifts. His son, Cecil Linnaeus Partridge, became known for his intricate engraving. Cecil’s son, Raymond Partridge, became involved in the 50s and opened up on Lambton Quay and Cuba Street. After Raymond, Partridge Jewellers continued as a family affair. It’s now led by Grant Richard Partridge, and Grant’s daughter Nicola and son Sam are both involved in the business. Moving to the other side of the world was always going to be a bit stressful, but Rachael has found her workmates, and Wellingtonians in general, to be welcoming. She’s enjoying living in a small city, close to the sea and full of arts and culture. Since joining Partridge Rachael’s been busy setting up their new bespoke workshop and fabricating one-off pieces in the studio, working alongside store designer Janet and gem specialist Jolanta. The bespoke service allows clients to be involved in the design process, something Rachael loves. ‘The best part of being a goldsmith is seeing the client’s dreams come to life. I enjoy taking a client on the journey of initial concept through to the finished jewellery, and seeing the happiness it brings to them.’


A is for... A satirical A-Z of the year that was



is for Andy

Wellington, in stasis over key issues, has voted in a new mayor. It will be an uphill battle with a diametrically opposed councillor base, interference from central government, and a city that is choking on its own success.


is for Buses

The ‘bustastrophe’ has set Wellington transport back decades, with cars filling roads where a once average public transport system at least got people from A to B. Can the Greater Wellington Regional Council restore the service or are we doomed to a failed system?


is for Cycleways

We have seen more and more cycleways implemented, though you could argue they were not always built in the most effective places. Rather than being brave and putting cycleways where they were most needed, decision makers opted for PR points by choosing the most unintrusive places to build with the best views, because we all love a nice photo-shoot.


is for Disaster

Following earthquakes in recent years, buildings are still being closed, strengthening work has been at an all-time high, and Civic Square has been a casualty. It’s rumoured there are more buildings to be closed and while the council has claimed leadership wins in this area, more transparency would have been beneficial for businesses that have lost their homes.


is for Environment

The clamour around climate change reached a crescendo with a ‘climate emergency’ declared – another perfect PR moment for campaigning councillors, who fell over themselves in the rush to join the bandwagon. Of course, there is no actual plan to combat climate change, but you can’t blame a politician for sounding the fire alarm to their own benefit.


is for Film

Avatar is being filmed in multiple locations in Wellington, along with other large productions. With more feature films in the pipeline, the industry is in very


fine shape. Production facilities are fully booked and no doubt more are planned.


is for Government

Our capital city is home to the government, and its relationship with the council is in poor shape. With continued accusations of interference in local body politics while refusing to get involved in the hot issues, Central Government is losing credibility in the city.


is for Housing

House prices continue to increase, rents are on the up, insurance is rising, and rates are spiralling out of control. It is becoming increasingly unaffordable to live in Wellington, and there is no easy fix.


is for Immigration

With just under 209,000 residents, Wellington City has attracted 6.2% growth since 2013. This is the lowest growth rate of any city in the Wellington region, despite rumours of our economic prowess; and with limited real estate it is likely to continue.


is for Justin

The outgoing mayor of the city had a good year with some wins on the board but fell at the last hurdle. We’re interested in what he turns his hand to next, as you can be sure that we have not heard the last of him in politics and business.


is for Kite

Wellington retained its title as the world’s windiest city, and the gales from the north and south mean we have no chance of losing this accolade anytime soon. A kite is an essential accessory for Wellington, along with a reinforced umbrella. Wise Wellingtonians know that spring is the time to plan a long holiday away from this magnificent wind tunnel.


is for LGWM

Let’s Get Wellington Moving has been the greatest disappointment to transport reformers in living memory, and shows no sign of making progress. After five years we are still being ‘consulted,’ and absolutely nothing has happened or shows any sign of happening in the next five years.


is for Meet and Eat

Wellingtonians love to meet and eat, and with more cafes, bars, and restaurants per capita than New York, there is no end of places to congregate and commune. We’re at capacity though, with hospo starting to see some casualities around the edges of the industry.


is for Nasty

As we head into the general election, attack politics and nasty tactics are already emerging on social media and other platforms. For a traditionally passive country, we sure can be nasty when it comes to politics and the war machines are firing up for a busy year.


is for Obsolete

Obsolete before it’s built, the Convention Centre started construction this year despite good evidence that globally demand for them is failing. We’ll end up propping this white elephant up for years.


is for Property Developers


is for Queues

Loved and loathed, property developers spent much of the year in the media limelight and found themselves involved in many political machinations, often due to their own public relations ineptitude.

Transport in Wellington has become so afflicted by congestion that Wellingtonians are having to learn that great Northern skill, being stuck in a queue. Whether from the airport, to the Hutt Valley or the Kapiti Coast, or just across suburbs, queues are building every day.


is for Roadworks

Whoever invented the humble orange road cone must be a multi-millionaire, because there are tens of thousands of them scattered across the city. Roadworks have become a perennial activity to the point where a stop-go job is currently an attractive career option.


is for Sustainability

As we fill up our Southern Landfill and the climate change sirens blare, sustainability has made some little progress this year with the banning of plastic bags in supermarkets, the return of paper, and reusable containers being accepted across the city. More needs to be done; however the principle is finally being embraced.


is for Tooting


is for Universities

Tunnels have been a hot topic of the year, with many lobby groups hooting and tooting their messages about what should be done. A city councillor’s call to ban tooting made global news and even spawned an episode of Wellington Paranormal, reaching large audiences.

Universities generated some top issues, with a major fight over renaming one spilling across the political arena, and increasing costs causing major concern for students in an environment where accommodation is scarce.



is for Voting

Voter turnout this year in the council elections was the worst in over a decade, with just 39.9% of eligible voters bothering to fill in and return papers. The council is losing perceived relevance and with significant trust issues having arisen, this will continue to be a downward trend.


is for WoW

With 108 finalist garments, 115 designers, 22 countries represented, and an audience of 60,000 the World of Wearable Arts continued to show its strength and popularity. Wellington is a magnetic destination for the arts, and despite rumours of its demise, the opposite is proving to be true.


is for Gen-X


is for Youth


is for Zealandia

Stuck between the Millennials and the Boomers, Gen-X (born 65 to 80) has quietly beavered away in the city watching with some trepidation and amusement the ongoing conflict between the two generations. One thing is for certain; the war needs to stop for the city to grow, with both parties critical to our future.

The average age of the council fell this year as two young people, Tamatha Paul and Teri O’Neill, joined the Wellington city council table. It will be a baptism of fire, with tough portfolios assigned to both.

Wellington’s secret 500-acre sanctuary goes from strength to strength, boasting the most biodiversity-rich square mile of mainland New Zealand in terms of species living in the wild. In some ways it represents the wider city: diverse, unique, an environmental wonder, and worth sharing while protecting.



Deck the Halls P H OTO G R A P H Y BY YOA N J O L LY

The holiday season is squarely upon us – time to ditch work in favour of festivity, family, and (most importantly) food. Melody Thomas speaks with three Halls about their signature Christmas dishes, and how they all come together on the day.



‘Ota ika (Serves 4) 500g fresh fish fillets (choose a firm white fish, such as moki, snapper, mullet) 400ml coconut milk (if canned, shake well) 1 capsicum, diced 3 large lemons/limes, squeezed ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced A couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes, diced 3 spring onions, finely diced chilli to taste, finely diced salt and pepper to taste

The recipe is incredibly simple! We usually eyeball the quantities, so there is definitely room to change things up depending on what you like. I start by washing the fish and cutting it into bite-sized pieces before squeezing over the lemon/lime juice and adding a sprinkle of salt. Mix well and leave to marinate in the fridge for anywhere from an hour to overnight depending on how you like your fish – I usually stick to around three hours, and halfway through give it a good mix. While waiting, I pick the vegetables from my grandpa's garden and prepare them. When the fish is ready, drain the lemon juice if you like, though I prefer to keep some for extra flavour. Mix the fish well with the diced vegetables and coconut milk and finish with seasoning and chilli to taste. Serve chilled with taro, cassava, kumara, yams, green bananas (all of which are traditionally cooked in an ‘umu/hāngi). It will separate, so be sure to enjoy it that day!


Jasmine Hall

love for us was through her cooking,’ says Jasmine. Sesa was known for her cooking – as well as being a primary teacher, she visited villages in Tonga to run cooking classes for women. ‘Tongan food is a beautiful reminder of her at Christmas.’ This year, Jasmine will make one of her favourite Tongan dishes, ’ota ika, which is like a Polynesian ceviche made with raw fish marinated in lemon juice till the flesh turns opaque (there are similar recipes all over the Pacific). ‘I’ve always loved it. It's simple and fresh and lets the ingredients speak for themselves.’ In Tonga, ‘ota ika is made for special occasions, though as long as you have access to fresh fish it can be eaten anywhere, anytime. ‘It's even more delicious in the islands as you would catch the fish and make your own coconut milk,’ says Jasmine, ‘It really captures the heart of island cooking.’

December is a busy time for Jasmine Hall – she’s two years into her PhD in pure maths, and this month will be chocka with conferences and summer tutoring. But Christmas itself always has been and always will be about family. Nearly every year for as long as she can remember, Jasmine has had Christmas with her maternal grandparents Sesa and Tevita in Tawa. Jasmine’s mum is Tongan and her dad is English, so Christmas dinner features the best of both – roast and a trifle, and sapasui, lū, 'ota ika, haka, 'otai and keke. Food has always been one of Jasmine’s favourite parts of Christmas, but it means even more to her since Sesa passed away in late 2014. ‘Sesa was a wonderful cook and one of the ways she showed her




Cut the beef chunks into small pieces, then pound meat and rub each piece with salt and pepper. Heat butter or bacon drippings in skillet until very hot. Brown meat thoroughly on both sides. Shortly before meat is done, add onions, and fry lightly, but not to the point of browning. Place meat in a covered baking dish (or slow cooker). To drippings and onions in skillet add water, vinegar, mustard, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and pour over meat. Cover meat and simmer very gently for 2–3 hours at 350º until very tender, turning meat every half-hour, or if using slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

(Dutch Spiced Beef) 3 lb round steak, cut into six pieces salt and pepper ½ cup butter or bacon drippings 3 medium onions, sliced 1 cup water 3 tablespoons vinegar ½ tablespoon mustard 1 bay leaf ½ teaspoon whole cloves 5 peppercorns


Kylie Hall

about Sinterklass, a tradition harking back to their Dutch heritage which, on seeing family in Holland celebrating every year, Kylie decided looked like too much fun to miss. Here, the Halls celebrate with a family dinner and the sharing of little treats or Dutch chocolates. Kylie decided to cook Runderlappen for the Sinterklass meal after close consultation with her Dutch cousin Mavis, because it read like a recipe that everyone (‘including my grandparents’) would enjoy. The recipe is simple, especially using a slow cooker as Kylie does, which comes with a bonus: ‘This delicious aroma fills the house and we start to think how we want to serve it, with fresh crusty bread, or on rice, or just by itself,’ she says. ‘Some years I make it with my Dutch grandad, Nick, and he can not believe how easy it is to make and how subtle the spices are.’

