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February 2014 The magazine for MAS Members

Walking the

GREEN LINE PLUS Personal finance: Saving for retirement

Life: Wellness vs well-being

Travel: Dublin


On MAS

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Februaryx2014

Personal finance

The path to the golden years

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From your Chairman

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Member story: Walking the green line

website

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mailing address

MAS updates

10 Business: Practice made perfect 13 Personal finance: The path to the

phone

19 Life: It’s all in the balance 22 Family: In the arms of an angel 25 Travel: Let’s get craic-ing! It’s all in the balance

28 Music: Breaking good 29 MAS news 31 Student news 33 Motoring 34 Wine

25 Travel

www.mas.co.nz On MAS PO Box 13042 Johnsonville Wellington 6440

16 Technology: Catch a mouse to the shops

Life

MAS 19-21 Broderick Rd Johnsonville Wellington 6037

6 Your space

golden years

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publisher

36 Great reads

Let’s get craic-ing!

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES WE WANT YOUR STORIES Are you a MAS Member who has a specialised or rare vehicle? You might be an amateur driver who owns a race car or a pilot who has an aeroplane for recreational flights. Or perhaps you’re into restoring classic cars or vintage seafaring vessels. If so, and you’d be interested in being profiled in an upcoming issue of On MAS, we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know by emailing onmas@mas.co.nz or writing to On MAS at Freepost 884, MAS, PO Box 13042, Johnsonville, Wellington 6440. *All material is edited and published at the editor’s discretion.

0800 800 627

head office

+64 4 478 8863

fax

+64 4 477 0109

email

onmas@mas.co.nz

managing editor Lindsay Huthnance

The information contained in On MAS is of a general nature and should not be used or relied upon as a substitute for detailed advice or as a basis for formulating business decisions. The opinions of contributors are their own and not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. © 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the prior permission of the publisher. ISSN 2230-5823 On MAS is produced on New Zealand’s first CO2-neutral printing

installation, using no alcohol-based pollutants. Printed on environmentally responsible paper that complies with the requirements of environmental systems EMAS and ISO14001, using vegetable-based inks.

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FROM YOUR CHAIRMAN

A matter of time At this time of year we are busy delving back into our working lives. At the same time, we are trying to stick to our New Year’s resolutions – for example, seeing more of our families and friends, eating healthier, or getting (or keeping) fit.

These are well intentioned goals, but in truth they all require the same basic ingredient: more time. Time to set aside for that family holiday you’ve been thinking about for ages but that just hasn’t come together, or even just that weekly coffee catch-up with a friend you don’t see enough. Time to shop at the local farmers’ market and cook more of your meals at home. Time to finally train for that 10k, or maybe just enough time to take a daily walk on the beach.

Resolve to plan

Being well

So why not make your New Year’s resolution just that: to plan. You may or may not be aware that we offer a free personal review service as part of your membership. Your adviser can tell you how MAS can provide the finance for your next personal or business endeavour, and help you make sure you’re making the right plans to give you the reassurance that your assets are protected and you’re on the path to achieving your financial goals. And this need not take up too much of your time; your adviser can meet with you where and when it’s convenient.

We have never had so much choice about what to do with our time, yet most of us have less free time than ever before – so much so that a whole new branch of psychology has grown worldwide from the core concept of wellness vs well-being. This burgeoning area of mental health is most significant for busy professionals, so you’ll find an overview on the importance of work/life balance and an invitation to give us your feedback on this important topic in the Life section.

In this issue we look at planning from several angles. In Personal finance, we attempt to tackle a question that’s been on many of your minds based on our reader feedback: how much to save for retirement. In Business, we learn how having the right amount of cover helped a dental practice get back on its feet after the earthquake, in newly renovated premises that recently won a commendation from the Christchurch Civic Trust. Finally, have a look at MAS updates to see how you can make a plan to shed that holiday debt.

And while sorting out your finances and making a plan for the future can’t magically create more time, it can help give you the peace of mind to make the most of your free time, as well as make getting through the occasional setback a more smooth and painless process.

Here’s to more time to enjoy in 2014.

Richard Tyler, Chairman

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MEMBER STORY

Walking the GREEN LINE By Nick Helm

Ever feel you could do more for nature and the environment? Meet four Members whose blood runs very green indeed.

Building walls and breaking down barriers Nelson-based obstetrician and gynaecologist David Leadbetter is a founding member of the Brook Waimarama Trust Sanctuary, a community-led organisation that aims to create a pest-free ecosystem in the native bush around Nelson and maintain it as a rich conservation environment for tourism, education and research. Key to the sanctuary’s success is a long-term effort to raise the $4.75 million necessary to erect a 14-kilometre perimeter fence and enclose some 720 hectares of mature native forest. It is a project very close to David’s heart, yet it began in a most mundane way. “About eight or nine years ago I answered an advertisement in the local paper looking for people interested in building a pest-proof fence around the city’s old waterworks reserve in the Brook Valley,” says David. “I thought it sounded right up my alley. I’ve always had a conservation bent and I’d spent many years on reforestation projects planting thousands of trees on the hills around Nelson, so I thought the idea sounded good. I applied and became one of the first trustees.” Today, the project has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar business venture with stakeholders throughout the community.

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February 2014

The Board of Trustees has representatives from local iwi, environmental groups and the Department of Conservation, as well as local leaders, conservationists and business people. “We now employ 3.5 full-time staff and a couple of contractors to advise us and we’ve probably got close to 1,000 members in the community. We also have 300 active volunteers who put in more than 30,000 hours each year within the sanctuary, working on the early stages of our eradication programme to remove possums, rats and stoats from the lower 300 metres of the sanctuary,” he says. “That area has had the most exposure to people, so that’s where the bush has thinned


the most, but we already noticed incredible changes in the bush since we’ve started our trapping programme. We’ve just passed 16,000 pests eradicated, so it’s doing well.” Construction of the perimeter fence is expected to begin later this year and the trapping programme will continue to keep pest numbers down for the 15 to 18 months needed to finish the job.

for this, but I hope in 20 years I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow, look what we’ve achieved’.” To find out more about the Brook Waimarama Trust Sanctuary or sponsor a fence post in the Get Behind the Fence campaign, visit www.brooksanctuary.org.

A passion for pests

“Once the fence is up, we will completely eradicate pests from the entire area – not using 1080, I might add. The Department of Conservation has a specific programme to prove there are no pests left, which will take another 12 to 18 months, but once we’ve passed that, we can start to reintroduce species,” he says.

Chris Rowse also loves the natural environment. He and his wife bought a 15-hectare property in Golden Bay with the dream of part-time employment and spending more time on the land. He began working two days a week as an osteopath in Takaka and planted a wide range of fruit and nut trees, avocados in particular.

“We’ll be able to reintroduce tuatara and the area is perfect for the rowi kiwi, New Zealand’s second most endangered species of kiwi. The rowi was endemic throughout the Nelson and Buller region and right over to the West Coast, but it’s virtually non-existent today. We plan to breed them within the sanctuary and reintroduce them to the areas where they used to live.”

But he soon discovered he had competition for the land, a noxious pest that would eventually see him spearhead one of the most ambitious invasive plant eradication programmes in the country: Project De-Vine.

He says that once the rowi kiwi reach a juvenile stage – weighing 700 grams or more – they’re much more capable of fending for themselves in the wild and can survive for 30 years or more. “All the local environmental groups are very excited, because not only do we have 700 hectares of pest-free bush, but there are also another 10,000 hectares of the Mount Richmond Forest Park abutting the back of the sanctuary and we’ll be able to act as an incubator for all that surrounding bush. It’s an incredibly exciting prospect.” David says that as the sanctuary has evolved into a successful business, he’s been able to focus more on what he enjoys most. “My main role now is with the volunteer base – overseeing the initiation of the track-making and trapping within the sanctuary. Then, more recently, with the fundraising teams – approaching individuals and companies, and applying to trusts and funding agencies for grants,” he says. “When I’m out there in the bush though, I really remember why I do this. I’ve always loved the outdoors. As everyone does, I hope I can contribute to something during my life that will leave a legacy. I know my name won’t be remembered

“When we moved to Golden Bay 14 years ago, we weren’t prepared for just how lush and subtropical the climate was and we discovered that there were, in particular, banana passionfruit vines all over the property. We had one gully totally full of them,” he says. “We started clearing it out and after a couple of years we managed to get on top of it, but the number of seedlings that kept coming back was quite daunting. It clearly wasn’t just from our property – it was being spread by birds from hundreds of properties all around us.”

“He [Chris Rowse] also expanded Project DeVine’s scope to other pest plants, including wonga wonga vine and old man’s beard, and has removed an astonishing 74,000 individual banana passionfruit vines.”

Native to South America, the banana passionfruit was deliberately cultivated in New Zealand for its popular eating fruit. Ideally suited to the climate of the western and northern South Island, it quickly spread out of control and earned notoriety for its invasive climbing nature and tendency to smother native plants and trees. It is now illegal to sell, cultivate and distribute banana passionfruit plants in New Zealand and many other countries. “The top third of our land is a native regenerating gorge and I was worried the vines would advance up the hill because they were spreading at an alarming rate. I soon discovered that many of our neighbours were also feeling completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem on their own land,” he says.

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“Around that time, I heard about the Department of Conservation’s Biodiversity Condition Fund, which helps fund community projects with common pest problems. I must have rung up every person on our side of the road – 16 people, I think – and in the space of six weeks I’d formed a group, completed the application and received the money. I had no organised team and no real plan for how to tackle the problem, but we had $54,000. That’s how it all got started.” Within a year, Chris’s Project De-Vine had grown to a full-time weed team of up to six people and a survey team tasked with monitoring the level of seedling regrowth and identifying new properties in need of attention. He also expanded Project De-Vine’s scope to other pest plants, including wonga wonga vine and old man’s beard, and has removed an astonishing 74,000 individual banana passionfruit vines. “The whole thing just got bigger and bigger after we finished clearing those first 16 properties. I knew almost everyone involved back then. The second project was 31 properties and it took over a year to get the funding application together. For the third project – in Pohara – we’re dealing with 160 properties. It has taken two years to find and negotiate with all the landowners and there’s still a few who refuse to reply to letters,” he says. “It’s a bit like a rollercoaster – that first tip over the very top of the rails then you start the downward plunge. It started off quite innocently with the first funding and then the

second and then the third, and it just made sense to keep going. I’m really enjoying the chance to help the Golden Bay community and I’m having a great ride along the way.” Project De-Vine is a member of the nationwide Weedbusters initiative. For more information, visit www.weedbusters.org.nz.

