The Hobson December 2019

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december 2019

happy christmas cooking p present perfect local news, views & informed opinions

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The December Issue, No. 64 8


the editor’s letter

the teacher


Judi Paape has some relaxed ideas about how to address the summer holiday learning slide

the columnists

27 the suburbanist

13 the village The Blind Foundation has retiring plans for its land in Parnell, the controversial Gladstone Rd cycleway plan is punctured by AT, the local boards pick their new chairs; plus, our Magpie alights in Remuera Village for some Christmas shopping fun

He’ll take that one, and that one too, thanks. Tommy Honey picks his architectually-themed book list for Christmas

28 the sound Downsizing from the family home, Andrew Dickens starts to edit his CD collection. Two days and he’s still on the A’s

20 the councillor The councillor for the Ōrākei ward, Desley Simpson, shares her news

29 the bookmark Enjoy a story from local Murray Thom’s new book, Eat, Drink & Be Murray

22 the politicians Updates from local MPs David Seymour and Paul Goldsmith


32 the feast

the second act

Lovely local foodies share favoured recipes for the Christmas table or just to enjoy this summer

There’s joy at Christmas this year thanks to millennial and Gen X action at Sandy Burgham’s place



She’s all present and correct with her list this month

the plan Hamish Firth is driven by what he experienced on the road during a recent jaunt to Japan

the magpie

44 the district diary What’s going on in December

25 the investment


Art, coins, Lego — Warren Couillault weighs the pros and cons of an alternative investment portfolio

Our puzzle, by Māyā

the cryptic

Yes, even Mahé needs a navigator. J U S T N O T O N T H E W AT E R


H O B S O N W E A LT H .C O. N Z | 0 8 0 0 74 2 7 3 7 Hobson Wealth Partners Limited (FSP29782), is an NZX Advising Firm. The disclosure statement for Hobson Wealth Partners is available upon request, free of charge.

the hobson 6


alking into Ross and Heather’s office feels like you’ve walked onto a set of Million Dollar Listing. This office means business. Ross laughs saying that when he made the decision to join Heather at Ray White Black Group it really came down to “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em”. Ross and Heather first crossed paths some 20 years ago when Ross was selling the Princes Wharf apartments and Heather was working at Knight Coldicutt Solicitors managing the sale and purchase agreements. Both went on to enjoy 20 hugely successful years in the business. Both have sold mainly high-end homes, luxury apartments, land developments and in addition Ross waterfront and coastal properties. With Heather’s background in Property Law and her contacts with Developers, makes them an obvious pairing with such similar strengths. Putting a legal contract together or negotiating complicated terms

comes second nature to Heather after so many years in Property Law and has set her up with this powerful skill on hand. Over the years pitching on high-value homes Ross and Heather would often find each other in competition for a listing. Last week was so busy informing clients of our collaboration and sharing our client’s properties with each other. We have been so busy discussing each property and our plan to get a great result for our clients. There’s been a really common theme come through from everyone we have spoken to, congratulating us on a great team of like-minded people with similar values of hard-working, down to earth and committed to a result for our clients. Ross and I are looking forward to a busy final quarter and a fantastic start to 2020.

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Ross Hawkins 027 472 0577

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HEATHER + ROSS A sample of Heather & Ross Exclusive listings. Call for viewing times or to schedule a private viewing

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issue 64, december 2019 Editor & Publisher Kirsty Cameron Art Direction & Production Stephen Penny News Editor Mary Fitzgerald Writers This Issue Kirsty Cameron, Mary Fitzgerald, Wayne Thompson, Justine Williams, Fiona Wilson Sub-editor Dawn Adams Columnists Sandy Burgham, Warren Couillault, Andrew Dickens, Hamish Firth, Paul Goldsmith, Tommy Honey, Māyā, David Seymour, Desley Simpson Photographers Mary Fitzgerald, Stephen Penny


elcome to December, and as you’ll have noticed from our cover, we’re going full Christmas with this issue. We asked several locals famous for their culinary skills to share their Christmas recipes. So from shortbread to stuffing to salmons and puddings, enjoy their generosity. I usually set myself some kind of culinary goal for Christmas Day — notice I say ‘set’, it’s not necessarily achieved. This year, I’m thinking Lauraine Jacob’s family heirloom pudding could be my Christmas KPI. I’ve never made one before and being somewhere between vaguely competent and overly ambitious in my skill level, it seems to be a recipe that’s not too daunting for a pudding novice. I hold onto the idea that there needs to be something still a bit traditional on the table, amongst the seasonally appropriate menu that has gradually replaced European winter food as Christmas fare. Over my life, Christmas ‘dinner’ has gone from being a formal affair of many courses to grazing tables, picnics and this year, brunch, to which we’ll all contribute the food, and in my case, hopefully that pudding. And because we’ve become far more relaxed about it all, everyone will remark again how much less stress it is when no-one’s driven to swilling Baileys straight from the bottle because the oven got turned off instead of down, and so the turkey is another hour away. (It’s not so different with Sandy Burgham’s whānau — enjoy her Christmas win on page 23.) And last year, my husband’s large, extended family took over a clubhouse at a local beach and it was voted one of the Best Evers, just for how easy it was for every age and stage to enjoy. There was tradition — a tree, Christmas music, my late mother-in-law’s trifle made by her daughter — but it was also perfect in how easy and accommodating it was for everyone. Wherever, however, you spend your Christmas, I hope it’s convivial and happy for all.

Cover Jess Daniell’s competition-worthy pav. See our special neighbourhood foodie feature, which begins on page 32 Photo by Lottie Hedley THE HOBSON is published 10 times a year by The Hobson Limited, PO Box 37490 Parnell, Auckland 1151. F: The Hobson Magazine I: @The Hobson Ideas, suggestions, advertising inquiries welcome.

Kirsty Cameron 0275 326 424 Facebook: The Hobson Magazine Instagram: TheHobson

THE HOBSON is Remuera, Parnell and Ōrākei’s community magazine. We deliver into letterboxes in these neighbourhoods, and copies are also at local libraries, cafes, and at businesses including the Vicky Ave and White Heron dairies, and Paper Plus Parnell. For more about us, see The Hobson Magazine on Facebook. The content of THE HOBSON is copyright. Our words, our pictures. Don’t steal, and don’t borrow without checking with us first. We aim for accuracy but cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies that do occur. The views of our contributors are their own and not necessarily those of THE HOBSON. We don’t favour unsolicited contributions but do welcome you getting in touch via to discuss ideas. The Hobson Ltd is a member of the Magazine Publishers Association This publication uses environmentally responsible papers.

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He's actually very happy about this: Boots, the Hobson dog enjoying meeting Mr and Mrs Claus in Remuera last December. For this year's Santa dates, see page 17.

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The Columnists

Left to right from top row: Sandy Burgham (The Second Act) is a brand strategist and an executive coach with a special interest in midlife change and transformational behaviours. She runs a central Auckland practice. Remuera resident Warren Couillault (The Investment) is an executive director and the major shareholder of Hobson Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory group. He is also a manager of a registered KiwiSaver scheme. Andrew Dickens (The Sound) is the host of the afternoon show on Newstalk ZB. For 13 years he was the breakfast host on Classic Hits. He grew up in Remuera. Hamish Firth (The Plan) lives and works in Parnell and is principal of the Mt Hobson Group, a specialist urban planning consultancy. Mary Fitzgerald is The Hobson’s News Editor. A Mainlander who transplanted to Remuera 15 years ago, she is passionate about hearing and telling our stories. Urban design critic Tommy Honey (The Suburbanist) is a former architect. The Remuera resident is a regular guest on RNZ National, discussing the built environment. Judi Paape (The Teacher) is a parent, grandparent and highly-experienced teacher and junior school principal. A Parnell resident, her column appears bi-monthly. Contributing writer Wayne Thompson is a former The New Zealand Herald journalist, covering Auckland news. He has been a resident of Parnell for 34 years. Contributing editor Justine Williams is an interiors stylist, writer and fashion editor. The Remuera resident has been the editor of Simply You and Simply You Living.

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the village

Town & Around



An architectural render of the proposed retirement complex, facing on to Maunsell Rd, Parnell

BLIND PRECINCT COMES FULL CIRCLE The Blind Foundation’s land in Parnell is set for a return to accommodation use after a 30-year gap since hostels for older blind people closed. This time, however, the new wave of residents coming to the address will not necessarily have sight problems and they will have bought premium apartments in a retirement village. The foundation, which has recently renamed its operational side to Blind & Low Vision NZ, has a property arm which has joined with retirement village operator Generus Living to seek resource consent for up to 116 apartments in two new five-storey buildings. The ground floor of one building will become the foundation’s head office. With a footprint of 6449m², the new buildings will fit in the block between the heritage Jubilee Building on Parnell Rd to the south, Maunsell Rd to the north and the Birthcare building on Titoki St to the west. The new buildings will occupy a quarter of the land known as the ‘Foundation Precinct’ and in doing so will take the sites of three other structures: Awhina House, which was built in 1996 for the foundation’s offices; a former boys’ hostel converted to offices, and a 1915 private house which the foundation bought in 2017, on the corner of Maunsell and Parnell roads. The Maunsell Rd sites have been used previously for residential purposes. Awhina House was built on the site of the 1933 Bledisloe House for elderly blind men, and Birthcare is on the site of Hutchinson House, which housed older women until 1991. Royal New Zealand Foundation Of The Blind (RNZFB) chair Rick Hoskin told The Hobson with the government providing only onesixth of its income, it has to look to investment properties in order to help fund essential services. The retirement living partnership with Generus, which operates four villages including Ranfurly, in

Three Kings, is making best use of the Parnell land asset without losing ownership of it. The foundation owns all buildings in the precinct, most of them on farmland acquired 130 years ago. About 15 per cent of its annual income is from Parnell rents, and Hoskin says the proposal allows this to grow without affecting the integrity or curtilage of three Heritage Category 1 buildings in the precinct. “The retirement village scenario, once fully established, will create a rolling income for a protracted period for the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind,” says Hoskin. If consent is granted, a first stage of 46 apartments on the corner of Maunsell and Parnell roads could be ready in two years and all planned building finished in five years. “This is one of the better retirement village sites with Newmarket, Parnell, the Domain and Auckland Hospital so close. The intention is that these apartments will be 6-star quality.” Although the apartments are for anyone of the right age to buy, Hoskin says Blind & Low Vision NZ insists that buildings are fully accessible for blind people, in and outside. The tradition of delivering services to clients from the precinct will continue from the ground floor office. While once the Parnell site and Homai, in Manurewa, served one third of visually-impaired clients, there is a move towards satellite centres in other parts of Auckland to reduce travel. The first small branch was set up in Albany two years ago and others will pop up where services are needed, in the west and south-east. “With the increasingly ageing population, the number of people with eye conditions is increasing so we are here for the long term and we need to ensure we have the ability to financially sustain the services required,” says Rick Hoskin. In a report to Auckland Council on the effects of the proposed

