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CAPITAL TA L E S O F T H E C I T Y

FIFTEEN CHEAP EATS AU G U S T 2 0 1 6

ISSUE 33

ITALIAN JOB

$4.90 HOW TO VOTE

MAGIC TIMES

TH E FOOD ISSUE


Civic RS Turbo shown

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Civic 1.8S from $29,900 Civic Turbo from $35,500

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11—14 August

St James Theatre BOOK NOW

rnzb.org.nz

The quintessential Romantic ballet

CHOREOGRAPHY BY Johan

Kobborg and Ethan Stiefel (after Marius Petipa) MUSIC BY Adolphe Adam ACCOMPANIED BY Orchestra Wellington CONDUCTED BY Marc Taddei

SUPPORTED BY

NATIONAL TOURING PARTNER

FEATURING


BEDROOM

FURNITURE

A u g u s t S p e c i a l P ro m o t i o n Ko e l e r S t o r a ge B e d i n Q u e e n o r K i n g a t o n e p r i c e $ 1 2 9 9 ( L i m i t e d T i m e o n l y ) K o e l e r s t o r a g e b e d i s a n i n n o va t i ve s o l u t i o n t o a l l yo u r s t o r a ge r e q u i r e m e n t . I t i s m a d e f r o m M a l a y s i a h a r d wo o d a n d ve n e e r w i t h s o l i d s l a t t o g i ve yo u s u p p o r t t o yo u r m a t t r e s s .

T h e d r a we r s s l i d e e a s i l y o n s t u r dy c a m b o l t a n d connector fixings.

The depth of the 4 d r a we r s m a x i m i s e s t h e s t o r a ge s p a c e .

Ko e l e r S t o r a ge B e d $ 1 2 9 9 only (Queen size or King size)

*Mattress sold seperately

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CAPITAL MADE IN WELLINGTON THE COVER: Craft food

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ugust means food in Wellington, and in this issue we offer you a veritable groaning table of food news. Three young food bloggers report on their favourite value-for-money dishes, we talk to Stephen Wong about achieving his shiny new Master of Wines qualification, the brothers Cuccurullo chat about their life in the food business with the Mediterranean Warehouse, and family food of the ‘50s and ‘60s is recalled. Geoff Marsland of Havana Coffee delights John Bristed with his tales of adventure in our Money column, and food columnist Unna Burch provides a great chilli dish, perfect for eating at home, maybe during Olympic telly viewing. This is her last column, and I thank her for her lovely recipes and photography in the past 23 issues. It has been an interesting time in our office with many in-house discussions about the differing value placed on the issue of freedom of speech and the ethics of paid advertising and whether running an advertisement amounts to implicit endorsement (see our Letters page for more). Melody Thomas writes about her interpretation of “pro-life” in this issue. And see page 72 for Unity bookshop’s vigorous response. John Kerr in his 21st column for the magazine looks at fire in buildings, and how BRANZ tests building products for safety rating. This is his last column for us, as he returns to an academic life and begins a PhD. Roger Walker talks about passion (and Ferraris). We have introduced a Lifestyle column this month and moved on from tattoos in the chatter section to Here Hair compiled by Bex McGill. We hope you approve. Local Body voting papers will land in your letterboxes next month, please take time to read John Bishop’s discussion on the curious outcomes that can result under STV voting. Eat in or out, let’s enjoy it this month.

SUBSCRIPTION Subscription rates $77 (inc postage and packaging) 11 issues New Zealand only To subscribe, please email accounts@capitalmag.co.nz

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

PRINTED IN WELLINGTON

Alison Franks Editor editor@capitalmag.co.nz This publication uses vegetable based inks, and FSC® certified papers produced from responsible sources, manufactured under ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems

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

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Shop 3, 99–105 Customhouse Quay, Wellington crane-brothers.com


S TA F F Alison Franks Managing editor editor@capitalmag.co.nz Campaign coordinators Lyndsey O’Reilly lyndsey@capitalmag.co.nz Haleigh Trower haleigh@capitalmag.co.nz Michael Benton michael@capitalmag.co.nz Factotum John Bristed john@capitalmag.co.nz Art direction Shalee Fitzsimmons shalee@capitalmag.co.nz Design Rhett Goodley- design@capitalmag.co.nz Hornblow Accounts Tod Harfield accounts@capitalmag.co.nz Craig Beardsworth

Factotum

Gus Bristed

Distribution

CONTRIBUTORS

J O E L L E T HOM S O N Wi n e c olum n i st

M E L O DY T HOM A S Journ a li st

Joelle Thomson was bitten by the big buttery chardonnay bug at Aro Street Café in the late 1980s. She’s written 16 books and weekly wine columns for New Zealand’s largest daily newspapers. She now comments on wine for RNZ National and teaches wine appreciation classes. She also blogs at joellethomson.com

Melody is a writer, columnist and producer for radio who uses her work to offset terrible FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. Writing for Capital provides just the excuse she needs to pry, consider and explore the world vicariously, all from her little window desk in Island Bay. Catch up with Melody between Issues on Twitter @ WriteByMelody

JOHN BISHOP Journ a li st

BEX MCGILL Ph oto g r aph er

John Bishop is a Wellington writer and advisor who helped out in the 1989 reorganisation of local government, and has been active in civic affairs in Lower Hutt and Wellington cities.

Bex is currently in her third year of study at Massey University, majoring in photography. She is the face behind the current People of the Capital project, posted to our Facebook page every week and our newest feature, Here Hair. She loves fashion, cats and large amounts of chocolate.

Sharon Greally | Melody Thomas | Janet Hughes | John Bishop | Ashley Church | Beth Rose | Evangeline Davis | Laura Pitcher | Unna Burch | Joelle Thomson | Anna Briggs | Charlotte Wilson | Griff Bristed | George Staniland | Sarah Lang | Bex McGill | Alex Scott

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

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

THANKS Courtney Howley

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$26,990 +ORC

Hutt Valley SsangYong

04 568 2151

2 Wakefield Street, Lower Hutt Sample photo only – does not include accessories.


LETTERS

DRESSUPS

SUPPORT FREED OM OF SPEECH

Thank you for supporting Dress for Success Wellington recently with giveaways and prizes for our Power Walk fundraising event on the waterfront. The willing support of volunteers and businesses like Capital magazine enabled us to run our event at almost no cost and deliver virtually all proceeds back to Dress for Success. Our charity helps women in this region get back to work and regain independence.We provide quality work clothes and support programmes for our clients. It takes more than clothing donations to run our hard-working charity, and events like this are important to our cause. Thank you again. Georgie Falloon – Dress for Success Wellington Board Volunteer (abridged)

While I am not anti-abortion in the slightest, I wholeheartedly defend each and every person’s right to freedom of speech and opinion. The fact that people have become so wound up about your recent anti-abortion advertisement highlights the need for discussion and openness around this topic. Every woman has the right to choose what she does with her body, just as every human has the right to express their opinion – in a calm and collected manner. I’m proud that Capital magazine is a space where individuals or groups can come to express their ideas and expect to receive equal treatment. Media is about publishing true, current topics. While so much of today’s media focuses on unimportant frivolities, I am thankful that my favourite Wellington publication can bravely address the real topics in our lives. I highly doubt that Capital HQ is unanimously in agreement with anti-abortionists but each to their own, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. Ms. J Feminist, Karori (abridged) (name and address supplied)

SHO CK AND DISMAY This is the first time I’ve ever gone out of my way to contact a magazine editor. I am utterly shocked and angry about your anti-abortion advertisement. I have until now really enjoyed your content. It has really appealed to me. I don’t want to look at a magazine as part of a leisure time and be confronted with a horrific, poorly rationalised message that is completely out of touch with the culture of your magazine and your readership. I don’t want to be made to feel angry and upset by something when I open up a magazine expecting to paw over beautiful pictures and articles and interesting people, places and culture to stumble upon an archaic, out-of-touch anti-abortion propaganda!! Seriously!?! While this may be “freedom of speech” and perhaps not the view of your magazine, it is very difficult to separate content and context from each other here, i.e. an antiabortion view and your magazine’s kaupapa. Really disappointed, Vanessa Crowe (abridged)

FO ODIE DELIGHT Thank you for the gift box which I won after taking out the Capital subscription at the food show. I was just delighted. A lovely bonus. Jodie Downs

IDENTIFY PLEASE? Get your act together. Er, who is the person in the picture on p29 of Capital 32? It’s not very obvious eh? Bruce Marshall, Wellington

UNHAPPY Your latest issue runs an ad promoting hate, discrimination, and is anti women. I can no longer support your magazine. Rose Bollinger, Wellington

Quite right. The flautist in the beautiful photo is Bridget Douglas, principal flute with the NZSO, who is referred to on page 30. Editor.

Letters to editor@capitalmag.co.nz with subject line Letters to Ed or scan our QR code to email the editor directly.

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CONTENTS

FIFTEEN FOR $15 Wellington’s hungriest bloggers pick their favourite feasts under $15

38

PENNE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

TIME, MONEY, COFFEE

HOW YOU VOTE MAT TERS A LOT

There’s an Italian job in Newtown

Geoff Marsland searches for the perfect blend

It’s election time – how does STV work, again?

44

51

60

8 LETTERS

56

LIQUID THOUGHTS

10 CHATTER

64

FASHION BRIEFS

12

NEWS BRIEFS

66

LIFESTYLE BRIEFS

14

BY THE NUMBERS

68

PERIODICALLY SPEAKING

16

WHAT'S COOKING

70

BY THE BOOK

18

TALES OF THE CITY

76

THE THAIS THAT BIND

20 CULTURE

81

TORQUE TALK

24

CULTURE DIRECTORY

82

WELLY ANGEL

38

WHAT THE FLOCK

84

BABY BABY

40 EDIBLES

85 DIRECTORY

42

CAPITAL CHILLI

86 CALENDAR

48

FOOD MEMORIES

88

9

ON THE BUSES


RD E R S E C TCI H OA N THT EE A

HERE HAIR

NEW

‘CANES GAINS Ardie Savea has signed a new two-year contract with NZ Rugby and the Hurricanes. The 22-year-old, who debuted with the men in black this year, is “excited about the future with both the Hurricanes and, if I'm good enough to be selected again, the All Blacks”. We talked to Savea back in issue #13 when the young ‘Cane was just hitting his stride.

JULIET POWLEY Describe your style in two words. Quirky, edgy. Favourite childhood hair disaster... My parents found me and a group of friends hacking our hair off in the bathrooms when we were four.

INTERNET CONNECTION Sophie Giblin, Jordanna Bragg and Hana Pera Aoake are looking for faceto-face time with local, vocal youngsters who’ve had run-ins with casual racism, sexism and homophobia online. These experiences will form the basis of the project Lokal Stories, a series of art installations to be displayed in shopfronts across the city. The girls will be interviewing the capital’s nightclub hoppers IRL, or you can use the hashtag #lokalstories to vent via social media.

Best teenage hair-related faux pas... I once bought black hair extensions off Trade Me. I looked like the daughter of My Chemical Romance. My hair tip is... Natural oil is absolutely the best thing for your hair. A bit of oil from your scalp is good. Time spent doing hair in the morning… 5 minutes.

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C HAT T E R

WELLY WORDS

BETCHASCO OPA A Wellyworder who walks everywhere (a Wellywalker?) sent us a communiqué about the state of dog poop on suburban streets (he has too much time on his hands). According to his keen eye, dog owners are a pretty responsible bunch but the odd slacker spoils it for everyone else. Somewhere in Ngaio there’s a German Shepherd whose owner regularly forgets to take a plastic bag on “walkies”. They need to be arrested for disturbing the grass.

HIGH VIZ WHIZZ Running at night in the wilds of winter can be hazardous. Gales and recalcitrant drivers aside a Wellyworder observed another difficulty – being caught short when there’s no loo in sight. Perhaps one can turn a blind eye to this on occasion but our correspondent noted the running offender was wearing a high-vis vest. Great when you want cars to notice and avoid you in the dark but not so good when you... don’t want people to notice you breaking the law.

IT'S COOL TO KORERO It’s the food issue so... Awe, whakaaro ahau kai ahau rawa nui. Whoa, I think I ate too much.

YO U G O, G I R L Soul singer Aaradhna Patel, the Porirua gal now known just as Aaradhna, released her long-awaited fourth album Brown Girl on 22 July, and posted a letter to her listeners online. Now living in the US, the 32-year-old admitted that growing up as an Indian and Samoan New Zealander wasn’t easy. “Brown Girl is a song about racism. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t happen in my world because it does,” she says. “Brown Girl represents how far I’ve come from a girl to a woman.” Oh, and who knew that she was shy?

CAUSE I SAID SO August, it’s cold and dark and although it’s the last month of winter we have the equinoctial winds to deal with in late spring so brace yourselves. We suggest you bury yourself in a good cause. August is awareness month for several causes – fact up and annoy your friends with topical in-depth knowledge. August is Digestive Tract Paralysis (DTP) Month, Psoriasis Awareness Month, Get Acquainted with Kiwifruit Month (yes seriously, this is a thing in America) and Sandwich Month. It is worth noting that at the Capital office we are acutely aware of Sandwich Month and celebrate it throughout the year.

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NEWS BRIEFS

TOP RANK FOR HUTT WEBSITE Hutt City Council’s website huttcity.govt.nz is the best council website in the Wellington region and one of the top five in the country, according to the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM). Each year ALGIM ranks the 78 websites run by New Zealand councils and local authorities. At No 5, up from No 10 last year, Hutt’s was the only council in the Wellington region to make the top five. Council Senior Web Advisor Sonja Cabrera says the ranking is a fantastic endorsement of changes to the website.

A RARE BIRD

URBAN RENEWAL

FARE PLAY

Twitchers are twitching with excitement at a confirmed sighting of a North Island kaka in the Wainuiomata catchment. It’s the first time one’s been spotted there since 1998 – encouraging news for the Greater Wellington Regional Council, which is making efforts to restore native habitats in the area. “One bird sighting does not necessarily mean a nesting population, but we are hoping the habitat is now attractive to this threatened native species,” says Tim Porteous, the council’s Biodiversity Manager.

The redeveloped Egmont St opens this month. The project to refurbish smaller central city streets has included Bond St, Eva and Leeds Sts, and Masons Lane, and Cable Car Lane which is still in progress. Drag queen Carmen Rupe will light up Cuba Street again, but this time on pedestrian crossing lights (like the Kate Sheppard ones in Thorndon).

One card to rule them all: that’s Metlink’s aim for Wellington buses, projected to take effect in early 2018. GWRC is in talks with Snapper Services, whose cards are currently used for 70% of bus travel, to create a single card that will take travellers from Johnsonville to Island Bay and everywhere in between. You’ll even be able to use it in the Wairarapa. And seniors needn’t fret; SuperGold will continue to cover all public transport on Metlink trains, buses and ferries.

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NEWS BRIEFS

R U N WAY M O DEL Plans to extend Wellington’s airport runway are gathering speed. The High Court has given its nod of approval to a 90-metre runway-end safety area, despite the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association claiming that it needs to be 240m. The group’s application for judicial review was rejected by Justice Karen Clark, who found no errors in the Civil Aviation director’s decision for the shorter safety area. It’s hoped the total extension of 350m will attract more long-haul flights to the capital.

ICE ON THE PRIZE

URGE TO MERGE

COUNCIL COLLAB

Antarctic researcher Nancy Bertler dug deep to earn herself a prestigious 2016 Blake Leader Award. The scientist from Victoria University of Wellington founded the field of ice-core research in New Zealand. By drilling deep into the Antarctic ice, researchers can unlock the secrets of the climate’s past and gain clues about how it will affect our future. Bertler hopes her research into climate change will inspire others. “Every scientific community needs passionate, smart people asking important questions and developing useful solutions,” she says.

