Focus magazine issue 13

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Bay of Plenty, Hamilton and Cambridge


Breast cancer awareness

two breast cancer survivors tell their stories

WHITEWATER STARS NZ Women’s R4 Rafting team win gold in Tibet

Focus on Women EXPO


places to see




y a d h t r i B




ome Take me h I’M FREE

Background design by Freepik


focus PUBLISHER Align Publishing (an n-Gon Group facet)

Editor’s Welco me

focus is a free magazine (subscriptions are available) and is published six times a year by Align Publishing (a facet of the n-Gon Group). focus is subject to copyright in its entirety. All rights are reserved and reproduction in whole or in part, without the written consent of The Publisher (Align Publishing), is prohibited. Align Publishing and all its related companies and officers hereby disclaim, to the full extent permitted by law, all liability, damages, costs and expenses whatsoever arising from or in connection with information or other material in this magazine, any negligence of The Publisher, or any person’s actions in reliance thereon.

It’s hard to believe we’re already celebrating our second birthday! Wow, how time flies. And with a birthday it’s always a good time to do something different … so, have a flick through the magazine and let us know what you think of our new look. As I look back over the past two years I feel so grateful to all the women who have shared their stories with us. Right from the outset I wanted a magazine that inspired, uplifted and motivated women and, from all the feedback we have received, I am delighted to know we are still on track. I hope you enjoy another newsy read from this bumper edition. Breast cancer has taken so many wonderful and courageous women. This insidious disease affects one in eight women and is the third most common cancer in New Zealand. In this edition we shine a spotlight on two amazing women, Margot van Cingel and Kat Duranton, our breast cancer survivors who grace this cover. Two very different stories – I came away feeling inspired by them both. We are now just weeks away from our inaugural Focus on Women Expo (27-28 October) and are so excited to bring you a great line up of exhibitors, presentations, demonstrations and fabulous prizes. Grab your besties and come along. We can’t wait to see you there, because this expo is all about celebrating women, giving something a go and having an awesome day out. We have so much to offer our communities and our influence covers a broad spectrum of social endeavours. We are mothers, health advocates, business women, education specialists, politicians, fitness instructors, creative artists, charity workers and so much

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information contained within this magazine and inclusion of any copy must not be taken as an endorsement by The Publisher. Views expressed by contributors are personal views and they are not necessarily endorsed by The Publisher. Any dispute or complaint regarding placed advertisements must be made within seven days of publication.

PS I would love feedback on our new look and, of course, I’m always keen to hear about any ideas you might have for stories,

EDITOR Dee Collins CREATIVE DIRECTOR Alex Spodyneiko ONLINE EDITOR Kseniia Spodyneiko COVER IMAGE Vanessa Laval-Glad Indigo Moon Films & Photography FEATURE WRITERS Millie Freeman Rebecca Tereu Cindy McQuade Annaliese Arnold Laura Tuck PRINTING Sanyati Print SALES CONTACT DETAILS 62 10th Avenue Tauranga 3110 (n-Gon Group Head Office) P O Box 14004, Tauranga, 3143 Tel: (07) 578 6838 Mobile: 021 535 770 DISTRIBUTION 5,000 free copies are delivered bi-monthly to high traffic areas such as high-end cafés and restaurants, hairdressers, fashion boutiques, waiting rooms and professional offices across BOP, Hamilton, Cambridge and surrounding areas. DIGITAL focus is available to view online and is supported by social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

All material sent to focus (whether solicited or not) will not be returned unless otherwise agreed beforehand, and all rights, including copyright in such material will be assigned to Align Publishing upon receipt. The Publishers presume all letters and other material submitted to focus and related social media sites are intended for publication unless clearly labelled “not for publication”.

Image: Vanessa Laval-Glad, Indigo Moon Films & Photography

more, so let’s celebrate and acknowledge the 125 years since women got the vote in New Zealand. And remember, like the individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, doing stuff together is a lot more fun and effective than working in isolation, and by supporting each other we can all be stronger. My journey has had its ups and downs … times when I have wanted to tear my hair out, or give up, and times when I felt life couldn’t get any better. I am eternally grateful to those people who have encouraged and cheered me along from the sidelines, especially in the creation of focus. And, of course, to the advertisers who support focus – without them, there wouldn’t be a magazine so please thank them by giving them your support in return. I encourage all of you to go out and turn your dreams into reality. Try something new. Life is short so make sure you live it fully and abundantly. With gratitude

Dee Editor & Founder

fice. lable at our of focus are avai ga an ur Ta e, FREE copies of 62 Tenth Av n-Gon Group, stocks last) (while



focus | PICKS

focusS K C PI

What we’re


What we’re reading Words DEE COLLINS

A podcast for women that isn’t afraid to dive headfirst into the tricky topics we often avoid talking about. Host Yumi Stynes covers topics such as The Pelvic Flaw in All of Us, Closing the Orgasm Gap, Foreplay: getting what you want, and Has anyone seen my libido? Australian Podcast Awards Lifestyle and Health 2018 Winner.

WINGING IT Emma Isaacs, founder and global CEO of Business Chicks, Australia’s largest and most influential community for women, shares some great advice from her successful entrepreneurial journey. With five children and an international company to run, Emma has done things differently. She doesn’t have a five-year plan but rather takes action, does what feels right and ‘wings it’ as she goes along. Drawing on her life stories, Emma shows us that you can’t plan every detail and wait until things are just right but, rather, that you need to take action and figure out things as you move along. Winging It is a quick read, full of inspiring snippets and great advice.

THE NOURISHING COOK Food blogger and self-taught cook Leah Itsines is on a mission to help people make healthy eating decisions with her simple and delicious recipes. In the first part of the book, Leah explains why she cooks the way she does and explores the science behind nutrition and balance. The second part illustrates what a typical ‘day on a plate’ looks like and how it can be altered to suit individual preferences. The last part presents a collection of simple, tasty recipes that cover a range of dietary requirements. My favourites, so far, include quinoa pancakes, zucchini and pumpkin fritters, Moroccan chicken salad, and ginger chicken meatballs with Thai salad. Wonderful recipes with beautiful images – interestingly, there are no sweet treats or desserts included!

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What we’re

WATCHing We often hop onto to give us a motivational boost at the beginning of the day.

SOCIAL | focus

BEHIND THE SCENES Margot’s clothes: top and skirt – Augustine; shoes – her own Kat’s clothes: top, singlet and necklace – Augustine; jeans and shoes – her own Hair: Monique Rockliffe, Ivy Hair Makeup: Hair and Makeup by Chloe Cover story photoshoot: Vanessa Laval-Glad, Indigo Moon Films & Photography Behind-the-scenes photos and video: Kseniia Spodyneiko

Shooting th Mount Maunisg cover was bliss! With in sunshine, anui main beach drenc was clearly inlong-awaited spring hed and lots of s the air. Bright clothe added to the miles from our heroine s the photosho inspirational mood of s it takes to getot. Curious to see what focusmagazin THE shot? Head to a detailed, be hind-the-scen fo es video. r

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We love sharing our life on Instagram, but we want to hear what you’ve been up to lately as well! Tag @focusmagazinenz on your photos and let us know about your epic adventures, beautiful breakfasts or show off your latest outfit. We’ll regram our favourites and feature the most active followers in print.






Illustrations design by Freepik











focus | CONTENTS


Kat Duranton and Margot van Cingel Breast cancer survivors, Kat and Margot, share their stories


What’s On? Find out what’s happening in the region


Out & About


Style Pages


Product Reviews Summery products to love


Ladies At Lunch Topical discussions, over lunch


Eating Out Viet De Cuisine


Recipes Delicious birthday cakes to create


Competitions Four incredible prizes on offer for our readers


The Last Page Helen Alice from Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga answers our questions






Confidence after Breast Surgery Finding the best bra and breast form to fit


Five Things I’ve Learned From Cancer Four breast cancer survivors share powerful lessons that breast cancer taught them



Our very first Focus on Women Expo is only weeks away

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CONTENTS | focus








Protecting Your Personal and Property Rights


Robyn Denize This amazing woman has more than one string to her bow


Briar Simons The Xanadu Book Exchange is our kind of place


Creativity in The Bay Of Plenty Kinsa Hays has a passion for art and writing


Rise and Reclaim (What Belongs to You) Reclaim your power and rise up to take back what belongs to you


Birthday Pop-Up Luncheon A celebratory luncheon on a perfect winter day


Back to the Roots MaKutchen Probiotics – traditional fermented foods


Whitewater Stars Meet the NZ Women’s R4 Rafting team


The Dawn Musher Melinda Davidson and her huskies


50 Things to See and Do in The Bay Explore our amazing backyard


Striding Out Gone are the days of holding down a single job for life


Single Mums in Business Building companies as a single mum


Lights Phone Action How IGTV can grow your business


Mindfulness at Work Annaliese Arnold gives us six simple ways to be more mindful at work


How to Choose the Right Life Coach Insider tips on choosing a life coach



focus | WHAT’S ON


FOCUS ON WOMEN EXPO 27-28 October 10.00am-4.00pm ASB Arena, Tauranga The inaugural Focus on Women Expo that's designed to inspire, empower, educate, connect and entertain women in the Bay of Plenty. Listen to informative lifestyle and business presentations; get active with fitness demonstrations; expect lots of great shopping, free samples and a fun day out with friends.

Door sales: $10 Early Bird tickets: Website:

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Photo by Tirachard/Freepik

“I think we need to go out and make the most of our lives; to give everything a go and try things. I really admire women who do that. This expo is something I’m passionate about so I’m doing it, and that’s what I encourage other women to do – try something new!” Dee Collins, focus founder and Expo organiser

WHAT’S ON | focus

New Zealand Mountain Film Festival

Julians Berry Farm and Cafe Toi’s Challenge

 25 October

 18 November

 Tauranga Boys College

 Rex Morpeth Park, Whakatāne



An evening showcasing some of the best mountain films from New Zealand and around the world. The night promises a mix of action-packed excitement, high drama and inspiration for your next great adventure.

One of Whakatāne’s iconic annual events is a multiterrain 18km loop along the beautiful coastal Ngā Tapuwae o Toi track. This challenge can be taken on as a team of two so grab your BFF and sign up now. There’s also the 6km fun run or walk if that’s more your style.

Christmas at the Races  17 November & 15 December  Tauranga Racing 

Photos by Freepik, Mark Sedon, Alex Spodyneiko

Soak up the party atmosphere with a range of hospitality options to choose from. Christmas at the Races is the perfect chance to treat your guests to exciting thoroughbred racing action mixed with a lot of festive fun! Packages sell out fast so book early.

BAY SALSA FESTIVAL  19-22 October  Otumoetai Action Centre, Tauranga 

If you don’t have ‘salsa all night long’ on your lifetime to-do list, then think about adding it now! New Zealand’s best salsa performers and teachers are gathering in Tauranga over Labour Weekend for a Brazilian Carnival. Think Salsa, Samba, Zouk and Kizomba. Whether you’re young or young at heart, a complete beginner or an experienced dancer, there will be workshops and parties for everyone to enjoy!










THE GROUNDSWELL FESTIVAL OF INNOVATION LAUNCH PARTY was held at Tauranga’s trendy Vinyl Destination – the perfect evening with loads of laughs, networking, fun and entertainment. Images JAMIE BELL 1. Rawenia Faulkner and Joanna Hall 2. Rabindra Das, Gill Payne and Ian Gray 3. Kirsten and Shannon Mead 4. Tim Searle, Marion Dowd and Gill Payne 5. Katherine Sandford, Peter and Jacqui Wren-Hilton, and Craig Muir 6. Joel Ngātuere and Awhina August 7. Anna Rees-Jones, Jason Low, Jill Beedie

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Background design by Creative_hat / Freepik

focus | OUT & ABOUT

OUT & ABOUT | focus



LYON O’NEALE ARNOLD hosted an exclusive evening for their clients at Tauranga Yacht Club. Guests enjoyed delicious snacks and drinks and listened to presentations from Brittany Earl – who left a career in law and a regular income to launch Joblist – and renowned fast-bowler Trent Boult who shared his favourite (and least favourite) places to tour, the funniest sledges he has heard on the cricket field and his take on the Australian ball tampering scandal. Images DEE COLLINS 1. Tony and Robyn Fairweather 2. Jane Mainland, Keryn Spencer and Janelle Jeffcoat 3. Simon Gyenge and Annwynette Batchelor 4. Caro Richards and Julia Proverbs 5. Kathryn Esterman, Natalie Baker, Elisha Seeney and Steve Dunn 6. Trent Boult, Nick and Brittany Earl 7. Jan Mayston and Denise Arnold








Background design by Creative_hat / Freepik

focus | OUT & ABOUT

HEART AND SOLE LAUNCH PARTY Miranda Clark recently launched her new initiative which is all about inspiring women to get running and keep running. Heart and Sole will focus on Learn to Run 5km programmes in Tauranga and the Mount and a 4km+ casual women’s running group. Images ROSE MINNÉE PHOTOGRAPHY 1. Miranda Clark, Laurise Taylor and Kerri Jones 2. Rachelle Hulbert, Sarah Olsen, Rochelle Friend and Leanne Grant 3. Kelly Fisher, Fiona Brown and Laurise Taylor 4. Maria Woods and Vicki Semple 5. Jenny Carston, Anna Tee and Catriona Howatson 6. Pam Southworth, Helen Seymour, Tessa Forlong and Jo Henderson


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OUT & ABOUT | focus









The Tauranga Art Gallery was the venue for a Marketing Professionals BOP network function. On arrival, guests were given a welcoming beverage from Broken Shed Vodka and treated to delicious snacks. Matt McIvor shared insights to Mount Ruapehu’s social media and digital marketing strategies, their re-brand and interaction with Olympians and influencers. The evening ended with tours through the Gallery’s latest installations. Images DEE COLLINS


1. Kat Sutherland, Hollie Procter, Rebecca Sandland and Sophie Jaggs 2. Sonya Korohina and Jason Marra 3. Sharon Anderson and Caleb Walsh 4. Minja van der Paard and Kristy Hoare 5. Glenn Dougal and Samantha Wilkie 6. Mick McDonald and Sarah Jesson 7. Kezia Trask, Viktoria Ermes, Kate Percy and Sam Loudon 8. Jill and Andrew Mahon





If you have been advised to have a mastectomy, you will be put in touch with a plastic surgeon who will speak to you about the option for breast reconstruction. Many women who opt for breast reconstruction have it done at the same time as the initial surgery, however there are a number of reasons why you may choose to wait. Sometimes there is an urgent need for chemotherapy, or radiation therapy is required. Some women simply choose to wait until after their treatment before making any decision about having a breast reconstruction. The good news is, that you can have a delayed reconstruction some time after your mastectomy, and waiting until you feel ready is important. This may mean that you are then obliged to go on a public waiting list, but keeping yourself informed means you will be aware of this and factor it into your decision. Medical insurance will usually cover the reconstruction as well as the initial surgery. The Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons at Tauranga’s Da Vinci Clinic, Mr Adam Bialostocki and Mr Brandon Adams, have many years of experience in breast reconstruction surgery, and all other forms of breast surgeries.


When you meet with either of them you will be advised about the surgical options most suitable for you for either an immediate, or delayed breast reconstruction. Factors taken into consideration will range from your general state of health, the amount of tissue available, the impact on your lifestyle, the likelihood of adjuvant therapies and your desired cosmetic outcome. You will be part of the decision process from the time you meet with Mr Bialostocki or Mr Adams, and your best interests will be front of mind. Depending on the surgical option chosen, the length of time for both the surgery and the finished result will vary. Some women will have implants and fat grafting, others will choose to have tissue from their own body used. Generally speaking, recovery in hospital is around 2–7 days, with another 5–7 weeks to heal. The decision to have breast reconstruction is ultimately yours and you will know if and when the time is right. It is ultimately a more satisfying outcome for most women compared to the discomfort of wearing a prosthesis, and reconstruction is an important step for women as they move forward. Restoring symmetry and wholeness, femininity, selfimage and confidence are all part of the outcome of breast reconstruction. Talk through your options with your Plastic Surgeon.