Healthy footprints Wellington general practitioner Rebecca Randerson calls herself a quiet environmental activist. She is co-creator of the Greening Your Practice toolkit, a resource to encourage and guide environmentally responsible changes within health-related workplaces, and the driving force behind Forests for Health New Zealand, an initiative to reduce and offset carbon emissions among health professionals. “Generally, people in the medical profession have a huge carbon footprint. They have large disposable incomes and travel frequently, which is often deemed necessary for medical education, and they use a wide range of carbon-creating medical devices in their work. When you add it all up, their carbon footprint is

much larger than average. We wanted to find ways to reduce that footprint,” says Rebecca. “By far the most effective thing to do is slash the use of fossil fuels, but we were aware that some emissions are unavoidable, so we wanted to have a simple carbon offset, so that we could plant trees and make up for all the carbon we use as medical professionals. We also wanted to plant native bush and contribute to New Zealand’s environment in a unique way.” Forests for Health sprung out of that idea. The initiative brings OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council and the Sustainable Business Network’s Carbon4Good Programme together to work with local schools and community groups to replant native bush in areas that wouldn’t otherwise be able to regenerate. “In partnership with Wellington City Council, we chose a site in the hills around Wellington with a huge wasteland that local Ma¯ori want to replant in native bush,” says Rebecca. The Forests for Health website enables health professionals to offset the carbon impacts of their annual vehicle usage, air travel and electricity consumption by contributing to a fund that plants trees on the site. The website also provides a facility to offset any other carbon emissions by purchasing individual tree plantings. “I did all the donkey work to take the idea and put it into action, so I suppose you could call me project manager. But there’s no point in having the forest if people don’t know about it, so the bulk of the work I do now is championing and communicating, and keeping enthusiasm, ideas and momentum up within the group,” she says. “We get the message out as much as possible and my colleagues from OraTaiao and I often talk to groups of doctors at hospitals and DHBs about what they and their organisations can do to reduce their carbon footprint. We spend a great deal of time educating and advocating about sustainability and the health system’s responsibility to operate in a way that doesn’t damage the environment.” For instance, she says that most specialists in New Zealand receive a considerable budget each year to spend on education and travel to overseas conferences. “The cost to offset the carbon impact of that travel is small when compared with the total amount being spent, so we would like the

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February 2014


DHBs to fund the offset as an automatic part of their budgets. We’re happy if they offset it elsewhere, but we invite them to use our Forest for Health initiative. That’s what I would love to see, but in the meantime we ask health professionals to do the right thing and offset their own carbon impacts,” she says. She says that although the industry is currently not doing nearly enough, change is beginning to happen, with more individuals taking responsibility for their personal and professional actions. “That’s very exciting, but we really need to accelerate it in the next five years if we want to make a real difference. All you can hope to alter is what’s happening in your world directly around you, but that is enough,” she says. “I was raised to believe we have a responsibility to this planet and all creatures that live on it – a stewardship for this world. It’s my core belief and I think, deep down, it’s a core belief for many people. There’s a fundamental rightness about preserving the planet we live on.” To find out more about Forests for Health, carbon emissions in the health profession and purchasing carbon offsets, visit www.forestsforhealthnz.org.

them, they would realise that if they were to join up to a car share, they’d probably save enough for a nice holiday every year.” When someone joins cityhop, they receive an electronic smart card that acts as a key to the vehicles. When they want to use a car, they go online and book one for the hours they want at the location that is most convenient. If a car is not available, they can choose the next closest location to see if it’s suitable. When they arrive at the car, they place the smart card on the windscreen, the doors unlock and the car operates as normal. Cityhop charges $15 per hour, including the fuel. “They may not be the flashest cars, but I think that’s irrelevant. As long as you have a vehicle, I think it provides a much easier way for people to move about and spend less on parking, fuel and vehicle maintenance,” she says. Cityhop is not only popular with trendy inner-city urbanites, it has found a niche with professionals working in and around the central business districts.

A drive to share Former lawyer and Auckland City councillor Victoria Carter has found her own way to do her bit for the planet. She’s co-founder of cityhop, a pioneering by-the-hour car sharing company operating out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. “Basically, cityhop is an easy way for people to have access to a car without all the hassles and cost of car ownership,” says Victoria. “There are many people living in cities these days who don’t really need cars. If they look at how they use their cars and how much it costs

“Even as a very young person I pressured my family to reduce, reuse and recycle. And as an adult, one of the main reasons I got into politics was to do something about Auckland City Council doubling the size of the wheelie bins. I was horrified that we were being encouraged to produce more waste. For every extra kilogram of rubbish that we collect, there is an associated transport and land cost, and as Auckland intensifies you have to take that rubbish farther away and create more landfills. The whole principle of it really bothered me,” she says. “We’ve all become such huge consumers in the past 20 years – whether it’s the food we eat, the waste we produce or the cars we drive. We now drive three times as far as our grandparents used to and I simply don’t think that we can keep on consuming at that rate.” She says that part of the answer lies in collective consumption.

“It’s a horrible term for what our grandparents would have called sharing. In some parts of the world you can join a community of locals, people in your neighbourhood, who’ll share “We have a large number of architects and their lawnmower, hedge trimmer, chainsaw engineers who were early adopters of the and so on. That way, each individual no longer service. We have more of them on our has to buy and maintain everything they need. membership books than any other profession,” It’s a powerful concept that lies at the heart of she says. “Auckland Council has provided us a lot of what I do, including cityhop,” she says. with dedicated car parks now too, which is fantastic. Since that happened the vehicles “I guess I do all these small things out of have become a lot more visible and we’ve a sense of personal responsibility. I want seen a real uplift in membership and usage to leave the world a better place for our of the cars as people see them as a viable grandchildren and make sure there’s still a alternative to walking, catching the bus, or really beautiful world for them to grow up in.” taking vehicles of their own.” For more information on car sharing Victoria says she has always described herself and using the cityhop service, visit www.cityhop.co.nz. as ‘the unlikely greenie’.

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Your space

MEMBER NEWS

SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE US TO KNOW?

This is Your space – a forum for you to talk with other Members. So if you’re fundraising, promoting an event, looking for a long-lost friend or simply want to congratulate someone, this is the space for you. On MAS goes to more than 24,000 Members, so it’s a great way to get your message out there. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions, so please keep them coming. You can email us at onmas@mas.co.nz. All material is edited and published at the editor’s discretion.

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February 2014

Auckland anaesthetist awarded for commitment to trainees MAS Member and Middlemore Hospital doctor Catherine Purdy was recently awarded the 2013 Ray Hader Award for Pastoral Care by

the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) for her support of trainee anaesthetists over several years. Catherine has just completed her ANZCA fellowship and has been assisting trainees while working to establish a welfare and mentoring scheme for trainees in New Zealand, following her own experience of training at Auckland City Hospital while battling cancer. “People helped me during my training, so I feel it’s my duty to give back to other trainees; also, it is part of what our job as doctors should be and it is just what I do,” she says.

Dr Catherine Purdy receives her ANZCA fellowship certificate of completion from Dr Nigel Robertson.

A support person for trainees having difficulties with their studies, Catherine has produced a pamphlet used by Auckland City and Middlemore Hospitals that lists where help is available and how to access services that encourage a good work/life balance. She plans to work in Melbourne for a year before returning to a consultant position at Middlemore in 2015.

Popular vet series now on DVD After years of requests from viewers worldwide, the Queenstown television programme Remarkable Vets, featuring Wakatipu veterinarian and MAS Member Geoff Woodhouse, is now available on DVD. Two consecutive series were filmed between 2004 and 2006, following Geoff and his team as they established a new half-domestic and half-rural veterinary practice in Arrowtown.

The series was broadcast in New Zealand and Australia initially, but its audience grew exponentially when it was bought by the National Geographic Channel in mid-2007. Geoff says the practice has been inundated with enquiries about when the series would be available on DVD. After months of securing the rights and producing a bulk order of the DVD, both series are now available for sale or order from Remarkable Vets clinics in Arrowtown for $20 each. Call 03 442 1411 or email a request via www.remarkablevets.co.nz. Geoff says a third series is under consideration: “We enjoyed the novel experience of filming so much we would relish the opportunity to do it again – this time with a bit more confidence!”

Geoff Woodhouse at work on Remarkable Vets.


Orthopaedic surgeon joins disaster response Tauranga-based orthopaedic surgeon and MAS Member Dr Vaughan Poutawera travelled to Tacloban, the Philippine city hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, to provide emergency surgical services late last year.

Humanitarian work has always been a passion for Vaughan. “When I graduated from med school, I wanted to join Médecins Sans Frontières, but back then you had to commit to one year, so I never got around to it,” he says. “Then, life takes over – your training takes you from city to city and overseas. There’s one exam after another...now that we’re not moving around, I can help in places like the Philippines.”

Vaughan was the only Kiwi doctor in a group of 37 nicknamed ‘Team Bravo’, comprising the second and final rotation of doctors sent as part of the Australian Medical Assistance Team. On the ground in Tacloban, he operated from 8am to around 6pm – but at times as late as 1am – performing wound debridements, manipulations and casts for closed and open fractures, tendon and nerve repairs, amputations, skin grafts and laparotomies. “Our team comprised medical, nursing and paramedical specialists, and logisticians selected from all the states of Australia. It was an honour to be asked to join the team and a privilege to work with such a skilled, dedicated and enjoyable group of people,” he says.

Dr Vaughan Poutawera.

New Zealand Herald readers recognise young doctor 26-year-old MAS Member Dr Sudhvir Singh was a finalist for New Zealander of the Year in 2013, an award selected via an online poll of New Zealand Herald readers. A doctor at Auckland City Hospital, Sudhvir is the Auckland director for Generation Zero, a group of mostly young professionals promoting solutions to climate change through transport, energy and liveable cities.

He also chairs the Doctors-in-Training Council of the New Zealand Medical Association. Generation Zero has been widely recognised for changing the debate about the future shape of our cities and engaging young people in politics. The group promoted a vision for ‘density done well’ as a way of addressing the housing shortage and limiting urban sprawl, as well as a highly acclaimed

transport plan that will deliver a worldclass public transport and cycling network at half the cost of the current transport programme (www.congestionfree. co.nz). Generation Zero was recognised as the ‘Best New Political Force’ by Metro magazine in its 2013 ‘Best of’ rankings.

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MAS UPDATES

Overseas superannuation transfers Legislation enacted in the past year means you can now transfer funds from a complying Australian superannuation fund into a KiwiSaver scheme upon permanent emigration to New Zealand. You should also be aware that the taxation rules for transferring funds from any country except Australia, for example a pension from the United Kingdom, may be subject to change from 1 April 2014.

Australian super transfers to KiwiSaver The key features of Australian transfers to New Zealand are as follows: ■■

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Transferred money cannot be transferred to a third country.

To be able to transfer your fund/s, you will need to complete a transfer request form. Please be advised that your Australian provider may also require you to complete its own documentation. If you have multiple funds, you will be required to complete a separate transfer request for each fund. MAS can help you with the transfer process. Please call us on 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz to request an information pack, including the transfer form.

Retirement savings can only be transferred to a KiwiSaver scheme from a complying Australian superannuation scheme regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Your Australian provider will be able to advise you if your fund qualifies. A request to transfer cannot be refused (although a KiwiSaver provider does not have to accept transfers). The Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan accepts transfers. You can only transfer if you have emigrated permanently to New Zealand, and you must transfer the full balance. Partial transfers are not allowed. Transfers are voluntary – you don’t have to transfer if you don’t want to. Transfers to KiwiSaver will be exempt from tax at the point of entry. Transferred funds will be subject to a minimum retirement age of 60, provided you satisfy the Australian definition at that age (which relates to having retired from working). Transferred funds cannot be withdrawn to purchase a first home. Transferred funds will not count as contributions to receive matching Member Tax Credits (governmentmatched contributions). February 2014

Other overseas transfers Last year a tax bill was introduced that proposes changing the way foreign superannuation is taxed in New Zealand. This includes changing the rules so that lump sums from foreign superannuation schemes will be taxed only when they are withdrawn or transferred to a New Zealand or Australian scheme. The tax will depend on the gains made while the person has been a New Zealand resident, using one of two calculation options. The most common will be a ‘schedule method’ (based on the length of time the person has been tax resident in New Zealand). This would work by applying a deemed interest factor to recognise the benefit of the tax deferral. The schedule method will allow a 4-year transitional window, in which no tax will be payable on transfers or withdrawals

within the first four years of becoming a New Zealand tax resident. After that, the amount of the transfer taxable will increase each year. After an extended period of time the total transfer will be taxable. In addition, Inland Revenue noted that while most foreign superannuation interests (for example, holdings of pensions from the United Kingdom, rather than the transfer of them) have always been taxable, most people have not paid tax because it has been too confusing. As such, in addition to proposing to change the way foreign superannuation is taxed going forward, the Bill proposes a concessionary option for people who have not met their previous tax obligations. This option means that only 15% of any transfers made between 1 January 2000 and 31 March 2014 will be taxable income (so that if $20,000 were transferred, $3,000 would be taxable at the investor’s marginal tax rate). To benefit from this concession, Members will need to return 15% of the transferred amounts in either their 2013-14 or 2014-15 income tax returns. Interest and penalties will not apply to periods in which the Members did not comply with the existing rules.