A $5.2 million arts and literature hub is set to revitalise the Waikanae town centre. The council plans to combine its refurbishment of the library and its upgrade of Mahara Gallery, which has been under way since 2009. The proximity of the buildings offers “a unique opportunity to create a shared gallery and library facility”, says Wayne Maxwell at the Kapiti Coast District Council.

A call for feedback on the future of the Wairarapa council has gone “exceedingly well” with more than 1,500 responses received, according to Michael Player of the Local Government Commission. The commission and current Wairarapa councils offered five options on top of the existing setup – and the people have spoken. “We’re now in the process of analysing everything and will report back to the public in early August,” says Player. A final proposal and public poll could follow.

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BY THE NUMBERS

COFFEE KICKS

SAVE AND SAY OHM

1990

year Caffe L’affare opened its flagship store on College Street

1

cost in $ to dry a load of washing in the dryer (washing line is free)

1,052 21

coffees consumed by staff per week

90

% increase in power usage if you run the washing machine on hot as opposed to cold wash

100 +

$ in potential annual savings if you turn appliances off at the wall when not in use

900

$ in potential annual savings if a family of four cuts daily shower time from 15 to five minutes each (according to energywise.govt.nz a 15-minute shower costs $1)

2

staff with tattoos (is it a prerequisite to work there?) retired kickboxers on staff (don’t try and sneak out without paying)

GOING LO CO

1967

year the Silver Stream Railway in Upper Hutt started collecting and preserving locomotives and rolling stock

1.5

length in km of the heritage rail track (opened in 1986)

19 14

number of locomotives on site cost in $ for an adult to enter (open first and third Sunday of every month)

FLOWER POWER

4,000

visitors expected at the Carterton Daffodil Festival

110

minutes for the Daffodil Express to travel from Wellington Station to Carterton (leaves at 8.40am on 11 September)

1956

year JA1271, the steam engine that will haul you there, entered service

33

daffodil varieties grown at Middle Run Farm in Gladstone (for a donation passed on to charity you can pick your own during the festival)

LAB RAT RAP

12,500

area in square metres of research, teaching and laboratory facilities being built at Victoria University

4,000

area in square metres being built below ground level to ensure the scale of edifice is in keeping with the surrounding Kelburn streetscape

98

cost in millions of dollars for the four-storey building

2018

year it will be fitted out and ready for lectures

Compiled by Craig Beardsworth

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B OBBY ON DISPLAY

1908

year the New Zealand Police Museum was established

100,000 items exhibited, including case

evidence, weapons, medals, uniforms, vehicles and photographs

7

days a week the Porirua-based museum is open

5

cost in $ for a guided tour (general admission is free)


Wellington Airport proudly supporting the season of food and craft beer 12-28 August


NEW PRODUCTS

1

2

3 4

5

6 7

8 12 11

10

9

W H AT ’ S COOKING? 1. Rocket Appartamento coffee machine – $2,800 – Caffe L’affare 2. Santoku knife by F. Dick – $214 – House of Knives 3. Soda Stream – Moore Wilson’s – $119.95 4. Grid cotton tea towel – $12.90 – Let Liv 5. Round chopping board – $50 – Trade Aid 6. Honey & Co: Food From Our Middle East Kitchen – $60 – Unity Books 7. Basil plant – $1.95 – The Greenery 8. Salad servers – $29 – Trade Aid 9. KitchenAid Artisan Mixer (available in white or silver) – $949 – Moore Wilson’s 10. Meri Meri Party Straws – $12.95 – Moore Wilson’s 11. School bar stool – $185 – Inhabit Designstore 12. The Caker chocolate hazelnut cake mix – $25 – Let Liv

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New Zealand String Quartet Helene Pohl, violin Monique Lapins, violin Gillian Ansell, viola Rolf Gjelsten, cello & James Dunham, viola

SWING INTO

“James Dunham is stunning: resonant and vital” Fanfare

NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHAMBER MUSIC NEW ZEALAND presents

HAMISH MCKEICH C O N D U C TO R

NZSO AND THE RODGER FOX BIG BAND F E AT U R I N G A L L E N V I Z Z U T T I

CHAMBER MUSIC NEW ZEALAND presents

QUINTESSENCE

NEW ZEALAND STRING QUARTET & JAMES DUNHAM THE BRAHMS & MOZART EXPERIENCE

QUINTESSENCE MINI FESTIVAL: 3 CONCERTS. 1 DAY. Mozart created a new sound world when he wrote his first double-viola quintet and his later works are at the pinnacle of chamber music repertoire. The New Zealand String Quartet and Grammy-nominated violist James Dunham perform these timeless masterpieces alongside Brahms’ most eloquent chamber works to give audiences the ultimate quintet experience. Make a day of it and catch the morning coffee concert performed by the Pettman Players, a brilliant group of emerging young artists, the afternoon discussion with Frances Moore titled Five on a Musical Adventure and in the evening hear the premiere of a new commission written especially for this tour by NZ composer Salina Fisher.

S AT U R DAY

3 SEPT

W E L L I N GTO N MICHAEL FOWLER CENTRE 7. 3 0 P M

Performing new arrangements including Fanfare for the Common Man, The Meaning of the Blues and excerpts from West Side Story.

Celebrate • Indulge • Get inspired

Sat 17 September: 11am, 3pm, 7.30pm Michael Fowler Centre WELLINGTON For all festival details:

Ticketek.co.nz 0800 842 538 chambermusic.co.nz/quintessence

PRINCIPAL PARTNER

WITH SUPPORT FROM:

PACKAGE DEALS AVAILABLE

nzso.co.nz FOR TICKET DETAILS VISIT

Core Funder


SECTION HEADER


TA L E S O F T H E C I T Y

FREE FOR ALL WRITTEN BY ALEX SCOTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNA BRIGGS

I N S T RUM E N T

M U SIC

SECRET SKILL

AC T I V I T Y

FAV SP O T

Ukulele

Trance techno

Feeling Wairua (spirits)

Rongoā

Bothamley Park

When it comes to her Koha Shed, PAULA MACEWAN lives life in the present.

A

lawnmower, a robot vacuum, a homemade bass guitar: these are just a few of the unexpected treasures you might uncover if you visit Paula MacEwan’s Cannons Creek Koha Shed. For the past four years, the Porirua local has been opening her home to the community as a drop-off, pick-up point for all kinds of donations. “People simply give or take unconditionally; there is no coin needed, nor paperwork,” she explains. “It could be a transaction of things, energy, gestures. There is no rule on who gets what. People simply help themselves and, above all, help each other.” Is there anything she’d prefer people didn’t donate? “Odd shoes,” she laughs. MacEwan, who lives with her partner Craig Penny and children Jack (10), Madeline (9), Karma (7) and Ra (5), was inspired after seeing the original Koha Shed in Whanganui, and decided to adapt it for her neighbourhood. Since then, the initiative has grown “naturally, effortlessly”. Sheds and tables of goods continue to pop up across the Wellington region. “The kaupapa [principle] fits Porirua like a glove,” says MacEwan, who’s lived in the area for 17 years. “People literally give 24/7 at any of the hosts’ establishments. We all run them from our private homes.” Things get busy towards the tail-end of the year. As stores go Christmas crazy (usually well before December) extra donations are greatly appreciated. “From October onward, the stress levels go up a notch, so I tell people: ‘Look for gifts in the shed’. ‘Upcycle something’, ‘The time 19

reading your child a book is the gift,’ and so forth”. The simple act of connecting with people is important for MacEwan, who shares her home with those in need. “There’s an open door policy, as I see the community as extended whanau,” she says. She also finds pleasure in simple but symbolic rituals, like perc coffee and a game of chess – “brewing up another way to celebrate community and conversations around solution-based ideas”. Incorporating rongoā (Maori medicine, using plants) into daily life is a passion too. “I love cooking, infusing rongoā in any way possible, including baking.” Sunday often involves a bushwalk on a local maunga [mountain], gathering rongoā along the way. And later, board games or card games with the kids. Swimming at Te Rauparaha Arena or Cannons Creek Pool is another favourite pastime. When she’s not connecting with people, MacEwan likes to check in with nature. Her favourite escape: “Bothamley Park, the hidden gem of P-town, spending time with the trees and all living creatures.” Te Urewera is her top NZ holiday spot. “Time stops and it is untouched,” she says. Her advice for those wanting to adopt the Koha Shed kaupapa is to have an open heart and mind. “Eighty percent of people are not there for the physical stuff. They want one-on-one time, a transaction of energy.” MacEwan’s dream is for Koha Sheds to spread worldwide. But it all starts with the individual. “I support anyone who wants to give it a go,” she says. The Koha Shed – Cannons Creek is open for pick-ups Tuesdays, 10.30am to 2.30pm. Updates on Facebook.


CULTURE

SUMMER LOVIN’ City Gallery’s new exhibition Sister Corita's Summer of Love makes it sound like one nun had a racy summer, Grease-style. But Sister Corita Kent (1918–86) didn’t break any vows. Dubbed the “joyous revolutionary”, the American nun, artist, activist and educator repurposed text from advertising, packaging, road signs and pop songs to create technicolour screenprints supporting the civil-rights movement, protesting wars, and lamenting assassinations. Seventy prints are on show until October at the exhibition. City Gallery has invited local nuns for a private tour, and also screens Jess Feast’s 2013 documentary Gardening with Soul about Wellington nun Sister Loyola.

PHISH-HEAD

THE DIVA YOU KNOW

REFUGE IN ART

Filmmaker, photographer, artist and former rock guitarist Nick Setteducato moved to Wellington from New Jersey in 2008 to work for Peter Jackson. Now his five-minute stop-motion music video 2016: A Space Oddity, with hundreds of references to the band Phish and wider pop culture, has been featured on big-name websites including JamBase and AV Club – and viewed 20,000-plus times. “Now it’s easier to answer why I’ve spent two-and-a-half years building cardboard sets and tiny puppets.”

Actress/singer Ali Harper brings popular one-woman musical Legendary Divas to Wellington (Circa, July 27–20 August), paying tribute to female vocalists from Shirley Bassey to Dusty Springfield. Expect songs, skits, comedy, audience participation, and Michael Nicholas Williams playing the piano. Living in Wellington from 1993–2009, Harper studied at Toi Whakaari, performed at Circa and Downstage, and DJ-ed on Classic Hits before moving to Christchurch. “I’m looking forward to walking Wellington’s streets again.”

To give domestic-violence survivors a voice, Whare Manaaki Porirua Women’s Refuge has created the exhibition Joining the Pieces: A Journey of Survival (Pataka, until 21 August). A hundred women, children, staff and volunteers turned small square canvases into artworks that form a pattern on the gallery wall. Also displayed is a quilt donated by women at Arohata Prison, and art made by children through the organisation Porirua Living Without Violence.

P: 04 385 3855 W: THEPILATESSTUDIO.CO.NZ E: INFO@THEPLATESSTUDIO.CO.NZ A: LEVEL 1, 282 WAKEFIELD STREET, WELLINGTON, 6011


CULTURE

C H A L K T H E WA L K Anyone else wondered about the Shakespeare quotes written in chalk on the footpath on Abel Smith Street near Cuba Street? Mystery solved. Every weekday this year, the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand is writing the quotes outside its office at Toi Poneke Arts Centre, to help celebrate SCGNZ’s 25th anniversary and the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. Meanwhile SCGNZ’s pop-up Shakespeare is proving popular. You can watch or even join in with two actors reading Shakespeare scenes on Saturday 20 August and Saturday 17 September at the central library. “We’re reading the naughty, fun bits,” says SCGNZ’s Dawn Sanders.

SOMETHING FISHY

GIRLS ON FILM

AB OUT TIME

Di Tracey, a marine scientist at NIWA in Hataitai, is herself under the microscope in a new documentary On an Unknown Beach, screening at the Embassy on 6 and 7 August as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival. Directors Adam Luxton and Summer Agnew, who follow Tracey as she documents the impact of deepocean trawling, also zoom in on two other “explorers of ruined landscapes”, an Auckland drug-and-alcohol counsellor and a Christchurch sound artist.

Who knew that for every female character in kids’ films and TV, there are three males? Nic Marshall does. While working for the New York International Children’s Film Festival, she programmed GIRLS’ POV, a series of six short films with female directors, leads, or subjects. Now the NZ International Film Festival’s all-ages programmer, Marshall takes GIRLS’ POV on its first international outing, with two screenings on 7 August at City Gallery.

For the first time, the 69-year-old New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is teaming up with jazz institution the Rodger Fox Big Band. NZSO Presents: Swing into Spring stops into the Michael Fowler Centre on 3 September as part of a national tour. Joining them is Allen Vizzutti, a globally lauded trumpet virtuoso, for a concert of new arrangements including excerpts from West Side Story and The Meaning of the Blues.

Marsden School – See us in Action Girls Years 1–13, Co-ed Preschool Visit our Karori campus on Friday 2 September between 1pm and 3pm to experience the Marsden School spirit. All welcome. Marsden School Karori Marsden Ave, Karori, Wellington (04) 476 8707 marsden.school.nz


CULTURE

QUEEN OF HEART S

SOUNDING IT OUT

Wellington dancer Abigail Boyle, star of 2012–2014 TV show The Secret Lives of Dancers, will reprise the role of Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis in The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Giselle, (St James, 11–14 August). Created by former artistic director Ethan Stiefel, and choreographed by Johan Kobborg, the RNZB’s production of the 175-year-old ballet sold out in New Zealand in 2012; it was toured to China, the USA, the UK and Italy, and was the subject of a 2013 documentary by Toa Fraser. In the ballet, peasant girl Giselle dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. Myrtha and the Wilis – the spirits of women wronged in their lives – force men to dance all night until they die of exhaustion. “I love the sheer power of Myrtha and how she never shows vulnerability,” says Boyle, who has danced the role 51 times around the world. After 10 years with the RNZB, the 31-year-old is one of its longest-serving dancers, even though she was initially told she was too tall for the company.

Alan Burden was stumped. The sound designer for Wellington Repertory’s new production Ladies in Lavender had to capture the key-tinkling of a character who is an atrocious piano player. So he asked pianist friend Andrea Robinson – his bandmate in new retro-jazz group Trio Paradiso – to play really badly. “She did it, but she had to practise to sound bad.” The sound design was tricky, spanning storms, crackly radio weather forecasts and concert halls. “John Leonard, the sound designer from the original West End production, generously gave me some technical advice.” Ladies in Lavender (Gryphon Theatre, 17–27 August) is about two ageing spinsters who nurse a man washed up on the shore of their Cornish fishing village. Burden was born in Cornwall, where his grandfather was a pilchard fisherman in 1937, when the play is set. “The Cornish delicacy ‘Stargazy Pie’, with the fish’s head sticking out, is in the play!” This is Burden’s 20th gig as sound designer for the capital’s amateur-theatre companies Stagecraft, Backyard and Wellington Repertory, which turns 90 this year. He’s also played percussion instruments for numerous bands.

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O H W HAT A N IG HT !

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Glamorous and captivating, Legendary Divas is a feast for anyone who wants to celebrate those extraordinary women whose songs will always remain in our hearts! Join us for a dynamic evening of divas featuring music by Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand and many more!

Flying in from Las Vegas, these internationally awarded performers bring all the joy and verve of the Jersey Boys’ songs together in a show that covers the gamut of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons career. All the hits including Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Rag Doll, Big Girls Don’t Cry etc.