DA VINCI CLINIC 727 Cameron Road, Tauranga P 07 578 5350 www.



Cosmetic & Reconstructive

Cosmetic & Reconstructive

Plastic Surgeon, MBChB,

Plastic Surgeon, MBChB (Otago),

FRACS (Plastics)

FRACS (Plastics)

BREAST RECONSTRUCTION There are many techniques available for reconstruction of breast defects after breast cancer surgery. While an immediate breast reconstruction is ideal, it is not always possible due to the type of cancer and additional treatments. Talk to our Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons Mr Adam Bialostocki and Mr Brandon Adams and they will help you understand and determine the best option for you. Please contact us for further information.

D E R M ATO LO GY • S K I N C A N C E R • P L A ST I C S U R G E RY • CO O L S C U L P T I N G ® • A P P E A R A N C E M E D I C I N E

CALL 07 578 5350




Breast cancer awareness KAT DURANTON AND MARGOT VAN CINGEL two breast cancer survivors tell their stories With breast cancer awareness month upon us, we are reminded, once again, that this disease is never far from our reach. Family, friends, neighbours and colleagues make up the more than 3,000 women diagnosed every year in New Zealand – far too many, yet thanks to medical science, many, many women complete their treatment and move on with their lives, sometimes along a different path or with a new perspective. focus met with two local women to hear their stories.

Words: Millie Freeman Images: Vanessa Laval-Glad, Indigo Moon Films & Photography Hair: Monique Rockliffe, Ivy Hair Makeup: Hair & Makeup by Chloe Clothes: Augustine

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Kat Duranton and Margot van Cingel




KAT In July 2017 Kat Duranton from Omokoroa was 19 weeks pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with stage 3 aggressive breast cancer. A former midwife from the UK, she had changed professions and was studying and working as a sonographer in Tauranga, suddenly becoming the client instead of the clinician. She was just 31. Three weeks earlier, Kat and her husband Jean-Marc had just emerged from a “rubbish” 12 months. Kat had undergone major dental work and the year was spent pouring their earnings into repaying the massive resulting debt – essentially compromising family time in order to stay afloat. They were excited to be moving into a new phase of their lives and looked forward to welcoming their baby. Instead, Kat faced the desperate predicament and uncertainty of subjecting her unborn child to three months of chemotherapy treatment, necessary to immediately try to contain the tumour prior to surgery. “I couldn’t imagine bringing her to life, even though I was told, very confidently, that it would be fine. It was so difficult to deliberately go against my instinct to put my children first, in favour of my own needs. I just had to accept that she would be okay.” As devastating as the timing was, Kat clung to the small yet supremely wonderful silver lining – the second trimester is considered the safest time in which to have chemotherapy during pregnancy. She felt lucky to have conceived when she did, because if she wasn’t already pregnant she would likely have lost the opportunity to have another child as the chemo drugs and ovarian suppressants she was later prescribed have thrown her into menopause. Everything was planned around the oncology side of her care: 12 weeks of chemotherapy, a two-week break, mastectomy at 34 weeks pregnant, drains in for 13 days, then planned caesarean section. Aoife (pronounced Efa, the Irish version of Eva) was born perfectly healthy in November. “We needed a baby with strength and resilience, and we were gifted one. We decided to call her Aoife, the name of an Irish warrior princess. “For any woman giving birth, it’s a powerful experience, and for me it was especially potent – the relief to learn that the baby you had subjected to such a toxic environment was perfectly normal. But it was almost too much to process – two major surgeries within two weeks of each other and two babies to look after – I was overcome with every emotion. “Having Eoin and Aoife kept my feet on the ground. I’m told the two best things you can give your children are roots and wings. They deserve mindful parenting irrespective of my circumstances. I found my strength, comfort and focus in working towards just that, giving them roots and balancing our four lives together.”

PAINFUL LOSS The brutality of losing a breast so young, and at the one time in her life when she needed it most, was painfully clear to Kat.

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She wanted to breastfeed Aoife as she had with Eoin and talked to her oncologists about what was possible, given that chemotherapy had to resume as soon as possible. They allowed two weeks. “It wasn’t the physical loss of the breast; it was wanting to nurture her, to have the connection, to give her my bond in physical form, and to have to deny her that. That was the most painful part of the whole thing. Those two weeks we had were wonderful; to have given her a start and for her to have that contact with me had a profound effect on my wellbeing.” While being extremely painful emotionally, that beautiful final feed was in fact the beginning of something wonderful in an entirely different way. Kat returned to chemo treatment and Aoife experienced the incredible generosity of women throughout the country who donated breast milk for her. It is a wonderful story of humanity, of people selflessly stepping in to help a woman provide the best she could for her baby. Earlier, Kat had contacted North Canterbury Breast Milk (a milk bank) to ask for advice on reaching out to donors, and it immediately sent up the first month’s frozen supply. A call for donors also went out on Facebook. “It had a huge response – 900 women around the country offered to donate. It was so uplifting to have that kind of support; for other women to empathise and want to help make this a little less painful for us. For me it was essential to give her breast milk because I wanted her to have the best start possible, and it was therapeutic for me to know I was doing my best to achieve that.”

ABUNDANT GOODWILL The spirit of goodwill sprang into action with the Milk Bank coordinating the screening of the donated milk and its transport from Christchurch to Tauranga, and Air New Zealand freighting consignments of frozen milk free of charge. Most of all, Kat and her family will be forever grateful to the women, from all around the country, who went out of their way to express milk for Aoife. Many local women are still donating. “We have a freezer full of milk and hope to continue feeding her this way until she is 12 months. We are lucky to have received donations from so many people who have committed their time in the middle of the night or during the day, often with other children around, to express for Aoife. It was an absolute dream to breastfeed her against the odds, but to receive donor milk, in the first instance, then to reach six months was magnificent. The support we have received is humbling and it has been incredibly uplifting and supportive.” Today Aoife is a happy, healthy, gorgeous redhead, revelling in the joys of crawling. Kat has returned to work a few days per week and shares childcare with Jean-Marc, who she says has been a mainstay of tireless support. Following the second phase of chemotherapy, Kat went on to have radiotherapy for five weeks and, come December, will be a year in remission. However, she knows there is a considerable risk of the cancer returning and accepts the burden of that will affect her for the rest of her life. “The fear doesn’t ever go and I struggle with that but I’ve learnt to not put my energy into things that I can’t

change. Even though many things have been out of my control, you can’t live in that heightened state of turmoil and trauma, because it’s exhausting. You just have to go slowly, manage your thoughts and continue with daily hurdles one at a time. “We’ve been very fortunate to have had so many skilled people who have given years of their lives to become medical specialists and for me to receive that care which has saved my life. And to all the people who have given practical support, food and cleaned our house, and to Eoin’s daycare for providing such stability for him – they have all been so kind and selfless and we feel we’ve been gifted a realisation of the meaning of life. They got us through and it’s changed us. We definitely want to pass it forward.”

Giving the best start North Canterbury Breast Milk is a milk bank providing donated breast milk to local families. It currently donates over 40 litres of milk a week, thanks to the generosity of donor mums, and provides free blood screening tests and equipment to donors. The service will also help find donors for women like Kat who live in other parts of the country. It is entirely resourced by volunteers and relies on the goodwill of community funding.

Kat says, “There are many families in New Zealand who suffer the heartache of not being able to breastfeed their babies for whatever reason, yet there is currently no government provision for facilitating the best, and recommended, start for those babies. We are so grateful to the women who have given the gift of their time and milk to support us.”  northcanterburyMILK





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Dealing with a tumult of emotions is inevitable for any woman going through breast cancer. For Tauranga woman Margot van Cingel it was more like an explosion, pushing her to the very edge of coping ability. Her story recounts the full circle of raw emotions that took her from utter denial and disconnection, to gradual acceptance and positivity. She has been able to move on from what felt like such a confronting ‘Full Stop’, and step back into her life with passion and enthusiasm. Life was great leading up to mid-2016. Margot was a Master NLP Practitioner and worked part time with a local charitable organisation as senior administrator, responsible for supervising the admin team along with some HR and logistics. She was fit, slim and healthy, and was enjoying the new pulse of her life after separating from her husband three years earlier. Until she felt the lump. “It absolutely never occurred to me that it would happen. It was so far off my radar because I have always been into health and fitness and good nutrition. People I worked with couldn’t believe it and I was probably the most shocked. When the nurse rang me at work to say I was going to have chemo, it completely threw me.” The tumour was grade 3 triple positive and aggressive. Initially Margot wanted nothing to do with chemotherapy, preferring to treat herself with natural remedies, but after reading the literature and talking with both medical and alternative practitioners, she understood that neo adjuvant chemotherapy for six months was the best way forward. The realisation didn’t mean she accepted it and the blaze of emotions – fear, denial, grief, despair anger – knocked her like a king hit.


IN DENIAL “My hair fell out after three weeks into chemo and I gained weight – I was in total denial and felt like shit. The district cancer nurse would visit in the week before chemo and she was awesome. She said, ‘you can get angry with me’, and I would. Sitting there fat, bald and shitty, I vented about how angry I was, about how I felt robbed of brain power; that I used to be able to multitask, and now I couldn’t. “I just went into shutdown, and perhaps pushed some people away, because it was so horrific, so horrendous that this was happening to me – why me? – and I couldn’t do anything about it. I know I wasn’t the best patient, because I felt so utterly shocked and devastated, and when I’m frightened I shut down so I relied on my friends to do a lot of talking and listening for me. They would come to appointments and take over from me when I lost track of what I was saying or couldn’t listen anymore. “It was a really hard and lonely time, especially as a single parent, so I was incredibly grateful to the special friends who took me to every appointment and looked after me in the days following treatment. I couldn’t have done it without them.” Margot spent six months lying on her friend’s couch and had to leave her job because she was too ill to work. Her son Hugo, attending boarding school at the time, was a huge help on weekends and during the October school holidays when Margot was at her worst during the second phase of chemotherapy. On top of the immediate effects post-treatment, she was also dealing with debilitating nerve pain; from the couch she would text Hugo, in the next room, when she needed food.

MOVING ON FROM NEGATIVITY Even though the chemo treatment got worse as the months wore on, Margot gradually began to come back into her body, to start making some decisions and listen to what people were saying. As a practising NLP counsellor, she soon realised that she was in fact the best person to get herself through this emotional journey. “I started to think, here I am in my 50s, doing nothing – with good excuse; what a great time to reassess my life. So I started

looking for a message as to why I’d had such a Full Stop. I absolutely had to find a positive in this. “Having an illness like cancer makes you understand how important it is to slow down and take time to appreciate the many good things in life – friends, family and doing what you love. So I chose to turn the negativity on its head and build myself back up. Now, I’m not the driven person I was and don’t want to be, and I think that’s part of the lesson, or the reason for the Full Stop, and I’m at peace with that.” Chemotherapy took a toll on Margot’s quality of life but, as well as prompting her self-reassessment, it also had a positive effect on the tumour, which had shrunk by 2cm after the second round. By the time she went for her mastectomy and reconstruction in January 2017, the lump could no longer be felt. While, naturally, there have been ups and downs during her recovery, the emotional explosion settled, and the new Margot, with a fresh outlook could begin to grow and flourish. Since the end of last year, Margot has been happily volunteering at Tauranga Boys College, assisting in the Business Development Office, and is now ready to find paid work where she can put her project management, IT, logistics, training and counselling expertise to good use in supporting a business. “In my NLP work and in my former roles in logistics and training, I’m helping make a difference in someone’s day, and that’s what I find so rewarding.” 

Having an illness like cancer makes you understand how important it is to slow down and take time to appreciate the many good things in life – friends, family and doing what you love





At her professional consulting centre in Cherrywood, Tauranga, Nicola fits women for bras, swimwear, active wear and breast prostheses following breast cancer surgery. Breastcare Products (NZ) Ltd is a registered Ministry of Health provider. The Ministry of Health provides a breast prosthesis service payment for anyone who has had a partial or full mastectomy, either unilateral or bilateral, or has had a lumpectomy, or reconstructive surgery, or who has congenital needs. Women who are New Zealand citizens or New Zealand residents may claim for this service; they don’t have to have had surgery in New Zealand. There is no time limit for accessing the breast prosthesis service and Nicola has seen some people 10 years post-surgery. As a Ministry of Health

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provider, Breastcare Products can update any existing funding details for people who are already registered with the Ministry of Health. After months of medical appointments, of uncertainty and worry, Nicola’s studio is designed to offer women some respite, where they can enjoy trying on a range of products in total privacy. Nicola provides a personalised service and takes care of all the paperwork for her clients. She has over 15 years of experience in the breast care industry. “I want ladies to feel they’ve had a really enjoyable time here. Consultations can take up to an hour so there’s plenty of time to relax, have a coffee, and find exactly the right style that fits your needs.” Breastcare Products supplies stockists

Background design by Kjpargeter/Freepik

A consultation with Nicola Mayos of Breastcare Products (NZ) Ltd is like one of those ultimate shopping expeditions – after a fun time trying on different styles, you walk out looking and feeling like a million dollars.


throughout the country so the Cherrywood studio is full of bras – racks and racks of fresh new styles and different sizes to suit all shapes. “Bras come in a range of different fashion styles, colours and sizes and are especially designed with pockets, so you simply insert the prosthesis into the pocket. From sports bras to T-shirt bras to more lacy styles you are sure to find a garment that makes you look and feel confident after breast surgery.” Breastcare Product is the only supplier of the Anita ‘Lympho Fit Bra’, a compression bra specifically designed to help women with lymphoedema. “Some women come into the studio not feeling all that confident in how they look and often think the only styles available will be boring beige ‘nana’ bras, but there are so many gorgeous styles to choose from. “They leave feeling so much more confident in how they look. I love being able to help women find a really good fitting bra when they’ve sometimes struggled all their life to find one that’s comfortable. They leave with shoulders back, ready to face the world again and that’s my job done. “Many women don’t realise that if they’ve had breast conserving surgery or reconstructive surgery they may also qualify for the Ministry of Health subsidy, and I have partial breast forms available that can help to improve symmetry.” After many years in the industry, Nicola bought Breastcare Products (NZ) Ltd last year and relocated the business from Auckland to Tauranga. From her Cherrywood distribution and consulting centre Nicola imports and supplies global leading brands Anita and Amoena, offering clients premium style options. As well as her studio-based consultations, Nicola has monthly consulting clinics in Rotorua, Whakatāne, Hamilton, Taupō, Tokoroa, Palmerston North and Whanganui, and travels to Wellington and Masterton every second month. She has a consulting centre in Silverdale, Auckland as well as supplying stockists in the Auckland region. The Cherrywood studio is spacious, wheelchair friendly and comfortable, but even though it’s on the main street, you may not realise it’s even there. Discretion is paramount so Nicola doesn’t advertise her business name on the front of her studio, and gaps between appointments mean clients won’t bump into each other in the reception area. “I love working with the women and sometimes they want to have a chat about what’s going on for them which is why it’s important to have private consulting rooms, especially for women who are having their first appointment with me after surgery. It’s comfortable for husbands and partners too, who can have a cuppa while they’re waiting.” 

If no one is asking you

WHO DOES YOUR HAIR? Come and see us.

5 Totara Street | Mount Maunganui

07 777 0400

For Confidence after Breast Surgery, call 0800 264 822 or 07 5767245. Email Appointment bookings are essential. To view the range and for information visit





POWERFUL LIFE LESSONS BREAST CANCER TAUGHT ME Evidently we all know someone who has been affected by cancer. It’s high on our fear radars but it’s something we try not to think about ... until a cancer diagnosis is given. The statistics are startling – breast cancer is the most common type of cancer facing Kiwi women, with 3,000 being diagnosed every year. And while it’s an experience no one would voluntarily choose, going through it can also teach some good life lessons. Four courageous breast cancer survivors share with focus five powerful lessons that breast cancer taught them.