Further information Further information from Inland Revenue summarising the changes is available at http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/ publications/2013-or-arfsrm/taxationforeign-superannuation. If you have questions, or would like to make a transfer, please contact us at investments@mas.co.nz or phone 0800 800 627. This article is a general guide only. It is not a substitute for professional and individually tailored financial advice.


Shed your holiday debt sensibly If you overspent during the holiday season and are tempted by one of the ‘low rate’ credit card deals on the go to sort out your debt, you may want to look more closely before you transfer your balance.

boot. You may start out with the best of intentions to pay off your debt at the very low rate in the first six or 12 months after the transfer, but in reality many of us simply don’t have the discipline to see it through.

For starters, many of the very low interest rates on offer from the banks are for a limited time only: most balance transfers at a low interest rate are valid for just 6-12 months, after which the rate increases significantly. The low rate also only applies to the balance – additional purchases are subject to the standard rate, which varies from 12% to 20%, and cash advances are subject to rates of 20% and up. Most credit cards are also subject to annual fees of $50 or more.

Why not consider an alternative that will help keep you on track to pay off your debt? MAS can offer you the opportunity to consolidate your debt with an unsecured personal loan at a highly competitive rate. And you can choose the loan term that you can manage to get it paid in full, up to five years. Call us on 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz to take out a loan or to talk to your adviser about managing your debt today, and be on your way to making structured payments to get back in the black.

What’s more, in transferring your debt from one credit or store card to another credit card, the temptation to keep spending remains – at a higher rate of interest to

Medical Securities Limited’s (MSL’s) normal lending criteria apply for all credit and loans, and your application is subject to acceptance by MSL.

What will your practice look like in five years? If you are a practice owner, how much time do you spend working on your business

rather than in your business? If you are like

most health professionals, you are probably

so busy being the clinician that you have little or no time to put on your business owner’s

hat to consider issues like strategic planning. Strategic planning is about taking the

practice from where it is now to where

you want it to be, along a defined route.

It’s about setting your preferred direction

and deciding how the practice will endure in the longer term, as well as dealing with

key issues along the way such as advances in technology, maintaining profitability,

securing the appropriate workforce, and succession planning.

The first question practice owners need to ask themselves is ‘Where are we now?’. If you think you know the answer, do your staff and patients or clients agree with your ‘picture’ of now? You can test this by conducting surveys – and we can assist you with this process as part of the HealthyPractice® service. To help practices through the strategic planning process, our HealthyPractice® service has a DIY strategic planning pack that includes pre-planning informationgathering, the planning day, and postplanning reports and implementation. If your practice has any questions about strategic or business planning, talk to our MAS HealthyPractice®

New House, Contents and Motor Vehicle insurance products

team. Phone 0800 800 627 or email business@mas.co.nz. Shaun Phelan Business Advisory Manager, MAS This article is a general guide only. It is not a substitute for professional and individually tailored advice.

This year we will be launching new House, Contents and Motor Vehicle insurance products that will provide Members with additional benefits and improvements to cover that we believe will give you the very best policies available in New Zealand for a fair excess and premium. Watch out for more details in the months to follow. On MAS

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BUSINESS

PRACTICE M By Lee Suckling

It was after the first Canterbury earthquake on 4 September 2010 when husband and wife owners of dental clinic Beale & Cullen first started to reconsider their MAS Business Interruption cover. At that time, the practice, located in Armagh Street in Christchurch’s city centre, was covered for business interruption of just $200,000. “Our first thought when September happened, after safety of course, was cash flow,” says Louisa Cullen. “We needed to close for a week but still had to pay our [four] staff and our outgoings.” The MAS Business Interruption (BI) cover that Louisa and her husband Richard Beale had in place for their practice meant that the week went smoothly, but over the following weeks the couple began to have reservations about handling future disruptive events.

Louisa Cullen and husband Richard Beale.

“An optometrist we know lost his premises and it took a long time to find somewhere else,” Louisa recalls.

“Richard and I started to think, ‘If that were us, where would we go? How would we pay our staff for months? How would we pay ourselves? How long would it take us to re-establish our business?’ Dental surgery is not just a computer – you can’t just go and work out of your house like many people did after that quake.” As Louisa and Richard began to ponder whether the amount of cover they had was enough, they took MAS up on an offer to conduct a review of their BI cover. “MAS was reviewing a lot of businesses after the September quake and when ours came up, we were very keen to increase our security,” Louisa says. “It wasn’t too arduous on our part – MAS was very accommodating to work with our schedule, and all we really needed to do was provide our financials.” Christchurch branch Senior Adviser Chris Toy undertook the review. “Beale & Cullen were massively underinsured,” says Chris. “They’d been through a huge growth period, but hadn’t updated their cover to reflect that. We sat down, looked at what could be lost, how their turnover was increasing in patient income, and recommended that their cover increase four-fold.” Upon this review, Louisa and Richard increased their BI cover to more than $800,000, which came into place, serendipitously, in January 2011. “Just as our first BI cover payment was direct debited from our account for January, the catastrophic earthquake [of 22 February] happened,” Louisa remembers.

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February 2014


MADE PERFECT “Both Richard and I had just finished with patients, but they were still in the chairs. We heard the engineers working on the house next door yell, ‘Get out of the building’ at us, just as that house collapsed onto the side of our property.” Already counting their blessings that they had increased their BI cover, Louisa lodged Beale & Cullen’s claim with MAS on 23 February. A claims manager made contact on 25 February, and a progress payment was deposited into their account that day. It was only a week later that Louisa and Richard realised they would never practise out of Armagh Street again. “The building was first yellow stickered, then quickly red stickered, which gave us immediate closure,” says Louisa. “As March came around, we knew we just had to get as much out of the premises as possible, and then start thinking about the future.” On 4 March the claims manager made contact with Louisa to inform her that Deloitte had been appointed to assess the BI claim for their practice. From that day, multiple progress payments began for the subsequent weeks.

The old clinic after the earthquake (above). Removing equipment from the old clinic (below).

“An external accountancy firm is appointed to calculate the true loss of the business,” says Chris. “They assess your loss, profits and expenses, and determine your growth, if any. That will inform your claim’s progress payments.” Louisa and Richard were allowed 15 minutes in their Armagh Street premises on 7 March to collect and remove any items they could safely. With the help of Kelvin Dixon, the business’s dental equipment installer, Louisa and Richard removed around $200,000 worth of equipment, including a CEREC machine, autoclaves and computers. They were allowed back on site twice more a few weeks later, when Kelvin brought in a generator to move heavy dental units and chairs down a staircase.

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Q&A with Chris Toy In preparing for unforeseen events, do I need BI cover? “You need BI cover if you can’t operate away from your premises and [in the event of this occurring] it would cause a significant cash flow problem,” says Chris. “For Richard and Louisa, it protected their profits, ongoing expenses, client base, and gave them the ability to relocate elsewhere.”

What is an indemnity period? “This is the period in which the cover actually lasts. For a dentist, who requires plumbing, electricity and compressors, among other things, a longer indemnity period is needed than perhaps for a GP, who may only need a desk in a quiet room to continue working.”

Is anything excluded in BI cover? “Generally, expenses that will stop are not included, such as ongoing advertising costs. If you’re able to stop paying your rent because you have a damaged building and you can immediately terminate your lease, ongoing rent will also be excluded.”

When should I get a BI cover review? “If you’re going through a growth phase, BI cover keeps in line with that growth and should be updated annually. If your practice turns over a quarter of a million dollars per year, BI cover should reflect that. If it looks like you’re going to turn over a million dollars per annum in the future, your BI cover needs to be adjusted for it.” Chris Toy is a Senior Adviser in the Christchurch branch who has been with MAS for more than 17 years.

The new clinic’s exterior (above) and interior (right).

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February 2014

Because of their BI cover increase and flowing progress payments, Louisa and Richard had time to consider their future carefully. “We had to make a decision on Christchurch for our family – did we want to stay?,” says Louisa. “Because of the security that BI cover offered us, we gave ourselves three months to make a decision. We looked at practices for sale elsewhere in New Zealand, but ultimately decided we did want to stay in Christchurch. “Meanwhile our staff remained fully paid, and we stored all our surgery gear in our garage. We set up computers in our dining room, diverted the practice phone to a mobile, and went about contacting all patients by phone and mail.” On 9 April 2011, Louisa and Richard purchased a 1950s character house on Papanui Road that had sustained very little damage during the earthquakes. “We saw great potential in this house to make it our practice’s new home,” says Louisa of the corner site with high visibility, good access and adequate parking. “It didn’t need a lot of structural change, just due diligence and the building and resource consenting stuff to turn it into something we could operate out of. It was the right size for our requirements.” Progress payments continued as required in consultation with their claims manager. Louisa and Richard each began working one day per week out of a colleague’s practice to deal with patient emergencies. “The rest of the time we spent project managing our relocation,” says Louisa. Building consent was applied for on 4 July, and “after a frustrating wait, it came through in September,” Louisa says.

Renovations began as soon as possible on the glazed tapestry brick house. The exterior was improved by replacing the garage doors with a cedar roller door and adding a pergola to improve the roofline and provide screening from the traffic in the main road. The interior was converted minimally, adding only firewalls and a professional office fit-out including joinery. Two rooms were also combined into one to make an inviting reception area. Full resource consent was granted in November 2011 and, sooner than expected, Beale & Cullen opened at 393 Papanui Road on 12 December. Final adjustments were made to the claim between November 2011 and March 2012, and Beale & Cullen’s last BI payment was made on 1 March. “From a claims perspective this claim went extremely well, considering the loss the Members had suffered,” says Chris. “I believe this came down to the progress payments we were making and having good communication channels open with the Members.” In 2013 Beale & Cullen was awarded a commendation from the Christchurch Civic Trust for “the initiative and enterprise in revitalising a mid-century domestic building for complementary use”. “We’re not sure who nominated us, but it’s nice to have recognition!” Louisa laughs. “MAS’s BI cover absolutely facilitated us getting through 2011,” she adds. “Being forced to move premises is a lot different from choosing to move. But we’re so lucky we thought about our requirements back in 2010, and got enough cover to see us through.”


PERSONAL FINANCE

The path to the GOLDEN YEARS

It’s the most commonly asked question in our reader feedback – and it also happens to be one of the most difficult to answer. In this article, On MAS talks to Investment Products Manager Daniel Callaghan, who attempts to answer the question many Members seem to have on their minds: ‘How much do I need to save for retirement?’.

Putting a figure on it… It is very difficult to tackle this frequently asked question, because there’s no one-sizefits-all answer. Daniel offers some advice and tips for retirement saving at different life stages, as well as some things to think about (and plan for) in saving for retirement.

By Julie Connal

Retirement advice 101: Diversify, diversify, diversify “It’s an oldie but a goodie for a reason,” Daniel says. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. “Up to the age of 60, the more money you have invested in growth assets, the better. As

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a rule of thumb, after that, invest your age as a percentage in income assets – for instance, fixed interest – and the remainder in growth assets – for example, shares and property.” Daniel cautions particularly against moving all of your savings into fixed interest when you are nearing or reaching retirement. “People who do this find that through 20 to 30 years of retirement, their funds experience little growth and therefore don’t last the distance,” he says. “You should still have a percentage of your retirement funds in growth assets even when nearing and in retirement.”

Reach retirement with a freehold house and no other debt at all “Don’t count on downgrading your home as your proxy retirement fund,” Daniel says. “Very few people end up moving somewhere materially cheaper in retirement, because either they don’t want to live somewhere much smaller or in a less expensive neighbourhood, or they move to something maintenance free but still quite expensive.”

Start saving early “Up to the age of 60, the more money you have invested in growth assets, the better. As a rule of thumb, after that, invest your age as a percentage in income assets – for instance, fixed interest – and the remainder in growth assets – for example, shares and property.”

“It’s never too early to start saving for retirement,” Daniel says. “KiwiSaver is an easy and efficient way of saving,” he continues. “Contributions go straight into your account from your pay, so you don’t see that money. KiwiSaver also provides an easy way to invest in growth assets. And, if you’re starting early, the minimum contributions are fine as long as you are also paying off a mortgage on a home, or saving elsewhere as well.”

