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march 2021

a farewell to antoine's local news, views & informed opinions


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MARCH, 2021, #76

Contents 8

25

32

the editor’s letter

the investment

the bookmark

10

Could inflation be in our future? Warren Couillault considers prevailing views

Local surgeons Earle Brown and Michael Klaassen pay tribute to a leader in their field, the late Sir William Manchester

the contributors

13 the neighbourhood Your chance to comment on the Long Term Plan, tunnelling under Remuera, the Erebus Memorial and more

24 the suburbanist Sailing away . . . Tommy Honey is not fazed by waving away a gas connection

26 the plan

18 the councillor

Hamish Firth is still scratching his head over proposed changes to the RMA

The Ōrākei ward’s Desley Simpson, shares her news

28

the politicians Updates from our three reps: David Seymour, Camilla Belich and Paul Goldsmith

24 the arriviste

the returnee Journalist Peter Bale is an expat forced home by circumstance: he reflects on his re-entry to Kiwi life, a year on

36 the menu Lauraine Jacobs serves up a peach of a salad

the sound

19-21

34

Sleazy stories coming out of the music industry should be no great shock, says Andrew Dickens

29

38 the magpie Our bird casts her discerning eye over Pantone’s ‘colours of the year’

the icon

42

Patrons recall happy times at Antoine’s, the Parnell institution now shuttered

What’s going on in March (we hope)

the district diary

Colin Hogg has a mystery on his hands and in his pond

The wetlands at Ayrlies Garden, Whitford. The garden and wetlands have an upcoming plant sale: see The District Diary, page 42

the hobson 6


issue 76, march 2021 Editor & Publisher Kirsty Cameron editor@thehobson.co.nz Art Direction & Production Stephen Penny design@thehobson.co.nz Writers this Issue Peter Bale, Kirsty Cameron, Hélène Ravlich, Wayne Thompson, Justine Williams Sub-editor Dawn Adams Columnists Camilla Belich, Warren Couillault, Andrew Dickens, Hamish Firth, Paul Goldsmith, Colin Hogg, Tommy Honey, Lauraine Jacobs, David Seymour, Desley Simpson Photographer Stephen Penny Cover Tony Astle, eponymous chef and owner of Antoine's Parnell. Illustration by Danyel Simich for The Hobson. © Danyel Simich 2021. See The Icon, page 29. THE HOBSON is published 11 times a year by The Hobson Limited, PO Box 37490 Parnell, Auckland 1151. www.thehobson.co.nz F: The Hobson Magazine I: @The Hobson

T

his issue has quite a few wanders into your memory bank. There is both our good-bye to the Parnell institution that was Antoine’s, and an extract from a new biography about the eminent plastic surgeon, the late Sir William Manchester. Both have brought up happy, and also slightly mortifying, memories for me. My first experience of Antoine’s was when a new boyfriend took me there on an official first date in the early ‘80s. I can’t remember what we ate or what we talked about, but I do remember he paid with a crumpled pile of notes, confessing later that he’d spent the afternoon rushing around the various places of his casual student work, begging for an advance on his pay so he could splash out at Antoine’s. It was obviously way beyond both our budgets but the gesture was magnanimous. The fine portrait of Tony Astle on our cover is another personal connection. It was drawn especially for The Hobson by my very old friend, Danyel Simich. Danyel was an Antoine’s aficianado, often leaving after dinner with a special doggy bag prepared by Tony so she could continue her feast the next day. That story begins on page 29. On page 32, we have an extract from Perfection: The life and times of Sir William Manchester, a tribute to the pioneering surgeon by two other local surgeons, Earle Brown and Michael Klaassen. When Mr Brown got in touch to tell me about the upcoming book, my first thought was “po-lice!” My first job out of journalism training was as a reporter in the Auckland newsroom of Radio New Zealand, around 1985. Six months in, I was given the added role of covering health, which meant going to the meetings of the then-Auckland District Health Board at its Wellesley St HQ (“known as the Kremlin,” says Earle, drily). Sir William was on the board, always dapper with a rosebud in his lapel. After one meeting, he sought me out in the press benches. He said he often heard me on the radio and thought that generally, I was doing a pretty good job. But please, could I stop saying “pleece” in my reports. “The word is po-lice, and you let yourself down with sloppy pronunciation.” I have said po-lice ever since.

Ideas, suggestions, advertising inquiries welcome. editor@thehobson.co.nz

THE HOBSON is Remuera, Parnell and Ōrākei’s community magazine. We deliver into letterboxes in these neighbourhoods, and copies are also at local libraries, cafés, and at businesses including the Vicky Ave and White Heron dairies, and Paper Plus Parnell and Remuera. Find us on Facebook (The Hobson Magazine) and Instagram: @thehobson www.thehobson.co.nz 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 editor@thehobson.co.nz to discuss ideas. The Hobson Ltd is a member of the Magazine Publishers Association This publication uses environmentally responsible papers.

ICG Logo CMYK.pdf 1 05/08/2015 6:19:01 AM

Kirsty Cameron editor@thehobson.co.nz 0275 326 424 Facebook: The Hobson Magazine Instagram: TheHobson

This issue we welcome to our pages Camilla Belich. Camilla was elected to Parliament last year as the Labour list MP based in Epsom. Now that we have three local MPs, it seems only fair to include her voice. Her maiden column is on page 20.


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Contributors Left to right from top row: Camilla Belich (The Politicians) is a Labour list MP based in Epsom. An experienced employment lawyer, she lives in central Auckland with her young family. This is her first parliamentary term. Remuera resident Warren Couillault (The Investment) is chairperson and CEO of Hobson Wealth, one of NZ’s leading private wealth advisory groups. He is also the chair of kōura Wealth, a registered KiwiSaver scheme manager. Andrew Dickens (The Sound) is the breakfast host on radio station Gold, and hosts Monday afternoons on Newstalk ZB. He’s an alumnus of Vicky Ave Primary, RI and Grammar. Hamish Firth (The Plan) lives with his wife and four daughters in Parnell, just down the road from the Mt Hobson Group, his specialist urban planning consultancy. www.mthobsonproperties.co.nz Paul Goldsmith (The Politicians) is a National list MP based in Epsom. The Remuera resident is the Opposition spokesman on education and was previously Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Author, music writer, columnist Colin Hogg (The Arriviste) was born in the deep south. He spent many years living in other parts of Tāmaki Makaurau, before relocating to Remuera from Wadestown. Urban design critic Tommy Honey (The Suburbanist) is a qualified architect-turned-academic. The Remuera resident is a regular guest on RNZ National, discussing the built environment. The Hobson’s food editor, Lauraine Jacobs MNZM (The Menu) lives in Remuera. A former food editor for Cuisine and the Listener, she has published several best-selling cookbooks. She is a champion of NZ ingredients. Judi Paape (The Teacher) is a parent, grandparent and highlyexperienced teacher and junior school principal. A Parnell resident, her column appears bi-monthly. David Seymour (The Politician) is the MP for Epsom and was the breakout contestant of the 2018 season of Dancing with the Stars. At the 2020 election he took his ACT party representation from one seat to 10. Desley Simpson (The Councillor) is in her second term as the councillor for the Ōrākei ward. Previously, she served as chair of the Ōrākei Local Board. She is also an accomplished pianist and plays the Town Hall organ on occasion. Contributing writer Wayne Thompson is a former The New Zealand Herald journalist, covering Auckland news. He has been a resident of Parnell for 36 years. Contributing editor Justine Williams (The Magpie) is an interiors stylist, writer and fashion editor. The Remuera resident has been the editor of Simply You and Simply You Living. A note on the contributors: Contributors' views and words are their own opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor.