Kylie Hall teaches eight and nine-year-olds at Berhampore School. She’s one of those teachers who’s adored by every kid she ever taught, in large part because she loves her job. But that’s not to say she doesn’t look forward to the holidays. Come November, when everyone else is bemoaning the too-early appearance of Christmas decorations and gift wrap in the shops, Kylie Hall and her mum Jenny are celebrating: this is the signal they’ve been waiting for, to start planning the year’s festivities. ‘We love to go through all the boxes of decorations and remember when and where we got a favourite decoration,’ she says ‘This year we have our eye on a Christmas flamingo.’ The official start of the Hall family Christmas season is the first weekend in December, this is when they decorate the tree and the house. Then they think



Audrey’s broken glass 255g jelly (3 packets, though we use 4 for more colour) 375ml pineapple juice 1 1/2 tbs gelatine powder 300ml thickened cream 3–4 cups hot water

Set the jellies individually, using 1 cup of hot water for each jelly. Once they’re set, cut them into small cubes and set aside. Meanwhile stir the gelatine into half of the pineapple juice and heat gently while stirring, or zap it in the microwave for about 60 seconds. Once it’s dissolved, add the leftover pineapple juice and chill for about 10 minutes (be careful not to let it set). Then mix the pineapple juice mixture with the cream and add the cut-up jellies. Rinse a jelly mould in water but don’t dry it; Put everything in the mould and refrigerate until set. To help release the jelly from the mould, sit it in hot water in the sink for a bit, making sure no water enters the mould.


Warren Hall

for cooking, the little silver coins were returned to her in exchange for current currency, so her precious collection didn’t diminish. While there are a bunch of family recipes used by his siblings, like fish pie and lambs brains with white sauce, Warren tends to throw things together without a recipe, enjoying combining unusual flavours (one favourite is seared tuna with freshly ground coffee beans). Warren’s mum passed away three years ago, just before her 92nd birthday, and his dad in April this year at age 95, so this will be his first Christmas without both of them. ‘It will be a bit sad, but we’ll all toast them on Christmas Day. I’m not a religious person, but I do believe our parents live on in us, just by way of the genes they pass to us and the parts of their personalities that we picked up from them.’

Warren Hall is taking what some would consider a risk this Christmas – he's making a family recipe for the very first time. He’s not too worried about it though; despite the impressive presentation he reckons it looks pretty straight forward. Broken Glass was one of his mum Audrey’s signature desserts – loved equally by adults and kids: ‘It looks like a mosaic of broken glass, and it tastes like a cross between jelly and ice cream. That’s what sets it apart,’ he says. Mum’s other specialty was a steamed pudding that she would cook with silver threepences inside. In later years, when coins were no longer made of a metal safe




The Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration is an architectural curiosity in the Wairarapa landscape and a source of intense public interest. Marguerite Tait-Jamieson takes a look inside.

Entering the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration is stepping into a whole new world. The rich colour, distinctive iconography, and beauty of the interior are in sharp contrast to the simplicity of many Roman Catholic and especially Protestant churches. This little church has been sitting plonked in a paddock in the middle of the farming community, for forty years. It arose from the vision of two men – one a Greek immigrant, George Pantelis, and the other a young art student, Stephen Allwood. George came to New Zealand in the 70s and settled in Masterton. He ran a restaurant which catered for people with a penchant for large steaks and very late nights. George was large

and extremely strong, with a personality to match, well able to deal with any stroppy diners. He wanted to build a church in the Wairarapa to leave a legacy, and because he was extremely devout. George had formed a friendship with a trustee of the Methodist Church, and through him found and shifted the church at Mauriceville to form part of the church that now stands on Paierau Road, just north of Masterton. The remainder of the building was added using material he found in the district. The stainless steel dome was manufactured by a local company, Progressive Engineering. The church is constructed in the form of a cross and is divided into three areas: the narthex, the nave, and the sanctuary. Centuries ago the



narthex, just inside the entrance, was the place where catechumens (unbaptized learners) and penitents remained during parts of the services. It’s the area where the faithful make an offering, receive a candle, light it before an icon, and offer a personal prayer before joining the congregation. The nave is the large central area of the church. This church follows the old custom of having an open nave with no seats. The sanctuary is considered the most sacred part of the church, and is reserved for the clergy and their assistants. It contains the Altar or Holy Table and is the heart and focal point of the church. It is separated from the nave by the Iconostasion, a screen decorated with icons (images). This division serves to remind the faithful that sin incurs a ‘separation’ from God. On trips back to Greece George acquired lights, artefacts, and books by Photius Kontoglou, a 20th century icon painter who described particular icons in full detail and specified where to put them in the church. The icon or holy image is the distinctive art form of the Orthodox Church. In practice the icon may be a painting on wood or on canvas, or a mosaic or a fresco on the walls of the church itself. Icons depict such figures as Christ, Mary the Theotokos (mother and child), the saints, and angels. They may also portray events from the Scriptures or the history of the Church. The icon is not simply decorative, inspirational, or educational. Most importantly, it signifies the presence of the individual depicted, in effect being a window between heaven and earth. In 1979 George commissioned Stephen Allwood, a second-year student at Ilam Art School in Christchurch, to fill the church


with icons. Stephen arranged to take a year off and started painting in January 1980 with the intention of completing it before going back to art school in 1981. He’d worked out that he would need to paint one icon a week to complete the task on time. Each week George would translate the relevant chapter from the Kontoglou books, and Stephen would get to work. The technique used was not the traditional one, using flat colours to paint the icons; Stephen’s preference was to use a translucent glazing technique in oil paint. He would lay a rich yellow colour over most of the icon he was painting. Then with a glazing medium he built up contours using pure colours. Only on the last layer would he use white for the details. The effect is similar to stained glass and gives the icons vibrancy. Not everyone liked the result – some of the Greek clergy thought it was a bit bright, but it must have passed muster with them, as a couple of years later Stephen was commissioned to paint three big icons for the Greek Cathedral in Wellington. Stephen finished the icons by February 1981, in time (with two weeks to spare) to complete his degree at university that year. George later moved to Australia. At the beginning of this year he booked a flight, with the intention of visiting New Zealand. He was too unwell to get on the plane and died in February. The church is opened infrequently. Earlier this year during the Kokomai Festival it hosted sold out talks and Baroque music performances. It will be open again for Christmas carols on 7 December.


Face value BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S

‘My cat died and I had stroke,’ says Cohen Holloway. It sounds like a bad joke, or an exaggeration at least, but it’s true. Stress had built up and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, or in this case, broke the actor’s face. The minor stroke left him with paralysis of his face. He couldn’t talk and couldn’t show expression. ‘I thought I’d never work again. I just thought, oh well that’s it,’ says the Toi Whakaari–trained actor. Three months later, with the help of a speech therapist, Cohen started talking again, but he’d accepted he would never be cast in anything that showed his face. ‘Somehow it just made me relax. It was a huge lesson – to not take myself on face value. I couldn’t be a Hollywood star. That was never going to happen. I had to be ok with being imperfect.’ Suddenly he was getting more work than ever. ‘When you realise you can’t be like everyone else, that’s your strength. Being you is the best card you can play.’ Cohen

now has a string of TV and web series, shorts, and feature film credits under his belt. Most recently he starred in the New Zealand feature film Bellbird, a story of loss and love set on a Northland dairy farm. Cohen is completely new to farming, but his character Bruce is too, ‘so I was sort of just being myself.’ He talks of the day he needed to milk a cow. ‘I felt so vulnerable! All the locals had turned up to watch the filming, so they’re all heckling and cracking up. “Use your knee, use your back!” The cows were terrified. They’re like bees and dogs, they can smell fear.’ Bellbird was a chance for Cohen to move away from comedy. ‘I’m the cameo king,’ he says, having been cast in small (but vital) roles in a number of Taika Waititi films. ‘It’s beautiful to be given a lead role, and to be the glue in the film rather than just a comedy release valve.’








32a WIGAN ST, WeLLINGToN, 384 7039,

all the rage

Old Bank Arcade, 233 Lambton Quay 04 473 3123 •

See you at the Sarjeant Visit us at 38 Taupo Quay, Whanganui and discover a range of gifts in our shop by local artisans, then explore our new summer exhibitions:

Turn of a Century: A New Perspective on 100 Years of Collecting and Exhibiting Until 9 February 2020 Julia Holden: Her Indoors Until 2 February 2020 Owen Mapp: Dragons & Taniwha – 50 years an artist carver Until 29 March 2020

Brunch your thing? Open for delicious brunch Monday-Friday 7am and Saturday - Sunday 8am.

Lulu’s Favourites: Succulent slow roasted 1.2kg Lamb Shoulder, Pineapple Mustard, Fried Agria Potatoes, Sesame Soy Dressing. Book your table online today


Cutting shapes Three infrastructure projects that made modern Wellington


‘God made New Zealand,’ said Sir John-Pearce Luke (Mayor of Wellington 1913–1921). ‘But engineers made Wellington’. Our steep terrain, regular earthquakes, and ferocious weather have been constant challenges, and Sir John knew good infrastructure was critical to making Wellington a success. Modern sewers helped rid the city of typhoid in the 1890s, trams and tunnels opened up new suburbs after 1900, and the urban motorway catered for the boom in car ownership in the 1960s. But three infrastructure projects – above all others – stand out as pivotal in shaping our city.