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the village

development, the promoters emphasise that the new building won’t come closer than 7m from the Category 1 heritage Jubilee Building and no part of its 1909 red brick Gothic Revival structure will be demolished. Once the foundation’s main building but not used by it since 1992, the Jubilee Building is leased to Auckland Council, which uses it for the Parnell Library and for the headquarters of the Parnell Trust, which runs community programmes and manages venue hire of the rooms and the attached heritage Jubilee Hall. The Parnell Trust also runs the weekly Parnell Farmers’ Market, held in the precinct’s central carpark. Asked for comment, both Heritage New Zealand and the Parnell Trust raised concerns about noise from current activities upsetting new residents and prompting restrictions. Parnell Trust chief executive Lyn Fox says the Jubilee Hall must be able to hold night and weekend functions such as weddings, and she hopes the new neighbours will enjoy the community centre on their doorstep, and join activities such as bridge, mahjong and language classes. (Generus Living says the apartments will meet acoustic code and be double-glazed, as the building code requires). Parnell Community Committee chair Luke Niue says trees in the way of construction access on the Maunsell Rd frontage of the development will be removed. They include big pūriri and, on the street berm, four mature flowering cherry trees. “It would be great if the developer could plant large specimen berm trees to strengthen the unique avenue of trees in this part of Parnell,” says Niue. (The developer says five cherry trees will be planted.) Although the new building is bigger and taller than the Jubilee, promoters say the design of the new buildings is sympathetic to it. The building also must fit in with both the Jubilee Building and the foundation’s other nearby Heritage Category 1 building, the Gummer and Ford designed Pearson House, built in 1926 as a hostel for blind working men. It is now part of the ACG Parnell school complex, which fronts Titoki St. In the report to council, Salmond Reed Architects report “less than minor” effects are expected from infringement to the area of land attached to the Jubilee Building. The new building will have a semi-public ground floor colonnade facing Jubilee’s glazed twostorey loggia and will maintain walkways and courtyard spaces. The Jubilee Building will remain clearly visible from the north along Parnell Rd and the bulk of the new building will be softened by setbacks above level three. The new buildings have references to Jubilee through the use of protruding bays, double height windows, horizontal stone reveals and upper balcony setbacks. The top two levels are lightened by a series of frames to windows and balconies. The long road frontage of the building will be broken up by the listed notable pōhutukawa tree on Parnell Rd, albeit its spreading branches trimmed to stay 2m clear of the building. The appearance of a five-storey building on the corner will bring a marked change to the low-rise residential character of Maunsell Rd. But the promoters say the more intensive use of the site is in line with the intent of the Auckland Unitary Plan’s Business-Mixed Use Zone. It is also in line with its fringe Newmarket location. Boffa Miskell consultants say the introduction of taller and larger-scaled buildings with bigger footprints is to be expected, but the trick is to make the buildings appropriate to their context and to avoid adverse effects.They say the proposal avoids “visual dominance” of the residential street by complying with the height to boundary standards along Maunsell Rd and setting back the upper two levels. One building has a central courtyard and a rooftop garden. Both buildings have basement car parking to give a total of 147 new spaces. Council could not say whether the consent application would be publicly notified as it is still being reviewed. — Wayne Thompson p

CYCLEWAY OFF ROUTE Auckland Transport has announced that they have canned the proposed, locally controversial, cycleway along St Stephens Ave and Gladstone Rd, Parnell. The Parnell business and residential community believed the cycleway design was unworkable and too expensive, and after four years of to and fro, AT has ruled it out for the next three years at least, based on cost. Budget blowouts, including undergrounding power lines and new kerbing, saw the estimated cost rocket to $17 million, far beyond its initial budget of $4m. The cycleway was to be a part of a comprehensive network of routes across Auckland that would focus on improving access by bike from suburbs to the city centre. The route was to run from the intersection of St Stephens Ave and Parnell Rd to the intersection of The Strand and Quay St, and would have connected with the Quay St and Tamaki Dr cycleways. It was also the first section of a planned cycle route leading up through to Newmarket and beyond. The design included a 1.5 metre wide cycle lane on both sides of St Stephens and Gladstone roads, with a 30 centimetre concrete buffer between the cycle and traffic lanes. Existing traffic lanes were to remain the same, while some footpaths were to be widened. Some on-street parking was to be removed, or changed from angle to parallel parking. As part of the overall plan, changes were also to be made to create shorter crossing distances on foot and encourage slower vehicle speeds, including a raised speed table across the intersection of Brighton Rd and St Stephens, and at the intersection of St Stephens, Gladstone and Takutai streets. While the removal of parking at the Gladstone Rd shops, at Parnell District School and around the cathedral annoyed locals — the then-Dean pointed out that few people arrive for funerals or weddings by bike — some cyclists were also baffled by AT’s grand plans. “If it is not broken, don’t bother fixing it,” says James Matthews of Remuera, who’s been cycling the area for 12 years. “Gladstone Rd is super-wide and already perfect for cyclists to ride safely up and down. Putting in the lanes is completely pointless on that road. “I think AT when they are designing these cycleways, they need to think about who the cycleways are actually for – commuters or recreational riders? What exactly are they trying to achieve by putting in these lanes, and at high cost?” Similarly, the business community was also not in favour. Parnell Business Association general manager Cheryl Adamson saying that while the association is supportive of cycleways when “they add value, enhance amenity and do not materially detract from local businesses’ ability to operate or restrict patrons”, what was planned for Parnell did not tick those boxes. “We were opposed to what was initially proposed due to the dramatic loss of parking and subsequent impact this would have on affected parties including the hotels, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell District School and the neighbourhood shops and cafes, and the fact that safety risks inherent at two important intersections were not addressed,” says Adamson. “Also, there was absolutely no contribution to enhancing a sense of place, nor increased visual amenities to this heritage precinct.” The business association sees the ‘on hold’ status as positive, and is happy that AT listened to community concerns. Cycling is not totally off the agenda for Parnell — local groups are keen to see the development of the Waipapa Greenways cycle route, which would use the disused rail tunnel to link Newmarket to Stanley St. Meanwhile, stage two of the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr cycleway through Pourewa Valley — a joint project between AT and the NZ Transport Agency — has been put on hold until next year, along with stage four from Ōrākei Basin to Tamaki Dr, while funding is allocated. — Mary Fitzgerald p

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SAFE CYCLING, AND DRIVING In addition to the NZ Road Code for motorised vehicles, there is an official NZ Road Code for cycling, a comprehensive guide to traffic law and safe road use also administered by NZTA. Some highlights:

Despite what you may see occurring, cyclists have to obey the same road signs and signals as vehicles. So riding through red lights, not giving way or stopping at a crossing for pedestrians is not on

The cycling code says when on the road you need to ride as near as you can to the left. If you are holding back traffic, you must move as far as possible to the left side of the road to allow vehicles to pass, as soon as you can

Cyclists can ride two abreast, but should take into account the keep left rule and not hold back traffic. Three or more people cycling next to each other is illegal, except in the case of a road race that has been given approval from a road controlling authority

Are you five? Then cycling on a footpath is illegal, unless you’re riding a scooter, a child’s bike (wheel diameter less than 355mm) or delivering newspapers or mail

The use of hand signals by cyclists is encouraged to indicate action, not thoughts

For more on the cycleway, see David Seymour’s column, page 22


RIFLES RILED Vandals have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the new artificial turf at College Rifles’ grounds in Haast St. The $1.85 million turf upgrade late last year by the rugby and sports club was supported by a $750,000 Sport and Community Partnership Grant from Auckland Council. College Rifles’ chair Jason Orr says the volunteers and staff at the club are gutted by the “mindless vandalism” in late October. Club security cameras shows two people, most likely young males, one on a BMX-style bike and the other on a scooter, kicking a ball around. Then, soon after 10pm on October 27, the duo are shown lighting a fire in the middle of the field which escalated quickly, before going out and leaving part of the turf now unusable. “The damage is extensive,” says Orr. “There is 10 to 12 square metres of damaged burned turf and the repair costs could be in the thousands. The company who laid the artificial turf have since been in to assess the damage and will come back to us with the costs. At that point we can assess what insurance and community support options are available to us. “Luckily no one was hurt, but this could easily have been so much worse for the club and the two people involved. If you have any idea who these people might have been then get them some help — statistically this fire-lighting behaviour can escalate quickly, and that will only increase risk to property and people.” College Rifles has passed the security camera footage to the police, who are investigating. If you have any information about the incident, please contact either the club or the police. — Mary Fitzgerald p


the village

Photos courtesy RBA

AWESOMELY SPOOKY Remuera was once again overrun with scary monsters and creepy beings when the Remuera Business Association hosted a Halloween lolly hunt and costume parade on October 31. p

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bring on summer

CELEBRATING GOOD NEIGHBOURS The Hobson is keen to hear about good neighbourly acts, like this seat provided by homeowners for others to enjoy. A plaque on the bench, on private land abutting the Ōrākei Basin walkway, invites passers-by to sit and enjoy the view. Do you have an example of a neighbourly act? Send us a note: p

NEW BOARD NEWS Waitematā and Ōrākei Local Board members elected in Auckland’s local body elections took part in inauguration ceremonies last month. Former Auckland City Councillor and local businessman Scott Milne has been elected by his board as chair of Ōrākei. He will be supported by Sarah Powrie as deputy chair for the first half of the electoral term, and Troy Elliot for the second half of the term. Former Labour MP Richard Northey is Waitematā Local Board’s new chair. He will be supported by Kerrin Leoni as deputy for the first half of the term, and Alex Bonham for the second. — Mary Fitzgerald p

With Christmas now very much on the radar, for many prospective buyers and sellers, now is the decision-making season. As expected, listing numbers are increasing and buyers are on the hunt with a view to being in for the start of the new school year – always an impending event that compels decisions. We have been saying for several months that the residential market is on the turn and the latest report from the Real Estate Institute confirms this. October was our best month for over a year, with an increasing number of sales at the upper end. We note a marked improvement in auction clearance rates, and in general, buyers seem to have decided that with interest rates at record low levels, it is time to buy. In short, it seems the winter season in the residential market is over – bring on summer.

