Canterbury Today Magazine Issue 173

Page 1


Youth transport advocate Natalie O'Connell on shaping Otautahi's future

The case for a four-day working week

Power plays

The rising cost of electricity

Surviving Christmas during a cost-of-living crisis

Managing mindsets

Embracing mental health in the workplace

The importance of walking the talk How to build trust in your organisation

The polarisation problem

Are we losing the ability to agree to disagree?


Be better prepared for a bumpy road. We’ve been specialising in workplace cover for 45 years, with tailor-made health and wellness plans that protect the people who power our industries. But we’re constantly thinking of new ways to safeguard the health of our workforce and these three new initiatives are now available for Members. Cancer Care Plus provides up to $250,000 per annum for cancer treatments, including $100,000 a year for treatments not covered by Pharmac but approved by Medsafe. With cancer second only to heart disease as New Zealand’s biggest killer, extra financial support makes extra sense. New Critical Diagnosis cover gives those facing life-changing illnesses an immediate lump-sum of up to $50,000, claimable on over 30 conditions. This support enables families to focus more on wellbeing and less on financial worries. MoleMap checks detect skin cancer early, a disease that affects so many New Zealanders, which is why we provide a 20% discount, a benefit that’s already reducing the cost and the danger for a significant number of our Members. Please visit our website if you think your workforce could benefit from proactive health and wellness plans. Because when you face a health challenge, it’s smart to be prepared for whatever might be around the corner.

Taking care of the people who take care of the country Cancer Care Plus and Critical Diagnosis cover can be added to any of our comprehensive surgical plans. Currently available through eligible workplace schemes only. For full details of cover please refer to plan brochures on our website.

Springing into Market Action It’s been a busy start to Spring at NZ Mortgages. Nathan Miglani, Managing Director and Head of Lending explains. It's an exciting and transformative time for New Zealand as we've recently witnessed a change in government. On behalf of NZ Mortgages, I'd like to extend our best wishes to the new administration as they embark on their journey of service to the people of New Zealand.

Even as the Kāinga Ora First Home Partnership had to stop due to overwhelming interest, it shows the increasing number of first home buyers, and the current stock in the market indicates that there's plenty more demand to come. However, it's worth noting that Kāinga Ora continues to support first-home ownership through the First Home Loan and First Home Grant programs, providing viable methods for aspiring homeowners.

The real estate market is, as always, a reflection of the broader economic and political landscape. Currently, we are experiencing a robust market, characterized by a particularly interesting trend: first home buyers account for a significant portion of our client base, representing 60% of our business. The remaining segments are divided as follows: 20% comprise individuals looking to sell and buy, 5% are seeking loans for business and investment properties, and 15% are engaged in the process of refinancing.

Transitioning from the vibrant spring season into the summer months, we foresee a steady property market ahead. With the market in full swing, it's a time to seize opportunities if you can, as we know that cost of living is still high and interest rates still sit quite high as well. We remain optimistic about the market's stability going forward, with the OCR expected to hold in November, with a drop predicted for next year. We believe it's essential to provide proactive guidance to our clients, ensuring they are well-prepared for any market shifts.

As the new government takes the reins, we anticipate changes in the property investment landscape. Property investors are likely to re-enter the market, and it's possible that they'll be competing with first home buyers, particularly for properties valued below the $650,000 mark.

If you're contemplating selling and buying or looking to leverage the equity in your existing property for an investment upgrade, contact our team at NZ Mortgages. Our services stretch from the Hurunui to the Rangitata and beyond, and we are here to guide you through every step of your property journey.

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Cover Story

Publisher's note Issue 173 | 2023

Viewpoints Pages 6-7 6

This issue of Canterbury Today leads off with youth transport advocate Natalie O’Connell discussing Otautahi’s public transport future. We look at ways you can build trust in your organisation, the rising cost of electricity, and the importance of embracing mental health in the workplace. There’s discussion about the case for a four-day working week, and our seemingly increasing political and societal polarisation, asking if Kiwis are losing the ability to agree to disagree. We peer into our unsustainable fashion industry, look at the essential ingredients of Inati restaurant, outline some of the keys to finding business success online, and look at how to survive Christmas during a cost-of-living crisis. Throughout the magazine, features provide insights into successful companies and organisations, and the people working in them, and as always, we thank all our columnists for their expertise, along with the views, opinions and predictions of all those who contributed.


MAGAZINES TODAY OVERVIEW Academy Group has grown to be one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned publishing houses, with carefully targeted publications offering in-depth analysis of current issues, exciting profiles, interesting people, and details of the latest projects and products making news.

Shaping Canterbury’s future The CECC’s new membership model

6 7


The housing market Reserve Bank still in ‘wait and see’ mode Primary concerns Farmer confidence inches up, but doubts remain Events diary Find out what’s on near you

Management Pages 8-44 8

The importance of walking the talk How to build trust in your organisation

10 Power plays The rising cost of electricity 12 City in motion Youth transport advocate Natalie O’Connell on shaping Otautahi’s future 18 The polarisation problem Have Kiwis lost the ability to agree to disagree? 19 Managing mindsets Embracing mental health in the workplace



Hiring -

22 Old school cool Reinventing contemporary fashion with a sustainable nod

43 Retail readiness

25 Life and style Items worthy of desire

44 Making it rein

When the silly season arrives a touch too soon Surviving Christmas during a

27 Working machines Ideal printers for any office

cost-of-living crisis

In Business Pages 48-66

28 Inati The essential ingredients of Inati restaurant


30 Green is the new black Peering into our unsustainable fashion industry

48 Cancer Society’s new Langdons Rd

32 Barking good business The Gourmate Pet Treat company

Real Estate

centre opens 50 Day for seniors proves polarising

33 The difference a day makes The case for a four-day working week

56 Looking to list your property? Here’s how to get started Property & Construction

36 Inflation breakers Top online grocery shops

58 The superhome design difference

37 Digital pathways Finding business success online

60 Delivering energy solutions for a cleaner

40 The return of cruise ships Tourism sails out of troubled waters


42 Where to wind down Work function venues


Energy and brighter future

62 Retail spending growth slides in September Focus on Rolleston 66 Selwyn’s digital delivery partnership




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Management | Viewpoints

Leeann Watson

Kelvin Davidson

Chief Executive of the CECC

CoreLogic NZ Chief Property Economist

Shaping Canterbury's future

Reserve Bank is still in 'wait and see' mode

For nearly 165 years we have been the home and voice of business in Canterbury, and over the last few years, we have been working on what the next 165 might look like.

August’s decision from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to leave the official cash rate (OCR) unchanged at 5.5 percent will have surprised very few people.

Our members are at the heart of everything we do, and we wanted to be ahead of the curve in anticipation of the changing nature of membership organisations and the workplace of tomorrow, so next month we will be transitioning to a new fit-for-purpose membership model.

Inflation and inflation expectations have continued to show encouraging signs of a slowdown, and there have also been a few hints of a looser labour market too, partly thanks to high net migration.

Our new model will enable our members to choose the level of investment that best fits their business and offers flexibility to change their membership as their needs change. Think of it as going from Sky TV to a Netflix model.

businesses. What might we do collectively and individually to promote Otautahi Christchurch, and Waitaha Canterbury, as a great place for work, life, and opportunity. Topics of discussion include: Insights into Canterbury and Christchurch state of business; perspectives from the business community of the future of doing business in Canterbury; where are we performing better than the rest of New Zealand; what can we celebrate, and what makes Christchurch special; where we need to improve; what can we do individually and what can we do collectively.

We have traditionally operated our membership tiering by the number of employees a business employs, but we will be moving to a model that allows businesses to make a decision about the level of support they need based on their size and stage of business, with the ability to bolt on modules for specific sectors and as their needs evolve.

About the CECC Established in 1859, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) has two main goals:

The uptake across the Canterbury community so far has been great and we are very encouraged by the level of interest and anticipation from businesses.

We are a non-for-profit membership organisation meaning everything we do is for our members.

I am looking forward to watching the impact our new model will have for our members and the business community in Canterbury - for more information or to learn more about how the Chamber can support your business, please head to our website ( Canterbury Insights Forum On Tuesday, November 7 we are hosting a forum discussing how our economy, workforce, and community is really doing. This Canterbury insights forum will explore the trends, outline what is going well, and identify where we are facing challenges. Join us for an in-depth discussion on highlighted trends and themes, issues, and opportunities, supported by experts and

to help local businesses improve their enterprises to ensure our members can operate in a business friendly environment.

We have approximately 2,600 members and are the largest business support agency in the South Island. We are led by a board of twelve directors, all who have business experience within the Canterbury region and a genuine, hands-on understanding of the local business environment. With a long history of providing business support in the region, we are highly regarded as one of the leading business support organisations in the country, alongside our BusinessNZ Network, and a valued stakeholder of decision-makers at a local and national level. Our head office is based at 57 Kilmore Street, Christchurch, New Zealand. Please pop in to learn more, or give us a call on (03) 6617014. CT

In fact, the decision itself and the associated forecasts as part of the full Monetary Policy Statement had a distinct sense of ‘we’ve been here before’ – with the anticipated tracks for GDP growth (subdued), unemployment (edging upwards), and inflation (slowly falling) largely unchanged from last time the RBNZ published their full forecasts on the 24th of May. They did slightly push back the timing for the potential first cut in the OCR from later in 2024 to potentially early 2025, but there wasn’t a clear sense that any further increases would be likely in the meantime. Indeed, the change to the OCR track seemed to just reflect a technical tweak, around where they think the underlying level of the ‘neutral’ OCR now sits. Meanwhile, the RBNZ’s view remains that the house price downturn is essentially now over, but also that the ‘upturn’ could be pretty subdued – with prices potentially still below their previous (2021) peak in late 2026. We share those general expectations, with our caution about the next phase for the housing market stemming from the fact that affordability remains stretched, mortgage rates aren’t likely to drop much for another six to nine months at least, and there’s also potential caps on debt to income ratios looming in early 2024 as well. Of course, it does also need to be acknowledged that many economic variables have moved quicker than anticipated in this new post-Covid world, and the combination of low new listings

CAN YOU SELL? DO YOU HUNT FOR PROSPECTS? IF SO WE NEED YOU, NOW! Various remuneration packages are available comprising of retainer plus commission and bonuses. Contact: Angela Elley on: (03) 961 5184 or email | 6

Of course, it does also need to be acknowledged that many economic variables have moved quicker than anticipated in this new post-Covid world, and the combination of low new listings flows each week, but rising sales volumes means the level of housing stock on the market is declining.

flows each week, but rising sales volumes means the level of housing stock on the market is declining. This could potentially trigger some more abrupt competitive price pressures amongst buyers than we’re currently anticipating, although in turn this would tend to bring forward more listings and mitigate some heat for prices. Overall, the OCR decision may come and go uneventfully, with the focus now returning to each piece of important data as it comes in. The implications for the housing market are also pretty neutral, but those with an existing mortgage due to be repriced from an older/ lower rate up to current levels in the coming months will certainly be pleased to see the likelihood of a stable OCR for the next little while at least. CT

• Your work ethic and discipline is essential • Honesty is a must - humour appreciated • You will need a good understanding of business and be able to talk to everyone from trades people to CEOs • You MUST be oozing enthusiasm! • Experience preferred, but not necessary as initial and on-going training and support provided • Various remuneration packages available - made up of retainer plus commission, plus monthly bonuses, flexible hours and subsidised health insurance for you and your family. Part of the

Management | Viewpoints

Management | Events

Todd Charteris Rabobank New Zealand CEO

Primary concerns While New Zealand rural sentiment has inched marginally higher, it remains deep in negative territory overall, due to a wide-ranging mix of farmer concerns. The mid-year Rabobank Rural Confidence survey found farmer confidence in the broader agricultural economy was up marginally on the previous quarter, with the net confidence reading rising to 57 percent, from 58 percent previously. However, farmers are more positive about the prospects for their own farm business performance. While it is pleasing to see confidence continuing to climb – albeit incrementally – it’s important to note that it’s coming from an extremely low base and that farmer sentiment across all key agricultural sectors remains incredibly fragile.

These announcements have further heightened farmer trepidation around the outlook for dairy commodity prices over the coming 12 months. Demand for New Zealand’s food products across a host of international markets remains strong and there are plenty of reasons to be positive about the long-term future of the industry. But right now, all the different sources of worry are taking the wind out of farmers’ sails, and pessimism remains the dominant sentiment being felt across the sector for the second half of 2023.

Smaller harvests for a number of New Zealand’s key fruit and vegetable products The survey found the two most pressing issues have resulted in lower export volumes over the were rising input costs and government policy. last year, but overseas demand and prices for these products remains strong. But we did see fewer farmers citing these factors as a concern than was the case And with labour now easier to source and in March, with the percentage of farmers production volumes expected to increase, mentioning input costs as a reason for growers continue to be the most optimistic dropping pessimism. of all the sector groups about the 12 Easing farmer concern over input costs is months ahead. likely to have been driven by the lower fertiliser Pastoral farmers were also marginally more prices that we’ve seen over recent months, optimistic about the prospects for their own while diminished concern over government farming businesses, but across both the dairy policy may well be tied to some of the recent agri-policy announcements made by the major and sheep and beef sectors, around half of political parties as they look to attract the rural farmers are still expecting the performance of their own operation to worsen in the next vote in the lead up to the general election. 12 months, and only one in 10 are expecting Reduced anxiety in these areas is being it to improve. countered by rising apprehension about falling Despite the lift in farm business performance commodity prices. confidence, there is now a higher percentage Prices for New Zealand’s sheep, beef and of farmers with significant concerns about the horticultural products have remained relatively viability of their operations. consistent since our last survey, but over this It will be essential that farmers regularly period we have seen Fonterra twice lower monitor and update their budgets over the the milk price for the 22/23 season, as well course of the new season, and that they keep as announce an opening milk price forecast range for the new dairy season which carries a their team of farm advisers across relatively modest mid-point of $8.00kg/MS. any modifications. CT

Events diary Fast5 Netball World Series 2023

The New Zealand Agricultural Show

Saturday-Sunday, November 11-12 Wolfbrook Arena The FAST5 Netball World Series is set to make a return to Otautahi Christchurch. Australia, the reigning champions, will once again grace Wolfbrook Arena [formally the Christchurch Arena], alongside teams including the FAST5 Ferns, England, Jamaica, South Africa, and Malawi. In addition to the women’s teams, the men’s teams will also be back in action, ready to display their remarkable athleticism and skill sets.

Wednesday-Friday, November 15-17 Canterbury Agriculture Park The New Zealand Agricultural Show (formerly the Canterbury A&P Show), is the largest agricultural and pastoral show` in New Zealand and a great way to get an insight into rural life. There will be plenty of food and drink options, music, woodchopping, carnival rides, demonstrations, petting zoos, animal and tractor rides, arts and crafts, gumboot throwing, barn dancing and more. Adult tickets are $30 and kids go free.

Addington Cup Week 2023

Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park

Cup Day – Tuesday, November 14 Show Day – Friday, November 17 Addington Raceway Join hundreds of people at the famous Addington Cup Day and Show day as you dress up in your fanciest clothes and watch the horses race at incredible speeds. Experience a fantastic day out with friends and family, witness top notch racing with various choices of food and drink. addington-cup-week

New Zealand Cup Week 2023 Saturday, November 11 – Saturday, November 18 Riccarton Park Racecourse New Zealand Cup Week is just around the corner, and it promises to be an exhilarating Canterbury social extravaganza. Over the course of three days, NZ Cup Week showcases toptier horse racing, cutting-edge fashion, delectable cuisine, and captivating entertainment. It’s a time when the entire region comes together to revel in the magnificence of spring in Christchurch.

Saturday, November 25 North Hagley Park Gather your friends and family for a fabulous night of world class entertainment from some of Aotearoa’s top singers, dancers and musicians. Christchurch’s favourite Christmas celebration is topped off by a fabulous fireworks finale. The perfect way to start the festive season on the happiest night of the year!