Queens Wharf Queens Wharf enables the government to move to the city after two devastating earthquakes


s SS Airedale steamed into Lambton Harbour late in the summer of 1863 the noise of its engines subsided, and sailors high in the rigging furled the canvas. Passengers eagerly lined the handrails for their first glimpse of Wellington, and the brand new Government Wharf, its reddish brown timber yet to be bleached by the sun. Eight years earlier the Wairarapa earthquake had created a three-metre tsunami, which smashed ships onto the sea bed and washed out low-lying properties along Lambton Quay. When the waves subsided, the seabed had risen two metres, ruining access to the quays. Tectonic uplift and the destruction of wharves meant goods had to be ferried ashore by lighters – very time consuming, and the rapidly increasing size of the ships visiting Wellington meant they had to anchor further and further out. So Queen’s Wharf was driven by a desire to play down Wellington’s shaky start. The devastating earthquakes of 1848 and 1855 could have been fatal for the young city’s reputation, particularly since Britannia, the New Zealand Company’s original settlement at Petone had been abandoned 14 years previously because of the Hutt River’s tendency to flood. The Chamber of Commerce (then as now advocating infrastructure spending) campaigned for a new deepwater wharf – considered ‘a universally recognised want’,

with the surviving private jetties hopelessly too small. The new 122m-long ‘double T’ Government Wharf was a mixture of ironwork imported from Britain and totara from Foxton. Storms delayed the supply of timber and the wharf opened three months late. Stretching out from the city’s first major land reclamation around what is now Post Office Square, it quickly became known as ‘Queen’s Wharf ’ – not in celebration of Queen Victoria’s 25 years as monarch (the first silver jubilee celebrated Kaiser Wilhelm I and was in 1886), but more likely because of its location adjacent to the Queens Bond Store Queen’s Wharf was a huge vote of confidence in the 6,000-strong settlement, and a shot in the arm for business, as commercial developments rapidly filled the reclamation. It was seen as ‘a symbol that Wellington was becoming a port rather than merely a harbour’, said Wellington Maritime Trust historian, D Johnson, and proved so popular the ‘T’s were immediately extended to cope with the explosion of traffic. The new wharf impressed the Australian Commissioners who visited Wellington in 1864 searching for Parliament’s new home. MPs travelled to their electorates by steamship, and our central location and modern infrastructure proved compelling: the capital was moved a year later.






Tawa Flat Deviation Modern electric trains open up the northern suburbs to create metropolitan 'Greater Wellington’


n the 1920s Wellingtonians enjoyed a comprehensive electric tram network connecting the city’s inner suburbs, but access from the north was far more challenging. Settlements at Johnsonville and Tawa were served by the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company’s steep single-track railway, with steam engines wheezing through numerous tunnels as they hauled passengers up the gradients on the main line north. For a nation with more than 28 million railway journeys each year, (according to Te Ara) the rail trip into Wellington must have been an embarrassment. There had been little progress since the line’s construction in 1885, and the railway was a chronic bottleneck in the capital’s growth. Rail travel was critical to New Zealanders wishing to travel around the country, and arriving in the capital via a steep single track mixed up with livestock movements did not send the right signals. The Public Works Department formed a team in 1927 under railway surveyor Arnold Downer to build an express railway over 13km long, with 5.6km of double-track tunnels. Downer later led the Mt Victoria tunnel project – his name lives on in the eponymous construction company. The Tawa Flat Deviation was completed in 1935, and allowed a major overhaul of the Johnsonville line, where cutting-edge English Electric trains were launched with fanfare (and


ten speeches from the dignitaries assembled) in July 1938. The ‘delightfully smooth’ journey was completed in 16 minutes – considerably faster than today’s scheduled services. Tawa got its electric trains a couple of years later. Eyes were firmly on the Mother Country, and the electric railway bears striking similarities to the ‘Metroland’ developments that turned the countryside north-west of London into prime commuter belt. Tawa’s new station offered a heated waiting room, and male and female lavatories. It was a big improvement for passengers, and was the catalyst for the suburb’s population growth from a few hundred in 1930 to just over 3,000 shortly after the war. Johnsonville was transformed from a sleepy agricultural centre nicknamed ‘Cowtown’ to a suburb with booming property prices and a population growing at double the city’s average. Meanwhile Wellington’s neo-Georgian station, opened in 1937, bustled with passengers obtaining news from press-thebutton information machines, vying for pies at the highspeed cafeteria, and taking nicelyframed pictures of themselves at a shilling a shot. News, pies, and selfies – nothing much changes. Enormous pride was taken in showing we could match the Empire’s best, and the Tawa Flat Deviation, track electrification, new rolling stock, and the gigantic Gray Young terminus were ambitious undertakings that laid the foundation for today’s Greater Wellington conurbation.






Rongotai airport International connections direct to the heart of the city after removing a hill


harles Kingsford Smith's first view of Wellington was from the cockpit of ‘Southern Cross’, his Fokker Trimotor aeroplane. The Australian circled above the city at dawn on September 11, 1928, having left Sydney 13 hours earlier, but ended his trailblazing journey in Christchurch: Wellington had nowhere suitable to land. Kingsford Smith secured his place in history by making the first international flight to New Zealand. Aged 31, he told the crowds his ambition was simply to become the world’s oldest aviator. When he finally made it to Wellington (by ship) he advised Mayor Troup – another aviation enthusiast – that Lyall Bay would be perfect for Wellington’s main aerodrome. A basic airstrip opened in 1929, which often closed over winter when the grass runway became too boggy. Rongotai was talked about as the ideal location for our city’s main airport for years after Kingsford Smith’s untimely death in 1935, but nearby facilities proved more popular: Trentham’s airstrip handled early mail flights, the Air Force operated seaplanes from its base at Shelly Bay, and by the late 1930s Imperial Airways’ Empire flying boats were a regular sight at Evans Bay. These were the height of luxury, and passengers were often warned not to rush to the lavatories at the rear to plunder the toiletries lest the plane slid backwards out of the sky. Meanwhile Paraparaumu became New Zealand’s busiest airport in 1949: Rongotai airport had been forced to close two years earlier as the grass runway didn’t comply with safety

standards. And Tasman Empire Airways Ltd flew flying boats four days a week to Sydney from Evans Bay in the early 1950s. The airline’s terminal at Greta Point was decidedly ad-hoc, with garages under the Casa Del Mar apartments on Evans Bay Parade used by Customs to process passengers. Wellington was missing out. Prime Minister Peter Fraser announced in 1948 that a modern airport would be built at Rongotai, but construction took 11 long years. Passengers on the flying boats attempting to land when Evans Bay was choppy must have looked at the building work with longing – waves under two metres high were acceptable landing conditions. The new Rongotai airport necessitated moving 3,000,000m3 of earth, and reclaiming 55 hectares of land to create Cobham Drive and the new runway (which was further extended in the 1970s to accommodate passenger jets). The earthworks were impressive, but the facilities weren’t: the 1937 De Havilland factory was repurposed as a stopgap terminal, which was intended to be replaced by the 1960s. Inevitably the corrugated shed served Wellingtonians until 1999. But the building didn’t matter – we finally had a sealed runway capable of handling the latest aircraft like the Lockheed Electra that flew the Beatles in from Sydney. Today the modern airport 15 minutes from the heart of the city plays a big part in the compact urban form loved by locals and visitors alike. It is every bit as transformational as the Queens Wharf and railway upgrades in previous decades.



PA R V O PREDICAMENT Anti-vax sentiment could be affecting dogs as well as humans. Wellington vets are warning dog owners (particularly puppy owners) to be cautious and ensure dogs are vaccinated against parvovirus. Easily transmitted through direct or indirect contact with faeces, the virus is usually fatal if left untreated. Treatment can cost up to $1,000 – ten times the cost of vaccination, which is normally under $100.

PUT TING IN THE MAHI Have you ever wondered who writes those brilliantly succinct Wikipedia pages that helped you get through university? Well, it turns out your average Joe does, including a bunch of Wellingtonians. If you want to dive into the deepest of Wikipedia rabbit holes then the Wellington Wikipedia meet-up might just be the platform for you. Happening 11 December 10:00am at Te Ahumairangi – the National Library, the group welcomes all levels, including beginners eager to get into editing.

LOAD OF RUBBISH In 2018, 4,769 tonnes of textile waste ended up in the Southern Landfill. An estimated 25% of this could have been recycled, reused, or diverted. Tip Tees are tee-shirts that have been collected from the landfill and Tip Shop and given a second life. Featuring stencilled slogans like ‘This T-Shirt is rubbish’ and ‘My T-Shirt didn’t cost the earth’, they’re available from the Tip Shop. All profits go back to the resource recovery centre and related education.


BAG LADY Kate Abbott, co-owner of the Living Room, recently visited textile designer Johanna Gullichsen’s flagship store in Helsinki and got her very own Tetra Handbag. ‘The bold, simple patterns on these bags and natural materials are unique and appealing,’ says Kate. Her Tetra is ‘cute and chic, great for weekend brunches, shopping and summer fun.’ Two other styles of Johanna Gullichsen bags are also available exclusively from the Living Room; Champagne is perfectly proportioned for two bottles of champagne, while Economy is spatially substantial.



South coast drink bottle Eco friendly

Stainless Steel Vacuum drink bottle & thermos

Illustrated by

CAPITAL Available exclusively at




Stick to a minimal colour palette to easily tie the table together


Traditional If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Go the whole roast turkey with these traditional table trimmings.

4. 3.


5. 9.


Gather a few sprigs of pine to add colour & life 8.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.



Edit by Seneca cutlery set, McKenzie & Willis, $140 David Mellor fine bone china (set of six), Newtown House, $650 David Mellor red wine flute (set of six), Newtown House, $190 Toyo-Sasaki tumbler (set of six), Newtown House, $132 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Spy Valley, $20 Pasabache Basics sauce boat, Moore Wilsons, $10 Flocked Christmas tree, Tea Pea, $36 Paper honeycomb ball, Shut The Front Door, $6 Black fern print linen tea towel, Natty, $26


2. 1.

Layer placemats & napkins to give your table texture

4. 3.

Modern A little less jingle but just as festive. Mix and match to create a Christmas-kissed table. 4.


6. 8.


Smoke bush is great for texture & easy to find


9. 10. 10.

