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s we neared completion of this issue we changed alert levels again and another Covid lockdown threatened. Suddenly Summer seemed more fragile (and it has been a misnomer this year in the capital) and our theme of Social rather prescient. Social everything in almost every aspect of the word – this was what changed for us last year, in terms of life, friends, family, habits and media and it is clear that in 2021 we must expect still more change. Our thanks to the people who shared their last year’s lockdown experience with us, and in particular to Dr Michelle Balm who took time out in a renewed 2021 alert level 2 to share her experiences from last year. For our regular Tales feature, I asked the Millennials and Gen Zs in our office (and they are several) to find us a glittering socialite and I liked their recommendation. The joy he finds in his life, and in the capital, is a pleasure to share. See p21. Award-winning filmmaker and writer Briar Grace-Smith discusses films, family, and whakapapa with Sarah Lang ahead of the release of her new film Cousins, a multigenerational family project to be released in March. In all good village tales there is a benign shopkeeper, presiding over a social hub. In this issue we talk to a pillar of the Paekākāriki community, the reticent Horace of the village grocery store. Reticence is remote from some social “behaviours” that have become the norm. To inform and amuse us, Jess Scott delves into app dating and Kirsty Frame explains TikTok. All this and much much more! We have moved to a bi-monthly schedule, with six issues per year. The change was made partly in response to the unprecedented events of last year. As a magazine that launched its own Love Local project way back in 2019, we wholeheartedly support purchases from our advertisers and of our magazine. I welcome your letters and feedback and thank you for your continued interest. 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.
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Contributors Melody Thomas, Janet Hughes, John Bishop, Anna Briggs, Sarah Lang, Deirdre Tarrant, Craig Beardsworth, Griff Bristed, Dan Poynton, Sarah Catherall, Chris Tse, Claire Orchard, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Harriet Palmer, Sharon Greally, Jess Scott, Claire O’Loughlin, Annie Keig, Chev Hassett, Joram Adams, Sanne Van Ginkel, Rachel Helyer Donaldson, Matthew Plummer, Fairooz Samy, Maeve Hughes, Adrian Vercoe, Sasha Borissenko, Courtenay Scott-Hill
RACHEL HELYER DONALDSON Journ a li st
M AT T H E W C A S E Y Sp or t s w riter
Originally from Te Waipounamu, Rachel spent 16 years in London. In 2014 she sensibly settled in Wellington to set set up as a freelance feature writer and filmmaker. Taking part in her first-ever Round the Bays in February made her feel like a true Wellingtonian.
Matthew has just completed his studies at Victoria University and is now the co-editor of Salient magazine. A politics and sports enthusiast with an undying love for Rugby League and New Zealand music, he’s on a mission to try every corn fritter in Wellington.
A VA G E R A R D C amp ai g n c o ordi n ator
KIRSTY FRAME Intern
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. Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a four-year stint overseas, Ava has returned to her favourite city and joined the Capital team as a campaign coordinator. Ava is also a radio dj, fashion stylist, and aspiring pro-surfer who is always down for a chat.
We welcome freelance art, photo, and story submissions. However we cannot reply personally to unsuccessful pitches.
Kirsty’s love for Wellington led her to Victoria University in 2016, and her love for story-telling led her to Salient magazine last year. Naturally, she’s found her way into the Capital office. You’ll find her swimming in Seatoun, hosting dinner parties in Mt Vic, or at the Saturday Newtown Markets.
SIX SPICED BOTANICAL RUM
C O N T E N T S
12 LETTERS 14 CHATTER 16 NEWS BRIEFS 18 NEW PRODUCTS 20 TALES OF THE CITY 25 CULTURE
30 Eye for it CPotY Judge Steve Boniface works the camera
34 Village people
Horace and his grocery store are pillars of Paekākāriki
32 Tok around the clock A Zoomer explains the TikTok hype
Rachel and Conrad are giant garden friends
Meet the men exploring eastern-most Zealandia
DISCOVER YOUR PERFECT TARANAKI GETAWAY
Part two of our Chatham Islands feature
C O N T E N T S
From the fish bowl
Shearers' table Coconut poached chicken omelette
Legends of lockdown as told by the locals
56 Doomsdating App dating in the age of Covid
62 LIFESTYLE 64 BUG ME 68 EDIBLES 72 BY THE BOOK 75 RE-VERSE
78 Bringing it home Briar Grace-Smith on family and her new film, Cousins
86 Finger on the Pulse New Central Pulse head coach Gail Parata returns home and steps up
82 Later skater
What are the council’s plans for those pesky city skateboarders?
90 WELLY ANGEL 92 WĀHINE 94 CALENDAR 96 PUZZLED
Pair endless beaches with a towering mountain, adventure with sumptuous dining, and picturesque scenery with world-class modern art and unique events. It’s all here in Taranaki – a place like no other.
It’s just around the corner! AN INITIATIVE OF VENTURE TARANAKI
LU C K Y F O R S OM E
L E T T E R S
M TO PL
TE D FAR
I love your mag and I am a loyal reader but I’m starting to get a little disheartened by the featured articles on very expensive homes. Issues 74 and 75 both feature huge palatial million-dollar or more homes that are out of reach for the average Wellingtonian and issue 75 featured not one but two of this person’s expensive properties! It’s a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, especially at this point in time when so many people in Wellington are desperate for a home to rent and finding it impossible to save for a home of their own with the huge rents and prices of houses going up by the day. Your article in issue 74, Stuck Home Syndrome, was highlighting what a huge amount of Wellingtonians are going through and I can completely relate to this, so reading about these wealthy people in these expensive homes is quite depressing. Lisa, a damp cold expensive flat in Mt Victoria We are always keen to write about a variety of interesting homes around the region - Ed. C O ST OF CARE
Farmed in NZ without crates or cages. No exceptions. We support NZ producers working to build a food system that is kinder for farm animals and takes it easy on the environment. Too much to ask for? Absolutely not.
PROUDLY FARMED IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND.
Where to find us? www.freedomfarms.co.nz email@example.com @freedomfarmsnz
Ask for Freedom Farms at your local grocery store, butcher or specialty food shop.
The estimate of 30,000 new homes needed in Wellington City by 2043 (Cap #74) is frightening. Surely, they don’t all need to be new builds, taking up food-producing land. What about the family homes currently occupied by just two people? If they sell the family home, move to something smaller and put the rest in the bank, what happens when one of them needs permanent care? The current rules are that unless your home and car are worth less than $236K, (!!) you’ll choose the option where the assets/savings of the couple will be applied to the full cost of that care, ($56K p.a.) until all that is left is a home, a vehicle and maximum of $130K worth of other assets (shares, cash, boat, second car, holiday home). This figure of $130K changes by a tiny amount each year. Does anyone know what calculation produced this figure? It would be very interesting to see what figure the same calculation would produce today. Dianne Cooper, Waikanae JOIN THE DOTS On page 16 of the Summer issue you say that the average Wellingtonian uses 50% more water than the average Aucklander. On page 70 you say Wellingtonians are great recyclers, "remembering to rinse before we recycle". Anyone else spot a connection? Pam, Hataitai M AY I HAV E S OM E M O R E ? What a treat to find a short story in your Summer issue. Have you thought about putting one in every issue? Suze, Kelburn
Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Letters to Ed
S E C TCI HO AN T TH EE RA D E R
One Park pop Pop-up “parklets” are designed to create more vibrant, people-friendly space in our neighbourhoods. Wellington City Council has secured $1 million from Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency to pilot four projects through the Innovating Streets fund. As we went to print, three parklets had popped up – in Newtown, Allen St, and Te Aro.
Two Splendid stroll Ag l a o n e m a What's in a name? The name Aglaonema is derived from the Greek words agláos (shining) and néma (thread). Aglaonemas grow wild in the tropical rainforests of Asia, and are also known as Chinese Evergreens. Where should I plant it? Aglaonemas are very slow-growing, and make excellent indoor plants with their varied, attractive foliage. Ideally keep them a few feet away from a well lit window where they can receive bright diffused light. What's the best thing about this plant? Aglaonema thrive easily in our homes and workplaces. Tolerant of low light and “sporadic” care, they're perfect plants for the beginner. Interesting fact The Aglaonema is the recurring theme in the hit film Léon: The Professional. The eponymous hero (played by Jean Reno) treasures the plant, and at the end of the film Mathilda (Natalie Portman) gives it a fresh start. A very appropriate role for this tough guy! Our plant of the month was chosen by James Cameron from Twigland, Johnsonville.
Need a spark of inspiration for Capital Photographer of the Year (CPotY)? The team at Splendid is hosting a free photo walk around the central city on 25 March. One of the CPotY judges will also be there to share tips and tricks for the competition. Starting at 5pm, take a round trip through the CBD as the sun begins to set, and commuters make their mad dash home. If that award-winning frame has yet to spring, this might be your chance to snap it. Go to capitalmag.co.nz/cpoty for more info.
Three Wheely good Wellington comedy just got more accessible with the Humorous Arts Trust investing in a portable wheelchair ramp for its venues across the city. The device will give performers and punters ease of access, as most comedy club venues aren’t wheelchair friendly. Dave Batten, a local comic with athetoid cerebral palsy, has often been carried upstairs to his gigs, but this month will be rolling up on stage for his headlining Friday Laugh shows on 12 and 19 March in Upper Hutt and Petone respectively.
C H AT T E R
New in town
Simply sustainable A Wellington company called nil is rethinking beauty with reusable products. Organic wool makeup removers and facecloths are handcrafted with soft specially felted New Zealand wool that is 100% biodegradable; nil waste, with nil effort. See the full nil range — and new refillery — at 471 Adelaide Road or nilproducts.com
Four Au naturel An augmented reality experience called Hidden Tracks offers a sense of what Wellington might have been like when it was covered in bush. Joel Baxendale and Oliver Devlin of experimental theatre company Binge Culture (Cap #46) collected audio and video recordings while visiting Kāpiti Island. They “superimposed” this material on inner-city locations “to create interesting juxtapositions that highlighted the changing role of nature in urban environments.” Download to your phone and experience the 27-minute video-walk/follow-film at your leisure.
C i a o b a by
It's cool to kōrero Kia hui tāua a te wiki nei, ki te inu kāwhe, kōrero ai.
Six By the numbers
Scopa pizzeria has a fresh spin on their menu and a stylish new fitout. Keeping to their Italian roots, they’re grounded in classic Italian style pizza but not defined by it. Brought to you by the same team for the past 15 years, visit them on the corner of Cuba and Ghuznee.
Let’s catch up this week over coffee.
cafés within a 5km radius of Wellington’s CBD
events scheduled in the Wellington region during March and April
attended Wellington’s Six60 performance, the largest concert in the world this year
million Kiwis now use social media
billion years have now been spent globally surfing the internet
N E W S
ON THE R OA D A G A I N Lower Hutt is growing – the city had already exceeded its 2030 population targets last year – and so are its transport challenges. A new Integrated Transport Strategy is needed to ensure its future “isn’t one where our residents sit in constant traffic,” says Mayor Campbell Barry. “We need to get the basics right, which includes planning for a modern transport network.” The public can participate in the strategy’s development through workshops and an interactive survey.
A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
FLY MY PRETTIES
Hutt Valley’s women's softball team has claimed the National Fastpitch Championship for the third time in four years. The annual tournament was hosted at Auckland’s Rosedale Park last month, where they scored a 10–0 victory over Wellington in the semifinals and took on Auckland 4–1 for the finals. A proud co-captain Lara Andrews (pictured) said Hutt Valley's approach for the championship was to "leave it all on the diamond".
A bird repellent called Flock Off is being trialled at Awatea Lakes, in Paraparaumu, to control the local Canada geese population. The bitterness irritates birds’ sense of taste and smell, but doesn’t harm them. Kāpiti Coast District Council’s parks and recreation manager Monique Engelen says goose droppings in the Awatea Lakes area “have reached a point now where we need to take steps to manage the population.” The droppings can carry diseases such as avian influenza, campylobacter, E. coli, and salmonella.
The chapel and crematorium at Whenua Tapu Cemetery in Porirua will be closed for about six months for repairs. Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says it is an important place of memory and mourning for our community and the closure “will unavoidably inconvenience some, but the repairs are overdue so we hope those affected will understand.” The upgrade includes earthquake strengthening, a new roof, asbestos remediation, and painting. The rest of the cemetery will not be closed during the project.
N E W S
YAY O R N AY Intensification was the most discussed topic in the 2,897 submissions Wellington City Council received in response to their draft Spatial Plan. The summary report, released in February, said there was “a reasonably even split between those who were in favour of intensification, and those who opposed it.” Those in favour talked of affordable housing, better proximity to amenities, higher quality housing, and a more compact city. Those opposed feared losing the character of established suburbs.
Funding from EQC and Massey University has allowed scientists to source low-cost seismometers for a project to trial a low-cost community-based earthquake early warning system. Residents of Lower Hutt have been asked for their thoughts about installing the sensors, which would generate appropriate warnings, in community-owned buildings. The warning may only be 10 seconds ahead of a quake, but it will give people time to drop, cover, and hold, says Raj Prasanna from Massey University.
While checking his traplines, Predator Free Wellington’s Joakim Liman recognised previously undiscovered matagouri (Discaria toumatou) plants, a thorny shrub with spines and small fragrant white flowers. Its numbers in the North Island are so critical, it is unlikely to be able to survive without intervention. Over 300 seeds have now been gathered from the plants, and once healthy new plants are grown, they will form the basis of a new population in a local coastal reserve.