Isabell Zitzelsberger Isabell arrived in New Zealand six years ago with the aim of getting out and enjoying the great outdoors and the famous laid-back lifestyle of this country. At 31 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She felt shocked, confused and angry, and being sick and staying at home, or in hospital, was really messing up with her inspiring to-do list. Avoiding ‘house arrest’ became her mission. Isabell continued to work throughout the whole treatment period, exercised regularly and kept on ticking off all those weekend adventures she had planned. 1 Mental strength is the most powerful tool you have. Cancer is nasty, cancer is time consuming and life changing, but it also gives you the chance to reflect on your life and change something for a better future. You lose a lot, but you also gain a lot. You just need to be open to see it.

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2 Keep smiling even at the toughest times. It lifts up your mood and reminds you that things could have been worse. 3 Relaxing is necessary, but this skill requires regular practice. It is as important as sport exercises, if not more. For 31 years, I always had that ‘gogogo’ attitude; never stopped. I was always afraid to miss something important. Breast cancer showed me that I can actually enjoy the Hot Pools for longer than two minutes, or look forward to an hour-long massage. It’s not a waste of time, it is a precious moment, when my body can have some recovery and relaxation. 4 The community of fighters and survivors, who give each other strength and support, is the most incredible community to be a part of. 5 Put yourself first! Nothing is more important than you and your health. It is YOUR life!


Emily Searle

Emily’s story began with a lump that she didn’t really pay attention to at first – who doesn’t get those lumpy breasts when breastfeeding, after all? But things went in the opposite direction at her next doctor’s appointment. The diagnosis was stage three breast cancer, and aggressive. As Emily’s breast surgery date came closer, and after agonising over why she felt so low about losing her uneven boobs, she wrote to them and never looked back. Her healing progressed and the letters supported her throughout the six months of treatment. The Dear Boobs project now inspires women throughout New Zealand who are living with breast cancer. 1 The power of taking one day at a time through the hardest times should not be underestimated. 2 Having a plan is overrated. Going with the flow allows us to discover a more authentic path for ourselves. 3 Stopping being ‘busy’ is a choice. 4 If you get tired, rest, don’t quit. 5 Most fear is unnecessary.

Sonya Nicol

Sonya’s family had no history of cancer, so being diagnosed at 45 at a routine mammogram was a shock. She had to take time out of her business – Eyes Open Coaching – and get her head round the unfamiliar treatments and procedures. Five years later, Sonya is happily back to coaching and loving her life. She has even taken on a new role as a volunteer with the Breast Cancer Support Trust, which she absolutely loves. 1 Love your life, count your blessings and take nothing for granted. 2 Belief is a huge part of recovery. My daughter, who was 11 at the time, asked me, ‘Why you, why us?’ And I remember saying, ‘Because I can handle it!’ 3 It is incredible how a diagnosis of one person can affect so many. Family and friends, work places and communities are all impacted by one person. 4 Medical care for breast cancer is outstanding. We are very lucky in the Bay to have such great specialists available to us. 5 Your pain tolerance will never be the same! Since breast cancer I don’t do things that are painful if I can avoid it, like waxing.




Caro Richards

Back in 2008, seven days after her 45th Birthday in March, Caro went for her first mammogram. All clear! It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that she became aware of a lump in her right breast. On January 7th her worst nightmare came true – breast cancer, stage 3. As a Legal Administrator for a Tauranga law firm and mother of two, her first thought was, ‘Is my Will up to date?’ Her family and friends were the greatest supporters when Caro went through lumpectomy and lymph removal, followed by chemo and radiation therapy. 1 Having open and frank discussions with family and friends means there will be no confusion as to the treatment and my feelings. It provides them with the ability to help. You do need to rely on family and friends; it doesn’t show weakness, it shows strength. 2 Learning new words like ‘oncology’, ‘radiotherapy’, ‘chemotherapy’ was like learning a new language. One that I thought I would never need to learn! It is amazing how quickly you come to terms with the meanings and accept them as the norm. 3 Gee, was I ready for the thought of going bald! After reading articles on how other women went about this process, I decided to have a ‘Hair-off party’. This brought my family even closer together, and we made a sad event into a fun one. I learned that I could be in control of when my hair disappeared and not wait for the treatment to start the process. 4 The Breast Cancer Society helped me to realise that having breast cancer was not my fault. They provided me with an amazing support network and taught me that I shouldn’t be hard on myself. 5 Learning to accept that my life had changed was hard. I learned that the choice of treatment was mine and how I approached it was also up to me. 

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Photo by Senivpetro/Freepik



TERRIFIC PRIZES ON OFFER! These are just three of the fab prizes up for grabs! • Three nights' accomodation at the award-winning The Falls Montville, in Queensland • Treepod Cabana or Lounger • Ultimate Beach Set Up

FOOD AND DRINKS Fresh food, snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

EXHIBITS             

Food Skincare and makeup Finance and business Journaling Fitness Health and wellbeing Hair stylists Travel Accessories Jewellery Home ware Real Estate Lifestyle/business coaches



n. Take your Always so much fu load them own photos and up et to tag us to Insta. Don’t forg #FoWExpo

Photos and background by Freepik

DEMOs 3118 Yoga Bodysense Pilates Martial Arts Academy Moone Taoist Tai Chi Society The Nourishing Lotus Tribe of Love Yoga West Coast Swing Dancing … and so much more

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PANEL DISCUSSION Ever wanted to know the answers to some of those personal intimate issues that women often face? Join Dr Naylin Appanna and Dr Anuya Deshpande who will tackle those hard-to-ask questions for you.

Visit for a full list of events and scheduled times Stay in touch with the latest updates and





How much are tickets? Purchase discounted tickets from or pay $10 at the door. Children 13 years and under are free!

Where can I buy tickets? Prior to the event, tickets can be purchased from Tickets can also be purchased at the door, on the day. We accept cash and EFTPOS but, sorry, no credit cards. Can I bring my partner/husband/children? Yes, absolutely. However, the Expo has been designed with women in mind so this would be the perfect opportunity to have some ‘me’ time. Rather, bring along your girlfriends for a fun day out. Do I have to pay extra to take part in the demos or listen to the presentations? No, these are all included at no extra cost, as part of your door fee. Where do I park? There is ample free parking at the venue. Where can I find a full list of exhibitors, speakers and demos? Visit our website

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What prizes are you giving away? We’ll have heaps of fabulous prizes to give away but our main prizes include three nights’ accommodation, for one couple, in a rainforest cottage on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. The Falls Montville has been voted Trip Advisor’s #1 small hotel in all Australia and is the only Australian hotel in the top 25 in the world. It has also been awarded the #1 Romance Hotel and #1 Best Service in Australia. We also have two fabulous prizes from Lifestyle Gear – a TreePod Cabana or Lounger and the Ultimate Beach Set Up which includes a large Otentik sunshade, choice of recycled Moroccan mat and a banquet summer picnic table. How do we enter the competitions? You can enter the competitions at the Expo, as you enter. The draw will be made after the Expo, on Tuesday 30 October, and the winners will be notified. I'm interested in exhibiting. Who can I talk to? Contact Dee Collins at or call 021 535 770

Photo by Freepik




very adult of sound mind has the right to determine what shall be done with his or her own body. But what if a person’s ability to make decisions about their property and healthcare is reduced because of illness or an accident? People sometimes need help to manage their health, property or other parts of their life. That’s why the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 exists. “No one can lawfully make decisions on behalf of a mentally incapable person or relative without that person’s specific authorisation, or permission of the Court,“ says The Law Shop’s Stephanie Northey. “The PPPR Act protects the rights of people who are not fully capable of managing their own affairs. This could be due to mental health issues, dementia, or if someone has had a sudden serious

accident or a head injury that affects their mental capacity or stops them from communicating their decisions,” she explains. There are different legal tools available depending on whether decisions need to be made about a person’s health, medical treatment or property. It often depends on whether capacity is partly or fully lacking; and if the issue is affecting the person short term, long term, or permanently. “Ideally, you should grant someone you trust enduring power of attorney (EPA) to look after your personal affairs or property in case you become unable to manage your own affairs. Otherwise, a family member or next of kin usually, can ask the Family Court to appoint them or someone else to act for that person as a welfare guardian or property manager,” Stephanie says.

Stephanie Northey, Director at The Law Shop If you have questions about issues around capacity or the PPPR Act, or if you would like to get an EPA organised, contact the team at The Law Shop any time. They are everyday lawyers for everyday people who can help you out in a timely manner while leaving the jargon behind. Call 0800 Law Shop or email


ROTORUA 1268 Arawa St Rotorua

TAURANGA 1239 Cameron Rd Greerton

Lawyers for everyday people


Ride the wind and dream with…

“A winning combination of visually stunning sculptures and cheeky but heartfelt storytelling that keeps both adults and children enthralled.”

Tauranga Baycourt Theatre October 9 & 10

– British Theatre Guide










More than one string

TO HER BOW Tauranga’s Robyn Denize is the kind of woman you want in a tricky situation. In fact, any situation that requires the tenacity of a terrier and the skills of an army veteran, well, Robyn is the woman to call. Words CINDY MCQUADE Images CATHERINE MAIN PHOTOGRAPHY, NICK BROUGHTON, CINDY MCQUADE


he children’s violin teacher is the archetype of a classical music teacher – quietly spoken, gracious and passionate about the arts. But stereotypes vanish quicker than a Wonder Women twirl when she trades in that persona for the uniform of a search and rescue volunteer. Within hours of leaving her day job she is often found practising drills alongside team members of USAR (Urban Search and Rescue), Team 16. Drills include dangling off cliff faces, rescuing people in rubble piles and buildings, or in the weekends, swimming across raging rivers. If you’re like me and find your adrenalin coursing due to the regular morning routine of getting children out of the house on time, then chatting to Robyn will either have you inspired or tired. Or both. Robyn is not much of a talker – especially when describing herself, but she does admit to having an adventurous nature that thrives on mental and physical challenges. Often it’s the little things that have a lasting impact on the choices we make, and in Robyn’s case it was the small matter of a full backpack and a misplaced foot. While out enjoying a tramp in steep hill country in March 2014, the foot trip ended up having major consequences for her health and later impacted on an important choice. One shattered pelvis and a helicopter ride to hospital later, Robyn was left with a

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three-month recovery and was extremely grateful to the people who rescued her off the steep hill that autumn morning. Fast forward to 2016 when she spotted an advert asking for volunteers for the very team that rescued her. “It was time for payback. I need to keep busy mentally and physically and when I saw the advert, I knew it was what I needed.” Under the umbrella of the Civil Defence, the USAR Western Bay of Plenty Team is called in when a specialised rescue is necessary, such as cliff and/or rope rescues, swift water rescue, and for building searches after an earthquake strikes. “I like being part of this team. Volunteering involves a lot of learning, being extended and being able to access places that I would never get to otherwise. “I like the adrenalin and it’s also payback for my rescue. It feels good to be able to help people.” Robyn’s interest in the outdoors started in childhood when her family would camp, tramp, sail and kayak. Her father was a founding member of the Hamilton Tomo Group and introduced caving to the family; more outdoor skills were honed at Girl Guide Camps. Years later, Robyn became a Brownie leader so her own daughter could experience the same fun. More recently she completed Outdoor First Aid and other courses so she can help train

teenagers undertaking Duke of Edinburgh and Hillary Awards. Earlier this year, her love of the outdoors saw Robyn complete a trek to Basecamp in the Himalayas to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s climb. Robyn is a member of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust and during her time in Nepal she also worked as a volunteer. “I joined the Trust because I wanted to give something to the community over there. Sir Ed set up schools and hospitals after his original summit, but the people still need a lot of help, particularly with the 2015 earthquake.” Since the earthquake, 75 classrooms have been re-built, with a lot more work to do. It’s backbreaking work as the isolation, poverty and topography means there is no machinery, cars or motorbikes, let alone trucks or heavy lifting machinery in the villages. “It’s old school. You build with your hands and carry with your body.” Alongside other Trust volunteers Robyn helped build new classrooms. “We moved heavy rocks for building the classrooms and we broke rocks for concrete to build the floors. “I didn’t want to just visit Nepal and trek to Basecamp. I wanted to help keep Sir Ed’s legacy going. I saw the swing bridges and schools he built – you realise how


At the Everest Base Camp, 5360m on the Khumbu Glacier

Ready for action as a USAR volunteer much he gave back many, many times over.” As well as helping to build new classrooms, Trust volunteers also spent time inside village schools helping improve children’s literacy. Given that Robyn’s day job is teaching children music, it comes as no surprise that children and nature are what help her re-charge. If you can’t find her outside, the next best place to look is inside the music room. “I really enjoy the children’s personalities – watching them grow as people and musicians. Learning a piece of music is often the first thing they encounter that they have to do for themselves – and they have to get through that with tenacity. “It also teaches them to deal with their own personalities – some of them are perfectionists and they get frustrated. If they learn how to deal with frustration through music then this flows onto other

With labrador puppy Ikon parts of their lives. Children are amazing.” She says music has enormous value to the development of a child’s brain as well as to the development of persistence and resilience. “Researchers have wired kids up while they have played music and it has lit up more of the brain than any other activity – the violin more so than any other instrument.” Robyn teaches music at the Tauranga Waldorf School where the violin is taught to all students from Year 3 as part of its curriculum. This year her students will have extra company in the form of a fluffy puppy called Ikon. As if she didn’t have enough going on, Robyn is training Ikon as an Assistance Dog. “The support and education we get from the Assistance Dogs Trust is huge and the fact that he will be a lifeline for someone makes you feel good. We are healthy and we can do what we want but

In the music studio others can’t.” While Robyn appears to be extremely busy with her numerous interests and community work, she distills success down to three words – family, health and happiness. “A successful life is family. A couple of weeks ago my children came back home to join my husband, Colin and I for a ski trip. They are adults, but the fact they still want to hang out with mum and dad is a real compliment. This afternoon we will be out working in the mud, heavy physical work, but it’s all good because we can do it. We are healthy.” Although her children have left home, there will never be an empty nest. “There are godchildren you meet, kids that keep returning home, and step grandchildren. Then there are the violin students, school kids, and Duke of Edinburgh students. It’s like Grand Central Station here sometimes.” 