If you’re wondering what a property is worth please give me a call at any time.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN Santa and Mrs Claus will be spending some quality time in Remuera again this Christmas. You might meet them strolling the street, or come along to their HQ, outside the Remuera Library, for photos. The Clauses will be in residence at the Santa hut between midday to 2pm on Saturday December 7, Friday 13, Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Friday 20 and Saturday 21. p

Philip Oldham M 021 921 031 LICENSED AGENT REA 2008

the magpie + remuera village

Christmas Shopping in RemueraVillage She swoops, she scores! The Magpie alights at the Remuera Village shops and finds much to help with her Christmas and summer wants and needs.








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1. Kickback and enjoy your downtime with these stylish Sunnylife summer essentials at Hedgerow. The Kasbah-patterned Beach Cabana is $275, the Lounge Chair $199. Hedgerow, 371 Remuera Rd, 524 0843. 2. Gift giving and entertaining is taken care of with this fabulous array of seasonal goodies from 4 and 20. Make your selection from their pantry needs and treats including a Sri Lankan Christmas fruit cake, a pudding based on a 17th century recipe, chutneys, tarts – heaven! 4 and 20 Bakery, 3A Clonbern Rd, 529 0307. 3. The Classique collection of Swiss watches are stunning, each boasting 1.30 carats of dazzling diamonds. Now that’s a gift that would put you squarely in the good books. From $1625 to $2875, exclusive to Sanders of Remuera Jewellers, 385 Remuera Rd, 520 3630. 4. The Sitting Room in the Village Green is the go-to place for beautiful cushions to give, or to update your look at home. There’s made to order too.The Sitting Room, 415 Remuera Rd, 520 2200. Email: 5. How special are these custom-made Santa Sacks and Christmas Stockings from Gracious Living? Made from exquisite fabrics, no two are the same. Available as a stocking ($59), or as sacks in small ($179) or large ($279) sizes. Gracious Living, 384-386 Remuera Rd, 520 1735.

6. Can’t get to Paris? Let the city of love come giftwrapped instead. Laura B Eiffel Tower Earrings are handmade in Spain, and are $565 from Maman, 407 Remuera Rd, 520 1020.


7. Summer’s never looked so cool at Briarwood. Earthy green and neutral shades star with this floral basket, $99, Henrietta dress in green, $249, and a Made in Mada hat, $99. Briarwood, 401 Remuera Rd, 948 2200. 8. What a knockout! This jewel-like Kitson print batik dress by David Pond says ‘summer, here I come!’ $385 from Gabriella, 357 Remuera Rd, 520 1156. 9. How could a Magpie not adore these fun and fabulous sterling silver Parrot Necklace and Earrings? Each dear little birdie has ruby eyes, with red and green enamel and marcasite details. Necklace $250, earrings $295, from Jems of Remuera, 346 Remuera Rd, 522 8553. 10. The Ruby Red Shoes collection of keepforever fine bone china makes the sweetest gifts. All pieces come in a presentation box, with complimentary gift wrapping too. Available from $19.90 from Antheas, 333 Remuera Rd, 520 1092.


11. These darling summer wedges will take you everywhere you want to go, with almost everything you’ll want to wear. Pamelia Wedge by Django & Juliette, $239.90 from Robin Pierre, 399 Remuera Rd, 523 5486. 12. The Magpie can think of several very close friends whose homes would be enhanced by the addition of a Maison Balzac vase. Elegant filled with flowers or standing alone, there are black and white versions. $169 each, from Maman, 407 Remuera Rd, 520 1020.




the hobson 19

the councillor

Desley Simpson


s the end of 2019 draws to a close, the beginning of the new council term gears up. Mayor Goff has met with all his councillors and has drawn up the new meeting structure for this, the fourth Auckland Council. We now have five main committees of the whole. Three of these were as before — the governing body (chaired by the mayor), the finance and performance committee, and the planning committee. Along with these, we now have two new ones, the environment and climate change committee looking at environmental and climate change activities, and a community committee looking at community, social and cultural activities. There are also a number of other committees feeding into the above. Of special mention are two new ones, the council-controlled organisation (CCO) oversight committee, and the value for money committee. CCOs control approximately 75 per cent of our business, and legislation allows that. My understanding is that the thinking behind that was that independent professional directors would be better placed than politicians to run significant parts of council business. Whilst the theory has merit, the practice has seen much of the CCO delivery performed in such a way that Aucklanders and politicians have no ‘control’ at all. The new CCO oversight committee will set policy relating to CCO governance, have insight into their strategy and direction, and monitor their performance. The mayor has also appointed a councillor to sit on each CCO — in Auckland Transport’s case, two councillors — not as directors, as that would potentially compromise their focus, but as observers with speaking rights. Value for money is the second new committee. Although this work stream started last term, the mayor was previously unable to get support for this to be an entity of its own (I think I was the only one who supported him on this). But with this works programme realising $270 million of efficiencies in just two years, he now has

that support. This committee ensures the pro-active assessment of money saving opportunities, and considers the cost effectiveness of the governance, funding and delivery across the council group. One of the few things the mayor can do completely on his own is set the structure and name the chairs of those committees. In my case he has asked me to chair finance and performance. Feeding into this is the strategic procurement committee and the CCO oversight committee. He has also asked me to chair the value for money committee, which reports into the mayor’s own committee, the governing body. On top of that, my responsibilities include being chair of the Domain committee, which with the boundary changes now is within the Ōrākei ward, and taking the role of deputy chair of the Ngāti Whātua Reserves Board, a member of the CCO oversight committee and a member of the Town Hall Organ Trust. It’s a big workload but I’m up for the challenge. Working alongside councillors are, of course, our local boards. Unlike council committees, local boards choose their own chairs and deputies. I am pleased to announce that Scott Milne was unanimously voted in as chair of the Ōrākei Local Board, supported by Sarah Powrie and Troy Elliot sharing the deputy chair roles over the next three years. For the Waitematā Local Board, Richard Northey was unanimously voted in as chairman, with Kerrin Leoni and Alexandra Bonham as deputy chairs respectively. You are well served with elected members committed to listen to you, your concerns and feedback and deliver improvements in many areas. On a personal note, I will welcome my third grandchild in early 2020. It’s always a tangible reminder as to the importance of my decisions, not just for today but for our future generations to come. Desley Simpson is the Councillor for Auckland representing the Ōrākei ward

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the hobson 20

the politicians

Paul Goldsmith


s we look forward to Christmas and summer holidays, most of us are conscious that as well as the fun, food and family time, we can anticipate pressure on the bank account. It’s an expensive time of year. Middle class families are feeling the cost of living pressures, especially at the fuel pump, but the season is especially challenging for those in need. Sadly, despite all the caring rhetoric from the current government, the numbers of people seriously struggling in New Zealand is increasing. There are more than 22,000 extra people on the dole than when Ms Ardern came into office and the social housing waiting list has more than doubled, while seven of the nine child poverty indicators are worse. In Opposition we can’t make immediate changes to improve things for Kiwis, but we can hold the government to account for failing to deliver on its promises, and just as importantly we can think through our plans for government and propose new ideas. Recently National released its fifth Discussion Document, which focusses on social services and outlines policies and proposals to enable more Kiwis to gain economic independence and lead better lives. Our starting point is the conviction that people should be in the driver’s seat of their own lives, keeping more of what they earn because we know families know their own needs best. We also understand that sometimes people need help to get back on their feet. And because that help is paid for through the taxes paid by all New Zealanders, there needs to be accountability and obligations met in return. National’s plan for social services will focus on our transformative social investment approach, providing tailored, targeted solutions to the social and economic challenges Kiwis face, rather than spreading a whole lot of money thinly across broad sections of society, regardless of need. So we have committed to reintroduce the social investment approach that Bill English pioneered. We’ll set targets to ensure the number of children in benefit-dependent homes is reduced; we will ensure gang members can’t access welfare if they’ve got illegal income; we will partner with community housing providers to ensure local solutions to housing challenges, and support Housing First to move people off the street and into homes. Knowing that the early months and years are critical to a child’s development, we will increase postnatal care to three days of fullyfunded care in a facility of the mother’s choosing and ensure paid parental leave can be split between parents and taken together. People often want to help, but don’t know how. One easy thing to do is to go online to and click on the ‘Social Services Discussion Document’, then give us feedback on the many questions we’re asking. Questions such as — how can the welfare system be simplified? Should there be a time limit on the dole for those under 25? Should we extend the use of money management to all beneficiaries under age 20, and those up to age 25 who don’t fulfil their obligations? Should we invest in improving antenatal and postnatal education for parents? What priority should we put on investing in better ways to support people with dementia? This discussion document is part of the biggest policy development process by an Opposition ever. We’re doing the work now so we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020. Paul Goldsmith is a National list MP based in Epsom

David Seymour


efore the last election, over 100 people gathered in the Parnell District School hall. They had their say, and mostly opposed, Auckland Transport’s proposed cycleway along St Stephens Ave and down Gladstone Rd. The proposal disappeared until a stakeholder meeting was held by Auckland Transport (AT) last month, dropping a bombshell. The original proposal involved physically separated cycle lanes on St Stephens and Gladstone roads. It would have taken carparks used for visiting Holy Trinity Cathedral, at the school, and at the Gladstone Rd shops. These losses are what incited opposition. It would be dangerous, AT contended, for uphill and downhill cyclists to meet in one lane, so both sides of the road were needed. The lanes would be part of a wider network that would eventually transform transport. Consultation documents explained that, at full capacity, a cycle lane could transport 7500 people an hour, a significant multiple of the number that could be transported by car. Residents raised serious questions about how much use the cycleways would actually get. They pointed to the Carlton Gore Rd cycleway. It has removed enormous amounts of parking from that road, yet you’d have more chance of sighting a cycling pig than an actual cyclist. As a proud e-bike owner, I find its rarely worth abandoning the much more obvious route of Khyber Pass. To their credit, AT didn’t take a ‘my way or the bike way’ approach that has made them deeply unpopular in other suburbs. This is likely a tribute to the community organisation that went on in Parnell. Instead, they presented new options to a community reference group over four meetings spanning two years. All well and good, now for the bombshell. At the meeting last month, AT representatives presented the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for the project. It was 0.5. They estimated it would cost $4 million dollars to deliver an estimated benefit worth $2m. Of 13 cycleway projects AT were considering, it ranked 13th for BCR. Then it got worse. Since the original proposal, new requirements such as undergrounding the power lines on Gladstone Rd and upgraded urban design standards meant the project could cost up to $17m. Even adding the benefits of undergrounding the power, the return on investment would be less than 50c on the dollar. Bear in mind, these are the costs of the works activities necessary to establish the cycleways. This analysis ignored the real issue that got people out to the school hall: What is the best use of extremely scarce urban land in one of our most densely populated suburbs? Needless to say, the Gladstone cycleway is now off. So how on earth did such an unviable project get so far? The answer that I took out of the meeting, although to be clear the AT officials never quite said it, is that the previous government’s enthusiasm for burnishing its green credentials saw it hose money at Auckland in return for building cycleways. We’ll probably never know how much money went into planning this cycleway-that-will-never-be. The real tragedy, though, is for cyclists. Cycling has great potential as e-bikes become affordable. I believe it is time for the community to get behind the Waipapa Greenway, taking advantage of the old rail tunnel and the Domain to create a cost-effective, and truly enjoyable, cycling route from Newmarket to the bottom of town. David Seymour is the MP for Epsom