the hobson 10


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the hobson 12


the neighbourhood

Local News A RATES RISE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Local board leaders are keen to test the ratepayers’ appetite for their suggestion that Auckland Council rates must increase by between 5 and 8 per cent if it is to keep up its works programme. One of several places where the Ōrākei and Waitematā boards are hoping for strong feedback is their joint public meeting at Parnell District School on Sunday, March 7 at 2pm*. As well as the issue of the size of the rates increase, the question of how to bring forward expensive works to stop pollution of Waitaramoa Hobson Bay will be raised. Every three years Auckland Council asks people to say how much they want to pay council and what they want it spent on over the next 10 years. This time people have until noon on March 22 to comment on the long term plan suggestions of their local board and council. Waitematā Local Board is recommending a one-off 8 per cent increase in the general rate and in the water quality rate. On the other hand, Ōrākei Local Board thinks a rise of 5 per cent is enough on top of last year’s 3.5 per cent general rate increase, which followed two years of 2.5 per cent rises and the impost of new “target” rates based on property value. These were introduced to accelerate water quality and natural environment works, for example, better footpaths in regional parks to slow the spread of kauri dieback. Waitematā chair Richard Northey says the board has long been concerned about cleaning up the local streams, beaches and harbour and has invested a considerable amount in local groups and projects cleaning up streams including the Waipapa and Newmarket streams. “We identified this priority on our Waitematā Board plans in 2017 and 2020 and successfully lobbied the council governing body to bring in a special water quality targeted rate. Last year we were very concerned as a board to find out about how heavily polluted Hobson Bay and the bulk of the streams running into it have become. “We have joined with the Ōrākei Local Board to organise a special public meeting to discuss what the council should do to clean up these waters in the council’s forthcoming 10-year plan and budget which is out for public consultation from February 22. As a board we are keen to work with local communities to find ways and resources to clean up Hobson Bay as quickly as practicable. “Three options are proposed for consultation in the long term plan. The first option is not to continue the water quality targeted rate, which would postpone completing the Hobson Bay clean up by a few years. The second option is to continue this special rate, which would finish cleaning up Hobson Bay towards the end of the 10-year plan. The third option, which the Waitematā board currently prefers, is to increase the targeted rate by the same


percentage as the overall general rate increase, and should speed up the Hobson Bay clean up by up to six years.” Other major points of discussion for the Waitematā board are the restoration of the Leys Institute building in Ponsonby to resume its library and public use, as well as creation of a park at 254 Ponsonby Rd. It seeks more resources to be given to cleaning up beaches and waterways, transport and road safety projects and action on climate change. Other priorities are restoration of funding for transport projects, and works to make the northern end of Parnell’s St Georges Bay Rd and Faraday St more people-friendly places. Asked why people should make a submission on the long term plan, Ōrākei Local Board chair Scott Milne says: “They need to understand that the city is at a place it has never been before and that is a perfect storm where the council anticipates $1 billion in lost income in the next three years; we have pressure for rapid growth; we have delayed investment in infrastructure needed because of the age of city, and we have demands unlike anything we have seen around environment and climate change. “Everyone is very concerned to keep rate rises to the lowest possible but communities need to understand that we don’t have any money to spare and if they want to improve infrastructure, maintain roads, cope with climate change and continue to develop a sense of community then a 2.5 per cent rise is not going to do it.” Milne says Ōrākei is not considering the same level of rates rise as the Waitematā board. “We believe 5 per cent is the right number and are going out to consultation on it. We certainly want to see extension of the environmental target rate and the water quality target rate. The hardest, most vigorous lobbying will be around water quality in Hobson Bay. This is a national issue, not a regional or local issue.”

The joint boards meeting at Parnell District School on Sunday, March 7 is one of the 15 consultation meetings being held by the Ōrākei Local Board, says Milne. “If people can’t come to that meeting we are begging them to make a submission on the long term plan. We need to spend money as soon as possible on fixing the water quality issue in the Hobson Bay and associated valleys, not in a decade. The big issue is money but also resources and commitment from the governing body of council and agencies.” Waitematā Local Board will have drop-in stalls at the Grey Lynn Farmers Market at 8.30am-11am on Sunday, March 7, and at Parnell Farmers Market on Saturday, March 13 from 9am-11am. Ōrākei Local Board holds a round-the-table style of meeting at the Hyundai Marine Centre, The Landing, Ōrākei, on Thursday March 4 from 5.30pm-7pm, and drop-in stalls at Eastridge Shopping Centre on Saturday, March 6 from 11.30am-1.30pm and at the Ellerslie Community Day, next to the War Memorial Centre, on Saturday, March 20 from midday-2pm. The boards will hold formal public hearings on plan submissions and the council also takes into account views received in the online survey on its website akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. In May, the council governing body approves the plan. — Wayne Thompson p *Please check council’s website (aucklandcouncil.govt.nz) for updates as Covid-19 restrictions could impact on the public meetings and consultations as currently planned