Welcome to


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on’t worry folks – we’re not talking about the 1980 fantasy film with Olivia Newton John…

Picture a completely full carpark (even early on a Tuesday morning), rows upon rows of paperback goodies and narrow aisles chocka-block with people from all walks of life. Welcome to Xanadu Book Exchange – the unassuming warehouse-style store in Papamoa East, full to the brim with second-hand novels, literature, cook books and everything in between. “I could fill this warehouse two or three times over with the number of books I have in storage,” says Xanadu owner Briar Simons. “There’s an additional 12 containers down the road waiting to be unpacked!” When bookworm Briar quit her job in retail after 24 years to pursue her dream of launching a business, she had no idea it would escalate to what’s become a preloved book store behemoth (and the only second-hand book store left in the Bay) churning through 8,000 books per month. "I used to sell books at the weekend markets before setting up the exchange originally on Domain Road. About three years ago we’d outgrown the space, so I signed a long-term lease here on Ashley Place and haven’t looked back.” Xanadu doesn’t have a website (and its Facebook page is barely active) but thousands of customers from all over New Zealand and abroad walk through the doors every year. “I’d say 99 percent of our customers know about Xanadu by word of mouth alone,” says Briar. “Our customers are ‘anyone and everyone’ and we have lots of regular visitors from out of town and overseas who stock up on books en route towards another destination. We recently had a carpark full of people from Whakatāne, and not one of them knew each other!” Xanadu’s not only a destination for book lovers, but also those downsizing, going overseas or wanting to clear their book shelves. “People can bring their books in and I’ll either give them cash or they can take a credit. We sell hundreds of books each week, but I’ve had to ease off buying in the last few months due to the sheer

volume of back-up stock.” Briar has a couple of volunteer staff who help with restocking, but whenever you enter the store, you’re almost always guaranteed to see her smiling face at the front desk. Briar’s friendly demeanour draws customers in, and her knack for knowing almost every book in store has them coming back time and time again. “I remember each book as it comes in,” she explains. “I have a pretty good idea of where most books are located, and if someone gives me a hint (like the title) I’ll usually be able to remember the author and find it for them. It’s a skill that’s come from a deep love of books, and the fact I love meeting people helps – I like to make everyone feel welcome and totally at home here.” Xanadu’s success also comes down to its competitive prices. You won’t find a book in store for more than $5, even if it’s still a new release retailing for $40 elsewhere. “My customers are so grateful for the service we provide because they have access to literally thousands of books, all at an affordable price,” she says. “Yes, I’m thrilled to be able to make a living, but the main reason I opened this business was to share my passion and make other people happy. If someone leaves with a book they’ve been searching for, it really makes my day.” A closer look in-store reveals masses

of DVDs, CDs, records and games… which may seem strange at first glance, because aren’t DVDs and CDs past their use-by date? “Even with today’s technology, many people still prefer to hold a book rather than read a Kindle,” she says. “And you’ll be surprised at the amount of people who don’t have Netflix, or those who still listen to CDs in their car. DVDs and CDs are quite hard to find now – so I’ve cornered that market, too.” Briar is a savvy businesswoman who certainly knows what she’s doing, but like most women in business, she had to take a giant leap of faith in order to pursue her goals. “Everyone said I was crazy for opening a store in the middle of nowhere, and it was true – when I moved into the space here in Papamoa there was nothing around, and now I’m surrounded by 3,000 houses! “I wanted to give the business my best shot before retirement so I went with my gut instinct, and with a little luck and a lot of hard work, it’s been a great success. I truly believe that if you love what you do and work hard, you’ll be successful.” With exciting plans to expand Xanadu (yet again!) in the next year or so, it seems Briar’s been following her own advice – “if you’ve got a great idea, go for it! Don’t let other people change your mind.” 

I could fill this warehouse two or three times over with the number of books I have in storage.There’s an additional 12 containers waiting to be unpacked.




y in t i v i t a y e t n e l Cr P the Bay of

KINSA HAYS Kinsa Hays is an award-winning author and poet. She’s also an artist.


hen asked what her creative preference is, Kinsa explains that she loves the balance between them. “When you’ve overdone it in one media, doing the other is bliss. Colour attracts me, but so do words, stringing them together, making a word picture in poetry or prose, watching people read it, seeing the slow way they respond as they return to reality coming out of the word picture.”

With your art, what media do you work with? Because I’ve been travelling for ten years, acrylic was the only practical media to take in my station wagon. Now I’ve settled I’m using oils more and more as it takes 4-6 weeks to dry. Since my art gear has been unpacked from storage, I can play with other options – inks and paper and experiment with collage.

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Where do you find inspiration for your artwork? Viewing my paintings together, I can see how each new environment in my travels around New Zealand has inspired me. Now my horizons have opened to include interiors and still life, or stretched beyond and come from inner nudges. I’m beginning to attempt things like the small details of flowers, the shapes and patterns around me, the energy in a poppy as a petal falls off and the stem bounces – how that might be translated into a visual thing. The stimulation of working occasionally with other people provides a different energy and perspective too. Working from a studio space, albeit small, has advantages – no sunburn or wind, sand flies to bite and become incorporated in the paint, blowing sand or dust.

What is the most challenging part about creating new artwork? That stage when you’re about halfway through putting it down and it looks such a mess that you don’t know whether it’s worth persisting further or to trash the whole thing and start again. What’s next? It’s exciting and satisfying having my paintings in an exhibition, my stories published. Now I’m developing a fascination for editing. I guess I’m using my potential as a human being. I’d also like to have an exhibition of my odyssey around this beautiful country, a painting and a piece of writing for each place and a map to follow the journey of faith and trust and healing, from Ōpōtiki to Southland to the Bay of Plenty. 


View from the front window of a Katikati house sit.

Mixed media. One of my favourites.

I sat beside the road at Ohingaiti for three consecutive mornings. En plein air.

Mixed media.

Acrylic. En plein air from veranda at an autumn house sit in Arrowtown. That’s the river threading through.

Abstract. Scraped oil.




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focus | TOPIC



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SUMMER’S COMING! Summer is only weeks away so be ready to greet it with products that will make you feel and look gorgeous. Q10PLUS C ANTI-WRINKLE + ENERGY SLEEP CREAM, NIVEA $23.99 This new Nivea cream had us sold with the promise of ‘the ultimate beauty sleep’. Becoming younger and prettier at night? Yes please! The cream is enriched with CoEnzyme Q10 which provides cells with energy to build collagen and elastin – those irreplaceable elements of fresh, bright, young skin. It also contains the anti-aging superstar, pure Vitamin C. The literature tells us that the cream targets major signs of stress (lines and dullness) to give a visibly smoother and fresher skin – we’re looking forward to that result. Applying the cream couldn’t be any easier – the convenient tube and light moisturising texture is a great combo.

COCOLAX, COCONUTRITION $49.95 We’re super impressed with Cocolax and the results. This unique blend of organic coconut fibre, pre- and probiotics, lauric acid, glutamine and healing herbs has been specifically formulated to promote digestive health and restore regularity. It relieves stomach bloating, reduces wind and gas, improves regularity and prevents and treats constipation. It’s easy to use – simply add two teaspoons to your daily juice or smoothie or sprinkle on your morning cereal or porridge. Cocolax also contains L-Glutamine to support the gut lining, aloe vera to maintain healthy gut bacteria and marshmallow herb powder to increase the protective mucosal lining of the gut wall.

BIO-OIL $24.90 Loved by mums all over the world, Bio-Oil was formulated to help improve the appearance of scars. Bio-Oil has an impressive combination of plant extracts, vitamins, chamomile and rosemary oils to soothe the skin, lavender oil to improve firmness and calendula oil to reduce severely chapped skin. In spite of all the oils, its texture is light and non-greasy. The breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil™ improves the overall sensual feeling and ensures that vitamins and plant extracts are absorbed into the skin quickly and completely.

Things that are most beneficial to our health are not always the tastiest ones! Ahi Cider, for example, can only be enjoyed straight from the bottle by a pro apple cider vinegar convert. This product is sssssmokin’, and with onions, garlic, turmeric, ginger, horseradish, chillies and peppercorn in the mix, it definitely gives you a kickstart in the morning. We found the best way to consume this natural immune-boosting drink was by adding it to a juice or mixing it with water and a squeeze of lemon. You can thank us later!

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focus | COLUMN

RISE AND RECLAIM what belongs to you Words REBECCA TEREU

Photo by Asierromero/Freepik

Life. It can really suck sometimes, am I right? Let’s be real. It’s not all fluffy kittens and sweet smelling roses. We all face stuff, and sometimes that stuff can send us spinning wildly in a million different directions. You might be quietly minding your own business, then WHAM! – out of the blue you get smacked between the eyes with something difficult, challenging or even tragic. Yes, all of a sudden everything changes and you’re left wondering how on earth you’re going to get any semblance of your old life back. Will it ever go away? Will you ever get better? Will your heart ever heal? Will your bank account ever recover? Will you have the future you’ve been planning for all this time, or will the world stop spinning on its axis in response to your pain? That four letter word happens to all of us right? (life, that is). I personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t been through a trial or two in their life, but this article is for the women out there who feel like they’ve fallen too far and can’t crawl back out of that deep dark pit. You may not have admitted this to

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anyone yet, but deep down you know what I’m talking about. It’s that feeling that tries to convince you that you’ve missed that crucial boat in life, or sunk to the bottom of the ocean along with it. That feeling is more common than you may think – and know you are not alone in your leaky boat. I once knew a woman who lost everything in life, became severely depressed and suicidal, then on top of that became a victim of a massive business scam that killed what little remaining hope she had left. After a time of deep healing, she re-emerged and ended up running several companies, not-for-profit organisations and being a respected business consultant in her industry. I once knew a woman who was so burned out and stressed out for various heart-breaking reasons, that her physical health started to deteriorate in a terrible way. After two years fighting a big battle with breast cancer, the fear of losing brain cells and rendering her ‘professionally useless’ was all-consuming. She really believed it was all over for her. Today, just two years later, this woman is more successful than she’s ever been! I knew a woman who had every excuse

to curl up in a ball and fade away after years and years of physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse that devastated her life. Today she helps other women with their own difficult journeys by showing and encouraging them that their past does not have to define them, and there is hope and life on the other side of that healing process. I knew a woman who gave up her career and plans, to ensure her son (who was on the spectrum) had the best chance at starting and succeeding in school. With no skills, knowledge or financial security to pad the challenge, today her son is doing better than anyone expected and the woman’s career is not only back on track, but again, doing even better than before. Those women all have something in common. They are me. I lived through all those things and so much more, and guess what? I’m still undeniably here, alive and straining at the gate to help you do the same. I don’t share all this to make you feel sorry for me, or to claim the first place podium in pain and heartbreak. I understand all too deeply that the woman next to me has probably been through worse. My experiences are minuscule compared to others, but they are mine and boy have I learnt a thing or two going through them. Here’s the beauty of what seems like a depressing illustration: Not only have I survived all these things, but I am thriving despite all these things. I’m still chasing down my dreams, walking every opportunity out, creating new realities and vanquishing any new enemy that threatens to parade on my future. Was it easy? Um … NO! But is it possible? YES – I’m living proof! How? Well there are a few things I give

COLUMN | focus

credit to, but I have a word limit, so I’m just going to choose one thing to focus on. How did I turn the tables and beat down the odds? Because I decided to. Every day I use my God-given right to choose how I respond to whatever curveballs life throws at me, and by doing so, take back the power that difficult and inevitable challenges try to steal. I may not be able to help what happens to me, or change my circumstances, but I can change my mind and adjust my perspective to better suit a more acceptable reality. I can choose to believe that better days are coming, and while I’m going through the crap ones, I’m damn sure going to learn everything I possibly can. Why? So I can be better than I was before. That much I DO have control of, and so do you! That woman I talked about earlier – she’s not the same person she was prior to all of that crap hitting the fan. No, she’s definitely not the same ... she’s actually better. Yes, there are a tonne of battle scars and a few triggers that always make life interesting, but overall it’s true what they say, “that which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”. And before you write that off as a cheesy cliché, have a look at your own life and reflect on how you made it to this very moment. Not easily I can imagine! You know, it takes a special kind of woman to shoulder what we have. Strong, courageous, brave, resilient, tenacious, stubborn, defiant, and so many more words that I don’t have space to share. If you’ve made it this far, then you truly are that woman and I’m here to tell you that your life has so much more possibility than you can probably even imagine. Friend, there is life on the other side of sickness, dullness, tragedy, heartbreak, disease and accidents and everything in between. There really is. Your life may have changed somewhat, but it’s not over until it’s actually over, and until then, you get to rewrite the script however you want. That’s your right – that’s the power you do actually have. So reclaim that power and rise up to take back what belongs to you. There truly is nothing stopping you, except maybe you. So get out of your own way and light the pathway up for future generations to follow! You owe it to yourself. 

Rebecca Tereu is a business advisor, speaker, encourager and author



focus | BIRTHDAY

p u p o p y a d h t B ir n u s e h in t

What better way to celebrate focus magazine’s second birthday than with a mouthwatering lunch on a beautiful winter’s day in Kulim Park, Otumoetai. The sun is shining, the magnificent Mount Maunganui provides the backdrop and several people are enjoying a brisk walk or playing Petanque beside the water. Words + Images KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO


t lunch time the tranquility of the park is interrupted by the extravagant arrival of Cloe Leigh and Fran Cooper. Endless pillows spill out of the car and flowers, cutlery, plates and glasses are carefully carried to the perfect spot under the palms for a delectable focus pop-up picnic. Cloe and Fran begin transforming the setting into a sophisticated outdoor luncheon area while passersby look on. Cloe’s Creationz was created back in January, when Cloe was camping in Coromandel with her family. Whilst having fun at the beach, she needed somewhere to put her drink so she could join her kids in a game of Frisbee, but there was nothing suitable around. Cloe noticed another family using crates as food and drink holders and thought it was a great idea. She began to visualise a picnic of her dreams – with

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elegant, natural wood pallets for tables, comfy cushions for seating and, of course, lots of flowers and delish food. Less than a year later, Cloe’s pop-up settings have proved so popular she’s booked out two months ahead! Whether it’s a work lunch, birthday party or a Hens’ night, Cloe has everything you need to enjoy some quality time with work colleagues, friends or loved ones – without having to do the dishes afterwards! Although Cloe can host up to 24 people at her tables, today she has designed an elegant, intimate (early) birthday lunch for 11 guests of focus magazine. Fran Cooper from The Whipped Baker at the Historic Village puts the final touches to her gorgeous grazing platters that include a fabulous variety of traditional, vegan and gluten-free options. Fran had been up since 3.00am preparing freshly baked bread, dips and pates for the function.

Even though they have appeared in or contributed to the magazine, most of the invited ladies had never met each other in real life. After quick introductions, from Dee Collins, Kseniia Spodyneiko (focus magazine), Sharon Orlowski (ASB Bank), Heather Jones (Armourguard), Karen Hind (VOYA), Bex Tereu (Life and Insights), Paula Lines (The Law Shop), Miranda Clark (Heart and Sole/ACC Business Consultant) and Millie Freeman (Write Edit Proof), everyone’s chatting like best friends before the first kombucha bottles even crack open. No one wants to leave and ‘a quick lunch’ turns into an ongoing party. We certainly don’t mind! This was the first focus and Cloe’s Creationz collaboration, but definitely won’t be the last! Come along to the Focus On Women Expo, 27-28 October as Cloe will have a stand there plus a photo booth.

BIRTHDAY | focus




Wendy Robertson, Diane Hansen, Denise Arnold and Helen Barnard


Sharon Orlowski and Wendy Robertson

Denise Arnold

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Over a delicious meal at Tauranga’s newest restaurant, Viet De Cuisine, our Ladies at Lunch deliberated over whether we’re ready for what the future holds – Artificial Intelligence, the future of work and preparing our workforce. Is AI a good thing or a bad thing? There’s definitely a disturbing side to it but, as many of the ladies attest, AI has brought about many positive things that are already having a constructive impact on our lives. I felt comforted hearing that the next generation, for the most part, is concerned about the future of our planet and are very aware of what’s going on. Words DEE COLLINS Images KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO

TOPIC | focus


ur hosts were ASB Commercial Relationship Manager Sharon Orlowski and ASB Private Banking Manager Diane Hansen. They were joined by Denise Arnold (Director, Lyon O’Neale Arnold/Cambodia Charitable Trust), Heidi Moller (Practice Manager, Skinspots/ High Hopes Haven Charitable Trust), Wendy Robertson (Event Support Manager, New Zealand Blue Light Ventures/ Co-Founder Ladies Charity Lunch), Helen Barnard (MD Barnard Property Management, Community Care for Waipuna Hospice).