Construction on Site 9, Willis Bond’s seventh major development on Wellington’s waterfront, has kicked off. The four-level, 3,900-square-metre office building is designed by Athfield Architects Limited with structural design by Dunning Thornton Consultants, and will be built by LT McGuinness, ready for occupation in mid-2022. The building is designed to withstand a 1-in-1,000-year earthquake. Conventionally built commercial buildings are generally designed to withstand 1-in-100-year seismic events.
H O L I S T I C T H E R A P I E S , O R G A N I C H E R B A L T E A , N AT U R A L S K I N C A R E , A R O M AT H E R A P Y, B E S P O K E B L E N D S & W O R K S H O P S OPEN
S T R E E T,
W E L L I N G T O N A P O T H E C A RY. C O . N Z
N E W
P R O D U C T S
1. Mango wood tray, $59.99, Trade Aid 2. Appetito cotton string bag, $6.95, Moore Wilson’s 3. Saint Phillip 150ml hot sauce, $12, Apostle Hot Sauce 4. Honest rum, $73, Honest Spirits 5. Lettuce florist flower puzzle, $42, Small Acorns 6. Cutlery travel set, $24.99, nil products 7. Reto 3D camera, $199, Splendid 8. Kinto black travel tumbler, $69, Wellington Apothecary 9. Bonnie and Neil spotted begonia mustard linen throw, $330, Small Acorns 10. Bananas, $4.99 per kg, Conmonsense Organics 11. Yokono: Salada yellow sandals, $99, I Love Paris
Produced exclusively for Te Papa Store’s Fine Art Prints collection, this work by Robyn Kahukiwa continues her exploration of Māori culture. One of Aotearoa’s pre-eminent female Māori painters, Kahukiwa joins a bespoke selection of other New Zealand artists in our range, aiming to bring Fine Art to your whare. Huia silk screen print, edition 1 of 25, Robyn Kahukiwa; 2020; New Zealand
Explore the collection in-store or online at tepapastore.co.nz
S E C T I O N
H E A D E R
TA L E S
T H E
C I T Y
Social butterfly 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
B O OK
The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers, by Mark Gevisser
Desmond Rimaki Sunn
Vivian Lyngdoh: life of the party and chair of the board
ailing from the foothills of the Himalayas, Vivian Lyngdoh has lived in New Zealand for the past decade. He says his friends, a network that is “essentially my family”, make Wellington feel like home for him. “We all have similar interests. I think also what feels very Wellington is the constant political conversation we all have, whether it be over coffee or a rave. You never seem to get away from the political chit chat.” One of his stand-out memories of Wellington is the first Cuba Dupa he attended, “the creativity, the family vibes, the dancing, the queerness of it all – I was inspired by it!” Vivian’s involved in the social life of the capital in a number of ways. He’s the board chair for the Wellington Pride Festival (13–27 March) and a community researcher for CARE (the Centre for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation), a project for the prevention of sexual and family violence in diverse communities. He’s also the founder of a queer events collective, Frills. Vivian explains that Frills is a series of themed events whose attendees are encouraged to dress up “and allow their creativity to explode through their clothing”. Tickets for the next event, themed “Celestial bodies”, sold out within an hour. Vivian’s a regular at Swimsuit, Customs, Floriditas, Rogue & Vagabond, Rasa, and the veggie markets. His weekends are usually reserved for friends (“a dance is always around the corner for us”),
a Sunday walk, and a home-cooked Indian meal. He practices yoga, likes “a good read”, and when he doesn’t want to do anything will “draw the curtains shut and binge-watch Netflix.” Wearing his tiny sunglasses – “which are completely useless but you know they add to the drama and I love it!” – Vivian loves to walk along Oriental Parade, through Aro Valley, or down Cuba St. “You can never turn a corner and not run into a familiar friendly face.” A dog would make these promenades even more perfect. “OMG! Imagine me with a poodle. I have often pondered what Little-Miss-Thing would be like – sassy hopefully.” When international borders reopen he’d like to go home to Meghalaya for a visit. “I love going back to see my family in India during Christmas. It’s where I can ground myself, re-connect, and also get a list of chores to do which have been allocated to me since I was seven. And the food!” Interested in his Khasi people’s indigenous practices, Vivian hopes to spend some time with the elders “and re-learn our practices around sustainability, around our stories and our culture and our spirituality.” While he’s “obsessed” with Wellington’s local DJ talent Vivian also listens to songs from back home. His current favourite is Desmond Rimaki Sunn: “He uses our indigenous Khasi instruments and I love that – and thanks to Spotify, I get a piece of home at my home in Pōneke.” 21
A D V E R T O R I A L
Autumn in Queenstown
Autumn is the perfect time to indulge all the senses in the colours and flavours of the season. The temperatures are cooler at sunrise and sunset, but the warm sunny days are ideal for exploring the region at a relaxed pace. Soak up the autumn sunshine
while you explore local vineyards, breweries and wineries by bike or fill your days exploring local galleries, diverse retail stores, cafes and restaurants. The crisp evenings are perfect for sipping a glass of award-winning local Pinot Noir beside a fire.
Get a taste of Queenstown Queenstown is a true foodies’ paradise, with over 150 bars and restaurants the food scene is always buzzing in Queenstown. Whether it be new craft beer bars, cafes or restaurants popping up, exploring on a food tour, or sampling inventive new dishes there is always something creative and exciting to try. Queenstown’s pedestrianised town centre is packed with restaurants, cafes, bars and places for dessert, making it the ideal location to create your own bespoke walking food tour or cocktail crawl.
on a craft beer tour by day and finish by visiting a few specialty beer bars by night. An easy 25-minute drive from downtown Queenstown will take you to Gibbston, a picturesque part of Central Otago wine country. Ruggedly beautiful and home to some of the region’s oldest vineyards, it’s a wonderful place for a wine tour whether by bus, bike, or on foot.
Earn your rewards Autumn is an excellent time to explore Queenstown’s well established hiking and cycle trails and marvel at the bright autumn colours in remote parts of the region. The Queenstown Trail has over 130kms of off-road cycle trails taking you from Queenstown to Gibbston and Arrowtown, with a selection of cafes to refuel at and plenty to see along the way. Arrowtown is full of excellent walking trails with everything from easy riverside strolls to overnight mountain hikes. Or make your way to Glenorchy, 45 minutes’ drive from Queenstown. Located on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park, Glenorchy is the gateway to some of New Zealand’s best-known, multi-day tracks and day walks.
Explore Arrowtown Arrowtown is where autumn truly comes alive, and if you’re visiting Queenstown in autumn, Arrowtown is a must do.
Sip your way around the region Over the last few years, Queenstown’s craft beer scene has really come into its own with new local breweries and craft beer bars popping up throughout the region. Explore local breweries
A walk through Arrowtown’s historic streets feels like taking a step back in time to the region’s early mining days, however each of the hotels, restaurants, galleries and boutique retail stores will set your senses alive. The town is full of artists, talented chefs, florists, and shop owners with an eye for beautiful, unique and quality boutique pieces for their stores. Arrowtown lights up by night with buzzing restaurants and bars dotted along the town’s main streets. Pop in for an evening of wining and dining or a casual dinner and a movie at Arrowtown’s boutique cinema Dorothy Browns. For more information visit queenstownNZ.nz
Peter & Sara McIntyre
25 February – 16 May 2021
Sara McIntyre, Whakapapa Picnic, 2008. Peter McIntyre, A pleasant pool on the Wanganui River, c.1972. New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata Shed 11, 60 Lady Elizabeth Lane, Wellington Waterfront www.nzportraitgallery.org.nz, 04 472 2298
Proudly supported by Chris and Kathy Parkin
Wellington Fri, 26 Mar, 6.30pm Michael Fowler Centre
Hamish McKeich Conductor Stephen De Pledge Piano Ravel La Valse Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major Anna Clyne Masquerade Stravinsky Petrushka (1947 version)
Tickets from $25 nzso.co.nz
C U L T U R E
RAINBOW CONNECTION See internationally-touring exhibition Queer as German Folk (5 March–1 April) at Goethe-Institut Neuseeland’s Cuba Street HQ. The exhibition, co-organised by Germany’s cultural, globally-active Goethe-Institut, explains “queer movements” in Germany. Associated events are three subtitled German Queer Cinema films. (21, 23, 25 March, LightHouse Cuba). Everyone’s welcome at Goethe’s launch (26 March) of a print version of web comic Queer Conversations by Wellington’s Sam Orchard (pictured) and Germany’s Illi Anna Heger, whose fictional versions of themselves have “rainbow conversations” in important locations. Flip the book to read it in German.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
Paintings by renowned painter and WWII war artist Peter McIntyre (1910–1995), and 22 photographs by his daughter Sara McIntyre, are showing at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery exhibition Kākahi: Peter and Sara McIntyre (to 16 May). Their works depict the King Country town Kākahi, where the Wellington family holidayed frequently. Sara moved to Kākahi 10 years ago, and worked as a district nurse until two years ago. Her memoir Observations of a Rural Nurse was published last year.
Opera ain’t just for adults. New Zealand Opera is hitting the road for its annual Opera in Schools tour, stopping in various Wellington schools from 16 to 19 March. This year the company performs a 45-minute adaptation of Don Pasquale, about a man trying to thwart his heir’s marriage. It’s sung in English, and the set is designed to fit into school halls.
What would have been Wellington’s 20th International Dance Day was cancelled because of Covid-19. “So we’re having a big 21st!” says organiser Elizabeth Isaacs. Reflecting Wellington's cultural diversity, Filipino, Polish, Samoan, African, Indonesian, Indian, Brazilian, Sri Lankan, Middle Eastern, and Mexican dance groups will perform. There will be workshops (hiphop, flamenco, a Scottish ceilidh, swing dance, Cuban salsa), and family-friendly workshops (circus, Samoan, folk, and Malagasy). Te Papa, 2 May.
By leaving a gift in your will, your legacy lives on By leaving a gift in your will, your legacy lives on
Leaving a gift in your will to the Cancer Society means those with cancer and their families can continue to access our lifechanging services long after you have gone. No one should have to face cancer alone, and with your help, they won't have to. The Cancer Society can assist with a $250 (+GST) contribution towards your legal service costs. For more information call 04 260 4569 or visit https://cancernz.org.nz/a-gift-in-your-will
C U L T U R E
O U T- O F- B O DY EXPERIENCE Virtual-reality (VR) experiences are fairly rare in live theatre, but here’s a chance to participate in one. Ed Davis presents his 45-minute Great Gig in VR during the New Zealand Fringe Festival. The audience (maximum 15 each night) splits into groups of three and, wearing headsets, are guided through five VR “worlds”. Ed uses a “game engine” to provide virtual backdrops, so, for instance, you’ll feel you’re in a forest. “VR is the closest you can get to ‘lucid dreaming’ while awake,” Ed says. 16–20 March.
Following his success with kids’ fantasy drama Mystic, Wellingtonian Richard Fletcher of Libertine Pictures has won a commission with AMC Network’s Acorn TV. The world-leading streaming service has commissioned his romantic-comedy series Under The Vines. It stars Rebecca Gibney (Packed to the Rafters) and Charles Edwards (The Crown), playing city-dwellers who inherit a vineyard. As executive producer, Richard’s working with AMC’s investment/development division and an international production company. Shooting in Central Otago wraps in April.
Fifty years after composer Igor Stravinsky’s death, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra honours him in a high-energy, celebratory way. In its Podium Series concert Carnival (26 March), the NZSO performs Petrushka, Stravinsky’s ballet and orchestral suite (in this case, without any dancers). The programme also includes La Valse by Stravinsky’s contemporary Maurice Ravel, and English composer Anna Clyne’s Masquerade.
Enter a gaming tournament, try virtual-reality game Half Life: Alyx, or browse merchandise at “Wellygeddon”, the Armageddon Expo (17 & 18 April). The four-centre pop-culture convention lures fans of TV shows, comics, movies, etc – and some film and TV stars beam in on screens. Patrons who make 75% of their costumes themselves can participate in the Costume Contest and Parade; last year, Ben Winters won as a Star Wars Clone Trooper.
Exhibition - free entry 5 March - 1 April 2021 Goethe-Institut (level 6) 150 Cuba Street (entrance on Garrett St) Wellington
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Pass the paint
“Ours might be one of the longest centenaries ever,” admits Chris Szekely, Chief Librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library. The centenary was meant to stretch from 2018 (a century after merchant/collector Alexander Turnbull’s death) through to 2020 (a century after the opening of the library filled with his bequests). However, lockdown delayed the final centennial exhibition. Now here it is: Mīharo Wonder: 100 Years of the Alexander Turnbull Library (26 February to 30 September). How did co-curators Peter Ireland and Fiona Oliver choose what to exhibit? Turnbull bequeathed to his country 55,000 books, plus manuscripts, photographs, paintings, and sketches before he died at 49 following sinus surgery. Since then, millions more items (including books, manuscripts, maps, music, newspapers, oral histories, and paintings) have been bequeathed or donated by others, or sometimes bought. Peter and Fiona settled on the theme of mīharo (wonder) and asked library staff to nominate items that inspire mīharo in them. Then they pruned the resulting list to 200 taonga. Beauties include New Zealand’s oldest complete manuscript De Musica, a medieval treatise on music by Boethius with Latin text and intricate illustrations. More surprising: diaries written by a Wairarapa swagman (transient labourer who carried a bedroll or swag) for 30 years from 1888, on scraps of paper in minuscule handwriting.