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TUNNEL VISION FOR CLEAN UP More on water quality . . . Building a sewage storage tunnel for the Newmarket catchment is one of the key features of a $770 million plan to make the waters of Waitaramoa Hobson Bay among the cleanest in Auckland. Paying for the scheme and realising the hopes of some politicians and residents that it will start as soon as possible are subjects for discussion in Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan and budget for the next decade. In a briefing to The Hobson, which was shared with Hapua Thrive (one of the community groups raising awareness of the bay’s pollution by the drains running into it from Remuera and Newmarket) Watercare’s improvement programme manager Anin Nama said building the tunnel and a conveyance system would collect sewage overflows that would normally flow into the Newmarket Gully. The tunnel would run from near the so-called “Hell’s Gate” drainage structure where the overflows start in the upper gully. It would connect to the Ōrākei main sewer where the stored flows would be released when the main has enough capacity. It will be a modest structure compared to the $120 million tunnel bored under the bay to bear the Ōrākei main sewer. The gully tunnel could be between 2m and 2.5m in diameter for 1.5 to 2 kilometres, and could cost between $45 and $50 million. Watercare’s asset management plan shows a 2026 start for the tunnel, which Nama explained would be design work. Detailed planning for a tunnel takes longer than boring it, and preparations could take two to three years before construction, partly because of the need for resource consents and approvals to go through private property. The bonus for properties in the gully is being passed by an open stream carrying rain water instead of diluted sewage, because the new system would reduce the number of network overflows at one location to between two and six a year. To stop all spills, the tunnel would have to be twice as big, with the problem of emptying into the Ōrākei main sewer, which also serves the CBD and Parnell. The tunnel would provide direct benefit to the waters of Hobson Bay as would the whole Eastern Isthmus Water Quality Project to the wider Waitematā Harbour, from Hobson Bay to St Heliers. However, the tunnel’s performance depended on other work being done in the whole catchment before it was built; the stormwater component of the pollution problem. Auckland Council’s Healthy

The red lines are sewers, the longer line on the left is the Newmarket Gully sewer, which will be diverted to a storage tunnel to avoid overflows into the bay. Image courtesy of Watercare.

Waters was looking for money from the water quality target rate for works to reduce the amount of stormwater infiltrating the upstream sewage network whenever it rains. Healthy Waters’ complementary programme to build stormwater infrastructure to enable separation of stormwater and sewage, which presently leave buildings in the same drain, could take four to five years. Nama said the whole Eastern Isthmus programme was estimated to cost $770 million, broken down into $440 million funded by rates for Healthy Waters’ work and $330 million in loans for Watercare’s part in sewage infrastructure. It rained heavily on the day of the briefing to The Hobson and Hapua Thrive, and Nama said that without the upstream stormwater works any storage tunnel would be overwhelmed by such a volume of water. Every property was being identified for separation works if necessary and that information would help in the design of the tunnel. However, a number of dry weather overflows caused pollution every day and Watercare had identified the cause on private property and approached the owners to make them aware of it and to remedy the fault. — Wayne Thompson p

Amazing role models

Open Day Saturday 20 March the hobson 15


A render of the north-east view commissioned by opponents to the Erebus memorial, showing the scale of the proposed installation.

EREBUS OPPONENTS SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW With the first stage works expected to begin this month, opposition to the siting of the National Erebus Memorial in Dove-Myer Robinson Park has not cooled. After a narrow majority of Waitematā Local Board members voted 4-3 to grant landowner approval for the contentious project, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage moved forward with plans to erect Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song, a monument to those who died in the 1979 air disaster. Opponents to the placing of the memorial in a small city park have suggested alternate locations, including the MOTAT precinct. In his report to the February meeting of the local board, chair Richard Northey noted that in January the board received confirmation that objectors to the memorial would be seeking a judicial review of the decision-making in the landowners consent process. The review is being driven by the Mataharehare Dove-Myer Robinson Park Working Group, a number of parties who have coalesced to retain the park as it is now, and to preserve and honour its pre-European history. Group spokesman Paul Baragwanath says they are working to stop the Crown taking the park from the people of Tāmaki Makaurau, and support the relocation of the proposed memorial “to a more favourable Auckland location”. The working group is keen to hear from those in support of its aims. Email: contact@mataharehareDMR.org.nz p

MARRIOTTS’ TOWER TUMBLES Six storeys is too much to put on a small shop site in a heritage character area of Parnell Road, say Auckland Council planning commissioners. Their refusal to allow infringements of local planning standards by the Marriotts site redevelopment is welcomed by Parnell Community Committee (PCC) chairman Luke Niue as a “win for the community”.

Developer Andra Trading Ltd sought resource consent to build a 21m tall apartment tower at 401-403 Parnell Rd, set back from the street behind the old shop’s art deco-style façade. The property already has council resource consent to totally clear the site for a contemporary four-storey (13m) block but last year Andra offered to reuse the façade if it could get the added value from going higher to achieve five quality apartments with three bedrooms. The offer failed to sway the PCC and Parnell Heritage which were among 56 objectors to the proposal. “It was great to see a large and well equipped group of community organisations, residents, and also Heritage New Zealand push back hard on the proposal,” says Niue. “Confirmation that the three hearing commissioners unanimously took the same view was an awesome start to 2021.” The proposal was supported by 37 submitters, including the Parnell Business Association whose manager, Cheryl Adamson, explained it developed “further living options on Parnell Rd”. She added that the “visual treatment of this building is perfectly in keeping with the area”. The developer’s plan of a ‘stylish’ period-designed frontage to complement the street’s heritage character was challenged by some architects, including Parnell resident and urban design champion Professor Clinton Bird. He said it would be “both possible and desirable to construct a thoroughly contemporary/modern building which is respectful of, responsive to and enhances the character of the neighbouring and heritage and modern buildings”. In the end, the commissioners deemed the argument over the design was secondary to the effects of the building’s excessive height, bulk and scale in its context. In their decision, the commissioners said the building would have “unacceptable adverse effects on the amenity values” of the adjacent residences in Birdwood Cres. The design, too, would be inconsistent with the special character considerations of the character overlay in the Unitary Plan. The design “wholly disassociates itself with its adjacent neighbour and exacerbates that disassociation through additional height”. — Wayne Thompson p

the hobson 16


SEEDING A NEW BUSINESS A new business is flourishing at the hands of entreprenuerial local Katie Jacobs. After 20 years in corporate life, the last 12 in senior marketing and country manager roles with Moët Hennessy, Jacobs decided to step off the corporate track and test some ideas she had been mulling over. “I had an amazing time and learnt so much, but I always wanted to have my own business.” For Jacobs, that meant picking what she liked best from her corporate roles and mashing them up with something that’s dear to the Jacobs family: growing food (Jacob’s mother is The Hobson’s food editor, NZ cuisine champion and cookbook author Lauraine Jacobs MNZM). “I wanted to take the elements I loved from my work – the horticultural aspects of wine, connection to the land, creating brands and content, and create something that really does good for people,” says Jacobs. “Gardening, particularly growing vegetables and herbs does that. I’m currently also finishing up my Masters in Technological Futures at Tech Futures Lab in how best to provide assistance for home gardeners. During the research phase, the myriad of health benefits from gardening; mental as well as physical, became abundantly clear.” That’s helped her define a clear purpose: “My mission is how I can help busy people enjoy gardening.” Jacobs’ first steps were to launch “complete-as-possible guided gardening kits” of herbs and salad greens, as well as selling the physical tools for pottering in the vege patch. Jacobs (pictured) is at La Cigale market on Sundays with her Greenshoots stand. Follow @greenshootsnz on Instagram, or see greenshoots.nz for more information and orders. p

JANUARY/FEBRUARY CRYPTIC ANSWERS Across: 1/8 Had we but world enough and time, 10 Nereids, 11 Whereof, 12 Upset, 13 Spaghetti, 14 Havoc, 16 Air launch, 18 Nosebleed, 19 Dinah, 20 Termagant, 23 Snafu, 24 Mildred, 25 Macbeth, 26 Pepper-and-salt. Down: 2 Abrasives, 3 Whist, 4 Basis, 5 Tow-haired, 6 Overheard, 7 Lieut, 9 Uffish thought, 15 Cobra trap, 16 Alexander, 17 Nonpareil, 21 Rilke, 22 Timon, 23 Sacks.