Make goals and stick to them This one’s important for everyone, but especially so for professionals and the selfemployed, says Daniel. “When you start earning a decent income, it’s very easy to be sidetracked into spending a lot more on items or a lifestyle that you haven’t previously even thought of. Then kids come along and there’s potentially the cost of education, and so on.” This is especially a caution for the selfemployed, Daniel adds. “You might only be drawing from your business annually. It’s a discipline – if those drawings are earmarked for retirement savings, that’s where they should go, rather than being diverted into other things. “If you are self-employed it is also critical to be realistic about the value of your business,” he continues. “A lot of people plan for a business to be their retirement fund; however, when the wave of baby boomers starts selling their businesses in the next 10 years, this might not be realistic.”

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February 2014

Working out your retirement budget After taking these considerations into account, the next step is to work out how much you will need to live on in retirement. Most of the retirement planning information says to plan for 20 to 25 years in retirement. Daniel says you also need to think about how long you’re likely to be active in your retirement. “Realistically, the first 10 years might be active and the second period of retirement not quite so active, which affects the amount of funds that will be required.” The easiest way to work out your living budget in retirement is to calculate your current expenditure. Use the budget calculators on www.sorted.org.nz to assist with this. Your living expenses in retirement


should be similar to your expenses now, less debt repayments, savings and other expenses, such as education. These items are subtracted from your retirement living budget. “However, there are other expenses in retirement such as travel and health, so it’s give and take in terms of the budget,” Daniel adds. Next, factor in your New Zealand Superannuation (pension). Daniel tends to use the weekly number and work on current figures, as it’s easier to understand your weekly spending. The weekly New Zealand Superannuation figure is currently $357 for a single person and $550 for a couple, which is essentially going to be the figure when you retire, given inflation.

The right amount to save Daniel suggests asking yourself, ‘How much can I save?’. To answer this question, work out how many pays you will receive between now and retirement, then work out how much you can save per pay (or profit share or drawings cycle if you are self-employed). For instance, if you are 50 and plan to retire at 65 (15 years), paid fortnightly (26 per year) and can save $1,000 per pay, that’s 15 x 26 x $1,000 = $390,000, plus returns on investments. To work out investment returns, plug your savings numbers into the calculator at www.sorted.org.nz.

Drum roll please So, that brings us to the question: ‘How much money do I need to save for retirement?’. Daniel estimates that an income of around $40,000 to $50,000 over and above New Zealand Superannuation is reasonable and realistic for most people. The table below sets out the lump sums needed to achieve these income figures and the number of years that the sums will fund, with and without an inflation adjustment: “As the table shows, inflation can really erode the number of years of retirement the lump sums will fund,” Daniel says. “That’s why it pays to really think about what you want your retirement to look like and plan accordingly. “I really can’t stress enough the importance of planning and starting early,” he says. “Investors have the ease of KiwiSaver and various retirement plans to help with risk management and diversification, and I encourage Members to take advantage of these.” The information and opinions expressed in this article are of a general nature only and are not a substitute for professional and individually tailored financial advice. Please call 0800 800 627 if you would like to meet with one of our Authorised Financial Advisers to discuss your personal financial circumstances and goals. A copy of MAS’s QFE Disclosure Statement under the Financial Advisers Act can be obtained on request by calling 0800 800 627.

“Importantly, it’s also an easy way to make regular savings. A lot of our Members are in both funds,” Daniel says. Our KiwiSaver funds are locked in until age 65 with the usual benefits, including the Government kick-start and employer contributions. Funds in the MAS Retirement Savings Plan are locked in to age 55, allowing the flexibility of earlier access to funds. Unlike most other fund managers, MAS charges only an annual management fee, rather than monthly fees. Your MAS adviser is available to talk through your options; call us on 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz.

“A lot of people plan for their business to be their retirement fund; however, when the wave of baby boomers start selling their businesses in the next 10 years, this might not be realistic.”

“Retiring later or working part-time in the early part of retirement can also be beneficial to well-being in terms of mixing with people and keeping active and engaged,” Daniel adds.

“And don’t forget, in retirement you are likely to need to spend both capital and income, you’re not just looking at building up a dollar value to have income.”

Investing in a Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver or Retirement Savings Plan is a straightforward way to get exposure to growth assets and diversification in line with your life stage and risk profile, according to Investment Products Manager, Daniel Callaghan.

A copy of the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver and Retirement Savings Plan Investment Statement can be obtained by phoning 0800 800 627.

If this figure isn’t enough – work out how you can save more. Besides the obvious option of increasing savings, other options include considering retiring later or doing some parttime work to help with cash flow and preserve savings in the early part of retirement.

“There is no magic number for working out a budget for living in retirement,” he says. “There’s always a balance between current and future lifestyles. People are so different in their earning, saving and spending patterns.

Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver and Retirement Savings Plan

Income of:

$40,000

$40,000

$50,000

$50,000

No inflation

Inflationadjusted (2% per annum)

No inflation

Inflationadjusted (2% per annum)

$700,000

28 years

21 years

20 years

16 years

$800,000

38 years

25 years

25 years

19 years

Plus NZ Super ($550 couple, $357 single) These figures have been worked out on a 4% return net of tax in retirement.

On MAS

The magazine for MAS Members

15


TECHNOLOGY

Catch a mouse to the shops

By Geoff Palmer

‘Black Friday’, the day after the Thanksgiving Day holiday, is the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. Its name comes from the notion that many retailers make little or no money in the first part of the year, but from that day until year’s end, they’re firmly ‘in the black’. But last year Black Friday took on a darker tinge. Retail sales were down almost 3% on 2012 and foot traffic for the year fell by more than 20%. Instead of battling traffic jams, queuing for car parks and waiting to be served, many Americans did their shopping online. On the Monday following Black Friday – now known as ‘Cyber Monday’ – online sales reached a new daily record of US$1.74 billion,

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and online sales for the 4-day weekend were up 34% on the previous year. What’s driving the change is not just internet shopping per se – that’s been around for almost two decades – but the access to it. With smartphones equating to a ‘computer in your pocket’, it’s never been easier or more convenient. A survey of Australian phone users found that 25% used their phones to


check for competitive prices or read online reviews while actually physically in retail stores. (And 4% of them went on to purchase items from competitors’ websites.) There are bargains locally and internationally, and the high New Zealand dollar makes overseas shopping especially attractive. According to BNZ’s Online Retail Sales Index, we spent $2.7 billion online in the 12 months to 30 September 2013, of which 60% went overseas. As Stephen Bridle, director of analysis firm Marketview puts it, “We’re a billion-dollar export market for international online retailers.” In its early days, online shopping was fraught with credit card worries, currency hassles and hidden delivery charges, but the market has matured rapidly. Secure payment systems mean that vendors never get to see your credit card details, and a number of large international sites offer the option of showing prices in NZ dollars. Some even offer free international shipping. All major retailers have their own websites, and many offer delivery to your door. The lists that follow contain stores that exist purely online or ones that feature services you might know about – they are by no means comprehensive.

Auction sites Auctions are a form of online shopping in which most of us have dabbled. But many businesses – small and large – sell items through them too. Did you know that if you buy a new item from a trader (as opposed to an individual) on Trade Me and pay a ‘Buy Now’ price for it, you’re covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA), just as if you’d bought from a bricks-and-mortar store? Obviously this only applies to New Zealand auction sites, and only if you pay a fixed price. Once bidding begins it becomes an auction and the CGA no longer applies – even if you’re the only bidder. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind. Site

URL

Notes

Trade Me

trademe.co.nz

NZ’s pre-eminent auction site

Grays Online

graysonline.co.nz

Home and consumer electronics

Turners

turners.co.nz

Buy and sell cars

eBay

ebay.com/ebay.com.au

US/Australian for ‘Trade Me’

Computers and consumer electronics

GST and duty There’s a common misconception that imported goods worth less than $400 don’t attract GST or duty – the real answer is that it depends on what you’re buying. Some items are subject to import duty, some aren’t. Most electronics such as mobile phones, computers and cameras are duty free, although there are odd exceptions. Ordinary radios don’t attract duty, but car radios do – at a rate of 5%. Jewellery and cosmetics also attract 5% duty, while clothing and footwear get 10% – except for baby clothing, which is duty free. For a quick summary of items and rates, click the ‘Customs Duty Rates’ link at www.customs.govt.nz/features/charges/feetypes. Next comes GST. If your import attracts less than $60 GST, it isn’t charged. But if GST comes to $60 or more, you’re charged it plus an Import Entry Transaction Fee (IETF) of $46.89. Note that the value of the goods you’re importing will be calculated as including the cost of freight and insurance. Here’s an example of how that all comes together (in NZ dollars): Item(s) cost

$379.00

Shipping charges

$20.00

Item(s) cost Shipping charges

Sub-total: $399.00

$380.00 $20.00

Sub-total: $400.00

Effective GST (15%):

$59.85

Effective GST (15%):

$60.00

GST due:

$0.00

GST due:

$60.00

IETF:

$46.89

Total cost: $399.00

Total cost:

$506.89

You should also note that the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) uses fixed exchange rates that don’t fluctuate as much as the real ones do. If you haven’t paid in New Zealand dollars, the cost of the goods (plus shipping and insurance) will be converted at the exchange rate in force on the day the item reaches Customs. The rates it uses are set for a 2-week period and published a week in advance, meaning your Customs rate may differ from the actual exchange rate you paid! You’ll find the rates at www.customs.govt.nz/news/utilities/Pages/ Rates-Of-Exchange.aspx. If you don’t fancy sitting down with a pen and paper, Customs has a simple online calculator that combines all of the above at whatsmyduty.org.nz.

Not surprisingly, computer equipment is well represented online. Here are a few local favourites. Site

URL

Notes

Ascent

ascent.co.nz

Free delivery

Computer Lounge

computerlounge.co.nz

Dragon PC

dragonpc.co.nz

Paradigm PCs

pp.co.nz

PLAYTECH

playtech.co.nz

Free delivery

On MAS

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The YouShop option After hours spent searching to find just what you want, you then discover that the vendor concerned doesn’t ship overseas. Grrrr! Game over? Not quite... With New Zealand Post’s YouShop (nzpost.co.nz/tools/youshop), you simply enter a United States, United Kingdom or European YouShop delivery address and complete your transaction as usual. Pay YouShop the international postage, and it will forward the goods to you. International postage is calculated as NZ$12.50 per parcel, plus NZ$4.75 per 500 grams – and it will even evaluate your parcel to see if it can be repacked to reduce the amount of postage you need to pay.

Tips ■■

■■

■■

■■

■■

■■

Model numbers and product names may vary between countries. Make sure you’re getting exactly what you expect. When buying overseas, check that electrical goods have compatible power adapters and suitable wall plugs. Are you really getting a bargain? Check out local prices on pricespy. co.nz and double-check our sidebar on GST and Duty. Check out the store. What are its warranty provisions and what’s the return process if goods arrive damaged or fall apart in a month? Check out the goods. Some of the bigger sites allow candid customer reviews. These can be a useful guide if you don’t know the manufacturer. Avoid impulse buying. You can get some great deals, but there’s also a lot of junk out there.