“People tend to like and take more care of spaces that have murals,” says Pippa Sanderson, Hutt City Council’s community arts advisor. Last year, the council with the Dowse Art Museum selected nine Lower Hutt rangatahi for a year-long mentoring programme with street-art collective TMD (The Most Dedicated) Crew, twice winners of the World Graffiti-Art Championships. The rangatahi are all interested in artistic careers. TMD’s Charles and Janine Williams held a workshop on concepts and designs for a mural outside the Atrium Café. The rangatahi painted their own designs onto plywood stars, which were attached by the duo to their geometric mural. Cue Dowse exhibition The Most Dedicated: An Aotearoa Graffiti Story (27 March to 22 August), marking TMD’s 25th birthday. The artworks are painted on canvas or on paper, and displayed as parts of small installations to "recognise the ‘post-graffiti’ movement of bringing street art into the gallery”, says curator Karl Chitham. You can “visit” a grungy flat like the crew’s first digs, where a “TV” shows footage of 80-plus murals, plus news clips about TMD. From 27 to 30 March, a street-art festival will see 15 TMD members create murals at six Lower Hutt sites, with some of the mentees passing the paint.
Zoomorphic diagram, Leaf from Boethius' treatise on music, MSR05-f058r, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
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Eye for it BY DA N P OY N TO N P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
Is there a magic recipe for a school dropout and reluctant hairdresser to become a world-class photographer? Probably not, but one of New Zealand’s best has a suggestion: “bloody hard work”.
orget those moody abstracts for your first exhibition in New York. Steve Boniface says shooting advertisements gives you plenty of opportunity for self-expression, and you’ll put some food on the table too. Steve has shot some of New Zealand’s classic commercials, and he sees no difference – creatively – between this work and his most personal. “I love concept and idea, I’m purely into that,” he says. “It doesn’t really matter which genre – any image with an idea”. And let’s face it, even the staunchest ad-phobe can’t not be charmed by those loveable dogs he shot recently for the award-winning Animals Like Us dogfood commercials. “Even my commercial work, when I take on a project I’ll give it everything.” And this work often transcends its mere utility. His haunting Rembrandtinspired images of breast cancer survivors for the Breast Cancer Foundation ended up being exhibited at Auckland Art Gallery. Steve’s also gained some prestigious international plaudits: he was PDN’s 2016 Faces winner, and he’s been in the top 200 photographers of Lurzer’s Archive for the last six years. But these successes were a while coming for this high school dropout from Palmerston North. After escaping school Steve took a tourism course, did quite a bit of partying, and “again dropped out.” He took off to Auckland to become a hairdresser, but constantly “dealing with people’s problems became like one big psych session.” Moving to Wellington he still couldn’t find a purpose, but he did find a girlfriend. She was a designer-photographer and suggested he take photos on his day off. After just a couple of months of experimenting he got into the Massey University photography programme. “I turned up there and I didn’t even know how to develop
photos,” he smiles. “I was so into it though – I’d spend all night in a darkroom just working. I just get obsessed with stuff.” Fortune seeking in London followed. He began doggedly searching for work and, out of the blue, landed jobs on worldwide campaigns for PlayStation and for Discovery Channel. “I didn’t even really know what I was doing, but I got paid more money than I’ve ever had in my life.” And so began Steve’s international career (and yes, that girlfriend’s now his wife). But don’t get too excited, aspiring photographers! Steve offers a sober warning: “It came to me too easy. I didn’t realise photography involves a really strong work ethic.” But he also believes great photography is based on feeling, not technique. “You need to learn your craft as a base but anyone can do that. It’s about having something unique in your voice. It’s about what you can add.” And versatility is vital: “You can’t just take a photograph any more” to maintain a career: “You also need to be able to shoot video and direct it.” Steve is one of the judges of the inaugural Capital Photographer of the Year competition. What is he looking for? “I’m always excited to see what people are doing, especially people who aren’t already taking photographs. Sometimes people who aren’t photographers can do the most interesting stuff – there’s sort of a rawness about it.” So, you competitors, all in all your advice looks simple: be yourself – but first get off your butt and do some work. Capital Photographer of the Year Six categories, free entry, cash prizes. Head to capitalmag.co.nz/cpoty for more info. Entries close Tuesday 27 April.
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Tok around the clock Gen Z’s preferred social media app is named after the sound of an analogue clock, which Zoomers can barely tell the time on. For the benefit of fossils, Kirsty Frame explains TikTok and the role of the platform.
hether we like it or not, the video-sharing app TikTok has solidified itself in pop culture, having taken up residence in 2.6 billion devices since 2016. TikTok has had an astronomical spike in the last year, a consequence of millions retreating indoors from a global pandemic. It’s keeping (mostly) teenagers connected with their peers next door and around the world in what feels like a huge virtual sleepover, and its influence can trickle outside of the black mirror. The concept is very simple. A looped feed of 15–60-second clips with a smorgasbord of video effects to play with, and easy functions to interact with one another. Its most “viral” activity is dance challenges each paired with a particular song. Kiwi artist Benee’s track Glitter was chosen early last year, and subsequently climbed international music charts. But TikTok provides plenty else that makes it entertaining and addictive. Though a connoisseur myself, I enlisted the help of younger Gen Z’ers to ensure an accurate representation. Lucy, 16, and Ben, 14, say it’s like the lovechild of Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube – I used to compare it to Vine, but that’s less familiar to them. The gap between the internet exploration habits of 23- and 16-year-olds is larger than I thought. Dancing aside, TikToks are often comedic skits about the highs and lows of adolescence. Unlike Instagram, it’s unfiltered and unscripted, the camera angle is unflattering, and the acne is unretouched. Lucy talks of a video of a teen discussing “awkward” buses, much like the ones she takes to school, are. “Toks” about DIY fashion hacks, astrology, and even mental health awareness are consistently popular, and exert an influence on trends in the physical teenage world. Lucy and Ben’s mother, Anna, didn’t know that the strips of coloured LED lights along the top of her son’s walls were inspired by thousands of videos on this app. And supermarkets around the world are reportedly selling out of feta cheese because of the viral TikTok hashtag #fetapasta.
Hashtags play a larger role in navigation on TikTok than most other apps. #wellington has had over 170 million views, with videos of Welly teens dancing on high school fields and vlogging their outings in the CBD. Even local clothing stores are jumping in, with staff partaking in dance challenges dressed in the styles they stock. It’s the easy connectivity that makes the app so popular, and the video trends so easy to find. The algorithm behind the screen takes minute note of the videos you “heart” and any hashtags or music connected to them, creating what’s called a “For You Page”. In a short time, the user will have an endless supply of videos that feel hand-picked to reflect their niche interests. Young people have access to the world like never before through a plethora of internet vehicles, and TikTok is a snowball of connections. Understandably, this can make some parents anxious. As its popularity in this demographic has surged, the company has put in safety nets I never encountered as a teen. A video with swear words, alcohol, or a bikini on someone under age will be swiftly removed for breaking community guidelines. Ben’s account is private by app-default because he is under 16, so only approved followers can see his posts or send him messages. His TikTok circle consists exclusively of his school friends, who send each other their favourite Toks of the day. These are two of many functions that keep Ben and Lucy from stumbling across many of the bad things I saw back in my day on Tumblr. In years to come perhaps Gen Z will be searching Youtube for 2020 TikTok compilations and us Zoomers will be transported back to a time of connection and community, and satire amid chaos. Until then, we’ll continue sharing, recording, exploring from the comfort of our rooms. Although our digital clocks don’t tick, TikTok is how we’re passing time.
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Village people P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
Anyone who’s been a resident of Paekākāriki in the last three decades will probably know Horace’s smiling face. He presides behind the counter of the Paekākāriki Village Grocery Store – the one with the lovely old wooden floor and abundant selection of organic food. He spoke to John Bristed about his journey to the village and working with his son to support the community through lockdown.
Where did the name “Horace” come from? My name is Amarat Morar. A long long time ago a friend of mine at Mt Cook School said Amarat was too hard for him to pronounce. He decided I should be Horace. I went to Wellington High after that and the nickname stuck. So I’ve had it for 65 years.
grandchildren now, it’s hard to keep up with all the birthdays. What brought you to Paekākāriki? Well, it was a progression. My first job was as an inwards goods manager with Radio Corp, then quality inspector at Anton Footwear, then commercial manager for a printer. My brother was going back to India to get married. He had a successful fruit shop in Brooklyn. He asked me to run the store for him while he was away. I decided I was interested in groceries and in 1982 I bought a small store in Titahi Bay. We were looking for a bigger business. We went all over the North Island looking for one. I was here in Paekāk one day having a coffee in the cafe next door to the grocer, and I went along to have a word with the owner. “This is a good looking shop,” I said. “If you ever want to sell it…” and left him my phone number. And 18 months later they rang me and said it was time for them to sell. So I bought the shop in 1992 from Richard Chubb.
What brought your family to New Zealand? We were one of the first Indian families that came to Wellington. My grandfather came from Fiji to Wellington by boat, about a hundred years ago, then he brought my Dad over from Gujarat in India. Then my father went back to India and got married and came out with my Mum, who also came from Gujarat. There were few other Indians in Wellington then. When new families arrived in Wellington they stayed with our family while they found their feet, because they were in a new country and didn’t know anything. People kept coming to stay at the family house for years and years. We were all brought up in Tasman St in Wellington. Our family, four of us, two brothers and a sister – were born there. I’ve got five children, from two wives, and they’ve all worked out well. Two of them returned to India to get married. I’ve got nine
Is the Indian community still a big part of your life? Not so much. For my wife it is, she’s pretty religious, and goes back to India quite often. She had a stroke a while ago. She feels the weather
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there is a lot better for her health. We joke that she has a holiday and it gives me a holiday.
bottled milk we’re selling now. At first we weren’t interested, then I changed my mind and said we’d give it a try, and it’s selling very well.
Has Paekākāriki changed much since you arrived? It has. The people are different and lots of businesses have been and gone. There used to be a butcher, a post office, a hardware store, and before my time at one stage there were three fish and chip shops. Now there are none, and the garage has just closed. Some benefit for us though. We now do New Zealand Post, rail tickets, Lotto, and quite a number of hardware items – always changing. As far as the village is concerned, lots. Lots of people who work in town – office people – bought houses here. That has increased house prices enormously, to any crazy price. But this is a good little village, it’s a community, it’s a laid back place. If you want to enjoy life, there’s the beach, parks, the camping ground, QE2 park. I don’t swim any more, but I love the beach.
I’m told that during the Covid lockdown last year, the store donated big boxes of food to residents. My son Bavesh managed all that. We allocate money every year for charity. For the lockdown we put together a carton of bread, milk, flour, basic things for locals who needed a bit of help. Not just us; people came in and contributed, some, one hundred dollars or more. How did you decide who got the boxes? We asked online if anybody knew of anyone struggling, or in need. We asked people to nominate them directly to us, because we didn’t want people to get embarrassed. It must be good to work with your son? I can’t work forever. You’ve got to have a break now and then. The mental pressure in the shop. It’s dealing with the public all day. My days are over, my boy Bavesh is keen. I don’t know why he wants to be involved. He did a law degree and then was studying business when all of a sudden he was working in the shop. He realised that a corporate office wasn’t for him. He’s more hands on and likes to interact with people. He says the business training was a help, and a lot of the stuff he picked up in business school translates into what we do in the store. It surprised me!
You’re the hub of the village, the townsfolk say... Well, [reluctantly] we contribute to Paekākāriki quite a bit in one way or the other. It’s changed over the years. The week we first opened we had supermarket-style trolleys. I remember seven ladies queued up with their trolleys full. Not now, there are still lots of customers but they buy differently. So you’ve gone upmarket. You’re selling quite fancy foods now. We had the idea that we should be selling organic food. We’re selling more and more. Just like the
Fowl play BY CA L LU M T U R N B U L L P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
Nestled between a thriving garden and a bridge straight from Terabithia, Conrad Coom’s Paekākāriki home is a place where a giant gnome and his free-range friend are not unexpected. In March Conrad brings Garden Friends, an interactive street theatre performance, to Cuba Dupa. His seven-foothigh costume, representing a giant chicken jockeyed by a garden gnome, is designed by World of Wearable Arts award winner Annemiek Weterings. As they were building the fowl, Conrad considered whether it was “more of a rooster or a hen. She seems to like hanging out with the hens!” He soon realised that Rachel’s exact gender was not for gnomes to know, which is something he loves about the character. He finds this is a great opportunity to introduce the nonbinary concept when festival-goers wonder who would name a rooster Rachel. “I think everyone’s trying to fit in and trying to learn as they go forward about who we are and how we identify ourselves. She's representing someone who’s trying to identify herself out there in the public arena.” This is close to Conrad’s heart. He moved to the capital in the 90s, leaving behind what he calls the small-minded heckling of his home town, “and I found my freedom. I could rebel and no one here gave a damn.” He discovered his passion for street performance soon after. Sustainability is fundamental to Conrad: “It’s always in the back of my mind.” His costumes are made to last, and mostly from recycled materials. For Hugging Tree he wears a hand-crafted tree costume and offers hugs to passersby. The play on “tree-huggers” highlights the importance of being kind to our environment. When the real estate agents selling his house wanted only the land, Conrad avoided adding to the landfill by giving away the house, floorboard by floorboard. The leftovers are now being used for a tiny home. Find Conrad and Rachel clucking around at Cuba Dupa, 27–28 March.