Chocolate treats galore await you at this festival of pure indulgence. The finest chocolatiers and chocolate makers create delicious masterpieces and delightful treats. Savour the finest freshly handcrafted chocolates, watch culinary experts demonstrate the skill of working with chocolate and taste their exquisite creations.

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13 September St James Theatre, Courtenay Place www.ticketek.co.nz

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THE 2016 PA RK I N DR AW IN G P RI ZE E X H I BITIO N Founded by arts patron Chris Parkin, this competition is one of New Zealand’s most prestigious art awards. This exhibition showcases works from 90 finalists. Visit and get the drawing conversation going. FREE ENTRY. NZ Academy of Fine Arts, 1 Queens Wharf, 2 – 28 August 2016 Visit www.parkinprize.org.nz

M O Z ART’S DO N G IO VAN N I The charismatic Don Giovanni travels through 18th century Spain seducing women. But when he commits murder, Don Giovanni unleashes a dark power beyond his control. Mozart’s classic opera, sung here in English with chamber orchestra, mixes gorgeous arias with duets, and is rich in both colourful comedy and exhilarating drama. August 20-27 Hannah Playhouse eternityopera.co.nz 04 894-7412

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Create Your Future Visit us on the Wellington campus Career Pathways Evening 25 Aug, 5.30pm Open Day 26 Aug, 8.30am – 1.30pm College Tours 5 Aug, 16 Sept, 7 Oct, 9.30am creative.massey.ac.nz Massey College of Creative Arts

Harmony Repia, Lachie Philipson


CULTURE

HOOKING US IN Wellington director, editor and animator Simon Ward – who works on TV, films, commercials and music videos – can also claim an animated web series. Working with music/animation collective Skyranch, he’s a director and animator on Aroha Bridge, whose name has been changed from Hook Ups and whose second season has just been released (aroha-bridge. squarespace.com). It follows twin hip-hop artists Kowhai and Monty Hook, with serious themes like racial politics leavened by kooky characters in their extended family of urban Māori. The creator, co-director and writer is Auckland musician Jessica Hansell, aka Coco Solid, who based Aroha Bridge on her comic strip.

WHO NEEDS GO OD LUCK?

ZOMBIE AT TACK

SELFIES

Caught New Zealand’s first lesbian web series? The six-episode series Pot Luck, which follows three 40-something Wellington friends searching for love, is screening on TVNZ ondemand from early August – and is also free to view at potluckwebseries.com. Helmed by writer/director Ness Simons and producer Robin Laing, Pot Luck was funded by a Boosted campaign ($22,500), a city-council grant, sponsorship, and help with things like the location in the Good Luck Bar.

In 1967, the composer Douglas Lilburn called the electronic music invading New Zealand the “zombie on the horizon”. So Zombies on the Horizon was the natural name for the National Library’s exhibition about the culture of experimental music in Aotearoa (until 19 August). The Alexander Turnbull library-within-a-library hosts a series of free lunchtime concerts by experimental musicians; the final three are on 4, 11 and 18 August. Would Lilburn approve?

Before he died in January, Wellington painter Melvin Day donated nine self-portraits to the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. Now, after a fresh lick of paint, the gallery reopens with Melvin Day: In Private (2 August–16 October). Spanning 50 years, these previously unseen self-portraits reflect Day’s shift in style from his early cubist and abstract works through to his later, more realistic work, and the meditation on mortality Self-Portrait after Stroke.

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CULTURE

TA L K T O T H E HA N D Young pianist and budding composer Liam Furey talks fast. Our conversation is an avalanche of composers’ names, works, movements and keys. At 18 he is already steeped in the classical music world, and he brims with information about specific works and composers’ idiosyncrasies. Furey recently won the senior composition prize at the 2016 New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest for his Piano Trio No 1 in G minor. The 10-minute, three-movement piece is scored for piano, violin and cello. It took two months to compose and then a further month tweaking it with the two string players he performed it with. “They told me what string fingering was possible and what felt comfortable to play, so I changed things as we went along.” The awards are part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s annual schools competition. Furey lives in Lower Hutt, he is home-schooled and sitting NCEA level three next year. So he has time to contemplate his next move, but says it will involve music study, probably at Victoria University. “They have a great composition programme there and I’m also not quite ready to move away from Wellington just yet.” In the meantime Furey is immersing himself in his latest fad – Russian composers. “Rachmaninov had a hand span that reached a 12th on the piano,” he enthuses. “My hands have to leap across the keyboard in octaves at speed, so there’s a lot of work to do.” Craig Beardsworth

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F E AT U R E

FIFTEEN FOR $15 WRITTEN BY BETH ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA PITCHER & ASHLEY CHURCH

Four Wellington food bloggers put their mouths where their money is, revealing their picks for the best eats under 15 clams.

W

e’ve all got our favourite lunch spots and must-order items that keep us going back to the same corner of the food-court, but sometimes it’s good to get out there and taste-test the waters, especially when it’s not going to put too much stress on the pocket. The only problem is there’s so much on the menu in this fair culinary capital, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s where our fave Wellington food bloggers come in. Kalliana Kong and Hanna Meginnis of Wellingnoms, Barney Hodges of Here’s Barney, and Tracy Kee of Teekayye, have snacked and slurped their way around the city to uncover those hidden gems buried on jam-packed menus. From a food-coma-inducing brunch and a late-late lunch of a burger, fries and beer, to authentic Malaysian char kuey teow and comforting avocado on toast, these four foodies dish on their top picks of meals for under $15. There’s sure to be something on the following pages to inspire your next deliciously affordable dining experience.

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15 FOR $15

TRACY KEE TEEKAYYE

F

ood is art for 21-year-old Tracy Kee from Singapore. She moved to Wellington seven years ago and is now in her third year studying commerce at Victoria University of Wellington. The way her photos look is as important as the food itself, and much of the Instagram love she receives is a result of the way she frames her photos. Tracy posted a picture of coffee and toast with friends at Customs last year and quickly received more than 500 likes. Tracy arranges her food subjects to achieve the right composition and then tinkers with the brightness, shadows and highlights to get things just right. As a self-confessed night owl, she says the hours

of food service in Wellington can be limiting. Luckily, though, the capital excels in both quality and quantity of restaurants offering all-day brunch, a favourite meal for Tracy. Even after a long lie-in, breakfast is still being served. Aside from the cafe culture and people-watching opportunities on offer at her favourite haunt, Customs, Japanese food is an absolute winner for Tracy. Known for its precise presentation, this cuisine is convenient for a photo blogger. Tracy says she has a high metabolism, so eats small amounts regularly. She’s less interested in the burgers on offer during Welly on a Plate and more keen on investigating set menus and street food.

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15 FOR $15

TONKOTSU RAMEN $12.50 The Ramen Shop never fails to impress. At the top of their ramen menu (all featuring handmade noodles) sits the tonkotsu, which means “pork bone” in Japanese. It’s generously filled with pork broth, bean sprouts, fried spring onions, nori (seaweed) and pickled cucumbers. But the thick and tender slow-cooked pork belly, also used in their delicious steamed buns, is the star of the dish. Add a slow-cooked egg for $1.50. The Ramen Shop, 191 Riddiford Street, Newtown

SOFT TOFU SOUP WITH SEAFOOD AND EGG $14 When I crave Korean food, Seoul House is my goto. Served with a bowl of rice, their soft tofu soup with seafood and egg is especially comforting on a cold day. So, unless your spice tolerance is really low, don’t be afraid of how red the bubbling soup is! They’re very generous with the seafood and tofu, and it’s often surprising when you discover the egg that comes with the dish too.

AV O C A D O T O A S T $13 Customs is like my second home. While they’re well known for their coffee, they also do a mean selection of fresh toasts and pastries every day. While they have smoked salmon with sorrel ($14) and almond butter with bananas ($9), a personal favourite is the avocado toast made on site. Labne is spread on two slices of sourdough, accompanied by generous amounts of avocado and cress or radish.

Seoul House, 68 Dixon Street, Te Aro

Customs by Coffee Supreme, 39 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro

CHAR KUEY TEOW $12 Having moved to Wellington from Singapore seven years ago, there are always times when I crave food from back home. There are many Malaysian restaurants in the city, but I’ve picked KK Malaysian for their authenticity and affordability. Their char kuey teow, described as thick flat rice noodles fried with chicken, shrimps, fish cakes and eggs, is one of my personal favourites. Don’t miss out on the beef rendang ($12) either! KK Malaysian Restaurant, 54 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro

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ASSORTED SASHIMI BOWL $15 If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, it’d be sashimi. This is highly influenced by my love for Japanese food, and Tatsushi’s assorted sashimi bowl ($15). Fresh slices of sashimi (depending on what’s available on the day) sit on a bed of sushi rice, sprinkled with seaweed flakes and served with pink ginger. Tatsushi, 99 Victoria Street, Te Aro


15 FOR $15

BARNEY HODGES HERE'S BARNEY

W

hen a friend pointed out to Barney Hodges that 90 per cent of his Instagram account was pictures of food, he realised he had a blog on his hands. That was a year and a half ago, and since then he’s built up quite a following. As a social marketer for eateries and other businesses in Wellington, the 30-year-old Cuba Street resident is right at home blogging about food. Originally from Christchurch, Barney was introduced to Wellington through his studies and now finds himself spoilt for choice living and working in this culinary capital. Seafood is the thing for Barney, which he credits to his Samoan heritage. His love of seafood can be traced back to three experiences: his nana’s oka, made with raw fish, lemon juice, coconut cream and spring onion; floundering for his favourite fish; and harvesting kina

with his uncles – eating the roe right out of its casing. Barney reckons his uncles could eat a two-litre tub of kina roe straight up, but for those who have the patience for preparation, he recommends spreading it on a piece of rustic wholegrain bread with herbs. The photos Barney posts are more than just food – he tries to capture the entire experience. An inspired piece of décor or a social gathering is just as likely to feature. Food brings friends and family together and he likes to present this important social element. For this reason, Barney can often be found weaving through markets at the weekend and chatting to foodtruck owners. Whilst it’s unlikely Barney will make it through the 100-plus burgers on offer at this year’s Welly on a Plate, it sounds like he’ll give it his best shot – starting with the seafood options, of course.

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15 FOR $15

SOUVLAKI MITITEI $10 At The Greek Food Truck, you’re greeted by owners Sophie and George, and the smell of the food, which is so fricking good. The souvlaki mititei (Romanian/Greek style) centres around grilled mititei, a skinless sausage made with pork and beef, and Greek seasonings. This is matched with tomato, red onion, hot chips, tzatziki sauce and wrapped in a blanket of pita bread to create a parcel of goodness. The Greek Food Truck, corner of Dixon & Taranaki Streets, Te Aro

BURGER COMBO $15 I call this the late-late lunch. The Standard Deal from Burger Liquor is available from 2-5pm every day. This is all you’ll need – a Standard burger and classic crinkle-cut fries, served with an ice-cold tap bevy. Burgers include 100% aged beef, cheddar, mustard and mayo.

STOCKMAN PIE & A THICK SHAKE $11.90 Tucked away in Island Bay is Blue Belle Cafe. Here you will find a dope selection of pies. Not just any pies, these are pies that will put a smile on your face. I go for the stockman pie ($5.90), which is packed with steak, cheese, pepper and a hash brown for the win. To take this to the next level, order a chocolate thick shake ($6) to wash it down. You’ll even have change for an Anzac bikkie.

Burger Liquor, 129 Willis Street, Te Aro

Blue Belle Cafe, 142 The Parade, Island Bay

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP $9.50 In the heart of Cuba Street you will find R & S Satay Noodle House. Look for the really, really, really brightly lit restaurant! Their famous chicken noodle soup is the original. Rice noodles cooked with bean sprouts and chicken, served with their special kua tew soup. Trust me; you’ve got to hit this dish with all the condiments – lemon juice, chilli flakes, chilli sauce, salt, pepper and soy sauce.

M A R G H E R I TA P I Z Z A $10 for 2 slices

R & S Satay Noodle House, 148 Cuba St, Te Aro

Tommy Millions, 105 Courtenay Place & 142 Featherston Street, both in Te Aro

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If you live and breathe pizza like I do, then Tommy Millions is your go-to. I'm a sucker for the classic margherita. Everything about this slice is on the level; the dough, the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and extra chili oil, cooked in a brick oven. If you're feeling the Millions vibe, but you want to switch it up, then hit one of the subs – I recommend the meatball.


15 FOR $15

K A I T LY N & H A N N A H WELLINGNOMS

K

alliana Kong and Hanna Meginnis (both 26) are bornand-bred Wellingtonians whose shared love of food forged their friendship three years ago. Last year’s Wellington on a Plate inspired them to start sharing their food views online and their Instagram account Wellingnoms is dedicated to the local food culture they were raised on. Whilst neither Kalliana nor Hanna has any formal kitchen training, they are committed and passionate cooks. Italian cuisine is mutually adored and Kalliana particularly likes to be creative with homemade pasta. Hannah is a talented baker and her chocolate cupcakes are cited by her co-nom as being particularly stand-out. The Wellingnoms girls post around three to four photo updates of meals-out a week, which takes up a good few hours of their free time – not least to engage with their followers’ feedback. A recent “best roti” recommendation sparked a great deal of conversation

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from followers who had their own ideas on the subject. The girls took up the challenge with enthusiasm. What more excuse is needed for further roti research? Kalliana believes that people’s strong feelings about food make it easy to have a food-focussed social-media account. And, as food is such a universal topic and the internet holds no geographical barriers, they have overseas followers whose own recommendations they would look up, should they happen to travel. Online interaction introduces them to new places almost as much as they introduce others to the best of the best in Wellington. With this year’s Welly on a Plate upon us, Wellingnom has shortlisted (or longlisted) their burger choices and although they are sad to have missed out on tickets for the cat café, they are particularly looking forward to the Garage Project’s Tokyo Tap House and the Laneway events.


15 FOR $15

B A N H TA M $11 Mekong holds a special spot in our hearts, being one of the first places one Nom Girl recommended to the other. We absolutely love their Vietnamese noodle bowls because, well, it’s pretty easy to feel good about eating something so fresh and delicious – mint, salad, spring rolls, pork and their signature sweet and sour fish sauce! If it’s a bit cold outside, we recommend getting deep into some classic pho. The broth is out of this world. Mekong Café, 138 Vivian Street, Te Aro

CLASSIC CHEESEBURGER $10

F R E NC H TOAST W I T H BAC ON AND BANANA $14 The French toast at Preservatorium is the best value brunch in the city. Just off the top of Cuba Street it’s a little quieter than other hot spots on the weekends. These folks don’t hold back on the good stuff when it comes to brunch time. That means enough bacon and banana for every single bite. Even us Nom Girls have been known to slip into a food coma after demolishing this meal.

Anything that has cheese and is wrapped in a bun is our idea of heaven and we’ve got a huge soft spot for Five Boroughs – it’s also the home of the best fried chicken in Wellington. We find it hard to go past the classic cheeseburger with its real homemade pickles! Make it a double and you’ll still fall within that $15 budget. And there’s no need to be greedy – even Nom Girls share an order of fries.