Generalist sites Taking the place of old-fashioned department stores, these sites feature a wide (and sometimes massive) range of items, from jewellery to electronics, tools to fashion accessories. You just have to check them out! Site

URL

Notes

Mighty Ape

mightyape.co.nz

Parallel Imported

parallelimported.co.nz

Parallel imported items – free delivery

Gumboot

gumboot.co.nz

Mainly books and movies

AliExpress

aliexpress.com

A vast range in 40 categories

Amazon

amazon.com/amazon.co.uk

Way more than just a book store

DealExtreme

dx.com

Hong Kong based – mostly electronics – free worldwide delivery

Focal Price

focalprice.com

Another Hong Kong-based giant – free shipping

More than 330,000 products in stock – overnight delivery

Specialist sites Specialist stores cater for niche markets or focus on doing a few things really well. Again, the range is vast, but here’s a selection to show the sorts of things on offer. Site

URL

Notes

Countdown

countdown.co.nz

Grocery shopping online, delivered to your door – a boon to the elderly and infirm

Fatso

fatso.co.nz

DVD and Blu-ray rentals by post

Hyperdrive

hyperdrive.co.nz

Everything for your car

Hyper Ride

hyperride.co.nz

Surf, snow and skating gear

Lollies Online

lolliesonline.co.nz

For those with a sweet tooth

Marine Deals

marine-deals.co.nz

Fishing, diving and marine gear

Pet.co.nz

pet.co.nz

Pet supplies for cats, dogs, fish, birds and reptiles

Smart Marine

smartmarine.co.nz

Boating and fishing gear

The Book Depository

bookdepository.co.uk

Books galore with NZ$ prices and free worldwide delivery

Habex

habex.com.au

Hearing aid batteries. NZ$ prices

Select Specs

selectspecs.com

Glasses and contact lenses, including prescription lenses

Daily deal sites Don’t forget ‘daily deal’ sites that offer limited deals for short periods of time. Many feature deals on goods and services that are specific to your area. But tread carefully. Try to avoid impulse buying and note that they’re sometimes used to clear old stock and end-of-line items.

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February 2014

URL

URL

URL

crazysales.co.nz

grabone.co.nz

treatme.co.nz

dailydo.co.nz

groupy.co.nz

dealaday.co.nz

spreets.co.nz


LIFE

IT’S ALL in the BALANCE

Professionals are notorious for their unhealthy work habits. They often work long hours, neglect sleep and physical exercise, and turn to alcohol to speed up the much-needed relaxation process when they do find a moment of downtime. Fortunately, this kind of self-neglect doesn’t necessarily lead to immediate catastrophe. You’re unlikely to keel over with heart failure the moment you exceed some inbuilt physiological tolerance for the number of hours worked per week. You are very likely, however, to experience reduced well-being – not just at work, but at home, in social settings and in your personal life.

By Nick Helm

Well-being is not wellness Commonly confused with wellness, which refers to physical health or a state of not being ill, well-being is a much broader concept that encompasses physical, psychological and emotional fulfilment, a sense that you feel good and can function to your full potential in all aspects of life. In essence, it means being happy.

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conflicts, professional grievances and other negative behaviour that needs to be managed,” he says. “Not only that, you lose the positive outcomes as well, which often goes unrealised in the workplace. People who have to work long hours are generally less creative, less innovative, less pro-social and less collaborative because they just don’t have the time to internally process and reflect, and conceptualise new ideas because they are simply too busy trying to get stuff done.

“Research clearly shows that happy people have better relationships, higher incomes, better physical health, and are more agreeable and likely to give to others.”

“Research clearly shows that happy people have better relationships, higher incomes, better physical health, and are more agreeable and likely to give to others. If you have higher well-being, you are generally more satisfied in your job and with your life,” says Dr Aaron Jarden, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the Open Polytechnic and AUT University’s Human Potential Centre in Auckland. It’s surprising that many people, not just professionals, fail to recognise the early physical, mental and emotional warning signs of reduced well-being. Research shows that within certain professions in New Zealand, people tend to work much longer than the traditional 40 hours, sometimes as many as 60 or even 80 hours per week. “Some professionals work well at 40 hours per week while others naturally work well at higher loads – it is a matter of individual fit. Some people really enjoy stresses and strains and find them motivating, while other people don’t. It is different for everybody,” Aaron says. “However, the research shows that once someone breaks their personal threshold, the quality of their work always diminishes. So in other words, if you force people to work long hours and they are unsuited to working that way, the work you get from them is generally quite substandard.”

Far-reaching consequences Aaron says that it’s not just productivity that suffers – there are many flow-on effects as well. “You generally find a marked increase in negative outcomes, such as workplace

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February 2014

“Forcing people to work long hours is not only bad for the individual; it is recognised as being a very bad organisational strategy for the long term. It may work for a shortterm burst if people are willing and can cope with it, but the latest research from all over the world shows it is certainly no long-term recipe for success in any profession.” For professionals who sustain this kind of output for long periods and do not realise that they have a problem, the eroding of wellbeing can lead to physical illness and serious mental health problems, such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression.

Path to well-being By definition, being a professional means your work is a big part of your life. For most professionals, their work is a vocation or even a calling. A doctor, for example, chooses to pursue medicine, often with a desire to help people, knowing full well the dedication that the profession demands. It is a lifelong commitment and they push themselves hard for the most altruistic reasons. And that, says Dr Sven Hansen, is where problems often begin. With a background in the military and sports medicine, Sven’s Resilience Institute works all over the globe training professional people and their employers how to maximise productivity and maintain well-being. “Of course a professional is going to work hard, they’re passionate about what they do. A doctor doesn’t mind working evenings and weekends to help patients, for example. In many cases, it actually gives them pleasure. The question is: how can they look after themselves at the same time?” He says there are five key strategies to gaining and maintaining well-being. “The first is to master stress. Life can be testing in a way that it never was for our ancestors,


Have your say At MAS we’ve got our Members’ best interests at heart, and we’re keen to promote topics that can help you get the most out of both your working life and your personal endeavours. Work/life balance is a hot topic for professionals, and we would love to hear your take on how important it is to get it right. Was this article relevant for you? Would you like to learn more about time management and how it relates to a healthy lifestyle? Would you be keen to attend a seminar on well-being or a related topic? Maybe you’ve heard about an expert whom you’d like to see as a guest speaker at a Member event? so you need to learn how to stay calm, relaxed and engaged. You can achieve that through relaxation techniques, breath control, illogical arousal control and bounce-back – all the things top athletes spend a great deal of time working on,” he says. “The second is to maintain your physical condition. You need to learn how to take care of your body’s need for sleep, physical exercise and good nutrition, and how to fit these into a busy professional day. There are often smart disciplines you can adopt to invest just a little bit each day. Over time, those small investments add up to something much bigger, just as surely as the failure to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis will really wear you down.” The science is crystal clear on this one. A recent study from the University of Utah1 found that even a few 1-minute bursts of intense activity each day can accumulate to yield many of the benefits of regular exercise. “The third strategy is to practise emotional intelligence. If you know yourself and can master your own emotional state, you can tune into the emotions of people around you and influence them constructively. That is especially important for people who work in the medical profession,” says Sven. “The fourth strategy deals with the mind. Learning to focus and keep your mind present is very important. It also includes learning how to deal with worry and not re-litigate the past, as well as other apparently trainable

1

areas of the mind, such as situational awareness, empathy, attention control, positivity and something called reframing. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, reframing teaches you ways to adjust and control the way you think, feel and physically react to the situation.

Please send your questions and any ideas or strategies that you’d like to share about the importance of well-being to onmas@mas.co.nz.

“The final strategy is what I call spirit in action. This is about understanding what is important to you and making sure everything you do in life, including your work habits, aligns with your values.” Aaron agrees. “Pretty much every theory on well-being or flourishing says that having meaning and purpose in life and thinking about your values and what is important to you are vital. Check that what you are doing, whether it is your job and career or some other aspect of your life, aligns with what is most important to you. That is a very important part of well-being. The theories also emphasise the importance of social relationships and investing time in those relationships,” he says. “Try to take time out and savour the good things in life. It sounds simple, but these things are very hard to do when you’re constantly under pressure and working long hours every week.”

“Forcing people to work long hours is not only bad for the individual; it is recognised as being a very bad organisational strategy for the long term.”

www.ajhpcontents.com/doi/abs/10.4278/ ajhp.120606-QUAL-286

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FAMILY

In the arms of AN ANGEL By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie

How to make sure your loved ones are in the right rest home According to Ministry of Social Development statistics, New Zealanders are living longer, healthier and more independently than ever before. But the longer our lifespans, the more likely we are to eventually require assisted living. The decision to move a parent or other family member to assisted care is never taken lightly, and the transition is rarely easy, but careful selection can smooth the path. The first move out of the family home by many older people who are still able to live independently is to a retirement village, which will generally offer apartments and/or villas within a property development, usually with a rest home and/or hospital attached.

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February 2014

With village residences generally priced below local house prices, aged people who own their own homes can normally sell to manage the upfront cost. However, the additional levy of $124 (average) per week means retirement villages may be out of the question for many of the 40% of people aged 65-plus whose only source of income is New Zealand


Superannuation (pension). Another option is in-home support such as hospice care, which is free of charge.1

health services, so be sure to ask about these during what should be a very thorough duediligence process.

The move to assisted living is rarely voluntary, so one advantage of a retirement village is that residents are given priority when the time comes to make that move. Once your loved one reaches the point where they need living assistance, the first step is to obtain a referral from a GP or public hospital to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) team through the local DHB, or contact this service directly.

However, the issue of extra charges for ‘premium’ rooms worries Age Concern, an advocacy organisation for older people, which stresses that you don’t have to agree to extra charges. “You can’t be turned away just because you won’t sign up for these. If you request it, you must be offered a standard room. The definition of a ‘standard room’ varies from facility to facility; for example, if all rooms have en suites, you can’t be charged extra for one.”

The NASC will assess whether your family member is sufficiently ill or dependent to require either home support or residential care, and at which level: ■■

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Rest home – provides residential care for people who are unable to live safely at home and need assistance with their daily lives, but do not require 24-hour nursing. Residential hospital – provides 24‑hour, nurse-supervised care for people who have a significant level of physical or mental disability. Dementia unit – similar to rest-home care but in a locked environment due to the potential for harm of the person and others. Psychogeriatric unit – similar to residential hospital care, but with more intensive 24-hour care.

Paying for assisted living If your family member owns assets to a total value of $215,132 (annually adjusted), they can apply for the residential-care subsidy2 through Work and Income. Their full income, including superannuation, is paid towards the cost of residential care, with the exception of a weekly personal allowance of $42.64 and an annual clothing allowance of $267.43.

“We’re also concerned about cases of existing contracts being modified to introduce extra charges,” it adds. “This can leave residents with the ‘choice’ of moving to other rooms (or facilities) if they don’t have the ability or support to negotiate.” Age Concern urges older people and their families who need support to get in contact.

Rest home certification and environment Another consideration when deciding on an assisted living facility is certification. To be certified to operate, rest homes and hospitals must comply with Health and Disability Services Standards NZS 8134:20083, against which the facilities are regularly audited to ensure compliance.

“[We] recommend using all your senses when you visit a home. Your sense of smell alone will tell you everything you need to know.”

The Ministry of Health’s HealthCERT4 unit has lists of certified rest homes, and its audit

The DHBs pay any difference between this contribution and the full cost set under their contracts with rest homes, which range from $820 per week in Southland to $900 per week in central Auckland. While the higher levels of care cost more, the rest home rate in each area is the maximum that can be charged to residents who pay the full costs themselves – in any level of care. You should be aware that extra charges may be levied for things like a bigger room, an en suite bathroom, views, broadband and

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Watch for signs of neglect Sadly, things can go wrong no matter how thoroughly you have assessed a facility. Be constantly alert to signs of neglect and/or abuse so you can take immediate action8. These signs include: ■■

dehydration, non-illness-related malnutrition and/or weight loss; untreated bedsores, poor personal hygiene; unattended or untreated health problems.

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unsanitary living conditions.

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a resident’s report of being mistreated.

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unexplained injuries; an injury inconsistent with the explanation for its cause; or one that has not been treated properly.

One area to examine closely when reviewing audit results, say the authors of the report Inside our rest homes: Where should you go?5, is the level of family and community involvement with the home. Another advocacy group, Eden in Oz & NZ, proposes a set of principles6 to provide solutions for the most common reasons for suffering in rest homes – loneliness, helplessness and boredom: ■■

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poor colour; sunken eyes or cheeks. inappropriate administration of medication.

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lack of food and water.

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lack of personal effects.

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forced isolation.

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reports are becoming available as homes are re-certified. So the first thing to do when researching is to prepare a list of potential homes and read their audit reports.

fear, anxiety, anger, withdrawal and depression.