1. Lapuan Kankurit Varpu tea towel, Newtown House, $27 2. Pavilion acrylic wine glass, Shut The Front Door, $15 3. Atacama round platter & bowl, Shut The Front Door, $50 4. Copper handle utensils, Trade Aid, $13 each 5. National Candles beeswax (set of six), Moore Wilsons, $18 6. Harmony French Nais linen napkin, Small Acorns, $15 7. Meri Meri Christmas crackers, Tea Pea, $63 8. Robert Gordon butter dish, Moore Wilsons, $40 9. Duralex Picardie glass tumbler, Shut The Front Door, $6 10. Natural cotton table runner, Trade Aid, $27




Bee Name: Bee (native) Scientific name: Most New Zealand native bees fall into three families: Leioproctus, Hylaeus, and Lasioglossum. Māori name: Ngaro Huruhuru Status: There are 28 species of native bee in New Zealand, and all but one are endemic – meaning they’re found in New Zealand and nowhere else. Studying native bees isn’t easy so we don’t know a whole lot about their populations, but researcher Ngaire Hunt has measured significant population decline at three locations, suggesting that natural cycles, habitat loss, environmental pollutants such as herbicides, and increasing competition with exotic bees might be responsible. There are also concerns that native bee populations are under pressure from an increase in the number of honey bees, as a result of the booming mānuka honey industry. Description: Native bees are very small (from 4mm to12mm long) and move quickly. They are generally black or dark grey unlike their colourful, stripy, non-native counterparts, sometimes hairy, and do not usually sting. Habitat: Most of our native bees are solitary in nature, and shun the busy hive to nest in a hole in a tree, or underground. Look/Listen: It’s entirely possible you’ve seen a native bee before but ignored it, mistaking it for a fly or maybe a wasp. Ngaro huruhuru forage on natives like pohutukawa, ti tree, native


mistletoe, mānuka and kānuka. They aren’t big travellers, so if you spot one out and about it is likely its nest is close by. Look for a cluster of small holes in the ground, often in sloping, loose soil. Tell me a story: Red mistletoe (peraxilla tetrapetala) is an endemic New Zealand plant with flowers that cannot open themselves, having to wait for a pollinator (most commonly a tui or a bellbird) to do the job. The bird twists the top of the ripened bud, which springs open, allowing the bird to drink the nectar and pollen to be transferred via bird from flower to flower. In the late 90s, researchers at the University of Canterbury were looking into how much mistletoe pollen was being moved by native bees after birds had opened the buds, and to their surprise discovered that the bees were actually opening flower buds themselves – by biting onto them with their mandibles and pushing with their legs (no easy task for such a small creature). In a feature in New Zealand Science Monthly at the time, researcher Dave Kelly pointed out that no other bee in the world has been shown to be able to open large birdadapted explosive flowers, and exactly how this behaviour might evolve in a bee which never sees its parents and has no social structure for sharing information is a fascinating puzzle we have yet to resolve. For a great little video of a native bee opening a red mistletoe bud, search

Local Festive Specialites and food Gifts In Store Now!

College Street, Te Aro


THUMBS UP? A proposal to add folic acid to flour to reduce the number of babies born with spina bifida and other neural tube defects is supported by New Zealanders for Health Research, a health research advocacy organisation. Should this ‘mandatory fortification’ go ahead, it would only apply to packaged breads. Organic, artisan, and gluten-free breads would probably be unaffected. Research indicates that mandatory fortification throughout New Zealand could save around 12 babies each year from spina bifida.




El Matador’s owner Mike Marsland is looking after his 16 staff until they can reopen the restaurant following a fire. Last month sparks from the woodfire stove were sucked into the extractor fan above, causing the roof to catch fire. While it’s been a blow, the venue was insured, no one was hurt, and much of furniture and decor should be salvageable.

There are so many coffee roasters to choose from, and while many of us have our favourites it can be nice to mix things up. Fernweh is a coffee delivery service, aimed at helping people try ‘all the delicious coffee in New Zealand.’ Every month they’ll send you a box of speciality single-origin coffee from a different Kiwi roaster. The delivery comes with the story of the roaster and tasting notes.

Free lunches are back for Wellington city councillors’ committee meetings. Six years ago Andy Foster led the charge to have them scrapped (leaving only morning and afternoon tea catered), which saved ratepayers $40,000 per annum. But now, apparently under pressure from councillors, the new mayor has changed his mind and lunch is back on the menu. We hear the reinstated lunches will consist mostly of sandwiches.



SMASHED AV O When he left home Thorley Robbins became frustrated that avocados he bought from supermarkets didn’t have the same flavour as the ones coming off his family’s trees in Katikati. He says virtually all avos come off the tree in perfect condition, but going in and out of cold storage (at supermarkets) can make the fruit break down. This inspired his avocado delivery business, the Avo Tree. His fruit comes from around 50 growers in the Bay of Plenty and is delivered to your door by courier post.



Knafeh is a Middle Eastern dessert, especially famous in Palestine. The top layer consists of thin noodle-shaped pastry, grilled golden in the oven, and sprinkled with pistachios. Underneath the pastry traditionally lies a special Nabulsi cheese (from the Palestinian city of Nablus). It’s soft and stretchy when warm, which is why Knafeh is best served piping hot. Try it at the Wellington Palestine Family Fun Day at Frank Kitts Park on 8 December.

Pizza, ratatouille, and spaghetti bolognaise could be the answer for men suffering from fertility problems. New research from the UK’s University of Sheffield has shown that a dietary supplement derived from cooked tomatoes (LactoLycopene) has been found to boost sperm quality. ‘When we decoded the results, I nearly fell off my chair. The improvement in the size and shape of sperm was dramatic,’ says Professor Allan Pacey, a world expert in male reproduction.


PYO Customers push the boundaries when it comes to pick-your-own fruit, say growers. It’s considered acceptable to taste the odd berry as you go, but people treating it as an ‘all-you-caneat buffet’ could ruin it for the rest of us. In our neck of the woods you can PYO (seasonally) at Berry Healthy in Pauatahanui, the Blueberry Farm in Upper Hutt, and Wee Red Barn in Masterton. Rather than stuff yourself silly in the field, maybe save some room for Christmas day.

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

A homemade Christmas BY N I K K I & J O R DA N S H E A R E R


or most of us, Christmas is all about family and sharing. In this issue we are celebrating with recipes that have become family traditions and are perfect for sharing as gifts this holiday season. Our friend Tanya has been baking these nutty pies for years and we can see why, they are a mouthful of pleasure! The Shearer family is addicted to Aunty Eleanor’s shortbread, so much so we have the

recipe handwritten on the wall of our crib at Bull Creek. Our beautiful Aunty passed away this year and every time we mix this dough with our hands, we will think of her doing the same and be thankful that we had her to enrich our lives. We will ensure that generations to come know the origins of our family shortbread recipe and really, that’s what Christmas is all about isn’t it!

Tanya’s nutty pies

Aunty Eleanor’s Shortbread

125g butter 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted ½ cup icing sugar 1 cup mix nuts, chopped – we used hazelnuts (skins removed), pecans, and pistachios (shelled) 60g unsalted butter 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence

180g butter, softened ½ cup castor sugar 2 ½ cups all purpose flour 3 Tbsp cornflour 1. 2.


Blitz the butter, flour, and icing sugar in a food processor until it all comes together. 2. With floured hands, divide into 24 balls – approx 12g each. 3. Grease a mini-muffin tin with butter and sprinkle extra flour in each cavity. 4. Press pastry into tin. Start by pressing down into the centre and then gently pressing dough up the sides, ensuring that you do not go above the rim and the sides are even. 5. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. 6. Divide chopped nuts into chilled bases. 7. Mix butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla together until smooth. 8. Using a teaspoon fill the cases carefully, ensuring the mixture does not overflow. 9. Bake at 180°C for 20–25 minutes. 10. Cool. Gently twist to remove from tin.


4. 5.

Beat together the butter and sugar for 15 minutes until creamy. Sift in the flours and mix together with a spatula, taking care not to overwork the dough. Using floured hands, finish bringing the dough together, roll out on a floured surface and flatten. Cut to desired shape. Prick with a fork or lightly press with the back of a fork for a prong pattern. Keep in mind – the lighter the touch, the better the shortbread. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 180°C for 15–20 minutes.

Both recipies make 24 each








Stuck for a Christmas present? Give a German Language Course! 021 825 667

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Christmas Ideas Beautiful & Useful 28 Jessie Street, Wellington, 801 5974

Brimming with gorgeous gifts, cards, and wrapping papers

OPEN DAILY UNTIL CHRISTMAS 237 Cuba Street, Wellington | 934 3424


Re-verse I N T R O D U C E D BY F R E YA DA LY S A D G R O V E


The poet and the poem: Becca and I met ages ago in an undergrad poetry class and we were each immediately drawn to what I would describe as a kind of determined indecency in the other’s work. She wrote me a poem about wanting to put my hands in a blender and naturally I cherish it. As well as a poet she is a painter and sculptor, and everything she creates, in whatever form, is vivid and lush and extreme. ‘The flexitarian’ is from her collection Softcore Coldsore in AUP New Poets 5, a recent revival of the series.

I am trying to go vegetarian but finding myself weak, week to week browsing the meat aisle at a linger close enough to chill my arms to gooseflesh. I only buy stuff so processed it hardly makes sense to call it meat. Saveloy, nugget, continental frankfurter; whatever gets extruded pink beyond possible memory of the preceding body. Between the red and yellow flags delineating the PORK section, I fondle sheets of pig skin through their clingfilm. Flaps of fat and dermis, bloodless as the nude silicone on a sex doll. Sad rubber reanimates in the oven. Whimpering fat melts to breathless squeal. The grill huffs, fogs my glasses like hot breath. Like kissing someone else’s boyfriend right outside her flat in winter. Sometimes the pig has not been properly shaved. Needle hairs prick my lips. Sometimes draw blood. Sometimes red ink from the slaughterhouse is printed on the sallow skin. Lipstick; damp napkin. The worst possible outcome is unfurling the limpid rind from its plastic tray only to find a nipple tucked inside. I try to cut it out but no knife in my house is sharp enough. The nipple stares a pert pink accusation. It follows me around the room. I score the skin, scrub it raw with salt and rapeseed oil. The nipple winks at me. Weeps in the pan as it shrinks to helpless hiss and spit. The crackling bubbles perfectly crisp. Blisters where I burn my tongue on it.