the hobson 22

the second act

My Perfectly Imperfect Christmas


hen the kids were young, and my husband and I wanted to role-model being charitable and Christmassy, we would reserve a Saturday in December to drag them around various rest homes to bring Christmas greetings to elderly relatives. For our children, it was their least favourite day of the year. Kissing whiskered aunties and honorary relatives, their connection to whom they were completely disinterested in, there’d also be overheating in the back of the car in the December traffic, which would end in a violent outbreak of sorts. While they hated every moment of this day, occasionally they would come away with a gift, or scraps of food (the ghastly stuff you only eat at Christmas, like crystallised ginger or candy canes) that would give us some peace — until we pulled up to the carpark of the next rest home. “Not another old person!” they would cry, as we hissed at them to be quiet, wondering how we raised such uncharitable, entitled little brats. If it was good enough for us being brought up continually popping in to see strangers to whom our parents seemed to have a pretty tenuous connection, it was good enough for them. While I realise that giving is supposed to feel really great, particularly giving the gift of time, somehow over the years I have got it all a bit wrong at Christmas. It somehow never really feels as good as I want it to feel. My 33-year-old niece tells me that Christmas is one of her favourite days of the year. I’m surprised — I do think I’m supposed to feel the same way. But the truth is that for me, there’s more happiness in the concept of gathering 20-plus of the clan for a spectacular lunch, than it is in the reality. My sisters and I have assumed very gendered roles of planning, cooking, shopping and wrapping for the Christmas Day feasting and celebrating. It’s also our opportunity to do some excessive mothering of grown-up kids, who use this as an excuse to be needy and expectant. As the family expands, us three sisters, whom Dad still calls “the girls”, almost need a board meeting to discuss who is on the ham, should I bother with my signature dish, the Christmas cake;

and what about the vegans? I realise some women love all this, but I’m just not her. I’m all for peace on Earth, but I need to make Christmas less of a chore. I’m no Grinch, but if I think back to my favourite Christmases, it’s the ones at the bach where we holiday, with whomever happens to be there at the time. It’s not because my wider family are not there, but it’s because of how I feel when I am away — closer to nature, we can start the day with a swim, eat outside, walk the beach after lunch. I am more relaxed and can be present in my conversations with others, rather than wondering about the temperature in the oven. This year, my niece encouraged me to rethink and reframe Christmas. What would you like Christmas to be in your Second Act? I want my wonderful extended family around me, and I want a bit of nature, but most of all I want to be more ‘present’ in the day. So together we concocted a plan where she posed to the second/third generation on their group chat — all nine of them — that this year, they take charge of Christmas Day. So this December 25, the 16-35 year-olds will be in charge of the lunch, funded by the parental generation of course (are you crazy? There’s no such thing as a free lunch). All anyone over 40 has to do is turn up and pop the champagne! My god — why haven’t I got on to this one earlier? And as my niece pointed out, there’s really nothing stopping me going for a walk after lunch, rather than getting stuck into cleaning up. If I want my kids to do more, I need to do less. I am forever swooping in to sort stuff out, planning ahead to avoid future catastrophes, buying extra presents for under the tree in case someone misses out. No wonder I haven’t been that present to Christmas — I’ve been too distracted wanting to create a particular version of it I had in my head. So my plan for this Christmas Day is to be fully present, to involve others, help out, but most of all, enjoy what they plan and create. This will entail me embracing what Brené Brown would call one of the ‘Gifts of Imperfection’, and I say cheers to that. — Sandy Burgham

Caleb Probine, Alumni Cambridge Award Winner, 2018 > Top in NZ: A-Levels > Top in NZ: Chemistry > High Achievement: Mathematics

Guided tours every Wednesday 9.30am the hobson 23

the plan

Safe Travels Indeed


have returned from the Origami World Champs in Japan. Sadly, I did not make the final and was crushed by a much better opponent and I folded with little resistance. Such is life. I will have a summer to forget, after which I will refocus on the French tournament four years hence. Upon my return I see that Auckland Transport has approved the speed reduction bylaw with little change. I do hope the Swedish inspired ‘speed reduction equates to less death and injury’ succeeds as mooted and that everyone obeys the new much lower speed limits. It seems logical but I have my doubts. While the point of impact of an accident may come at a lower speed I wonder if the desired effects will be felt at the black spots or top 10 per cent of roads that actually need engineering attention. A behavioural change is too hard to make given how the road appears in front of you, both as a driver and a pedestrian. And then I wonder why we have to go as far as Sweden to get such inspiration. According to the World Health Organization, Sweden and Japan have very similar road fatalities when measured against the number of vehicles driven. We mainly drive Japanese cars which by and large have keep us moving and safe. Very few of us drive Volvos or know anything more about Sweden other than its capital city, Stockholm. Then there’s this fun fact from a Nordic corner of the internet, ‘In most of the world, Mickey Mouse reigns supreme as Disney's best loved character. But in Sweden, Donald Duck is far more popular. Some put this down to Donald’s rather flawed character being more relatable to Europeans than Mickey’s virtuous perfection. Whatever the reason, Donald is by far Sweden’s favourite Disney character. Every Christmas Eve since 1959, at 3pm, the nation sits together to watch Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar god jul. That’s Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas, for the non-Swedes among you’. After my trip to Japan, where they mainly drive Japanese cars, I wonder why we have not sent a delegation there to see how with ruthless efficiency they keep cars and commerce moving, and pedestrians safe. There are thousands of cyclists, young

and old who generally share the road with the cars, many fitted with one or two child seats. In the cities the cars and footpaths on main roads are separated by a small 30cm high fence, which ensures you only cross at dedicated places controlled by traffic lights and on the smaller roads the separation is only a white line or change in pavement colour. And it works well. On the main roads the movement of vehicles is primary and there was not a 30km/hr speed limit. On the narrower side roads, the pedestrian held sway, ensuring vehicles took extreme care and did not go much above walking pace even if they could. Again, it worked very well. There seems to be a mindset in Auckland Transport that it is all about safety and the main way to fix this is to lower the speed limit without thought given to commerce — the transport of goods, how we read the road in front of us or the actual requirement for engineering solutions. While safety needs to be a priority and reducing death or injury taken seriously, in Japan they seem to have a better balance between the need to get from A to B for all modes of transport and providing a safe environment to do it. As bizarre as this sounds, the roads were also safe enough to enable us tourists to drive modified go-karts all over the main roads of Tokyo, often dressed up as favourite Disney or superhero characters. There was no helmet or safety belts and at times we were doing over 50km/hr. From our knee-high position it seemed that all road users were respectful of their surroundings and drove responsibly. I could never envisage the same happening in Auckland, and the speed limit has nothing to do with it. Maybe that is part of our problem — a lack of respect for the road, the rules and other road users. We could learn a lot from Japan and not just how they manage pedestrian safety and the efficient movement of goods. I cannot wait to go back and immerse myself in trains that run to the second, fast food that was fresh, tasty and cheap, and the culture of respect that seems to emanate from everyone you encounter. — Hamish Firth

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the hobson 24

the investment

An Alternative Portfolio


ith interest rates low, stock and other asset markets high, where’s the best place to invest our marginal dollar? More bonds and shares? Residential or commercial real estate? How about racehorses? The last option, although tongue in cheek, is highly specialised and risky, and did make me think about some more exotic investment types that from time to time do post gains, sometimes spectacular. I’m certainly not saying to rush out and liquidate your shares, bonds and properties, just be aware that other investment types exist and might also be fun to look in to. Most conventional investments are based on detailed research and analysis. Investing in art however, is really based on wonderful but true stories. While a share market investor’s pulse quickens when he or she hears about a bull market, a stock idea or an earnings upgrade, the art investor’s heart beats faster when they hear about Munch’s The Scream selling for US$120 million, or Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, selling for US$106m. Not every work of art will appreciate like these and it’s exceedingly difficult to pick which ones will. I think the only meaningful strategy when it comes to something as subjective as fine art is passion: if you love something you see at a gallery, buy it. Investors who choose well will want to sell at a decent profit in the future. But beware, if you’ve chosen well, you may not want to sell at all. How about classic cars? Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 275 GTB sold at auction for US$7.9m. Unlike art, price gains for collectible cars aren’t entirely based on subjectivity — there are some objective measures too, like excellence in engineering. If you search websites looking for cars ‘destined’ to become classics, you’ll often find experts endorsing recent model Fords, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolets and Porsches to name a few. Wine investments attract those who have (or, like me, think they have) acquired a sophisticated palate as well as an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things wine. Unless you have a deep understanding about the rarefied world of winemaking, you will not know what to buy, the technicalities of storage and handling, and where to find buyers interested in paying a premium for relieving you of your perfectly matured wine. Passive business investments can generate substantial upside

and investment returns, but are not a free hit. Starting your own business is definitely a risky undertaking, but it becomes all the riskier if you only have the capital to start the business but not the knowledge to build it. Similarly, you could have all the skills necessary but have little or no capital to get a project off the ground. By becoming a passive business partner or investor-only, you supply the capital while your partner supplies the knowledge and skills to run the business. Collectables are for those investors who appreciate the novelty of accumulating interesting things. Sports memorabilia, stamps, coins, comic books, watches and toys are just some of the things that people love to collect. Often these are only beautiful and valuable in the eyes of the beholder. But while the vast bulk will always be not much better than worthless, there are of course wonderful exceptions. How much would you pay for a Lego set released in 2007, at the original price of $500? The ‘Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon’ had the second-highest number of Lego bricks in any set ever manufactured. (I can confirm that it was exceedingly difficult for my son and me to assemble.) And it’s now fetched more than US$6000 on Amazon. So a seriously good investment and a lot of fun to boot. There’s also peer-to-peer lending, which involves the borrower raising funds, often online, direct from the lender, rather than aggregated through an intermediary such as a bank. You get to choose the borrowers to whom you lend, and how much, and the opportunity to fund (note not invest in) all sorts of people. You will have to risk your funds based almost entirely on the borrower’s financial statements. Beware, as always! Weird and unusual investment strategies have long excited certain types of investors and it can often be difficult to determine whether there is any science behind the process or if it’s all just an art. Whereas traditional investors think of various combinations of shares, bonds, term deposits and real estate as the safest long-term investment strategies, others aren’t necessarily won over by the textbooks and financial commentators (ahem!). Passion can come first and apparent income second. Good luck! — Warren Couillault