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Rock stars P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
Continuing our exploration of the Chatham Islands, Chris Adams and Hamish Campbell guide us on an ancient history. The pair have been studying the prehistoric geology of the Islands for decades, and now take fellow intrepid explorers along to tour the rugged landscape. They talked to Rachel Helyer Donaldson.
he Chatham Islands are Aotearoa’s most remote outpost, but they are connected to the mainland by the Chatham Rise, a vast undersea ridge that extends more than 1000km from Banks Peninsula at a latitude of 44° south. The Rise is part of Zealandia, the Southern Hemisphere’s “lost continent”, now 94 per cent under water with only New Zealand and New Caledonia exposed. Less than two hours by air from Wellington, the Chatham Islands offer visitors a getaway with a difference: a community of 663 inhabitants (according to the 2018 census) defined by its isolation, a rich mix of Moriori, Māori, and Pakeha heritage, plenty of locally caught cuisine, and a striking landscape that boasts lakes and lagoons, forest and farmland, and stunning coastline. It wasn’t surprising that the small clutch of islands experienced a boom in tourism last year, when New Zealanders who couldn’t fly abroad thanks to the pandemic turned to the next best thing: a remote, rugged, diverse destination within our borders that few of us have been to. A huge drawcard for visitors is the Chathams’ unique geological features – such as basalt columns formed by cooling lava, sedimentary rock full of ancient marine fossils, and a collection of perfectly-shaped extinct mini-volcanoes. “The Chatham Rise has got an amazingly long history,” says Wellington geologist and GNS Science Emeritus Scientist Hamish Campbell, who has been going to the islands regularly since 1975. Campbell, who was Te Papa’s resident geologist
for 20 years and co-presented the popular BBCTVNZ documentary series Coast: New Zealand, runs regular tours to the Chathams with fellow GNS Emeritus Scientist Chris Adams. The pair bill their excursions, which take 20 people at a time, as a visit to “Eastern-most Zealandia”. Before Covid struck, the geologists also organised 10-day trips to New Caledonia – or “North Zealandia”. He and Adams have been leading tours to “the Chats”, Campbell says, twice yearly since 2002. But 2020 was “unusual” with another two trips added to the schedule. Campbell also occasionally takes an additional private tour. Thanks to their scientific expertise and their long association with the islands, the six-day, fivenight “field trips” run by Campbell and Adams offer both a geological perspective and an insight into life on the Chathams. The tour includes four day-trips to every corner of Chatham Island (also called Rēkohu – “misty sun” – by Moriori and Wharekauri by Māori), and a visit to Pitt Island (Rangihaute, or Rangiāuria). The islands are a window, Campbell says, into the geology of the entire Chatham Rise. Remarkably, the oldest rocks on the Chathams are schist – continental rock exactly like the schist in the South Island’s Lindis Pass. “Those old metamorphic rocks are characteristic of continents, and that’s really unusual.” Most islands have enirely volcanic rocks, so the presence of schist had Victorian-era scientists “flummoxed”, he says. “It became a bit of a puzzle.”
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What they didn’t know was that, some 100 million years ago, the Chatham Rise was entirely land and part of Zealandia. Its mountains, forests, and rivers were inhabited by ancient creatures before it submerged around 70 million years ago. The presence of 100- to 90-millionyear-old fossils on Pitt Island are one clue to this past. But some of Adams’ work has also been instrumental in consolidating the theory of a “drowned world”. An “outstanding” scientist and expert in geochronology, he determined that the metamorphic age of rocks on the Chatham Islands is 160 to 170 million years old – the same as the schist rock on the South Island’s Lindis Pass. “He’s had a huge influence on New Zealand geologists.” Some four million years ago, the Rise was pushed up – the result of tectonic forces. But there is little seismic activity on the Chathams, because they are so far from the plate boundary. For geologists, this is one of the things that makes the Chathams so interesting: its Zealandia rocks are “undeformed”, while similar rocks on the New Zealand mainland are deformed, bent and buckled by tectonic forces. Over the years Campbell and Adams have run nearly 40 trips to the Chathams, and taken more than 800 people, aged between 13 and 86. They normally go in late winter or early spring when, perhaps surprisingly, the weather is good: cool but generally fine. By contrast, November and February are “notorious for fog in the Chats. If there’s no wind, and the sea is the right temperature, you’ll get fog for days or even weeks.” The
Chathams’ weather has been described by one writer as “Wellington-like but marginally less windy”. (There’s another link to the capital: in the 90s, the Chathams became part of the Rongotai electorate.) The trips were originally advertised to Friends of Te Papa members, but word of mouth has widened the catchment. However they do attract a certain type of people, Campbell admits: most are retired professionals, often prominent members of their communities. The remote islands have always appealed to the world’s super-rich, and it’s a perfect social-media-free bolthole (there’s no cellphone coverage), says Campbell, and the field trips seem to pull in a similar, though almost always Kiwi, crowd. “Some are seriously wealthy people, entrepreneurial types.” They include Gareth and Jo Morgan, who enjoyed riding a pair of Harley Davidsons around Chatham Island, lent to them by the local motorbike club. But the tours’ big point of difference is that they are “intellectually stimulating”, says Campbell. “They really do suit people who want to know as much as possible about the Chathams. All aspects, actually. It’s got a geological bent, but that of course, informs and underpins our knowledge of native plants and animals in the Chathams.” But the real reason Campbell keeps going to the Chathams? He leans forward conspiratorially. It’s the “fantastic” food and chefs such as Kaai Silbery, head chef at the Hotel Chathams where his tours stay. “She’s magic, and the cuisine, at the hotel, is to die for. It’s the blue cod fix. When I’m there, I eat it every day. It’s outstanding.”
Photograph care of Chatham Island Food Co
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From the fish bowl BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S W I T H CA L LU M T U R N B U L L P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
After endless Zoom meetings, nervous trips to the supermarket, and the wringing of hands at the daily briefings, when the team of five million emerged from level 4, everyone had a different story to tell. “How was your lockdown?” may have eclipsed every other conversation starter in 2020. A year on from the first lockdown, we asked that question again. As a fresh spate of community cases pop up, our fingers are crossed we won’t be returning to this feature next year.
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Balm before the storm Dr Michelle Balm spends her days looking after people with infections, trying to prevent infections, and helping to diagnose infections. If she looks familiar, that may be because you’ve seen her on the telly, addressing the media alongside Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Michelle’s the clinical leader for Infection Services at Capital and Coast DHB, an infectious diseases physician, and a clinical microbiologist working at Wellington’s Southern Community Laboratories. Lockdown was “one of the busiest periods of my working life,” says Michelle. She worked 14- to 16hour days, “dropping down to 12” on the weekends, and close to 50 days straight without a day off. “I'm a 46-year-old married woman with two kids. I have a fantastically supportive family and they just understood that this was something that I needed to do. But it was really difficult. I would come home around 7 o'clock at night, have some food with them, maybe spend an hour with them, and start doing more work. I probably wouldn't stop until after midnight most nights.” Was she worried about bringing the virus into her home? “No, not at all. That's the important thing about having good infection prevention processes. If you've got the system set up right, the risk is actually minimized. Besides, it was seldom me who was going out to actually see people with coughs or colds. I was making sure it was safe for the people that had to do that.” At the end of 2020 Michelle received the Chief
Executive’s award at the CCDHB’s Ngā Tohu Angitu/Celebrating our Success Awards ceremony, for her “tireless efforts to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic”. If you ask her about it, she’ll tell you about everyone else working behind the scenes to keep us safe. “There was a huge effort from an enormous number of people right across the DHB. Some really dedicated talented people were putting in crazy hours to try and get the best possible outcomes for Wellington.” Michelle says the labs are the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic. “The whole system there was quite phenomenal.” Surely things have calmed down now? “For me, and many people here, Covid-19, hasn't stopped. Though the pace is a little less frenetic.” Michelle is involved in the oversight of the region’s managed isolation facilities, and is working with teams in the hospital to update their preparations. “We may have to respond to local clusters. We're hoping never to need our plans, but we've got to be in a situation we can activate them very quickly.” Michelle lives near Lyall Bay – “the beach is my happy place.” Watching people swim, walk, and play, she’s very aware of the freedom we have. “Every time we get to catch up with friends or family, or go to a cafe or a restaurant, I'm so grateful for what we've got here. But it's really fragile. Our situation could change very quickly, especially with the rapid spread of the new, more transmissible variants of the virus. We've come so far, we need to be thankful for what we've got and make the most of it. But we can't afford to be complacent. This is not over yet.”
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Lester is more Justin Lester’s kids loved having their dad home during lockdown. He says they hardly got to see him when he was the Mayor of Wellington. Becoming a private citizen again has given him freedom, and lockdown meant he could really “get back to basics and enjoy life.” Justin expected it to be difficult to work from home but “actually it went really well.
There was no time wasted on travel, it was more immediate just dialling in. It was illuminating!” His wife Liz, the general manager of the New Zealand Railways’ Staff Welfare Trust, worked from their home office and Justin had the table tennis table, with puzzle boxes stacked under his laptop. They shared the parenting, and tried to work more in the evenings so they could spend their days with Madeleine (10) and Harriet (8) – biking, walking, playing in the spa pool or with dress ups, cooking and getting crafty. The girls are “at a good age to play together” and were kept busy with tasks, 48
games, and watching Suzy Cato’s educational TV show. That didn’t stop Justin from feeling a bit like the famous BBC dad when they wandered into Zoom calls looking for toys, needing a snack, or wanting a cuddle. Justin is government director at Dot Loves Data, a company that takes data and translates it into stories that are “simple to digest”. You may have seen the “How We Drank” infographic doing the rounds recently? Different-sized bottles indicate alcohol spending spikes around the country in 2020 – congrats Wellington, we stocked up on more booze than anyone else.
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Sure to rise Easter is usually a very busy time for Lashings owner and pastry chef Jackie Lee Morrison. As the level four lockdown loomed Jackie started baking, furiously. In the two days leading up to the nation-wide shutdown she produced and delivered 300 hot cross buns around the capital.
“Every single day, everything changed,” she says. Her community delivery service, designed to support small local food businesses through lockdown, was axed by the Level 4 restrictions so she rebooted the idea with a digital cookbook. Within 24 hours she’d sold 2,000 copies of The Pandemic Pack: A Collaborative Cookbook. Jackie’s biggest concern for hospitality in Wellington is our having hearts bigger than our stomachs. “We don't actually have enough income in the city for all of the
hospitality businesses that exist.” Without tourists to bring in that extra revenue, “this is the year that we're going to see more closures, we're going to see businesses who aren't able to survive”. Despite its challenges, Jackie says lockdown gave her connections and new friendships forged as the community came together. “I always think back to that moment when everyone said ‘Yes, let's do it’ as the moment when I thought this is completely the city where I want to be.”
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While spending lockdown with his girlfriend, Roger Walker found a whole lot of canvasses and acrylic paint in her basement. “I’ve painted with water colours so I was really keen to give acrylics a go,” says the architect. Thirteen paintings later he ran out of supplies. “I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for the shops to open so I could buy more. I love being able to use my creativity so freely. You can be as colourful and crazy as you like, and no-one tells you that you have get a resource consent or that you have contravened some obscure building consent rule.” Said girlfriend, Moerangi Vercoe, says the paints were left over from an abandoned hobby (“I was rubbish at it so didn’t carry on”) and it was useful to have something to occupy Roger while she read a book – “He’s generally very chatty so it’s usually hard to read when he’s around.” Watching him paint was “sort of quite magical, actually a little bit sexy. He sits on the floor with a blank canvas and half an hour later I look up and am always really surprised with what he has come up with.” Roger’s first exhibition The Art of the Architect opens at Thistle Hall on 9 March. He thinks people that like his buildings will also like his paintings. “My paintings relate to combinations of the Japanese ‘universal elements’ – the circle, square, and triangle. Within this structure, I’ve painted a few buildings that I’ve designed to tell a story of their significance or their demolition, but in an abstract style.” Other paintings are inspired by lockdown (think bubbles). “I’m also going to do some floor talks, including one
aimed at children. I love talking to kids and need to encourage them never to lose their ability to draw and imagine.” As a child Roger, who writes the semi-regular “Torque Talk” column for Capital, wanted to be a car designer. “Most of the paintings I did as a child were of cars.” The high school vocational guidance officer suggested he design buildings instead. “I’d never thought of that.” Where he grew up in Hamilton the family house was “dreary and badly designed.” The living room got no sun, while the toilet faced north-east and was “one of the most pleasant places in the house” to spend time in. “But if our house hadn’t been so badly designed, I might not have been inspired as an architect to do things differently. Now, in both my architecture and my painting, my work is influenced by a rebellion against the beige conformity of my childhood.” So is he an artist now? “I‘m certainly not ready to give up the day job – and I will always love architecture. But I’m also getting so much creative joy out of painting that I have doubled up my office as a studio.” Moerangi says she is really proud of Roger. “I think it is a really great example of the kind of resilience that many people have shown throughout this difficult year, and we are pleased that we can mark this by having his exhibition one year from the start of the Covid lockdowns. Also, I think Rog is a great inspiration to older New Zealanders – he will be 78 when he has his first exhibition!”