Why I like it: This poem is just so gross. No one can write gross poems like Becca can, poems that relish their own grossness, even flaunt it as a kind of grisly beauty. I recommend reading it aloud. You don’t read ‘The flexitarian’ so much as eat it, the language rich and sticky in your mouth. I’ve heard Becca read this poem aloud and make an entire audience writhe. It’s rare to find a poem that makes people incapable of sitting still, and this one pinches you right in the viscera. There’s something kind of occult about it and I think Becca knows that and takes great delight in the power she has to seduce and horrify. I recently heard Becca describe a period in her childhood when she was completely certain that she was a werewolf – that inside her body there was ‘this other creature, with all my rage and speed.’ For me that describes the experience of reading Becca’s poems; she writes directly from her animal, and I can feel it waking up something animal in me too.

By Rebecca Hawkes

Best line to bust out: The poem is made up of jawdropping lines, but I think my favourite one to say, and hear, is ‘Saveloy, nugget, continental frankfurter.’ It’s so simple but such an immaculately arranged progression of consonants. Say it right now. Whisper it to your lover.



Novel suggestions Bret McKenzi e Half of Flight of the Conchords and Guest Curator, New Zealand Festival of the Arts 2020

Looking for a cracking read for beach, I’m reading Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More to my son. I love all of Roald Dahl’s books, he’s such a brilliant storyteller. My kids love his books; we know them really well. The family favourite is The Twits. We often listen to it on car trips. His books are really fun to read as an adult – they’re completely entertaining.

bach, or hammock this summer? Wondering which book to give as a Christmas gift? We’ve asked some keen readers from the Wellington region to choose their favourites.

The book I’m going to read next is Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton. This is a book that’s been highly recommended to me by quite a few people. It’s about a lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather, and a notorious crim for a babysitter. I’m hoping to get some time over summer to read it. For Christmas I’m going to give George Saunders’ novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil to my family and friends. I’m adapting it into a musical with the National Theatre, and Wellingtonians will get the first look when we do a work-in-progress showing at next year’s New Zealand Festival of the Arts. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is hugely entertaining and eerily poignant in the global political climate.



S op h ie Ha nford

Jackson Garden-Bacho p

School Strike 4 Climate campaign Leader, Kāpiti Coast District Councillor, and Wellingtonian of the Year

Hurricanes first-five

I am currently reading Hope in a Ballet Shoe by Michaela and Elaine DePrince, while also digesting council orientation documents and agendas! Hope in a Ballet Shoe tells the story of a 16-year-old, Michaela, growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone. Her childhood is essentially stolen from her until she and her best friend are adopted by an American couple. She finds a deep love for ballet but is quick to find that even this comes with difficulties as she’s forced to navigate society’s racist structures.

I’m currently reading The Father Hood from Luke Benedictus, Jeremy Macvean, and Andrew McCutchen. My partner and I are expecting our first baby in January and this book has been the most helpful I’ve read so far. The Father Hood is a mix of interviews with celebrity dads, and useful quotes and stats. It brings parenting back to basics in a more relatable way than a lot of the science/biology books do and makes me feel a lot more confident in my ability to be a dad.

The book I’d like to get for Christmas is Māori Made Easy - Workbook 1 / Kete 1 by Scotty Morrison. Throughout primary school and in my first years of college, I learnt Te Reo Māori and was practicing almost every day. Due to my lack of practice, this knowledge now has sunk to the depths but I am determined to retrieve it and begin a journey to become fluent.

The book I’d like to get because I’ve heard a lot of good things is The subtle art of not giving a f*ck. I actually borrowed it off one of the boys but never got around to committing to it. It’s about embracing life’s challenges, accepting that everything isn’t always going to go to plan, and knowing that this is a good thing. Really understanding this would make it a lot easier to know what to put energy towards and what not to.

For Christmas I asked my Mum what was top on her wishlist and she said ‘Teach your dog Te Reo!’ We’ve got a Jack Russell x Bichon Frise named Tasman and he really brings our family together. This book is centred around introducing Te Reo Māori dog commands, with an aim of deepening the commitment that our whānau has to ensuring the language becomes central to our daily lives.

For Christmas I’d like to give my partner Catch a fire: The life of Bob Marley. I grew up listening to Bob Marley with my dad, and have always loved his expression of love and unity through music. Probably a bit different culturally for her but I know she likes the music and will appreciate the values Bob lives by outside of his music.



S a l ly M orrison

Karen O ’Lear y

Chair of Wellington Hockey and all round champion of sport

Actor, Paranormal Cop, and early childhood teacher

I am currently reading The Whistler which is a John Grisham that I didn't realise was out there. I was hunting through a second-hand store and was very pleased to find it and tuck it under my arm. I think John Grisham is a very clever writer and whilst I would like to say it is the grit and movement in the prose that I love, really it is the ability he has to take me right away from my daily thoughts, a wonderful trip into another world entirely.

The book I’m reading at the moment is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. As it clearly states on the cover it’s a family tragicomic. I feel this to be a most apt description. I like a good biography, I like a good laugh, and I like things that make me think, so this book ticks all those boxes. It’s also a bit gay… The book I absolutely want to read next is Berhampore: Stories of a School and Suburb, edited by Kerryn Pollock and Sadie Coe. I have a fabulously supportive partner who takes a keen interest in my increasingly creative pursuits. She both wrote for and edited this amazing, interesting, and informative book as part of the school’s centenary celebrations and have I read it all? No! I’m appalled at myself and enthusiastically committed to remedying this situation.

I recently bought Boards Who Dare as it was recommended to me by a good friend who is a real governance guru. I carried it around with me in my computer case for a while but I have still not mastered the art of reading by osmosis so I will read this over the Christmas break. This Christmas I am going to buy my daughters Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2. We have really enjoyed reading the first one and learning about so many amazing women in the world.

For Christmas I’ll be giving away Chris Tse’s book He’s So Masc. It is poetic genius and in my opinion everyone should read it. It’s grippingly personal and the language in it is like the food you would get at the best ever restaurant – so good you just need to keep consuming it. Also I just think Chris is really cool.



Moa n a Ete

C hr i s Tse

Singer, songwriter, and actor

Poet, writer, occasional actor, and Capital Reverse columnist

I am someone who (in the literal sense) judges a book by its cover. Finding a good read using this method is about as effective as the original adage suggests but it's exactly how I came across Mother Ship by Francesca Segal. Francesca writes about her experience in NICU with her twins born 10 weeks premature. This story champions nurses, pediatricians, support people, and hospital staff. How do we even begin to thank these people who dedicate their lives to protecting and healing our most vulnerable?

I’ve spent the past few months reading a lot of writing for an anthology of queer New Zealand writers that I’m co-editing with Emma Barnes. In between submissions, I managed to read Wellington poet Jane Arthur’s debut Craven, which is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a collection of kooky and relatable poetry with a wicked bite and sardonic sense of humour. I’ve had to stash my reading pile in various rooms around my house to alleviate my anxiety levels when I see how many books I’ve accumulated. Dare I say I hope no one gifts me more books this Christmas. But the book I’m most looking forward to reading over the summer is Rose Lu’s debut essay collection All Who Live On Islands. Rose is an incredibly insightful and hilarious writer, and I just know her book is going to melt my brain. She’s one of a growing number of writers who are addressing and questioning what it means to be young and Chinese in modern-day Aotearoa.

The book I’m going to read next is City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert which is in my bag right now. I've just returned Mother Ship and picked it up from Central Library. I need a frivolous literary romp! Liz Gilbert has promised ample romp with her latest novel and I am 100% here for it. My brother-in-law and his partner gifted my son Te Pohu by Sasha Cotter and Josh Morgan (the Te Reo version of The Bomb) and now I want to get it for my brother’s baby. You can enjoy this book for the rich illustration and sweet story. Or you can appreciate it for its part in breaking down toxic masculinity as our hero comes to understand that emulating the other guys in his friend group might be stopping him from becoming who he truly wishes to be.

For Christmas I’d like to give the latest issue of the literary journal Sport, which was edited by poet Tayi Tibble. She has assembled a fresh and eclectic roster of contributors, including newer voices that showcase the glittering now-ness of Aotearoa literature. This would show readers and non-readers alike just how cool New Zealand writing is right now.


It’s all happening in Taranaki TSB FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS 14 DECEMBER 2019 – 1 FEBRUARY 2020 PUKEKURA PARK, NEW PLYMOUTH The TSB Festival of Lights in New Plymouth should be at the top of your summer road trip list. Taking place in the awardwinning Pukekura Park, this free festival is a seven-week event that features stunning light installations, live music across multiple stages throughout the park, Light Bites food truck nights and daytime events for kids and seniors. The music line-up features Los Angeles DJ set Fleetmac Wood, dub rockers Tunes of I, bilingual RnB artist Rei, Kiwi rock kings Racing and much more. For more information, visit

A SUMMER’S DAY DISCO | SATURDAY 11 JANUARY TSB BOWL OF BROOKLANDS, NEW PLYMOUTH Get set to shake your booty! A Summer’s Day Disco brings a starstudded line-up of some of the most successful names of the 70s, 80s and 90s to New Plymouth’s stunning outdoor amphitheatre, the TSB Bowl of Brooklands. The sensational bill features iconic names in the history of music, including KC and the Sunshine Band; Earth Wind and Fire Experience feat. Al McKay; Boney M and The Australian Bee Gees Show. Tickets can be purchased at

Make a weekend of it in

SIX60 | SATURDAY 1 FEBRUARY TSB BOWL OF BROOKLANDS, NEW PLYMOUTH New Zealand’s ultimate summer party starters Six60 play at New Plymouth’s TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday 1 February. The Kiwi legends are jumping on tour after their record-breaking show at Western Spring Stadium next February sold out, for the second year in a row, prompting the band to add extra dates around the country. Six60 bring some of the country’s hottest talent along for the ride, with support by Kiwi music royalty Dave Dobbyn, singer-songwriter Mitch James, and RnB/pop up-and-comer Paige. Tickets can be purchased at

BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS FRIDAY 21 FEBRUARY TSB BOWL OF BROOKLANDS, NEW PLYMOUTH The three-time Grammy Award winner and seven-time nominee, Ben Harper is without question one of the most celebrated singersongwriters of our generation, and will light up the TSB Bowl of Brooklands stage and picturesque lake with Pukekura Park serving as the stunning backdrop. The Californian-born artist has traversed a myriad of musical landscapes in the three decades he’s been making music, from blues, rock and reggae; to soul, funk and folk. He’s released 14 studio albums, including Burn To Shine, Diamonds On The Inside, and most recently in 2018, No Mercy In This Land with blues legend Charlie Musselwhite. Tickets can be purchased at

Experience the lights and sounds of Taranaki for yourself. There’s no better time to book your weekend away!