There has been a lot of talk about the future of work and how AI will soon take over many of our jobs. What’s your view on that? Does it concern you? Sharon: I don’t think it will ever fully take over. I read a report recently that in 60% of jobs, 30% of tasks could be done by AI. A lot of the positions are still there, they have just evolved so that people are doing different things. I think it’s going to present both opportunities and challenges. Wendy: And stressors too; I look at what my teenage son is going through. We went to a careers expo and he was trying to figure out what jobs would have a long-term future and not be superseded by AI. Growing up, we never had to think about those things. Diane: Other jobs are being created. We might shop online but now we need to employ somebody to pack and deliver our groceries. It’s just a redirection. Sharon: There’s obviously the social and cultural aspect of interactions that AI will never replace. Wendy: We’ll always need people but particularly in the sector we work in, AI is definitely changing the way we work, for example, with fundraising, gone are the days of ‘shaking the bucket’ because people don’t have cash on them. We’re now looking at a ‘tap and go’ system for donations. Denise: Without realising it, we’re already enjoying the benefits of AI. Netflix already channels us as it ‘knows’ what we’re looking for, and it’s helpful. So I think we already have a lot of opportunities and advantages as a result. The challenge for us is to educate the next generation; for government and education institutions to adapt their training so they’re not producing people that won’t be able to get a job. The problem is trying to anticipate where that is going to land in the next ten or 20 years for the next generation – the jobs haven’t been created yet. To educate children for what might be requires educators to teach critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, being good citizens and those attributes that go beyond Pythagorean theorem. Heidi: The challenge is keeping our values. The new generation are not as social; they don’t have that same connection that we used to have. There’s no face-to-face contact anymore. Denise: There’s certainly a component of that but I come across a lot of younger people who are really socially engaged and very worried about the future – you know, the plastic bags, the ocean, climate change and I think there’s a


bit of a divide where you have some that are not engaged and others who are far more engaged and I sometimes think if I had got started at their age, what could I have achieved. So, I see both. Wendy: We recently went to the New Zealand Youth Awards at the Beehive and we were blown away by the innovations from these young people. You don’t often hear about this. Denise: My kids took me on a beach clean-up when I visited them in Wellington. We were picking up syringes and all sorts of stuff … it was overwhelming and I made the mistake of saying this is hopeless. They said, ‘Mum you can’t say that; this is our future’. You can’t give up and they have that feeling now that you can’t rest. To what extent do you feel women are supported to learn new skills in their workplace? Are there enough opportunities for professional development? Denise: In law there is continued CPD that’s compulsory. Our PD sessions are open to anybody as we want to lift the standard across the board and support staff to attend, if it’s of interest to them. We’ve tried to encourage people to look ahead and decide that they would like to take on something different. Diane: It’s really up to the individual; you can take yourself as far as you want to. It depends on your strengths and what you enjoy doing – for me, I thrive on it.

Diane Hansen

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Sharon: Women often have their own limiting beliefs that hold us back and we think we have to have 90-100% of skills before we put ourselves forward. Heidi: We’re a private clinic and encourage continued medical education (CME). We have CMEs and staff meetings every month where we brainstorm and encourage our nurses to qualify to do a lot of things that doctors do. Nothing stops anybody. Helen: There are six of us in my business, all women, and it works. I don’t have a big budget to do ongoing workshops but once or twice a year they each choose a Chamber of Commerce course. Three of my staff are younger women and I like to spend a lot of time with them, sharing what has worked for me in the business. Our meetings start with gratitude; we have a caring and nurturing environment. I’m a big believer in this. Wendy: I think that what Sharon said about our limiting beliefs is one reason I haven’t done as much personal development as I would like to have. I’m part-way through a post-grad degree and that all comes back to guilt. I have to have time to do my job and then all this time for study is in my outside work time and then I feel guilty about not having that time with my children so I pulled out of that. Nobody in the industry is stopping me; it’s that mother’s conscience that I should be at the sport’s game or helping with the homework assignment.

Heidi Moller

Are we doing enough as a region to prepare for the future and upskill our workforce? Wendy: Yes, if you look at the growth of the Polytech and the Waikato Uni campus. The prospects in the region for young people are looking amazing. Heidi: We seem to be losing a lot of our workforce overseas. We need to encourage them to stay. It’s our labour and our medical field that we’re losing. We’re losing our GPs, all the younger ones are going overseas and the older ones are retiring in the next five years. We have a big problem there. Diane: We need to celebrate the region is growing. Sometimes we associate the region’s growth with negatives – housing, traffic, infrastructure. Let’s celebrate the growth of the city; everything we have to offer and that it’s bringing more jobs and opportunities for young people. Unfortunately, our growth seems to be more focused on the negative which discourages people from moving here. Helen: I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. We’ve got so much here – the temperate climate, the beach, the bush. Denise: With education, I think it’s been healthy to move away from the National Standards and to have the teachers not work on assessment criteria but rather developing a more holistic approach for the education of the next generation. The measure of a good educational system is producing good citizens who are thinkers, problem solvers, and kind, empathetic people. 

Wendy Robertson

EATING OUT | focus

VIET DE CUISINE SAT I AT I N G D E M A N D FOR AS I A N C UI S I N E IN TAUR A N GA Viet De Cuisine is Tauranga’s newcomer to the dining precinct, recently replacing one of The Strand’s older players. This restaurant adds authentic Vietnamese flavours to the already blossoming range of exotic fares on the CBD’s main food street. With a penchant for the ‘delish’ and beautifully presented meals, we couldn’t resist hosting our Ladies At Lunch event at this intriguing fresh space. Words + Image KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO

Background design by Freepik


alking into Viet De Cuisine the bold red walls and giant braided lanterns create an eclectic Asian vibe. It’s a great place to have a quick lunch or the perfect spot for a romantic dinner after dusk. Owners David Duc (chef) and Nick Nguyen (manager) are completely in their element when it comes to the food industry. After launching the successful ‘Asian Ruby Vietnamese Fusion’ restaurant in Auckland a year ago, they decided to expand their business to Tauranga. Mesmerized by the mild weather and friendly community of our town, they say it was a natural choice. “The reception of people since the opening day has been exceptional. We’re booked out almost every single night,” says Nick. “We already have regulars coming in each week to try new dishes or to indulge in their favourites once again.” With a menu catering for both street food and traditional fare, there’s a lot to choose from. Of course, it wouldn’t be a

Vietnamese eatery without the ‘Pho’, and Nick says it’s one of the main hits. Though we didn’t try pho that day, three of the ladies chose another popular option, Boat Fish, a visually artistic dish that tantalised the taste buds with mouthwatering Tarakihi marinated in galangal, lemongrass, turmeric and chilli and served with mixed herbs, rice noodles and a special yummy sauce. The menu extends to Grilled Pork Belly Slice, Crispy Chicken Dumplings and Fried Prawns coated in almonds and dried coconut meat. Vegetarians will certainly enjoy the Mushroom Spring Rolls with bean sprouts or the Slow Cooked Kumara Curry with rice. Make sure you leave room for a creamy and rich Coffee Panna Cotta! It can sometimes be difficult to find a place to dine out that’s not ‘the same old’ in Tauranga, so we’re welcoming Viet de Cuisine with open arms. 



focus | RECIPES

Birthdays are a time for celebration... And cake! Lots of cake! In our crazy busy lives there’s always something intensely satisfying when you create a cake and share it with family and friends. Join in focus magazine’s 2nd Birthday festivities by whipping up one of these gorgeous creations.


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RECIPES | focus

All time classic

Passionfruit sponge Sponge ingredients: • 500ml flour • 15ml baking powder • 3ml bicarbonate of soda • 1/2 tsp salt • 125g butter, melted and cooled • 1 tin condensed milk • 100ml milk • 50ml passionfruit liquid (no pips) • 5ml vanilla essence

Icing ingredients: • 90g butter, softened • 750ml icing sugar • 170g passionfruit pulp, drained, liquid reserved

Method: • Heat oven to 180°C • Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. • Combine remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. • Pour into two greased and lined round cake tins. • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. • Remove from oven and allow to cool before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.

Passionfruit Icing: • Cream softened butter and add icing sugar gradually. Beat until smooth. • Add enough passionfruit pulp to make a smooth, spreadable paste. Add a small amount of liquid, if required. • Sandwich cakes together with icing, then ice the top and sides.



focus | RECIPES

RAW AND VEGAN Real Rad Food specialises in fully raw, vegan, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free sweet treats and custom made celebration cakes. Founded by 22 year old Mount local, Hannah Mellsop, whose passion lies in creating plant-based foods that not only look and taste amazing, but are amazing for your health as well. @realradfood

Ferrero Rocher Cake Base ingredients; • 1 cup sunflower seeds • 1 cup desiccated coconut • 1/4 cup cacao powder • 1 pinch Himalayan salt • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil • 1/4 cup soaked dates (pre-soaked for 1/2 hour, then drained) • 1/2 cup hazelnuts

Mousse ingredients; • 2 cups cashews (soaked overnight, then rinsed and drained) • 2 cups soaked dates (pre-soaked for 1/2 hour, then drained) • 1 cup coconut cream • 1/2 cup coconut oil • 3/5 cup water • 1/2 cup cacao powder • 1 tsp vanilla bean • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt • 1/4 cup hazelnuts

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Method: • Add all base ingredients, except the hazelnuts and dates, to a food processor. Blend until a fine consistency. • Drain the dates and add to the mix. Blend until it has a sticky consistency. • Line a cake tin with baking paper and press the base mix into the tin. Sprinkle whole hazelnuts over the base. • Drain the cashews and dates and add the remaining mousse ingredients, except the hazelnuts, to the blender. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Pour over the base. • Chop hazelnuts and sprinkle over your cake. • Set the cake in the freezer for 12 hours. Once frozen, remove from cake tin. Allow to defrost before eating.

RECIPES | focus

SAVOURY The Honest Platter was created from Hollie Procter’s passion for beautiful and delicious food. She is a firm believer in engaging and connecting with your food in an honest and appetising way. The Honest Platter specialises in grazing tables for weddings and events throughout the Bay of Plenty. @honestplatter

CHEESE Cake Ingredients;


• 1kg round of Kapiti Kikorangi Blue • 1kg round of Over the Moon Dairy Goat Camembert • 1kg round of Over the Moon Dairy OMG Triple Cream Brie • BeeNZ Honey Comb • 2 tsp BeeNZ Premium Manuka Honey (heated) • Blueberries • Walnuts • Foliage and flowers

• Layer the cheese rounds to create a three-tiered cake. • Layer honeycomb on the layer of blue cheese and scatter wal nuts and blueberries on top. • Warm the honey and drizzle over the layers to create a drip like effect. • Arrange flowers and foliage to your liking. Be as creative with the decoration as you like! • Finish off with a bunch of red grapes.



focus | HEALTH

BACK TO THE ROOTS taking charge of our health with traditional fermented foods Words DEE COLLINS, KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO Images KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO, SUPPLIED 56 |

Rather than sit back and enjoy their twilight years, Margaret and Jim Pringle chose a more adventurous retirement plan – they set up a new business instead. Jim, 90, and Margaret, 83, launched MaKutchen Probiotics in 2013 after discovering the power of fermented foods. The couple live a very active life and play a mean game of tennis three times a week, but it wasn’t always like that. While Jim feels fit and happy now, he knows he would be a lot healthier if he had taken control of his health when he was younger. focus went for a visit to find out more. focus: When did you make the change to healthy eating? Jim: I had been guilty of bad eating habits until a sequence of events gave me a wakeup call – a heart bypass about 22 years ago, the removal of around 3½ metres of dead bowel and a variety of near death experiences. I was taking an assortment of pills, but when I was 82 I committed to trying fermented foods and bone broths and I also cut back on sugar and processed foods. Just six months later I noticed a dramatic change

in how I felt and later was even taken off all my pills. Healthy eating is a cheaper and more delicious way to be healthy. focus: What other things did you learn about improving gut health? Jim: The first one is to chew your food well. We’re often in such a hurry we only chew each mouthful four times before swallowing; way below the recommended 32 times! Reducing your alcohol intake and drinking more water is also crucial. And don’t underestimate

HEALTH | focus

the power of fresh veggies – the healthy bacteria in our gut feed off the prebiotic fibre found in vegetables and keeps gastrointestinal health on track. focus: From foodie to fermented foods producer – how did the shift happen? Jim: Discovering the power of fermented vegetables, kombucha and kefir made us want to share these products with friends, practitioners and colleagues in the alternative health industry. We launched the business in 2013 and experienced such high demand we had to move production from our cottage to commercial premises a year later. focus: Talk us through your current assortment Jim: We produce four delicious blends of vegetables using a traditional wild lacto-fermentation process, which means nothing else is added to the vegetables except Himalayan pink salt which is totally converted to lactobacilli in the process – there is no salt left in the final product – a mother starter and a whole lot of love. A long fermentation process means all products are high

in the probiotics so beneficial for your digestive system. Our customers also love our kombucha tea kits that allow you to brew your own healthy tonic at home. Kombucha has high levels of beneficial probiotics, amino acids and enzymes making it the best support for good digestion. It helps to restore balance in the digestive system and repopulate good bacteria. focus: We hear a lot about the health benefits of fermented products – why do so many people not include them in their diet? Jim: Modern western foods have changed the way we eat. In earlier times people knew how to preserve vegetables for long periods without any freezers or canning machines. This was done through a natural process called lacto fermentation involving lactobacilli – the bacteria feed on the sugars and starches of the vegetables to produce lactic acid, which is a natural preservative. But people gradually lost this knowledge and began to welcome the faster food options and alternative preserving techniques available. Instead of the original, and better, beautiful way

to preserve food, big industrial brands use pasteurisation to ensure a longer shelf life. Unfortunately this kills off all of the useful bacteria which would be supporting a healthy digestion system. focus: The last 10 years or so have been enlightening for you – what is the main thing you want people to know? Jim: Health professionals can assist in your recovery when required, and it’s important to work with them but, ultimately, it’s up to you to become fitter and make healthy choices with the food you eat. Processing, preservatives and taste enhancers are the Goliaths we need to overcome and I want to shine the spotlight on the diseases and maladies we have gained through bad eating habits and to supply people with the products that are truly beneficial for health. Looking back, I acknowledge that many, if not most, of my health problems were a result of what I ate. There is truth in that famous saying by Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. 



focus | SPORT

W H IT E W A T E R  STA R S  RAFTERS WIN GOLD IN TIBET The NZ Women’s R4 Rafting team brought home gold medals from the Yushu World Rafting Plateau Championships held in Tibet in August. Next month they hope to do the same at the premier 2018 World R4 Rafting Champs, being held in Argentina. Words MILLIE FREEMAN Images SEAN CLARKE, PAUL EAMES

T NZ Women’s R4 Raft team at Ziyuan Raft Festival, China.

hree of the group – Nikki Whitehead, Geni Walters, and Denise Martin – won the Nationals in April with teammate Kelly Wood. When Kelly moved away from Rotorua, Marnie Fornusek, joined the crew and they placed 2nd overall at the Ziyuan Rafting Festival in China, held in June. Following their success in Tibet, focus caught up with the team to find out what’s involved in this sport and what drives them.

You’ve all won a lot of gold medals over the years, starting back in the 90s when Denise first started competing – what makes Kiwis so good at this sport? We have lots of water to play in. In the Bay of Plenty we have plenty of whitewater options and there’s a community of people to train and play with. How do you fit competing and training around your work? (Nikki is a Tour Operations Manager, Geni a Firefighter,

FROM LEFT: Geni Walters, Denise Martin, Marnie Fornusek and Nikki Whitehead

Gold in the slalom – NZ Women’s R4 Raft team compete at the Yushu World Rafting Plateau Championships, Tibet

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SPORT | focus the 2018 Gold for New Zealand at Challenge ting Raf al tion rna Ziyuan Inte

from the bank. We also get training time to practise on the courses prior to racing. Communication in the boat determines the line above the rapids and the stroke rate is controlled at the front. In the R4 events everyone steers. What is most important in a race? You need to have a good calm approach to everything. Speed and strength are important as well as putting the raft in the fastest whitewater. The most important factor is working as a team and communication.