Screen time At the beginning of lockdown Emma Draper (Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa) was busy with bubbles. The actor was helping to put together a video about the “bubble” concept for the Ministry of Health. “My stepdad Dr Tristram Ingham came up with the concept and asked me to help produce and voice a video targeted towards our disability communities. It was great when we saw the bubble concept take off in Aotearoa and around the world. I think Tristram’s work on that helped contribute to our collective understanding of how to keep each other safe,” she says.
So who was in Emma’s bubble? “I was in our whare in Karori with my husband and son who was seven months old at the time. We were also supporting a whānau member who lives with a disability so we had them in our bubble as well.” Most days would start with a bush walk – “we’re near the Skyline Walkway so it was a godsend to be able to get into green space every day” – then a couple of hours work, caring for and playing with her baby, and cooking lots of good kai. Homemade curry and flatbreads are now a staple meal in Emma’s household. Friday night book club became a regular highlight: “I fell in love with reading again,” says Emma, who recommends Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, and The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein. 52
Before lockdown Emma shot the feature film Reunion, a psychological thriller directed by Jake Mahaffy. Emma plays a pregnant daughter returning to the old family home after a long period of estrangement. “Slowly the terrifying history of the family unravels and what seems at first like usual family dysfunction turns dark and supernatural.” Because of Covid the New Zealand release was pushed back until November. “I felt so lucky that we could release the film in cinemas in New Zealand because that’s just not possible in so many countries.” The planned US theatre release was scrapped. “It’s a shame, because it was shot with such a beautiful, strong design aesthetic. But at least we have the streaming option so people can still see it.”
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Precious gems A group of Wellington jewellers had a great idea – to host a pop-up shop in their shared workshop. They popped-up but never popped-down and five years later The Makers gallery and shop still sits beside its sister, Workspace Studios, at Toi Pōneke Arts Centre on Abel Smith St. “Customers can see their jewellery being made and hear the hammers hitting the metal on pieces that will soon appear in the gallery,” says Gemma “GG” Miller, Co-Director of The Makers and one of the tutors at Workspace Studios which offers jewellery making courses. “When you walk through our doors you might be an aspiring maker or a wearer, or both.”
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GG and Gallery Manager Gemma “Gem” Poebst are the friendly folk who meet and greet you in the shop. We stopped by for a chat. What do you like about your job? GG: I love that our practice as jewellers is an ancient one based on a traditional set of skills that technology has not altered very much. We love being able to involve our customers in that process by designing a piece together, or having them observe our bustling workshop while they browse our shelves. Do you have any secret skills? Gem: I am always acquiring different skills, from shoemaking and leatherwork, to illustration and latex, but one of my more obscure would have to be beekeeping. GG: We can take on all sorts of commissions with all the mad skills we hold collectively – from remodelling old family gold from a number of rings into a single impressive statement ring, right through to restoring the brass metalwork on a 400 year old bible.
Where do you go for coffee? Gem: For me it has to be Retrogrove on Cuba St. There is no rival for earthy plant based treats and lovely atmosphere. GG: I am a Raglan Roast fan however Retrogrove is quietly stealing my heart. What’s your best local purchase? GG: A felt wall hanging from the Mary Potter Hospice shop on Cuba St. It caught my eye because it was 25 shades of brown felt, woven into a circle and it reminded me of the moon, the sun, and a pony’s swishy tail. Gem: I am slowly growing my collection of scents and skincare from Wellington Apothecary on Cuba St. Every time I stop by there is something new to find! Love local, support local
28 March – 11 July 2021
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Doomsdating From trans-Tasman lovers kept apart for more than a year, to a friend’s boyfriend’s sister caught flouting level 4 lockdown restrictions for a late night sex-capade, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented unforeseen challenges to the romantic and sexual lives of many. Jess Scott delves into the private lives of Wellingtonians to traverse the trials and tribulations of app dating in a pandemic.
The Bachelor, premature pandemic partnership has ended many flings. Dylan found himself isolating with someone he had been seeing for only a few weeks before lockdown, and said the rapid acceleration of their relationship ultimately led to its demise. Although he initially found it comforting not to be facing lockdown alone, Dylan soon craved space, and struggled to communicate this to someone he realised he barely knew. Luna, a self-confessed “shut-in” who was never interested in casual sex until the pandemic, is now playing the field as much as possible. With the ever-present possibility of another outbreak in mind, she feels “a very strong sense of urgency to basically get out there and enjoy life as much as I can.” Luna suspects her new-found sexual freedom is a result of having spent lockdown entirely alone, and now wanting to “just get as much attention and appreciation as I can,” while she has the chance. However, despite many Wellingtonians’ relaxed attitudes to casual sex, Bella, an escort, has found sex work has “dried up” since the coronavirus outbreak. Although sex workers were allowed to return to work under alert level 2, almost a year later many are finding previously plentiful clients scarce. She is unsure whether this is due to clients’ fear of actually contracting the virus, or more stigmatising of sex work caused indirectly by the pandemic, despite increased precautions and sanitation prodecures. Will the pandemic leave us inclined to shackle our second dates down, or perhaps propel us into sexcrazed rampages, determined to relive the raucous carelessness of the previous roaring twenties? Only time will tell. Names have been changed for privacy.
he coronavirus has brought a slew of new dating terms to describe the wild world we now find ourselves swiping within, from “apocalypsing” (treating every potential partner as though they may end up the only other remaining person on Earth), to “maskerading” (feigning concern about Covid-19 safety to impress potential suitors). Lockdown provided some people with an opportunity to reflect upon and reconsider who, and how, they had been dating previously. Before the pandemic, Naomi described herself as having sought “fun, casual flings with people who didn’t really mean a whole lot to me”. Since lockdown, she prefers to date people with whom she has common interests, and whom she “actually likes”. “Before the pandemic, it was easy to overlook people’s glaring personality flaws when you’re able to go explore a city with them and attend gigs, or if the sex was really good.” During lockdowns, on the other hand, “all you could really do was talk to each other, and I learned pretty quickly who I wanted to keep around and who I only talked to out of habit.” Talking with flatmates about Tinder dating during the first lockdown, she found they frequently said that they had nothing to talk to their matches about. “The banter certainly suffered because of it”. Lockdown restrictions also provided Naomi with a filter of sorts, as she could quickly weed out irresponsible or selfish people. “I wouldn’t hook up with someone I knew (or suspected) of Covid violations. I might be optimistic, but I feel like the pandemic helped me weed out those in my life that I wouldn’t have liked”. Although apocalypsing has been described as the defining trend of pandemic dating, with many singles now scrutinising every Tinder match with a gravity usually reserved for the final episode of
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Odessa Get the band back together
also took off to the Uinted Kingdom, returning just days before New Zealand went into level 4 lockdown. Now, thanks to some tricky work from Paul, i.e. secretly securing Odessa the opening gig at Gardens Magic, the band is back together. Seems Paul wasn’t worried that Pender hadn’t sung for five years and half the band wasn’t in the country. “Paul told me Odessa would be making a triumphant return. That was news to me!” says Pender, “I had no intention of ever performing again. I really thought I’d given it up for good!” Today’s Odessa has had a refresh. Paul explains they’ve doubled in number, adding a horn section, keyboards, and great back-up singers, some of them “still in nappies” in the band’s glory days: “it's great to get their input and fresh ideas in the music.” Pender was nervous about performing at Gardens Magic, “but to have a huge passionate crowd there, singing our songs back at us, 12 years after we last played them…it was incredibly humbling. It was probably one of the best days of my life.” Odessa will perform at Newtown Festival, 7 March, and Cuba Dupa, 27–28 March.
BY F R A N C E S CA E M M S
Odessa named themselves “after the coolest girl we knew.” She heard Paul Mouncey, Matthew Armitage, Matt (Puba) Swain, and Matt Pender jamming, asked them to play at her party, and that’s how it started. It was 2002. “We released our first album Oak Park Avenue in 2005. The success of that took everyone by surprise. Our song Bring the Money Back was everywhere. We opened Big Day Out the following year. We were touring up and down the country non-stop. A mad, brilliant time,” says lead singer Pender. By 2009 Odessa had decided to call it a day. Bass player Paul stayed in Wellington, became a parent, and kept active in the Wellington music scene. Guitarist Armitage is doing well with his music in Australia and drummer Puba is currently locked down in London learning to play piano. Pender
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L I F E S T Y L E
FEELING SE E DY Neighbours Day Aotearoa is branching out this year. The theme for 2021 is the Great Plant Swap, which runs from 20 to 30 March, with the aim to help neighbourhoods “grow stronger together”. Suggested activities include swapping seeds or produce, gifting something you’ve grown, sharing garden tips or recipes, creating community gardens or berm pollinator pathways together, or planning a working bee to help neighbours with mobility issues. Ange, the Neighbours Day activator for Lower Hutt, says she’s looking forward to seeing “connections grow and flourish.”
ONE DOOR CLOSES
Wellington’s Lucy Marinkovich (Cap #60) has been named a University of Otago 2021 Arts Fellow, receiving the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. Her proposed project InMotion: Dancing with Parkinson's, will deliver dance classes to people living with Parkinson’s disease. A graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance, Lucy has worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Taki Rua Productions. Her New Zealand Arts Festival production Strasbourg 1518 returns to Circa Theatre this month.
Let’s Get Wellington Moving is “at risk of failing to deliver” and “critical improvements must be made across several areas” according to the LGWM Health Check Final Report. It said major problems with the program include “a project-led (i.e. bottom up) approach; and a lack of programme identity that places ‘what’s best for programme’ thinking at its core.” It also noted planning documents showed “little evidence of detailed design, operationalisation or implementation”. Capability gaps and under-resourcing were also mentioned.
Prakashan Sritharan (Cap #61) has closed Precinct 35 on Ghuznee St. He’s moving across the road to open a new retail art space, named Kaukau, with Ena’s Nadya France-White. “Nadya and I have always wanted to push what we have considered a space for concept retail and contemporary art,” says Prak. “At the core has always been working with designers, makers and artists, and being their bridge to the communities we hold close here in Pōneke.”
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Speargrass weevil BY M E LO DY T H O M A S
Name: South Coast Speargrass Weevil, Hutton’s Speargrass Weevil, or Speargrass Weevil Scientific name: Lyperobius huttoni Status: Not threatened nationally, though conservation dependent. The species is one of very few invertebrates fully protected under the wildlife act, meaning it’s an offence to harm or possess one. Description: If you read the earlier Capital profile on the flax weevil (Cap #62) you might already have an idea about just how cool weevils are. The South Coast Speargrass weevil is no exception. The flightless, slow-moving speargrass weevil is usually found in alpine areas of the South Island (more on that below), but a single North Island population exists here in Wellington. Lyperobius huttoni is a 2cm-long beetle that is dark in colour with a short, thick rostrum – the snout-like appendage which holds its mouth parts. Habitat: Hutton’s Weevil lives almost entirely in subalpine and high country areas in the eastern South Island, but a small, one-off North Island population was discovered on Wellington’s south coast in 1917. Speargrass weevils are monophagous, meaning they live and feed exclusively on one plant (in this case the blade-like leaves of the native speargrass). The Wellington population of speargrass weevil once extended from Island Bay to Karori Stream, but by 2006 predation by mice and rats, and habitat destruction by wild goats and pigs, had the Department of Conservation estimating their numbers to be less than 150 adults. That
summer, a salvage operation was launched, whereby DOC moved 41 adults to predator-free Mana Island. In February this year, a trip was organised to Mana Island by Friends of Mana Island, Wellington Pepeke (the local branch of the entomological society of New Zealand), DOC, and Ngāti Toa, to assess the distribution of the weevils released there. Wellington Pepeke’s William Brocklesby (Cap #63) took part, telling us that the population was still present at the release site, and preliminary survey results suggest they have since moved both north and south of it as well. Look/listen: Speargrass weevils are believed to still be present on Wellington’s south coast. In December 2018, within a period of a few days, both Brocklesby and another weevil enthusiast logged speargrass weevil sightings on inaturalist. nz in Te Kopahou Reserve – so that’s a good place to start if you’d like to see one. The weevils appear to come out on sunny days, so wait for one of those then head to a site where speargrass is known to grow. Brocklesby advises taking care not to make too much noise or to let your shadow fall over the plant as you approach – if a weevil notices you, it’s likely to drop quickly into the safety of the plant’s base. If you are lucky enough to see one, take a photo and log it on inaturalist.nz, or even call DOC and let them know. Tell me a story: It’s not entirely clear how Hutton’s Weevil got to Wellington in the first place, but it’s theorised that they either migrated during the last glacial period or else rafted in on debris washed out to sea from South Island mountains!