Preservatorium, 39 Webb Street, Te Aro

Five Boroughs, 4 Roxburgh Street, Mt Victoria

NASI LEMAK $12 Aunty Mena’s is one of those places you never thought would be of interest to you and then all of a sudden, at some point between adolescence and young adulthood, you discover it and it changes your mind about eating vegetarian. The nasi lemak has great Malaysian flavours – especially with lashings of delicious cashew nuts and crispy onion. We love it with the soya slice. It’s the bomb! Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian, 167 Cuba Street, Te Aro

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B R AT I N A B U N $11 If we have to tear ourselves away from the city for a meal, we head to Seashore Cabaret in Petone. We especially love its quirky openair interiors and silly carnival mirrors. The brat in a bun may sound pretty standard, but boy-howdy the flavour of that sausage has us going back time and time again. You’ll even have enough change for a long black made with their in-house roasted coffee. Seashore Cabaret, 160 The Esplanade, Petone


W HAT T H E F L O C K

MISS SK YL A R K Name: Eurasian skylark or skylark. Māori name: Kaireka. Status: Introduced, abundant. Habitat: Skylarks were introduced on several different occasions in the 1860s and 1870s and now cover most of the country. The 1999–2004 Bird Atlas survey found them missing only from forested areas and higher parts of the Southern Alps, and evidence of a recent reduction in numbers on the South Island’s West Coast. Look for them: Skylarks are small, streaky brown with a small crest (like a little mohawk) and white rear edges on the wings which are visible in flight. Widespread and numerous in farmland, dune fields, tussock grasslands and other open habitats, their size and colour can make them difficult to spot on the ground. You’re best to familiarise yourself with their famous song and work from there. Listen for: A prolonged sequence of chirps, trills and whistles delivered in hovering flight from 30–100 metres overhead; a shorter version is sung from elevated perches like fenceposts and bushes (a quick Google will give you a whole host of recordings from around the world, or else go to nzbirdsonline.org.nz). The male skylark’s song has proven an inspiration to poets and artists for centuries. In To a Skylark Percy Bysshe Shelley describes it, among other things, as “a rain of melody” and the “sound of vernal showers/On the twinkling grass”, finishing with a stanza imploring the bird to, “Teach me half the gladness/That thy brain must know/Such harmonious madness/From my lips would flow/The world should listen then, as I am listening now.” Feeds on: Mostly seeds, especially those of grass and cereal but also clover and weeds, and invertebrates like beetles, flies, spiders, bugs and larvae. Did you know? Though Shelley and his rhapsodising pals might have thought twice about dining on skylark, an unfortunate number of people didn’t. Throughout the 1890s, according to Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey’s Birds Britannica, 20–40,000 skylarks were sold for food at Leadenhall Market every day. Two-thirds of the British population of skylarks has vanished in the past 25 years, making our population internationally significant. If they were human they would be: A muse in sheep’s clothing. Small and comparatively plain and yet an inspiration to so many great artists – the skylark puts us in mind of supermodel Kate Moss, who was dismissed as plain and short for years but would go on to change the face of modelling forever.

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Be into

WIN!

The Discovery Series lets L’affare share these limited single origin coffees and unique blends Each are small-batch roasted and delivered fresh to select stores or available from their College Street café.

L’affare is giving away a six month Discovery Series coffee subscription with a beautiful Porlex hand grinder.

To be into win, email your details to competitions@laffare.co.nz by 14 August.


EDIBLES

MEOW FA C T O R Those lucky enough to have secured a spot at the SPCA’s Wellington on a Plate event will be looking like the cats that got the cream. The 50 tickets to two pop-up cat cafes sold out in record time, with a portion of proceeds going to the animal-welfare organisation. Guests at the Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant on 22 August can enjoy some feline affection while dining on Kāpiti cheese mousetraps, Wellington Trawling smoked-fish croquettes and Whittaker’s chocolate kitty cupcakes.

LISTEN UP, SUGAR

TUI FLIES THE CO OP

WILD THINGS

Curbing candy cravings and switching to a lowor even no-sugar existence can be a souring experience. Thankfully, The Sugar Trade has sweetened the deal with a range of workshops to help you through. There’s something for everyone: from an eight-week online course, or an evening get-together with pals at your place, to daytime workshops for new mums. You can also peruse their online pantry of baked goods, which they’ll deliver throughout the Wellington region. Visit thesugartrade.com

The Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka has produced one last bottle for the road before retiring its old production line. The iconic site, which has featured in numerous ad campaigns, will undergo a $4-5 million redevelopment, including earthquake strengthening and the establishment of a boutique brewery with a range of beers for tasting. The original Kiwi lager will now be brewed in Auckland and Timaru.

Industry insiders and restaurateurs were given a satisfyingly laid-back introduction to Living off the Land by Seresin Estate. Against the picturesque backdrop of Waterfall Bay in Queen Charlotte Sound, guests dined on terrine of roasted wild rabbits and crayfish cooked on outside fires. In true Seresin spirit, everything was locally and organically sourced and beautifully presented. The event was also a celebration of Seresin’s 20th vintage.

Bringing authentic GREEK FOOD to the streets of WELLINGTON Event catering available 40


EDIBLES

THEY’VE BEAN BUSY Coffee nerds take note; L’affare’s roastery in the CBD has moved to Newtown. You’ll find the expanded operation – warehousing, roasting, distribution, coffee-testing lab and training facility – at 39 King St. With a commercial kitchen and distribution hub right in the roastery, the seismically strengthened 60’s structure is also home to the Wellington arm of charity Eat My Lunch. Tread the original parquet floors and admire the 4m ceilings at the Wellington on a Plate event Café Gourmand. L’affare’s Dave Green and Michelin-Star pâtisserie chef Eric Hausser will be serving hot shots and French desserts.

PEOPLES’ CHOICE

TEMPTING FÊTE

TACO TO GO

Shaun Anderson has plunged into his new role as general manager of Peoples Coffee. Anderson brings plenty of experience to the coffee table, including a stint as assistant general manager for the Newtown-based company in 2008. “I’m looking forward to having his formidable experience spearheading our team,” says founder Matt Lamason, whose specialty coffee company is committed to producing 100% fair-trade and organic blends.

Dip into all things chocolate at The New Zealand Chocolate Festival on 13 and 14 August. You can educate your palate with chocolate tastings, get handy with bar making and admire the incredible choc sculptures on display. Chocolatiers from up and down the country will also be performing mouth-watering demonstrations at the culinary theatre. This year’s event is being held at Te Papa, as part of Wellington on a Plate. Book now at chocolatefestival.co.nz

Hop on the taco-truck bandwagon! Using free-range meats and fresh Kiwi produce, Antojitos, aka “little cravings”, is bringing seasonal eats to the streets. Their mouthwatering Mexican-inspired morsels include chicken, pulled pork, fish and crispy potato tacos, plus their signature side, Jalapeno poppers. The deep-fried peppers are stuffed with cheese and bacon or coriander, and served with dipping sauce. You can track the truck’s movements at antojitos.co.nz

SOUTHERN CROSS GARDEN BAR RESTAURANT . . . EvENTS ACTiviTiES OCCASiONS ENTERTAiNmENT

@thecrosswellington Follow Us on like Us on I / thecrosswellington www.thecross.co.nz

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THE FOREST CANTINA

C A P I TA L CHILLI There could be some serious TV time coming up over this next month, between the Olympics and Bledisloe Cup rugby matches. UNNA BURCH presents a dish perfect for those couch potato times. Who doesn’t like food that is both comforting and easy to make. Chilli is one of my family’s favourite weeknight meals, and it is one of those things that is even better the next day, so make a big batch and have it over a couple of nights. I like mine with a good chilli hit and I use both smoked paprika and dried chilli flakes for a warm smoky heat, and then cayenne pepper for that chilli heat. I serve mine topped

with fresh chilli too, because all of you fellow chilli lovers out there know how addictive heat is, and that you become obsessed with it and want it on everything (I still think hot sauce on mac ‘n’ cheese is one of the best things ever!) Chilli is traditionally served on rice with sour cream but you can also use it as a base for nachos – I serve mine with oven-baked tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.

INGREDIENTS

METHOD Chop the vegetables (onion, carrot, capsicum and celery) into 1cm dice. In a large heavy-based pot (I use a pot that is larger than I need so that the splatter of the chilli doesn’t go all over my stove-top) heat the oil over a medium/high heat. When it’s hot, add the vegetables with a teaspoon of salt, stirring well for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to medium. Crush the garlic and add to the vegetables with the spices (the chilli flakes, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne) and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside so that you can cook the mince.

For the chilli 1 onion 1 large carrot 1 red capsicum 2 celery sticks 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon chilli flakes 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼–½ teaspoon cayenne 1kg minced beef [or beef mince] 1 beef stock cube 1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce 1 can red kidney beans

Turn the heat up to high and cook the beef in two batches, breaking the lumps apart with a wooden spoon as you go until it is browned. Don’t add any extra oil in this step, or the end result will be too oily. Make sure you brown the mince over a high heat and in two batches, because if the pot is over-crowded and not hot enough, the beef will stew rather than brown. Once it is all browned, return all the mince back to the pot, then crumble over the beef stock cube, add the sugar, stir well and cook for 30 seconds. Add the Worcester sauce and put the vegetables back into the pot and stir well to combine. This is a good time to taste to see if you are happy with the seasoning and heat. Season accordingly, and add more cayenne pepper if you want more punch.

To serve Boiled rice Sour cream Optional

Turn the heat down to medium now, add just enough water to loosen (not too much or you will dilute the flavour), cover and cook for 20 minutes, making sure that you stir the pot every now and then so it doesn’t catch on the bottom. After 20 minutes, check it and add a little more water if it needs it, and then take the lid off and add one can of drained and rinsed kidney beans. Cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Check seasoning again. Serve with rice, sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice or corn chips, salsa and guacamole.

Fresh chilli Limes Coriander Salsa Guacamole Corn chips

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F E AT U R E

PENNE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Italian food and Italian people are woven into the history of Wellington. BETH ROSE talks to the Brothers Cuccurullo about their family business in Newtown.

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hen Antonio Cuccurullo left his poverty-stricken village in post-war southern Italy seeking a better life in New Zealand, he could never have pictured the Italian cultural legacy he’d be helping to pass on. His immigration to Wellington laid the foundations for the Mediterranean Food Warehouse, which this year completed a major refurbishment of their Newtown deli and trattoria. “My father worked on the land as a contadino,” says Antonio’s son Gino Cuccurullo, “digging, picking and pruning trees. But there wasn’t the work. They were a poor people and he came here in desperation looking for work.” Following in the footsteps of other Italian migrants from Massa Lubrense near Sorrento, Antonio left the port of Naples and arrived in Wellington in 1952. “In those days, to get to New Zealand someone from your family or village who was already here sponsored you so that you’d have a place to live when you arrived,” says Gino. “It was pretty tough though, as the breadwinner could be here forging a life for years – decades – before the rest of the family could join them.” Gino’s father made the journey as a single man of 28 years, and adopted Island Bay with its growing Italian community as his new home. In this seaside suburb he met his wife Teresa Ruocco from the island of Capri, and they started a family. Through local connections Antonio was offered a partnership selling fresh fish from a shop on Cuba Street, which he did for 40 years. He never looked back. Brothers Joe and Gino Cuccurullo took over the business when their father retired in 1990, buying the fish shop out of the partnership. “Back then there were

three or four butchers, fish shops and fruit shops in Cuba Street,” says Joe. “That’s where people did their shopping.” But within 12 months of the brothers taking over, New World on Chaffers Street opened and everything changed. “The food shops on Cuba Street were decimated within around five years,” says Joe. The Mediterranean Food Warehouse, or Wellington Fisheries as it was then known, survived by adapting to the modern market and looking for new business opportunities. Joe and Gino began selling their fish wholesale to Wellington restaurants and then decided to expand. “In 1994, we bought a building in Rongotai, which is now Bunnings, and we moved the wholesale business there,” explains Gino. “We then diversified to other products. The first pallet of Mediterranean foods imported was in 1996.” The decision to broaden the product range was a sound one; soon, Sealord – which had previously been selling seafood overseas – began supplying local markets and the price of fresh fish was driven down. Again, the brothers had to consider their options. They added gourmet supplies to their range, and 20 years later there’s no fresh fish at all, and Italian and Mediterranean products dominate. With both the original shop and all the fish gone, it would have been understandable if Antonio – whose life’s work was spent with his customers on Cuba Street – felt sentimental about the changes. But, according to Gino, this wasn’t so. “Our father was a pragmatic sort of a guy. He could see the writing was on the wall when we moved to wholesale and imports. I think he got a bit of a kick out of seeing us bringing in Italian and Mediterranean products.”

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F E AT U R E

Suddenly Gino and Joe had access to the types of Italian foods that had been treats during their childhood. The brothers can remember torrone – a type of sweet Italian nougat – being brought back as gifts by relatives from a trip to Italy and cut into small pieces to share among the children. Now they’re importing several different flavours of torrone. The only thing missing in Rongotai was the retail and public interaction, something that had been left behind in the Cuba Street days. “We wanted to keep retail as part of the business,” says Joe, “but no one went shopping in Rongotai in those days.” In 1999, the brothers moved the whole business to the Constable Street venue in Newtown where they still operate. “We wanted to stick with tradition and give people service. In 2002 we imported a pizza oven from the same village our father comes from. It was made by a local artisan and the shipping container it came in held one-third pizza oven and two-thirds pasta." With the wood-fired pizza up and running and Kalamata olives and pasta forging the retail path, Joe and Gino looked at other ways to grow the business. “We started the franchising just under 10 years ago,” says Gino, “the first being on the Kapiti Coast and then in Lower Hutt. We still have an influence on these businesses, but we realise that if we want to go forward with that, we need a whole new business strategy. We’re so busy with the wholesale and trattoria, we’ve taken a step back from franchising for now.” The recent refit at Constable Street created the Trattoria, which serves traditional, rustic Italian food. The changes saw the end of the old pizza oven but for Joe and Gino it was not a sad goodbye. “We had some good times with the woodfired pizza, but we were the only ones selling [it] when we started. It was great to see it go. It was too small and couldn’t do the job. Like everything; you’ve got to move on,” says Joe. Before taking on and growing the family business, Gino had worked as a mechanic and Joe a plumber. Now, they can’t imagine doing anything but managing the Mediterranean Food Warehouse. It’s a job for life.

Retirement doesn’t exist for them and they’re hoping their own children might eventually be interested in carrying on the legacy. “In Italy it’s not unusual to have businesses that are the size of New Zealand public companies that are still in the hands of families – the fourth or fifth generation – with 400 million euros in turnover,” says Gino. Some of Mediterranean Food Warehouse’s own suppliers were founded in the 1800s, and Gino puts this longevity down to a culture of building businesses to pass down, rather than the more modern model that’s often seen in New Zealand, which ends with an exit strategy. The newly refurbished Trattoria in Newtown is only 25 per cent of the business. They supply to Nosh and Farro in Auckland, along with My Food Bag. “We have five sales people now and we can focus more on the Auckland market where we’re having some quite good success – there aren’t many companies that have the breadth of inventory that we have: flour, gelato, cheese, salami, olives,” says Gino. Joe recalls visiting a Spanish peach producer, who was so protective of their product that he didn’t know if they would actually agree to supply their business. “When we visited the factory in Murcia – it was like going into Fort Knox. You were treated as if you were espionage: asking us why we were there and who told us about them.” An agreement was reached and the peaches take pride of place in the deli at back of the Trattoria. Founder Antonio passed away three years ago and so didn’t get to see this latest phase of business development. His photograph hangs on the wall alongside other pictures of the Cuccurullo family. Reflecting on that early journey made by his father, Gino is confident that Antonio got the life he was looking for. “I asked my father on a couple of occasions if he was happy with the decision he made to come here and he was always very positive about it. They didn’t leave their culture behind, they brought it with them and it evolved into the community – that’s what immigration’s like, whether it’s Argentina, New York or Wellington.”