Rock the Park New Year’s Eve Sunday, December 31 North Hagley Park Hosted by Mel from The Rock’s Morning Rumble show, a new New Years event has arrived in Christchurch. This is an all-ages event that is proudly hosted by the Christchurch City Council, The Rock and Novus is set to feature New Zealan’s finest rock acts including, Elemeno P, Racing, Volts and Dolphin Friendly. concerts---events/2023/09/new-yearseve-rock-the-park.html


Management | Operations

Rob Clarke Rob Clarke, CEO of Learning Architects

The importance of walking the talk How to build trust in your organisation

After months of campaigning, the election is behind us. Voters have decided who they trust and now it’s time to see if the politicians will be true to their word and follow through. The Acumen Edelman Trust Barometer (which measures the average level of trust in NGOs, business, government and media) for 2023 shows that, for the first time, no major institution can be considered “trusted” by New Zealanders. In particular, it shows that trust in businesses has decreased slightly since 2022. Although interesting, this research only measures public perception, and where a strong foundation of trust really starts is internally, with the people who work there. Often referred to as a key ingredient in any relationship, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

An easy place to start Meetings are a great place to gauge the level of workplace trust. Just by observing you can get a reasonable indication of whether people feel safe to contribute. You might consider: • Is everybody actively engaged? • Do meetings have a point or are they happening for meetings’ sake? • Does everyone leave with clear outcomes and follow up actions? If not, then it might be time to take a look at what’s behind this.

Being aware of what’s being said outside the meeting room, where people connect informally ‘at the water cooler’ is crucial; it’s where you’ll find an indication of how people genuinely feel.

Benefits of high trust Having high levels of trust in your organisation means that you are more likely to create satisfied clients, better solutions to problems and have a better chance of employees becoming strong advocates for your business. However, trust can be hard to judge as when things are not going as well as they could, it can be hard for leaders to get an honest answer. So how do you measure the level of trust inside your organisation? Firstly you need to step back, be honest with yourself and take an objective look at what’s going on. Look at the climate you create Leaders (whether formal or informal) set the tone. If you are someone with authority and/or influence, it helps to do some self reflection. What might need to change? For example: • What could you have done differently to have changed an outcome? • Do you actively listen to people? • Do you need to acknowledge gaps in your skills or knowledge? • Are you focussing on what’s important? • Do you consistently follow through? 8

How positive this water cooler talk is and how often it’s happening is a great indicator of how effectively people feel heard, valued and respected. Encourage people to connect and aim to nurture positive discussions.

• Taking responsibility for your own mistakes • Acknowledging successes and lessons learned with your team

Word at the water cooler

Tangible ways to measure trust

• Giving people the right tools, permission and space to get on with their jobs

Whether cultivated intentionally or not, every organisation has a culture. How your organisation is structured (e.g. are people working remotely, a large organisation with multiple teams in one place, or in different locations) and the quality of relationships within it, is going to impact the level of trust.

There are many channels and mechanisms for measuring trust. For example:

• Showing appropriate levels of vulnerability

Being aware of what’s being said outside the meeting room, where people connect informally ‘at the water cooler’ is crucial; it’s where you’ll find an indication of how people genuinely feel.

• regular discussions with a clear agenda

Consider the following: • Do people have ample opportunity and space to connect on a personal as well as professional level? • Are people having positive discussions or are they venting? • If people are venting, are there appropriate channels for them to do so? • Are there appropriate mechanisms for feedback?

• a simple suggestion box • a regular sentiment survey • an external party to survey people • internal focus groups. While no one method is better than the other, it can be helpful to use a mix of method and frequency to gather different perspectives. What really matters though is how you take action on this information. Without obvious impact or visible action, people are likely to lose trust in you, and/ or the system, and stop providing feedback because they see it as pointless. Make it safe Of course, if people are going to freely speak up, you need to create a climate where people feel safe to do so. Ways to do this include:

• Encouraging people to hold one another accountable to set expectations • Providing mentorship and opportunities to grow. As safety increases, you may notice an increase in people stepping up to take more initiative and/or responsibility. The importance of following through If trust is a future state, then it is likely based on evaluations of past actions. This is why, just like politicians who are often seen as being full of hot air, failing to follow through (without reasonable cause) can quickly diminish trust and damage your organisation. Conversely, consistently following through will build trust and help your organisation thrive. So off you go… shoulders back and start walking! CT

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Management |Cost of Living

Power plays

The rising cost of electricity By Ben O’Connell

With 110,000 households unable to keep their homes warm enough in 2023 according to MBIE, and over 100,000 Kiwis identified as severely housing deprived per the 2018 Census, every day more New Zealanders are faced with the realities of energy hardship. In August, Consumer NZ shared concerns that the top four gentailers – generation and retail companies – announced their largest ever single-year earnings rise, a whopping $2.7 billion in operating profits, so around $7.4 million profit every day. What can Kiwis do to lower the cost of power, and can we expect change anytime soon? “The big four gentailers and their subsidiaries have significant market share, providing power to about 85 percent of the market,” says Consumer chief executive Jon Duffy; those being Mercury, Meridian, Contact, and Genesis. “The optics of huge profits at the height of a cost-of-living crisis aren’t great. Three out of five New Zealanders are concerned about the cost of energy.” But who is to blame? There are many factors that drive energy costs. 10

Per the Electricity Authority, electricity is sold in New Zealand from generators to buyers via regular auctions. Buyers pay the electricity spot price that changes each auction per underlying market conditions. New Zealand has a forward electricity market, meaning buyers can purchase forward contracts. These contracts lock in electricity prices for specific periods of time, protecting buyers against volatile spot price changes. As such, buyers of electricity, so gentailers, receive more stable profits. Forward electricity prices are determined by expected demands and generation costs, seasonal climate expectations like La Nina, gas outages, high coal and carbon prices, the trend of low hydro inflows, the hydro storage market, and corporate announcements, but the list certainly goes on. As gentailers factor all of these in, matched with other costs like inflation and general growing risk, the cost of power increases.

Consumer NZ says that people who switch power provider save an average of $385 per year, and Kiwis who switched power provider with Consumer NZ’s independent comparison service Powerswitch collectively saved over $5 million. “There’s no such thing as premium electricity – so why pay more than you have to?” says Powerswitch manager Paul Fuge. He wonders why people would rather heat their houses less than look at switching provider. “In our latest energy survey, 62 percent of people said they were concerned about their electricity costs, and 19 percent of households reported they had experienced financial difficulty paying their monthly power bill in the last 12 months,” Paul continues. “Despite the savings available, the number of people changing provider remains stubbornly low. The paradox is bamboozling.” Don’t get fooled into picking a suboptimal power plan either.

In our latest energy survey, 62 percent of people said they were concerned about their electricity costs, and 19 percent of households reported they had experienced financial difficulty paying their monthly power bill in the last 12 months.

Consumer NZ reminds Kiwis that seemingly convenient all-in-one plans are likely to cost you more than having split providers, that freebies to encourage signups to power plans might cost more in the long run, and that and that it is important to pick plans that match your household circumstances. Think hours of power and off-peak rates, but only if they work for you.

On electric appliances, run power-hungry appliances and recharge batteries at night, done even better if your power plan has night-time bonuses.

Eyes will be on the Panel and Parliament postelection as to how these recommendations will impact future decision-making.

The second cost-cutting strategy looks at everything other than the electrics. Create a cosy bubble because a dry home is cheaper to heat than a damp one.

These and many other smart, small tips can have big impacts. Head to the Consumer NZ website for more.

In the face of growing costs there are many strategies Kiwis can explore to lower their energy bills. The first, yet surprisingly not the most obvious, is exploring cheaper options.

Block draughts, install floor-length curtains, and consider fitting your windows with temporary glazing. Get a shower dome and use pots with close-fitting lids to trap steam.

The Energy Hardship Panel was appointed by Government in September 2021 to identify issues in the electricity market. The Panel named several desired outcomes: energy access for all regardless of income or location, increased understanding and support so people can make better decisions on their energy use, and energy protections for those in sub-standard homes, to name three.

Heat pumps work best when their filters have been vacuumed and they’re left at around 20 degrees. And LED lightbulbs are your powersaving friend.

The bottom line is that getting critical on energy is more important than ever before. Don’t just feel like your power bill has gone up, know if it has or not. It’s time to switch on. CT


Cover Story | Natalie O'Connell

CITY IN MOTION Youth transport advocate Natalie O’Connell on shaping Otautahi’s future By Ben O’Connell, Images by Krystle Photography.


Cover Story | Natalie O'Connell

Youth transport advocate Natalie O’Connell only wants the best for future Christchurch. But how do we guarantee more equitable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems, and that decisionmakers will put their money where their mouths are? Natalie says delay is the new denial; the time for radical change is now. Addressing Christchurch’s public transport problems has been a recent focus for leaders. Rapid growth and the impact of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes have seen the city’s development patterns sprawl into greenfield developments in the surrounding Waimakariri and Selwyn districts. In fact, by 2050 more than 700,000 people are projected to be living in Greater Christchurch, 30 percent more people than there are today. But what is in the works? In March the Government announced a $78 million investment to accelerate the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Futures Bus Improvements programme. The PT Futures programme aims to speed up the improvement process and deliver about 100 more buses, over 470 more bus shelters, and 22 kilometres of bus lanes. To put this in perspective, Wellington and Auckland received $7.4 billion and $14.6 billion respectively for their light rail projects.

Image supplied courtesy of the Greater Christchurch Partnership.

We should see public roads as opportunities for the fair and equitable sharing of space for different modes of transport.

Natalie O’Connell says city leaders must continue to make decisions not just for now, but impacting generations to come. “Change is needed to address the crises we face today. Every leader must think about the impacts of their decision-making, and the people who will see the consequences of what they decide today.” “Where you’re putting your resources is where you’re putting your priorities. New Zealand spends about $5 billion annually on transport. “On average, over the past decade 41 percent was spent on maintaining existing roads, 38 percent on building new roads, 17 percent on public transport, and 1.7 percent on walking and cycling. The numbers don’t lie.

“The bottom line is that climate action is not a nice-to-have, it’s an essential part of radical change,” Natalie says. “Delay is the new denial. All the emission targets we have aren’t going to be met if we don’t move away from private vehicle transport. We must change the urban form and how we get around our cities. “Proposed cuts go directly against the commitments that councils and governments have made. Every piece of funding already on the table should stay there, and in fact there should be more of it. If something’s cut, was it ever a priority in the first place?”

Since 2007, the Greater Christchurch Partnership has united local government, mana whenua, and government agencies to co-ordinate an approach to urban planning and transport investment. With this comes the currently ongoing Greater Christchurch Transport Plan, and a business case for region-wide mass rapid transit (MRT); high capacity and frequency public transport. On cycling, 11 Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Waka Kotahi projects plan to connect major cycle routes and improve safety around schools. Four major cycleways are currently under construction – the Heathcote Expressway, South Express, Nor’West Arc, and Northern Lines – and the final part of the Coastal Pathway shared path is also nearing completion. The Christchurch City Council’s ‘Share an Idea’ engagement scheme led to plans for 13 major routes, of which nine are at least semi-completed. Elsewhere, the Canterbury Regional Transport Committee, made up of the region’s mayors and the chair and deputy of Environment Canterbury, opted to continue exploring a regional passenger rail service at a meeting in August. Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton, who also pushed for a market and rail use study, led the charge in favour of continuing investigations. With greater Canterbury and central Christchurch ready for vast transport development, the issue moves from why to how.

Image supplied courtesy of the Greater Christchurch Partnership.


Cover Story | Natalie O'Connell “The ideal outcome is public transport that makes people feel free. Inconvenient routes, long trip times, expensive fares and being bound to a timetable doesn’t equal freedom. “We should instead aim for the opposite: cheap fares, close bus stops, frequent and convenient routes. It should be a system where we can turn up and go. “When we invest in public transport infrastructure, people will take that mode of transport more seriously.

Natalie notes how 60 people on a bus is an entire traffic jam of car drivers. “So even from the perspective of someone who cannot choose a mode other than driving, investing in public transport for those who will and can use it means less congestion for those who must drive.

“We also need to change our culture around how we think about public transport. People have to actually ask and want a better system for that to happen.”

“What we invest in and the infrastructure that we build is what people will use. If we continue to build roads, people will understand that it’s quick and easy to use their car.

Natalie knows people will always have to drive or don’t want to try another way to get around. “Most people drive because it’s often the quickest and most convenient way to get around because our roads have been designed for cars instead of people.

“If we’re building a separated cycle lane, people will know they can use a safe path to get from one place to the other.

“We are trying to mode shift the people who are willing to try something but just don’t have the infrastructure around them to do so. “In New Zealand, one third of all car trips span under two kilometres. That’s a pretty reasonable distance to travel by bike or by foot for most able-bodied people. “This conversation isn’t about asking people to sell their cars, it’s about making conscious decisions every day about how you get around, if that’s an option to you.”

Proposed cuts go directly against the commitments that councils and governments have made. Every piece of funding already on the table should stay there, and in fact there should be more of it. If something’s cut, was it ever a priority in the first place?

Data consistently shows the suburbs east and south of the central city are some of its poorest. The 2013 and 2018 New Zealand Deprivation Indexes prove this, with those areas ranked the most deprived; typically at the scale’s maximum of decile 10. At a glance, the Greater Christchurch Partnership’s proposed MRT ignores the east. The route would begin in Hornby, travel directly through Riccarton, then hook Tuam, Manchester, and Victoria Streets in the city centre before reaching Papanui and Belfast in the north. But the suggested route is intended to improve access to key employment hubs and encourage investment in higher-density housing and mixed-use neighbourhoods. “About a third of the Greater Christchurch population could live within these corridors in the future. It will help development happen in the right places, with growth focused around existing centres and key destinations,” the Partnership says. 14

Natalie says having good public transport networks will be a key factor in easing widening socioeconomic inequality in Christchurch and beyond. She says there are many issues tied to a lack of transport access, from social isolation and loneliness to significantly fewer life opportunities. “Generally, poorer people have more limited access to close, reliable public transport. We should be building for our most vulnerable, and then everyone will benefit. Public transport is an essential way to reduce inequalities.” “If we’re not having MRT in the east, what are we having?” Natalie asks. “Yes, we cannot make silly decisions about funding transport, but there are people that still live there now, and they’ve dealt with so much post-quake. They’re not leaving anytime soon and nor should they have to. That’s where their homes are.

She cites the Oxford University Transport Studies Unit which found that “even if you swap your car for active transport just one day a week, you can help tackle the climate crisis.”

“With Christchurch’s cycling network, we’ve had a 30 percent increase in usage over the last seven years, and that’s because we’ve built these separated cycle lanes and traffic calming measures.” Research has also shown the number of women cycling increases when safe and dedicated cycling infrastructure is present, supporting gender equity. Natalie says Aotearoa’s transport system is predominantly built for private vehicles, and that this must change. “Christchurch has been built on a sprawled, low-density plan; built for cars.”

Cover Story | Natalie O'Connell

Data from the Christchurch City Council’s Life in Christchurch transport survey reflect this. Over 4700 people responded to the 2022 survey. It showed car travel remains the most common mode of transport, used by 96 percent of respondents. Cycle numbers have increased, but they comprise a small fraction of daily trips in Christchurch. The Life in Christchurch survey also showed an increase in safety concerns. 34 percent of respondents said they travel by bike at least once a month. Just 37 percent of them said they felt safe cycling, down from 46 percent in 2021. The main reasons respondents found biking difficult were inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour from other road users and being forced to share the road with cars. Natalie says the biggest barrier to cycling is indeed perceived safety, and that cyclists are faced with busy, dangerous roads before reaching safer cycleways. “That’s why we need more cycle lanes with separated barriers,” she says. “That’s how you get more people cycling and reducing emissions. “Many of the major cycle routes being built are filling in the gaps with the aim of creating an interconnected network. It’s all well and good to have one cycle route, but how do you get there? How far away is it from you?” Natalie says that inclusivity is everything. On the blame game that cyclists face for changing city infrastructure, she uses the example of high visibility attire. “We generally have a culture of wearing hi-vis when using bikes in New Zealand, which isn’t translated in the same way as European cities where they have high uses of cycling.