Denise a Naturopath and Marnie a Civil/ Environmental Engineer) We train after work 2-3 times a week, often in the dark, so flatwater training on the lake has been a good option over winter. We’ll either be in the raft or sometimes in a waka ama. In the weekends we use the Kaituna River for slalom practice or sprinting, and we do our own fitness or weight training. We do our best to fit training and competing around our working commitments and are really grateful to our employers for supporting us with that. What do you all love about rafting and racing? Anything can happen when it comes to rafting! Getting out on whitewater is exciting and fun and you get to be out in some amazing places in NZ and overseas. Do you feel scared at any time during a race, or is it more a feeling of excitement? Depending on the river, raft racing can be a cocktail of emotions! We have all been scared at different times raft racing, but haven’t had any scary times as an R4 team; just the pressure of wanting to do well for NZ. How much experience is necessary to get involved in competitive rafting? You need to be able to read water and understand what the boat does in different features or gradients. You also need to know how to rescue yourself, your team and possibly the raft as well. Like us, a lot of the raft racers come from a rafting and/or kayaking background; others come

from waka ama. Starting in the middle positions of R6 (six person raft) is a good way to learn about whitewater from more experienced paddlers. For those who want to try raft racing, there are some social rafting races held at the annual Buller Festival (Feb/March) and the Seriously Social Rafting races held on the Tarawera River, Kawerau. As a group, which event do you enjoy the most – sprint, head to head, slalom or downriver? H2H (two rafts racing together) is exciting; you need a fast start to get to the rapids first. Each team has to go around buoys on the river so there’s quite of bit of strategy involved, and likely to be boat to boat contact. How different are the four events? Sprint is a short, hard, fast event. H2H requires some good tactical moves, mental strength and a bit of mongrel. Slalom is the most technical race as it’s the most mentally challenging; the gates determine where you need to position the boat and you need to be ‘pole aware’ to not get time penalties. Downriver is an endurance event; you completely empty your tank and usually fight other teams all the way down. Your overall ranking after each race determines start order/position in the next race. How do you make decisions as a group during a race, about the line you will take? We discuss lines as a team. For the Sprint, H2H and slalom there are opportunities to view the river section

How technical were the Batang and Yangtze rivers in Tibet, and the river in Argentina? Had you raced there before? Nikki and Denise raced in Tibet in 2016. The rivers were Grade 3 shallow, fast flowing continuous rapids. The slalom was the largest rapid – it was unforgiving; there were no opportunities to attempt gates a second time if you made a mistake. We haven’t raced in Argentina before so we will arrive earlier than the official training so we can get some extra time to learn the river, the Alumine, which is Grade 3. We’ve heard it could be cold – last year it was snowing at Pre-Worlds! How important was the Tibet race as a build-up to the World Champs and how many countries competed? The Ziyuan and Tibet races have been invaluable. We don’t normally get to compete on an international level before a world championship, so we were able to make some improvements between the races in Ziyuan and Tibet. Seven teams competed in Yushu, Tibet: Australia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hungary, Russia and NZ. GBR are the current R4 European Champions and 2016 R4 World Champions. We finished first in Sprint, Head to Head and Slalom and second in Downriver which put us first overall. Racing in Tibet has shown us further things to work on as we build to the World Champs in Argentina How do you fundraise? Other years have involved raffles, quiz nights etc. Leading up to the World Champs in Argentina we will be fundraising and looking for a sponsor(s). 




Image: Millie Freeman

The Dawn Musher One Sunday mid-July, focus writer Millie Freeman arrived in Rotorua, pre-dawn, to watch a little-known sporting event taking place in the Kaingaroa Forest near Waiotapu, and chat with a Tauranga woman who is totally hooked. By day Melinda Davidson is the Health and Safety Advisor for Bay Venues; at weekends she’s a musher – the term given to someone who races sled dogs. Think huskies in Alaska, the Iditarod trail, and well, snow… Words MILLIE FREEMAN




It’s dark, 5°, but there’s no snow in Rotorua. There doesn’t have to be – Melinda and the 35 or so other mushers gathering for the morning’s events race their dogs using wheeled rigs and scooters. On forestry roads and tracks, teams of up to six dogs delight in hauling their mushers in the dawn chill, occasionally turfing them off if they take a corner too fast. Mushers follow a set course which tests their dogs’ endurance, speed, concentration and ability to follow commands. To prevent the dogs overheating, racing has to take place in temperatures below 13° and humidity is also monitored; hence the early morning start in the middle of winter. “So, why do you do this again?” I ask Melinda as we wake up with hot coffee, waiting for dawn to break and racing to begin. “I love to see their excitement,” she says. “I get a rush from seeing them have so much fun, from being active with them. And the colder the temperature, the more excited the dogs and faster they go. They have more energy.” Melinda and her husband Clint

These dogs love to run, and that’s why the mushers taking part in the event endure these crazy early mornings, chilly temperatures and many hours of training.

currently have four dogs – Zeus, Luna and Kronos, all Siberian Huskies, and Ellie, an Alaskan Malamute. “They are family to us. They sleep in the house, rather than being working dogs that live outside.” Growing up on a wildlife park in Wales could be one pointer for Melinda’s interest in dogs, but in fact she became “petrified” of dogs after one bit her, aged four. Not until her late teens did she learn to trust them again, and, upon meeting Clint, decided they wanted a pet. They took in rehomed and ‘rescue’ dogs, first Zeus in 2014 at 12 weeks old and then Luna as a companion nine months later.

With their growing ‘fur family’ they moved to a lifestyle property in the Kaimai Ranges, where the dogs have plenty of running space. As I’m about to find out, these dogs love to run, and that’s why the mushers taking part in the event endure these crazy early mornings, chilly temperatures and many hours of training with their beloved dogs – it’s a commitment to their breed; this is what these dogs were bred to do.

BORN TO RUN Prior to dawn breaking, the camp was still; just a few hushed conversations as

Image: Ieuan Harries


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mushers made their preparations. Only when the dogs were let out of their overnight kennels and harnesses attached did the excitement start to build, as the impending thrill of the chase sent the camp into a woofing, yapping, howling frenzy. “This is why we all do this”, Melinda tells me as the mushers assemble their teams, one behind the other, ready to set off at timed intervals over the start line. The dogs, each held by a handler, strain at their harnesses; they dance around, yipping and laughing at each other like a bunch of eager school kids at sports day. Back at camp and wishing it was their turn to run, the non-racing dogs join in the frenzied chorus. The countdown begins, the handlers steady their grip; the dogs look back, tongues hanging out, desperate for the ‘Hah’ from their mushers allowing them to break free and run. Once over the start line, the barely contained excitement turns into a sleek streamlined team. Their barking stops, ears prick back, tails drop down, they’re in racing mode, in their element, focused only on the task ahead – to pull their ‘sled’ until the end point. Well, sometimes with a little leg-powered assistance from the musher. Huskies and malamutes are naturally suited to the sport (in 1925 huskies became famous for the emergency ‘serum’ sled run to Nome in Alaska, which prevented a diphtheria epidemic), however other breeds also delight in the racing – what dog doesn’t like to chase? At this event, run by Waikato’s Northern Alaskan Malamute Club, a wide variety of dogs – some very fast over short distances – were taking part.

so exhilarating to see the dogs doing something ever closer to what they were made for. We had four runs and grew in confidence and enjoyment each time.”

FOSTERING HUSKIES Meanwhile, over in Alaska, mushers are training for the renowned 1000mile Iditarod race, held annually in March. While Melinda and Clint would love to be spectators one day, taking part is not on their bucket list. Instead, their dream is to expand their dog family and become temporary foster parents for huskies needing a new home. Unfortunately many end up in rescue centres because, although they make great pets, huskies have different needs than many dogs. “Taking on a husky is not a light decision to make,” says Melinda. “It’s all or nothing; you can’t do it half-heartedly. They need space to run and they need company.” Yes, they need company, and, with a twinkle in her eye adds, “We’ve got room for more.” 

Want to get involved? Check out ‘NZ Dry Land Mushing’ on YouTube to see what it’s like, or make contact with a club on the NZFSS website,

RACING FOR EVERYONE Sleddog racing, on wheels, began in New Zealand in the 1980s but became more popular in the early 90s. The NZ Federation of Sleddog Sports (NZFSS) formed in 1993 and now there are around 15 clubs in the country, each running regional events with divisions for single dogs up to six-dog teams, over distances ranging from around 3-6km. Men and women are equally represented in the musher community, and children are also encouraged to participate. Club members would love to see more dog owners, especially those with huskies and malamutes, getting involved in the sport. Maintaining the blueprint of their breed is important, said one musher. Dog welfare is paramount and a vet or vet technician must remain on site for all events. It’s not only the dogs’ love of the sport that keeps Melinda and Clint involved – now into their fifth season. Getting together with the other mushers is also where great friendships are made. “It’s like one big family,” says Melinda. Certainly it’s a family affair for the Davidsons, although Clint doesn’t race – too much jarring on old knee injuries have put paid to that. But with the fleet of mostly homemade race scooters and rigs being used, there is inevitably some expertise needed for repairs and maintenance. “There’s always something to do,” he says. In August the family travelled south to compete in one of New Zealand’s premier snow sledding events – the annual Wanaka Sled Dog Festival. It was the first time Melinda and the dogs had raced on snow and, naturally, had some differences to contend with. “It’s such a different experience to dryland racing, but



focus | TRAVEL

Mount Maunganui

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T H I N G S t o s e e ANd DO in the Bay After exploring so many of New Zealand’s famous places over the past two years, we felt that the focus Birthday edition would be the perfect opportunity to highlight the beauty of our own little slice of heaven, where the mag was born and where we’re so lucky to live and work. Words KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO Images ALEX SPODYNEIKO


ith activities and landscapes as diverse as those of a big country, the Bay of Plenty is the place to be in summer. From the volcanic valleys of Rotorua to literally ‘set in stone’ haiku poems in Katikati, to breathtaking hikes up The Mount in Mt Maunganui, the Bay of Plenty offers endless possibilities for an ultimate staycation. Seriously, it was almost impossible to choose ONLY 50 of the local wonders!

MUST DO’S Mount Maunganui. Wouldn’t it be weird not to start with the place that makes it into ‘New Zealand’s top-10 most

photographed spots’ every single year? Hike up the 232m Mauao for top-notch views and that feeling of literally being at the edge of the world. White Island. New Zealand’s only active marine volcano sits 49km off the coast of Whakatāne. Accessible by boat or helicopter, this sleepy beauty is quite smelly and acidic, so you’ll thank your guide for the gas mask and lollies each visitor is given on the tour. Skyline Rotorua. This all-age and all-weather attraction has so much to offer that you can easily spend a day there! Jump on board a gondola to get to the top and storm down in one of the gravity-fueled luges, or tickle the nerves on a 13-metre free-fall and a high-speed zipline.



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Te Puia. This Rotorua attraction is a must for anyone wanting to experience everything our region is known for, in one place. Te Puia includes a Māori concert and hangi degustation, a geothermal valley with the biggest geyser in the southern hemisphere, kiwi, and historical artefacts to name just a few. Polynesian Spa. Bay of Plenty has so many hot pools it might be hard to choose the one and only. Being voted a World Top Ten Spa four times, the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua easily narrows down the options. Enjoy hot mineral spring bathing or pick one of the luxurious massage and beauty treatments.

OUTDOORS Ngā Tapuwae o Toi. An ultimate walkway in Whakatāne, taking you from the city centre all the way to Ōhope in around 3 hours with some stunning cliff top views, native forest, spectacular pohutukawa and seabird colonies along the way. Te Urewera Walk. Our own ‘Jurassic Park’ is the largest forested wilderness in the North Island. Known mostly for the 3-4 day-long Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk, it actually has lots of super short walks as well. Many of them lead to New Zealand’s most stunning waterfalls (think Aniwaniwa Falls, 20m Papakorito Falls and a 22m high Korokoro Falls). McLaren Falls Park. Spectacular both during the day and at night (thanks to the magical glow worms!), this park is loved by campers, fishers and kayakers as well as families who come here for picnics, bush walks or to play a fun game of disco golf.

Redwoods Treewalk of the scenic pathways towards the remarkable hot footbaths. A lovely relaxing spot!

Kaiate Falls. Perfect for a chill on a hot summer’s day, this complex of two waterfalls with a refreshing swimming hole at the base is only a 30-minute easy walk away through the forest.

Hamurana Springs Walk. A short 30-minute walk to the crystalclear water laced with shades of turquoise, jade and emerald is a wonderful way to perk yourself up on any weekend. It takes 70 years for the water to make its way through underground aquifers to appear outside so clean and pure. Nature’s wonder, worth seeing with your own eyes.

Papamoa Hills Regional Park. Recently renovated, this 135ha property is any hiker’s paradise. Walk through pine forests, native bush and across open farmland with friendly cows and sheep to see Tauranga from a different perspective. Nice bonus – you’ll probably remain one-on-one with nature most of the time!

Orokawa Bay Walk. The 45-minute walk to this secluded beach starts at the northern end of Waihi Beach. With beautiful pohutukawa and shimmering white sand, this beach is well worth the short hike. Spectacular Pacific Ocean views along the way make it even easier to get to the final destination.

Te Puna Quarry Park. A world-class park with fascinating views, exotic plants from all over the world and beautiful sculptures instead of an ugly disused quarry? Easy peasy! Local volunteers turned an old scar into an amazing outdoor area suitable for visitors of all ages. Redwoods Treewalk. Little can beat a walk along the 23 suspension bridges hugging the 100-year old giants of the Whakarewarewa forest (unless you’re scared of heights, of course, then this activity fits more into the ‘Extreme’ section of the article). Go back at night for an iconic magical light show, created by the world-famous David Trubridge Design. Kuirau Park. A steaming and boiling lake in the very heart of Rotorua is New Zealand’s only geothermal public park. Take one

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BEACHES Mount Maunganui Main Beach. You can’t beat this spot in summer! A glorious stretch of golden sand with the iconic Mauao in the background and the nearby row of on-trend fashion stores and healthy food cafes makes this the ultimate place to socialise and create memories. Ōhope beach. Recently voted New Zealand’s most loved beach in the AA travel poll, this eastern Bay of Plenty gem stretches along the sparkling ocean for a good 11km. Dreamy white sand, great surfing and excellent food bring in thousands of tourists every summer. Omokoroa beach. It looks like this tranquil pristine beach knows

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the secret to attracting good weather on most days. The lovely wooden deck of the Boat Club restaurant is our fav place to soak in the sun, while munching on yummy fish ‘n chips. Waihi beach. Think unspoiled white sand, safe swimming, good surf, a bustling beachside community and vibrant dining spots. Waihi beach pretty much sums up everything we love about our coastal region. Matakana beach. This untouched paradise is accessible only by water, so jump on a barge from Omokoroa or Sulphur Point in Tauranga to spend a day at the 20km-long white sand beach surrounded by pine forest. It’s a great place for experienced surfers or avid picnic lovers. Otarawairere beach. This hidden jewel in Ōhope is not to be missed during the pohutukawa season as there are loads of these gorgeous trees straddling a beach of stone and crushed seashells. Our own version of paradise!

ACTIVE White water rafting at Okere Falls. The Kaituna River has some heart pumping rapids up her sleeve including the highest rafted waterfall in the world. It’s the self-proclaimed best rafting base ever, and it definitely didn’t receive this title for nothing. Zorb. Did you know this crazy activity was invented in New Zealand? Get a taste of what it’s like to roll uncontrollably down a hill from the pioneers of Zorbing. With a selection of track choices out there, you have enough room to experiment with both dry and wet Zorbs and undoubtedly laugh your head off! The Squeeze. A fantastic experience that starts with a thrilling jet boat ride through Tutukau Gorge on the Waikato River to ‘The Squeeze’, a narrow section where you wade in shallow waters to a waterfall. The reward for an intense workout is a mystical hot

spring waterfall all for yourself. Canopy Tours Zipline. An enlightening adventure that takes people deep into an ancient forest. But don’t be afraid to get lost – you’ll be securely tied up! In fact, you won’t even have to walk on the tour, only fly through the bushes on ziplines, with the longest of them exceeding 400m. Blokart. An invention, created in Papamoa in 1999, that quickly took the world by storm. A fun, fast, compact wind-powered go-kart is an exhilarating way to experience windsurfing on the ground. Waimarino Glow Worm Kayak Tour. The tour starts with wine and cheese by the spectacular McLaren Lake before twilight, then continues with paddling your way through the enchanting highsided canyon to see the glow worms, hypnotising and twinkling all around you.