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F E AT U R E

FOOD MEMORIES FROM FIFTY YEARS AGO The annual August food festival offers us an enormous range of food to try here in Wellington. JOHN BISHOP recalls the rather more limited food of his 1950s and 60s childhood. One fact influenced every aspect of our domestic life when I was growing up. My father was diagnosed as a type one diabetic when I was four years old. According to the medical practices of the day this meant that he had to avoid certain foods high in sugar, and seek a balance of protein and carbohydrate in each and every meal. Meals were to be taken at the same time each day – which suited his temperament anyway. He tested his blood sugar three times a day and injected insulin twice a day. Adjustments to food intake were made to take into account physical work, alcohol consumption, the test results and variations in meal times. In practice this meant that he ate meat, or a suitable protein substitute like eggs, three times a day, ate only certain vegetables and avoided others entirely. Broad beans were out. Peas, pumpkin, potatoes, kumara, and parsnip were allowed in regulated quantities. Silver beet, carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, lettuce and other salad ingredients were all fine. We ate what he could eat. There was always cold meat in the house, which he took in his sandwiches to the office each day – except on Thursdays when he allowed himself a cold meat and salad lunch at a café on Lambton Quay called the Rose Milk Bar – now long gone. Cold meat was generated from a roast on Sunday – typically lamb, but often beef, only occasionally pork, and rarely chicken, which was expensive and served only on special occasions. Usually there was a second dish to generate cold meat during the week – boiled corned beef, meat loaf, stuffed topside. Fish featured from time to time, and I can recall tripe on weekends, but offal was not a staple. Kidneys came in steak and kidney pie, but liver didn’t get across the doorstep, and black pudding was unknown. I can recall wild foods like duck and goose being given to us occasionally, but never crayfish or scallops. Whitebait was a rarity, but my father liked oysters, and they were bought several times in a season and consumed with much pleasure.

Saccharine, the only artificial sweetener available, was used in cooking as a substitute for sugar, and my mother would preserve countless bottles of fruit each season. For my father alone she’d preserve 30 to 40 kilograms of pears, plus apricots, plums, peaches, and whenever our nectarine tree decided to produce, there’d be some of them too. There were gooseberries from the garden – it was my job to pick them – and tree tomatoes (now called tamarillos) from our tree. My father ate preserved fruit with cream and either junket or a baked custard almost every night. In the winter there was sago, tapioca and creamed rice – all of which I regarded as wholly vile. My mother and I ate preserved fruit too – ours was done with sugar not saccharine – and in winter there was apple charlotte, and steamed pudding, usually apple or peach. Ice cream was a treat. I took my lunch to primary school most days, although I normally came home for it once a week. Lunch was sandwiches, usually with meat, sometimes Vegemite, and lettuce or Chesdale cheese slices. Salmon and shrimp paste sounded exotic, but was very familiar. I don’t recall jam sandwiches, but I can remember both honey and banana (separately) as fillings when I was very young. One common addition to the lunchbox was mousetraps. They were not to be confused with “cheesies” – a Sunday night staple in the winter – which were thick slices of bread, topped with tomato, onion and sometimes bacon, and grilled until the overlay of cheese melted. Mousetraps were fingers of twice-baked bread with Vegemite and cheese. To make them, my mother would lightly toast several slices of white bread. She’d butter them and spread Vegemite evenly and then scatter grated cheese lightly. The bread was then cut into fingers, usually four or five per slice, and baked in a hot oven until crisp and dry. Once cooled they were stored in an airtight tin. I’d get two or three for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Helping my mother to make mousetraps is, I recall fondly, my earliest culinary experience.

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M O N E Y, M O N E Y

MAGIC TIMES PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANN BRIGGS

Here’s a man who had more adventures in his first 18 years than many of us manage in a lifetime. Geoff Marsland is loud, genial, thoroughly extrovert, and a great raconteur. Disconcertingly for some, he micromanages about ten things at once and the nerve centre of his coffee empire is like a railway station as an endless flow of people come in to talk. JOHN BRISTED sits down for a chat. What is your attitude to money?

Budding entrepreneurs?

I meet two sorts of people in my life: I meet very rich people with no time, and very poor people with no money. There’s a balance and I’m trying to find it.

At school we had a fruit shop, and we used to go to the market in Courtenay Place on a Monday morning early and buy whatever we thought we could make money on. We’d take it back to the school and we’d price it all and the parents would come and get their fruit and veges there. So we learnt about pricing and values. In Cuba St there was a demo yard called Cuba Salvage and for $5 Stan Hyde would sell us a 12-foot (3.5-metre) length of kauri, which two or three of us would carry back to school. We’d chop it up, sand it, drill a hole in it, put a tarred rope through it and rub it with linseed oil and take it to the Victoria Market in Willis St on a Friday afternoon, and sell it as breadboards. So we’d turned the $5 into $50.

What got you going? School. School didn’t work for me because I struggled with reading and writing. Maybe I was too hyper. I’d been at school for three years, when one day I happened to hear a lady talking to Dad about Matauranga School in Aro St. The very next day I went to have a look, and came back to my school, grabbed my bag and told the nuns I was leaving. Matauranga had been started by a remarkable woman called Marie Bell, and although she’d gone by the time I got there, the school was amazing. It was an experiment in anarchy, and ideal for kids like me. We were encouraged to do almost anything we wanted. It was fun. We learned to go to school because if we missed a day we missed fun. They showed us that our muck-ups would come back and bite us; for example if we didn’t clean up our own mess in the lunch room there’d soon be nowhere to make our lunch.

Did you have pocket money as a child? No. I had jobs as a kid. When I first started really working I was about nine years old. Then, the Oriental Bay rubbish bins often had lots of bottles, which in those days we could get money for. I made a trailer at school for my bike. I also had a skateboard, and I made a sail and after a while I was able to sail along Oriental Bay on my skateboard looking in the rubbish bins. Then I’d collect my bike and load the trailer with all the bottles and take them back to our garage. I used to get so many bottles that the Coca Cola truck would take my bottles once a month and give me a cheque. I tell my kids that when I was ten years old I had a kayak, a minibike, and a ten-speed bicycle, all because of the money I’d made from bottles.

There must have been some rules Matauranga had only a few rules. One was that there was a quiet room where those who wanted to read or study, could; and another was that you could say to any other kid “I don’t want to be annoyed” and they’d have to leave you alone. There was no “discipline”. The best thing I learnt out of that school was self-discipline and the need to believe in myself. It’s been a major influence on my life, and still is.

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M O N E Y, M O N E Y

During the bottles I met a man with a milk run in Lyall Bay. He was a great guy called Nigel Nixon. He paid me $6 a day working for him after school; the paper boys used to get $6 a week, so if I did seven days I was getting $42 a week, a lot of money when I was that age. One year I didn’t miss one day. By the time I was 13 Nigel would drive the truck out to the cool store in Rongotai then go home, and totally illegally I drove the truck, and I was doing the whole milk run. I’d run the milk boys who were my age as well, then I’d leave the truck there and catch the bus home. When I got a wee bit older, I’d light a cigarette so I would look even older, and drive the truck back into town myself. Did your parents have any influence on this? Although I was emotionally close to my parents, the other four kids in our family were all fair-headed and I’m blackhaired and was the only one adopted. So maybe I felt a bit out of it, and I think all the work gave me security. I have to say this about Dad though; he was a strong Catholic and he had a very strong sense of what’s right and moral. I think I’ve absorbed that. How did you have time for school? I went to Wellington High School. Nigel Nixon who had the milk truck and his big red-headed fashion designer lady, Maida Hume, had become great friends and were almost step-parents. They had a couple of shops so I had the keys to his milk truck and the shops (Maida in Farish St, and Vendible Saloon at the top of Cuba) and I used to go and help at lunch times and I was partly managing the shops. Another job I had for a while – at the same time as the milk run – was at Ray John’s night club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, where I’d go at about 10pm and wash the dishes ‘til about 3am. Then the Wellington High teachers told me not to go out and work at lunch times. I told them what I thought of them, so after three months in the third form (I was just 14) I was suspended. Your parents must have been upset? I went home and told my old man that I’d been suspended from school; then the next day (I remember it was a Tuesday) I came home and I’d shaved off all my hair. He was under a bit of stress of his own and this didn’t help. He said, “Right, I don’t need a punk rocker living in this

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house, get out… get out,” meaning for the moment, not forever. Mum was crying and I was crying and I said, “Oh, f*** you then”, and at about 10 o’clock at night shoved all my stuff in a pillowcase. It was a beautiful Wellington night without a breath of wind, and the harbour was like a mirror. I biked along by the sea until I got to Queen’s Wharf, and when I stopped with my pillowcase on my bike, a bloke asked me what I was doing. I told him I’d just been kicked out of home. He said, “Do you want a job and a place to live?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “I’m leaving at midnight. Put your bike under this net. We’ll go out into Cook Strait and catch some fish, and if you like it you can have a job and live on the boat.” So I put my bike under the net and we went out and I loved it. I didn’t go home again for two years during which time Dad had lost all his money… (I eventually got them a place in Karaka Bay). I fished in Cook Strait for six years, and I did well. Fishing is seasonal, six months on and off. When I was 18, cars were really expensive in New Zealand so I went to London and bought myself a Mercedes SE350. You had to own and use a car for six months overseas, and do the same once you got it back here before you could sell it without paying enormous import duty. It worked perfectly with the fishing seasons. I did that in three more subsequent years. I saw a lot of Europe that way and made a bit of a profit. I did a bit of backpacking and had fun looking for the Loch Ness Monster, and doing the Glastonbury Festival. I was 19. I was fishing with Pete McLean and Dave Wylie. A BMW and two Mercedes (I’ve almost always had one since) were lined up along the wharf. Ours. As we fixed some nets on the wharf, I said that this would be my last season as a fisherman. You’d obviously done really well, why would you want to change? They asked why too, and I said, “Because you’ve taught me that money doesn’t always make you happy.” They thought I was joking. But money does give you options. Those early friendships have remained and a lot of people have helped me when things get sticky which they sometimes do.


M O N E Y, M O N E Y

What do you do after you’ve spent years learning how to be a fisherman?

Have you invested in other projects? I’ve got shares in a company – Coffee keeps some people awake, so here’s something to help them sleep and it’s a natural sleep product called Sleep Drops. It’s going to be big. I’ve always invested in bricks and mortar and hospitality, but I’ve also admired these people like Xero and TradeMe who do all their business in the Cloud, so I’ve invested in a cloud company.

I made clothes. My semi step-mother Maida Hume was into fashion and showed me how to do tie-dyeing. So I made really bright tie-dyed clothes, which I sold in David Blackmore’s Victoria Market. And then, since I’d got used to going to England to buy a car in the off-season, I took my stuff there too and sold Nuclear Free Clothing at the Camden Market in London. Someone asked me if I’d heard of the Grateful Dead pop group (whose fans loved brightly coloured tie-dyed tee shirts) – I hadn’t, but when I found out they backed people like Santana, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Dylan, I got together with a friend and we went off to America with a huge pile of “tie-dye,” bought a car, and sold them at the Greatful Dead gigs as we travelled with their entourage all the way up the west coast of the USA. At 22, I was back here and and living in a house truck. Me and a film-making bloke who’d been at school with me had travelled together in Canada where we’d had a lot of coffee in a lot of coffee shops. We said to each other that there was nothing like them in Wellington. It looked like a good idea so we thought we’d try one. So we raised enough money to start Midnight Espresso in Cuba St.

What gets you in to all these different things. I’m full of ideas and I have a soft spot for others with crazy ideas, or are a bit left of field, people of all ages, and often someone walks in with a crazy idea and we go with it. Do you have health insurance? Yes, but only recently because of the family. Did you ever borrow a lot of money? No – I’ve never liked debt until recently. On the other hand, since I bought my former business partner out I owe more money now than I ever have, and I’ve realised debt is my friend because it enabled me to end an unhappy arrangement. Do you support any charities? Yes, lots but I think the biggest thing I give is time and energy to others.

You were one of the first cafés that was mostly vegetarian?

Are you still working just as hard?

It was mostly vegetarian because we thought it was safer and we wouldn’t have to worry about people getting food poisoning. The cafe was a raging success, so six months later we built De Luxe in the Embassy Theatre on Kent Terrace. Around 1990 we started roasting coffee for our two cafés. We learnt by trial and error and used our café customers as guinea pigs. The roaster moved to Wigan St where the Havana Bar is now, and where we had 18 glorious years. Magic Times. Now, headquarters is this cool building at the top of Tory St which is an artwork in progress.

No I’m working harder than I ever did in my life. I love taking a bit of time off – jump on a plane or jump on a boat, go sailing or whatever – but I think I’m happiest when I’m working, and I always have in the back of my mind that that’s what gives me the option to take time off. I thought I was going to retire at 40 but it’s about the people, and I love what I’m doing. Geoff has written a book that covers more of his adventures and hopes to publish it before Christmas this year.

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LIQUID THOUGHTS

POUR DECISIONS WRITTEN BY JOELLE THOMAS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HIRO TERAOKA

Meet Wellington’s newest Master of Wine, Stephen Wong.

S

ince he gained the gruellingly difficult Master of Wine qualification in March this year, Stephen Wong has been on a mission to introduce Wellingtonians to some of the stranger wines of the world. For now, he is preparing to travel to London to have his prestigious qualification conferred. There are fewer than 350 Masters of Wine in the world and only 12 live in New Zealand. And Wong grew up in Asia, which makes his achievement all the more remarkable. His parents were liberal minded, well travelled and internationally educated, but there was no wine on the table when he was growing up, even though his father enjoyed European wine culture while travelling. Born in Malaysia, Wong moved to Singapore when he was 12 years old for the Raffles Institution; a private boarding school for, in his words, “high-achieving establishment types who proceed to Yale and Cambridge”. Today, his parents drink wine at home and they are unsurprised that their son leapt from law into wine. They had studied and lived in New Zealand, and encouraged him to complete his tertiary studies here. “It offered a chance to round out my education and gain life experience before I settled into adult life,” says Wong. He studied law at Otago, and soon discovered wine when working at a Thai restaurant in Queenstown during his summer holidays.

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There he met Central Otago winemakers Alan Brady and Rudi Bauer who “gave him the keys” to an understanding of wine. Smelling the aroma of lychees in a Chard Farm Gewurztraminer was a pivotal moment – he remembers thinking, “Wow, I get it.” Having completed his law degree, he moved to Wellington, where he worked part-time in a café and waited for a legal job. As the wait wore on, Wong found himself enjoying the hospitality industry, and “the idea of sitting at a desk as a lawyer began to lose its appeal”. He dived into hospitality full-time, rapidly expanding his understanding of the business. He was soon selecting the wine lists at the places he worked. And he embarked on the Master of Wine course – nine years of study which, he says, he would never have begun had he known how tough it would be. The journey began with encouragement from Christine Comerford of EuroWines and Raymond Chan of Regional Wines & Spirits. Comerford was very influential in shaping European wine selections on Wellington restaurants’ wine lists; and Chan was the capital’s foremost wine educator and retailing personality at the time. As the numbers suggest, the Master of Wine qualification is not for everyone. It is based on independent study, with much travelling to sit exams, attend lectures and invest in wines for tasting. It involves rigorous theoretical study of wine


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LIQUID THOUGHTS

science, grape growing, geography and climate, and a series of exacting tastings, which candidates all find difficult to pass. Wong passed the theory first time round, much to his surprise – “I overestimated how much science I would need to know and completely over-thought it,” he says. He spent the next decade tasting this way through what he describes as “weirder and weirder wines” in order to pass the qualification’s rigorous exams. “I was trying to identify wines 100% correctly, in terms of the grape or grapes they were made from and where, exactly, they came from. So I just kept tasting more. Finally the light bulb went on when I saw friends passing the tasting part of the exam with 60–70% and not always getting the identification of the wines correct.” One of those friends, fellow New Zealand Master of Wine Emma Jenkins, advised him to practise writing answers rather than tasting wines. This practical tip helped him to ditch perfectionism and achieve the world’s most exacting wine qualification. He also discovered that tasting wine is based on

honing the skill of pinpointing definitive elements in each wine, rather than identifying every element. Wong has developed a passion for “natural” wine. This global movement is snowballing, although there is as yet no strict definition of natural. It generally refers to organic and biodynamic wines, which are made from grapes grown without pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides, and wines made with minimal additiives. Wong also wants to introduce Wellingtonians to some of the “kookier” wines of the world, and this November he will do just that at a natural wine and food festival called Bud Burst. His income today comes from a mixture of activities, including curating wine lists in Wellington (for Charley Noble, among others) and further afield, teaching wine, hosting corporate tastings, and private consultations for collectors and enthusiasts. About a quarter of his work week is taken up with volunteer committees and pro bono assistance to the wine industry. The destination has proved to be worth every step of the nine-year journey.