Farewell Season Opens 7 December Romeo & Juliet Much Ado About Nothing

book now at Anthony Harper Pop-up globe theatre, Ellerslie

the hobson 25

the teacher

Summer School


s you read this issue, your children will be preparing to go on their long summer holiday break. Relief and a sense of normality will be returning to the household after several weeks of stress and study routines. As Christmas approaches, another year has passed for your children at school. Year 13 students are heading out into a world of ‘freedom’ equipped with their exciting plans for the future hopefully already in place. For our little ones who have just completed their first year at school, they will be ready for the summer break to rest, explore, and be curious in and about the world around them. At this stage of the year there is always a conversation to be had around achievements and disappointments. Learning to deal with success and failure is a great lesson to be learnt while at school, as life is guaranteed to throw the odd curve ball at some stage. It’s how we react to disappointment and failure that is a very important skill to understand and to accept as a learning gift. No-one sees it as a gift at the time but on reflection, after lots of careful discussion and empathy, the ‘gift’ becomes clear and is a great start to setting goals moving forward. This is a good time to reflect on the past year, particularly for older students; although it is quite astonishing how the younger students are also able to have a conversation with you around their end-of-year report and to think about some goals for the next year. After a full year at school again this year for me, I continue to be amazed at what students achieve. There is no bigger thrill for teachers to see than their students succeed and to share their excitement; as if they were one’s own child! By success I mean no matter how great or small it is, whether it be in academics, in music, art or dance, in sport, individually or in a team, the thrill is always as exciting and extremely satisfying; the feeling of a job well done. My thoughts always tend to go to the long summer break and the effect it can have on learning. I suggest that you be mindful of organising activities, especially with younger students, that

will prevent the summer academic backslide. Teachers do notice that there is a loss of ground over this time, for some students more than others. You can help to prevent this from happening by getting involved with your children over the holiday break to keep them motivated and curious. Being outside exploring what our beautiful country provides, and making sure reading continues, are two really valuable activities to continue. The strongest reinforcement for learning is our own behaviour. Make sure to emphasise the positive when recalling your own childhood stories about school, and be a good role model by reading the paper or your own book while sitting in the deckchair on the beach! I have to caution that too many hours of screen time will not be helpful, although I do agree that learning can and does take place using this as a learning tool, especially if you are researching something important. By using screen time wisely children learn the value of the use of a computer, tablet or phone. Technology should not be used as a babysitter or a way to just keep children busy. However, I do have to confess to giving in to this on occasions when my daughters were very young. Cooking dinner together is always a great way to keep maths in the forefront. Doubling a recipe or just measuring the ingredients is a fun way to teach children that they are actually doing maths and how important it is in our daily lives. Keeping a journal or a diary over the holidays uses their English skills and supports their imagination and sense of adventure. Recording this can be fun and by illustrating the writing, it brings in creativity through art. It goes without saying that keeping children active goes a long way to supporting them to develop and grow. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with your family and a prosperous, safe and a very happy 2020. — Judi Paape

You Are Invited


Join local MP David Seymour and special guest, Adrian Orr, Reserve Bank Governor.

When: Friday, 6 December 2019 10.30am - midday

Economic Update with the Reserve Bank Governor

(Christmas morning tea served from 10am)

Where: St Marks Church, 95 Remuera Rd, Remuera RSVP:

David Seymour MP For Epsom

Authorised by David Seymour, Suite 2.4, Level 2, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, AKL. Funded by the Parliamentary Service.

the hobson 26

Phone 09 522 7464, or email

the suburbanist

Dear Santa, I'd Like to Read . . .


arlier this year Objectspace held an exhibition of the architecture of John Scott, one of New Zealand’s beloved architects of the 20th century and one who captured an elusive sense of New Zealand in his built works. The exhibition was largely a collection of direct and often understated photographs by David Straight which were gathered into a book, John Scott Works, launched alongside the exhibition (Massey University Press, RRP $70). It is a beautiful book and perfect for Christmas, summer and the coffee table. John Scott’s architecture might ask of us, “where are we”? A new book by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee provides some answers, with We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (also from Massey University Press, RRP $70). This is New Zealand told in maps, data and extraordinary graphics, accompanied by essays about our perceptions of our country and its geography. Double-page spreads combine data and stories to visually present ourselves back to us, from income gaps, to lightning strikes to the geography of our music. Nothing disappoints here. If you are having a staycation this Christmas and looking for something to do on Boxing Day, be guided by Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide. Architectural critic, writer and editor John Walsh has teamed up again with photographer Patrick Reynolds to create six routes that pass by 50 buildings of note. It fits in your pocket and you can get fit while you follow their trails. Again, from the publishers at MUP, RRP $19.99. If it’s trails you like, there are plenty to be found in The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure, by Cynthia S. Brenwall (Abrams Books), a conservator at the New York City Municipal Archives. Drawing on a lot of unpublished work there are maps, building plans – both built and unbuilt – as well as engineering drawings and fixtures of New York’s (and possibly the world’s) most famous park.

There are many trees in Central Park but perhaps none so beautiful as those to be seen in The Architecture of Trees, the result of over 20 years of dedicated study by landscape architects Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi (Princeton Architectural Press). It was originally published in 1982 and considered a standard in many landscape architecture firms and it has now been translated into English for the first time. Two hundred and 12 tree species have been presented in more than 550 exquisite quill-pen drawings, with and without foliage. The book goes beyond mere botanical representation and includes tables of seasonal colour variation and projections of shadows cast during the hours of daylight and season by season. If you find trees are too grounding and need to escape these holidays, where else would you go but to space? So many questions: what to wear, how will you get there, where will you stay? Look no further than Space Settlements, by Fred Scharmen (Columbia University Press), who has re-examined the work of a team of physicists, engineers, and space scientists — along with architects, urban planners, and artists — brought together by NASA in the summer of 1975, to design large-scale space habitats for millions of people. The team was led by Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, who worked with artist and architect Rick Guidice and planetary science illustrator Don Davis, to create renderings of the visions they developed. These books will help you walk around Auckland, look at trees a different way and imagine heading to infinity and beyond. Enjoy! — Tommy Honey

(All of these books are available via your favourite good bookseller, Mighty Ape or Fishpond and, if you must, Amazon.)

the hobson 27

the sound

Music and Stuff


y gradual change towards becoming a walking cliché is progressing nicely. Since we last spoke, which was only a month ago, I have sold the five-bedroom family pile and bought a three-bedroom apartment. To be fair it’s not really an apartment, but a big old villa that’s been converted into two flats. I’ve bought one of them. I’m going flatting. Sort of. It’s that time for all of us who were at our grooviest in the 80s and 90s. My youngest child has just finished his degree. My oldest has just finished his post-grad study and has got a job. The dog we bought 15 years ago, when we bought the big house and suddenly had room for a dog is now, well, 15. You fill in the blanks. We’re on the verge of a dramatic domestic downsizing. So it made sense to buy the three-beddy flat/apartment thing. Enough bedrooms for the boomerang boys. A transition from a big house to a medium house in the slow progression to a single bed in a room, which is what we all end out on. We should be excited but to be honest, we’re walking around muttering, “What have we done?” This is because of the five-bedroom family pile, replete with two outbuildings. The past 15 years have seen my family at our consumerist peak. We bought stuff. A lot of stuff. And being the people we are, we did not get rid of stuff. No, we stuffed the old stuff into the excessive space our family pile afforded us. So I have every piece of furniture I’ve ever bought. This was under the delusion that we might buy a bach one day. I even have the bed my mother died in, but I’d never tell the guests that. I have every piece of sporting equipment I’ve ever bought. Around 10 tennis racquets, five bikes, an inflatable stand-up paddle board that has been used exactly twice. I have every pair of skis I’ve ever owned. I have every pair of skis my mother ever owned, going back to the 50s! This was under the delusion that we might buy a ski bach one day and I could hang Mum’s 220cm Kneissls on the wall. We have come to the realisation that the next month or so requires the most extreme Marie Kondo-ing you could ever imagine, and we’re just not the types for that. But I have started. Having a five-bedroom family pile

meant that you could take a room and euphemistically call that bedroom ‘The Library’. In the library I have my book collections, my vinyl collections and every single CD I have ever obtained. The vinyl was sorted sometime long ago into 600 albums. But the CDs are not. There are tens of thousands of them! I have a tonne of CDs. And I look at my tens of thousands of them and realise I could replace them all with a single Spotify account. So they have to go. The process has started. I have collated — technical term — all the CDs onto the floor. Placed them in alphabetical piles. I am now slowly working through them and digitising them into my 160GB iPod. If they make the iPod then the CD goes in a box. If the album is rare/significant/emotionally triggering, it makes the box. If not it will go to the hospice shop or the tip. I’ve been at it for two days now. I hope to finish the A’s soon. I worry about how much time the S’s and T’s are going to take. You could argue this is still a complete waste of effort because of the aforementioned Spotify. But my CD library represents an enormous investment that I’m not prepared to throw away. For example — last night I came across an album by Craig Armstrong called The Space Between Us, released in 1997. He’s a Scottish orchestral arranger who did the strings for people like Massive Attack and U2. His biggest hit was Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, where he wrote ‘I’m Kissing You’ for Des’Ree. This album has these songs in orchestral versions. It’s amazing. What was more amazing to me was the Marbecks’ sticker on it, that informs me I spent $33.99 on it! $33.99! In 1997! That’s two months of Spotify premium for one lousy CD. Add inflation, and it’s probably four months of Spotify. I’m now seeing those damn price stickers everywhere. $33.99. $39.99! Even $45.99 for a Stax compilation! I spent tens of thousands of dollars to obtain my tens of thousands of CDs. I’ll be damned if I’m going to throw that away. So where will they go? Into a storage shed until I buy a bach, of course. The delusion continues. Then the CDs can live on alongside my dead mother’s bed, her red wooden skis and my 10 tennis racquets. — Andrew Dickens

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the bookmark

Play it, Murray A new memoir by Murray Thom sings with good works and dreams pursued