“We need space for the casual cyclists. Another barrier to people cycling is not feeling like they can wear what they normally wear to work. “I think hi-vis puts blame on the cyclist, because biking isn’t inherently dangerous. It’s cars that are. “There’s a 90 percent chance of pedestrian death when hit by a car travelling 50 kilometres per hour, and a 20 percent chance at 30 kilometres per hour. “Most people who ride a bike also know how to drive and possibly even own a car. It’s important to understand that people use different modes of transport. I have my driver’s license, I have a bike, I ride the bus, I walk around. I am all of these things. “We should see public roads as opportunities for the fair and equitable sharing of space for different modes of transport. “There’s no need for divisions between people who use the road. We need spaces where everyone feels safe and comfortable getting around.” Iconic yet privatised, Christchurch’s tram network is another key element to the city’s transport system. An extensive network of steam and horse trams from 1882 and an electric system for about fifty years until buses replaced them in 1954, today it’s a 3.9-kilometre tourist experience owned by Christchurch Attractions. “What do we see the tram as in ten years?” Natalie asks. “It’s awesome that our city has trams, but we could do more. Will it still be a tourist attraction loop, or will it be functioning public transport? What do we want, and who is advocating for it?”

Every time I’m on my bike I feel inspired by everyone else walking, bussing or biking. They’re all helping to change the world to create a healthier and more sustainable planet for themselves and future generations.

When asked what her utopic Christchurch would look like, trams make Natalie’s cut.

“A utopia? Where you can do everything you do today with a car, just without one… and it’s absolutely possible for Christchurch. We used to have a functioning system with trams where a majority of people weren’t using cars. They were using bikes, trams, or walking.” As a young woman, advocacy comes with its own set of challenges for Natalie. Despite offering a much-needed fresh perspective on urban issues, she says she is often perceived as naïve and told she cannot see the bigger picture. She says she feels a need to prove herself, even when her opinions are backed by science and evidence.

Natalie thanks the support systems that empower her, but doesn’t feel empowered by decision-makers, and at times the wider community. She recounts two uncomfortable experiences on the bus that made her feel “invisible” and urges people to acknowledge and stand up against harassment. How our young people see the bus as simply a stepping stone to driving a car, and how perceptions around cars are passed down generationally, are other domains Natalie has lived experience with. She urges everyone across all ages to recognise we have more in common than we think. “We didn’t choose what age we were born into. If you’re informed on the facts, you should care. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be in a position of power to take the opportunity away from someone else without a voice.” For someone supposedly not seeing the bigger picture, Natalie is incredibly perceptive. “Every time I’m on my bike I feel inspired by everyone else walking, bussing or biking. They’re all helping to change the world to create a healthier and more sustainable planet for themselves and future generations,” she says. “I especially love seeing families using cargo bikes and cycle lanes full of people as is often the case on my morning commute along Strickland St. This is the best ‘problem’ to have. It shows the demand for safe infrastructure is only growing.” “Whether it’s me or someone else, it doesn’t matter. As long as someone – soon everyone – is talking about change, that’s what’s important.” CT 15

With the ever changing atmosphere in the rental industry, property investors need to trust their property managers to look after their investment. The goal posts keep moving and to keep an eye on them, a team is the best approach. The Essential Property Management team work together to balance not only the day-to-day demands of managing properties, but also to stay on top of the compliance requirements. With healthy homes requirements being altered to try find the right onerule-for-all approach, these changes come frequently. We are also seeing changes in judgement perspectives from tribunal orders not upholding clauses that they feel aren't covered

by the Residential Tenancies Act which brings more changes to the rights of renters in New Zealand. The EPM Team offers local owners financial only assistance or inspection only contracts. Clear communication around spending for compliance, quotes for maintenance before it gets out of hand. Regular reports to meet insurance standards. It can be hard to predict what might be next for property investors. The recent election will unveil more changes for our industry. National have proposed a return of the 'no cause' 90 day notice to terminate. This would make it easier for

1 079 1865 • Thames Arcade 2 0 • t n e m e g a n a M y t roper P l a ti n e s s E •

landlords to terminate anti-social tenancies. This in turn would likely increase two things: A supply of available housing and the liklihood that a landlord can give a tenant a chance. We know that down here in the Waitaki, a lot of renters are immigrants that have moved here for work. These tenants can be hard to properly background and credit check prior to giving them a contract. Because this situation can make landlords uncomfortable, many of these good tenants are being declined a chance in the rental industry. If you're looking for a rental property in Waitaki or already have one, it's worth looking into the

package options that are available to you through Essential Property Management. Communication is the cornerstone to success. With clear communication for expectations, property investors can still benefit from legislation that can seem like it's against them. Essential Property Management has package options for investors that want to set-and-forget or those that want a more involved approach. If you're looking for a flexible offer of services, our team can tailor make a package for you. Our team has a combined real estate experience of 14 years. We are constantly upskilling our staff and reviewing our procedures for safety and efficiency.

2/203 Thames Street, Oamaru • • •

Management | Society

The polarisation problem Have New Zealanders lost the ability to agree to disagree? By Ben O’Connell

Affective polarisation is the tendency for people to feel positive about the political party they support while disliking and distrusting those they don’t. In March 2023 Chris Hipkins said New Zealand isn’t isolated from the “greater degree of polarisation” spreading worldwide. As the differences between supporters of different political parties continue to grow, so do the concerns. A handful of recent studies prove the polarisation escalation. A 2020 study from the Journal of Research in Personality showed Labour and Green voters have gradually expressed greater disapproval of National over the years. In January 2022 a Curia Research opinion poll showed 72 percent of Kiwis felt the country was more divided; just 10 percent believed we are less divided.

Labelled the ‘partisan pandemic’ by some, coronavirus continues to be an undeniable polarisation pusher. New Zealand united as a ‘team of five million’ and as the Wellcome Global Monitor by Gallup found, trust in scientists over this period increased more here and in Australia than anywhere else worldwide. But divisions soon grew. Underneath the solidarity emerged intense conspiracy and misinformation, with 40 percent of Asian Kiwis experiencing racism per researchers from the University of Auckland. Three years of protests against lockdowns, the United Nations, and vaccines denying the virus’ mere existence were similar to events overseas, but ultimately homegrown efforts.

Another 2020 study of nine OECD countries confirmed intensifying affective polarisation levels, especially more intense when unemployment and inequality are high.

When is it all too much though? At what point In his book Fear about New Zealand’s hostile are we no longer underworld of extremists, Byron Clark writes that “when America sneezes, the debating politically, world catches a cold” and in part the United States’ cultural influence on New Zealand has and instead arguing deepened local polarisation levels. One study from Brown University showed over over whether someone the last 40 years polarisation was growing deserves their basic in the US faster than anywhere else, and that affective polarisation had risen in New Zealand, human rights be met? but to a lesser extent. Polarisation undercuts unity on foreign policy and harms a country’s international standing, and, per one 2021 study in Public Opinion Quarterly, contributes to democratic backsliding, so reduced support in left-wing norms. One YouGov survey found about 60 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans see the opposition as “a serious threat” to the US. Alternative media here is bolstered by nations like the US, but New Zealand cannot just blame America.

Chris Hipkins’ comments on polarisation followed British anti-trans activist Posie Parker’s visit here that culminated in an intense counter-protest. He said he would not like to see New Zealand get to a point where things were as polarised as they were in some other countries, and that “there was a degree of exploiting fear in some of the public comments that had been made” surrounding Parker’s visit.

But in the same interview on RNZ’s Morning Report, Hipkins also said that as a democratic nation, it’s important to be able to have and express disagreements from time to time. When is it all too much though? At what point are we no longer debating politically, and instead arguing over whether someone deserves their basic human rights be met?

So, have New Zealanders lost the ability to agree to disagree? We are not immune to the increasing polarisation seen globally, but with proactive efforts from citizens, media, and political leaders, it’s possible to at least alleviate the deepening of societal divisions.

Increased media literacy, especially on Differences in political ideals and goals indicate online content, and critical thinking around a healthy democracy, but a line must be drawn. misinformation and extremist ideologies cannot hurt. Even the Democracy Fund organisation admits One study from Duke University showed how democracy is a work in progress; a complex, varying levels of anonymity can lead to two imperfect system. Striking a balance between people with the most opposing political views embracing disagreements inherent in a democratic society and preventing disunity and finding common ground. hate speech from spiralling out of control is absolutely crucial for future New Zealand. The Human Rights Commission receives more complaints about public abuse today than ever before, but calling for empathy as a means of bridging divides ought to be a slap in the face for those subject to views that question the value of their lives. 18

It’s also good to keep in mind that some people have incentives to stoke polarisation, which keeps social media sites buzzing, politicians supported, and organisations empowered. New Zealand must acknowledge this, and that polarisation is only growing, so we can get back to having political discussions free of intolerance, hostility, and hate. CT

Management | Wellbeing

Managing mindsets

Embracing mental health in the workplace By Jamie Quinn

Clarity in role expectations, as opposed to Any competent employer, vague or shifting goals, plays a huge part A workplace that’s to the success of a team member; as does manager, or HR recognised for its positive recognition and reward, not only for a job well professional worth their done, but for a job done. work environment and This goes hand in hand with allowing the weight, understands that freedom to prioritise personal well-being, rather healthy workplace culture, the true driving force behind than feeling pressured into giving their whole selves to a job that doesn’t appreciate them. finds it easier to recruit a successful business lies Job stress occurs when the demands of and retain high quality the job outweigh the available resources. A within its people.

Here are a few ways your business can encourage staff wellness in the workplace.

Safeguarding mental well-being in the workplace is too important to be left as a second thought.

Promoting employee self-care involves educating and raising awareness among staff. When employees are encouraged to educate themselves about their own needs and are provided the necessary resources for their learning, you show them that the company considers their wellness a top priority.

In a survey conducted by Seek, it was found that only 30 percent of New Zealand businesses provide a workplace policy for mental health. The overflow from this showed that 27 percent of employees have lied about taking a mental health day. Mental health is a resource that exists in everyone. Just like physical health, it needs to be taken care of in order to minimise risk of illness. While there is a lot of discussion around ways people can support positive mental health with internal development, we need to consider the many external factors that impact our wellbeing. Work design stands as a fundamental aspect of mentally healthy work. Employees who lack opportunities to provide their input regarding how their job is created, or feel disconnected from their roles, often experience more mental health challenges at work compared to their counterparts in more inclusive environments.

certain amount of challenge is important to feeling fulfilled in a role, as overcoming these challenges creates a sense of achievement and personal growth. However, issues arise when there is an imbalance between the demands placed on the team member, their level of control in the role, and the resources at their disposal. Along with a lack of effort and reward invested by the employer or business, these factors all contribute significantly towards job stress in the workplace. Modifications in work areas can be made to minimise these potential stressors, such as: • Enhancing available resources • Providing a clear understanding of a role • Ensuring that rewards align with effort expended • Highlighting achievements • Providing learning and growth opportunities • Creating a safe workplace culture. Healthy minds are more creative, innovative and solutions-focused, giving a business a competitive edge.

workers. This, in turn, contributes to an overall cost reduction and a boost in productivity.

Open-door policy One of the benefits of the open-door policy is the positive workplace culture it creates. Employees value the chance to talk openly about ideas and concerns, which can lead to higher morale and more trust due to employees feeling heard. Educate

Promote your benefits Happy and fulfilled employees who enjoy their work are less likely to call in sick or leave for another job, which results in savings for the employer stemming from less need to fill empty roles. Many businesses are recognising the vital role they play in ensuring their employees’ wellbeing. With a small investment of effort, they can see some great results.

Your company’s benefits package should include a variety of resources to support individuals with their self-care. If these resources are lacking, you should consider adding them as soon as possible. Ensure employees are aware of the tools at their disposal, whether that be discounted gym memberships, EAP services, paid mental health days, or other.

Flexible working arrangements A culture centred around self-care and wellbeing should always be deeply rooted in an Employees should have the freedom to organisations core values and principles. handle their personal matters without worrying about repercussions at work. It’s important A workplace that’s recognised for its positive to keep in mind that what suits one person work environment and healthy workplace might not be suitable for another. Managers culture, finds it easier to recruit and retain should touch base with team members to high quality workers. This, in turn, contributes identify the level of flexibility that aligns with to an overall cost reduction and a boost in productivity. their individual needs. CT 19

We are thrilled to share with you some highlights from our 50th Anniversary celebration dinner that took place on the 6th October in the Auditorium at the stunning Christchurch Town Hall.

Adrian Thein - Director

It was an honour to host over 150 of our esteemed clients, project partners and guests, who have been instrumental in our success over the past five decades. We are grateful for their trust, collaboration and support in delivering some of the most challenging and rewarding projects in New Zealand and beyond. We want to thank our amazing team of Project Managers and support staff, who have shown dedication, excellence and innovation in every aspect of their work. They are the backbone of our company and the reason why we are recognised as a leader in our industry. As we reflect on our journey from a small independent project management firm in 1973 to over 100 strong today, we are proud of our achievements and the positive impact we have made on our communities. We are also excited about the future and the opportunities ahead to continue providing value-added solutions to our clients and partners. Octa Founders William Cockerill, Vernon Lu, Selwyn Bankier & Families.

All Octa staff

Carol Eades & Bharty Ganda

Rhys Stickings with Murray Freeman award

Marta Faccioli & Adelene Han

William Cockerill Octa Founder

Client Function in the Limes Room at the Christchurch Town Hall on Thursday October 5.

Management | Sustainability

Old school cool Reinventing contemporary fashion with a sustainable nod Compiled by Ben O’Connell Images courtesy of Lily McCondach and Spice Vintage.


Management | Sustainability

Anissa Trinder founded Spice Vintage in 2017, driven by a deep passion for vintage fashion. Since then, Spice Vintage’s message of empowerment and sustainability has reached thousands, saying in with the old and out with the new.

In our era of relentless consumption, thrifting and embracing slow fashion offers a ray of hope for our planet. The impact of fast fashion’s overproduction is immense, leading to excessive clothing waste in landfills. In New Zealand alone, this amounts to 180,000 tons each year.

It’s time for us to redefine value beyond newness and I believe thrifting is the key. Slow fashion is unique, and less mass-produced items hold intrinsic worth, echoing the values of esteemed designer brands, which are known for their craftsmanship and rarity.

Whether it’s advocating for sustainable practices, nurturing emerging talent, or fostering a deeper connection between fashion and environmental consciousness, I aim to remain at the forefront of meaningful change.

The Christchurch thrift scene is a unique community, with a distinctive camaraderie among thrift vendors. It’s heartening to witness how resellers encourage each other to persevere, driven by the shared goal of reducing clothing waste and adding a creative flair to the mix. One notable gathering spot for thrift enthusiasts is the Nifty Markets, where resellers come together to share their passions. Rather than competition, you’ll find a spirit of support and collaboration. Resellers often buy from and support one another because each piece is unique, and the focus is on celebrating individual styles.

For those looking to venture into the thrift scene in Christchurch, my advice is to embrace the sense of community, learn from others, and don’t be discouraged by the prospect of competition. There’s ample In essence, the thrift reselling community is not room for everyone, and the shared mission of to blame for op shop pricing or accessibility reducing clothing waste unites us all. challenges. Rather, we all share a responsibility to address overconsumption and work Where can readers find more? collaboratively toward a more sustainable To discover the best op shop spots and and inclusive fashion landscape. I believe in premium locations, keep an eye on my complete transparency about the effort that Instagram and the “Op Shop Odyssey” series, goes into the journey from sourcing to selling. created with transparency in mind. You’ll gain valuable insights into op shop pricing, Where has Spice Vintage taken you? sections, and top-notch thrifting destinations. It’s a journey worth embarking on in the vibrant Spice Vintage has been an incredible journey, Christchurch thrift community! CT granting me unparalleled creative autonomy.

Initially, thrifting was just about the allure of vintage aesthetics, but my perspective has evolved significantly. I’ve come to realise that the essence of sustainability doesn’t hinge on an item’s age; rather, it lies in how much life it can still offer. Many of the treasures I uncover require a little tender care and repair. At Spice Vintage, our commitment is to breathe new life into these pieces, ensuring they have the chance to fulfil their purpose for an extended period before even considering a landfill.

What used to be considered a 150-year cycle has now condensed into a more refined 20-year cycle. For instance, the early 2000s embraced the bell bottoms and crop tops reminiscent of the ‘70s, which, in turn, were inspired by the elegance of the 1940s with fur jackets and pantsuits.

There is enough room (and clothing) for all of us vendors without having to tear each other down!

Regarding pricing, it’s essential to acknowledge that we live in times of inflation, affecting various sectors, including thrift shops. Moreover, we are in an era where the stigma around second-hand shopping is dismantling, driven by environmental concerns. As more people embrace circular fashion, it’s puzzling to see it portrayed negatively without substantial evidence implicating thrift resellers.