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Booze boom BY J OA N N E CA R R
he stratospheric ascent of local craft spirits continues (let’s face it, likely accelerated by last year’s lockdown, when Kiwis were forced into home bartending and boredom like never before). And with Wellington’s natural talents lying in the realms of craft beverages (coffee, beer, soda, the ‘booch) and crafty mixologists (I’ve heard multiple Aucklanders say, without condescension, that they’re envious of our innovative cocktail scene), it was merely a matter of time before the capital dove into the distilled world of craft spirits. The region is now home to no less than nine distilleries – many of them cropping up in the past couple of years – three of them situated in the inner city, no less. Once derided as the choice for nanas and old ducks, gin is the most popular stilled drop, but we’ve also seen rum, whisky, and limoncello turned out of local stills. And with growing confidence using bold methods and ingredients, we’re seeing more intrepid and innovative spirits. Reid + Reid in Martinborough has its roots in gin, having opened its distillery in 2015. Ironically, the great-great grandfather of distillers Chris and Stew Reid was the Reverend John Dawson, one of New Zealand’s early leading prohibitionists. In return for the good Rev’s community service, the Brothers Reid named one of their gins after him. However, Chris says they are now including vermouth, aperitivo bitters, and a mixer called Martinborough Cup (a modern take on a traditional Pimms-esque punch) in the distillery’s repertoire. Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s first and
only pohutukawa gin. Made by newcomer, Aurora Distillery, nestled in the hillside suburb of Maungaraki, Pohutukawa Summer is as Kiwi as pink gin, using dried, fragrant pohutukawa blossoms, and rose hips, which impart a natural shade of blush pink. Aurora distiller Mark Faircloth gave the blossoms a go after a spot of yard work, collecting piles of the fallen vermilion threads off the ground. The floral honeynectar aroma was a sure tip-off that it would make the perfect botanical in a gin. Kāpiti Coast distillery, Imagination, has just released a wakame seaweed gin, made with seaweed foraged from Wellington harbour. Cuba Street distillery and Southward Distillery Co. shun long-aged dated whisky releases – which traditionally entail a wait of ten years plus – choosing to let the vessels and environment dictate its whiskies’ personality (“Because people want to drink special stuff quicker, and we might not have 40 years to have it lie around!” says distiller Frankie McPhail). And Grenada Bay, a distiller of rum in Grenada North, is wandering into the enigmatic world of absinthe. It begs the question: Is it time for Wellington to add another crown to its cabinet, and claim the headwear for Craft Spirits Capital™ yet? You can experience Wellington’s local distilleries and their drops, as well as local and international spirits, cocktails, mixology classes, blending experiences, local and international cocktail and spirits speakers, food and entertainment, at Highball, New Zealand’s only cocktail and spirits festival, at the Dominion Museum Building on 7–8 May. Tickets on sale from 10 March, 2021: highball.co.nz
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E D I B L E S
H O W I T S TA R T E D , HOW IT’S GOING Jim Kebbell and Marion Wood bought some land in Te Horo in 1975 and named it Common Property. The idea was to grow vegetables as a way to connect young and marginalised people with the land. Now with five Commonsense Organics stores in New Zealand, the couple have been recognised for their significant contribution to organic agriculture, food production and the health of the community and planet, both of them being made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sustainable business and the community.
BOOKS TO BEANS
Liv Groves-Kruk cut out all processed sugar, gluten, grains, and pulses from her diet, in an attempt to heal her cystic acne. She’d been a “pretty confident teen” until the acne arrived. “I was devastated and my confidence completely disappeared. Anyone with acne or who has had any skin problems will understand how low I was.” The food helped, and Upper Hutt teenager Liv (now 19) believes her diet could help others. She’s produced a cookbook, Simply Nourishing, to share her recipes and story.
A former library is now home to a bustling Titahi Bay café. Owners Anna Doyle and Jeff Goldbury say “blood, sweat and tears” went into converting the old library building on Whitehouse Road into a commercial kitchen and the new T bay café. Head chef Timm Livingston comes from Neo café and head barista Janet Bostock is ex Backyard café. All food is made fresh, in house, and the coffee beans are from Good Fortune.
Those two shipping containers near Lyall Bay are a third-generation fish and chip shop. Maria Cordalis’ dad ran Wellington Seamarket on Cuba Street, and her grandparents owned Wadestown Fish ‘n‘ Chip shop throughout the 80s and 90s. Now Maria’s taken on the mantle and opened Fresko on Lyall Bay’s Kingsford Smith St. She offers all the classic chip shop favourites, as well as raw fish and Greek salads, and onsite fish supply. The fresh fish is caught by Maria’s uncle.
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LETTUCE KNOW Fruit and vegetable prices have increased a whopping 6.9% in 12 months. Lettuce, at the extreme end of the scale, increased in price by 91%, according to the Food Price Index, produced by Stats NZ, which measures changes in the prices that households pay for food. Restaurant meals and readyto-eat food prices increased 3.9 percent, while grocery food prices only increased by an average 1.2% (despite a 14% increase in the cost of yoghurt). Overall, New Zealand food prices increased 2.1 percent between January 2020 and January 2021.
WET YOUR WHISTLE
A new study from Chef’s Pencil uses Google-owned data analytics to assess the popularity of veganism. Google Adwords data shows that, world-wide, vegan-related searches are up 47% in the last 12 months from the year before. Google Trends, which lets you analyse and compare the popularity of various search categories around the world, shows that New Zealand was the country with the fourth-highest interest in veganism in 2020. But no Kiwi cities make it into the top 15 cities most interested in veganism.
Our Capital beer guide is out now. The handy guide, with super-cute map, fits in your pocket and helps you participate in Wellington’s finest beerscapades. It also includes the “six pack”, our list of the six best brews of the year as chosen by our professional tasting panel. So hide away with a hazy IPA, quench that summer thirst with the perfect golden ale, or go exploring the beerscape to discover your favourite drop.
Thanks to the team behind Mr Go’s and Ombra, Wellingtonians will be treated to yummy pop-up Kisa (Turkish for “short-term”), which opens on 18 March at LTD on Dixon St. Canadianborn Chef Jonny Taggart, formerly of Haitaitai’s Bambuchi/Bambuchi-San, will be serving up Turkish and middleeastern-inspired fare for a limited time. The menu of sharing plates and flatbreads (Lahmacuns) starts at $6 and the drinks list is exclusively New Zealand made.
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Coconut poached chicken omelette BY N I K K I & J O R DA N S H E A R E R
hat we consume is becoming more and more important to us. We want tasty, whole foods that are good for our wellbeing. So we are looking for recipes that limit things that cause us trouble, but are still delicious and filling, and that we can be proud to share with friends and whānau. Recently we have been mindfully eating foods free from sugar, gluten, grains, and dairy. The question we have been
400ml coconut milk 3 red chillies, finely chopped (1 for poaching liquid, 2 to serve) 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped 2 free-range chicken breasts, skin removed 100g snow peas, finely sliced 2 spring onions, finely sliced ½ cup mung bean sprouts ½ cup chopped mint ¼ cup chopped coriander 6 eggs 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or mix of soy & fish sauce) pinch of salt 1 tsp chilli flakes sesame oil extra coconut aminos to serve lime wedges to serve
asked often is “What are you eating then?” Deliciousness!! Just like this recipe. With a few tweaks and watching the hidden ingredients, we can be confident that we are putting the “good stuff ” in our bodies. For a vegan option for this recipe, you can make a chickpea omelette and use a chicken replacement or jackfruit in the poaching liquid instead of chicken. Serves 4
Place coconut milk, 1 sliced chilli, and kaffir lime leaves in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. 2. Turn down heat and add chicken breasts. 3. Cover and gently poach until chicken is just cooked and juices run clear (this should take 10 — 15mins) depending on size of chicken breasts. Check at 10 minutes, and turn if necessary for the remainder of cooking time. 4. Take off heat, remove chicken to cool slightly, and then shred with a fork. 5. Put shredded chicken back in the hot cooking liquid and set aside to rest. 6. Prep snow peas, spring onions, mung beans, mint, coriander, and additional chillies. Mix together for salad, or place in bowls for people to assemble themselves. 7. Whisk eggs, chilli flakes, 1 Tbsp coconut aminos, and a pinch of salt together. 8. Place a large pan on a medium heat with 1 tsp sesame oil. Add ¼ of the omelette mix and cook for 1–2 minutes, swirling the egg around until cooked. 9. Turn omelette onto plate and add ¼ of the drained warm shredded chicken, snow peas, spring onions, chillies, mung beans, mint, and coriander. Fold over omelette and drizzle with extra coconut aminos. 10. Serve with lime wedges. 11. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
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FLOWER POWER Once Nina Mingya Powles emerges from quarantine in March to spend around three months in the capital, Seraph Press will publish her poetry collection Magnolia 木蘭. The Wellingtonian has been living in the UK, where she’s won or been shortlisted for various poetry, essay, and nature-writing prizes. Nina, 27, has also spent 18 months studying Mandarin in Shanghai. Partly an exploration of her Malaysian-Chinese and Pākehā descent, Magnolia 木蘭 has been longlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards poetry prize. British publishers Canongate will publish a collection of her essays.
ON THE UP
Julia Marshall, publisher at Wellington’s Gecko Press, has won the Margaret Mahy Storylines Medal for Lifetime Achievement in New Zealand children’s literature. She’ll deliver the Storylines Margaret Mahy lecture at the awards (28 March). “I’m thinking about the joy and humour in Margaret Mahy’s writing,” she says, “and want to talk about the importance of humour in children’s books.” Gecko publishes stand-out international books that haven’t previously been translated into English, new titles from Aotearoa, and some te reo Māori editions.
Kiwis tend to favour books written and published overseas. Nevertheless, in 2020, revenue from New Zealand-published adults’ books was up 12.5 percent on 2019, in data captured by Nielsen BookScan from many physical and online bookshops. Perhaps some of us had more time to read during lockdown? Writers have been busy, too, with a record 170 entries in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Following a relationship crisis, Catharina van Bohemen walked the Camino de Santiago, an ancient network of pilgrim routes across Europe ending at the shrine of St James (Santiago) in Compostela in northern Spain. Catharina’s diary entries inspired Towards Compostela: part memoir, part travel writing, part existential musings. The Cuba Press commissioned the cartoon-style black-and-white drawings from Wellington writer-artist Gregory O’Brien. The book will be launched in Wellington at Bowen Galleries on 23 March along with an exhibition of the original drawings, framed for sale.
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Re-verse I N T R O D U C E D BY M A E V E H U G H E S
The poet: Caroline Shepherd is a poet living in Wellington. She recently finished a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Public Policy and is writing her thesis on humour in contemporary poetry. Her writing is immediate and clear like a perfect telephone line. She writes about the most available things (crushes, disappointments, chores) in the least obvious ways. The poem: This is a pretty quiet poem. It's not a matter of heaven or hell. It’s about a rare but ordinary moment of equilibrium, where the poet has been surprised by sentiments of hope and peace. Why I like it: Because I recognise that exact 7pm moment. At the end of the day, when the earth cools and dinner is close, and suddenly the sky opens up and lets you in – not because you’ve fallen madly in love or had a full body orgasm or anything extraordinary has happened but just because you’ve remembered that you’re alive. Reading this poem is aptly like butter melting into warm bread. In a world teeming with poems about angst it is a surprising relief to find one that acknowledges angst only to celebrate being free of it.
7 PM The sky is purpleblue and maybe I’m going to be alright for real like butter toast, good in theory and in practice Right now I love the world and I’m so sure of it how right things had to go for me to be here, with light touching me, the sky more mellow than any bruise In the evening all the things I forgot in the day, that I am loved and lucky, come drifting back and I stand a chance again By Caroline Shepherd Published in Starling, issue 10
Favourite thing: The word choices. Despite the simple language the poem has real lift and it knits in some neat phrases like “purpleblue” and “butter toast”. Caroline describes this poem as a collection of lines written down while out and about and then brought together, which explains why each line feels like a revelation on its own. Despite the “maybe”, this is a confident and hopeful poem. It speaks precisely to the moments of respite that can wash over us, often out of the (purple)blue.
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Bringing it home P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
Writer and filmmaker Briar Grace-Smith talks to Sarah Lang about her new film Cousins, and working with her mother-in-law Patricia Grace.