Here, in an extract from Eat, Drink & Be Murray, Thom writes of how a duet recorded for the album by Hollie Smith and rising star Teeks (Te Karehana Gardiner-Toi) became one of the most moving moments of the National Remembrance Service held two weeks after the Christchurch massacre. The two had recorded a stunning version of “Whakaaria Mai (How Great Thou Art)”, backed by a 30-strong gospel choir singing an eight-part harmony arranged by Smith. “How Great Thou Art” was written in 1886,” Thom writes, “but I reckoned nobody had heard it performed quite like this before. I couldn’t wait to play it to everyone I knew.” Artist Reuben Paterson contributed a painting, Hei Kona Au Titiro Atu Ai — the title taken from lyrics in the hymn. True to Thom’s vision, 12 hymns and 12 works of art were completed in time for the album’s launch as part of NZ Music Month in May, but events would shape the release of “Whakaaria Mai”, as this edited extract reveals:


here’s nothing Murray Thom likes better than a good idea. Of course he also loves his family, sailing, good company and many other things too. But turning ideas into reality has become something of a signature move for Thom, who lives in Kohimarama. A mover in the NZ music industry for many decades, he’s collected up the stories of many of those ideas for his autobiography, Eat, Drink & Be Murray: A memoir . . . sort of. Thom is the creative brain behind the bestselling music production The Great New Zealand Songbook and its culinary sibling, The Great New Zealand Cookbook. He introduced pianist Carl Doy to a global market with the CDs of Together (highly recommended by Oprah) and paired NZ photographer Anne Geddes with superstar Céline Dion — ending up as executive producer on Dion’s Miracle album. While he’s flourished in other areas of business too, winning the tender to bring personalised number plates to this country, it’s music that drives him. “I love bringing artists around a common vision, whether they be visual or perfoming artist,” he says. “I think it goes right back to pairing Margaret Urlich’s music and Justin Boroughs’ art [for her 1999 album of NZ song covers, Second Nature, which Thom steered]. This year, Thom oversaw the creation of Offering, which matched 12 of the country’s best musicians with 12 eminent fine artists, with all proceeds from music sales and an auction of the art going to The Salvation Army. The idea for Offering stretched back 17 years, when Thom wrote in his journal that he often looked for “music to feed my soul, and seldom does it satisfy that particular need”. He envisaged an album of 12 to 14 tracks, by “artists of our time, performing the music of all time”. He even had a name for it: Offering.

Singers Teeks and Hollie Smith with Thom, during the recording of the video for "Whakaaria Mai" at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell.


ith the album completed, we focused on what our first single might be. From the moment we left the first rehearsal in Avondale, we knew that “Whakaaria Mai” would be the jewel in the Offering crown. We chose it to showcase the album and scheduled it for release on Friday 29 March 2019, one month out from the album launch. Friday 15 March 2019 is a day that New Zealand will never forget. I had just arrived at the Manly Sailing Club to help with a foiling event, and my sister-in-law, Suzie, asked if I’d heard the news. I tuned in as the story unfolded that 50 people had been killed by a lone gunman at two Christchurch mosques. Over that weekend, Hollie Smith messaged me: “Seems ‘Whakaaria Mai’ is being sung at vigils up and down the country throughout this horrific time. Just pointing this out in case you wanted to release the song earlier?” This had not entered my head, but I knew she was right. The week after the shootings, I had tickets for the John Mayer concert in Auckland. [We] took our seats just as the house lights at

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Spark Arena began to dim. The purple stage lights revealed a kapa haka group standing behind John Mayer, who started playing the opening bars to a familiar tune. I couldn’t believe my ears. He had chosen to open with “How Great Thou Art/Whakaaria Mai” as his tribute to Christchurch. As if I needed another sign that this was the song for this moment in time. When Monday morning arrived, Hollie and Teeks both posted a one-minute teaser of “Whakaaria Mai” on their social media pages. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saw the video on Hollie’s Facebook page and asked to see the full-length version. Hollie sent through the link and went to have a shower. By the time she got out, she had three missed calls from the PM’s partner, Clarke Gayford. When she rang him back, he said, “We’re all emotional here. Jacinda really wants you and Teeks to perform at the memorial on Friday. Oh, and it’s not public knowledge yet but Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, is representing the Muslim community and you’ll be performing immediately after Jacinda addresses the nation.” Hollie called [co-producer Tim Harper] Tim to say, “I can’t make this happen because I’ve promised to sing my friend down the aisle in Kerikeri at 2.30pm on Friday, and we’re supposed to be on stage in Christchurch at 11am. You’re going to need to perform a miracle.” It was an impossible situation. An 11am performance at Hagley Park meant getting on a flight from Christchurch to Auckland by midday. From there, the only way it could possibly work was to have a helicopter waiting at the airport, waiting to whisk Hollie up to the Bay of Islands. Even if everything went to plan, it would still be very tight whether she would make it to the wedding on time. After confirming there was a flight out of Christchurch, Tim rang me as he was parking at the office and said, “We need need a helicopter”. I replied, “Stand by.” I spun around in my chair to face our openplan office and with a degree of amusement called out, “Anyone got a helicopter?” Our friend Ido Drent, who was sharing our office at the time, replied, “Yeah, my mate’s dad has a brand-new helicopter. Shall I give him a call?” Ido called Ray Stark to explain the situation and mentioned that it was connected to the Offering project that would benefit The Salvation Army. Ray replied, “Stop. My parents were in the Sallies. I’d love to fly Hollie up.” By the time Tim had walked from his car to the office, about four minutes, we had a helicopter sorted.

Hagley Park with just enough time to spare for a soundcheck before proceedings started.

Thom goes on to explain that Teeks was performing his first headline show at the Auckland Town Hall the night before the Christchurch National Remembrance Service. He invited Hollie to sing with him as the encore, in preparation for their performance the next day. With Tim and pianist Nick Dow, they flew to Christchurch early on the Friday morning, making it to

Offering is available from iTunes or to buy as a CD from music retailers, with all proceeds to The Salvation Army. Limited prints of the artworks are also available: see

With the event underway, it was clear to Tim that, after just the first few speeches, they were running well over time. Hollie was going to miss her flight, her friend’s wedding, yet she remained calm and composed. At 11.17am, they walked up the back stairs to the stage as Jacinda was closing her powerful speech with a reading of the national anthem. Hollie, Teeks and Nick walked out onto the stage in front of a crowd of tens of thousands in Hagley Park and who knows how many watching live on national TV. Hollie was wearing a cream hijab out of respect for the Muslim community; Teeks wore a matching cream suit. They performed in front of a black curtain and the contrast was stunning, as was hearing a Christian hymn sung by an agnostic performer wearing traditional Islamic attire. When their performance ended, they left the stage and Jacinda greeted them with a huge hug and the tears flowed. Tim said it was hugely emotional — everyone had been so stoic up to that point, but now they could let it all go. They now had 20 minutes to get from the stage to the plane. Thanks to a police escort, they made it with two minutes to spare. During the flight, Tim recalls looking across at Hollie, who had borrowed Teeks’ headphones and was busy rehearsing the two wedding songs she was about to perform in Northland: “She then strolls off to the bathroom to do a complete outfit, hair and make-up change, owning it like the total pro she is.” I was right outside the domestic terminal with my engine running to race Hollie over to the international terminal where the helicopter was ready and waiting. I took a photo of her standing by the chopper with a big thumbsup and estatic smile on her face. She beat the bride down the aisle with five minutes to spare. A few weeks after the Christchurch memorial, the Prime Minister presented the Taite Music Prize in Auckland. She began her address with this: When it came to the period of grieving together and putting forward a memorial service in Christchurch, I have to tell you that the first thing that came to mind was, “What music would be used to shape that moment, to shape that time, to shape that peice of our collective grief and history now?” Teeks and Hollie Smith put into music words that were so hard to speak in capturing the moment that was so important for our nation’s history.

Eat Drink & Be Murray: A memoir . . . sort of, published by Thom Productions, is available from booksellers, RRP $49.95

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Food, Glorious Food To celebrate Christmas and the coming summer of more relaxed meals, we asked some of our neighbourhood foodies to share their tried-and-tested festive dishes. Every family has their ‘must haves’ — please enjoy these shared by local friends

Salmon à la The Drapers Serves 8-10 2 tbsp coarse salt 1 side salmon 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp soy sauce 1/2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground sumac Mānuka smoke concentrate Small handful of greens such as land cress or rocket to garnish Salad:

Janene's Just Beachy Lunch


anene Draper, co-founder of Farro with husband James, always has a crowd at Christmas at their Remuera home. “Being married into a large Irish family, there are always at least 35 people sitting down to Christmas lunch. It’s a fun day and we always have a theme. One year we had a 70s Christmas and dressed up and put food twists on all the 70s classic dishes we grew up with. “This year it’s a beach party and we are hosting at our house. But everyone does their bit. “We always have a couple of the famous Farro de-boned free-range turkey roasts which I top with pancetta and serve with a beef jus, reduced down with a star anise and orange zest. This year I’m also making roasted cauliflower salad, and perhaps mānuka-smoked salmon, which is a favourite and lovely and light on a summery day. For dessert we will be having meringues with raspberries and my favourite cherry tart, which totally sings Christmas. ”

1 cucumber 2 avocados, cubed Juice 1/2 lemon 2 tbsp chopped dill 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Dissolve the salt in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add 2 1/2 cups cold water and allow liquid to cool. Pour liquid into a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon, place salmon into the dish and leave to brine for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Remove salmon from the brine and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put salmon on a baking paper-lined tray and brush with the maple syrup and soy sauce. Sprinkle over the cumin and sumac, then spray with the mānuka liquid smoke (around 5-6 pumps of spray, but more or less as you like for a smoky, barbecued taste). Season generously with salt and bake for 20-25 minutes for medium-rare. Make the salad by slicing the cucumber in half lengthways and using a spoon to remove the seeds. Cut into slices and place in a bowl with avocado, lemon juice, dill and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently. Lay salmon on a platter, top with the greens and serve with salad and some crusty bread.

Cherry & Almond Tart Serves 8-10 1 pack Paneton Sweet Pastry 3 free-range eggs 125g butter, melted ⅔ cup caster sugar 1 ½ cups ground almonds

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1 tsp Heilala Vanilla paste 3 tbsp flour Half a 670g jar Morello pitted cherries, drained, or 250g fresh cherries, pitted To Serve: Farro’s Vanilla Custard Line a 30cm baking dish with baking paper and spray with canola oil. Lay pastry over the tin and carefully push the pastry into the corners. Trim edges, leaving some overhang. Chill in fridge for at least 10 minutes. Heat oven to 180°C. Cover the chilled pastry with another sheet of baking paper. Place baking beans on top of paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, remove baking beans and top layer of baking paper and let tart shell cool for 10 minutes. In a large bowl stir eggs, melted butter, sugar, ground almonds, vanilla paste and flour. Stir well until combined. Pour batter into tart shell and dot the cherries around on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the batter no longer wobbles and is lightly golden on top. Remove from oven and serve warm or cold with vanilla custard.