What does sustainability look like at Spice Vintage?

Fashion truly is a dynamic form of selfexpression, and the resurgence of vintage fashion is a testament to its timeless appeal. It’s fascinating to witness how each decade draws from the past, creating a sort of cyclical fashion narrative.

Indeed, there is a prevailing misconception in the industry that thrift resellers drive up op shop prices and limit access to affordable clothing for low-income communities. While I empathise with these concerns, I respectfully disagree, given the larger context of clothing waste and op shop dynamics. The reality is that an overwhelming amount of clothing finds its way to op shops, often more than they can manage efficiently. Op shop managers often express challenges in keeping up with the influx. This surplus underscores the magnitude of our overconsumption in today’s world.

Fast fashion not only strains our environment but also raises ethical concerns about worker treatment. Choosing second-hand clothing isn’t just eco-friendly; it’s a conscious step towards more mindful consumption!

Fashion is expression! Has vintage fashion always been trendy?

fosters self-esteem in our people, as well as encouraging sustainability for our planet.

Spice Vintage will continue to provide the tools and inspiration for individuals to express As a young girl, their unwavering support their most authentic selves through their and love, combined with their acceptance outward appearance. This means expanding of themselves, left an indelible mark. It’s a our offerings, reaching more individuals who sentiment I aim to extend to everyone through Spice Vintage. Embracing and accentuating your share our passion. We’re continually exploring authentic self, rather than concealing or altering it, creative avenues, from runway collections holds immeasurable value. I believe in teaching to unique collaborations that showcase the a wāhine to fish – nurturing self-confidence and beauty of vintage pieces. the ability to express one’s true self! How competitive is the Christchurch thrifting scene? What misconceptions about thrifting exist?

Q: What impact does slow fashion have on the planet, and why is it important that we stray from fast fashion?

Our meticulous repair work, whether it’s mending hems or adding fresh buttons, is guided by a dedication to quality and longevity. This philosophy has not only shaped the ethos of Spice Vintage but has also deepened my personal commitment to sustainability - it’s a strong reminder that as a business, we have the power to make a positive impact!

Equally influential in my life are the strong mana wāhine, or powerful women, who have surrounded me. I was fortunate to be raised by a whānau of five aunties, a wise mother, and an ambitious kuia (grandmother). Each of them imparted different forms of empowerment – from standing up for my beliefs to teaching me makeup tricks and how to dress for my body type.

touches and pop influences. It’s like fashion’s way of paying homage to its history while staying relevant! Personally, I’m captivated by the idea that the pieces we cherish today will become priceless treasures for future generations. I hope when I am gone, there will be plenty of young enthusiasts ravaging my estate sale. How do Māori values underpin your work at Spice Vintage? Kaitiakitanga, which emphasizes guardianship and land preservation, has always been a cornerstone of my whānau values. Growing up, I was instilled with a deep sense of responsibility for our environment. My whānau taught me to cherish and protect our whenua (land), down to the meticulous act of separating soft plastics.

This ancestral connection to the land and the wisdom of my tıpuna infuse every aspect of my business. It reminds me that even the smallest choices can have a significant impact. The beauty of this cyclical nature lies in its ability to create something new and hybrid with It’s a humbling perspective that guides my each iteration, often infused with contemporary business expansion.

It’s opened doors to collaborations with exceptionally creative individuals, enabling us to weave visions into reality.

Check out Spice Vintage at and on Instagram: @spice.vintage

From curating runway collections to styling models for esteemed brands and crafting makeup looks for influential women, every opportunity has been rewarding and enriching. What’s particularly heart-warming is the abundance of raw talent and enthusiasm I’ve encountered right here in Christchurch. It’s a testament to the city’s creative spirit and makes the world feel a little smaller in the best way. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with the immensely talented Lily McCondach, a budding photographer whose ability to translate my vision for a Spring Photoshoot was nothing short of astounding! We aimed to capture the essence of spring by turning people into living flowers, and the results were mesmerizing. This collaboration epitomised the magic that can unfold when creative minds unite. What does the future hold for Spice Vintage and yourself? I see a future filled with opportunities to make a positive impact in the fashion industry which


Aden Motel – set in stunning Fiordland

Your hosts, Irene Benfell & David Herron, would love to welcome you to Aden Motel. Situated in the beautiful Te Anau township. Aden Motel is a 12-unit, ground-floor complex consisting of 7 studio units, 3 x 1-bedroom units and 2 x 2-bedroom units. All units are spacious, smokefree and most offer cooking facilities. Also available is ample parking, guest laundry, playground, car and luggage storage and a BBQ for those lovely summer nights is available. Free wireless internet in rooms. You can also bring your pets by arrangement, just ask the hosts!

Let us help you to organise day trips to Milford/ Doubtful Sounds, glowworm caves, horse trekking, jet-boating and many more activities Te Anau offers. Nestled beside one of New Zealand’s largest lakes and surrounded by magnificent scenery, Te Anau is the one true gateway to the Fiordland National Park. Whether you have come to enjoy the spectacular Milford or Doubtful Sounds or to hike the Milford, Kepler, Routeburn or Hollyford tracks, we know you will leave with fond memories. Aden Motel is the ideal place to stay while you’re experiencing this magical part of New Zealand. The eco-friendly motel offers self-contained accommodation with free unlimited WiFi and is just a 2 minute walk from Lake Te Anau. It sits amongst lovely gardens and features an outdoor seating area, a children’s playground

and BBQ facilities. Each apartment has a kitchen or kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator, satellite TV and a DVD player. Some apartments have air-conditioning and heat pumps and there is a guest laundry. From a 1 bedroom studio right through to our “Heron’s Nest Cottage”, which can sleep up to 8 people, you choose the size of your accommodation to suit your requirements, with all having a relaxing “home away from home” atmosphere. We're just a five minute walk to Te Anau Memorial Gardens and a 14 minute walk from Te Anau city centre where there is plenty to see

and is the starting point for the boat ride to the Glow Worm Caves. The tour desk can help organise local activities, including jet boating, tramping, cycling, golf and so much more. Milford Sound, Queenstown, Invercargill and Gore are all a pleasant and scenic 2-hour drive from Te Anau.

Most popular facilities include: • Free parking • Free WiFi • Family rooms • Non-smoking rooms • Tea/coffee maker in all rooms • Pets by arrangement

There are several spectacular walking tracks to consider too – Milford, Kepler, Routeburn or Hollyford. There are different walks for different fitness levels but ALL with stunning scenery, native bush and wildlife, waterfalls and so much more.

Come and experience this magical place and make some magical memories which will last a lifetime. Phone direct for any discounts, 03 249 7748

Aden Motel is nestled beside one of New Zealand’s largest lakes and surrounded by magnificent scenery. Whether you have come to enjoy the spectacular Milford or Doubtful Sounds or partake in some of the many activities offered in and around Te Anau like glow worm caves, horse trekking, jet-boating and more, we know you will leave with fond memories. Your hosts Irene Benfell & David Herron welcome you and with their local knowledge, are happy to help plan your daytrips.

Phone direct for any discounts 03 2497748 | |

Management | Life & Style



By Timmi Aplin-Barrett


Project E1 Bluetooth Turntable


Bring the delightful audio of the past into the future with this bluetooth turntable. It connects to bluetooth speakers, taking away the need for cables, and allows you to dust off those records and breathe new life into them. Nothing feels better than laying down that record and dropping the needle. Bring that wonder to your living room in style and class. RRP: $829.99


A5 Stone Paper Notebook No trees were harmed in the making of this notebook. Instead, the pages of this waterproof notebook are made from stone paper. It’s unique, eco-friendly, acid free and has a wonderfully smooth texture. It provides ample space for notes and ideas and is made by creatives for creatives. This is the perfect low-tech companion to your high-tech devices.


RRP: $42


Glass Art Height of Summer Dave Sotogi has captured the beauty of native New Zealand wildlife in this spectacular tempered glass design. A feature piece - it would look right at home on any wall and become a talking point for years to come. Bring a slice of the outdoors in with this wonderful piece of art. RRP: $249


Giant Peace Lily Invite calm and greenery to your home with the addition of a wonderful houseplant. Peace lilies are a wonderful, low maintenance houseplant that bloom stunning white flowers. This one can reach up to a metre tall, making it a delightful centrepiece to any room. If you’re someone who wants a whopping amount of foliage in your home, this is the plant for you.


RRP: $79.99


Lago Bookshelf/Desk Do you want to take your home office space from useful to outstanding? This bookshelf/desk combination brings flawless style and functionality to any room. Forget boring and plain desks with a few cubbies - this desk is the answer to your organisation prayers. With ample desk space for your computer and other tools you might need and enough shelving for all your favourite books and ornaments, this piece of furniture is exactly what your home office needs. RRP: $18,080


DISCLAIMER: Please note prices listed here are recommended retail pricing. Prices are subject to change at the discretion of the seller. The information on this page is for information purposes only. AMark Publishing NZ Ltd assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


Jennian Homes - creating dream homes Dwayne and Sue Prendergast, together with Paul and Bubs Jenkins are the names behind Jennian Homes Canterbury. With shared values of honesty, quality and integrity, Jennian Homes Canterbury pride themselves on creating dream homes for happy clients from Kaikoura to Waimate. With over 55 years combined experience and a great team behind them, they endeavour to explore your ideas, explain options and offer complete certainty around the process of building. Whether it’s your first new home build or if you want to design and build your dream home, we cover it all. From design and planning through to building and receiving the keys to your new home, the Jennian Homes Canterbury team are dedicated to delivering an enjoyable building experience and quality homes, all at affordable prices. With 40 years in the business and hundreds of builds to its name, Jennian Homes Canterbury has certainly made its mark across the region and is proud to say they have honoured their completion promise by finishing every home they’ve started. With unparalleled builder and supplier confidence, Jennian Homes Canterbury

takes the stress out of building a new home for first home buyers, investment clients, retirees, and everyone in between. While choosing a design from Jennian’s extensive library of ready to build plans may be the first thing that comes to mind, the company offers a much wider range of services to suit any situation, family or lifestyle. Clients can choose to design and build their dream, to demolish and build something fresh, or purchase a complete house and land package. No matter what your situation, budget or ambition, Jennian Homes Canterbury will be able to tailor a package to suit you. Jennian’s design centre, Studio J offers prospective clients the chance to see firsthand the range of products to help with your home's design from claddings to fittings and finishes and colours. Benefits of building with Jennian Homes Canterbury include one-on-one designer experiences with both

Jennian Homes Canterbury 212 Main South Road, Sockburn P 03 741 1436 E


a local colour consultant and an interior joinery team, providing expert guidance on making internal choices to cherish for a lifetime. That expertise, coupled with Jennian Homes in-house project management team, is second to none. With an average build time of 20 to 26 weeks, you could be in your new Jennian Home

sooner than you think. For more information, give the team a call today, visit Jennian Homes Canterbury online, or pop in to one of their stunning show homes throughout the Canterbury region. Don’t forget to talk to us about our Completion promise, so you can have peace of mind throughout the entire process.

Management | Technology

Working machines

Canon PIXMA MG3060

Printers By Timmi Aplin-Barrett

Canon PIXMA MG3060 A great, compact, all in one unit is an excellent starter printer. Featuring all the basics such as print, scan, copy and wireless abilities, it’s a great product for those looking to keep costs down. It’s simple to set up, requires only two ink cartridges and prints in both colour and black and white. RRP: $49.00


HP ENVY 6020E This excellent printer features double sided printing, meaning you’re making the most of your paper. Its built-in wireless capabilities let you easily access, print and share resources on a network. Perfect for the whole family or a staple of the office, the HP ENVY gives you high quality printing without the high price tag. RRP: $79.00

Brother MFC-J1010DW

Brother MFC-J1010DW A multi-function printer packed with piles of features, this product is compact with compromising on quality. It offers printing, scanning, copying and faxing all while being able to fit in the smallest of home offices. It can hold up to 150 sheets of paper and features automatic double-sided printing. RRP: $149.95

Brother MFC-J5340DW If you’re looking for a printer that has a little more size and grunt, this is the one for you. It has a maximum paper size of A3 (instead of the usual A4) and can also be used to print on A5, A4, A6 and envelopes. This printer comes with a 250-paper capacity and is another all-in-one product. With a handy LCD touch screen, you can customise your printing experience with ease.

Brother MFC-J5340DW

RRP: $298.00

Canon PIXMA MegaTank G6065 From Canon comes this absolute unit - crammed with features and sparing no expense on quality. It supports a range of mediums including plain paper, Canon speciality paper, photo paper, glossy paper and a massive range of sizes such as A4, A5, B5, Letter, Legal, Envelopes and the ability to customise. This printer produces crisp images and text while allowing borderless printing and crystal clear copies. It has a 250-paper capacity and 100 sheet output capacity, meaning you can let it take care of all your printing needs with ease.

Canon PIXMA MegaTank G6065

RRP: $588.00


Food | Chef's Pages

Inati By Jamie Quinn

Elegance. Family. Exceptional experiences. The ingredients that went into the realisation of Inati. For husbandand-wife team Simon and Lisa Levy, Inati is an extension of their home.


Food | Chef's Pages Then we have our large plates which are a protein based main course, and our nectar which is dessert. “The menu is tapas style, so you can pick and choose, or we have a culinary experience which is our ‘trust us’ journey where you are trusting Simon and the team. Our food is designed to be shared; we like that kind of dining style.” After Simon wrapped up the last intricate lunch plate, he joined me at the extravagant chef’s table overlooking the action in the kitchen, to tell me more about Inati. Tell me a bit about how Inati came to be “We had a vision of what we wanted to do, and all the things we love in hospitality and dining out and tried to create them all together as much as we could.

I was invited to share a meal with Simon at the chef’s table, and was lucky enough to chat to Lisa while Simon prepared.

“In the way of breaking down those barriers, those formalities be it the kitchen versus the front of house and then have to serve the guests and we’re stuck behind a brick wall.

“Inati translates from Te Reo Māori to ‘share a portion of food’. It resonated with us when we were looking at what we wanted to do; we wanted to have a name associated with everything about us.

“We’ve been here for 10 years [in New Zealand] so 13-14 years ago we started planning, just picking all the things we love. Places we’ve been to over the years, places we really enjoyed and we just started drawing on the back of bits of paper.”

“For us, the exceptional and exciting is being around an open kitchen and actually watching the performance and the theatre of the kitchen.

Tell me a bit about the different aspects that create the overall dining experience at Inati

“We like to entertain at home, (when we’re not working that is) Simon’s cooking, I’m drinking wine and everyone just congregates around our kitchen; it’s our family hub and that’s what we have here.

“Everything here Lisa and I designed. In the way of the spacing, the way we wanted the chairs, the distancing.

“With our menu we have three categories: earth, land and sea which are small plates.