Follow us on Hello NP


More than a view BY M E LO DY T H O M AS P H OTO G R A P H Y BY DAV I D JA M E S


e first met Annie Patterson three years ago, when she spoke to Capital about her Thorndon fashion boutique Viva. At the time, discussing retirement, she confided, ‘The thought fills me with horror!’ so it’s no surprise that when we catch up again she’s just finished work for the day. Annie laughs when I remind her: ‘I probably am a workaholic. I still get up really early and do lots of things,’ she says. ‘Well I used to be a workaholic. I’m quite lazy now.’ By lazy, she means she starts work at 10am, not 9, and on Sundays she takes a whole day off to rest. She doesn’t go out to quite as many restaurants and shows as she used to – though considering how famously social I’ve been told she was, that’s to be expected – and is more than happy to retrace familiar routes through her beloved Thorndon: to work and home again (a two minute round-trip), off to the Victoria Bridge Club where she’s been playing for 17 years, or a little further afield, to Maginnity Street for the occasional Dunbar Sloane auction. Christmas will see her hop on a plane to the Cayman Islands to visit one of her daughters, who recently moved there with the grandkids, but even that is pretty straightforward, the bus service to the airport being ‘basically door to door’. Annie lives in the Kate Sheppard Apartments on Molesworth Street, right next door to the Backbencher pub and across the road from Parliament. Designed by Hunt Davis Tennant Architects and built in 2004, the 10-level block houses 64 flats, most of which were initially bought as rental properties, but is these days nearly entirely filled with owner-occupiers like Annie.




The apartment is at the front of the building, the window running the length of her lounge framing a spectacular view of Parliament House, the Parliamentary Library and, off to one side, the Beehive. These windows wrap around much of the building, and are one of the main reasons Annie bought the apartment off the plans, back in 2001. ‘I don’t think the architects appreciated how good the view from this apartment was going to be, because they priced the ones at the back more expensively,’ she says, ‘But I knew it was going to be amazing. It’s like living on Park Lane.’ Her windows look over some of the best sights in Wellington. To the south, buildings and streets condense as Thorndon becomes CBD. Through the northern windows the eye heads up Molesworth Street past the pale pink tower of the Wellington Cathedral of Saint Paul, toward the slumbering silhouette of the town belt. ‘I’d only been here a few weeks when we had the worst weather I’ve ever

experienced in Wellington, and all the trees came down,’ she recalls, ‘They had to helicopter them out, and it’s only the past couple of years that the growth has started to come back.’ From Annie’s bedroom window, the guest bedroom, and the back corner of her lounge you can catch a glimpse the harbour – just a narrow one, but stretching all the way across to Petone. It’s a view she enjoyed for a couple of years before losing it for a decade, when Defence House, the Wellington headquarters of the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, was built on the waterfront. Then the building was demolished in 2017/18 due to damage from the Kaikoura earthquake, and Annie got her view back. All this is just the daytime view. In the evening, it completely transforms. ‘It becomes magical.The gardens are all lit up, it’s like fairyland out those windows. I still pinch myself about how lucky am I to be here,’ she says.




Annie’s apartment is filled with objects collected over a lifetime; solid, imposing wooden lamps that a single person would struggle to lift, a quail skeleton carried home with considerable care from New York, a leopard tub chair bought from Kirkcaldie & Stains about 20 years ago. Then there are the paintings on just about every wall – modern pieces, including a couple of bold cruciforms by Arrowtown artist Jenny Mehrtens, made in homage to Ralph Hotere, but mostly portraits. The eyes of these characters follow you around the apartment – French actress Sarah Bernhardt assessing (and presumedly finding you wanting) from her chaise longue, Napoleon commanding attention (‘I don’t like him, ever since somebody pointed out how they exaggerated this region,’ Annie confides), while Madame X and W Graham Robertson stand proud and tall above most heads, in a couple of well-executed Ken Hunt copies of the famous John Singer Sargent portraits. These

last two used to hang in the Veuve Clicquot room at Wellington restaurant Brasserie Flipp: ‘They’ve become part of the family now,’ says Annie. Annie asks me again to stay for a drink. I find myself accepting; both she and her home have a wonderful warmth. I ask how she finds living alone, to which she laughs and says, ‘It’s certainly better than living with somebody you don’t like!’ We talk about bridge, family, and the city that she’s watched grow up over the decades. ‘It wasn’t that interesting in the 60s, I can tell you. You couldn’t really see the harbour, there were just work sheds all the way round. There were about three restaurants to go to! Wellington now is more vibrant than anywhere,’ she says, adding, ‘Sydney in the 60s however, now that was great fun.’ ‘I bet you have a whole lot of untold stories from that time,’ I say. ‘I do,’ she says with a smile, ‘And they shall remain untold.’




O Holy Night Sarah Lang is wowed by Wairarapa’s new astronomy attraction Star Field – and discovers Martinborough is poised to become the 17th International Dark Sky Reserve.


y feet and hands are cold, but the rest of my body is warm. I’m half sitting, half lying on a reclining chair, wearing a thermal jacket with a blanket wrapped around my legs, in rural Wairarapa. I’m one of the first-ever group to take a night-sky tour at Star Field, a new astronomy and observatory centre in rural Ruakokoputuna. It’s the magnum opus of John Whitby (65), an astronomer and astrophotographer who combed the country for five years to find the site. He found it on four-hectares in the hills behind Martinborough. It has pristine night skies thanks to excellent topography (position and elevation), a good climate (less rain and cloud than most places), and exceptionally low light pollution, which renders starlight difficult or impossible to see near population centres with their spill of artificial light into the night sky. John has planted 2000 trees to mitigate light pollution and shelter Star Field from the wind. While we recline, astronomer Becky Bateman, our chatty British tour guide, doesn’t just talk about the night sky. She points a highlighter-green laserbeam torch (technically, an ‘astronomy laser’) at stars, planets, constellations and asterisms (the last two being recognisable groups of stars that suggest the form of an object). Becky points her ‘Star Wars laser beam’ at an asterism, the Teapot: a pattern of stars in the Sagittarius constellation that really does resemble a teapot. She points to the Southern Cross constellation, where five stars form the shape of a cross. We see the bright Scorpius constellation. We see two ‘nearby’ galaxies: the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Our own Milky Way galaxy looks like a headband made of twigs because we earthlings

view its disc-shaped structure from our galaxy’s outer rim. After we sip hot chocolate, John shows us the roll-off roof observatory, which houses one 18-inch telescope and two 12-inch telescopes. They have been used for ‘star parties’ with friends. Looking through the 12-inch telescopes, I see the disc-like Sculptor galaxy. I see the Tarantula Nebula, but can’t spy the alleged shape of a spider. I see the spectacular globular cluster 47 Tucanae, with its millions of dying stars forming a sphere on the edge of the Milky Way. Then, hogging the 18-inch telescope, I see Jupiter and its moons. And I see Saturn, with its band of rings. Wow. And that’s a wrap for us. However, when the visitor centre opens in 2020, visitors will be able to view both video astronomy and astrophotography. One domed observatory already built will house high-end imaging equipment for astrophotography. ‘At the end of the tour,’ John tells me, ‘I’ll say “Here’s the Sculptor galaxy you just saw, but in colour and more detail, on a screen”.’ John will use a third observatory, currently under construction, for video astronomy. This highly technical process is the observation of relatively faint astronomical objects using very sensitive cameras mounted on telescopes. This allows observers to see on a computer or TV monitor the colour and detail that wouldn’t register to the naked eye. The images are stacked to form a video of sorts. John broadcasts this video footage ‘nearly live’ (there’s a 30-second delay) worldwide via channels like Night Skies Network. Star Field isn’t just about John. ‘I set it up for my own astronomy, astrophotography and imaging, then decided to share it with others: members of



the Wairarapa and Wellington Astronomy Societies, astrophotographers like Mark Gee (Cap#62), any astronomers. Beforehand, people had very few darksky sites to go to. Now they come and go here as they please, and even leave equipment here.’ Becky, who knew John through astronomy circles, suggested ‘astro-tourism’ at Star Field. Now pre-booked tours start about an hour after sunset. Mini-buses can transport up to 22 people from in and around Martinborough and back. John is living on site in a cabin and a caravan while he develops the complex. He has ‘retired’ from regular employment to make his passion – astronomy – his night and day job. His ultimate vision? ‘To be an astronomy hub and dark-sky site, close to “civilisation”. Stargazing sites are usually remote – far away from light pollution – but it’s only an hour-and-a-half drive from the capital to Martinborough.’ Star Field has given Martinborough’s status as a dark-sky destination a major boost. The Wairarapa Dark Sky Society (formerly the Martinborough Dark Sky Society) has been working hard to make the proposed Martinborough International Dark Sky Reserve a reality. The US-based International Dark-Sky Association has given Dark Sky Reserve Accreditation to only 16 areas worldwide which fit specific criteria (one is the South Island’s Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve). The Provincial Growth Fund granted $100,000 to the Wairarapa Dark Sky Society earlier this year to help put together an accreditation application. ‘The area must minimise light pollution and maximise support from the community, businesses, and district councils,’ Becky says. ‘We spent three months talking to businesses and community

members. We proved the dark-sky initiative was economically viable. We showed there will be a knock-on effect to tourism and businesses.’ Consequently, the three district councils have installed warmer-hued LED lighting that cause less light pollution. And the New Zealand Transport Agency will install similar street lights along SH2 and SH53. Currently most people stay in the Wairarapa just one night, Becky says. ‘We’d like people to stay two, three, or four nights and experience at least one dark-sky attraction.’ Others are proposed at Stonehenge, near Carterton, and Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, which is considering incorporating astronomy into its night tours. The locals are interested. Recently built accommodation Whitimanuka, is an eco-friendly, small Scandi-style chalet that has been built to be ‘dark sky friendly.’ Built by farmers on a hill it offers astro binoculars and spots inside and outside for stargazing. The deadline for applying for dark-sky reserve status is in December. Becky is confident: ‘Martinborough will almost definitely become a dark-sky reserve in 2020.’ The society is also pushing to make all three Wairarapa districts the world’s largest dark-sky reserve, encompassing almost 6,000 square kilometres. It seems likely, and Becky is excited. She used to work at Space Place in Wellington then moved to the Wairarapa and began her own business, bringing her telescope and laser beam to events, parties, and school groups. Does she ever get bored? ‘No. New moons, planets, and stars are always being discovered and each tells a story. I’ve been looking at the night sky since I was eight, but I’ll never learn everything.’ She looks up. ‘How could I ever get sick of that?’ Sarah Lang was hosted by Destination Wairarapa.




| Property Management



Body Corporate



Toyota BEV Concept


Europe was represented by niche models: Sporty Renaults, an electric Smart car, and the Mercedes EQS, an amazingly-lit electric C-class concept car (IT sports had more than a thousand LED lights); while the ‘Japan SuperCar Association’ had a nostalgic collection of their Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Japanese vehicles dominated. There is a trade war going on and their serious competitors, the Koreans, didn’t get a look in. Propulsion systems included petrol, hybrid (petrol/ electric), EV (electric vehicle), and hydrogen fuel cell (FC). Diesel was nowhere in sight. Petrol lives on with lean-burn engines from Subaru, and the ‘Skyactiv X’ from Mazda, which uses an innovative spark-controlled compression ignition to bring together the best characteristics of gasoline and diesel. Hybrid petrol/electric models dominated as the medium-term solution until electric batteries get lighter, cheaper, and quicker to charge. Hydrogen, as in the FC, is to me the future of propulsion for electric cars. But although it was first invented in 1838 and first used commercially in 1932, an FC needs platinum as a catalyst to aid the ‘conversion’ of hydrogen into electricity. There’s much development going on but it’s expensive at the moment.