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LICENSED AGENT REA 2008


the councillor

Recovering Revenue

W

ith the summer holidays now a distant memory, I’m right into the next challenge facing our city’s decision makers – our 10-year budget for 2021-31, which sets the financial scene for the next decade. Getting the right equilibrium of necessary investment in infrastructure while retaining a strong financial position is no easy task at the best of times, but it’s especially difficult now. While it feels like New Zealand has got through the worst of Covid-19, its financial impacts are likely to be felt for many years to come. Auckland Council will experience an estimated shortfall of $540 million over the next three years and that’s in addition to the initial $450m loss addressed by last year’s Emergency Budget. The response is to propose a Recovery Budget, containing a host of further cost-saving initiatives to ensure we can maintain the services and facilities our city depends on, while keeping the cost to the ratepayer as low as possible. In addition to savings, and after receiving advice from our credit rating agencies, we are proposing temporarily increasing our borrowing above our old debt to revenue limit. Given that 40 per cent of council revenue comes from rates and our continued lack of ‘other’ revenue, it’s impossible for us to navigate these difficult times without considering how important rates are as a funding mechanism. The mayoral proposal suggests retaining our current commitment to an ongoing average 3.5 per cent rates rise per year, with a one-off increase of 5 per cent in the first year to help mitigate the ongoing impacts of Covid. While we are preparing a budget for a 10-year period, it is the first three years that matter (as they are reflected by the current political term). While the plan is for 3.5 per cent rates increases each year, why has 5 per cent in year one been suggested? The proposed increase will allow $900m of investment in the first three years that would otherwise have been pushed out. This will mean more investment, sooner, in our local areas requested by our communities. In Ōrākei, that includes multiple environmental programmes, planning for the improvement of fields at Bloodworth Park and Shore Rd Reserve and improving community safety in the bays, along with initiatives like the building of the north-south connection to the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path. For the Waitematā ward, it includes projects such as the restoration of Newmarket Stream, improved biodiversity of the Hauraki Gulf and the restoration of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki heritage building. More generally, it supports a move to a more proactive approach to renewing our below-ground infrastructure with a significant increase in pipe renewals focused on central Auckland.

Speaking of below ground, one thing we can all agree on is that we need to clean up the water quality at Auckland’s beaches, many of which are currently unsafe for swimming. In a couple of months we will have completed the Ōkahu Bay stormwater and wastewater separation project which will, amongst other things, reduce wastewater overflows in Ōkahu Bay. However, there are still huge problems in Hobson Bay and our beaches, from Parnell to Glendowie. Our eastern isthmus area suffers one of the highest rates of sewer overflows in Auckland. The mayoral proposal committed to addressing this in year six of the 10-year plan. I think we should address this sooner, so I put up an amendment to offer the public an option to bring forward that work to start next year. The Eastern Isthmus Programme focuses on network separation and wastewater overflow reduction in combined network areas in Newmarket, Parnell, Hobson Bay through to St Heliers. This project would drastically turn the tide on our water quality issues, including addressing the alarming level of E. coli traces in Hobson Bay. Because this work is funded by the water quality targeted rate, and current levels are already committed, we can only fast track this work if that rate is increased by 5 per cent, or $3.30 per annum for the average Auckland homeowner, next year. But none of this is a given. We are asking all Aucklanders to have their say on all aspects of our Long Term Plan because meaningful engagement with the public is always at the heart of good decision making. There are many ways you can let us know what is most important to you, and crucially, how it should be paid for. Public consultation opened in February and you can submit your views online until Monday March 22, on council’s website (aucklandcouncil.govt.nz). Additionally, there are a variety of events happening across the region from drop-in sessions at your local library; stalls at popular events; and community forums. I will be at all local events and always available to discuss any questions you may have. We will also be holding another series of webinars which anyone can take part in online. Details of all events can be found at www.akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget. Please have your say! — Desley Simpson

Desley Simpson is the Councillor for Auckland representing the Ōrākei ward

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the politician

A Letter from Waitangi

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f you’ve never visited Waitangi on Waitangi Day, I can understand. It’s synonymous with throwing dirt and personal accessories, and general mayhem. Most people would settle for a peaceful day off, if a prideful national celebration is not possible. Before my job took me there, I hadn’t been there on Waitangi Day either. If you haven’t been, and you’d like my advice; you should go one year. The experience is the polar opposite of what’s seen on the news. There are a few reasons for this. It is an example of New Zealand exceptionalism. All party leaders meet peacefully at 5am to say a prayer for our country. The list of countries where that’s conceivable is short and sadly getting shorter. All politics is left at the door and there is a real sense of hope. Our problems can’t be that great, it seems, if we are prepared to problem solve them through honest conversations and rational debate. It is a beautiful setting. Many people don’t realise that the Treaty Grounds, with the Treaty House, Te Whare Rūnanga, and the recently added Te Kōongahu Museum of Waitangi are all owned privately by the Waitangi National Trust Board. They do an incredible job and it’s a beautiful thing that such a special place is provided privately and voluntarily after Lord and Lady Bledisloe gifted it to the nation (and not forgetting their gift of the Bledisloe Cup). After the prayers, the sun rises over the Bay of Islands and the flagstaff. A new year dawns on New Zealand’s birthday and it is spectacularly beautiful. The rest of the day is a carnival with market stalls and performances. Visiting Waitangi, especially on Waitangi Day, also provides an important piece of the puzzle to understanding our country. Since I visited George Washington’s estate at Mt Vernon, I’ve thought you cannot understand the United States without visiting there to understand what sort of man Washington was. He had to patiently explain to some of his supporters,