“The attention to detail, what we wanted and how we wanted it either came from a hairbrained idea from myself or something that Lisa had seen and wanted to incorporate. “This here is the largest chefs table in New Zealand, this is 19 seats. We have these wonderful chairs we had handmade that we designed. I can tell you about the plate you’re eating off, which hasn’t been spoken about for two, three years because Covid’s been around but most people know about it. “All the crockery here is handmade by a lovely woman called Renate, I tell her my bad ideas and she makes them a reality. And everything in here has a reason for being here, to bring you back to Christchurch. “So, this is a pearl-white glaze finish made with New Zealand clay, you’ve got these speckles in here and these speckles are actually liquefaction from the earthquake. We’re really proud of what we’ve done here and think it’s a cool little spot. “We try to think about guests' experience from before the moment they come in. From the first booking, we’re still a bit old school and we phone people to confirm their reservation; we like to touch base, do you have any food allergies, dietary restrictions, is there a particular spot in the restaurant you prefer, things like that. “We try to read the room as well, some people want more interaction, some don’t.” Smoked celeriac, tamarillo & buckwheat “We’ve got our whipped celeriac with smoked celeriac ribbons, tamarillo jam and a little bit of buckwheat on there. “A lot of it is my childhood memory, when I came home from after school, we always got a piece of toast or something like that, so I go through stages where I use crumpets or

toast. For this, we’ve made our own celeriac brioche, with a celeriac stock and celeriac fat to incorporate that as well.” What are we tasting initially? “For this dish you want to have that nice bit of toast underneath with that rich creaminess from the whipped celeriac, a bit of smoke, and the tamarillo jam should almost be green tomato-like. Then you get the hint of the smoked ribbons at the end, finishing with the pops of buckwheat.” Jerusalem artichoke, parmesan & pickled quince “This is our dehydrated and then rehydrated Jerusalem artichoke and it is with parmesan, polenta and pickled quince. If you dig through to the bottom, you’ll find caramelised artichoke and marmite, it just adds that bit of richness and umami flavour.” What are we tasting initially? “With this one it depends which bit you get first, you chose to dig to the bottom first so you’d get that rich marmite flavour coming on, where some people might go straight for the top and get one of those lovely crispy and chewy artichokes. “We try and keep things simple but elevated. We use one item and try to showcase it but there’s about ten elements on that plate to build it, we’ve kept it within the realms of that criteria and then we hero that star ingredient.” Inati offers guests a bespoke and dynamic dining experience. You can find Simon and his talented team at 48 Hereford Street, head to their website to make a reservation or call them on (03) 390 1580. CT 29

Management | Consumerism

Green is the new black A look into our unsustainable fashion industry By Jamie Quinn

The fashion industry, once synonymous with glamour and luxury, is now facing a reckoning. It’s no longer enough to simply produce beautiful clothing; consumers, activists, and industry insiders are increasingly demanding sustainable practices. This shift towards sustainability in the fashion industry is not just a trend; it’s a necessity for our planet and future generations. To understand the push for more considerate fashion practices, we first need to address fast fashion. Fast fashion is characterised by inexpensive clothing that is produced rapidly and designed to be worn for a short period. While it allows consumers to access trendy styles at low prices, it comes at a considerable cost to the environment.

The environmental impact of the fashion industry is staggering. One of the most pressing concerns is water usage. Traditional cotton farming, for instance, requires huge amounts of water; it can take up to 2,700 litres of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt. Additionally, the dyeing and finishing processes of textiles contribute to water pollution, as chemicals are often dumped into rivers and oceans. Sustainability in fashion is not just about environmental concerns; it also encompasses social and ethical issues. Many fashion brands have faced allegations of exploiting cheap labour in developing countries to keep production costs low. The push for lower prices has led to a disconnect between consumers and the true value of clothing. Inexpensive garments often mask the true cost of production, making it difficult for consumers to appreciate the skills and labour involved in making clothing.

The fast fashion model encourages overconsumption and excessive waste. Clothing production has doubled in the past 15 years, with the average consumer buying 60 percent more clothing and keeping each item for half as long.

Recognising these issues, a growing number of fashion brands are embracing sustainability. Sustainable fashion uses a range of practices aimed at minimising the industry’s impact on the planet and promoting ethical treatment of workers.

The result is overflowing landfills, pollution from synthetic fibres, and the overuse of natural resources like water and energy. 30

A valid argument is made among industry professionals that questions whether completely sustainable fashion is a realistic

learning about the environmental and social ideal in today’s world. They say, the most sustainable thing our fashion industry can do is impacts of the fashion industry. Understand the importance of sustainable materials, ethical to stop producing new clothing. production, and the true cost of fast fashion. It’s estimated around 180,000 tonnes of Opt for quality over quantity. Invest in pieces clothing and textile waste is dumped in New that are well-made and timeless, reducing the Zealand landfills every year. As consumers, need for frequent replacements. we hold significant power in driving the shift Another great option is to consider buying towards sustainability in the fashion industry. second hand. Thrift shopping is also an One could ask, if sustainable fashion isn’t accessible option for those who can’t afford to attainable, why bother? A term used often invest in higher priced items. which seems more reasonable to the The fashion industry’s journey toward consumer is ‘mindful fashion’. Put simply, mindful fashion can be described as shopping sustainability is ongoing, but the momentum is undeniable. There is no quick fix for an consciously and ensuring a brand’s values issue this significant, but as consumers, align with your own before making a purchase. we must continue to demand transparency, The first step is to make sure you are accountability, and innovation from the educating yourself as a consumer. Start by fashion industry.

Management | Consumerism

Maddie and Anna preparing for a busy day.

I believe the difference lies in the quality.

Q&A with Anna from Uncommon I had the pleasure of sitting down with Anna, manager of Uncommon, located at The Tannery. Uncommon is a small, independent boutique, locally owned and operated. The store offers a selection of premium womenswear featuring unique pieces that have been carefully crafted by designers. Anna herself has a degree in fashion design, and helped shed some light on the fashion industry. What’s the difference between fast fashion vs slow fashion? I believe the difference lies in the quality. I’ll buy something from Uncommon and wear it for a few years and then on sell it which gives it a whole new life because it still has so much life to give. Whereas, if you purchase a singlet from a fast fashion store, its more likely to be discarded at the end of its life and not resold because it has no value left. I like to pay a bit more for something knowing that I’ll treasure it for years. Can you explain what ‘Green washing’ is? Green washing is a deceptive marketing practice designed to trick the consumer by exaggerating ethical values and practices so a business can seem environmentally friendly and conscious. An example of this would be a clothing recycling program, where customers are often offered a discount on new pieces for participating.

How can consumers tell if a fashion brand is genuinely sustainable?

It’s important to note producing fashion is inherently unsustainable, but shopping with a brand who produces with sustainability at the forefront of their values is important to me. I fall in love with the story behind the garment and love to know the care and consideration that has gone into making it. Have you heard of the term mindful fashion? Yeah, that’s a term I use a lot. If you’re shopping mindfully, you’re thinking about that item fitting your values, and being conscious of who you’re giving your money to. You’re also considering how that piece slots in with your current rotation and its potential cost per wear. How can consumers educate themselves on mindful fashion? There are a lot of resources available online and it’s hard to know what information is worth listening to and what is deceptive. I suggest figuring out your values and then looking to see if a business aligns with them. I’m always open to having conversations in store with our customers so they can make informed decisions. CT


Management | Business Profile

Barking good business The Gourmate Pet Treat company By June Pfister

In the bustling world of pet food, Gourmate Pet Treat Co. has carved out a unique niche. Founded by lifelong friends and passionate dog lovers, Laura Wilkinson and Steph Mearns, this Christchurch-based company is on a mission to provide pets with the same high-quality, ethical and delicious food that we desire for ourselves. Gourmate stands out not only for its commitment to sourcing and producing human-grade pet treats but also for achieving B Corp Certification, a testament to its ethical and sustainable business practices. Laura and Steph’s journey began with their shared love for dogs and a desire to provide them with the highest quality, ethically sourced and locally produced treats. Their venture is a testament to the transformative power of a shared passion and a dedication to one’s values. Despite launching in the midst of the Covid pandemic in mid-2020, Gourmate Pet Treat Co. has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability. Laura and Steph faced the challenge of introducing their products when traditional retail outlets were closed, and new product adoption was slow. To overcome this hurdle, they turned to social media to connect with pet owners across New Zealand. Their strategy paid off as customers embraced the idea of supporting a local business committed to providing quality pet treats, Steph says, “We turned to social media to connect with Kiwi dog owners. Luckily, these customers liked what they saw and wanted to support a small local business, which helped us when stores reopened.” As a small, family-owned business, Gourmate operates with a minimal marketing budget.

Small Business: Aiko treated with liver treats.


Their primary focus has been on utilising social media to showcase their products, often featuring their own pets and their loyal canine customers. The power of word-of-mouth and the support of enthusiastic customers have also played a significant role in spreading the brand’s reputation. Steph adds, “We’re lucky to have customers who love our products and tell their friends.” As well as launching during a pandemic, operating a small business in New Zealand during a time when the cost of living is on the rise, it has presented its own set of challenges for many.

We just keep hustling and hope that our unique products and ethical approach to business stand out from the pack.

- Laura Wilkinson

However, Laura and Steph’s confidence in their unique product and their unwavering commitment to ethical and sustainable practices has given them a competitive edge.

Small Business: Founders of Gourmate Pet Treats Laura Wilkinson and Steph Mearns.

Nevertheless, they remain dedicated to their mission and continue to work tirelessly to make their unique products and ethical approach to business stand out globally. “We just keep hustling and hope that our unique products and ethical approach to business stand out from the pack.”

By staying true to their values and delivering top-notch pet treats, they’ve managed to maintain a loyal customer base.

In the short term, Gourmate is committed to expanding its product line to include even more healthy, natural, and top-quality treats.

Gourmate’s vision extends beyond New Zealand’s borders, as their products are stocked in shops in the United States and in Asia.

This expansion aligns with their goal of supporting sustainable farming, aquaculture, and ethical business practices in New Zealand while satisfying the taste buds of pets around the world. As New Zealand’s first B Corp Certified pet business, Gourmate’s growth must also align with their social and environmental ethical standards.

Laura and Steph’s goal is to share the best of New Zealand proteins with pets worldwide, a mission that’s not without its difficulties given their location of being at the bottom of the world.

Small Business: Gourmate Pet Treat selection.

To those embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, Laura and Steph offer a straightforward yet powerful piece of advice; know what makes your business unique and never compromise on it. Staying true to your core values can be a guiding light through the challenges of entrepreneurship. Gourmate Pet Treat Co. is more than just a pet treat company; it’s a testament to the power of passion, ethical values, and dedication. With their sights set on global expansion and a commitment to better business practices, Laura and Steph are truly shaping the future of pet nutrition, one treat at a time. “We don’t want to run our business like everyone else and we don’t want to make pet food like everyone else, and in this changing economic climate we think standing out is the best thing we can do.” CT Visit:

Management | Operations

The difference a day makes The case for a four-day working week By June Pfister

The five-day working week has been the norm for decades, usually operating during ‘office hours’ known as the typical nine to five shift working Mondays to Fridays.

“What we’re trying to do is essentially identify the inefficiencies within the workday and reduce them so that people can actually get work done quicker and therefore have more time off to recover. “A lot of the five-day work models are based on an industrial area of work which was a lot more physical, but work has become a lot more cognitive and emotional since then, therefore a four-day week is good for the future of work.”

The four-day work week has been applied within most workplaces in the United States However, companies incorporating a work from however, in New Zealand it still has a way to home day has risen in the wake of Covid, when go and it may be that some CEOs are not everyone was essentially working from home. able to see the positives that a four-day week can provide. Although work from home days have served some as an extra weekend day, turning their “I think CEOs and bosses have a natural typical office hours into a four-day working hesitancy in order to try and bring about some week, the question is: is the four-day working revolution in how people work, because we week a much better work schedule than fivehave had this nine-to-five model of work for days on the job, and how does it affect our over 100 years now. mental, emotional and physical health? “What we’re trying to convince them is to Four Day Week Global (4DWG) is an follow the evidence based on our studies and international organisation that helps companies on international research and trial something implement the four-day work week, as well like this and figure out whether this is as monitoring the effects that it can have on something that works for their organisation. employers and employees. “Before the pandemic, we said to ourselves, it 4DWG has been operating trials and studies wasn’t possible to do work outside of the office implementing the four-day week since or in a digital context. We were forced into a 2017, starting their trial runs in the United situation and proved that wrong,” Dale says. States. 4DWG chief executive officer Dr. Dale One Christchurch company has taken the reins Whelehan, says their main goal is to promote and have been using the four-day work week companies to work smarter, not longer, model since 2018. “If you give someone four or five days to A company leading in the fundraising complete a task, they will get it done and fill that time to complete the task. industry for non-profit organisations,

A lot of the five-day work models are based on an industrial area of work which was a lot more physical, but work has become a lot more cognitive and emotional since then, therefore a four-day week is good for the future of work.

- 4DWG chief executive officer Dr. Dale Whelehan

Barrer & Co, have been embracing the four-day work week since before the Covid pandemic.

Jemma and the rest of the team at Barrer & Co say that the new work week initiative prioritises staff wellbeing.

Barrer & Co general manager Jemma Balmer says there were some questions from other people when they established working fourdays a week.

“We would certainly recommend it to any business looking at new ways of working and measuring productivity, retaining staff and prioritising staff wellbeing.”

“We certainly got some questions in the beginning, especially from our lawyer and accountant. But we have been able to maintain our productivity, keep our clients happy, make a profit and give our team that time back to rest, travel, or do whatever they wish.

Dr. Dale Whelehan and the 4 Day Week Global team say their studies show people are less stressed and a lot happier.

“Of course, it’s taken some restructuring in the business around deliverables and billable time, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t manage.”

If employees are feeling stressed and burned out, then maybe it is time for employers to think about cutting the nine to find grind and applying a four-day working week.

While it’s understandable why the four-day work week is becoming more popular, does it work for our mental, emotional and physical health?

“We see that people are a lot happier, a lot less stressed and burned out when a four-day week is implemented.”

Perhaps it’s time to change a 100-year tradition and drag working practices into this century. CT 33

Is your skin in check? Our sun is harming us! New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world with around seven Kiwis diagnosed every day. Around 350 Kiwis die from it every year – that’s more than our annual road toll. Melanoma is fast-growing and the most life-threatening of all skin cancers. It’s also hard to detect with an untrained eye. MoleMap’s proven skin mapping system, developed exclusively by MoleMap, is designed to look deep inside a mole structure to detect any potential skin cancers that can’t be seen with visual checks. Over 250,000 patients have chosen MoleMap and over five million moles have been checked so far. Regular, expert skin screening is a very simple way to reduce these statistics. Just as most of us have other annual health check, getting your skin mole-mapped every year or two is essential – especially if you’re fair-skinned, have a lot of moles, have a family or personal history of skin cancer, have been sunburned in the past, or have an outdoors lifestyle.

MoleMap – your skin’s best chance Pioneered by a group of Kiwi dermatologists, MoleMap is New Zealand’s original skinmapping service. Recognising that many moles were being diagnosed inaccurately because of a lack of technology, our founders created MoleMap nearly 25 years ago: the unique skin-mapping system that’s designed to track changes in the skin over time. Today, MoleMap has over 50 clinics across New Zealand and Australia, and our technology is used for skin cancer detection around the world.

Early detection is your skin’s best chance against melanoma, so don’t delay – book today.

of survival within five years – that’s why it’s always worth checking. Plus, with MoleMap, you get fewer scars and fewer scares. This is because MoleMap can more accurately identify melanoma, there is less need to surgically remove benign (harmless) moles.

Gore Health – Southern’s MoleMap Experts

MoleMap’s proven system combines the latest technology with head-to-toe skin mapping by specialists Melanographers (accredited skin cancer nurses) and expert diagnosis of any suspicious moles by expert dermatologists.

Gore Health holds the MoleMap franchise from Ashburton South - and now with a new clinic in Rangiora - with nine Melanographers around the region to ensure our patients can easily access our clinics. MoleMap appointments are available in Ashburton, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill weekly. Clinics are also held regularly in Oamaru, Fairlie, Twizel, Balclutha, Gore, Queenstown, Clyde and Wanaka.

MoleMap knows that early melanoma detection offers a nearly 100 percent chance

What’s more, our Melanograpghers are also experienced working with businesses

to provide MoleMap skin screening and education to their staff as part of their workplace wellness programme – either onsite or we can provide vouchers so your staff can visit our clinics. How does it work? A full body MoleMap takes up to an hour as it’s our most com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice. A MoleMap Skin Check usu­al­ly takes around 30 min­utes, and you can expect a full body fol­low-up to take around 45 minutes. We take the time to check your skin thoroughly. You’ll be seen by one of our expert Melanog­ra­phers. All of our Melanog­ra­phers are health­care pro­fes­sion­als who are spe­cial­ly trained in melanoma detec­tion and pre­ven­tion – and don’t wor­r y, they’re all friend­ly, pro­fes­sion­al and discreet. A Melanog­ra­ph­er will check and take pho­tographs of your entire body – this cre­ates a base­line of images to com­pare changes in your skin lat­er. Images of all sig­nif­i­cant moles will be secure­ly sent via tele­d­er­ma­tol­ogy to a Der­ma­tol­o­gist for expert diagnosis.