Clive Pigott | Artful Dodge Photography

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F E AT U R E

HOW YOU VOTE M AT T E R S A L O T I N T H E M AY O R A LT Y R A C E The STV voting system we use for local elections throws up a lot of questions. JOHN BISHOP outlines just some of the things to ponder before local-body voting begins next month.

V

oting papers for Wellington’s local government elections go out in mid-September, with at least eight candidates seeking the mayoralty; each proclaims that they have the unique set of skills, vision, and experience needed to lead the city. Under the STV voting system used here, voters rank the candidates, giving their most preferred candidate number one, their next preferred number two and so on down the list. (Voters are not required to use all their preferences, and many don’t.) When the votes are counted, if no candidate has a majority of the votes cast then the lowest-polling candidate is removed and the second preferences of that candidate’s voters are added to the totals for the other candidates. This process is repeated until one candidate has a majority of the votes cast. Each stage is called an iteration. Since STV was introduced no candidate for mayor has won on the first iteration. In 2010 Celia Wade-Brown won on the sixth iteration, and on the fifth in 2013. All the candidates surveyed by Capital (not including Helene Ritchie who announced her candidacy after the survey was completed) emphasise that they are trying to get as many first-preference votes as possible. But as no one is likely to win on the first count, getting second and third (and even fourth and fifth preferences) becomes essential to winning. It’s a vital question in this race, where there is a very open field with two serving mayors and five councillors standing. Right now it’s likely that Nick Leggett and Justin Lester are ahead of the rest, their campaigns having been visible for longer than that of Jo Coughlan, whose momentum is however rising.

Incumbent mayor Celia Wade-Brown has done little other than her normal mayoral duties to raise her profile. Nicola Young is probably behind the others, and the positions of the recently announced Helene Ritchie and Andy Foster are unclear. The final candidate (so far) is Keith Johnson, who has not responded to inquiries. Nick Leggett says he is running “a strong campaign across the city that is broadly appealing to people, groups and suburbs”. Nicola Young says she is “asking for voters to make me their first preference. If they have committed to another candidate, I am asking for their second preference.” Justin Lester says his strategy is “to be the best candidate with the best policies and track record of getting things done”. Candidates are reluctant and wary about telling voters how to vote; Nick Leggett expresses the commonly held view: “It’s not for me to direct their preferences, nor do I believe Kiwi culture would welcome this.” Nicola Young adds, “Candidates cannot instruct their supporters about how to distribute their preferences.” Others are less diffident. Andy Foster says, “I will be talking to some candidates about this.” And Jo Coughlan is open to having the conversation. She thinks Celia’s running again “makes it tough for Justin Lester to win”. “I hope that those who have supported Justin and want to change the mayor are prepared to vote strategically and give me their second preference.” Celia Wade-Brown says promoting her ideas rather than attacking other candidates means “other candidates’ supporters don't rule me out. Due to my

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SFEACSTHIIOONN HBERAI D E FE SR

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F E AT U R E

work with different cultural groups in the city… I believe I would be likely to pick up many ethnic communities’ first or second preferences.” Jo Coughlan says, “I am open to a discussion with Nick, Nicola and Justin about their second and third preference votes, and my second and third preferences.” Overseas political parties commonly make deals in preferential voting systems for policies, political posts and funding for projects. It’s open and explicit; voters in Germany and Australia, for example, accept it as part of the culture. Those voters also accept being guided by “their” political party about how to vote. Not so in New Zealand, where there is some strategic voting at a national level, (Epsom, Ohariu, and Wellington Central) but not in local government. Also there is little to trade at council level, and not much is exclusively within the gift of the mayor. Council chairs, portfolios, committee memberships and directorships on outside bodies all have to be approved by the whole council. Asked about making deals, the candidates recognise the importance of getting voters to give them second and third preferences, but most are diffident about doing more than asking for support. Justin Lester says he will be asking for second preferences if he can’t win a voter’s first preference. Andy Foster adds, “If asked I will say who in my view is next best placed... to take our city forward.” In Wellington mayoralty races maximising first preference votes is vital but not sufficient for victory. In 2004, the first election held under the preferential voting system, Kerry Prendergast was easily the most popular candidate on the first count with 22,069 votes compared to 7,703 for her nearest rival, Rob Goulden. But it still took five iterations for her to get a majority, and she won only when Goulden was eliminated and she picked up 30 per cent of his vote to defeat Councillor Brian Pepperell. In 2007 there were 11 candidates for mayor and Prendergast won only on the ninth iteration, despite starting

with a massive lead on the first count – 17,990 votes over her nearest rival Ray Apihene-Mercer on 6,954. Finally, she got to 21,866 votes to beat Brian Pepperell on 10,125 votes. Her initial lead was decisive, but large numbers of voters had not used all their preferences. In 2010, Prendergast had a clear lead over Celia WadeBrown after the first count. But Wade-Brown picked up more preferences than Prendergast from the three liberal left candidates who were successively eliminated. Wade-Brown then got 2,420 of Brian Pepperrell’s preferences compared with 878 for Prendergast. The last candidate to be eliminated was Jack Yan. Voters who put Yan as number one chose Wade-Brown second by more than two to one over Prendergast – 3,459 votes to 1,806 votes, enough to put Wade-Brown into the mayoral chair by just 176 votes. In 2013 it happened again. Jack Yan was again the last candidate to be eliminated, with Yan’s preferences going 3,899 to Wade-Brown and 3,237 to Morrison. 28 per cent of his voters – 2,279 – expressed no preference, a figure more than twice Wade-Brown’s majority over John Morrison. So preferences matter and they matter a lot. But explicit deals among the candidates are less likely. WHO LIKES WHOM IN THE MAYORAL RACE Candidates were asked who would they prefer to have as mayor – other than themselves – and also who they would least like to have as mayor. All but one candidate responded in general political language and did not explicitly identify any other candidate. Andy Foster said, “It comes down to who is authentic, motivated by ambition for the city rather than themselves… a genuine joined-up vision for the long term and a work ethic needed for a 24/7 role.” Nick Leggett said he liked all the candidates but “at this stage there isn’t a strong ‘second’. That doesn’t mean one won’t emerge in the next few weeks.”

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F E AT U R E

MAXIMISING YOUR VOTE UNDER STV So how do you get the most impact from your vote under STV? One view is to use all your preferences putting your least preferred candidate last. Seems reasonable; candidates ranked in order of preference. Most people will have a preferred candidate and perhaps an acceptable second choice. Numbers three, four and five, are increasingly difficult. They may be people whom you really don’t want to support so giving them any support at all seems to run counter to your beliefs. On the other hand, voting for just one or two people will reduce your influence on the outcome if those two drop out of the contest early on. Some voters also want to vote against someone they really dislike. No quarrel with that, but the strategy is different. The best way to defeat someone you dislike is to vote for the person most likely to beat them, which isn’t necessarily your own preferred candidate. In the end there is no “right” or “wrong” way to vote under STV. Much depends on what you are seeking to achieve, and how soon “your” candidate drops out. The candidates all back STV as superior to first past the post, but many people have reservations and some think more voter education is required.

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Justin Lester said he’d like to see someone with similar views to his, “positive about Wellington with vision, leadership and business skills, an ability to work with people and a track record of achievement.” Jo Coughlan said, “The candidates who encourage their supporters to give me their second preferences will be those most acceptable to me”. Nicola Young said she was the only candidate who “has pledged to freeze rates, stamp out council waste and focus on core business”. All the other contenders had promised vanity projects costing millions, “so I cannot support them”. The only candidate who was prepared to name names was Mayor Celia Wade Brown, who chose Justin Lester as her preferred alternative and Nicola Young as her least preferred candidate.


FASH ION B R I E F S

ROLE MODELS Miromoda, the “Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board” collective, has handpicked two Porirua locals to hit the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week. In anticipation of the country’s premiere fashion event on 25 August, Rikitia Holloway and Konan Snow proved they can walk the walk during a recent Miromoda runway show at Pataka Cultural & Arts Museum. Miromoda co-founder Ata Te Kanawa says the collective is committed to increasing diversity in the fashion industry to better represent our multi-cultural society. “It’s logical we start building our own model talent,” she says.

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Emerging talent meets an expert eye for style in Capital’s new bite-sized online fashion shoots. Each shoot pairs an established local designer or business with someone up-and-coming in the fashion field. Photographer/stylist Courtney Howley is lending her lens to the project, while KBM model management will be supplying the talent. Our first shoot, I’m All Ears, in collaboration with The Service Depot, is up on our Facebook page and at Instagram.com/capitalmag now.

Our good friend Harry’s has opened the doors to its new city store at 253 Wakefield Street. You’ll find all the luxury local and international brands you’ve come to expect from the Seatoun fashion boutique, with the bonus of being just a stone’s throw from Te Aro’s fine selection of coffee shops and eateries. Is there any better weekend combo than shopping with a side of brunch?

Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent clothes are available in Aotearoa for the first time. The high-end labels are among a selection of exclusive offerings at David Jones’ newly opened Wellington store, formerly Kirkcaldie & Stains. New Zealand-designed Twenty-Seven Names, Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester and Rodd & Gunn are also on the racks in the world-class department store. “We’ve collated a unique and exciting offering across fashion, beauty and home that will delight our New Zealand customers,” promises CEO John Dixon.

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LIFESTYLE BRIEFS

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HA PPY G A M E R S Have you caught Charmander or Squirtle yet? Seen Zubat behind the bucket fountain or Baeporean in a dumpster? For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a game to play while viewing the real world through your phone’s camera. The mix of cartoon characters and reality has been a hit since it was released last month and explains the hordes of people talking animatedly while glued to their phones. Before you put your “bah humbug bloody technology” face on, consider the anecdotal evidence about the effects on mental health. People who are normally holed up at home are walking, meeting other users on the street and feeling more positive. Some psychologists have suggested playing helps release dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline – all good for dealing to depression.

WATER WORKS

COME TO GETHER

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Need some winter pampering? Treat yourself to a Salt Pod Float. Now open in the old James Smith building on Cuba Street, its title says it all – you lie in an enclosed pod floating in 500 kilograms of Epsom salts dissolved in 800 litres of water. Water is kept at body temperature (37°C) so while you’re lying in seclusion you lose awareness of the water around you. Add lighting, music, and showers before and after, and you’ve got yourself a relaxing 90 minutes. Magnesium in Epsom salts is great for tired muscles and skin. Bliss.

The words “not-for-profit” and “health insurance” are not a natural pairing in many minds, but Accuro has been taking care of Kiwis on these terms for 45 years now, and they’re pretty proud of the fact. Geoff Annals, CEO of the member-owned company, is committed to making quality healthcare a reality for all New Zealanders. “Lots of people pool their funds and their risks so that when any member of Accuro needs access to private healthcare, Accuro can fund it,” he explains. Makes sense to us.

Are hot water bottles passé? Is everyone an electric blanket fan nowadays? According to EnergyElephant.com you’d need to leave your electric blanket on for three hours before you exceeded the energy use of boiling a jug to fill a hot water bottle. Hot water bottles stay warm throughout the night but they only keep your toes warm. With electricity you have the added concern of a fire hazard but pouring boiling water into a hottie can be perilous too. In our office hot water bottle use is limited to the nostalgic.


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P E R I O D I C A L LY S P E A K I N G

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE WRITTEN BY JOHN KERR

A Wellington-based fire lab is making sure that building materials can take the heat.

“F

ire! Fire!” This sort of panicked warning is the last thing you want to hear from the room next to you on the 20th floor of a tall building. Fortunately the New Zealand Building Code has some pretty strict requirements to keep large structures from turning into towering infernos in a matter of minutes. The materials used for walls, doors, ceilings and the like must meet certain fire-resistance standards. Testing that manufacturers’ building materials are up to standard is the work of the fire team at the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ). At the BRANZ headquarters on the rural outskirts of Porirua, a fire-testing facility hosts mini-catastrophes; walls, floors, ceilings and doors are subjected to standardised fire tests, to obtain an official fire-resistance rating for the materials they are made from. The facility, the only one of its kind in New Zealand, tests hundreds of building material specimens a year. Peter Whiting, the fire-testing team leader at BRANZ, has been working in this area for more than 20 years. “We are bench-marking,” he explains. The tests have to be carried out in a precise fashion according to exacting international standards. Next time you walk into the stairwell of a multi-storey building, peek at the inside edge of the door you pass through, next to the hinges. Odds are you will find a small metal plate with the name of the manufacturer and the fire rating. A typical fire rating looks something like this: “30/60/30”. These three sets of digits represent the number of minutes the particular piece of building has been certified to, respectively, maintain its structural load, prevent flames from getting through, and adequately insulate from heat, in a standard fire test. (With doors the first number is often not included as they don’t carry any structural load.) How is this done? The most common test is carried out by placing the material over the mouth of a furnace and increasing the flames and heat inside according to a standard process that aims to replicate a typical fire. The

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biggest furnace at BRANZ can test a piece of wall 3m x 4m, and the whole rig can be flipped on its back to test ceiling materials in a realistic way. Peter and his team monitor the specimen with various sensors to find out whether it passes the criteria for the fire-resistance rating the manufacturer or supplier is aiming to meet. The fire-testing facilities have recently had a $1.75m upgrade, refurbishing the buildings and switching to cleaner LPG fuel, which also allows a greater range of fire tests to be carried out. The large furnace can now get up to a blistering 1,350°C. Peter explains that this means BRANZ can now test materials to be used in situations where a really ferocious fire could occur, such as oil refineries or tunnels used by, for example, fuel trucks. Much of the testing work at BRANZ is carried out on behalf of commercial clients, but the team also undertakes their own research, analysing the apparently chaotic behaviour of fire in buildings. The fire-testing facility also has a standardised fire room which is used to investigate the way fires can spread in small spaces. Peter says they have done a lot of experiments with furniture and linings to quantify the way fires grow. “If a fire breaks out, how do the linings and construction materials respond? Do they accelerate it to the point that it gets out of control too quickly?” “These experiments have added enormously to the development of computer models for predicting fire growth. The models are used by engineers to predict how buildings may respond in the event of a fire, and allow them to evaluate the risk of harm to building occupants for a given building design.” Should the worst-case scenario strike and you are caught in that burning building, be thankful that someone has made sure that the wall separating you from the fire is – at least for a short while – up to the task of taking the heat while you make a run for it. This is the last column from John Kerr, who is about to begin a PhD at VUW.