Loving companionship is the antidote to loneliness. Elders deserve easy access to human and animal companionship. An elder-centred community creates opportunities to give as well as receive care. This is the antidote to helplessness. An elder-centred community imbues daily life with variety and spontaneity by creating an environment in which unexpected and unpredictable interactions and happenings can take place. This is the antidote to boredom.

Retired aged-care nurses Jenny Moloney and Heather Johnston, who co-authored Decision Time, an excellent guidebook on choosing a residential aged-care facility, recommend using all your senses when you visit a home. Your sense of smell alone will tell you everything you need to know; for example, if the home smells of urine or anything else unpleasant, just leave. Obtain copies of all the written material during your interview with the rest home manager, and ask lots of questions (Consumer’s comprehensive rest home checklist7 is invaluable). Watch for any reluctance or impatience in responding to your questions. The critical question, say the Decision Time authors, is the number of registered nurses, enrolled nurses and caregivers on duty at different times of the day and week, and the total number of residents. While staffing levels can be difficult to evaluate, comparisons can be made against the DHB contracts, which are available on the Ministry of Health website. Additionally, find out: ■■

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February 2014

the percentage of caregivers with New Zealand Qualifications Authority certificates, and what training or

education sessions were held during the previous month. ■■

■■

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the percentage of residents routinely dosed with sedative, anti-depressant and antipsychotic medication. how often baths and showers are given. Two to three per week has become the norm in many assisted living facilities. Moloney and Johnston recommend four as the minimum, although the ideal, of course, is every day, especially for someone with incontinence. what has been done to address any issues of concern in the audit report.

Request permission to stay after you’ve toured the facility so you can chat with the residents, see how they are occupied, how they interact and whether they appear to be enjoying themselves, or whether they’re all stuck in front of a communal television or sitting alone in their rooms. Observe the way staff members interact with residents. And before making a final decision, visit the facility again, ideally without an appointment, to reinforce your initial impressions. Moving a loved one into assisted living is often very difficult to face, but making an informed choice can go a long way toward your feeling assured that they will be well cared for.

Resources 1

www.hospice.org.nz

2 www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/ brochures/residential-care-subsidy.html 3 Health and Disability Services Standards NZS 8134:2008 (www.health.govt.nz/our-work/ regulation-health-and-disability-system/ certification-health-care-services/health-anddisability-services-standards) 4 HealthCERT, certified list of rest homes and audit reports www.health.govt.nz/your-health/certifiedproviders/aged-care 5 Inside our rest homes: Where should you go? By Simon Collins, Martin Johnston www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_ id=1&objectid=11160866 6 Eden in Oz & NZ www.edeninoznz.com.au/AboutUs/Eden-Principles/Eden-Principles.asp 7 www.consumer.org.nz/content/uploads/Image/ PDFs/Resthomechecklist09.pdf 8 To make a complaint, call Ministry of Health HealthCert compliance 0800 113 813, or your local DHB Funding and Planning Manager.


TRAVEL

Let’s get CRAIC-ing! *

Is 10am too early to start drinking? Not if you’re in Dublin and it’s St Patrick’s Day.

St Patrick is, this public holiday is still a great excuse to ‘get your green on’ and let loose.

I’ve barely finished breakfast and already a few hardy souls outside my hotel are cracking into the creamy black stuff – and competing to see who has the healthiest vocal chords.

According to the taxi driver who drove us from the airport the previous day, a few decades ago we wouldn’t have been making the pilgrimage across the globe.

Although I don’t want what they’re having (Guinness gives me a headache), I can’t begrudge them. Ireland is, after all, the spiritual home of drinking and every 17 March, thousands converge upon the capital to honour its patron saint, St Patrick, a man credited with not only spreading Christianity throughout Ireland but also driving out snakes.

“Rewind the clock and you’ll find that Paddy’s Day used to be a religious holiday and the pubs were closed,” he says. “People would have attended mass, shared a meal and had a wee snooze. Sometimes they would have gone to a hotel to watch the American tourists sing Irish songs and congratulate themselves on finding their Irish roots.”

The fact that he did so more than 1,500 years ago – and that Ireland is probably a little too cold for snakes – matters little. Paddy’s Day, as the locals fondly refer to it, is one of the most celebrated holidays on Ireland’s calendar. And even if most can barely remember who

The story goes that in the mid-’90s, some bright spark in the Irish Government realised there was gold in them thar hills, and so began the green dream that has turned the saint’s day into a major money spinner.

By Sharon Stephenson

*craic

noun, /kræk/ enjoyable time spent with other people

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If Paris has its cafés, then Dublin has its pubs – close to 1,000 of them in this city of about half a million. Although the famous Temple Bar district will relieve you of many hours (and euros), with a few exceptions it’s mainly for tourists, students and raucous hen and stag nights.

The biggest celebrations are in Dublin, where Paddy’s Day has stretched into a 6-day festival that includes everything from film, comedy, music and debates to fun fairs and treasure hunts, as well as the incomprehensible (to me, at least) sports of hurling and camogie. This being the Emerald Isle, it also includes oceans of alcohol. “In Ireland, we say you should never have just one drink. After all, a bird never flew with only one wing,” says the doorman at our inner-city hotel. Which could explain why, when we set out to the start of the parade on a freezing but sunny Saturday morning, every pub seems to be packed. The parade’s theme of ‘How? What? Why?’ seems to be pretty liberally interpreted – basically, it’s a great excuse for street performers and theatre companies to indulge in extravagant displays of colour and dance. I’m particularly taken with the performers dressed as raindrops and different colours who, via their dance moves, illustrate how a rainbow is made, as well as the giant dragons, metallic rhinoceros and 6-metre-high flowers. We’re kept entertained by marching bands from Ireland, the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States, who soon have the crowds tapping their toes and trying to remember all the words to songs such as ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’.

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February 2014

Instead we head for the real thing on Merrion Row. We start at O’Donoghue’s Pub, which, we’re told, hasn’t been repainted in 50 years, apparently the sign of an authentic Irish pub. Next up is the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in the city. The building itself, smack bang in the heart of Viking Dublin, dates from the 1750s, but some believe there has been a tavern of some description on this site since before the Norman invasion of 1172. At some stage we also make it to Kehoe’s, just off the city’s central artery, Grafton Street, which has been around since 1803. Dublin is rightly famous for its ‘craic’ and there’s no doubt this city, which stretches like a contented fat cat across eastern Ireland, knows how to let down her hair. The following morning is too bright, too shiny, too loud. It seems like a good time to test the theory that the best cure for a sore head is a ‘full Irish’: eggs, sausage, bacon, blood pudding, beans and, this being Ireland, carbs three ways (chips, potato bread and soda bread). Then it’s time to explore this magical city, set around the curve of Dublin Bay. Intersected by the River Liffey, Dublin has two distinct hemispheres, each with its own charm: the north is grittier, a tangle of working-class streets and pubs where many green-clad, red-eyed revellers are still on their way home from the night before. If, however, you wear more black than green, you’ll probably be drawn to Dublin’s more affluent Southside, where the famous Trinity College is our first stop. We’re two months too early for the student-led tours of Ireland’s most prestigious university, but the courtyard is open to the public and we manage to talk our way into the library’s impressive 200-foot Long Room, where 200,000 antique books, busts of scholars and a 3-storey wooden ceiling evoke a certain book and movie series about young wizards. We also inveigle our way into a 1916 Easter Rising walking tour, which focuses on the long Irish struggle for freedom and the


rebellion that kick-started Irish independence. We trace the footsteps of the rebels around the streets and alleys of inner Dublin, laughing at tour guide Lorcan Collins’s politically incorrect take on religion and the British monarchy, and his liberal use of Irish curse words. It’s a good way to circle the city centre, including O’Connell Street, where monuments – most famously, the post office, which was occupied by the hopelessly outnumbered insurgents – still bear the bullet holes of the rebellion.

A stroll across the River Liffey on the Ha’penny Bridge, named for the one-time toll, brings us to coffee and pastries at Bewley’s Café, a Dublin institution. Had the weather gods been kinder, we would have sat on the second level in the James Joyce Room, which overlooks the busy pedestrian strip of Grafton Street and was a favourite haunt of not only Joyce, who mentioned Bewley’s in his novel Dubliners, but also fellow writers Samuel Beckett and Sean O’Casey.

We hardly need any more yeasty beverages but our guide tells us a visit to Dublin is incomplete without a trip to the historic Guinness Storehouse where Arthur Guinness gave his name to Ireland’s national drink in 1759. These days, the 55-acre site at St James’ Gate houses the largest brewery in Europe and it’s estimated that around 10 million glasses of Guinness are swallowed in 151 countries around the world each day. The tour is a 101 of brewing and is all manner of interesting, but the real fun is to be had at the Gravity Bar, where everyone gets a complimentary Guinness. High atop the 7-storey building, it also comes with the best views of Dublin. The next day we just have time to check out Dublin Castle, which served as a controversial symbol of British rule for 700 years until it was formally handed over to Michael Collins and the Irish Free State in 1922. Dating from the 13th century, the castle has evolved from a medieval fortress into a vice-regal court. A highlight is the subterranean excavations of the ‘old’ castle, which was virtually destroyed by fire in the 15th century, and accidentally discovered in 1986. Particularly interesting are the foundations, built by the Vikings using a combination of ox blood, eggshells and horse hair for mortar. It’s with a heavy heart that we make our way to the airport. I’m reminded of something else our friend from St Paddy’s Day said: “If you come to Dublin for a weekend, you’ll stay a year”. Not, I imagine, because it takes that long to recover from the Guinness hangover (although that may well be the case), but because the capital is so charming, you’ll never want to leave.

Food glorious food There’s a saying that the Irish are more interested in liquids than in solids, and while boiled cabbage and potatoes have for years earned Ireland scorn in culinary circles, the roaring Celtic Tiger brought with it kitchens full of new talent and creative approaches to the maligned native cuisine. Dublin lies at the centre of the renaissance and, despite the Global Financial Crisis which brought an abrupt end to the party, good food is still the drug of choice for many Dubliners. As with any city, new bars and restaurants come and go faster than the average hangover. But some places remain a constant for good reason. If you have deep pockets, don’t go past Bentley’s Oyster Bar at St Stephen’s Green. A version of the London original, the theme is Modern Irish and the fresh oysters from Galway are worth blowing the budget for. And their fish pie is the best I’ve ever tasted. If, however, budget is more of a consideration, check out The Winding Stair, near the River Liffey, which offers great value and Irish classics such as corned beef and cabbage, done with a modern twist. Just make sure you leave room for the classic bread and butter pudding. Selected photos courtesy of Martin Haughey. View of Dublin Castle from its distinctive lawn.

No surprises that those canny Dubliners have managed to intertwine a rich drinking culture with a world-class literary pedigree. We join the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which takes in pubs and other landmarks associated with the astonishingly large body of Irish literature, and includes entertaining tour guides who recite from famous books and letters and sing traditional drinking tunes. Dublin has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature, and a lot of Irish writing originated in these pubs. Playwright and dedicated pub-dweller Brendan Behan, for instance, once dubbed himself “a drinker with a writing problem”. The tour begins in The Duke pub, just off Grafton Street, which features in Ulysses. It ends in a pleasant fog some unknown time later depending, as one of the tour guides put it, on how quickly you walk or how slowly you drink!

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MUSIC

A conservative chemistry teacher is dying of cancer. He comes up with a way to look after the family financially: create the best methamphetamine available (coloured blue for a marketing edge) and launch a new career as an illicit drug dealer. Simple ideas are the best ideas and if you have not seen the uber-acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad yet, I am incredibly jealous. Ahead of you is the most incredible audio-visual rollercoaster ride spread over about 80 hours of what I believe is the best television ever produced. This, the most pirated series of all time, has more twists and turns than an eel colony, more cliff-hangers than a mountain climbers’ convention and wonderful, subtle little references and mysteries that can take days to work out. I had to take three days off work to even begin to fathom the depths of the series 3 finale. The end of series 4 was mind-blowing; my jaw dropped so far I had my goatee trimmed by a Spanish olive farmer. And then there is the famous turtle scene. Whoever wrote this scene was brilliant, completely deranged or a serious casualty from the 1960s’ sub-culture. I’d hazard all of those things, and some. At every level, Breaking Bad is clever, extremely clever. The characters are spectacular and include an anti-hero who is very very bad, yet we somehow connect with him, support him. At a deeper level it shows how far we could, if pressed, go to protect loved ones; how real evil lurks even in kind hearts. Waiting.