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the feast

Apple & Cranberry Sourdough Stuffing 500g good sourdough, a day old is good but fresh works too 350g good Cumberland sausage meat (we use Blackball Salami Co) 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 onions, roughly chopped 2 Granny Smith apples, roughly chopped 3 stalks of celery, chopped 1 C chicken stock/broth 1 C cranberries soaked in orange juice 1/2 C parsley Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Deb's Dad's Amazing Stuffing When you own a popular bakery, it would make sense that your all-time favourite stuffing recipe includes leftover sourdough bread. Deb Chait and husband Andy Tse are the team behind Remuera’s 4 and 20 Bakery, and this Christmas, they’ll be enjoying Deb’s dad’s stuffing with their turkey. “This recipe is an old favourite of my Dad, Martin, when he had the Dixon Street Deli in Wellington,” says Deb. “He used to cook up a storm of Christmas turkeys and hams on December 24th. The whole family would be stuffing turkeys and glazing hams — we had a lot of fun and laughs. There was also plenty for us on Christmas Day.

Blitz the bread in a food processor until it is coarse, or chop roughly into 2-4cm cubes, and place in a large bowl. Take the sausages out of their skins and break up. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook until the onion takes on a golden colour, then add the apple, celery and sausage to the pan for a further 5 minutes (you may need to add extra oil). Add this to the bread and pour over the stock. Gently mix and then add the cranberries, parsley and lemon zest and mix well. Season to your taste. You may need to add more stock, as you want it to come together so it’s moist enough to roll into a ball. This makes a good quantity, enough for a large turkey and some extra stuffing balls.

“Andy and I have updated the bread to sourdough as we feel its adds a great flavour and crunch to the stuffing.”

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Helen's Christmas Ham ½ cup orange juice 1 C apricot jam 3 tbsp wholegrain mustard 1/2 cooked ham Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix together the orange juice, apricot jam and mustard in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Stir until the jam melts and you have a smooth mixture. Prepare the ham by carefully removing the skin from the fat, starting at the widest end.

Jackson Family Favourites


ormer NZ Woman’s Weekly food editor Helen Jackson lives in Remuera, when she’s not off leading culinary-based tours to global destinations, or delivering support to families with critically ill children, through her charity, Guardian Angels (Helen pictured above left, with co-Angel Leanne Hegan). Christmas chez Jackson wouldn’t be right without her glazed ham, and shortbread. “A glazed ham is fondly called Christmas Ham in our house and there is no way I would be allowed to plan a Christmas without it,” says Helen. “My glaze is so simple that I’m amused when people ask me for the recipe. The most critical part I think is to buy a decent ham. I always buy a NZ free-farmed or free-range ham.” Helen also produces batches of shortbread, prepping ahead of time. “Usually I start in November by making the dough, rolling it into logs, wrapping and then freezing it until needed. I let the dough thaw just until it is easy to slice and then slice, prick with a fork and bake.”

Run your thumbs under the skin, easing it away from the fat, trying not to disturb the fat layer. Once you get to the shank end, cut the skin off, leaving the shank covered (if your half ham doesn’t have a shank then just remove all of the skin). Score the fat diagonally with a sharp knife, forming diamond shapes. Place the ham in a roasting pan with 1 cup of water in the base. Spread two thirds of the glaze mixture over the ham. Cook in a low shelf in the oven for 1 ½ hours, rotating the pan if needed to get even colouring and brushing at times with the extra glaze. Take care that the glaze doesn’t burn. Serve the ham warm or at room temperature. Leftover ham is best stored in the fridge in a damp tea towel or ham bag.

Plain Shortbread Makes 24 biscuits 250g butter, slightly softened 3/4 cup caster sugar 2 cups plain flour 1/2 cup rice flour

“Flavour variations in our house are typically chocolate and ginger, lemon and pistachio, and lavender. Original is obviously the universal favourite though. I make this one with caster sugar and rice flour — it gives it a snap and a sandy texture.” For more of Helen’s recipes, see

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Beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the combined flours and mix well. Add a little extra flour if the dough is sticky. Roll mixture into 2 logs, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 160°C. Slice the shortbread into thin slices and place on a cold tray. Prick each piece with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just coloured. Cool on a wire rack and then store in a sealed container.

the feast

Jess's Family Comp-Winning Pavlova Makes 1 large or 12 mini pavlovas 8 large egg whites, at room temperature Pinch of salt 500g caster sugar 4 tsp cornflour 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract 2 tsp white wine vinegar

The Great Daniell Pav-off


here’s always been a bit of a pav-off at my family Christmas,” says Jess Daniell, the owner and creative cook behind Jess’ Underground Kitchen, feeding locals from her café/dinner-to-go businesses in Remuera and Parnell. “Since I’ve been old enough, or brave enough, to enter myself into the firing line, I’ve kept the base pavlova simple and played around with exciting toppings. “Any seasonal fruit can be cooked and pureed down into a delicious coulis or sauce, which can be used in desserts, on top of muesli or even in cocktails! I like to add depth and interesting pops of flavour with herbs (one year it was mango and lemongrass, another year it was blackberry and kaffir lime) but this year I want to champion cherries. When my grandparents were still alive, we’d drive down to Nelson every other Christmas and stop in Blenheim to pick fresh cherries. ‘Eat as many as you like’ took on a whole new meaning, and my brothers and I would emerge from the orchards with stained faces and buckets full of jewelled cherries, bursting with sweetness and the promise of a summer holiday. “I’ll be serving cherries three ways at our festive feast this year: pitted and tossed in a simple salad with goats' cheese and fresh basil; cooked down into a cherry berry coulis for mimosas and to drizzle over my favourite pav; and of course piled into bowls for grazing on between meals as we relax into a long, hot Kiwi Christmas.”

Photos: Lottie Hedley Photography

Preheat your oven to 180°C (170°C fan bake). Whisk the egg whites and salt on low-medium speed until the peaks are firm but not stiff. Increase your beater to medium-high speed and gradually add the sugar — a spoonful at a time — until your bowl is full of glossy, white meringue (this will take a good 5 minutes). Sprinkle in the cornflour, vanilla and white wine vinegar and fold until just combined. Line your baking tray with baking paper (you can use a tiny glob of meringue in the corner to help it stick to the tray). If it helps, draw a large 26cm circle or smaller 10cm circles on the underside of the paper to help guide you when you’re plating your meringue. Spoon dollops of meringue into the circle/s, spreading and smoothing as you go. Place tray in the centre of the oven. After 5 minutes, turn the temperature down to 120°C and bake for 1.5 hours (large pavlova) or 45 minutes (for minis). Turn oven off and leave the pavlova/s to completely cool for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door at any stage! Serve with freshly whipped cream, cherries and a decadent drizzle of homemade coulis.

Cherry Berry Coulis Makes 1.5 cups Use fresh berries and cherries if you have them on hand this summer, otherwise sub in a handful from your freezer. This coulis can be served on top of pavlova, with ice cream or add a teaspoon to your champagne for a delicious summer cocktail. 2 C mixed berries 1 C cherries ¼ C water ¼ C caster sugar 2 tbsp cherry syrup* ½ lemon, juiced ¼ tsp vanilla paste Place all ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced by half. Pass through a fine sieve to remove any seeds and stones, and allow to cool before using. The coulis will keep for up to 7 days in the fridge in an airtight container. *The cherry syrup is optional but adds a lovely tartness to this coulis – look out for sour cherry syrup in your local speciality store.

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Festive Season Gifts with Fine Wine Delivery. Or give the gift of choice this year with a Fine Wine Delivery Gift card and E-Gifts. 6





















Champagne Laurent-Perrier - Rosé Constellation NV - Rosé Safari NV

Pickerings Christmas Gin Baubbles Gift Set, 6 x 50ml, 42% ABV





Garage Project Giftbag


SHOP INSTORE - 42 Lunn Ave & 60 Constellation Drive SHOP ONLINE - 42 Lunn Ave & 60 Constellation Drive

the feast

Lauraine's Heritage Traditional Pud


his is a precious family recipe that has been handed down to me from my mother, Patricia Stevens, via my grandmother, Laura Protheroe,” says Lauraine Jacobs. The Remuera resident is one of the country’s leading food authorities: Lauraine is the food editor of the NZ Listener, has published many cookbooks and is a champion of supporting NZ growers and food producers. “It is the classic Christmas pudding, made light and airy by the addition of soft white breadcrumbs,” she says of this family favourite. “I am sure you will never have enjoyed a better pudding. Be sure to serve it with homemade vanilla custard, and vanilla/berry ice cream.” See for more recipes.

Pat Stevens Christmas Pudding Serves 12 with leftovers 250g raisins 250g sultanas 250g currants 250g brown sugar 250g butter 5 eggs 125g flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp mixed spice 250g soft white bread crumbs

1 packet (150g) glacé cherries, cut in half grated rind of 1 orange ½ tsp each of vanilla and lemon essence 4 tbsp brandy or rum Boil the raisins, sultanas and currants together in enough water to cover for 1 minute, drain and leave to cool. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the mixture with the breadcrumbs. Stir in the mixed fruit, cherries, grated orange, essences and brandy.

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Butter and flour a 7 cup or 2.5 litre stainless steel basin or bowl. Pour the mixture in and cover the top with baking paper. Cover this tightly with tinfoil, pleating up the edges so that they do not hang down and trail into the water. Place the pudding in a very large pan of boiling water that comes about halfway up the bowl. Let it steam for 4 ½ hours, checking occasionally so it does not boil dry. The pudding can be made ahead and refrigerated for several weeks. Reheat by steaming for an hour before serving. Decorate with fresh strawberries and scoops of ice cream and serve with warm custard.



We all like to celebrate a little differently – whether it’s traditional, al fresco, or somewhere inbetween. Some like to make things from scratch, others prefer to pick up easy-but-impressive cheats, and most of us do a bit of both. However you approach the festive season, you’ll find plenty of inspiration at your local Farro food store. We’ve picked out some absolute essentials to make the perfect Christmas feast!

The Main Event

All the ingredients and recipes for the perfect three-course Christmas feast, delivered right to you. $ ORDER AT FARRO.CO.NZ SERVES


Turkey Perfection!

Take the easy route and try one of Farro’s legendary turkey roasts. These are fully de-boned freerange turkey pre-stuffed with Farro’s own tried-and-tested stuffing recipes. A mix of white and dark meat, they can simply be defrosted and cooked in the tray supplied. $49.99 each, 1.8kg. Serves 6-8 people.


Pantry Essentials

Farro Ham Glaze

A Glaze of Glory!

A beautifully glazed baked ham looks fabulous and tastes amazing. It’s perfect for feeding the extended family on Christmas day and the leftovers can be transformed into dayafterdeliciousness. Make your own signature glaze or choose from one of the ready-made glazes on sale at Farro. All hams 4kg and over receive a free ham glaze.