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BY THE BOOK

R E-VE R SE INTRODUCED BY CLAIRE ORCHARD

Bri an’s life, a s dire c te d by Bri an dire c t ing dire c tor S erg i o L e one

It’ll be great! You see, I’ll be standing there, right in profile – wearing a black cowboy hat with the sun setting behind me Rock McQueen – you see that’ll be my name – Rock McQueen And then what you gotta do is zoom in – a close-up on my face and I’ll be chewing something straw, a wood chip whatever you like, it doesn’t really matter but it shows I’m calm nonchalant and then suddenly I pull out my guns and shoot

BREAKDOWN Bio: Helen Rickerby is a poet and publisher from Wellington. She has published four collections of poetry – most recently Cinema – and is working on her next book, which includes a series of prose poems that makes up a deconstructed biography of George Eliot. She runs Seraph Press, and is co-managing editor of JAAM literary magazine. In brief: Mostly I enjoy imagining I’m the boss of my own life, but there are days when I’m forced to concede that, despite my best efforts, events have panned out a little differently than I’d have liked. When it feels like the cookies of destiny are crumbling around me, Helen Rickerby’s Cinema provides the perfect antidote. Part of the collection is devoted to a series of poems starring well-known movie directors, each offering a different take on directing a life. I particularly enjoy this one, featuring classic Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone, for the sheer delight of imagining Brian (a less Wild West name is hard to imagine) with Leone’s expertise at his disposal enthusiastically taking charge and transforming into Rock McQueen, gunfighter hero of his own life. Awesome indeed.

70

and then a shot of the bad guy collapsing looking kinda pissed off he falls on one knee, then the other, plants his cheek in the dust and then back to me and I won’t even bother to blow on my pistols I’ll just toss them back in my holsters or even onto the dry red ground and off I’ll stroll like it’s Sunday afternoon ’cos that’s the kinda guy I am Awesome By Helen Rickerby, from Cinema, Makāro Press (2014)


BY THE BOOK

PICTURING A WIN Andrew Burdan’s illustration of a mother snuggling her child in Joy Cowley’s book Hush: A Kiwi Lullaby earns him a nomination for the illustration prize at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. He’s also co-nominated (with the authors) for three other titles including Patricia Grace’s picture book Haka. Wellington has six other finalists: Writers Fleur Beale, Bob Kerr, Gregory O’Brien and Gillian Candler, alongside illustrators Kate Wilkinson and Marco Ivancic. Six finalists from around the country speak in two sessions at Wellington City Library on Monday 8 August.

CAPTURING A LIFE

ONE TO WATCH

WORD ON THE STREET

As a wedding celebrant and a hospice volunteer, Kapiti Coast’s Andrea Buckland witnesses major life events. A Mary Potter Hospice volunteer for five years, she visits patients at the Kapiti day unit and Newtown’s inpatient unit, writes their life stories, and gives the resulting books to the families. For this and other hospice work, she was runner-up for the healthcareprovider individual category at the 2016 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.

Ashleigh Young is popping up everywhere. Her new personal-essay collection Can You Tolerate This? (VUP) covers myriad subjects from Hamilton’s 1990s music scene to a French postman. She’ll speak about the book at the 29 August session of Writers on Mondays, tempting office workers to long lunches once a week until October. A Victoria University Press manuscript editor, Young writes poetry, teaches science writing, and blogs at eyelashroaming.com

Street-media company Phantom Billstickers brings poetry to the masses by sharing Kiwi poems on billboards around the country and the world, often lighting them up at night. Who could be a better new sponsor for New Zealand’s annual poetry day? Phantom Billstickers’ National Poetry Day falls on Friday 26 August, with Wellington events announced early August, and an Online Poetry Competition open to submissions until 22 August. See facebook.com/ NZPoetryDay

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BY THE BOOK

CHICK-LIT TO MAKE YOU LAUGH PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT BIALOSTOCKI

Sarah Lang meets a bestselling novelist who’s shaking off the shackles of “chick-lit”.

A

ll four of her novels have topped the New Zealandfiction bestseller list, three have been published internationally, and she now writes full-time. But literary success didn’t come easily to Catherine Robertson. Hers was a circuitous route. Born and bred in Wellington, the voracious reader did an English-literature degree, wrote and sold advertising for Wellington magazine Agenda in the 1980s, worked for PR and advertising firms, then set up and ran various advertising, marketing and management firms with husband David Robertson. It was in her mid-30s, during a two-year stint in San Francisco, that she decided to give writing a whirl. “Both

boys were at school, I was unemployed, and I thought it was now or never,” Catherine tells me over tea and meringues at her beachfront home/office in Seatoun. She completed a creative-writing course at a community college, then the family lived briefly in the English countryside. When Catherine was offered a job, she felt it was a crossroads. “I asked David, ‘Are you okay with me trying to write a book fulltime?’ He said, ‘Sure’. So I did, and it was terrible.” By 2002 they’d returned to Wellington, and in 2005 set up a management consultancy, where Catherine worked full-time then part-time. After-hours, she wrote and 73


BY THE BOOK

rewrote novels for agents who were all wrong for her. “If someone had told me I’d have to write the equivalent of five novels before publishing one, I probably would have said, ‘Ah, no’. But you always think, ‘Oh, next time’.” In 2010, she landed a top-tier London agent who sold the “romantic comedy” The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid to Random House. “Think grieving girl goes off to London and finds new life and love,” Catherine says. Published in New Zealand, Germany and Italy, this light, funny read topped the New Zealand fiction bestseller list for 22 weeks. Next came Darrell spinoff The Not So Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence (2012) and The Misplaced Affections of Charlotte Fforbes (2013). Although romance permeates this Imperfect Lives trilogy, Catherine doesn’t consider herself a romance author. “In a romance novel, the primary storyline is a love affair. Mine’s more like a sitcom with an ensemble cast, known as a novel with romantic elements.” She’s a member of the Romance Writers of New Zealand Association, and usually goes to their annual conference to learn about structure and style, but is too busy to attend it in Auckland this month. Yes, she poked a bit of fun at the romance-writing formula by making her heroine Darrell a romance novelist. “Just a little fun, with affection.” Darrell was also published in Germany and Italy, but her Italian publishers said no to Mo – and her German and Italian publishers said no to Charlotte. “I decided to stop making my characters strong, dominant women. I was pushing s t uphill trying to make people like them, because chick-lit readers like vulnerable, damaged heroines. And I was never not going to be marketed as chick-lit. Though then you become the victim of publishing trends. Chick lit actually hasn’t been doing that well over the past five to eight years – Jojo Moyes’ ‘tragi-chick-lit’ aside.” Catherine’s books could also be called comic novels, full of witty one-liners. “My writing gods are the ones who make me laugh: Nancy Mitford, Terry Pratchett, P.G. Wodehouse, Bill Bryson. I saw Bridget Jones’s Diary as a comic book. But female writers can’t write comic novels without it being labelled as chick-lit, whereas men can get away with it.” Fair point: who ever heard of bloke-lit? Wanting to write a novel with more depth, and to avoid the chick-lit pigeonhole, she decided to write drama rather than comedy. Coming out last year, The Hiding Places topped the bestseller list again. Like Darrell, it’s about a woman moving to England, overcoming heartbreak and finding romance. But this is a more serious, ambitious and engrossing read, interweaving contemporary and historical storylines. It’s also published in Germany, and has just been sold in France. This is the first year Catherine’s written full-time rather than part-time. “I sit down at 8.30-9am, break for lunch, work ’til 3-4, walk the dog, then might do another hour. I have my best ideas while playing Solitaire.” Sometimes she’s ruminating in bed, scribbling on a notepad in the

dark. She also reviews five contemporary fiction picks each month for the Listener, and regularly joins Jim Mora on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel. Catherine doesn’t get cabin fever, but enjoyed having colleagues of a sort last year while doing her Masters in Creative Writing at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. “Many people see it as a platform for publishing, but for me it was an opportunity to experiment without publishing hanging over my head.” There she wrote an as-yet-unpublished “fragmented little novel, partly drawn from my family’s history in a strange, cult-like organisation”. She’s talking about Moral ReArmament (MRA), a fundamental-Christian organisation begun in 1938 to eradicate war and nationalism by uniting the world under one moral code. Some whacky stuff went on. “You’d give up your sense of self and write down what God was telling you.” She’s just got a Creative NZ grant to research her late parents’ and grandparents’ time in the MRA for her first non-fiction book, focusing on her mother’s experiences. “It ruined her life.” Her parents quit the MRA in 1965 just before she was born, and never talked about it. So Catherine is off to the UK, US and Kenya in November to interview three of her mother’s MRA friends. In May, Catherine celebrated her 50th on one of Peta Mathias’ culinary tours in Morocco. While there, she found out she’d got another small Creative NZ grant: to set up StoryCave, a free creative-writing workshop based on London’s Ministry of Stories (MOS). Her brother is friends with MOS co-founder, author Nick Hornby, and Catherine’s son Callum Robertson, an illustrator, worked at MOS for a year and a half. Now mother, son and Claire Mabey (of LitCrawl and Writers Week) are bringing it to New Zealand. StoryCave runs at Strathmore’s Kahurangi School from 5–9 September, with Berhampore, Newtown and Corinna schools bussing in. At each workshop, 25–30 kids will come up with and work collaboratively on a story, helped by a facilitator, a typist (whose words are projected on a screen), and an artist (who draws illustrations on an easel). After the cliffhanger, the kids write their own endings, helped by 10 mentors including Catherine, Callum, Claire, children’s author Philippa Werry and Pukeko Pictures’ Martin Baynton. Catherine hopes it might become a regular, town-hopping event. Now StoryCave is largely organised, Catherine’s focussed on her as-yet-untitled new novel. She tries to do something different and more difficult with each book, and this one has “six or seven” interwoven stories. It’s also her first book set primarily in New Zealand. “The internet’s had an effect: readers exposed to more international writers don’t much care where books are set, and New Zealand fiction is seen as exotic and desirable.” Whatever the future of publishing brings, she’s planning to enjoy the ride.

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ABROAD

THE THAIS T H AT B I N D WRITTEN BY THALIA KEHOE ROWDEN

We’ve traded Maranui café for sticky rice at roadside stalls, and the Bucket Fountain for herds of stone elephants. Our kids are speaking Thai and learning to make the world a better place. We think it’s a good bargain.

A

t one end of our mu baan, the residential subdivision we live in, is the Hang Dong road: six lanes of polite anarchy, divided by an endless traffic island of topiaries. At the other end of the block are rice paddies, and, if our kids are lucky, some water buffalo working in them, accompanied as always by upright white egrets, waiting to help the cattle out by snacking on their parasites. The urban and rural are close neighbours in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Two years ago a friend called with a proposition. A non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in conflict zones in Myanmar (Burma) needed a doctor to oversee health projects. He thought my husband was the right person. Would we move to Chiang Mai, where the head office was? Why not, right? Wellington is the city of my heart. I’ve lived in the capital as a toddler, as a student at Victoria, and then once more, as the mother of small children. We live by the sea and host tui and piwakawaka in our hardy ti kouka trees. We map the city by espresso and exquisite café food, and just writing those words is making me homesick. But my husband Matt and I had always said we would willingly go wherever we could make a difference in the world. Myanmar had been on our minds for some time, as a troubled country swamped by conflict and corruption. Most compellingly, the NGO in question, Partners Relief & Development, specialises in building up local communities and making its services dispensable, so Matt wouldn’t be going into the jungle to treat patients himself.

Instead, he’d be working to train locals as village health workers and medics. Partners wants to ensure that the neglected and oppressed states of Myanmar can have functioning primary healthcare systems of their own one day. It took us a while to decide, organise and fundraise – the positions we are filling are unpaid – but here we are, living in Thailand, learning Thai and feeding our kids rice every day. It’s a long way from Hataitai. I need to emphasise that we have not moved to a slum, or the sticks, nor are we living in any great hardship. We live in a pleasant house with air conditioning – it’s going to hit 40 degrees in the hot season – and we delight in discovering new Thai cuisine most days of the week. The sacrifices come when Skype is too fuzzy to talk to family, or we think wistfully of the beach at the bottom of our street in Evans Bay. We’re islanders living inland and we miss the sea. But we wouldn’t be anywhere else. Chiang Mai is the major city and tourist hub of Northern Thailand. You probably know someone who has driven around the Old City in a tuk-tuk or flown on a zip-line through the jungle around here. Inside the moat – yes, there’s an honest-togoodness moat beside the ancient, crumbling fortifications – there are hundreds of temples, thousands of tourists and an inviting array of things to buy at shops and markets. Thai massage (the therapeutic kind) is available at every third shopfront for a few dollars.

Right: Photography by Lydia Rowden, Becca Miller and Jasmine Crawford Tell

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ABROAD

The cooler season we’re in now has brought a procession of glorious festivals. The other morning, my little boy said sleepily at 4am, “Wake me up if there’s anything exciting, okay? Like lanterns or fireworks or something like that.” He lives in a world where something wonderful could happen at any moment. We’ve lit enormous paper lanterns and sent them floating into the sky at Yi Peng, seen elephant statues sporting jaunty red hats at Christmas, and climbed up the “sticky” limestone waterfalls at New Year. Our children James (4) and Hazel (15 months) are adapting with very little fuss. James automatically takes his shoes off at any door, and can wai like a local; palms together, fingers to his forehead. When we last hung out with tourists, on a visit to an elephant sanctuary, he was horrified at their cultural ignorance. “Mama! He’s putting his fork in his mouth!” Thais eat with a fork and spoon, and only the spoon goes in the mouth – as James will helpfully inform you if you need any etiquette tips when you visit. Our friend and helper Nong Rat looks after the kids while we study and work. She speaks only Thai to them – her second language, as it happens, as she’s Karen, a member of an ethnic minority that spans the border of Myanmar and Thailand. Consequently, Hazel now responds to Thai instructions and looks up hopefully if any of her favourite foods or animals is mentioned in Thai. We expect her to be correcting our pronunciation and tones before long. Psychology researchers have discovered a link between living in a multilingual environment and higher levels of empathy in children. They theorise that it’s because these kids need to consider, from an early age, what language the people they’re speaking to are most comfortable in, and that gives the empathy muscles a good workout. We’re hopeful that this is just one of the benefits our children will accrue, to balance out the dearth of playgrounds and the need to wear shoes all year round, Kiwi kids or not. It’s not just the language, of course. Our kids are growing up knowing that serving other people is bound up with who we are as a family. James is already familiar with the idea that there are some “mean people” in Myanmar who are causing suffering that we are here to help alleviate.

Of course he doesn’t know the horrendous details of life inside the reclusive nation. The people of Myanmar have suffered decades of military dictatorship, state mismanagement and civil wars. Dozens of ethnic minority groups are still denied basic healthcare, education and even citizenship, as is the case of the persecuted Rohingya people, who were in the news last year as thousands of them were stranded on boats for months, abandoned by their human traffickers. The government, prior to Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, has been spending around two per cent of its budget on health and 22 per cent on the military, despite having no external enemies. It isn’t hard to imagine the impact of this neglect and abuse. Our daughter Hazel was born at Wellington Hospital on New Year’s Eve in 2014, by emergency caesarean section. Our lives, hers and mine, were calmly and speedily saved by a team of skilled health professionals, and Wellington City Council put on a fireworks show to welcome her to the coolest little capital in the world. If we’d lived in one of the ethnic minority states of Myanmar, with no health infrastructure, we would both have died. One in seven children in rural Myanmar dies before their fifth birthday, and the risk of dying in childbirth is one in 27. If you know more than 27 women who have had children, you can do that horrifying maths. So that’s why we’re here, enjoying the tropical warmth and enduring the exhausting bureaucracy: to do our small bit to change those statistics. In the words of Partners, we want to bring “free, full lives” to children affected by conflict and oppression. We’re proud to be doing that on behalf of the hundreds of people back home who are supporting us from afar, financially and with encouragement, postcards and Facebook comments on our numerous snaps. Not everyone can transplant themselves to the developing world, so we are here representing a large team of Kiwis and others who want to take concrete action. James wakes up each day expecting something wonderful to happen. Both our kids are thriving here. We miss Wellington, but we’re here so that children in conflict zones might get the chance to flourish, too. You can follow Thalia at sacraparental.com and Partners at partners.ngo

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Art Zone THE NEW ZEALAND ART & DESIGN GUIDE


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T O R Q U E TA L K

PASSION IS NOT LO GICAL Fine cars are a passion with architect and columnist ROGER WALKER. He presents the case for his lifelong love.