who expected him to become the new king, that he didn’t lead the Revolutionary War to bring monarchy closer. It certainly puts recent events into perspective and gives hope for a real America. Similarly, it is difficult to understand New Zealand without picturing the chiefs camped out on the Waitangi lawn, chewing over the proposed treaty as Hobson and Busby hurriedly finalised the text inside. Today you hear the debate continue, against the backdrop of modern Northland. One of, if not the, poorest and most dysfunctional areas in the country. All of our problems, from the quality of housing to crime, poverty and the search for jobs and productivity are writ large at Waitangi each year. It is an experience that everyone who seeks to understand our country should have at least once. Closer to home, I am proud to serve as your local MP for another parliamentary term. While ACT has grown in Parliament by a factor of ten, I remain the MP for Epsom. Being a local MP remains my top priority, ‘Epsom’ is the first heading I write down when I plan out each week. If you have a government-related problem, my commitment is to ensure that your interests are represented vigorously and effectively in the political process. It may be a personal issue such as the treatment you have received from health, education or immigration bodies, or an issue affecting the wider community. I’m very fortunate to have an excellent team working in my office at 27 Gillies Ave. One of my staff can speak Chinese for anyone who is more comfortable in that language. Please feel free to get in touch with us at mpepsom@parliament.govt.nz, or phone 522 7464 for an appointment. - David Seymour

David Seymour is the MP for Epsom

David Seymour MP for Epsom

For an appointment, please contact me on 09 522 7464 or mpepsom@parliament.govt.nz

Epsom Electorate Office Level 2, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket the hobson 19

Promoted by David Seymour, MP for Epsom, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket


the politician

A Better Understanding

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here was a real sense of progress for New Zealand at this year’s Waitangi commemorations. I was privileged to be there to support our Prime Minister and Māori caucus, and to introduce my young daughters to the birthplace of our nation. The Waitangi commemorations took place shortly after the release by the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, of the draft curriculum on New Zealand history. This follows an announcement in September 2019 that New Zealand history would be taught in all schools and kura from 2022. At the time of the announcement, Minister Hipkins said: “Our diversity is our strength, but only when we build connections to each other. We can move forward together, stronger when we understand the many paths our ancestors walked to bring us to today.” Submissions on the draft curriculum are open until the end of May — I would encourage all Epsom residents with a view on this proposed curriculum to make a submission. I am personally in support of it. The Prime Minister said at Ruapekapeka last month, while unveiling a memorial for that battle 175 years ago: “Let us teach it, let us learn it and let us remember it. Let us share our history with every student in every school and kura so that students are aware of how our country and identity have been shaped by key moments in our past.” Like her, I agree that this measure, to make sure all students are given the opportunity to study New Zealand’s history, will help build an Aotearoa New Zealand that better understands itself. I have ancestors who came here in the 1840s, in the 1890s, in 1905, and the 1920s. Their stories will be made more real to my children and my later descendants if they are guided to find out themselves how all this came to be, and how they came to be New Zealanders. By teaching major themes such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, immigration, the wars and our role in the Pacific, students will

learn about New Zealand’s history but also about themselves. Under the proposed new curriculum, teachers will be encouraged to look for local contexts to teach this history. I hope every New Zealand student studying our history feels a sense of pride. Not pride in everything that has happened in the past, but pride in the honesty and the clarity with which we are now, as a mature nation, able to look at our past and recognise it as part of our journey to the present. We need to look at our past and say not ‘this was bad’ or ‘this was good’. We need to say ‘this was’ and ‘here is what we learn from it’. And where appropriate: ‘here’s how we make amends’. The Māori word for past, ‘mua’ puts the past in front of us in the same way that in English if a thing is ‘before’ us, it is something we face. The past needs to constantly inform our thinking and our decisions now so our future can be more peaceful and more prosperous. I saw this thinking at Waitangi this year. I have unbounded admiration for the teachers who will take on this new role as teachers of New Zealand history. I want to take this opportunity to thank all teachers in this electorate. Their commitment and willingness to continue teaching and learning through teaching will be of lasting benefit to Aotearoa New Zealand. In turn, their teaching of students will make us a stronger nation because we will be a nation that better understands itself. — Camilla Belich

Camilla Belich is a Labour list MP based in Epsom

Camilla Belich Labour List MP

Get in touch: camilla.belich@parliament.govt.nz Freepost PO Box 18 888 Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160 /CamillaBelichLabour

Authorised by Camilla Belich MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

the hobson 20


the politician

The Richness of History

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’ve always loved exploring history since spending sunny afternoons in John Hellner’s classes at Grammar, where we studied the English Civil War and the rise of parliament. I remember writing that parliament had Charles ‘by the short and curlies’, and being told off for impertinence – quite rightly so. Not much New Zealand history featured in my schooling. In fact, I first encountered it fully in my second year at the University of Auckland, with thundering, righteous and inspiring lectures from Judith Binney. The following year, Russell Stone came out of retirement to deliver a paper on Auckland’s history, which brought local history to life with trouble and strife. Now, like many locals, I’ll walk up Ōhinerau Mt Hobson and show my children the shells in the soil at various points, the kūmara pits, the evidence of terracing and defences, and talk about the contested nature of the Auckland isthmus – Tāmakimakau-rau – and the many battles fought on its hills and shores. Who can be surprised? It’s beautiful territory. We can also look down from there to see the Ellerslie Racecourse on land once owned by pioneer Robert Graham, or to the lands around Dilworth School left by James Dilworth to fund education, or to Cornwall Park, left to the city by John Logan Campbell. Those men and their families all had amazing stories of pioneer entrepreneurism and helped shaped the city we enjoy today. We can look down to Hobson Bay, half of which James Fletcher wanted to reclaim so that the city could relocate the university there, with playing fields. That didn’t happen. Casting an eye over to Newmarket we can just make out the remnants of the Lion Breweries on Khyber Pass that once lent the area a yeasty smell. Great enterprises come and go. Now the land houses engineering students and many carparks. As Minister of Tertiary Education in 2017 it was very easy to wind up the vicechancellor by suggesting that any institution that could afford to buy half of Newmarket and leave most of it empty for years clearly has more money than it needs. Most of my career before entering Parliament was spent

working as a historian, writing books on businesses and entrepreneurs, but also on some local Māori history – one on Te Hemara Tauhia, a Ngāti Rongo chief, another on Puketutu Is in the Manukau Harbour. So, I’m very glad that the government is emphasising the importance of history as a subject and ensuring that a local element is included in it. A draft curriculum has been released and is open for consultation. I’m not particularly happy with the narrowness of its focus. It puts forward three big ideas that will form the basis of the course every year from the start of school until the end. Year in, year out, students will be revisiting these same ideas. These are: Māori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand; colonisation and its consequences have been central to our history for the past 200 years and continue to influence all aspects of New Zealand society; and that the course of Aotearoa New Zealand’s history has been shaped by the exercise and effects of power. Of course, Māori history and the effects and impact of colonisation are massive themes in our history. Equally massive historical themes have been the need for Kiwis to make a living far from markets, with entrepreneurism and innovation jostling with the ever-present fear of being shut out by protectionist big countries. As has been a desire to defend the freedoms we have inherited and developed from the threats of fascism and communism; as has been the steady extension of the reach of governments into our lives. There are many big ideas, but year in, year out our students will focus on Māori history and the effects of colonisation. Our history is rich and fascinating. Let’s keep it broad so that our kids are intrigued, interested and inspired. I’d encourage you to submit on the proposals by searching for ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories’. — Paul Goldsmith Paul Goldsmith is a National list MP based in Epsom