’m a very lucky journalist just back from this year’s biennial Tokyo Motor Show. The show’s title seemed cleverly prophetic: ‘Open Futures’. It was a mind-bogglingly spectacular affair, not just for car-culturalists, but for droves of the wider public. ‘Joy In Mobility’ was a constant theme. Trucks carried signs saying they transported ‘Every Happiness’. The show’s brochure ‘Hoped to see the surprised smiling faces’ of everyone attending. In every hall there were were jolly robots, live comedians, and computer-animated cartoon characters. Everything on wheels, what fuels were powering those wheels, and who was steering them, were on display. There were wheelchairs, scooters, motorcycles, micro and sports cars, sedans and SUVs, vans, and big-rig trucks. Aerial mobility was also there, in the form of a personcarrying rescue drone. Toyota, not content with all the optional propulsion systems and their near-domination of the planet’s roads, had a model of a manned lunar rover, using tyres developed by Bridgestone.



Toyota Ultracompact BEV

Honda Urban EV Concept

Suzuki Henare

Toyota had an important FC sedan called ‘Mirai’; and Fuso, the first brand to launch an all-electric truck, had a prototype using FC ‘to solve the range limitation of batteries and the stoppages for charging.’ Honda’s FC ‘Clarity’ family car is already in production. Shared mobility is also evolving as vehicles address the cost of ownership, environmental impact, safety, and comfort. With five stages of autonomy, you can choose exactly how much control you hand over to the vehicle. Interactivity between the car and its driver is increasingly diverse. Toyota’s prototype e-RACER was there for the driving enthusiast. At the other end they they showed a fully autonomous e-Palette, a driverless push-me pull-you minibus which will transport athletes at next year’s Olympics. In terms of interactivity, cars and their drivers are bonding ever more closely. Your car will automatically check for breath alcohol, adjust your seating position, establish your favourite temperature, and select your favourite music. Some cars offer health checks and eye-tracking technology – biometric sensors monitoring the driver’s mood and stress levels, with the car then able to adjust the cabin’s temperature and lighting, alter the music, and even squirt scent. A happy, healthy driver who is calm and focussed is a less dangerous driver. Suzuki has a show car called ‘Henare’, proposed to be introduced in 2040. It’s an autonomous mobile living room without steering, which will run in the Level 5 fully self-driving mode

and switch between front and rear travel when needed. Is it a car, or a tiny home? Will it need building consent? For the mobility-challenged, Suzuki had ‘Kupo’, a flexible hi-tech electric wheelchair supporting ‘mobility in everyday life’. It can be used to walk while assisting the user electrically, or can be ridden in ‘drive mode’ when the users tire. There were the usual weird names: Mazda’s Scrum, Nissan’s Sylphy and Daze, Toyota’s Spade, and Honda’s Dunk; but the wonderful and beautiful designs and the many layers of imaginative forward-thinking were deadly serious. Cars are getting littler in reflection of our increasingly urban life, and also getting cuter. They sport names like Waiwai and WakuWaku. Many new production models likely to reach our shores were launched, including Subaru’s Levorg, Toyota’s Yaris, Mazda’s CX30, Lexus’ LC 500, Mitsubishi’s RVR, and Honda’s E. The bigger manufacturers had booths for visitors to experience the work of a concept car designer. Amongst the hordes of motoring journos, I met – on the last media day in October – a nice English fellow who was sad to hear that there are no longer any cars manufactured in New Zealand, but he observed, ‘at least you are going to win the RWC’. Despite this glitch, I absolutely loved the Tokyo Motor Show 2019. I will be back in two years time to see how open the future has become.



MUDBUG Polhill Reserve has a new descending 2.7-km mountain-bike trail. Built by volunteers from the Brooklyn Trail Builders, the project began in October 2017 and will officially open in March 2020, although most of the trail is open to riders already. Rob Lee from BTB says the new trail is tentatively named Ikigai, a Japanese word meaning ‘thing you live for.’ The trail will be the last built in Polhill Reserve; however, more trails towards the south coast are in the works.




Breathe in that sweet-smelling twostroke, slap on your Monster energy cap, and crack yourself a can of bourbon and coke. The Upper Hutt raceway will host the super saloon North Island championship on 6 and 7 December. This event is any petrol-head’s dream, with highoctane-fuelled V8 saloons flying around a clay oval. On Boxing Day the speedway becomes a gladiatorial arena with a demolition derby. What better remedy for those post-Christmas blues? Tickets at the gate.

Pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming. Cricket at the Basin is free on 21 December for the Super Smash T20, where the Wellington Firebirds and Blaze take on the Otago Volts and Sparks. Naming rights for the T20 league went to Dream11, a fantasy cricket league popular in India and boasting over 70 million users. As well as dreaming about the summer season, cricket fans can now create their own fantasy teams on Dream11 and compete with friends.

The Hutt Road walking and biking path has opened to commuters. The path joins others to Khandallah, Ngaio and Wadestown, and will link with the planned Te Ara Tupua path to Lower Hutt. The city’s first bike counter, which indicates how many people pass a point each day, was also unveiled outside Spotlight on the Hutt Road. Stats show the number of people cycling into the city has tripled in the past 19 years.



SPLASH A N D DA S H While we head home after work and fall asleep on the couch, there are people out there heading out for an ocean swim (Cap #45, #58). The splash and dash race series runs every second Wednesday after work from November to March – although this month there’s only one race on 11 December. Swim options range from 150 metres to 2.5 kilometres out from Oriental Parade. The average water temperature in December is 15.4°C, so we’d recommend a wetsuit.




Get yourself courtside to follow a little fluorescent ball bouncing to and fro at the Wellington Tennis Open from 19 – 22 December. New Zealand’s best players will battle it out at the Renouf Centre for a slice of $12,000 prize money. Pool games, quarters, and semifinals are all free entry. Finals day on the Sunday is ticketed, with fully catered courtside tables available.

Kiwi’s seem to do all right at the sport – there’s Sarah Ulmer and Sam Webster – but track cycling is a pretty obscure sport. Burkes Cycles Speed League runs every Sunday at the Hataitai velodrome and welcomes all ages and abilities. The specially curved walls of the track mean that cyclists can hit speeds of up to 80km/h, in what is described as an exhilarating spectator sport. Bikes can be hired there if you suddenly get the urge to participate.

Rein in some studs, saddle up, and gallop on over to the Trentham Racecourse on 7 December. The main event of the day (besides the live music, fancy dress and of course, restrained drinking) will be a group one thoroughbred race – the Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes – a 1,600m sprint with a purse of $200,000. This race has been won by a number of famous horses over the years including Rough Habit and Solveig.



Waste not want not BY J E S S I CA RO D E N


ome Friday night there’s nothing better than a glass of pinot noir. I’m a political journalist so make it two if it’s a sitting week. My friends and I usually sit around gossiping about work or planning a weekend away. It’s one of the things I look forward to most. But it’s also presented a bit of a dilemma for me this year as I’ve tried to live more sustainably. You see there are loads of places with beer and cider on tap where you can bring your own containers and get them filled up. But despite my best efforts, and my best research, I cannot find any way to get waste-free wine. Now naturally it’s not a habit I’ve given up. But granted how fast my friends and I go through the bottles during an episode of Grey's Anatomy it would be great if there were a solution. It wouldn’t be that hard either. A brewery that had wine on tap would make a killing. Or if you could buy a crate of wine and return the empties to a vineyard to have them refilled. I briefly entertained the idea of buying a barrel of Pinot and storing it in the garage. But that seems like an awfully dangerous investment. Admittedly it’s quite a trivial problem, but it illustrates well a point that’s becoming abundantly clear to me. No matter how hard I try it’s impossible to live an entirely waste-free life. Now wine bottles aren’t the end of the world because they’re made from glass, which is much more sustainable than, say, plastic. While glass can be recycled again and again, most plastic cannot. Yes, recycling is one solution but it’s problematic. It’s an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. That’s because it takes energy to recycle, and some glass can’t even be


recycled because it’s contaminated. Plus New Zealand sends many of our products overseas to be recycled because we don’t have the infrastructure here to do it ourselves. So if I go through a bottle of wine a week that’s 52 bottles a year, which doesn’t sit quite right with me. Fortunately though for most things bar a few I have been able to find a waste-free alternative. I had briefly given up on getting butter waste free until I discovered that Hillside Café in Thorndon makes their own and they let you BYO containers. (Now I was a bit reluctant to mention that because they don’t make a lot, and, like a strung-out user, I fear my supply drying up. But against my better judgement there we are.) I’d put kombucha in the too-hard basket too until I found a Plimmerton company that does refills at the Sunday market. I’m learning that for most things there is a way around creating waste if you look hard enough. One of the best things for waste-free living is the growth of bulk food companies that let you refill your own containers. We’ve got a few of them in Wellington including Commonsense Organics and Hopper Street Ecostore. Good Housekeeping too is a zero waste dream. Having said that, there’s no one-stop zero-waste shop just yet. Now short of moving to Martinborough and buying a vineyard (something I’m not entirely opposed to) I’m not sure what the answer is. All I want is to enjoy a full bodied, waste free, guilt free glass of Pinot on a Friday night. Surely that’s not too much to ask?