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February 2014

Yep, life after Breaking Bad finished was tough. Nothing could fill the space. I formed a support group where we met every week to trial numerous methods of creating selective memory loss so that we could watch it all again like it was brand new. (While the recipe obtained from a Secoya shaman came close, nothing really worked effectively.)

It was clever in the soundtrack too. Somebody once told me that 50% of a great visual experience was the sound. Even silence can be one of the most powerful ‘noises’ on television or film. The choice of Welsh band Badfinger’s ‘Baby Blue’ for the final scene was unusual. Or so I thought. While the lyric was extremely relevant, this was Breaking Bad’s farewell and there had to more behind this choice of song for the series finale. After several thousand replays, I suddenly got it, the clever bit: Badfinger’s story is, in many ways, a parallel story. Dramatic. Sad. Driven

by financial stress. Badfinger was initially signed (as The Iveys) by Apple Records, which saw a similarity to The Beatles and the potential to be ‘the next big thing’. With the likes of ‘Baby Blue’, ‘No Matter What’, ‘Come and get it’ and ‘Day After day’, Badfinger sold millions of records in the early 70s. They should have been rich but their manager, Stan Polley, with whom the band signed in 1970, took the money and ran. Polley’s dubious financial dealings were the band’s downfall. Talented but broke. Maximum stress levels. Sadly, in 1978 Badfinger founder Pete Ham joined the 27 club and took his own life, leaving a note that included damning comments about Polley. Later, co-founder Tom Evans joined his mate. They had broken. Badly. The dark irony: with all the ‘Baby Blue’ downloads created by valuable exposure on Breaking Bad, their estates have likely earned several million dollars in the last few months. This issue’s music mix is an eclectic collection of songs from TV series and movies. To listen to the mix (free) go to tinyurl.com/ onmasthemes. You will need a Spotify account to access this collection. (Google for a free download.) Written and compiled by David Collinge, david@cognitonz.com.


MAS NEWS MAS Movie night – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug MAS hosted our annual movie night on 12 December 2013 at 10 locations nationwide for a total audience of 2,900 Members and their families and friends.

MAS Executive cocktail function – 14 NOVEMBER – AUCKLAND More than 250 MAS Members and their partners attended the ‘Ask JK’ event, where CEO Martin Stokes asked Sir John Kirwan questions on topics of Members’ interest. MAS Member Brad Novak also kindly gave Sir John Kirwan a piece of his art to thank him for all his work in the public health sector, presented by MAS Member and ex-All Black Keith Nelson.

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House Officer Orientation function – 22 NOVEMBER – WELLINGTON 43 new house officers and key DHB staff involved in their orientation attended a function at Mac’s Function Centre, to complete the house officers’ first week as doctors.

NZMA Meet the Doctors function – 29 NOVEMBER – NAPIER Around 60 guests attended an evening of wine and nibbles at Brookfields Vineyards to welcome new doctors to the Hawke’s Bay area, giving them the opportunity to meet with their colleagues and local NZMA representatives.

Watch for these events coming in February/March February

Palmerston North 26 February MAS Welcome Back Vet BBQ Palmerston North 28 February MUVSA Social Catch-up

March

Auckland Auckland

Wellington

6 March 8 March

Harbour cruise – Young Professionals networking event Round the Bays (AUMSA)

12-16 March New Zealand Rural GP Conference

Palmerston North 14 March

Crest Hospital Golf Day

Christchurch

IPENZ Fellows’ and Achievers’ Dinner

Auckland

March (cont)

Auckland

22-23 March Goodfellow Symposium

Wellington

24 March

Hamilton

26 March

Christchurch Auckland

Hamilton

25 March

27 March 27 March

14-16 March Freshers Camp 21 March

Meet your Director – DR FRANK FRIZELLE Dr Frank Frizelle is a recent addition to the MAS Board of Directors. Professor of Colorectal Surgery at Christchurch Hospital since 2000, Frank has been the Academic Head of Department of Surgery at the University of Otago, Christchurch since 2006 and Editor in Chief of The New Zealand Medical Journal since 2002. He is also a Director of the Christchurch Colorectal Group and of Geordie Hill Station Limited, a high-country sheep and beef farming outfit based in Central Otago. Frank was Chairman of the Ministry of Health’s Standards Group on Colorectal Cancer and chaired the Guidelines Group Report on Colorectal Cancer. He grew up in Wellington, attended the University of Otago and trained

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February 2014

in general surgery at Dunedin and Southland Hospitals before undertaking post-fellowship training in colorectal surgery at the Mayo Clinic, as well as a laparoscopic fellowship in Dundee, Scotland. Since settling in Christchurch in 1996, he has published more than 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals and delivered more than 250 presentations at national and international meetings. Frank is a keen outdoorsman who enjoys spending time with his family jogging; road cycling and mountain biking; fishing and boating; and skiing. He says he was once involved in multisport events but recently retired after being beaten repeatedly by his daughters in various competitions.

IPENZ Pickering Lecture Series – Exploring the Unknown: to Mars and Beyond Italian evening


STUDENT NEWS VET CHAT from Massey University Veterinary Students’ Association President ALEX MEBAN It’s been nice to start 2014 with lots of grass for farmers all around the country. Let’s hope this is a great start to what should be a great year. The new MUVSA executive is super excited about the challenges ahead and we are determined to live up to our work hard/play hard ethos. Vet students will be all over the country doing work experience this summer, both in clinics and on farms. The fifth years started back at uni before Christmas and are quickly learning

what it takes to be real vets. The third year class has been busy organising the 2014-15 Barely There calendar fundraiser. Our new graduates will be a few weeks into their well deserved new jobs, and we wish them all the best for their first year out of vet school. Looking forward to the first day back on 24 February. Email: muvsa.pres@gmail.com

MEDICAL NOTES from New Zealand Medical Students’ Association President MARISE STUART even more professional development opportunities, outside the realms of the traditional medical school curriculum to facilitate this vision, and we look forward to the ongoing support that MAS generously provides.

The New Zealand Medical Students’ Association is facing another exciting year of events and advocacy. We are

eager and willing to serve the populations from which we have sprung, to promote improved health outcomes for

all New Zealanders. Encouraging the enhancement of our

medical education so that we are better prepared to serve

our communities, while stimulating a broader vision for

healthcare delivery, can only serve to enhance our roles as

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

future health professionals. In 2014 we will be providing

Email: president@nzmsa.org.nz

DENTAL TALK from New Zealand Dental Students’ Association President OMAR ALSABIRY The new year is already roaring ahead, and so too is the new NZDSA executive committee. Our dedication to the students of the dental faculty is stronger than ever as we plan to deliver one of the most exciting and memorable years in NZDSA history – even if it means we have to work beachside over the great New Zealand summer. The central theme for 2014 is unity, as we endeavour to bring together the dental, hygiene and therapy, and technology students. 2014 will also see us reach for

greater student representation, new social events, more guest speakers and student-oriented workshops. Last year was largely successful for the NZDSA and we plan to build on our achievements and increase membership. With the start of the academic year fast approaching, we look forward to welcoming new faces to the faculty, and helping them settle in with their new dental school family. Email: omaralsabiry@gmail.com

AUCKLAND

HAMILTON

PALMERSTON NORTH

Meet your

Student & Graduate Advisers

PETER BULOG

RAJ NAIDU

DEBBIE GUEST

peter.bulog@mas.co.nz

raj.naidu@mas.co.nz

debbie.guest@mas.co.nz

WELLINGTON

CHRISTCHURCH

DUNEDIN

ALISON SNOOK

alison.snook@mas.co.nz

DANIEL JOHNSON

daniel.johnson@mas.co.nz

LEIGH WOTHERSPOON leigh.wotherspoon@mas.co.nz

On MAS

ANGIE BROWN

angie.brown@mas.co.nz

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31


MAS Member? You can get a discount of up to 0.85% p.a. on your home loan rate from our specialist MAS team.

As a MAS Member you can enjoy great discounts on our standard home loan rates – 0.30% p.a. off fixed, 0.74% p.a. off floating and 0.85% p.a. off the flexible rate. And you can receive up to $1000 towards your legal fees.

You can also take advantage of special benefits on your credit card and everyday accounts. Plus you’ll be looked after by one of our specialist MAS team. To find out more give them a call on 0800 112 212, or talk to your MAS adviser.

anz.co.nz Interest rate discounts and MAS benefits are subject to change. ANZ lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply. Maximum of $1,000 contribution towards legal fees upon confirmation of legal costs. A copy of terms, conditions, fees and our Reserve Bank Disclosure Statement are available by calling 0800 112 212, or at any ANZ Branch. ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited. 01/14 13854


MOTORING

MOTORING REVIEWS By Andrew Kerr

Lexus IS300h Fast facts: 4-door sedan made in Japan; 2.5-litre V4 petrol plus electric motor; 164kW/221Nm; CVT auto; RWD; length 4.67m; weight 1,675kg; 4.9L/100km; $80,995 The new Lexus IS range is a strong contender in the premium sedan category thanks to excellent design, improved packaging, willing new engines and transmissions, and impeccable construction. Of course, it needs all of these attributes to combat the class-leading BMW 3-series and other mid-sized German rivals. The Lexus looks distinctive, and even edgy, in F-Sport spec with augmented bodywork

Holden Volt Fast facts: 5-door hatchback; 1.4-litre petrol plus electric motor; 111kW/370Nm; single ratio gearbox; FWD; length 4.50m; weight 1,720kg; $74,995 This mid-sized 4-seater couples a battery pack with a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and with judicious throttle use it can run on battery power alone for 80km. If your daily commute averages 65km or less, an overnight charge from a socket at home will have you juiced up for the next day’s driving. When charged, the Volt surges about in silence thanks to its single-geared electric propulsion system that delivers

From the race car to the road The new Formula 1 season is starting up, and with it new rules that will fundamentally change the cars and narrow the gap between racing cars and road cars: ■■

■■

Out goes the 2.4-litre normally aspirated engine, replaced by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Power will be limited by the amount of fuel allowed for the race.

Andrew Kerr has literally spent the past 15 years on the road – writing about new and classic cars for media in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand and attending all of the major international motor shows.

and brighter detailing, which should keep the car looking fresh for years. The oversized spindle grille helps set the aggressive tone up front. The headline-grabbing model is the new IS300h petrol-electric hybrid: a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder is coupled with an electric motor to drive the rear wheels. It’s superbly refined when cruising away on electric power and a quiet, relaxed runner when the petrol engine takes over, only feeling strained on wide throttle openings. Economy is superb, especially around town, with a claimed 4.9L/100km. Keen drivers might be better served by either of the V6 petrols in the IS250 and IS350, which are both cause for celebration when driven

positively. But if you spend a lot of time in town

and are content to drive with the traffic flow,

the hybrid is a frugal and calming all-rounder that is responsive enough for most tastes.

Verdict: Beautifully engineered and designed

with diesel-beating economy and refinement.

instant torque of 370Nm from a standstill. Performance is urgent and entertaining, and smoothness is the defining characteristic. And once the battery pack is depleted, the Volt seamlessly switches to an on-board petrol generator (with a 35-litre tank) that produces electricity to keep you going for hundreds more kilometres. The driving position is excellent, the leather seats are cosseting and the 7-inch interactive LCD displays on the dash and console are clear and easy to configure. Next to the speedometer is a dynamic efficiency gauge, a floating coloured ball that encourages gentle throttle and brake inputs to keep the ball green and centred, which indicates optimal efficiency. ■■

New electrical boost will allow more power for longer periods over a lap.