Paul Goldsmith

National List MP Based in Epsom 107 Great South Road, Greenlane 09 524 4930 paul.goldsmith@parliament.govt.nz paulgoldsmith.co.nz paulgoldsmithnz

Funded by the Parliamentary Service. Authorised by Paul Goldsmith MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

the hobson 21


the arriviste

The Scales of Justice

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should warn you the story that follows isn’t for the fainthearted or tender of years and sensibility. It involves death, disappearance and an unsettling and unsolved mystery — none of these the sort of things I’d have expected to confront here in unruffled Remuera. There had been no signs of sudden violence or indeed crime of any sort in our mostly-sleepy little street till now. My wife and I were even beginning to relax a little about having moved up a socio-economic notch or two into a fancier part of town. I had always been keen to live in these parts, but wondered if I’d pass the audition. Then somehow we slipped through and now I doubt we’ll ever leave, though our cat is still adjusting to the haughty new cat company in the street. There are fights in the night and patches of fur on the lawn next morning. But so far, no deaths or disappearances in cat world. Well, none that I know of. Anyway, the tale I’m about to tell doesn’t involve felines, though there is a possibility it could. I’ll never really know. All I do know is that one day we had three happy goldfish, darting about in their lovely outdoor pond. And then we had none. It had been a dream of mine, before we found our new house here in the south-east of the city, that we’d settle on a place with a garden that might accommodate some fish. The bigger the better I thought. I had hoped for two or three metre-long carp in a dark, deep pond, but in the end settled for three medium-sized goldfish in a large antique concrete urn. They seemed happy enough in there. It’s all planted with aquatic greenery and I refresh the water now and then, while being duly sensitive to Auckland’s never-ending water shortages. Those fish were so happy that sometimes I’d see them frolicking at the water’s surface, not unlike dolphins, though with more gold and less size.

But never again will those happy fishes carelessly leap for joy, or whatever it was they were doing. For, one recent morning, as is my habit, I went out to give them a few breakfast fish flakes first thing and found one of my glittering pets lying dry and glassy-eyed on the gravel next to the urn. The other fish looked fine and didn’t seem particularly disturbed, but I was. Though not as disturbed as I was the next morning when I went out to feed the survivors and found them also gone – disappeared, absent, vamoosed, vanished, dissolved (that last one unlikely). And there was no sign of foul play or of them or their remains anywhere in the garden. That first fish, I’d decided, died accidentally, as a result of being over-frolicsome and leaping just a little far into the air, and out and over the edge of the urn to a tragic demise. But the complete disappearance of the other two fish really threw me. Was it because I’d recently cleaned the pond, making them too visible? Was it because they were gold? Are there such things as fish burglars and, if so, would they really nick two $10 pet shop goldfish? It could have been a cat, but it would be hard, even for those animal gymnasts, to balance on the edge of our edgy urn while trying to hook out a two-course meal. Or perhaps a blackbird, but I don’t think they fish after dark, if they fish at all. And there were no signs of disturbance in the pond. The plants were pristine. It’s a mystery that would have the great detectives stumped. Poirot, Maigret, Marple and Holmes would shake their heads in mute wonder. Meantime, I went out and bought four new goldfish. Much smaller this time. So small, in fact, I have trouble doing a head (or tail) count each morning. But so far, they’re all present and correct. They don’t frolic like the old ones, which is probably a good thing. It might be best if they don’t grow too fast. — Colin Hogg

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the hobson 22


the investment

Inflated Views?

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ho of us would have thought we’d ever have interest rates so low here in New Zealand? Term deposits at 1 per cent if you’re lucky and home mortgages with a ‘2’ in front!! Not me, that’s for sure! But even in the world of lower for longer, over the past few months investors have at last started to consider inflationary arguments. The money-market people are referring to this new view as the ‘reflation trade’. This view is in essence the growing belief that short term interest rates are unlikely to go lower from current levels. The enormous expansive fiscal measures – government borrowing and spending — being implemented across the globe will finally and soon result in wage cost pressures as one measure, and catapult us out of the environs of persistently low inflation, in which we have been mired since the global financial crisis (GFC) back in the late 2000s. Now we could have a whole other argument on how inflation is being measured, and we would only need to look at asset price appreciation in the past 10 years to make a formidable argument that economists’ traditional measures of inflation are flawed and have failed to recognise where inflation has ultimately surfaced, but that is for another discussion. The potentially mounting expectation of a higher inflation rate, and therefore a higher cost of capital, is shifting the consensus investment view from bonds to equities and, within equities, from growth to value. A battle of investment styles if you like, but do I agree? In NZ, longer dated interest rate markets have moved

Have your say on Auckland’s 10-year Recovery Budget 2021-2031 We want to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and support growth in our communities and our region. Go to akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget to find out more and give Auckland Council your feedback between 22 February and 22 March.

significantly higher in yield. Our 10-year Government bonds traded down to a level of around 0.45 per cent at the end of September, but at the time of writing are sitting at a yield of a touch over 1.30 per cent. Some of this upward move can be described as normalisation, whereby interest rate levels were thought to be too low in a postpandemic world and this move is an appropriate adjustment back. But the momentum is still higher as interest rate curves in other developed markets continue to steepen. However, there is a huge difference between permanent and temporary policies and between ad hoc fiscal pulses and monetary policy. Monetary policies are flexible with limited supervision, while fiscal policies are rigid, with razor-sharp focus on every dollar, a limited time horizon and the need for legislative approvals and supervision. Hence, fiscal policies are much harder to implement and maintain. Further, if technology and advancement as a thematic were strong deflationary pressures pre-Covid-19, why is this less so post-Covid-19? While some form of reflation and normalisation makes perfect sense to me, the idea of runaway inflation on the back of fiscal stimulus still feels more a potential, than a likelihood. There is a school of thought that forecasting inflation is pointless, as it is just as likely to develop from a not-yet-known source. So my view is that we will have interest rates at low, low levels for quite some time yet. Yield curves will shift around but their trend will be low and flat for the foreseeable future. — Warren Couillault

AK HAVE YOUR SAY


the suburbanist

WONDERFUL WAIHEKE HOUSE TOUR WEDNESDAY 17 MARCH 2021

PRESENTED BY NZ SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

Cooking with Gas

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A stunning day out on Waiheke Island! This is a special tour of private homes from cute and quirky to fabulous architecture and amazing views. This annual event is always a sell-out and is a much loved event in the island’s calendar.