riar Grace-Smith doesn’t ramble. She responds to questions in just enough depth, looking to her right as though the answers may come from that direction. She is very nice. She’s also extremely busy, and needs to head home to Paekākāriki. A key figure in the development of Māori theatre, Briar (Ngāti Hau, Ngā Puhi) is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter (more film than TV), script advisor, director, actor, and occasional short-story writer. If someone asks what she does for a job, Briar says filmmaker at present. “If we talked further, I’d say I’m also a writer. Writing is my home.” Briar’s latest, large-scale project is the feature film Cousins, to be released nationwide on 4 March. Briar co-wrote, co-directs, and acts in this adaptation of Patricia Grace’s eponymous novel, which was published in 1992 and reissued by Penguin Random House this month. The poignant film adaptation is epic in achievement and large in scope, spanning the period from the 1950s into the 2000s (10 years more than the book). As the story follows three Māori cousins’ lives, it jumps between three timelines. Different actors play the littlest, adult, and old versions of Makareta, Mata, and Missy. “At its heart,” Briar says, “it’s an intimate story, about the theft of a child and her family's lifelong quest to bring her home to her people.” It’s about the paths the three choose (or don’t choose). And it centres on the belief that the bond of shared whakapapa can never be erased. The late, great filmmaker Merata Mita had wanted to make Cousins into a film, with Patricia as co-writer. Merata tried for about 15 years but failed to get funding. “This was a travesty,” Briar says. “Hers was a voice that funders then didn't believe would be embraced by the mainstream.” In 1988, Merata had been the first Māori woman – and the first indigenous woman in the world – to
write and direct a dramatic (as opposed to documentary) feature film, Mauri. It would be nearly 30 years until another wāhine Māori (well, nine of them) did so, with Waru (2017). Each writer-director made a 10-minute vignette responding to the theme of a boy’s death, each with a wāhine Māori lead, and each shot in a single take. Briar and Ainsley Gardiner were two of these writer-directors. They’re long-time collaborators, usually with Briar as script consultant, and Ainsley as a producer with some creative input. In 2015, Miss Conception Films (helmed by Ainsley and Georgina Conder) had secured the rights to Cousins. “Initially,” Briar says, “I told Ainsley I didn't want to write it. The truth was I did – I was just aware of the film’s history [with Merata], and didn't want to mess up. Later I asked about writing it. Ainsley said ‘I've been waiting for you to realise you had to!'” In 2019, Briar and Ainsley won the sought-after international Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists, awarded by the US-based Sundance Institute, which supports independent filmmakers and runs the Sundance Film Festival. The $10,000 grant and support (including mentoring) helped them prepare for Cousins. They then secured some funding from the New Zealand Film Commission’s Boost Scheme and NZ On Air. Having recently directed some short films, they felt more confident in that role and decided to co-direct. This was a challenge. “We brought very different life experiences regarding what it is to be Māori, and different skillsets. I think that was a strength.” In particular, Briar brought instinct and emotional depth, and Ainsley practicality and confidence. “When we had differences of opinion, we talked it through and remembered the vision of the film.” Briar became one of nine lead actors, feeling she could do a good job playing Old Makareta. That is some serious multi-tasking, even for someone used to juggling many projects. “It was helpful to both
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write and direct because you have such a strong feeling for the characters and their world.” Ainsley directed the scenes that Briar acted in. Tanea Heke (Eagle vs Shark) plays Old Mata, and Rachel House (Jojo Rabbit) plays Old Missy. The child and youngish-adult actors are also excellent. Briar and Ainsley gathered a largely female crew for industrydiversity reasons. Briar had brought in the novel’s author – who happens to be her mother-in-law – as co-writer. Growing up in Pukerua Bay, Briar loved Patricia Grace’s novels with their strong wāhine Māori characters. “I met Patricia when I was a teenager; she knew my parents. I married her son – we’re separated now, but Patricia is still one of my closest friends.” For 30 years, they’ve lived 10 minutes’ drive from each other; Briar in Paekākāriki, and Patricia in Hongoeka (iwi-owned land at the end of Plimmerton Beach). How did co-writing work? Patricia had once written a draft, which Briar built on. “Patricia commented on my drafts, answered questions, and we’d talk through how a scene might run. Her knowledge was invaluable, especially because she remembers the 1950s. And I took it [the script] from there.” Patricia tells Capital she enjoyed the process. “Sessions began, always, with a catch-up on real characters – i.e. my grandchildren – then we’d discuss the fictional ones, who are more likely to do what you want.” Patricia also enjoyed visiting the set; filming took place mainly in Rotorua, and also in Wellington. Patricia had long encouraged Briar with her writing. “I kept saying ‘I’m too busy with kids to write’,” Briar remembers. “But Patricia did it with seven children while teaching full time. I decided if she could find time, so could I.” Sometimes that was at the breakfast table, sometimes in playgrounds, sometimes late at night. Briar’s kids grew up surrounded by their mother’s stories. They also sometimes play cameo roles, as Miriama Grace-Smith does in Cousins. Miriama is an artist/muralist, Briar’s son Himiona works for the Māori Party, daughter Mairehau is in high school,
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and Waipuna works for her iwi Trust Board. Briar has various other projects brewing, including co-writing with Victor Rodger a television dramedy series about “a woman who writes poetry while drunk”. Briar is also working on a black-comedy feature film with comedian Angella Dravid. “I love collaborating if it’s the right person. Because it’s very lonely as a writer – churning out material and not knowing whether it’s hitting the mark. So fresh eyes and bouncing ideas off someone is great.” Briar works as a script consultant for (particularly indigenous) writers in three countries, teaches short film-making for the Script To Screen development and mentorship initiative, and sits on the Arts Council of New Zealand. Briar, who is single, doesn’t work nine to five. “I make a living but it’s such a struggle and a juggle and I work really, really hard.” It’s time-consuming and difficult to get funding, which makes projects stop-start. Briar has won many awards and honours – including the Bruce Mason Playwriting Award, Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award, and becoming an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit – but each successive honour still means a great deal to her. Career-wise, she’s proudest of award-winning play Ngā Pou Wāhine (1995). To counter the dearth of roles for Māori women, Briar wrote about Te Atakura, a young woman who dreams of escape from her job in a tomato-sauce factory. “Rachel House starred, and Nancy Brunning directed. It took courage to put that out there, especially when we were young and had no money really.” Briar narrowly escaped journalism. During high school, she wrote sometimes for the Kapi-Mana News. Then she worked at the Evening Post. “My first assignment was an interview with a theatre company and I ended up auditioning for a part and got it! I came back to work and said I was leaving. And I went from there.” Cousins opens the Māoriland Film Festival in Ōtaki, 24–28 March.
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Later skater BY SA S H A B O R I S S E N KO P H OTO G R A P H Y CA R E O F LU K E B ROW N E
hen Luke Browne was 15 he and his friends decided to jump the fence in order to skate in an abandoned swimming pool next door to Hastings’ Splash Planet. The police showed up, sat them down and said “This is where it starts, boys. First it’s breaking and entering, then it’s damage to property, then it’s rape and murder.” “We were like, what? That’s brutal. We were just trying to make use of a deserted space. We weren’t hurting anyone,” says Luke. Now 27 and living in Wellington, Luke finds police less aggressive about skating. But for every person who passes a skater doing tricks on the waterfront and is mesmerised, there will be another “who is insanely angry and wants to throw your board into the water”. Recent Wellington City Council research suggests skating is growing in popularity. A 2019 survey found that 16 percent of children skate or scooter to and from school at least once a week. The number of skaters between 5 and 17 has more than doubled since 2017. Currently the council is the primary custodian of seven skate facilities in the city. In a bid to understand the skating community’s challenges, needs, and aspirations, the council released its 2020 Skate Plan, following engagement with 800 representatives of the skating and wider community, says Wellington Council community partnerships manager Sarah Murray.
Luke, a passionate skater and owner of skateboard brand Daylight, was invited to contribute to these conversations along with a handful of others representing the skateboard community. Specifically, the council aims to improve access to and the design of skateable facilities; increase the public space permission for skaters; and improve access to support and funding for skate communities. The report found that skating had been traditionally underinvested in ($169.5k over the past 10 years) compared to other activities, and highlights a history of negative stigma around skateboarding, stating, “Traditionally skating has been perceived as a rebel sport, attracting troublesome young people and problematic crowds. It is clear from this engagement that skaters want to change the publics’ perception of and attitudes towards skaters.” Sarah says that the council is working with the skate community, in response to the report, “advocating for more skate friendly places and developing a campaign to promote skate and encourage respect and tolerance for skating.” The Skate Plan recognises that skaters can get “bored and frustrated” by the small number of good skate spaces and resultant overcrowding, and resort to skating in other places around Wellington that are not designed for them – such as footpaths and carparks. “Conflict between pedestrians and
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skaters is often related to damage of urban infrastructure and sometimes noise, abuse, or intimidation.” Luke says it doesn’t make sense that people assume skaters want to damage property. “Why would we want to? We’re paying all this money for the gear – shoes and boards are expensive. And if we damage the space we won’t be able to use it.” Skaters are part of society, he says, and it’s great that the council is finally open to their opinions and ideas. “We pay taxes and we deserve the right to share public space just as much as the next person.” Skateboarding is increasingly being recognised as a legitimate sport and recreational activity by governing bodies and, if it hadn’t been for Covid-19, would have had its debut as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Nevertheless Luke thinks people struggle to accept that the activity is a sport because there are few rules and conditions. “The parameters around it aren’t as easy to understand as more socially acceptable sports like rugby. Skating is hard to explain – it’s transport, it’s exercise, it’s expression.” Apart from the location, he
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suggests, it’s not much different from, say, mountain biking or surfing. He acknowledges that skaters’ moves can seem chaotic and unpredictable. “People might be going in different directions and the loudness can be quite obnoxious. I can see how some people find it annoying or scary.” Ultimately skating might be risky – Luke’s lost count of the number of times he’s rolled his ankle and he once hit his head so hard he went blind and had to spend three days in hospital – but he says skateboarding teaches perseverance and resilience. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or if you fail, you can always learn more, at your own pace, and learn what not to do. Skating is accessible regardless of age, sex, size, or race. There are no requirements, and anybody can do it.” Luke has seen first hand how beneficial skating can be both physically and mentally – particularly for young people who don’t fit the team sport mould. “I’m useless at other sports. Skating’s my exercise and it’s my passion. It has fuelled my creativity. I’ve met so many people and travelled to places I wouldn’t have travelled otherwise. I couldn’t imagine life without it.”
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Finger on the Pulse P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A D R I A N V E RCO E
After six years overseas, Gail Parata is back on home soil and ready to take the Pulse to their third straight title in this year's ANZ Championship. She talks to Matthew Casey.
aking over the role of head coach for the Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse from back-to-back championship winner Yvette McCausland-Durie, Gail Parata has a steep road in front of her heading into the 2021 season. All eyes are on Parata, a former national champion player for the Pacific Islands Presbyterian Church netball team, to see if she can emulate her success this year as a coach. Growing up in Hawera, Parata moved to Wellington at the age of 20 to pursue her netball dreams. After spending much of the last decade in Scotland, Parata is back home and ready to take on this year’s ANZ Premiership. “This is my hometown. I’ve played and coached in this region for over 20 years. To be able to come back into the Pulse and be the head coach is really exciting for me.” Having played for the Newtownbased PIC as a player-coach, and then assistant coach for both the Capital Shakers and the Central Pulse, Parata’s local netball credentials are impressive. Scotland’s world ranking, soaring under her guidance from 15th to 7th, is testament to her ability. Parata has no doubt about what she wants to accomplish this year – “the third title.” To helm a team of such a high standard will need bravery, and she’ll be bringing her own experience to a winning formula.
Alongside defending the ANZ Premiership, she’s concerned to make sure the individual players perform to the best of their abilities. As coach her first task has been to “build relationships with these players.” This is about more than just what is happening on the court. One of her tactics, she says, is “bringing the families in. It's about the whole person for me and understanding who their whānau is”. The Pulse is a big, diverse group, including the likes of University students and Silver Ferns. “For a lot of them, their family means the world to them, and we want them included as well”. Her own parents have followed most of her netball journey, and will attend the powhiri for her at Te Wānanga o Raukawa. She has ancestral connections with the zone the Pulse represents: “I am a Wellingtonian but my iwi is Ngāti Ruanui which is up in Taranaki and Ngāti Toa which is down here.” She credits her husband as one of her biggest champions, but admits he does joke that netball is her “life.” Time with family is a priority for Parata. She acknowledges the support of her mother-in-law and her own parents in making this possible. Family was part of her coming back to New Zealand, she had just finished the World Cup and was thinking more about family as her daughter was about to go to
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high school, though found herself coaching in Townsville for the Queensland competition on her way home. According to Parata, the Pulse coach role “wasn't on the horizon”. Since returning to New Zealand in the wake of Covid-19, she has been able to continue her work with Netball Queensland, with a specific focus on coach development in the Pacific. When she found out that McCausland-Durie wasn't returning for the head coaching role, she knew she had to apply for it, putting the opening down to “luck, I suppose”. Before moving to Scotland, Parata had worked under McCausland-Durie for two years as her assistant coach with the Pulse, and now saw the role as a return “home”. Parata says that, with the range of age and experience among the players, “the talent is already there,” and all she needs to bring to the system is her “knowledge of how to bring a team together.” The task then is to close the gap between the five Silver Ferns and the others “in terms of skill and conditioning”. With an intensive schedule of four training sessions a week, Parata feels privileged to have so much time to work with her team. Although she has played and coached at top level, Parata doesn't believe that such experience
is essential to being an effective coach. She cites the likes of Lisa Alexander (the Opals) and even Steve Hanson as examples. As long as you’re a student of the game and always willing to learn, she feels it should fall into place. “Fifty percent is building key relationships'' Parata says. “The on-court stuff, the coaching stuff, is the stuff that I love because I just feel at home there. But it's all the other stuff that you have to manage behind the scenes with athletes and management and everything.” Her experience as a player helps her “learn on the job” about little tricks of the trade. After time in 2020 as the assistant to Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua, Parata notes Taurua’s role in nurturing the game in New Zealand: “A great thing Noeline has done is bring all the zone coaches together and also provided the opportunity to coach in netball quad series.” In the long term, Parata wants to help make her players as skilled as possible so that, when the World Cup comes around next, her players will be able to help the Silver Ferns take out the title – “making them great female athletes, and women.” Ultimately, Parata wants to help keep netball the number one sport for females in New Zealand and ensure people’s continued support for the game.
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What would Deirdre do?
in passing that it wakes me up every morning but he continues to do it. Help! Jenna, Featherston Yuck! Ear plugs? Ask him to go further away? Does he only cough at 6.30am? Get up early and go for a walk, ride, jog, or early coffee.
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My flatmate watches a lot of porn. I don’t like it, I think its creepy. It’s not really my problem, but should I tell his girlfriend who is also a friend? Uncomfortable, Petone
I want to move out of the flat but have been struggling to tell everyone. I’ve been living with them for three years now and they’re sensitive young things. How do I go about the conversation knowing they’ll be upset but wanting to remain friends? Holly, Newtown
It seems that you are the owner of too much information – you need to think about your own response. Unpleasant, but consider if this is a moral high ground or a tittle-tattle issue? Gossip or caring? It is ultimately about who you are and your values – decide what to say or if to speak and to whom. Take time and think.