All Der­ma­tol­o­gists that MoleMap work with, spe­cialise in detect­ing and diag­nos­ing ear­ly stage melanoma. Once your report is ready, we’ll send you a text and/​or email (usu­al­ly with­in ten work­ing days) so you can view your results. Your report may include com­ments and rec­om­men­da­tions by a Der­ma­tol­o­gist, as well as images of any sus­pi­cious skin lesions. If you need to have any moles removed, we’ll con­tact you to ensure you under­stand your report and what to do next. Our ser­vice works best when you return every year, so we can spot any changes in your skin that could be a poten­tial skin can­ cer. We’ll get in touch before then to ensure you don’t miss your appointment. You can check your skin cancer risk level at To book an appointment, see or call us on 0800 665 362. No referral is necessary; if you’re worried about a mole, go and get it checked.

Are you at risk of melanoma? Did you know that New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world? Every day, around 7 New Zealanders are diagnosed with melanoma - it’s the most serious form of skin cancer and it can quickly become deadly.1,2 That’s why MoleMap’s proven skin-mapping system is designed to detect skin cancers such as melanoma early – when it’s most treatable.3

We check. And double-check. With MoleMap you get two sets of expert eyes examining any moles of concern: a trained Melanographer and an experienced specialist Dermatologist.

Fewer scars. Fewer scares. Because MoleMap can more accurately identify melanoma, there is less need to surgically remove benign (harmless) moles.1

Early detection makes a difference. Early melanoma detection offers a nearly 100% chance of survival within 5 years. That’s why it’s always worth checking.

0800 665 362 | References: 1. Health Promotion Agency and the Melanoma Network of New Zealand (MelNet) 2017: New Zealand Skin Cancer Primary Prevention and Early Detection Strategy 2017 to 2022. 2. 3.

Management | Online

Inflation breakers

Top online grocery shops By Timmi Aplin-Barrett

Ever since the pandemic hit, people have been working on finding more ways to shop online. From gifts to outdoor gear and electronics to stationery - people are enjoying the ease of shopping online. During the height of the pandemic, online grocery shopping became a hit and has continued to prove useful for many people, especially those who work from home or have extremely busy schedules. We’ve compiled a list of some excellent online grocery stores (that aren’t the usual of New World, Pak’n’Save or Countdown) to make your life that little bit easier. These stores all stock fresh foods as well as dried goods. There are plenty of other online grocery stores that stock a huge range of non-perishable food or dried products such as flours and nuts but we wanted to focus on those that offer fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and more. If you’re someone who can’t find the time to pop into the supermarket or you want a little more range in the products you can purchase, consider checking out some of these fantastic online grocery stores. They carry a great range of products, deliver quickly and efficiently and take all the hassle out of grocery shopping.

The Market

Soul Food

The Market is a massive New Zealand online store that sells pretty much everything from groceries to games and much more.

Soul Food, based in Queenstown, is another great supplier of fresh goods and organic supplies.

They deliver everything, straight to your door. It stocks all the pantry essentials while also making sure you have access to some treats. It has everything from pastas and rice, marinades and sauces to canned food and nuts. Not only this, but depending on where you’re based, The Market offers fresh fruits and vegetables. They also sell a cheeky beverage or two.

They offer a great range of fruit and vegetables as well as Fruit and Vege Boxes which are great if you don’t want to muck around choosing your produce. Instead, these boxes have a great selection of fruits and vegetables, designed to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients and delicious flavour you need. Soul Food also sells meats, breads, eggs and a good range of dry food such as flours, grains, nuts, pulses and more. To top things off, Soul Food carries a great range of ecofriendly and useful wellbeing products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balms, soaps and much, much more.

Simply sit back, relax and shop to your heart’s content.


Eat Local


Farro supplies artisanal quality foods across the country. They’re committed to protecting the environment and less than one percent of their food waste goes to landfill.

Eat Local is a Christchurch based online grocery store catering to the South Island. It prides itself on delivering fresh, quality foods that are delivered quickly and efficiently.

Over 80 percent goes to stock feed through Eco Stock, 10 percent is composted through We Compost and five to eight percent goes to people through their work with Fair Food. From fresh foods to deli goods and bakery delights, Farro has something for everyone. They stock meat and poultry, seafood, dairy products, beer and wines, pantry essentials and more.

Customers can choose from a huge range of goods such as apples, avocados, sourdough bread, broccoli, cheese, chocolate, cordials and so much more.

Huckleberry is all about wellness and stock a huge range of organic and wholefoods. Based in Auckland, they do stock fresh fruits and vegetables, but if you’re in the South Island, they warn it could take up to five days for delivery.

Farro also has meals, ready to eat, ranging from cottage pie to meatballs to make dinner time a little easier. And, as the cherry on the cake, they also have a delicious range of desserts. 36

With great prices and a focus on ethical, sustainable goods, Eat Local is great for everyone.

Nevertheless, if you’re someone who enjoys the very best in organic and wholefood-based groceries, Huckleberry is the online grocery store for you. They stock products that don’t harm the planet and have a great range of gluten free, dairy free, vegan and vegetarian and free-range products. From Ceres Organics to Manfuso Organics, this store combines ease of shopping and organic goodness to create a fantastic online experience.

Management | Online

Digital pathways Finding business success online By Timmi Aplin-Barrett

Bringing your dreams into reality can be difficult, especially if that dream is to sell goods online. With such an oversaturated market these days, making sure you stand out from the rest is vital to your success. says that planning is key to setting up a great online business. “You need to define your ideal customers and work out how your products and services are unique,” it says. “It’s important to know how you compare to other businesses in the market, set realistic prices, check if people really want what you’re selling, set a budget and choose where to sell,” says If you have a particular talent or skill you want to turn into a business, you need to ensure there’s a market for it. It’s all well and good to have a skill but you need to make sure you can reach an audience who will want to spend money on it. This is where a good amount of research will come in handy. You need to figure out what your competition looks like and market yourself so that you’re different or better in some way. says having a bold but true statement is an excellent way to market yourself well. “A specific, bold and accurate claim stands out more than a vague statement. For example, you could say your product lasts longer than competitions, rather than just saying you sell high-quality products,” it says.

It’s important to live up to your claims too. says your actions make or break your unique selling point. You need to apply your slogan/statement to all areas of your business. It says you need to look at every way your customers encounter you, so your whole business lives up to the claims you make. Once you’ve done your research and figured out the basics of your business, you need to do a bit of a test. Business.govt. nz recommends starting with a minimum viable product. This is the first working version with just enough features to satisfy clients. You won’t reach your entire audience but you’ll be able to test your vision and see if other people share it. “Starting with the minimum viable product may achieve one or more wins: launch your business or idea quickly, testing your assumptions (if you are wrong, stop or change track), learn what problems you still need to solve or what features you need to add, understand your customers and what they want, build your reputation and more.” Your minimum viable product could be anything, depending on what your business idea is. If you want to sell nail polishes, you might select one type of polish to sell initially.

Of course, you need to identify an appropriate platform to do business on. Many people who sell craft items or handmade goods work from Etsy, an online platform designed to enable small businesses to thrive. Still more people work from Instagram and use their social media knowledge to further promote their business. Others may build an entire website straight away and work entirely from that. However, it’s worth noting that many small businesses these days begin on a smaller scale and build their customer base before shifting to an entire website. Budget is something that’s incredibly important when starting your online business and something that, obviously, can seriously impede your success if done wrong. You need to ensure you’re accounting for every tiny thing when creating your budget. It’s not just about making sure you break even - you need to make sure you can cover every expense such as shipping (if you create and sell products), taxes, ACC levies, purchasing website domain names (if needed), advertising and much more. Utilising something like Xero can be a big help if it all gets a little overwhelming. Finally, it’s important you still have fun with your online business.

It’s important to know how you compare to other businesses in the market, set realistic prices, check if people really want what you’re selling, set a budget and choose where to sell.

Online success these days is often born from a desire to turn a skill, talent or dream into a selling point and it’s no good if the “fun” part of your talent becomes a bore. Make sure you’re still finding your online store fun and make sure you retain passion. Customers and clients can see a loss of passion and that will often make your audience turn away from you. CT For more online business information (and business information in general) visit: 37



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Management | Tourism Finally, on July 21, 2022, international borders reopened and the international tourism industry opened for business.

The return of cruise ships Tourism sails out of troubled waters By June Pfister

Before the Covid pandemic Christchurch bristled with tourists both international and domestic, then the 25th of March, 2020 came along. The entirety of New Zealand went into lockdown, nobody could leave and nobody could arrive, and tourism effectively ceased in its tracks.

Most tourists would arrive by air however, the lure of the ocean saw visitors arrive on cruise ships at Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Napier and Christchurch via Lyttelton. So just how badly affected was Christchurch tourism? The company that headlines Christchurch’s tourism industry, Christchurch NZ, plays a large role in supporting cruise liners when they’re docked at Lyttelton. Christchurch NZ’s head of tourism Kath Low says, “We work alongside Lyttelton Port Company on cruise logistics. We work with the cruise ground operators who are engaged by the cruise lines to manage the land-based activities. We also work with local operators to develop experiences suitable for cruise ship passengers, and help plan for visitation at scale.” According to stats done by Christchurch NZ, before the Covid pandemic in August 2019, the total Electronic Card Transactions (ECT) that tourists spent in Christchurch was $58,421,977. The total ECT during Covid in August 2020 was $49,811,203, and when borders reopened the statistics showed the ECT spend was $68,065,074. “When analysing visitor spending trends along with the cruise arrivals, it becomes challenging to draw definitive conclusions regarding significant trends due to the influence of various other factors,” Kath says.

• Driveways • Earthquake Repairs • New Home Specialists • Patios & Paths tel: 0508 873 7483 email: 40

Management | Tourism Sue says that the trams are busier during the summer season due to the number of cruise ships at port. “The summer season is traditionally our busiest period, with winter being quieter for our industry. We noticed a significant increase in visitors in the city on days when a large cruise ship was in port. “Some of our products are available to book as part of wider tours on board cruise ships, and other guests choose to join us as free independent travellers.” As more summer seasons come along, cruise ships will continue docking at Lyttelton. Christchurch definitely felt the impact of more tourists when cruise ships returned, with more people out and about, and many tour buses driving through the city. Christchurch’s tourism industry faced difficulties during the pandemic with a significant drop in tourism activity however, the reopening of international borders and the return of cruise ships brought new energy to the city. While the path to recovery continues, Christchurch remains strong, with local businesses and attractions adjusting to the influx of tourists. Looking at these numbers it shows that Covid definitely impacted the city’s tourism; what does this look like from a business perspective? The Christchurch Tram is one of if not the most popular attraction in the city, as it loops around the rebuilt city centre guiding tourists. Christchurch Trams CEO,

Sue Sullivan, says the number of tram goers dropped during the pandemic. “Our visitor numbers dropped considerably during the pandemic, although we received great support from Christchurch locals and domestic visitors during this time.

“Visitor numbers have increased since borders have been reopened, and cruise ship visitation impacted positively on our guest numbers when larger groups were in port at Lyttelton over the previous summer season and brought a welcome boost in numbers to the city centre.”

With the prospect of more tourists in the upcoming seasons, the city looks forward to a better future for its tourism industry. As it continues to rebuild and innovate, the garden city remains a welcoming destination for travellers seeking unique experiences. CT

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Management | The Silly Season

Where to wind down

Work function venues By Timmi Aplin-Barrett

Organising a work function can be a stressful time, especially if you don’t know where to host it. With Christchurch offering so many excellent venues, it can be difficult to decide where to go in regards to location, seating arrangements and menus. Below are some great Christchurch based venues that can cater to all your work function needs. All offering food options, these venues are great and interesting places to host your colleagues for a simple get together, an awards night or a big social gathering.

Sugarhorse Bar and Eatery 100 Moorhouse Avenue, Addington, Christchurch If you’re looking for a versatile and aesthetic venue, this is it. They can cater up to 130 people for a full private venue. Otherwise, you can hire the outside covered courtyard area. They’re set up for PowerPoint presentations and, once you’re done with that, they’re ready to party with their disco lights and full music system.

Welles and Good 10 Welles Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch This is a great, central location focusing on their fresh, local produce in a stunning building. They can host up to 120 for a cocktail based even and up to 60 people for a seated dinner experience. Canape options are available to kick the night off for both seated and cocktail events. Then, you can order from the full food and drink menu upon request.

Dux Central

Mona Vale Homestead

6 Poplar Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch A versatile and flexible venue with plenty of unique spaces, Dux Central is a great allrounder. The venue seats up to 140 people in a range of different rooms. The Emerald Room is a grand gin bar with an emerald green interior. The Poplar Social Club is a 1920s speakeasy cocktail lounge hidden next door to The Emerald Room. Finally, the Upper Dux is an upstairs event space complete with a sundrenched balcony. Dux Central stocks over 220 craft beers and a full menu featuring tacos, pizza, burgers and more.

40 Mona Vale Avenue, Fendalton, Christchurch A classic and gracious Victorian building located in the Mona Vale gardens, this is a great venue if you’re looking to get outside. They can host up to 110 people for sit down dinners and up to 250 for canape events. The gardens are a visual masterpiece and make a perfect space for outdoor activities like lawn games and team building exercises. The indoor spaces are light, airy and have plenty of breakout areas. Their menu choices are extensive so they can cater for everyone.

Cook ‘n’ With Gas and The Astro Lounge 23 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central, Christchurch This is an incredibly unique venue with The Astro Lounge being the casual side to Cook’n’ With Gas which is a multi-award-winning bistro. They have private rooms that can cater up to 12 people for a smaller function. Larger areas can fit up to 24. You also have the option to hire the whole restaurant which fits up to 60 people. Offering a huge range of food and drinks, it’s an excellent, multi-use venue.

Woolston Auto Surgery • Full range of car servicing options • Fleet servicing • VTNZ WoF and CoF A Inspections • Full mechanical repairs • Diagnostic scanning • Oil and filter change • Auto electrical diagnostics and repairs • Full tyre service & new tyres • Cambelts • Batteries

Phone 03 384 9092 693 Ferry Road, Woolston, Canterbury 8023 42

Woolston Auto Surgery, in the heart of the Woolston Village for over 40 years, is a reputed and trustworthy car repair and maintenance service provider. With a friendly team of experienced technicians and a modern, well equipped complex, they have built a solid reputation for excellence. Our team’s goal is to offer exceptional service using both Genuine and OE parts as per specification and at the forefront of operations is a commitment to ever increase the customers experience through clear communications on all we set out to do on your vehicles to the highest of industry specified standards. We believe that if customers get a smile and good communication when they buy a coffee and a muffin at a cafe, why should they receive any less when spending hundreds of dollars on their car. Woolston Auto Surgery offers courtesy cars that must be booked in advance, making sure that transportation needs are met while your vehicle is in their capable hands. If you’re seeking automotive expertise in the Christchurch area, Woolston Auto Surgery invites you to visit their location on 693 Ferry Road. You can reach out to them on 03 384 9092 to schedule an appointment or inquire about

Services that Woolston Auto Surgery provide include: • Fleet servicing • Full mechanical maintenance and repairs • Auto electrical diagnostics and repairs • Brake services • Engine repairs • Suspension services • Oil change and lube • Timing belt • Tyre services • Towing services • Transmission repairs and servicing • AC/ cooling and heating • VTNZ wof’s and cof’s on site • Courtesy cars (bookings required) their services. With their dedication to quality, transparent communication, and a wide range of services, Woolston Auto Surgery remains a trusted partner for all your automotive needs.

Management | The Silly Season

Retail readiness

When the silly season arrives a touch too soon By June Pfister

We have a big sale in the middle of the year and when that is over, we refresh our shop with all the new pieces and throw a grand reveal in the middle of August, which really kicks things off towards the big day! - Karen Abela

There is a lot of talk when it comes to the second half of the year and retailers start decorating their shops. Some customers argue that September and October is too early for Christmas to come alive, while others love the idea of Christmas lights and decorations being hung in early spring. Then there are the few stores that sell decor all year round.

Every year the retail sector puts in a great amount of effort into the Christmas spirit – and for obvious reasons… to get people to spend. Many large retailers start putting up Christmas decorations and selling advent calendars as early as the start of October. But is early October too soon for the festive spirit to arise? Retail brands such as The Warehouse, Bunnings, Farmers and Ballantynes prepare for the Christmas rush by decorating their stores, garnishing window displays and selling all the essential items and gifts.

“Advent calendars are always popular and are already landing in stores. Some of this year’s most popular include the Where’s Wally and Barbie editions and are already selling strongly.”