■■

The front wings will be narrower and lower.

■■

The rear wing will be reduced in size.

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Exhaust-assisted aerodynamics are banned.

Manufacturers must meet ever-increasing rules around fuel efficiency and economy, resulting in the trend to smaller engine sizes and a dependency on turbo charges to supply power and economy. Manufacturers are also looking at

On the road, the strictly mid-sized Volt feels very stable and rewards with crisp steering

and pliant suspension. The only thing it

struggles to do is disguise its 1,720kg mass. Verdict: Holden’s ‘plug-in’ hatchback offers

urgent performance and is luxuriously equipped. transmissions to improve fuel economy as regulated by legislation. This means that the clutch pedal may well be a thing of the past, as more and more vehicles will move to automatic or automated manual gearboxes. Electronics will also be used more to increase safety in the coming years. We’ve all seen the adverts: cameras will provide the drivers with extra eyes, meaning the cars will park themselves. But this technology will also link to navigation systems to stop you driving too fast through corners. You’ll be driving like a racing pro in no time!

On MAS

The magazine for MAS Members

33


WINE

Take time to smell (and drink) the Rosés

About 10 years ago Rosés were quite rare and largely undrinkable. They were looked down upon and regarded as cheap lolly-water low-class wines. However, in the past few years, shelves have been steadily filling with a number of very respectable light reds vinted from various distinct grape varieties.

By Phil Parker MAS Member, wine writer and operator of Auckland Fine Wine and Food Tours www.finewinetours.co.nz. Catch up on all the latest wines and more at Phil’s wine blog www.nzwineblogger.blogspot.com.

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February 2014

Varietal Rosés can be made from any red grape including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fact that the grape skins are in contact with the juice for a very short time ensures that tannins are kept to a minimum while attractive varietal characters are retained. And the really good thing is, in warmer weather, you can chill many of them with a clear conscience. They make a good match for summer foods like fish and chicken, plus they are ideal for barbecues and picnics. Rosés are made by crushing red grapes, then leaving the juice on the skins for a short period in stainless steel tanks (as little as 12 hours) to extract a minimum of colour and maximum grape juice flavours before

pressing and racking off into fermentation tanks. The resulting wines are light, often blush pink, and have predominantly red berry fruit flavours of strawberries and raspberries. These are clean, crisp, refreshing, drink-young wines that will not benefit from cellaring. They also come in a spectrum of sugar levels from dry to medium sweet. Caveat emptor. The sweeter Rosé styles can tolerate serious chilling before serving, but the more delicate dry to off-dry Rosés should be cooled in the fridge for only about 30 minutes or so prior to serving. Here’s a selection of Rosé-style wines for summer, ranging from sweet/medium to medium, to bone dry: Congratulations to MAS Members Pat and Judy Medlicott of Greylands Ridge winery (www.greylandsridge.co.nz ) in Central Otago for picking up a Pure Gold medal at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in November 2013 for their 2012 Pinot Noir, plus a 5-star ‘Best Buy’ in Cuisine the same month.


Mahurangi River Matakana Pretty In Pink Merlot Rosé 2013 Sweet-ish style with vibrant strawberry jelly colour. Very approachable and easy drinking. Flavours of ripe raspberry with a hint of astringent dryness on the finish. (Pretty In Pink does remind me of seeing the Psychedelic Furs live at Sweetwaters circa 1980. But I digress.)

Soho Waiheke Rosé 2013 $26 Hand-picked Waiheke Island fruit – Merlot and Malbec are blended to make this sweetish/ medium Rosé.

Matawhero Pinot Rosé Gisborne 2013 $26

Kate Radburnd Hawke’s Bay Berry Blush Rosé 2013 $16

Strawberries and cream flavours. Dry finish and lengthy palate.

A Hawke’s Bay Rosé from Pask winemaker Kate Radburnd. This one is just off-dry, with red berry fruit ripeness and soft acid finish.

Gladstone Vineyard Rosé 2013 $23

Heron’s Flight Un Bacio D’Alba Dolcetto Rosé 2012 $23

Bélouvé Côtes De Provence Rosé (France) 2012 $24

Marqués De Caceres Rioja Rosado (Spain) 2012 $19

100% Dolcetto grown on the estate at Matakana. The name translates as ‘a kiss of dawn’. Pale pink and delicate, flavours of plum juice, nectarine and strawberry with a little added CO2 spritz of effervescence. Just off-dry.

Cabernet, Grenache and Syrah go into the blend for this French Rosé from Provence. Dry, restrained and elegant with complex flavours not unlike a Pinot Noir-dominant Champagne.

Two typical Rioja red grapes, Tempranillo and Grenache, are blended to create this wine. Mild oaky flavours, and a rich just off-dry ripe palate of plums and strawberries.

An unusual Bordeaux grape variety blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Plum and strawberry flavours with a hint of sweetness and a dry, slightly astringent finish.

On MAS

Wooing Tree Central Otago Rosé 2013 $28 Dry and crisp. Flavours of red plum and strawberry. A cocktail of flavours. Ripe cherries, pink marshmallow, passion fruit and plum flavours with a crisp finish.

Quartz Reef Rosé Methode Traditionelle Central Otago $40 100% organic Pinot Noir, and aged for 24 months. Rich and rounded with a lingering, savoury spicy finish. A lovely elegant bubbly for the summer season.

The magazine for MAS Members

35


BOOKS

By acclaimed New Zealand author Kate De Goldi

GREAT

The Isle of Youth By Laura van den Berg Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York $30 Two sisters in business together as PIs stake out the apartment of an apparently cheating husband, and during the long wait discuss the lies their father told them. A gang of young cousins in flight from their politically fundamentalist parents rob banks by day, while at night the youngest constructs a robot from garbage in tribute to the father he misses. A magician’s assistant-daughter winces at her mother’s inept sleight-of-hand, but is gulled by the colourful romances about her paternity. A twin enmeshes her

Penguin Underground Lines: Twelve Stories from Twelve Authors Penguin, London $120 To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, Penguin commissioned 12 essays by 12 writers, each to explore one of the Underground lines. The result is a fascinating collection of voices and perspectives and a paean to that marvel born out of the energy and vision of Victorian England, fostered by the uneasy coexistence of private and national interests, and now an elderly – though regularly revitalised – institution equally loved and despised. The individual ‘essays’ (two are pictorial) are as

This Is Running for Your Life By Michelle Orange Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York $16 Orange is a cultural critic, journalist and contributing editor for the online magazine The Rumpus, and writes over a wide area of interests including film, politics, war and social media. She mixes memoir and criticism, her prose is nervy and dense, and her mind formidably well stocked. This first collection of essays demonstrates the same range, but at least two threads running through the pieces are the pervasiveness of image in contemporary culture and the creeping elevation of ‘self’ at the expense of notions of community. The collection begins with a

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February 2014

sister in an elaborate identity hoax and endangers her sense of self and her life. Loss and lies and family frailty are the bedrock of these stories, though the situations are often mordantly comical. Fathers have gone missing or parents have been abandoned by their children, the future is lost by helpless or wanton acts in the present, siblings are dead or unloving, marital love is leaking away or abruptly snatched when a spouse announces their departure. There are only seven stories, but the variety of setting and situation, the acuteness of emotional insight, the desperate but recognisable characters and the sucker punches of the stories’ climaxes are rich reading indeed and mark van den Berg as one of the most interesting recent voices in American fiction. singular as each of the lines. Political commentator and comedian John O’Farrell (Jubilee Line) offers a very funny apocalyptic satire that anatomises the interests of capital buttressing London; William Leith, confessional journalist, torques anxiety and claustrophobia to excruciating effect on the Northern Line; Lucy Wadham uses the Circle Line to talk about the privilege and pain of her Chelsea family. John Lanchester is a mine of Tube history and facts – including a clarification of the difference between the Tube and the Underground. Most fascinatingly for me, nature writer Richard Mabey writes about the ecotones – zones where one habitat merges with another – created by the Metropolitan Line’s reach into the countryside. The whole is hugely informative and pleasurable, and a great introduction to writers you may not know. meditation on aging (by way of Ethan Hawke’s facial changes over a decade between two films) and ends with a coming-of-age essay structured around an obsession with running. The highlights in between cover a visit to Beirut that limns the tragedy of its recent history and the endurance of its citizens; time spent with two former Hollywood workers now with a start-up company in the unnerving area of neuromarketing; and – brilliantly – a report from Hawaii where Orange visits the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and attends the presentation of the DSM-5 at the American Psychiatric Association conference, thus eerily counter-posing the sanctioned madness of war with the catalogue of diagnosable disorders in the powerful Manual.


READS

By doctor, poet and MAS Member Rae Varcoe

Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time

ending with the close examination of six artefacts

By Penelope Lively

of time and memory. Memory gets a whole chapter

Penguin $45 The book reviewer in The Independent described Penelope Lively’s semi-memoir as, “like listening to a favourite older relative reminisce... if only older relatives were well travelled Oxford graduates with keen humour and a sharp knack for observing human behaviour”. That is an excellent summary of this wide, witty, varied and open ‘view from old age’. It is less a memoir than a series of reflections starting with those on a childhood shortened by war in Egypt and

Harvest By Jim Crace Picador $38 Jim Crace has said that Harvest, his 11th novel, is his last. I hope not. All his others have been enjoyable

and Quarantine, which reinvented Jesus in the

Judean desert, was especially memorable. This

time Jim Crace has again beautifully located major

contemporary issues in a historical setting. Harvest concerns the inhabitants of a small, isolated, rural

medieval village and their customs, concerns, politics

and beliefs. In particular it examines their responses to change and to the presence of outsiders. The

The Embassy of Cambodia By Zadie Smith Penguin $18 At 69 pages, Smith’s latest work is somewhere

between a short story and a micro novel. It might

have been a much longer novel if it were not for her

skilful realisation of place and character with a grand

economy of touch. Fatou is a servant to a Pakistani

family in the London suburb of Willesden. There, each

Monday, she makes use of her employer’s guest pass to have a swim in the local pool. One of the local

houses has a plate inscribed ‘Embassy of Cambodia’

from her collection. These are perceived as signals

from the past and aids to understanding the concepts to itself that alone is worth the purchase price. It

distinguishes between procedural, semantic and

autobiographical memory and notes the essential nature of each, while exploring the “moth-eaten

version of our own past” that informs our notion of

who we are. She is fascinated by the selectiveness of

memory and notes how essential is the presence of

the vacuoles that often frustrate us. Her reflections

on time are as vigorous and informative. This is my best non-fiction volume of 2013.

narrator, Walter Thirsk, is a relative outsider, having lived in the village for 12 years. When a group of three strangers sets up camp on the edge of the village, all accidents, misfortunes and untoward incidents are ascribed to them, with devastating consequences. Another outsider, the landowner’s cousin, acquires ownership of the village and disrupts centuries-old convention by planning to enclose cultivated land to accommodate sheep flocks. This massive disruption to the social order results in chaos, so that trust in family and neighbours is lost and there remains no possibility of a cohesive, effective response. Eventually the community disintegrates, but not before irreproachable individuals have been denounced and punished or ostracised.

placed at its front gate, and from then on, each time Fatou walks past, there is a badminton game in the front yard. Always the same two invisible players and apparently always the same winner. Fatou is unsure whether her unwaged employment defines her as a slave, an issue she debates with Andrew, a fellow exile, a Christian and her eventual saviour. In a brilliant turn, the all-observing outsider and social commentator is a pensioner looking from a high rest home veranda. As a straightforward tale the book can be seen as slight, but when considered as a commentary on power, oppression, community, colonialism and Britain in the 21st century, it is subtle, nuanced and profound. It rewards close attention.

On MAS

The magazine for MAS Members

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So we’re doing what’s right for our Members by continuing to provide full replacement cover for our house insurance policies.

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email us today at info@mas.co.nz or call 0800 627 659. *In limited situations we will not be able to offer full replacement cover where the property does not meet our standard underwriting criteria.


On Mas February 2014