Bus Tour & Vineyard Lunch Tickets $180 per person Save the date and come on over!

Register to purchase tickets at: www.waihekeartgallery.org.nz This event is made possible through the generous support of

n a Friday night sometime in the mid-seventies we sat in the Paremata Boating Club. The lights were dimmed and the room went quiet save for the ratcheting sound of the 16mm projector as it rolled the opening frames of The Hum, Tony Williams’ film about sailing legend Geoff Stagg. A New Zealand film, about a New Zealand sailor – did it get better than this? The film was not just about Stagg, but also his boat ‘Whispers’ and their relationship. There is a moment when human and vessel are in complete accord, a sweet spot is found, and the boat vibrates; sailors call this the ‘hum’. The boat responds to the skipper, audibly. My mother was a sailor, her teenage years spent racing with the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club; my father, in spite (or perhaps because) of being a submariner in the war, was not. He liked to cook: his metaphors were culinary. When something was going swimmingly (too much like sailing for his blood) he would say “Now we’re cooking with gas!” A phrase that spoke of efficiency, subtlety and control. It was also aspirational, and he was never prouder than when he finally installed a bottle-fed gas cooktop, giving him a new way to set fire to the kitchen; when it came to heating oil in a pan, he was the pioneer of ‘set and forget’. The recently released draft report of the Climate Change Commission suggests that we will all be better off if we learn to forget about cooking with gas, saying that ‘In the longterm, we will need to reduce how much natural gas we use in homes and businesses,’ with the goal that no ‘further natural gas connections to the grid, or bottled LPG connections occur after 2025.’ Cue outrage up and down the country and on the airwaves, backyard chefs up in their tong-wielding arms about the future of their small gas barbecue and the big box sausage. Anyone would have thought the incandescent light bulb was being banned. But, as anyone who has skinned a cat will tell you, there are more ways to cook a banger. When tired arms are lowered and the clamour abates, it is worth noting that the proposal is that no new connections will be allowed after 2025. The expectation is that this will allow us to be on track for ‘a complete transition away from using natural gas in buildings by 2050’. So put down your tongs, connect your Weber to the mains gas supply and keep sucking on that gas pipe. Or you could adapt, change how you cook and go electric – Weber actually make a great electric barbecue. For all those who are crying, ‘over my dead body’, there’s a generation coming behind you saying, ‘over our dead planet’. The best thing about the climate change report is its ambition – it is not tinkering at the margins but diving in to the real and challenging changes we need to make. There are some that pine for the days of yore when sailing was a simpler matter, and that the America’s Cup has gone too hi-tech. But it is still about the concordance of human and vessel, perhaps even more so now; the boats don’t hum so much as scream but the exhilaration is the same as that Geoff Stagg experienced with ‘Whispers’, or a room full of young sailors glimpsed that night at the Paremata Boating Club. Some of them can be found now at the Viaduct, if not on the water, then in the back rooms, searching for a new hum. Perhaps we, the natural gas guzzlers, need to search ourselves, and see if collectively we can find a way to make the planet hum. — Tommy Honey


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the plan

On the Fast Track

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abels can often be misleading. The ‘single house zone’ in the Auckland Unitary Plan would imply that only a single house can occupy sites in this area. But when you read beyond the dust jacket, a whole lot more may happen in these areas, much to the chagrin of those residents who took the term at face value. Another misnomer may be the Fast-track Consenting Act 2020. The act is intended to speed through resource consents for projects that are ready to go, could bring employment and support immediate investment. This process allows landowners to bypass councils’ and the Resource Management Act’s (RMA) usual consenting process. The term ‘fast-track’ conjures up the processing of a consent in say a month or two. That expectation is unlikely but what will be news to many is that larger sites with development potential on the fast track may not be up for public participation. A number of these projects may depart from what was expected as an outcome under the Unitary Plan, or other plans outside of Auckland. So far the Ministry for the Environment has referred 11 projects to be approved for fast tracking and rejected eight as not meeting the necessary criteria. One approved for Auckland is the Ryman Healthcare retirement village proposed for Kohimarama. The proposal is for a 3ha retirement village on Kohimarama Rd, where the zone provides for say three-level buildings, but where up to six levels are proposed. This project has been in the wings for some time and was publicly notified as a resource consent lodged with Auckland Council last April. A second project of note is in Dominion Rd: a mixed-use project comprising of retail, office, commercial and residential development. This seems an odd fit for fast-tracking to me, as council should be used to processing these types of applications. In many cases these fast-track applications are going to bypass not only the local council but the public as well. In most cases the applications will be approved. There must be some anxiety here as public participation — even with outcomes that may disappoint — is important. The use of terms like ‘shovel ready’ and ‘Covid recovery’ cannot be a smokescreen to not having genuine engagement.

The issue in my mind is the elephant is the room — in this case, Auckland Council’s desire to deliver in a timely manner. That is, not using an artificial clock to prolong applications. Most of our clients are not concerned with any public response they may encounter, just the time — and therefore cost — getting consents processed. Again this year I hear RMA reform is ‘a priority’. At this stage we are getting ‘circuit breaker’ or bypass legislation which is taking away from councils the very job they are supposed to do. The problem in Auckland is that council often thinks it does a great job processing consents. Truth be told, we would not need all these socalled ‘fast track’ processes if that were the case. Again, sounding like a stuck record, if you want development decisions to be made quicker and in a timely manner, then RMA reform needs to focus on councils’ output and their mandate. We cannot be afraid of change if it is made with design outcomes in mind. We cannot be afraid or more traffic, as that is inevitable. What we should be afraid of is the process being taken away from us because no one will point out the elephant in the room. As an aside and drifting from my lane, I have been following the Trevor Mallard saga. The speaker of our Parliament referred to a parliamentary staffer as a rapist. Although allegations had been made against this man, they were not at a level of the serious nature that the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard alleged. Defamation proceedings have been concluded and a mediated settlement cost the taxpayer about $330,000, with the speaker apologising for the distress and humiliation which occurred. The speaker of the house is the third most important person in our governance structure, sitting up there with the GovernorGeneral and the Prime Minister. As I see it, we would expect the person in this role to be beyond reproach. That is, well above scuttlebutt and innuendo. In fact, leading a ‘perfect life’ would be a benchmark. The position Trevor Mallard holds is one of enormous power and privilege. The situation he created, should, in my mind, have led to his resignation, either by him falling on his sword or by the Parliament voting him out. This has not happened. Does nothing matter anymore? — Hamish Firth

We love the opportunity to hear about the varied and interesting lives people have led, such as the passionate musician and proud Scot whose farewell we planned with his family. He had been Pipe Major for the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and had taught bagpipes to hundreds over the years, leaving an enduring legacy. Many of his pipe colleagues came to the funeral to honour him, so it was an afternoon full of music, bagpipes and kilts. We were also able to add to the story of his heritage with flowers that honoured Scotland. At Aroha Funerals, our personalised approach ensures each family is treated with compassion, kindness and empathy.