However, if you love Christmas and wished it lasted all year round, then you’re in luck as The Christmas Hut is open 365 days a year. As the largest Christmas store in New Zealand, you can imagine they get very busy over the festive season, but are they as busy around other times of the year? The Christmas Hut online sales elf Karen Abela says they definitely have many sales in the off season with tourists visiting and fun filled Christmas activities throughout the year. “Our regular customers pop in a few times a month, tourists on vacations and staycations come by, and we also get some people who just want a bit of a smile after a hard day.

“You will not find a bigger fan of Christmas than The Warehouse. We can’t wait to spread the joy,” he says.

“We keep ourselves pretty busy by organising workshops, demonstrations and term holiday classes for kids.

In fact, The Warehouse started stocking decorations and gifts on the 27th of September!

“We have been attending the Mid-Winter Christmas Market at the Riverside for the past few years and participate in the Christmas House Trail organised by Zonta as a sponsor and as one of the stops.

Among some of the most popular Christmas related products that customers always turn to at The Warehouse are Christmas trees, advent calendars, Santa hats, stockings and decorations. “In the past two weeks, customers’ searches for Christmas products on our website have increased by nearly 140 percent, with popular searches including Christmas, Christmas tree and Christmas tree decorations,” Jonathan said in late September.

Preparing for the season is a huge job for all businesses, that is why starting early is the solution to avoid unexpected problems or mishaps. CT

The Warehouse may be the biggest Christmas fan in the country, but one Christchurch store may be a hardcore fan! The Christmas Hut located in the suburb of Northcote is a family favourite around Christmas where they specialise in selling extraordinary Christmas decorations.

The Warehouse Group chief Christmas cheerleader, Jonathan Waecker, says they’re huge Christmas fans.

“Each year, one in five of our customers start planning and buying for Christmas from the beginning of August,” he says.

“The ordering is by far the biggest job, it takes a lot of work and thought to keep us stocked all year! Our decorator makes 95 percent of all the decorated wreaths and garlands that we sell using different colours and themes.”

For many shops, the Christmas season is the busiest time of the year, banking in thousands of dollars and employing hundreds more staff.

“We have a big sale in the middle of the year and when that is over, we refresh our shop with all the new pieces and throw a grand reveal in the middle of August, which really kicks things off towards the big day!” If The Christmas Hut is open all year, then do they essentially need to prepare for the Christmas season? Karen says ordering and making decorations is how they prepare for the season, as they expect thousands of visitors purchasing decorations and gifts. 43

Management | The Silly Season

Making it rein Surviving Christmas during a cost-of-living crisis By Ben O’Connell

It seems like Christmas arrives sooner every year, with seasonal advertising and advent calendars appearing as early as August in 2023. But as retailers push hard for Kiwis to spend, New Zealand’s cost-of-living crisis pushes harder. Kiwis love Christmas and the numbers don’t lie. Per figures from eftpos operator Worldline, excluding the hospitality sector, shoppers spent nearly $814 million in the week ending December 10 last year. But in line with Stats NZ reports from June 2023 showing an annual inflation rate of 6 percent and an annual cost-of-living increase of 7.2 percent for the average household, more Kiwis are set to feel the pinch. Consumer NZ spokesperson Jessica Walker agrees. “Back in late 2021 we reported that two in five New Zealanders felt the cost of Christmas added to their financial stress,” she says. “Given the cost-of-living crisis has deepened since then, we expect many New Zealanders will be feeling anxious about the cost of the upcoming festive season.” The economics behind early Christmas advertising is simple. Retailers want to lead the pack and give consumers more chances to spend. Retailers know that consumers like the 44

feeling of a big saving, so it’s important to avoid those tempting impulse buys if you can help it. “It certainly seems that Christmas comes earlier every year, which some people love. There are upsides to specials earlier in the year; it gives people the opportunity to spread their festive spend. However, people shouldn’t feel pressured just because something is on special,” says Jessica. “We recommend people always use a tool like PriceSpy or PriceMe to gauge how genuine a ‘special’ is before they make a purchase.” If you are stressed about financing Christmas this year, know you are not alone, but also stay on top of debts and schemes designed to take more of your hard-earned dollars than you anticipated. Jessica says it pays to be a savvy shopper and do a bit of homework. “Many people will feel the need to rely on credit to get through the festive season. If that includes you, there are some steps you can take to help you stay on top of the debt.

“If you’ve got credit card debt, try and avoid making minimum payments, pay off as much as you can, you will save on interest and be debt-free faster. “Set up a direct debit to pay off your credit card debt, the full amount if you can, so you don’t have to worry about missing the payment date. Paying the debt in full means you are limiting your exposure to interest payments. “Different banks have different credit card deals so check out what’s out there. “If you’re struggling with debt on an existing card look out for any offers for low interest deals you could switch your credit card balance to. If you make the switch, keep an eye on the expiry of the low-interest period though. “Buy now pay later (BNPL) is an increasingly popular option for people looking to spread payments over a short term without paying any interest. However, users of the service should look out for late fees to avoid being stung. “There’s a risk that people lose track of what is being spent on BNPL which can lead to payments becoming unmanageable, this becomes even riskier if you sign up to more than one BNPL provider.” There’s a fine line between cutting costs and still having enough to enjoy yourself with loved ones on December 25. Like this year and those to come, Christmas will require more planning, resourcefulness,

It certainly seems that Christmas comes earlier every year, which some people love. There are upsides to specials earlier in the year; it gives people the opportunity to spread their festive spend. However, people shouldn’t feel pressured just because something is on special. - Consumer NZ spokesperson, Jessica Walker

and expectation management for the average New Zealander. “People expect to spend more over Christmas,” Jessica says. “From gift buying, to socialising and hosting friends and family at home, there’s no denying it can be a pricy time of year.” CT

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Abel Garage Doors

New doors, repairs and maintenance, automatic door openers Abel Garage Doors owner and operator Hamish Gearry’s top priority is providing high-quality New Zealand-made garage doors. Whether you need a minor garage door repair or a complete Abel Garage Doors offers door installation, replacement, Abel repairs, maintenance and preventative service work on garage doors all over Garage Doors is a trusted Christchurch and North Canterbury, including Kaikoura. They pride themselves on fast, choice for homeowners friendly and efficient service, and take the time to ensure they discuss all your options and businesses looking to find the best door and opener for your for reliable and efficient home or business. Hamish says, “It’s all about installing and then garage door services. Now based in Belfast but with his roots firmly embedded in the Waimakariri District, Hamish has more than thirty years of experience working with garage doors and has operated his own business since 2015.

maintaining the doors, over their lifetime.”

The stylish garage doors that Abel Garage Doors supplies add to the look, security and value of their client’s properties and come with a two-year warranty on all doors and motors. They can provide sectional, roller or tilt doors, all made with top quality New Zealand steel, complemented by professional Italian-made motors. They can also source doors made from cedar, from Christchurch company Magnum Doors. They will take the time to ensure that we discuss all your options and find the most suitable door for your home or business. With a wide range of options for different spaces they have something to suit every building whether it’s residential, commercial or industrial.

today and speak to one of their garage door experts as they know exactly what it takes to get your opener working like a charm. If you are wanting a new garage door opener, Abel Garage Doors have got you covered as they can supply you with one for any existing door! Abel Garage Doors professionally services nearly every brand of residential and commercial garage door and opener.

Abel Garage Doors are authorised repairers for many major New Zealand insurance providers. If your door has been damaged in an accident, Abel Garage Doors can insulate any give Abel Garage Doors a call today. They can sectional garage door to help with noise come to you and organise a free measure and and temperature control. quote to assess the damage, and gather photo evidence of the work needed. They can then They offer a repair service from a broken lock, deal directly with the insurance company to broken springs, broken tracks to jammed sort out the repairs. Whether you need a small doors with the cables off. section repaired or the entire door needs to If your garage door opener is slow, stuck or be replaced, they can get your garage looking making noises give Abel Garage Doors a call great again in no time.


The team at Abel Garage Doors understand that garage door problems can be urgent, and they strive to provide prompt and reliable service to address your needs. Customer satisfaction is a top priority for Hamish, and they aim to exceed your expectations with their professionalism and expertise. “We offer a fast, friendly and efficient service to all our clients” Whether you need a minor garage door repair or a complete replacement, Abel Garage Doors is a trusted choice for homeowners and businesses looking for reliable and efficient garage door services. Their commitment to quality workmanship and customer satisfaction makes them a goto option for all your garage door needs. Give Abel Garage Doors a call today on 027 207 6128 to hear more about their services or get a quote for your next job. Alternatively, you can visit their website at

Abel Garage Doors Christchurch 027 207 6128

Installations, repairs and servicing for all your residential & commercial needs We offer a fast, friendly and efficient service to Christchurch and the North Canterbury Area. We will take the time to ensure that we discuss all your options and find the most suitable door for your home or business. We will inspect your garage and fittings, answer your questions and find a solution tailored to your particular needs.







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Society | Cancer Society

Cancer Society’s new Langdons Rd centre opens By Ben O’Connell

The Cancer Society has opened the new Canterbury Cancer Centre. Fundraising, communications, and relationships manager Heather Locke says the opening of the new Canterbury Cancer Centre on 74 Langdons Rd is the Canterbury Cancer Society’s biggest achievement of 2023 yet. “We’re delighted to announce that on Monday October 9th we’ll be welcoming patients into the 50-room accommodation.” The new centre will advance and improve cancer support services in the South Island. “Without anyone needing a referral, we offer free accommodation, free driving to appointments, free counselling, free assistance with navigating the healthcare journey,” Heather says. “We tailor each person’s experience to match their own requirements, and create the best outcome for each family.” With the opening comes the creation of a new organisation. “Encompass Health is a first of its kind joint initiative by the Cancer Society Canterbury West Coast Trust and St George’s Cancer Care Centre. Encompass will provide allied health and psychosocial cancer care services, ensuring personalised care supporting individuals and their whānau to live well with cancer,” Heather says. “These specialised allied health services include psychosocial support including counselling, psychology, and group therapy; physiotherapy and exercise physiology; lymphedema therapy; group fitness programs; and specialised nutrition services and lifestyle support.” See for more. The new centre is needed more than ever before. Heather says that cancer has never been more prevalent in New Zealand lives than today. “With one in three people receiving a diagnosis in their lifetime, and with that number set to

double in the next 10 years, more than half of the population will need help mitigating the impact of cancer in their lives,” she says. “The new centre is collaborating with several healthcare providers and charities to make sure we’re there for any and all who seek our support.”

“As the number of cancer diagnosis grow, our need for funding will also increase. We hope that the community continues to see value in our mahi, and we gratefully welcome bequests and donations from our generous supporters.”

The Langdons Rd centre is especially sentimental for the Cancer Society, as it was the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes The Cancer Society faces many challenges, many of which come down to funding. “We are that destroyed their previous hub. 100 percent funded by the community, which “In the 12 years since we lost our original means we receive no government funding for building, there are few staff members who our work,” Heather says. even remember a time when we sat under the same roof,” Heather says. “This new centre means a great deal to us, as it feels like coming home from a long, hard journey. “It’s a new chapter in our story, filled with big, new ideas and lots of possibilities. We’re very excited!” On September 30 an event celebrating the centre’s arrival demonstrated the strength of the community. “The Community Open Day was a smash hit,” Heather says. “Over 500 people in the community came through to get a guided tour of the rooms, hear from staff about what services we offer, get food from some fantastic food trucks, get their face painted, and learn about this awesome new resource right in their backyard. The weather was windy and cold, but they braved it and showed up in force! “The community has been remarkably generous with their time, money and ingenuity in making this new facility a reality. They’ve helped us raise millions of dollars in donations, have sponsored events and rooms, have given thousands of hours of volunteer time, and


offered items and services for free or reduced prices. We simply could not have made the centre come to life without their amazing help.” Fundraising activations such as the Marathon in a Month and Longest Day Golf Challenge are set to further encourage the community, this time to exercise for a great cause. Go to and nz for more details. As 2023 is an election year, the Cancer Society have released a manifesto that outlines what they want from New Zealand leaders to catch up to other comparable countries. In the manifesto the Cancer Society calls for action across a range of areas, those being investment in prevention – so more New Zealanders live cancer-free; detecting cancer sooner – so more lives are saved; ensuring timely and accessible cancer services – so all New Zealanders receive the treatment they need; and bringing cancer care and support closer to home – so all New Zealanders receive the support they need. Cancer impacts us all. Support, donate, and spread the word today. CT Images kindly supplied by the Canterbury West Coast Cancer Society. Cancer Society Canterbury-West Coast (03) 379 5835 0800 226 237 — Advertising Feature

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Society | Elderly Care

Day for seniors proves polarising By Ben O’Connell

2050. The number of people aged 80 years or Events worldwide older is growing even faster. celebrated the oldest “Globally, babies born in 2022 are expected to live 71.7 years on average, 25 years longer members of our than those born in 1950.” communities on October The World Health Organisation (WHO) has collaborating with the UN over the st 1 , the International Day for been Decade of Healthy Ageing to ensure positive change in the four areas the Decade aims to Older Persons. address: cultivating age-friendly environments, The International Day of Older Persons was celebrated nationwide, with events such as a free ballet class in Christchurch. Around 60 people attended the one-off event held at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School gymnasium, led by Bosman Ballet Flow. Offering a no-pressure, fun environment, the success of the event has encouraged organisers to consider more pop-up ballet classes in the future. 2023’s theme is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations”, chosen because the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights 75 years ago. The United Nations (UN) has placed a special focus on the older people in our lives by announcing this decade (2021-2030) as the Decade of Healthy Ageing. This reflects data on life expectancy and the ageing population. Per the UN, “Population ageing is an irreversible global trend. In 2021, one in 10 people worldwide were aged 65 or above. In 2050, this age group is projected to account for one in six people globally. “The number of people aged 65 years or older worldwide is projected to more than double, rising from 761 million in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 50

The number of people aged 65 years or older worldwide is projected to more than double, rising from 761 million in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2050. The number of people aged 80 years or older is growing even faster.

combatting ageism, and focuses on both integrated and long-term care.

Further, the WHO has called for four ‘enablers’ to be integrated in the Decade’s effort to shift the status quo. These are meaningful engagement and amplifying the voices of seniors, fostering leadership and capacity building, connecting stakeholders to the movement, and strengthening data, research and innovation. The United Nations General Assembly assigned October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons in December 1990, following initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing. That international instrument guides thinking and policy decisionmaking on ageing to this day. Sometimes known as the ‘Vienna Plan’, it included 62 recommendations for action on the likes of research, education, social welfare, health and nutrition, income security and employment, housing and environment, and much more.

country are not being prioritised, and specific action must be taken immediately to better support and value this group now and into the future; concerns they’ve raised with the UN. The NZCCSS’ submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, which assess a nation’s progress on human rights, showed how older people have been consistently disadvantaged and forgotten by successive Governments. The NZCCSS says ageism has been accepted as ‘normal’ and that older people are disregarded in national decision-making as they aren’t considered a standalone group. “In addition, the support systems for older people are underfunded and under constant strain, which has led to major crises in AgeRelated Residential Care,” NZCCSS says.

Caring for elders in New Zealand In New Zealand, the International Day for Older Persons has raised concerns that our older population are not properly cared for.

“NZCCSS calls on the Government to commit to three actions: create an Older Persons poverty monitor, include older people as a specific group within national health and social strategies, improve funding and support for not-for-profit Age-Related Residential Care.”

The NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) says that older people in this

NZCCSS Kaiwhakahaere Matua, executive officer Nikki Hurst hopes that political leaders

implement the solutions presented within the submission and take new data seriously. “We recently asked political parties about their policies for older people and were dismayed at the lack of focus and understanding of this area across the political spectrum,” she says. “There will be one million older people in Aotearoa by 2028 and whoever is in Government after this election must take decisive and informed action to make sure our country is a better place for them. “Except it’s not ‘them’ – it’s ‘us’. We all age. Our country’s lack of preparedness for an ageing population should be of concern to us all.” Age Concern Age Concern is the leading charity for the well-being of older people. For them, the theme of intergenerational support and keeping promises resonates deeply. The day acts as a reminder that older people are a vital part of our society whose contributions, wisdom, and experiences are invaluable.