Open 24/ 7 at new z

All your garden needs, available at Palmers Miramar 69-71 Miramar Avenue, Miramar. Wellington. 04 388 8435

Available evenings & weekday mornings for Christmas get-togethers, group breakfasts, casual dinners or drinks & pizza Book a table for 6 - 10 people or book the room for 20 people

call 801 6868 or email: to reserve your date

80 Boulcott St


04 499 1636


Enoug h of this BY M E LO DY T H O M A S


didn’t think of it till the very moment I began to type, but this is the last month of the decade. Come January we’ll officially be in 2020, year of the future, where we were supposed to have holograms and flying cars but instead got increasing social isolation and climate dread. I remember being eight years old and a friend saying to me, ‘Have you ever thought about how in the year 2000 we’ll be fifteen?!’ The crazy, far-off place of the year 2000 is now 20 years in the past. The 80s – forever cemented in my mind as roughly 15 years ago – are now more than double that. Time is weird. It’s best not to dwell on it. A few weeks ago I was having a bit of a crisis. Freelance life is tough – sometimes there’s no work, which brings on anxiety over how you’re going to pay the bills, and then the rest of the time there’s too much work, because you were so anxious about going into debt that you said yes to everything, and now you have more projects due than any one person ought to be able to complete. You’re running on stress, adrenaline, caffeine, and sugar, your family is an inconvenience getting in the way of your productivity, you have an internal list of friends you must catch up with as soon as there is time (hint: there never is), your body is falling apart from a lack of sleep and exercise; and if your romantic relationship somehow survives all of this it’s simply because neither of you have the energy to address how bad things really are. I suspect this isn’t just the case for freelancers, given the number of people who – when you ask how they really are – reply ‘exhausted’, ‘over it’, or ‘ready for a break’. Funnily enough, this crisis hit as my work life slowed down. Summer is usually a busy time for me, and for years I’d been wishing I could have a break during the warmer months. Then a big project got pushed back, leaving me with exactly what I’d wished for. Only I didn’t want it any more.

I’d forgotten that time and space – unplanned – can leave a person face to face with themselves in a way that’s quite confronting. I found myself tackling some hard truths – essentially, that over the past few years I’ve become so focused on work that it’s come to represent the core of my identity and the main contributor to my self-worth. A summer break shouldn’t be spent agonising over grand anxieties, like who I am and what I am doing with my life, and yet here I was. There’s a line I found quoted online, from psychiatrist and author David D Burns: ‘A silent assumption that leads to anxiety and depression is “My worth as a human being is proportional to what I have achieved in my life.” This attitude is at the core of Western culture and it is self-defeating, grossly inaccurate, and misleading.’ How many of us, faced with the fact that we have not done all the things we wanted to by a certain age, have turned this feeling of not having done enough into a much more dangerous idea, that we are not enough. That we are not pretty or thin or confident or happy or successful or loved or funny or fertile or productive enough because we aren’t trying hard enough, because we don’t have what it takes, or because we simply aren’t worthy of it. I’m not in the habit of making New Years’ resolutions, but nevertheless I’m going into 2020 with a new set of priorities. Of course work is important – if not for the sense of satisfaction that comes with being good at something, then at the very least for being able to support yourself or your family financially. But it’s not who we are. We are the connections we make with other people. We are the things that bring us joy. We are the safe homes for the bodies of our children. We are the stories we tell about ourselves and others. We are the beat that calls our bodies to the dance floor. We are alive and that in itself is a miracle – let’s not squander a moment more.



Creating Freedom in Your Busy Lifestyle Life P.A. makes your life easier by taking care of your have ‘to-dos’ so you can enjoy your want ‘to-dos’. running errands gift shopping travel planning & booking home styling & staging household moves and more

Heaven for shoe lovers 04 499 7046 | 102 Wakefield St, Wellington

Learn more at or call 021 2900 040

Got a bug?

Jason Got 021 024 77726 Try Jason. troubles?

New Zealand’s largest Mediterranean specialty store online! Jason.

021 024 77726

Plimmer ton


Your Wellington Florist

Brony’s Beachfront

Aotearoa Bouquet - A little bit of kiwiana with beautiful weaving of the harakeke using eco flax wrapping. Real florists with real passion. Your Wellington Florists are professional designers driven by passion, designing bouquets for any occasion using locally and New Zealand Flowers.

Enjoy the spectacular views from this historic two story, beachfront home. Experience staying in old world charm in Plimmerton, right on the water’s edge, easy parking. Only a few steps from “foodie’s paradise” and opposite the Plimmerton train station.

Ph: 04 233 2140 15B Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton.


TASTE THE NEAN ANY ZEALAND Shop online Foods New Zealand ranean speci



W h a t wo u l d D e i r d r e d o? GRINCH -IN-LAW


My in-laws don’t celebrate Christmas, and were very disapproving and unpleasant when they joined us once before. Should I still include them with the proviso my family want included, that they should at least pretend to enjoy it, if they come? Joshua, Newtown

My partner is 57 and I am 26, and my family is outraged at our relationship. We kept it secret for two years, because I knew there would be disapproval. Am I silly to think it might be lasting? And what do we say to our critics? Sina, Kāpiti Your business, your relationship, your happiness – life is short. Live it and try to avoid this sort of pettiness. There are so many things in the world for them to worry about and this is not your worry. Let it go. Be happy.

Invite them and be cheerful and welcoming but accept their refusal instantly and pleasantly and have a happy Christmas time. Giving provisos doesn’t seem right. Do you have a dinner/ picnic with them as their Christmas event? Is it Christmas they don’t do, or is it your family? Each to their own.



I am 39, and every year, I spend hours trying to buy my mother a present. I don’t ever feel I’ve nailed it. What has been your most favourite Christmas present from your children? Janet, Lower Hutt

My grandmother has always managed Christmas and expects that it’s their house for Christmas. It’s fraught because she is then exhausted by our children before we’ve even had lunch. How do we get her to see sense and listen when we say to them, NO, you join us? Sophie, Island Bay

This certainly changes according to what is happening in any year and their perceptions of what I need, but actually some of the best things are experiences with them and their families. Walks, lunches, dinners, days away – maybe think about this, or massages? Podiatrists! Delivered veggie boxes? Subscriptions to magazines she likes? Framed, ready to show photos are special too. It’s not just about Christmas and being there is probably the most important thing for her. Happy Christmas.

Family ritual is important and will be a special part of Christmas and being grandparents for them. Change it by stages. Have a family lunch well in advance, and suggest sharing the load. Be very clear who is doing what, and try to ensure that they just have the table and the turkey to do and everything else appears by magic! Or maybe break with tradition and all go out for dinner and just go back to them for cake and presents? Or start the day with a breakfast with them then move on to own families’ celebrations? They can go too, or not. Keep the gathering for them, and try to minimise the effort involved, but by sharing not replacing. Buon natale!

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

Feeling the pinch? Check out the following idea...

DAY AT THE RACES Under-18s have free entry to the Interislander Summer Festival Tauherenikau Races on 2 January. No matter what your age, you can catch the complimentary bus service which meets the morning train at the Featherston station, and takes you back at the end of the day. So pack a picnic and get set for a day of racing action, kids’ entertainment (including bouncy castles), and live music. One of the prettiest racetracks in the country, Tauherenikau has lots of shady trees to sit under, and a river close by to cool off in.

December S






































C o me v i si t o u r c a fe a t C ALI F O R N I A H O M E & G AR D EN O p e n 7 da y s | Lowe r H u t t , W e ll in g t o n

ca l i f o r n i a ga r .n z /ca f e






Free, fun family day out UNDERGROUND CHRISTMAS MARKETS Under Frank Kitts Park, every Saturday and Sunday HOME IS WHERE MY HEART WILL REST Artist Chevron Hassett investigates

Lakeview School, Masterton, 7–8 December THE NUTCRACKER Hannah Playhouse, 7 & 8 December MESSIAH

his home suburb of Naenae

NZSO performs Messiah as their final

Toi Pōneke Art Centre, until 7 December

concert for the year


Michael Fowler Centre, 7.30pm

Mahara Gallery, Waikanae, until 8 December

THE WORLD’S BIG SLEEP OUT Christmas concert and charity fundraiser


McEwan Park, Lower Hutt, from 9pm

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

A survey exhibition of work by artist Wayne Youle Pātaka Art & Museum, Porirua TITAHI BAY CHRISTMAS FAIR Whitehouse Road Shopping Village, from 10am HANUKKAH IN THE PARK Hosted by the Embassy of Israel, Wellington Jewish Community, and Temple Sinai The Sound Shell, Botanic Garden, from 11am A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS Sprightly carols and sumptuous motets by JS Bach, Handel, and Buxtehude St Mary of the Angels, 2pm



Workspace Studios, 7 & 21 December 10am, bookings essential

Watch the classic Christmas movie Space Place, 7pm

A six-screen video installation showing fireworks



City Gallery



Celebrate Palestinian and Middle Eastern culture


Frank Kitts Park, 11am–2pm

TUIA 250 OPEN VESSELS Get up close to the Tuia 250 flotilla vessels


DREAM11 SUPER SMASH Cricket at the basin Basin Reserve, 12.40 pm WELLINGTON PHOENIX VS SYDNEY FC Westpac Stadium, 4.45pm kick off

Wellington Waterfront, 10am–3pm

Shed 6, 6pm




Electronic music and painted light projections


Teams of three race relay style, with proceeds to Upper Hutt Food Bank

at the planetarium Space Place, 8pm

Brewtown Upper Hutt, 10am THORNDON FAIR Stalls, food, and entertainment.



Kāpiti Primary School, 4.30pm






14 Main St, Greytown, midday

Tinakori Rd and Hill St, 10am – 3pm


A comic opera performed by Wanderlust Opera


Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee St, 5–8 December

Harcourt Park, Upper Hutt, 6pm


Motorcycle street race Whanganui, 11am

31 NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER Three-course dinner, music, and fireworks St Johns Bar & Eatery


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



enjoyment, fitness and family fun

love life. love mySpa. Wellington 403 High Street Lower Hutt

Wairarapa 156 High Street North Carterton

Kapiti 18 Kapiti Road Paraparaumu

sapphire spas. australian made & family owned


Australian Ma

Profile for Capital

Capital 67  

Capital 67