I

am often asked what it’s like to own a Ferrari. I grew up loving anything with wheels, and as a young architect I had a desperate yearning for a Ferrari 308. As the years went by the models changed; by the time I had enough to buy one the dream had graduated to a 328 which was that year’s pace car for the Indy 500 in America, and the Pope had been persuaded to bless one at the Ferrari factory. Mike Booth (the Wellington car dealer who sold it to me), came with me to the factory at Maranello in Italy to pick up the car. The procedure involves foreplay, beginning with a tour of the factory. This starts at the foundry, passes though engine assembly, body line, upholstery and finishing, and ends up at a private delivery suite. I took lots of photos back then – they don’t allow that now. I was so worked up by the time I first sat in my Ferrari that the adrenaline had to be wiped off the exquisite driver’s seat. Our host, an ingenere, whose command of English rivalled mine of Italian, asked me if I had another car back home. “Yes,” I said. “A Toyota.” His reply was memorable : “My father bought a Mazda lasta month. It started when you turneda the key, it wenta along the road quite smoothly, it stoppada in the garage when you turned offa the key, just as you say. He sold the car last week: no personality.” At the factory checkout, the elderly clerk at the office looked quizzically at my typewritten bank cheque for thirty three thousand pounds, and held it up to the light. “It’s the biggest bank in Australasia,” I told him. “I accepta the chequa”, he responded, saying he’d had a cheque from the same bank yesterday, “and now again, todaya, the same banka.” I asked who had presented the cheque yesterday. “A Mr E John,” he said. “He is a singa, perhaps you have heard of him.” (Elton had just finished an Australian tour.) “Who else do you expect this week?” I asked. “Ah…” came the matter-of-fact reply, “Mr Stallone tomorrow, then Mr Lauda on Friday.” So there I was, up with the superstars for a flicker of time. Old man Enzo Ferrari died that year. From Italy, Boothy and I drove fast and happily across France towards the English Channel. Boothy was a chain smoker and I made him flick the ash out the window because I didn’t want his ash in my ashtray. We were told not to drive over 140mph while running in the motor, but I would have dearly loved to have chased the Lamborghini which went past us far faster. When we landed at Dover the Customs man asked if we had

any whisky or cigarettes in the boot because he’d have to charge us duty. We didn’t and said so, but astonishingly he completely forgot to ask for the huge tax which we should have paid on the car. (We would have claimed it back when we took it out of England anyway, but…) There were lots of offers to buy my car for much more than I’d paid, from English buyers who wanted to jump the two-year delivery queue. In those days a car could not be imported into New Zealand without an import licence, unless it had been used overseas. Customs needed proof. Back in Wellington, a mindless twerp in Customs looked at my photos of the car in Italy. The picture showed an unmistakable Autostrada, the car on the “wrong” side of the road, and the associated Italian road signs (see pic bottom left). He screwed up his eyes and said, “That looks to me very much like State Highway 1 near Levin.” I eventually convinced him it was Italy and I was allowed in, but the government did well because the duty (then) was an horrendous 75% and with transport and so on added up to around $82,000. My Ferrari has some idiosyncrasies. The front spoiler is very low and you have to be very careful driving onto petrol station forecourts; on the other hand it pushes possums out of the way instead of running them over. Kids leap out of their parents’ car to have a drool and a chat. Recently, when I was buying petrol for my “other” car, the attendant looked at my Ferrari shoes and asked, “Do you own a Ferrari?” When I said yes, he replied, “Well, what are doing driving a heap of crap like this?” So the car, which was once a “latest model”, and which has since been replaced by several iterations of the V8 bloodline, has become, after 25 years, a “classic”. My 328 is still achingly beautiful, well built, faithful, obedient, and reliable. It starts happily without protest every time I turn the key, and then immediately transports me onto a higher plane. It’s done 13,000k in 29 years and I am still in love. If I had put $130,000 in the bank 29 years ago and not touched it, who knows what that half million or more might have bought now? But I wouldn’t have had all those years of owning and driving pleasure, and the camaraderie with like-minded car culturists (I hate the term “petrolhead”), that I have so enjoyed. Passion is not logical and life is finite. 81


W E L LY A NG E L

WHAT WOULD DEIRDRE D O? BENIGN NEGLECT I am the mother of three nice boys, successful, employed and two are settled with partners. They are generally pleasant when I see or contact them, but infrequently contact me, other than occasional messages on social media. I have tried leaving them alone and getting on with my life, and I do have friends and quite a busy life, but it has not made any difference to them. They seem to spend quite a bit of time with their in-laws. What can I do that isn’t going to sound whining and poor me-ish? Lonely, Martinborough Benign, right? Don’t fret about it – a bit of a moan might work and is worth the risk to let them know that you are feeling lonely. You don’t mention how far away they are or if distance is an issue. Are there other factors? Grandchildren? It sounds as though you have much to be thankful for so focus on the positive and keep the contacts and meetings regular. It is fine to generate the communications – you are their mother.

TO D O OR NOT TO D O My neighbour’s teenage children are often home alone over weekends, and there are many, many parties and a lot of noise. It doesn’t really bother me, but another neighbour has complained to the parents and now wants to go to the police. How do I convince her it is a mistake? Neighbourhood watcher, Berhampore

If it doesn't bother you, fine, but your neighbour is perfectly entitled to complain and the parents seem very trusting so maybe it is fine with them. They will be the ones to deal with a complaint and the teenagers need to be aware of consequences. They can deal with it. You can complain about the noise as it happens and if you are concerned about damage, but it is not really your concern. Be neighbourly but keep out of the front line!

NO SEX PLEASE My partner has said he still loves me, but has no interest in any more sexual activity with me. Is that a good enough reason to break up our marriage of some 20 years? Or do you think “for better or for worse” still prevails? Fed up, Karori How important is this to you? Are you suspicious of another relationship? Should you suggest counselling? Have you had a discussion about why? There are many ways to be happy and it is for you two to work out what works best for each other and for you both. Try to talk it through. It does sound like he has made a decision that suits himself, and he needs to know and consider how you feel. Should you stay or should you go? Is this really what you want to be thinking about at this stage? If you’ve got a burning question for Deirdre, email angel@capitalmag.co.nz with Capital Angel in the subject line.

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

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B A B Y, B A B Y

PRO-LIFE: AN ALTERNATIVE DEFINITION BY MELODY THOMAS

D

on’t feed the trolls: there is no reasoning with moralising idiots made brazen by physical separation and access to a keyboard. This is something I know through and through, and yet here I am – breastfeeding my new babe at 3a.m. while my free hand tries to type through anger that causes it to shake. Most of the people I am arguing with are men, sure as ever that women are not capable of making decisions about their own bodies, but the comment that stops me in my tracks comes from a woman. “Have you ever even had an abortion?” she asks. I can’t bring myself to respond. Partly because it’s none of her business, but also because the answer is no. I’ve miscarried – what they call “spontaneous abortion” – but I have never had to make that horrible decision. I nearly did, one time, but then it was taken out of my hands. I don’t want to be writing this column right now. I want to be writing about this beautiful, tiny human latched onto my breast. About his wonderful big sister and the journey she’s going through. I want to tell you about how labour went second time round. But all those things will have to wait till next month, because here we are again defending something that should by now be sacrosanct. There has been an advertisement circulating recently (including in this publication), claiming the disappearance of 500,000 Kiwis over the last 42 years due to abortion, but the logic behind that number is unsound. It fails to take into account the number of pregnancies that would have aborted “spontaneously” – as roughly one in four do – or the lives of subsequent children that women who abort go on to carry, because a termination at a particular time often frees women to have more children later. And of course there is no mention of the lives of women that are lost when access to safe, legal abortion is restricted. For me this last point is what it all comes down to. Whether

you think abortion is right or wrong is beside the point, highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. Consider the abortion rate of 29 per 1,000 women of childbearing age in Africa and 32 per 1,000 in Latin America – regions where abortion is illegal under most circumstances in most countries – compared with the rate of 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds. What restrictive abortion law is associated with is lower abortion safety – according to the World Health Organisation approximately 47,000 women a year die from unsafe abortion, and many of them performed in developing regions where there is no safe option. Hang on, you might say, why are we even having this conversation? Isn’t abortion legal in New Zealand? Well, yes and no. Unless you or someone you love has had one, you may be surprised to learn that New Zealand still classes abortion under the crimes act – while it is legal to have an abortion here that is only the case if two certifying consultants agree that continuing the pregnancy would result in serious danger to a woman’s mental or physical health. So time and time again women who just aren’t ready, who know they would fail to provide properly for a child, or who just don’t want to be mothers, are required to falsely justify their decision to registered strangers. Kind as those doctors may try to be, the very process casts the most reasoned decision as morally unsound. And so on top of stress and grief we heap guilt and shame. The term “pro-life” is a misnomer – an example of political framing that sets up the alternative position as “anti-life” or “pro-death”. But I would argue that in fighting for the right of women to accessible, safe, legal abortion I am strongly pro-life. Pro-women’s lives. Because they matter too.

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School of Philosophy

www.philosophy.org.nz

CHOPPS DRY FIREWOOD DELIVERED OR PICKUP 2.4m Pine $220 Macrocarpa or Gum $320 3.6m Pine $325 Macrocarpa or Gum $425 Mixed Loads from $400 A Scoop in your Boot from $50

136A HUTT PARK ROAD SEAVIEW LOWER HUTT PH: 021 730 234

MADE IN NZ DESIGN STORE

PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO SHARED OFFICE SPACE 15 MARION STREET www.yndworkshop.com

Art • Jewellery • Clothes • Baby and kids gear • Homewares and much more 103A Westchester Drive, Churton Park shopping village 04-499 7393 / www.shopatloyal.co.nz FB:Loyal/churton Park


CALENDAR

F R E E W E L LY Feeling the pinch? Check out the following ideas...

AU G U S T

EAT YER ART OUT Wellington is blessed with some great galleries both private and public. One gem is tucked away in Porirua. Pataka Art + Museum reflects its immediate community with an array of Maori and Pacific Island-focused exhibitions and then balances that with a heavy-hitting programme of national and international artists. If contemporary art isn’t your thing pop across the concourse to the Porirua Library, Japanese garden or café.

FRUIT Y VOLUNTEERS Wanna adopt a fruit tree? The Wellington City Council is giving away trees to community groups who have a suitable sunny site in their neighbourhood that has public access. If you can find a group of four or five neighbours prepared to prune, water, weed and mulch regularly then you’re halfway there. Popular choices for our climate so far include apple, almond, pear, plum, quince and feijoa. Preserves, anyone?

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SECTION HEADER

AUGUST

gastronomic delights. 12—28 Aug, www.visawoap.com/ BEERVANA

SISTER CORITA’S SUMMER OF LOVE until October, City Gallery, Civic Square

Beervana brings together craft beer enthusiasts to taste the hoppy drop.

26 DAFFODIL DAY The Cancer Society's annual flagship event. 26 August

01

12, 13 Aug, 11am, Westpac Stadium

NATIONAL POETRY DAY

NZIFF PRESENTS MICHAEL SMITHER’S PORTRAITS 1 Aug, 1.30pm, City Gallery, Civic Square 2 Aug, 12.15pm, City Gallery, Civic Square

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Six poets in 60 minutes.

SWAR SANJEEVANI, A PACIFIC ODYSSEY Spreading awareness of Indian Classical Music.

26 Aug, Unity Books, Willis St

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13 Aug, 5.30pm, Hannah Playhouse

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ORCHESTRAS UNITE New Zealand School of Music Orchestra combines forces with the Wellington Youth Orchestra. 3 Aug, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre

NEW ZEALAND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

STORYLINES WELLINGTON FAMILY DAY

13—14 Aug, 10am, Te Papa

27 Aug, 10am Michael Fowler Centre

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ALL BLACKS VS AUSTRALIA

04

RNZAF WOODWIND TRIO WINTER

DRIVERS OF URBAN CHANGE A public seminar on some of the big issues facing the cities in the Wellington region. 4 Aug, 12pm, City Gallery Civic Square

05 GLOW IN THE DARK GLOW-WORM TOURS 5 Aug, 7.30pm, Botanic Gardens

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CONCERT SERIES 14 Aug, 4pm, Pukeahu National War Memorial

17 LADIES IN LAVENDER Presented by Repertory Theatre, directed by Annabel Hensley. 17—27 Aug, Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee St

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GREEN SAVVY MARKET 6 Aug, 10am, Frank Kitts Underground Carpark

WELLYTOWN GET DOWN: THIRD

STRAUSS: FOUR LAST SONGS by the NZSO, conductor Edo de Waart 6 Aug, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre

Witness some of the city’s finest DJs at Wellington Museum.

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THURSDAY

18 Aug, 6pm, Wellington Museum, Queens Wharf

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27 Aug, 7.35pm, Westpac Stadium ORGANIC MARKET GARDENING WORKSHOP 27 Aug, 10am—5pm, Innermost Gardens Site, Mt Victoria

28 VILLANI PIANO QUARTET Presented by Chamber Music New Zealand. 28 Aug, 3pm, St Andrews on the Terrace

SEPTEMBER

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GISELLE: ROYAL NEW ZEALAND BALLET 11—14 Aug St James Theatre

DON GIOVANNI: OPERA ETERNITY

SWING INTO SPRING BY THE NZSO

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Presented in English, with the aim of being exciting and accessible to anyone.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra joined

20–27 Aug, Hannah Playhouse

3 Sep, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre

VISA WELLINGTON ON A PLATE The culinary capital celebrates two weeks of

by musicians from the Rodger Fox Big Band.

A hidden gem found in Wellington. Visit us and find unique NZ gifts and homewares.

NE W Little Poppet Clothing bibs available now! Pukeko Gift Gallery and Alexander Pharmacy, 191B Willis Street, Wellington (04) 384 7353 / www.pukekogifts.co.nz /

facebook.com/pukekogifts


ON THE BUSES

SALLY STEFA TERRY Bus Route: 83 Eastbourne Bus Frequency: Twice a month Age: 8, student at Mt Cook Primary School “One time we were going to my Babcia and Dzia Dzia’s house in Maungaraki. I wanted to ask my aunty Zoe if she knew when we would get there. The bus started to turn and when I got up I fell straight onto the floor in front of everyone. The bus driver stopped the bus and came over to help me. She was really nice and didn’t make me feel embarrassed at all. I love catching the bus now. I wonder if I will see her again. I made her a drawing.”

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, n o t g n i Well

After 22 years, the Brooklyn Wind Turbine has slipped away into the great hillside in the sky. It’s being replaced with a younger, sexier model but in the meantime, we’d like to pay homage to the hours of selfless energy the Turbine has put into the community.

View our tribute to this Wellington icon at meridian.co.nz/brooklyn Thanks, Wellington, for your support of the Brooklyn Turbine and of course, for all the wind. MER//0094A


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