Society | Elderly Care

Globally, babies born in 2022 are expected to live 71.7 years on average, 25 years longer than those born in 1950. Karen Billings-Jensen, Chief Executive of Age Concern New Zealand says, “The UN’s focus on fulfilling the promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons is a crucial reminder that older people have the right to make their own choices and live with dignity and respect”. National President of Age Concern New Zealand Wayne Bradshaw says, “Intergenerational learning, sharing, and caring are essential for building a society where everyone, regardless of age, is valued and included”. Age Concern calls for people to stand up against ageism by becoming a Dignity Champion. Age Concern Dignity Champions pledge to reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual, speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old, and have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people.

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Real Estate | Property Sales

Looking to list your property? Here’s how to get started By Jen Baird

market for your type of property. Having honest conversations with your real estate salesperson will enable you to understand the current market and the best approach for selling your home.

It’s been a market of supply outweighing demand for several months, but as we enter spring, activity is expected to pick up — including the usual spring flurry of listings.

Honesty is the best policy

Jen Baird is the Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

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Typically, spring is seen as an ideal time to bring a property to market — particularly as many people look to make their buying plans this side of Christmas. Here’s what to think about as you look to list your property.

A real estate professional will help to manage your price expectations with the latest statistics, their knowledge of the current market, the local area, what properties are attracting the most attention and why, the current levels of attendance at open homes, and more. They should also explain what they will do behind the scenes to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

As we head into the warmer months, the market cycle tends to see more listings and an increase in buyer demand.

They can advise you on the best way to present your property for sale including aspects such as required maintenance, tidying up of gardens, de-cluttering, or home-staging.

It is important to find a real estate professional who can deliver a standout marketing campaign, advise you on key steps for getting your property ready to list, and who will tell you what you need to know throughout the selling process.

With these factors come costs, and your real estate professional should ensure you are aware of the aspects you may need to invest in when selling your home so there are no surprises, and so you can factor this into your budget.

Research is key Using a real estate salesperson can result in a more effective sale than selling privately. They will handle the details of the marketing and sales process, the cut and thrust of the negotiation or auction, and you can rest assured that you’re protected throughout the process by their expertise and requirements under the Real Estate Agents Act.

Look for a salesperson who can demonstrate knowledge of your local area and community, ideally with a network of potential buyers, as this can help ensure your property is best positioned and marketed to the right people.

Make sure you understand what a salesperson’s commission fee is. While fees do vary by agency, our advice is that choosing a salesperson on commission alone could lead To find the right person for you, ask around; to losing a significant amount of money by talk to family, friends and neighbours and see if achieving a lower price for the property. they have any recommendations on real estate The Real Estate of Institute of New Zealand salespeople they have previously used and whom they had a good experience with. (REINZ) is a champion for a world-class real estate profession delivering the best possible It’s also fundamental to understand where the market is today before you head into the selling real estate services to New Zealanders. process. Doing some of your own research is Choosing a REINZ real estate professional vital however, you can rely on your salesperson member means you are choosing someone to bring expertise. who is supported to excel in the profession, and are trusted, skilled professionals, Salespeople have the time, access to the supported by high-quality education, advice, latest data and market information, and to advise on exactly what is happening in your and uphold the best standards of practice. CT

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Property & Construction | Superhome Movement

The superhome design difference The annual Superhome Tours, organised by the Superhome Movement Charitable Trust, are proving popular around the country. Enthusiastic members of both the public and industry are able to explore in person what makes a Superhome tick, thanks to the generous owners opening up their homes for viewing. Often communities are uneducated on how our homes should be built and function, with important design factors overlooked. “It makes no sense to continue to build codeminimum houses that are cold and expensive to heat,” Prebbleton Superhome owners Paul and Shirley Watson say. “If all houses were built like ours, families would be living in warm dry houses that are cheap to run. “There is a lot of evidence this would improve children’s health and reduce demand in the health sector. “It would also help to reduce the demands on electricity and water infrastructure.” The majority of New Zealand homes just aren’t healthy enough, often uninhabitable by world standards - too cold, damp, and mouldy.

The Big Cottage showcased architectural excellence.

A study by research organization BRANZ and the University of Auckland found that 1,000 children slept in bedrooms that were below the 18°C the World Health Organisation recommends for a minimum indoor temperature.


New Zealand also has the highest childhood asthma rate and death rate in the developed world with our healthcare costs for respiratory diseases alone exceeding $5 billion annually. Bob Burnett Architecture founder Bob Burnett has first-hand experience with the impact of poor housing on health. After the Christchurch earthquakes, his family was forced to relocate from their healthy home into substandard rentals.


The health of his children deteriorated rapidly with doctors attributing this to poor housing. This experience prompted him to create the Superhome Movement. Many people outside the industry wishing to build assume that all new homes are built on par with leading-edge techniques that ensure healthy and energy-efficient living.

DO_CT Superhome_60mmx124mm_Sep2023.pdf 1 31/08/2023 7:18:13 am

Sharing ideas on the Superhome Tours.









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Property & Construction | Superhome Movement Unfortunately, the current New Zealand building code minimum standards for insulation are around a third of other similarclimate countries.

Superhome key principles: • Design - optimised for orientation, function, and aesthetics

Many code-minimum new homes can have single-digit room temperatures and are responsible for five to seven times the carbon emissions necessary to meet our global targets.

• Modelling - verify energy performance and thermal comfort • Windows and doors - highperformance, in line with insulation

The public, therefore, needs access to good information to make informed decisions when building or renovating their homes, so they are healthy for people and the planet.

• Structure - super-insulated with minimal thermal bridging • Slab foundations - fully insulated and resilient

The incongruous approach of selecting a builder first will often set roadblocks for a project, being driven by the practicality of the build instead of the ideas and innovation necessary for the home to perform at its best. Prioritising good design at the beginning is crucial, such as correct orientation and glazing ratios to avoid overheating or favouring timber over steel to minimise thermal bridging.

• Airtightness - appropriate techniques and standards • Ventilation - appropriate whole home heat recovery systems • Materials and waste minimisation low carbon, responsibly sourced, and specified

There were even a couple of under construction exemplars.

These above key principles form the basis of a holistic standard and ethos for good sustainable high-performance design. It’s time for a change. Together, professionals and businesses both big and small who have already chosen to be superhome participants, show their thoughtful leadership, sharing ideas and resources to leverage and assist those who are wanting to build better homes, with more members joining every month. Correct design and building techniques can easily be incorporated into any new project. Experiencing Prebbleton Superhome designed by Bob Burnett.

Making it easy to get the premium uPVC windows and doors you need to create a warmer, healthier, and more comfortable home for you and your family.

Booking a consultation with an industry expert, such as Bob Burnett, can ensure your new project will have a well-thought-out design that

• Energy-efficient space heating and water heating • Water efficiency and recycling. caters to creating a healthy and energy-efficient home, combined with aesthetical flair. Healthy for people. Healthy for the planet. CT Superhome Movement 9/18 Bernard Street Addington Christchurch 0800 002 674 — Advertising Feature

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Energy | Connetics

Delivering energy solutions for a cleaner and brighter future Vision 2030: Low-carbon, high-wage economy that increases energy security, supports electrisation and promotes equality In an era defined by climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, Connetics has a significant part to play in Canterbury. As a full-service energy solutions provider, Connetics is not only committed to leading the charge toward decarbonisation of the economy through electrification, it’s also making sure people are at the heart of that journey with a focus on embracing diversity and inclusion as cornerstones of its ambitious 2030 growth strategy. Connetics’ 2030 strategy: A blueprint for sustainable progress Connetics’ commitment to safety, quality and sustainability is unwavering, and its 2030 strategy is a testament to this dedication. Central to this vision is accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy. This means shifting away from fossil fuels and embracing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower at an unprecedented scale. It also means upgrading the grid infrastructure so that it gets to consumers as quickly and easily as possible.

Connetics’ has pledged to reduce its own carbon footprint by investing in energy-efficient technologies, optimising operations, and adopting a circular economy approach. Its goal is to halve baseline emissions within its operations by 2030. As a contractor heavily reliant on fossil fuels to power heavy vehicles, this not only sets a high bar for the industry but also showcases Connetics’ leadership in kaitiakitanga, protecting the sky, sea and land. Empowering electrification: The future of energy Delivering energy solutions for the community and supporting the electrification of households and businesses is key to Connetics’ 2030 strategy. Electricity is the most versatile, efficient, sustainable and safe form of energy widely available. By working with its customers, local businesses, and communities, Connetics is spearheading initiatives to electrify across all sectors in Canterbury, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and curb greenhouse gas emissions. The company is poised to play a pivotal role in designing, procuring, building and maintaining the infrastructure to allow decarbonisation across a broad range of sectors. From the highly visible Christchurch Northern Corridor Motorway lighting, to upgrading Christchurch City streetlights, to LED and the less obvious, but just as important installation

of substations, laying of lines and assisting with clean up and repair following severe weather events across the motu, Connetics is doing the hard mahi to keep our communities plugged in, turned on and powered up. Powering the future: Skills that stand out from the crowd With a workforce of around 450 – many of whom have been with the company for

decades – Connetics is dedicated to attracting and retaining top talent. At the recent Connexis Annual Connections event in Invercargill which showcases the capabilities of the industry, Connetics’ staff took out multiple prizes including line mechanics, cable jointers and the outstanding trainee of the year, Abbey Meiritz-Reid, who is breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes across the industry.

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Energy | Connetics Connetics’ workforce transformation: Fuelling diversity and inclusion Connetics is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. The company recognises that diversity is not just a matter of social responsibility but is a strategic imperative. Like many organisations operating in the STEM environment, Connetics’ workforce does not currently fully reflect the communities it is a part of. The company has a clear aim to address this to embrace the large proportion of available talent that also brings a fresh perspective, fosters innovation, and enables it to better serve its customers and communities. Connetics’ commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in its efforts to attract, retain, and promote talent from all backgrounds. The company implemented initiatives such as Girls with Hi-Vis, diversity training, and inclusive hiring practices to ensure its workforce is more reflective of the community it serves. A key milestone in Connetics’ journey toward a more inclusive workplace is its commitment to closing the gender gap at all levels of the organisation. This is not merely a symbolic gesture but includes tangible steps toward creating a more equitable workplace where all employees can thrive. In 2023 this included partnering with GirlBoss New Zealand to bring the GirlBoss Awards to Canterbury in September, which was an outrageous success. Through this partnership, nominations for the national GirlBoss awards went from 455 in

2022 to 528 in 2023, with representation from Canterbury more than tripling over that period. At 33 percent of the nominations, the awards are an awesome opportunity to showcase Canterbury’s wāhine rangatahi holding a very bright future in their hands. Leading the charge towards a sustainable, inclusive future Connetics’ 2030 strategy is not just a corporate vision; it’s a blueprint for a better future. By setting itself up to support the decarbonisation and electrification of Canterbury, the company is actively contributing to the fight against climate change. Simultaneously, its dedication to diversity and inclusion is a model for how organisations can drive positive social change. As Connetics continues to innovate, collaborate, and lead by example, it serves as an inspiration to the energy industry and beyond. It’s a reminder that the journey toward a sustainable, inclusive future is not only possible but necessary. With Connetics leading the charge, we can all look forward to powering a cleaner and brighter futures with our communities. CT

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Focus On | Retail Business

Retail spending growth slides in September Consumer spending data released by Worldline today shows annual spending growth was relatively slow at the start of September, most noticeably in Auckland, but weakened across the country by the end of the month. Consumer spending processed through all Core Retail merchants (excluding Hospitality) in Worldline NZ’s payments network in September 2023 reached $2.958B, which is up 2.8 percent on September 2022, and up 21 percent on the same month in 2019.


In New Zealand’s largest region, retail spending growth was meagre all month. In the rest of the country, growth was moderate for the first half of the month, then also slid to a lower rate for the second half. Worldline NZ’s chief sales officer, Bruce Proffit says it was a month of two halves, at least outside of Auckland.

“In New Zealand’s largest region, retail spending growth was meagre all month. In the rest of the country, growth was moderate for the first half of the month, then also slid to a lower rate for the second half,” he says.

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“It is possible that a combination of continuing bad weather and the timing of school holidays were factors.


“There is also the possibility of a pre-election lull. More worrying for merchants, though, is that consumer confidence remains low, petrol prices and interest rates continue to rise, and the economy is still coming to grips with a lower dairy farm payout this season.”

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Proffit says the annual growth rate declined within the month, noting spending was running at around six percent per annum outside of Auckland/Northland in the first two weeks of the month, but slipped noticeably in the month’s last two weeks to two percent. Annual spending growth was near one percent in each week of September for Auckland/ Northland and averaged 1.1 percent for the month, the lowest annual growth rate for Auckland/Northland since the start of this year and the lowest growth rate in September amongst the regions. The highest annual growth in September was recorded in Whanganui (10.3 percent). CT

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Kiwi dairies predicted to close with tobacco licensing Despite a 33 percent collapse in daily smoking in just two years putting us on track for Smokefree Aotearoa 2025, the Ministry of Health has started implementing Labour’s plan to slash cigarette outlets by 90 percent. This means just 595 outlets from Northland to Southland. “Dairies will not just close, but those selling cigarettes will become targets for criminals and worst of all, it puts the gangs in charge of New Zealand smoking policy,” says Sunny Kaushal, chair of the Dairy and Business Owners’ Group Inc. “In the past two years, and this is Ministry data, daily smoking has gone from just under 12 percent to eight percent at the end of last year. Daily smoking is down a full third with 154,000 fewer Kiwis lighting up daily and record falls in Maori smoking too. “This is all down to vaping with 90 percent of vapers over the age of 25 being ex-smokers. “For the unsuccessful they will have around three months to adapt their business. That’s why we fear this could put half of all dairies out of business. Some 2,000 businesses.

Dairies will not just close, but those selling cigarettes will become targets for criminals and worst of all, it puts the gangs in charge of New Zealand smoking policy.

“And when these licenses start next July, each will turn over about $3m a year with a lot of that being cash. As there are fewer banks these days and even less


“Dairies have been 94 percent compliant after thousands of inspections since 2019. Incidentally, it’s 97 percent compliance for selling vapes since 2022.

in rural areas, they will provide tempting targets for the armed hold up to make an unwelcome comeback,” Mr Kaushal said. CT

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Selwyn’s digital delivery partnership Selwyn District Council partners with Spark for NZ-first digital community engagement services In partnership with Spark IoT, Selwyn District Council is the first New Zealand organisation to embark on an innovative digital community engagement service offering, which aims to deliver a more personalised user experience for the local community outside of existing digital and social media channels. Members of the public can engage directly with the council, opt-in and personalise the information they would like to receive on the variety of council services and initiatives via an app, such as waste management, civic works and road closures, local community programmes and events. Spark IoT (Internet of Things) will deploy the GreenBe cloud-based customer engagement solution. GreenBe is an Australian-based provider with a proven track record in helping to enhance the services Councils deliver for their communities.

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The solution includes the capability to derive insights and analyse information from IoT devices via an admin portal, a branded mobile app for members of the public, CRM and customer support and rewards/incentives fulfilment to help promote local businesses to the community.

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Selwyn District Council’s head of Digital and Information Services and chief information officer, Trish Baird, says the council was searching for an innovative,

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“This enables us to enhance our community engagement strategy using the power of technology,” she says.

“For example, we are looking to explore how we can boost community participation for our waste and recycling programmes by incentivising residents to live more sustainably using gamification features that are similar to what you’d find in social media apps. “Features like quizzes, polls, surveys, rewards and discounts offers will help to boost engagement further, and to better understand the ‘pulse’ of the community around particular council services or any local topics or issues of concern in near real-time.”

Spark IoT lead Michele Wong says, “We are proud to work with Selwyn District Council to help deliver best-in-class digital service solutions that help foster a more connected community. “The new technology will play an important role in how the Council can encourage the public to engage further with its services and community initiatives around sustainability, community volunteering, waste management, or the latest rewards and promotions from local businesses. “The benefits of IoT in helping to drive sustainable outcomes are more evident when combined with the ability to enhance community engagement.” The Selwyn District Council aims to have its app available for members of the public towards the latter half of 2023. GreenBe is an Australian-based provider of cloud customer engagement solutions built exclusively for smart water utilities, energy networks and local governments. Their partners include Microsoft, Telstra, Nokia and local councils in Australia. CT

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