Perfect Gifts

Loison Panettone Range

The range of Italian Christmas cakes, panettone and pandoro, make wonderful gifts or use it in a show stopping terrine! Panettone Classico Made in Italy, a classic panettone with a scented soft dough, studded with raisins, candied peel and citron. Gift boxed. $25.00/250g

Farro Christmas Foodkit

A classic honey, pineapple and citrus glaze that creates a delicious sticky topping for Christmas ham. Comes free with all hams 4kg and over. $5.99/250g

Farro Duck Fat

Potatoes cooked in duck fat is a classic combination, creating a golden crispy edge and creamy inside. $14.99/450g

Foundation Foods Beef and Chicken Jus

Create the perfect base for a rich gravy – gently heat and use as is or add your own special twist. $9.99/250g

Food lover Gifts

Take the angst out of present buying with Farro’s range of gourmet hampers, from $60-$200, and gift cards (with no expiry dates). Load from $10 to $100 on a card and let the recipient choose for themselves. Cards and hampers from Farro stores or at Check out our corporate gifting too.


the magpie

Summertimes The living is easy if you follow The Magpie’s lead 1. The latest collection from Camilla and Marc simply says Summer. Must. Have. Majella Printed Dress, $540 from 2. This Perfect Present gift set is all natural, all absolutely delicious and free from nasties. One for you, one for me thanks. $81, from 3. Jazzy! The Magpie is taken with this Citta Gingham Beach Bag in pumpkin/ dijon Perfectly proportioned to fit your towel, Kindle, sunblock and other summer essentials, the cotton lining and a handy internal slip pocket are an added bonus. $69.90, from 4. Hip slingers and hip swingers will loves the Marc Jacobs Hip Shot bag. It has two different straps for maximum wearing versatility. $698, from 5. Original, interesting and always beautiful, Byredo’s newest fragrance, Slow Dance, is no exception. Mixing feminine and masculine notes, it’s a sexy blend of opoponax, geranium, labdanum and violet on a patchouli and vanilla base. Play it, Sam. $354 from 6. Oh yes, they’re back . . . velvet headbands, pearl studs, it’s the return of the ladylike parts of the 80s. Dip your toe into this sartorial water with a Superette Crinkle Scarf. The elongated diamond shape makes it a breeze to tie around your head, neck, belt loop, bag or wrist. $39, from 7. Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk is a fan favourite. Use daily for a natural-looking, gradual tan. The aloe vera and Vitamin E help keeps skin mint too. $22.99 from pharmacies.


8. This little bird loves her Dermalogica and these gorgeous holiday gift sets with artwork by Kelsey Montague are going to make the best gifts. Give anyone one of these, especially if it contains the BioLumin-C Serum, and you’re on to a winner. From $31 to $159, from Dermalogica counters and spas. 9. Don’t be a Muppet; slip, slop slap every day with Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF50+. A non-greasy, lightweight facial sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. $44, at


10. Step joyfully into summer in these leather Gigi Slides. A perfect meeting of comfort and style. $269, from 11. The Ooni Koda pizza oven fires out jaw-dropping great kai from just about anywhere. No assembly, no mess, no fuss, just hook it up to the gas and it’s pizzahot in just 15 minutes. You can also use it for vegetables, fish or steak. $599 from Outdoor Concepts, 77 The Strand, Parnell. 12. Teach a man to fish . . . and you’ll have plenty of time to read your book in peace while he brings home the snapper. TRYCD’s Allsalt fishing kit was designed and tested over three years in NZ waters. Four different rods which can be attached to the one base to meet all saltwater fishing needs including strayline/bait, stickbait/landbased, softbait and jigging. From $399, up to $899 depending on how many rods you add. From



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8 6






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the district diary

December 2019 1 Get a start on Christmas gift buying at the General Collective Lifestyle & Design Market. A family day out with more than 300 vendors, street food and kids’ activities. Kids free, adults $5 at gate. ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, 9am-4pm The North Pole Express will take you on an extraordinary journey in a specially decorated carriage to collect Santa, who has been magically transported to Auckland. With carols and keepsakes too. The Strand Station, Ngaoho Pl, Parnell. See for sessions and tickets The Fight Like a Girl Self Defence Workshop is for 13 to 16-year-old girls to learn safe, sensible decision making, verbal assertiveness and physical techniques. Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn, 10am-4pm, to register 5 Auckland Grammar Old Boys are invited to the Old Boys’ Pavilion for drinks and canapes with the headmaster. 6.30-8.30pm, AGS, Mountain Rd 6 Epsom MP David Seymour hosts an economic update with Reserve Bank governor, Dr Adrian Orr today, at St Marks Church, 95 Remuera Rd. 10.30am-midday, morning tea served from 10am. All welcome, free Head along to The Classic Comedy Club’s Friday Xmas Xtravaganza for a night of comedic fun, quizzes, karaoke and prizes. R18 event, tickets include antipasto. Book at The Classic, 321 Queen St, 7-10pm 7 Ho Ho Ho! Mr and Mrs Claus are back in Remuera Village. Say “hi” on the street or head to their Santa hut, outside the Remuera Library, where they’ll be available for photos between 12-2pm today, and on December 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21 14 It’s the Ellerslie Christmas Market — toys, collectables, clothing and crafts. War Memorial Hall, 138 Main Highway, 10am-2pm Hark, the heralded pop stars sing — it’s Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park. NZ’s biggest outdoor Christmas party, it’s free and on at the Domain, 7.30-10pm

19 Meet the creative team behind those innovative Pop-up Globe Shakespeare productions. There’s a series of relaxed, informative talks in the Shakespeare Gardens, Ellerslie Racecourse, 80 Ascot Ave. 6.30pm, tickets from (And don’t forget to book for the Pop-up Globe’s summer season) 19-20 The Christmas Art and Craft Holiday workshop at Selwyn Community Education is for 6-12 year olds and covers gift making, sustainable wrapping, upcyling Christmas wrap and more. Fee includes all materials. to register, 9am-4pm both days 20 Sunny weather equals outdoor dining equals Food Truck Fridays! At Takutai Square in Britomart, 11.30am-2.30pm 21 Take your basket and bags and stock up on the vegies, artisan deli, sweets and general

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edible goodness at the Parnell Farmers’ Market. From 8am-1pm, in the carpark at the Jubilee Building, 545 Parnell Rd Your summer January-February edition of The Hobson is distributed to letterboxes this weekend, packed with holiday reading 24 ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, except mum and dad, who are preparing for the big day tomorrow. Merry Christmas everyone! 31 Welcome 2020. Celebrations include the Highlife NYE boutique festival experience at Ascension Wine Estate, Matakana, and in town, a rooftop party at Rydges Hotel, with ringside views of the Sky Tower’s fireworks. See or

Reader Kate Wiseman sent in this photo of a stand-up paddleboarder enjoing the stillness of Hobson Bay early one November morning.

the kiosk

Young Minds Matter

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Thinking of moving to a retirement village, or just downsizing? Moving On can assist with all things moving, from decluttering, to sorting, organising and unpacking. Call Katie Fitzpatrick

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Lunch Weekend Brunch Full Bar Evening Tapas Open 7 days: enjoy our all weather garden pavilion. Fully licenced, venue hire & functions available 354 Remuera Rd (09) 941 5635


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Come and join the team — get fit, stay fit for life. Adult (masters) morning swim squads, for ages 21-91 in mixed and women’s squads at the Olympic pool. Whether you’re training for an event, want to get fit or stay fit, Rick and the team welcome you. Come for the swimming, stay for the camaraderie! @RickWellsSport

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the cryptic by mĀyĀ

Set by Māyā. There is a bit of a theme. Answers will appear in our next issue, January/February 2019. Can’t wait, or need help? Visit ACROSS 1 See 6 Down 9 Italian river’s ‘EU river’ to a phony (6) 10 Gloss over reserved knee, say, and head? (9) 11 Fatty or oily derivative of a sauce with zinc (after removing zinc) (6) 12 Set apart how the White Rabbit might describe himself, in haste (7) 14 Agency’s lost singing Lady’s heart to a type of talk enclosed in a sac (8) 17 Reg, I’m, like, holding a dwarf (5) 19 See 8 Down 20 Allow church to rake . . . (5) 22 . . . Spike will confirm? (4) 24 Wine’s temperature? Fine (5) 25 Happy cloud, even used by Player? (4,4)

28 Player I, French, on TV, seen around the UK (7) 29/14/30 originally, with Reg o’ French Isle (6) 31 Work by 14 30, and what he likes to do at 7pm on Saturday with Steven Spielberg (9) 32 See 6 Down 33 See 3 Down DOWN 2 Reg almost to #GoBackOver (6) 3/33 Thew, IC, and lend a work of 14 30? (6,2,3,4) 4 Reg, gutted, holds in shadow of a North American raccoon (8) 5 Apes go ape in church? (4) 6/32/1 “I coolly bed a boy” — Reg D. work about going back to the simple life? (7,6,5,4)

7 An impossible type of motion, to erupt madly amidst the sound of bells (9) 8/19 Snappy number from 14 30? (9,4) 13 Cut S-Satan? (5) 14/30 Knight left in school by Saint (5,4) 15 Dies non juridici as enjoyed out by Wallace and Gromit (9) 16 Shred farmer after fall, so to speak (9) 18 Movement against inappropriate 20’s — and 14 30’s autobiography (5) 21 Haka hunk performing at festival (8) 23 PC and what one does with paper, say (5,2) 26 Confer the highest quality cry of pain? (6) 27 Tour Sea World (6) 30 See 14 Down

NOVEMBER CRYPTIC CROSSWORD ANSWERS Across: 1 Confectionery, 10 Anaximander, 11 Noh, 12 Hokey pokey, 13 Torc, 15 Onset, 17 Jelly Roll, 18 Venerator, 19 Reset, 20 Crop, 21 Flameproof, 25 Ion, 26 Sanctuaries, 27 Neurosurgeons. Down: 2 Ozark, 3 Fairy story, 4 Claro, 5 Indweller, 6 Nero, 7 Rancorous, 8 Fashion victim, 9 Chocolate fish, 14 Hydroplane, 16 Sun lounge, 17 Jet planes, 22 Motor, 23 Onion, 24 Tsar.

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Supplying luxury outdoor furniture to architects, designers, landscapers, hotels, resorts, and private residences in New Zealand for over 25 years. Everything has been carefully curated from Italy, Belgium, France, Indonesia, and the Philippines.












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Sharene Temple +64 27 224 6045 Rachel Ashton +64 21 022 44990 NZE11134