RELAXING Mount Hot Pools. This iconic Tauranga spot is an excellent way to relax and unwind after a hike up The Mount. The heated salt water is detoxifying and is believed to heal pains and inflammation. The Cider Factorie. Located on the outskirts of Tauranga, enjoy award-winning cider whilst soaking in the most amazing views of Pilot Bay, Matakana Island and the Kaimai mountain range. Come with friends, as drinks and platters are designed to share. Volcanic Hills Winery. This award-winning Rotorua winery might not have those endless rows and rows of grapes outside its tasting room but the superb location at the top of the Skyline Gondola, with epic views, is well worth the visit. Kerosene Creek. The secluded hot pool, located south of Rotorua,

White Island



focus | TRAVEL

Karangahake Gorge Windows Walk is a beloved spot for those willing to experience iconic New Zealand geothermal facilities for free. Hot water cascades two metres down to the tranquil pool, providing bathers with a stunning, relaxing backdrop. Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. The ‘Living Waters’ of the Te Manaroa Spring form arguably the most beautiful swimming spot in the Bay. Ten different pools amalgamate into the scenery so perfectly, you feel like you’re bathing somewhere in a natural oasis. Take a short walk alongside the stream to see where the 100% pure boiling water comes from. Agrodome. Home to the cutest farm animals, this Rotorua farmland has been a hit among tourists for over 40 years! Explore the working farm, enjoy the farm show and learn more about how world-famous New Zealand wool is created. Julians Berry Farm and Café. Your one-stop shop for all things berries. It offers delicious freshly-picked and frozen berries, along with ice cream, jams, sauces, soaps, moisturisers and other berryinfused items. Guests can pick their own berries or indulge in hot homemade meals and pastries. Ōhope International Golf Club. Uniquely situated between the ever-changing Pacific Ocean on one side and the unspoilt picturesque Ohiwa Harbour on the other. Rated one of New Zealand’s top five links courses. That’s enough reason to give this game a go!

Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park. Literally, the closest you can get to a pride of African lions without hopping on a plane to another continent. The Rotorua park offers a chance to chat to intelligent kea, feed deer, wallaby and trout, and learn more about other local mammals and birds. Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Another awesome family park in Rotorua. It hosts the world’s largest kiwi hatching facility, which makes Rainbow Springs the best place to meet shy, grounddwelling kiwi during the day. There are also daily exotic bird shows and the famous ‘Big Splash’, a nine-minute journey through the ecological evolution of the country which ends in a big wet surprise! Moutohorā (Whale Island). Home to New Zealand's rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles. Not everyone can get permission to visit this island but White Island Tours is allowed to escort small daily groups to discover tīeke, kākāriki, little brown kiwi, bellbirds, tui, grey warbler and many sea birds, as well as the local fur seal colony. Dolphin Seafaris. The Bay of Plenty is an amazing place to spot dolphins, orcas, whales, sea turtles and seals. Boat tours from Tauranga have an impressive 95% success rate in meeting these mesmerizing marine creatures and you’re more than welcome to swim with them, if the weather allows!

HISTORY AND ART WILD LIFE Katikati Birds Gardens. An extensive oasis that features native and exotic birds, such as the kawaupaka, kererū and kākāriki. Most birds roam freely around the waterlily ponds, natural wetlands and bushes. The wide range of species and seasonal flowers make this park a gorgeous destination all year round.

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Tauranga Art Gallery. The first public gallery in the area regularly delivers outstanding exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. Among the most popular recent displays were Banksy artworks, The Future Art of Fashion and even the Chinese Orchestral Performance. The Elms. Previously serving as a mission house for European

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settlers, this gorgeous homestead was built between 1838 and 1847. It boasts historical artefacts and has managed to preserve the vibes of all the many generations that have lived there. The tiny local library is probably the most outstanding place to visit, so don’t skip the guided tour that includes a glimpse inside. Brain Watkins House. Built from kauri timber in 1881, this cosy house, located at the corner of Elizabeth Street and Cameron Road, is one of only six surviving single-family homes, turned museums, in New Zealand. Tauranga’s oldest private house is open to the public every Sunday from 2-4pm. It gives great insight into the life of a middle class European family. Tauranga Historic Village. A vast collection of original and replica buildings from early Tauranga, with charming cobbled streets and lush bush surrounds, the Historic Village has its own cinema, café, church, radio station and cute shops. An amazing place to visit, especially during the popular Saturday markets. Classic Flyers NZ. This outstanding collection of classic aircrafts and aviation memorabilia was launched by a group of passionate individuals and quickly became an exciting openair museum in Tauranga. Goldfields Historic Railway. Travel back in time on a heritage train from Waihi Station – built over a century ago – to Waikino (and back). This area is rich in goldmining history and artefacts, and there’s a lot to explore. Trains depart from both stations daily. Karangahake Gorge Windows Walk. Sitting at the base of the Coromandel, this short 2.5km loop is our favourite part of the greater Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway. It boasts spectacular views from the small windows of the disused gold mining tunnels down the river gorge. Make sure to take a torch! Mataatua: The House That Came Home. After traveling the world for over a century, this fully carved Māori ancestral house is finally back in New Zealand. Located in Whakatāne, the latest digital technologies hidden inside the beautifully decorated building provide guests with a captivating experience of traveling through local history. The Lady on the Rock. A sophisticated statue of a girl atop the Whakatāne Heads commemorates the bravery of Wairaka, who was left alone in a canoe. Handling a canoe by a woman was tapu but after the canoe started drifting into the sea she defied this taboo and brought the waka safely back to shore. Haiku Pathway. The 24 engraved boulders, placed along the 2km path in the heart of Katikati is the largest collection of haiku stones outside Japan. This neat park, bisected by the tranquil Uretara Stream, is a really great place to contemplate life and the graceful Japanese art. 






focus | BUSINESS

STRIDING OUT Gone are the days of holding down a single job for life. Businesses change, economies fluctuate and, as individuals, we learn, grow and develop new skills and interests as time moves on. Sometimes we’re lucky to find our passions early; sometimes only when we understand ourselves

MEL BASON Customer Service Rep

Mobile Vet Nurse

a little better. Stories of women who follow their dreams are inspiring to hear … because, finding work you love is exciting, but making the switch into unknown territory can be daunting. In the next few editions we’ll meet local women who have made the break and changed their careers.

What were you doing? I worked at Genesis Energy in Hamilton for four years, initially in the residential call centre and then moved to the business department as a customer service rep. I enjoyed it and was offered good opportunities to progress through the organisation, but I realised that working in an office everyday wasn’t for me. Since I was little I had wanted to work with animals and began to think about doing that, so, at 21, I trained as a vet nurse and then got a job in a clinic at Waihi Beach where I worked for three years before moving to a clinic at Bayfair. When I felt I had reached my level of competency, I had to decide my next step. By that time my partner and I had bought a farm in Oropi and I wanted more of a lifestyle change. What are you doing now? I run a mobile vet nurse service and dog farmstay, which includes farm fun-days – the rural equivalent of dog daycare – and a longer-term boarding service. What do you love about your work? I love being with the animals and enjoy the variety of both sides of the business. I also love having the freedom to go and ride my horse on a fine day. We have sheep, cows, six dogs, four cats and two horses of our own. I had always dreamed of living on a farm, so on our 13 acres I get to be the farmer and work with the animals while still being close to town. It’s the best of both worlds. What did you have to do to make the change? I did a one-year vet nursing course through Wintec, which was 8-5pm Monday to Friday. Later, when I was thinking about where I wanted to take my career, I went back to study, this time for my Diploma in Business. Doing the course began to fuel

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ideas of starting up my own business. For one of my assignments I presented an idea of a vet nurse service for elderly clients, who don’t have transport to take their animals to the vet, and my tutor pulled me aside and said ‘you need to start this’. I spoke to my employers, Bayfair and Papamoa Vets, about doing this myself while working for them, and it snowballed from there. It got to the point, in early 2017, where I had to put my own business first so I took the plunge and put all my energies into it. How hard was it to make the leap? For me the biggest leap was resigning from my clinic job and going into selfemployment, because suddenly you don’t have that guaranteed wage each week – that was quite scary because we had just bought the farm. But it went really well from the beginning. What challenges have you faced? At Easter I fell off my horse and broke my back and was bedridden. I considered closing the business but then our flatmate offered to help, which was a godsend because up until then I used to do it all on my own and my partner would help when he finished work. It’s great having her here because it can feel isolating sometimes, especially when I don’t have any house calls to make. In quieter times I enjoy coming up with new ideas for the business. What would you say to other women thinking of making a change? You need to do what you love and you can make it work if you take the leap. I’ve defied a lot of odds. Vet nursing is not highly paid, however I’ve managed to pay off debt, buy a house on my own, and then this farm – I’m 29, self-employed with my own farm in Tauranga and I’m living my dream.

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MEGAN HARRIS Accountant/Lawyer

Owner of Pole Gear NZ

What were you doing? I completed a BMS/LLB Degree at Waikato University in 2006. Whilst studying I worked at an accounting firm in Hamilton and I loved it. My plan was to specialise in tax law, but when home life became too busy with young children, I stopped work for a while before becoming the Finance and Treasury Coordinator for the Waikato Area branch of Plunket. Despite loving my job, I found I was always looking for something else. When the opportunity to buy the business came up last year, it was the perfect move for me.

many men and women. The support from the pole and aerial industry has been amazing, which in turn has enabled us to be more involved with our blossoming industry through sponsorship and support. Next month we will be launching our first NZ-made range of Pole Wear, which is so exciting!

What are you doing now? I own Pole Gear NZ which sells active wear and accessories, mainly for the pole and aerial market – pole fitness, pole dancing, aerial silks, aerial hoops, slings and circus. It’s an online business which I run from home in Cambridge.

What did you have to do to make the change? I knew a little about the industry, I could crunch numbers and I’m a ‘people person’, but that was it. There was so much to learn about running a business, the range of products, website building, importing, suppliers, compliance, pricing, marketing, social media and so on. So I started asking people I knew for help. I did a few short courses and joined local business groups, which have become a great support network for all of us to learn and grow our businesses together.

What do you love about your work? I went to my first pole dancing class five years ago and loved it. Since then it has become a large part of my life, so being able to run a business in an area that has become such a passion is amazing. Over the last year I have travelled the country attending events, doing pop-up shops at competitions and meeting the most amazing people – it’s so incredible to be a part of the aerial arts journey for so

How hard was it to make the leap? Not hard at all! I bought some shorts off the previous owner and, on the spur of the moment, said that if she ever wanted to sell, I’d be keen. She rang later that day and I didn’t think twice! I had the passion and it just felt so right so I jumped in head first. It has been challenging but I have loved every minute of it. I have never looked back; the corporate world is now a distant memory.

What challenges have you faced? Apart from learning so many new things, I underestimated how much of a timehungry beast having your own business is. One of my biggest challenges has been finding that balance between work and family life. As a new online business, you think you need to be available to customers 100% of the time so I find myself constantly on my phone, inadvertently giving more of myself to my customers than to my family. It has been a major goal of mine for 2018 to create some boundaries between work and family life and I am slowly getting there as it is a hard habit to break. What would you say to other women thinking of making a change? If anyone had said a few years ago that I’d be doing this, I flat out would have laughed. But don’t laugh, explore it instead. Never say no to an opportunity even if you think it’s ridiculous because you never know where it will lead. This whole thing started with me taking one pole class, so don’t write anything off because you think you’re too old, or don’t have the skills; don’t create barriers for yourself, because you can always learn. Opening my mind to new possibilities and taking a risk has been the most amazing thing ever. 



focus | BUSINESS




Marcela Hannouche

Caroline Martelli

Rosalind Potter

Kelly Locket

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Multitasking for single mums, who also run their own business, is the lifeblood. Whether aiming to create a better life for their children, or being inspired by kids themselves, or even finding solace in work after losing a husband or partner, these four Tauranga entrepreneurs have built successful companies, while raising beautiful babes all on their own. Words KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO Images SUPPLIED


arcela Hannouche (The Sugaring Room), Kelli Locket (Personal Trainer), Rosalind Potter (Cake Away) and Caroline Martelli (MCollections MSkin) share their tips on being real-life superheroes. Juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship has taught them some interesting lessons. What was the starting point for your business? Marcela: I was breastfeeding until my son turned two, and couldn’t figure out how to do that when working full-time. I always had a vision of my own beauty salon, and the timing was just perfect! Kelli: My first business was launched before having children – I bought a spray tanning franchise 12 years ago. Becoming a self-employed personal trainer seemed a natural step after giving birth. It allows me to be more flexible. Rosalind: I started making cakes for my kids’ birthdays about 30 years ago. It naturally grew into other mums wanting cakes for their children, so I set up a small business at home. When my husband passed away, I was thankful for having something I could throw myself into; it gave me a distraction and surrounded me with a supportive network of friends and customers. Caroline: When my marriage ended, with a nine-month-old baby and my makeup kit, and with help from my mum, girlfriends and clients, I launched in-home makeup workshops. By that time, I already had my own limited range of mineral makeup products. The word got out and, due to high demand, I had to quickly expand the variety of MCollections. Does being a boss both at work and at home, at the same time, limit your

involvement in any of these spheres? Marcela: To be honest, I used to feel ‘in debit’ as a mum for quite a while. Talking to friends and clients helped me realise I’m not the only one, and that’s a common thought for many mums. After all, I’m a woman living in a foreign country without any financial support, who does everything for her kid and runs a business – at the end, I think, I’m doing a bloody good job! Kelli: Taking a holiday break is probably the most difficult for me, especially with having clients working towards life changing goals. You really want to be there for them all the way! Otherwise I’m happy with the balance I’ve managed to achieve. I work with clients whenever I can, but I also have days that are solely for me and my children. Rosalind: You never switch off being a mother. Sometimes business has to be put to the side, if there’s a family issue. But it never was a distraction, rather a supportive environment that helped me to escape the tough realities I was facing. Caroline: I have always tried to make my daughter number 1, doing special treats for her, watching movies together. But she has grown up around business – from when it was at home to the studio now, packaging the products and helping me to deliver them. She has seen me working hard and she learned that you do have to work hard to get what you desire. I am sure if you asked my daughter, there is always room for mummy to be more fun, but I do try my best! What lessons, learnt as a mother, also helped you in business? Marcela: Even when you have no idea what you’re doing, believe in it, go for it and make it work! Kelli: Just like your children, your business needs love and attention. It’s

going to be hard work, but never give up, because you want to see it flourish and grow. Rosalind: My favourite mantra is ‘Keep calm and carry on’. Caroline: Time management! Oh, and remember to breathe and eat. Many times my daughter had to remind me I didn’t eat today! Any time management tips for our readers? Marcela: Create a goal list! You might feel tired and exhausted, but no results come without effort, so keep working towards your dreams. Kelli: I have lots of reminders and alarms on my phone. The mind of a solo mum entrepreneur can be so busy, it’s easy to forget Tuesday is a rubbish day, no matter how many years you’ve known that. Rosalind: When owning a business and having children, time management often goes out the window and you have to be okay with that. Keep calm and carry on, remember? Caroline: Start your day with a coffee and write a to-do list, and then work through it by ticking things off. How do you switch off and relax in your ‘me’ time? Marcela: I go to the gym, go out with my friends and pamper myself in any way. Kelli: In between my morning, midmorning and afternoon clients I have a gap in my schedule. The kids are in school, so I use this time for the gym or grab a coffee with a girlfriend. I’m also notorious for my day naps – if I can squeeze one in, I definitely will. Rosalind: My ‘me’ time is escaping for a facial every eight weeks and spending time with my family. Caroline: I will get my nails done, read a book or go for a walk. 



focus | BUSINESS

Quick and delicious dinner ideas from business mums


1 1/2 cup of lentils /3 cup brown rice 1 onion 5 cloves fresh garlic Salt Olive oil 1 tsp cumin 1 /2 tsp turmeric Half a pumpkin cut in pieces

Olive oil 1 tin chopped tomatoes 1 tin anchovies, chopped Handful of chopped parsley 1 cup basil leaves 2 cloves garlic Pinch of chilli powder 14 stuffed green olives, sliced Pasta (spaghetti)

Chop garlic and onion finely and fry in olive oil. Add pumpkin, cumin, salt and turmeric. Add lentils and rice and cook on low heat for 25 minutes if using a pressure cooker. Cook for an additional 20 minutes if using conventional cookware.