Just get organised so there is no recrimination time. Plan it; decide when, arrange to move, then tell them. Do it and explain that you are moving on but would like to be friends and they will be the first invited to tea!
I N SIC K N E S S A friend’s husband told me in passing that she has cancer. She hasn’t told me herself and I don’t know if I should bring it up with her or wait until she’s comfortable to tell me. Jonno, Lower Hutt
FA M I LY F E U D Every time I catch up with my sister she makes rude comments about my appearance. At Christmas she told me I looked as if I’d dressed in the dark. When I told her how rude her comment was, she walked out of our family Christmas dinner, upsetting my entire family. What would you do in my situation? Maree, Johnsonville
Tricky and I cannot comment on the depth of friendship you have. Does her husband have a wish that you should know and thus help in some way? It is not something that you would think he would mention casually. Maybe talk to him first? My gut response is that you should wait until she is ready to tell you, but be there for her and allow possible times for her to talk. Coffee, lunch, drop in chats, walking... Be a friend first and listen well.
Sometimes those closest to us are the cruellest. She needs to know that this hurts you and upsets you, but steel yourself – your values and style are your individuality. Be strong and be charming and don’t take the bait.
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If you’ve got a burning question for Deirdre, email email@example.com with Capital Angel in the subject line.
My neighbour coughs disgustingly, outside my front window every day, from 6.30 to 7am. I’ve mentioned
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International Dance Day 2021
Queer Comic Conversations
Free public dance workshops and performances.
Join us for the launch of the "Queer Comic Conversations" print version to celebrate this wonderful cross-continental project by comic artists Sam Orchard (NZ) and Illi Anna Heger (GER).
Fantastic celebration of dance, everyone welcome! Learn a new dance, with a wide range of workshops from Spanish flamenco to a Scottish ceilidh. Performances by local groups reflect the rich diversity of dance in Wellington.
Friday, 26 March, 6pm Goethe-Institut 150 Cuba Street (level 6), Wellington. www.goethe.de/nz
Sun 2 May 10.20am–4pm Te Papa, Wellington. internationaldanceday.org.nz
Save The Date: Family Day City Gallery Wellington's popular Family Day returns with fun drop-in art activities for the whole whānau, from 11am–4pm on the last Saturday of the school holidays. Come and be inspired by our latest exhibitions. Entry is free!
Don Giovanni Wellington Opera will take audiences on an exciting journey of musical and theatrical discovery, featuring world-class Wellington and New Zealand artists and creatives in collaboration with the wider opera community in New Zealand. Throw your glad rags on for a night to remember!
Saturday 1 May 2021, Te Ngākau Civic Square, Wellington. citygallery.org.nz
17–24 April, Wellington Opera House. wellingtonopera.nz
Feast of Shakespeare! SGCNZ’s Festivals are live again! After they had to go digital last year, now you can again soak up the visceral energy of the young performers in SGCNZ’s Wellington & Kapiti Regional University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festivals. Relish this 30th year of them! 13,14,15 April 7.00pm, Wellington East Girls’ College Hall, Paterson St, Mt Victoria, Wellington. sgcnz.org.nz
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from lunch time till after dark, and where everyone named on the poster just happens to be female. It’ll be the first festival like it that I’ve ever been to, and it’ll be the first festival ever for my now eight-year-old daughter. Benee, Chelsea Jade, and The Beths will perform, as well as other favourites of mine that I know my girl will love too, like Ladi6, Ladyhawke, and Stellar. And because the festival is by and for women, every charttopping performer who takes the stage will be sending a clear message directly to every young woman there that, if they want, they can do this too. Chelsea Jade has talked in the past about how much Bic Runga’s album Drive meant to her, and about singing aloud on road trips while she listened on her headphones, as her parents tried to listen to different songs on the radio. Liz Stokes of The Beths names Chelsea Jade as her main musical role model, from back when they were in a band together, and Chelsea was “smart and driven… and much more certain than I was that there was a place in music for us.” Ladi6 idolised New Zealand female vocal group When The Cat’s Away, and as a kid she and her cousins and sisters would harmonise to their songs at weddings and their parent’s work hui. It’s likely not a coincidence Ladi went on to form the band Sheelahroc, meaning “Women are the Strength”. This is how it works. When we see people “like us” doing a thing, the possibility that we might also do that thing becomes much clearer. This is why so many people care about gender representation on musical stages. I’m excited to take my girl along to the show that will probably end up being her Jenny Morris. The concert where she danced and sang along in a huge crowd alongside her Mum, where she stayed out till after dark and marvelled at a city she’d never before seen in that light. Where she realised the joy and importance of music and of creative expression. And where she got to eat a great, big slice of cake all to herself. Peachy Keen, 3 April, Basin Reserve
BY M E LO DY T H O M AS
still remember my first gig. I was 11 years old and my Mum took me to see Jenny Morris at the Wellington Town Hall. I loved Jenny Morris. Her album Honey Child was a staple in our house, the cover featuring Morris standing strong in head-to-toe black in a sea of vivid sunflowers, the lyric book accompanying the CD dog-eared by hours of page turning by young me, as I strove to memorise every lyric. My main memories from the concert itself were hearing my voice rise up in unison with Jenny and the whole crowd, of my Mum mortifyingly standing up to dance even though most people remained seated, and of pushing past my embarrassment to stand and shyly dance with her. After, we walked through the night streets of the city, rain splashing the glittering pavement, pushing our way into a cafe for the biggest slice of chocolate cake I’d ever been allowed to eat alone. The whole night was magic, cementing in my mind that live music is an incredible, joyful, and important thing. Having kids of your own does interesting things to your musical tastes, and these days we’ll all happily sing along in the car to One Direction (who my daughter just discovered are not, in fact, called Wonder Rection), Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and Selena Gomez. There are local artists we adore as a family too, among them Benee, Chelsea Jade, and The Beths. I’ve been waiting for a chance to take the kids to see one of them play, but with lockdown and the fact that most gigs happen so late, it hasn’t happened – until now. Peachy Keen is a brand new one-day music festival taking place at the Basin Reserve on Easter weekend, where ten incredible artists and bands will perform
C A L E N D A R
March C ONTA INING MULTITUDES City Gallery, until 7 March THE A LGORITHMIC IMPUL SE City Gallery, until 7 March NEW ZEA L A ND FRINGE FESTIVA L Various events and locations, until 20 March EXTINCTION IS FOREVER Birds by tapestry artist Marilyn Rea-Menzies Pātaka Art Museum, Porirua, until 21 March PORTR A IT S OF POW ER/ PORTR A IT S AS POW ER New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington, until 14 March KĀ KA HI: PETER A ND SA R A MCINT YRE Works by painter and war artist Peter McIntyre (1910– 1995) and his daughter, photographer Sara McIntyre New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington
Comprehensive eye care and advice you can depend on
SOUNDSCA PES Capital E PlayHQ, Queens Wharf
2 ASTRONOMY ON TA P Space Place at Carter Observatory
4 DEREK C OW IE New work from the punk-surrealist painter Page Galleries, until 27 March
5 QUEER AS GERMA N FOL K An exhibition highlighting moments of the queer movement’s history Goethe-Institut, Cuba St, until 1 April
6 SEA W EEK – KAUPA PA MOA NA 6–14 March
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THE PATIL LO PROJECT: A N IMPOSSIBL E B OUQUET New work by the winner of the 2020 Whanganui Arts Review, Tracy Byatt Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui
473 6275 94
C A L E N D A R
MA RT IN B OROU G H FA I R Hosted by South Wairarapa Rotary Club Martinborough Square JAPA N F E ST IVA L Martial arts displays, tea ceremonies, stage performances, origami, and Japanese food TSB Arena & Shed 6, 11am – 6.30pm
CA R NIVA L
NZSO perform Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka and other playful works Michael Fowler Centre, 6.30pm
SHEIL A H W INN SHA KESPEA RE FESTIVAL SGCNZ’s Wellington and Kāpiti Regional competition Wellington East Girls’ College Hall, 13–15 April
27 CU BA DUPA Creative street festival with music, art, circus, and more Cuba Street Precinct, Wellington, 27–28 March
15 BEST KEPT WORKSHOP Fermented veggies and sauerkraut Wellington Apothecary, 110 Cuba Street, 5.30pm
SE A WE E K ST R EET S W E E P Help clean the streets with Sustainability Trust Wellington CBD, 8–12 March
Contemporary art by Indigenous artists from around the circumpolar world Pātaka Art Museum, Porirua
W H E RE MEMORIES SL EEP
Multimedia installation explores Antarctica Pātaka Art Museum, Porirua
A NZ AC DAY Public holiday observed 26 April
T HE A RT OF T H E A RCH I T E CT Paintings by Roger Walker Thistle Hall, Cuba St, until 14 March
13 F R IE N D S OF PĀTA KA ART S T R A IL Everything from painting and weaving to 3D printing, printmaking, and textiling Tawa to Pukerua Bay, 13 & 14 March
A MONG A L L THESE TUNDR AS
31 M IC HA EL HIGHT New works Page Galleries, until 24 April
ST PAT R IC K’S DAY
T HE LO ST L ET TE R OF F ICE Theatre for children Te Papa Soundings Theatre, 10am & 1pm
A PR I L FO OL’S DAY
24 MĀOR IL A N D F ILM F E ST I VA L Ōtaki, 24–28 March
25 C A P I TA L X SP L E N D I D P HO T O WA L K Walk and photograph the city with Sean from Splendid and a CPotY judge. Splendid, 85 Ghuznee St, 5pm
26 T R A IN T HE T R A I NE R WOR K SHOP Learn how to make your school or centre more sustainable with Sustainability Trust Te Rauparaha Arena, 9am–4pm, free
A RMAGEDD ON EXPO Sky Stadium, 17–18 April
27 C A P I TA L P HO T O G R A P H E R OF THE YEAR Entries close capitalmag.co.nz/cpoty for more info
2 G O OD FRIDAY
REUBEN PATERSON Crystal tower sculptures, glitter paintings, and limited edition rugs Page Galleries
4 E AST E R SUNDAY
8 F I R E BIRD NZSO perform Palmer’s Buzzard, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Michael Fowler Centre, 7.30pm
10 R E L AY FOR L IFE 17 hour run or walk for the Cancer Society Trentham Racecourse, Upper Hutt, 10–11 April
1 FA MILY DAY Drop-in art activities for the whole whānau City Gallery Wellington, 11am–4pm, free
2 INTERNATIONA L DA NCE DAY Free workshops and performances Te Papa, 10.20am–4pm
7 HIGHBA L L FESTIVA L Cocktail and spirits festival Wellington Dominion Museum, 7&8 May
P U Z Z L E D
Fear factor 1.
32. 33. 34.
Answer s from issue #7 5
1. Pathophobics fear this (7) 5. Fear of death or dead things (11) 9. Wound from something sharp (3) 10. Technophobics fear this (10) 13. Ombrophobics fear this wet phenomenon (4) 16. Gloomy (4) 17. Exhausting physical labour (4) 18. A regular tendency that’s hard to give up (5) 19. Card game that threatens friendships (3) 20. Chromophobics fear these (7) 23. Eight-limbed creature(7) 25. Contaminate or pollute (5) 26. Ovophobic Alfred Hitchcock feared this food (4) 27. Fear of people or society (12) 30. Follower of a nature-based polytheistic religion (5) 31. Fear of spiders (13) 33. Fear of pain (10) 34. Domesticated fowl feared by alektorophobics (8) 38. Dominant person (5) 41. Hadephobics fear this (4) 43. Fear of social evaluation (11) 45. This animal is usually scared of humans (4) 47. Fear of fire (10) 48. Not quite right (3) 49. Facial hirsutism feared by pogonophobics (6)
2. Move along slowly and carefully (4) 3. Fear of public spaces or crowds (11) 4. A person’s sense of self-importance (3) 6. Fear of confined spaces (14) 7. A spherical celestial body (3) 8. Fear of heights (10) 9. Feared by lockiophobics, involves labour (10) 11. Abominable snowman (4) 12. Fear of books (12) 14. Fear of beautiful women, named after love goddess (14) 15. Aerophobics fear this (6) 21. Drive out or expel (4) 22. Single voice or instrument (4) 24. Fear of thunder and lightning (11) 28. Fashionable or trendy (3) 29. Head of crime syndicate (4) 32. Lack of success, feared by atychiphobics (7) 35. A very sudden loud noise (4) 36. Person who saves someone (7) 37. Hemophobics fear this (5) 39. A magic curse (3) 40. Trichophobics fear this (4) 42. Philophobics fear this (4) 44. Keep secret watch on something (3) 45. Purinsumphobics hate this receptacle (3) 46. 2012’s Worst Company in America (2)
Across 3. Picnic 6. Bomb 8. Ship 10. Raumati 11. Mountain bike 14. Kaimoana 15. Hazy 16. Rosé 18. Ale 19. Cap 20. Gig 22. Valentines day 23. Skinny dip 24. Sausage 25. Resolution 31. Cricket 32. Oriental bay 35. Melanoma 36. Syrup 37. Tan 38. Martinborough 40. T-shirt
Down 1. SPF 2. Sunburn 4. Cork 5. Camping 6. Bridal 7. BBQ 8. Bronze 9. Gardens magic 12. Waitangi day 13. Chinese new year 17. Slap 19. Castlepoint 21. Snore 24. Sand 26. Itchy 27. Pepuere 28. Bikini 29. Ant 30. Water 33. Bali 34. Snag 39. BO
Answers will be published in the next issue
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