Heat oil and add 2 cloves garlic, 1 tin anchovies and a pinch of chilli powder. Cook for two minutes. Add 1 tin chopped tomatoes, parsley, basil and 18 stuffed green olives, then cook another few minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti.




Chicken Chicken stock Onions Garlic Wine Pasta Parmesan Mix chicken, stock, onions, garlic, wine and pasta in a pan and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese when ready. Easy and quick!

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3 eggs Whatever veggies you find in the fridge Some feta Throw 3 eggs, whatever veggies you find in the fridge and some feta in a pan and enjoy your dinner in under 10 minutes! Tip: A good hot pan is what makes it an omelette and not scrambled eggs.

Photos by topntp26, Waewkidja, mrsiraphol / Freepik


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Rivalling YouTube, Instagram has recently launched its own service to share longer-form videos. Though it’s exciting to watch the two social media giants fight it out for online domination, the main question is, how can YOU benefit from the latest update? So far, IGTV looks like it’s a great tool to grow your business! WHAT IS IGTV? Short for ‘Instagram TV’ it’s this social media platform’s newest add-on, allowing you to share longer videos. Previously we were limited to 15-seconds in ‘Stories’ and 1-minute in the main feed; now videos can be 10 minutes long for smaller channels, or up to 60 minutes for those with a larger following. Perfectly optimised for mobile viewing, IGTV has got early adopters raving. As soon as you open the app you’ll be able to watch content. A big plus is that you can pick up video content from where you left off and not have to watch the whole video again. Plus, filming

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videos with your phone and uploading content to your own page, couldn’t be easier!

HOW TO START YOUR OWN CHANNEL There are two easy ways to work with IGTV for the first time – either download a standalone app or access through Instagram itself. You’ll see the icon in the top right corner on the main Insta page. To browse through the videos, toggle between the various buttons on your home screen. These are: ‘For You’ (videos collected specifically for you based on your recent activity on Instagram and

IGTV), ‘Following’ (videos from people you’re already following on Instagram), ‘Popular’ (videos that are getting most views, likes and comments at the moment) and ‘Continue Watching’ (all your part-watched videos). To upload your first video, click on your avatar and find the ‘+’ button – easy as! Don’t forget captions and hashtags. I’ll explain further why the last ones are especially important. IGTV provides in-depth insights on each video you’ve posted. To find out how many people have watched, liked and commented on your clip, click on it, then on the three dots icon ‘…’, then go to the ‘View Insights’ button.

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WHY YOU NEED TO START USING IGTV FOR BUSINESS Apart from being so much fun, filming videos is an easy and on-trend way to communicate with your customers. And evidently, by 2021 mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, so if your goal is to grow and thrive, these stats are worth taking note of. IGTV also gives you extra exposure on Instagram. Every time you post a new video your subscribers receive a bright orange reminder at the top of their page. If you’ve recently found your page engagement decreasing, utilising IGTV should shake things up.

Remember I mentioned the importance of hashtags? Well, IGTV is still part of Instagram so whenever you put a hashtag under a new video, it gets featured on the hashtag’s feed on Instagram. Just imagine, users browsing through the niche pages don’t even need to open IGTV to discover your updates. One of IGTV’s best features is its active links. Yes, you’ve read this correctly! While Instagram itself never gave your audience direct access to your website – apart from the one tiny link in your bio – IGTV allows clickable links in captions which give you a fabulous opportunity to grow traffic. 

“ By 2021 mobile video

will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic

WHAT TO POST ON IGTV Here are some great ideas to get you started: Tutorials: Do you produce bone broths? Share some recipes using them. Launched your own organic skincare range? Demonstrate how to apply your best-selling face mask correctly. By showcasing the actual use of your products, you’re making people crave them even more. Answering questions: Whether it’s about your product, tips to starting a business in your industry or even some personal information, your subscribers are dying to know more about you! Start with a quick introductory video and invite viewers to ask questions via IGTV, Instagram or even via email – promise to get back with all the answers in a week. Behind the scenes: We certainly love your perfectly shaped and flavoured raw bliss balls, but there’s nothing like seeing how you roll them. Or decorate your cakes. Or sewing your new fashion collection. Just like ‘Stories’, IGTV videos are perfect for giving your brand a more personal feel and putting a face to your business. Diary: Just like you used to do it on paper or online, you can now talk your subscribers through your daily emotions, events and thoughts. Though initially it might be scary to open up publicly, these ‘no makeup confessions’ are something that always receive the best feedback. Repurpose content: Did you capture a special moment on film or are you already known for your exceptional Stories? Extend the life of your short videos by downloading them as one clip and uploading to IGTV.

We can’t wait to see your IGTV videos. View some of ours here @focusmagazinenz



SIMPLE WAYS TO BE MORE MINDFUL AT WORK We live in a world where the words ‘busy’, ‘work harder’, and ‘stress’ are commonplace. It’s easy to get lost in the rat-race of busyness. We work, we parent, we spend time with our family and friends. But oftentimes, from the moment we wake until the moment we fall asleep, we’re chasing our tails.

Words ANNALIESE ARNOLD I get it! I’m a mum with three young children, was a school teacher for 10 years and now run my own business. I know too well the feelings of being stressed and constantly running from one task to another, never feeling like I’m on top of it all. It caused me to think, are we destined to be like this? Or is there a better way? I’m happy to say that three years ago I found a solution through the practice of mindfulness. I’ve noticed an incredible shift in how I work, think and operate – both in my business and personal life. Practising mindfulness allows us to bring greater awareness to our situation, helps us to understand our emotions, and to respond rather than react. This results in lower stress levels, better relationships and most importantly, a happier version of you!



Who’s been guilty of checking their email and social media ‘likes’ before they get out of bed in the morning? We live in a society where it’s extremely hard to switch off. But it’s important to begin the day on your terms, doing things that are beneficial for you, things that help you prepare for your day. Intention setting is a great way to do this. When setting three-five intentions of what you want to achieve throughout your day you’re more likely to do them.

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In the workplace, research shows that companies which implement mindfulness techniques generally see: • enhanced decision-making skills • more effective communication • stronger teams and leaders • superior creativity and innovation • reduced stress levels • increased productivity • enhanced team culture • happier and more engaged employees. You may be thinking this sounds great, but where do I begin? To get you started, here are six simple ways to be more mindful at work:

CALL TO ACTION: Put pen to paper before checking your emails when you arrive at work. Set intentions, schedule your events/tasks/ activities/breaks for the day and see how much it improves your productivity.



Gratitude is an effortless way to implement a mindfulness practice into your workday. When we focus our attention on what’s good in our lives we

increase the release of dopamine – one of the happy hormones.

CALL TO ACTION: When leaving work for the day, focus on three things that you’re grateful for. Also reflect on three wins you had during your day. This helps to train the brain into seeing the good in our lives, therefore allowing more of the same to follow.



Photo by katemangostar/Freepik


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It’s easy to eat on the go because we have a million and one things to do. But the act of mindfully eating your food is incredibly beneficial. Not only does it encourage us to slow down but it’s better for our digestion.

CALL TO ACTION: When you’re on your next lunch break make a conscious effort to step away from your workspace. Go to a different room, go outside, eat with your colleagues. Take your time to enjoy and savour the food rather than eating it mindlessly. Pay attention to where the food has come from, give thanks for it. How does the food taste? What does it feel like in your mouth? What does it smell like? Give your food the attention it deserves. You’ll notice a greater sense of appreciation for it.



Workplace stress – we have it, but we don’t want it. A small amount of stress is good for us. It helps us when we’re in danger. Stress becomes a problem when it’s compounded. Continual stress impacts us in many ways – in our mind, body and soul. It’s key to recognise when you’re feeling unnecessary stress, whether it be worrying about the past or projecting to the future. By bringing our awareness to our stress triggers we can redirect it. Using our breath is the simplest way to do this because we have our breath no matter what situation we’re in.

is considered productive. To be mindful at work you need to focus on one task at a time. This seems like a simple request, but we continue to race from one task to the next. This creates the ‘scatter brain’ effect, like having too many tabs open in our internet browser and not giving any one the attention it needs.

CALL TO ACTION: Being a single tasker means to focus your time, attention and energy on one task at a time. When you slip into ‘multi-tasking’ mode, STOP. Bring your awareness to it and gently redirect your attention back to what you were doing.



Giving ourselves breaks within the workday increases our productivity. Researchers have found that for every 90 minutes of dedicated work time you should aim to have a 10-15 minute break. This refocuses our mind and stops us from experiencing stress and overwhelm.

CALL TO ACTION: In your ‘morning planning meeting’ with yourself, schedule times within your day to take breaks. Actively step away from your workspace, especially the computer screen if that’s where you spend most of your time. Hydrate yourself and do some exercise. Go for a walk outside. Getting fresh air does wonders for the soul. 

CALL TO ACTION: The next time you experience stress at work do this: • Recognise that you’re feeling stressed. “I am experiencing stress right now.” • Take a deep cleansing breath in, to the count of four. • Hold the breath for four counts. • Slowly breath out to the count of four. • Repeat 3 times. This simple technique is a way to ground yourself and limit unnecessary stress.



Gone are the days where ‘multi-tasking’

If you’re interested in more mindfulness information, inspiration and courses – both for your company or personal life – be sure to follow me on



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Do you want to take the next step in your career but your boss continually promotes others? Or, perhaps you have an amazing idea for a romance novel stuck in your head but your kids, job and way-too-playful dog leave you no free time to pursue the idea? If there’s something you’re failing to succeed in again and again, you might consider some help. Just like a good school coach can evaluate sporting talents without us even knowing we had them, a life coach can help

NARROW THE NICHE There are coaches for every area of life. I focus mainly on personal development and improvement, career guidance, relationship coaching and spiritual health. And while you might be keen to flip your life completely, most people just want coaching in a specific area, such as finance, or physical health. Find someone who is specialised in the area you require help with.

LOOK AT THE BACKGROUND You want your life coach to be accredited or have extensive experience. Personal life experience is often what makes a coach a good coach. The coach should understand where you and your issues are coming from and have real-life experience to help you work through them. You can often find a coach’s bio and specialisation on their website – read it thoroughly and ask yourself, ‘Will that person understand me like she understands herself?’

EXPLORE THE PACKAGES Because a coaching service isn’t tangible, people often find it hard to spend money, not knowing what they will gain from it. Look for what the coach offers in regards to tools and materials. One-on-

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solve those life challenges; because they know you can, even if you don’t know how. But how to understand whether the person – smiling from a photo on her website – is the one to really open up a door to the new opportunities for you? The life coaching industry is booming in New Zealand, and having lots of options definitely doesn’t ease the decision. We asked Hayat Berkaoui, a life coach from Mt Maunganui, for the insider’s tips on choosing the right specialist.

one sessions are great, but are there any video lessons, templates or special diaries included in the price to guide you? Explore the options stated on the website or in a brochure – each package should have specific features that the client invests in. The clearer the packages are described, the more transparent it becomes of what you’re investing in.

WILL IT CLICK? I would advise people to always have a chat over the phone or via Skype prior to making your final decision. I offer a free 45 minute Skype session – normally it’s enough to develop a connection. Both coach and client will decide based on the introductory conversation if they want to work together.

KNOW YOURSELF Coaching is a wonderful journey; a journey of self-exploration and honesty. From that sense of being open and honest, you will work towards your goals. Be ready to be coached. You will most likely go through some inner conflicts when working through barriers. Sign up for coaching when you feel that you are ready for this. A coach is there to support you and help you through the hard times, but it is you that has to do the work. 

ABOUT HAYAT BERKAOUI When your name means ‘Life’, questioning your purpose on Earth and how to live a fulfilled live seems inevitable. Half Dutch half Moroccan, Hayat was born in The Netherlands, but travelled to over 30 countries to find the answers. Becoming a Life Coach was what she was looking for. Now Hayat is ready to take you on your own journey of finding happiness and fulfillment, whether it means a change in your career, guidance within relationships or simply feeling better about yourself.

GIVEAWAY | focus


a $125 Giapo ice cream voucher $125 on ice cream? Yes, please! Often named ‘the best ice-cream store in New Zealand’, this Auckland-based café boasts artisan flavours and the most incredible designs. Be it a Sky Tower, chocolate selfie frame or the legendary squid-shaped ice-cream, you won’t be disappointed. Treat the whole family … there’s something for everyone. We have two vouchers to give away.

the ultimate gut health pack Want your tummy to be happy? This prize pack will be the most delicious way to achieve that. Be Nourished and Good Buzz Kombucha have teamed up and are giving away four probiotic-packed jars of raw sauerkraut and four cases of kombucha – you choose the flavours. Handcrafted with love in New Zealand, these yummy products will make a great addition to your daily meals.

Photo by Javi_Indy/Freepik

a Serenity Spa Invigorate Package Life can be hectic and before you know it, you’re almost at the end of the year! We all lead such busy lives and often don't take enough time to chill-out, relax and look after ourselves. Serenity Spa has the perfect solution for you. They are giving away an indulgent Invigorate Package that consists of 3½ hours of pure relaxation and pampering. The package includes a manicure, pedicure, facial and full-body massage – sheer bliss!

a year’s supply of BON tampons for you and your friend Tick this off your shopping list for the next 12 months by winning 12 BON packs each for you and your bestie. The tampons are made from 100% certified organic cotton – so that means there are no herbicides or pesticides in the cotton, making them better for you! BON’s packaging is stylish, discreet, sturdy and easily portable. 24 packs – 12 for you and 12 for your friend.



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ALICE COMPANY: Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga Trust POSITION: Service Manager

After more than 20 years in the social work field in NZ, the UK and Australia, I’ve settled in Tauranga with the Breast Cancer Support Service Tauranga Trust. I’ve been there nearly three years and love the role, the people I meet and the chance to do work that is meaningful in our community. What’s your best life hack? Always travel with a sarong – they can be used as a skirt, scarf, head cover and a towel; they dry quickly and take up very little room. What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Get outside every day and if you never shave your legs you’ll probably never need to. Tell us about a recent Bay event you have attended? I recently wandered through the Winter Nights – Winter Lights on the Tauranga Harbour. It was quite magical and great

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to see families out enjoying themselves between the rain showers. There is always something to do here in Tauranga.

world but have never been to a live volcano – so I’d love to visit White Island – but on a ‘quiet’ day please.

Who has been an inspiration to you at any point in your life? Why have they been an inspiration? Arihia Bennett – she’s the CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. She’s a leader who empowers and enables; she leads with genuine humility and she is a strong and wise woman. Oh, and she is a fab dresser too!

What is the most pressing issue facing humanity? Yes, we’re facing a lot of challenges, however, there are people who care about protecting the world’s resources; there are young leaders who want to be of service to others and there are creative minds coming up with ways we can be more connected to each other in our communities. There is so much to be hopeful for. Each of us can make a difference and it starts in our own neighbourhood. 

Where would you love to visit one day, and why? I’ve been to so many places around the


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