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the hobson + st cuthbert's

Leadership St Cuthbert's Style

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he St Cuthbert’s 2021 student leadership team recently sat down to ponder what leadership means to them. The team agrees that St Cuthbert’s has been supporting them to become leaders since they joined the school. Says Head Girl Carmel Ah Chong, “Being a leader means implementing the school motto, ‘By Love Serve’, and putting the needs of others before your own.” Helena Haldane, one of the three Deputy Head Girls, agrees. “Leadership is about compassion and empathy and ensuring that every girl is heard. St Cuthbert’s cultivates you and provides so many opportunities to be responsible and show leadership, and suddenly you are really ready to be a leader.” “I live in a community where a lot of the time kids don’t see their full potential and I was one of those kids,” says Florida Mataio. “Coming to St Cuthbert’s on a scholarship, I saw that there are different pathways you can take, it’s possible for you to achieve all your goals and be a leader of the school. Before I came here, I didn’t think that I would be able to do that but once I was exposed to such amazing opportunities, I wanted to grab them and keep on going.” “I have always enjoyed organising and connecting with people, but when it came to being voted I was so humbled by the trust the girls and staff were placing in me,” says Katya De Silva. “To me, leadership is not a pedestal, it’s about gaining the respect of others and leading from within.” Teachers have played a huge part in these girls’ lives. “It’s a real bond,” says Katya. “The teachers care so much and you get to know them so well. Learning and growing is your responsibility but the teachers are so invested in you – they go above and beyond.” Helena recalls a pivotal moment when a teacher saw her potential and gave her the encouragement to reach that little bit further. It came at a time when Helena was doubting herself and was just the support she needed. “At St Cuth’s your personal best is fabulous, but if you can have the courage and support to test your

limits, there’s no telling what you can achieve. It’s like running a race and suddenly you are there.” Carmel says it’s not just the teachers or the opportunities like Kahunui, the College’s remote campus, but the fact that it always feels that the needs of the students come first in every aspect. She says even things like the fact that St Cuthbert’s has set a goal to be Carbon Zero by 2030 is the school showing leadership and always wanting the best for the students, no matter what. This group of young women are now making the most of their role-modelling duties. In their vertical tutor groups they are making a huge effort to connect with the younger girls, as that meant a lot to them when they were in their shoes. “It’s a benefit of being part of a genuine sisterhood,” says Carmel. “Girls just get girls and there’s an inherent understanding,” adds Florida. Helena attended St Cuthbert’s Junior School and then co-ed international schools offshore, before returning to St Cuthbert’s. She sees a clear benefit in an all-girls education. “I remember being in an English class in Amsterdam and the boys at the back wouldn’t listen, and I really wanted to know what the teacher was saying. I was thinking why do I have to wait for them? Never at St Cuth’s have I had to wait for any girls to pay attention.” Charlotte Berry is Head Boarder and says her door is open to all. “Being a boarder, girls have seen me at my best and worst so there is no room to fake it. Everyone in this leadership team is truly authentic. We don’t have to put up a front and honesty is key.” Says Carmel, “I thought that last year’s prefects did not have a bad day and it was daunting to think ‘how do I maintain that’? But talking to Ruby (Sussock, Head Girl 2020), I realised that if you are willing to let yourself be vulnerable it helps you be true to yourself and relate to others so much more. Be yourself, have selfcompassion, and be comfortable if there is failure, because in life there will be many things out of your control.”

St Cuthbert’s College Principal Justine Mahon, centre, with four of the five 2021 student leaders: from left, Head Girl Carmel Ah Chong, Deputy Head Girl Helena Haldane, Deputy Head Girl Katya De Silva, Deputy Head Girl Florida Mataio.


the sound

The Stormclouds of Summer

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he first sign I had that summer was on the wane was the editor of The Hobson demanding some words, post haste [editor’s note: it was a week after his deadline]. The dreamy days of 30 per cent productivity had passed, and so what should I observe from this summer of isolation in paradise? Summer saw New Zealand as the home of the rave, gig and music festival, the rest of the world looking on agog at our freedom. Meanwhile, the presence of the virus-that-shallnot-be-named meant that our New Zealand bands were the headliners. Never before in the history of our music industry have so many artists played before so many punters and, to be honest, made so much money. The silver lining for a beleaguered entertainment industry. However the Kiwi music industry story making the headlines this summer was not the happy ravers. It was Alison Mau’s exposé of the sexism, manipulation, exploitation and pure creepiness that is widespread in our local industry. It brought out a spectacular mea culpa from Lorde’s former manager, who flung himself vigorously on swords; and a fall from grace and employment from another senior, middle-aged, male music executive. The tales of stultifying, unrelenting creepiness, innuendo and veiled threats reported by two, eventually three, brave women were, what’s the words . . . super yucky. The story was a sensation and the reaction immediate, with many in the industry instantly declaring their disgust and promising to do all in their power to make sure this sort of behaviour is eradicated. “It’s all SO SHOCKING!!” said many. Except it isn’t. What was so shocking was the faux shock expressed by many people who must have seen these things happening at various levels and intensities all the time, by all gender. And said nothing. Since the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll, when music became super-monetised and became an industry, it’s been about four things: music, money, sex, and swagger. “Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” sang Ian Dury. Sex and drugs and money, said his manager. Just sex and drugs, said the hangers-on. The scene is rife with conmen, svengalis and dodgy bastards, some revered. Phil Spector was a right piece of work, eventually jailed for blowing the face off a woman during a sexy piece of night-time gun play. (Personally, I think he should have been jailed a long time before that for what he did to The Beatle’s Let It Be album.) Ike Turner monstered his wife. The list is long of sexual power imbalances and the evidence exists in plain view. Take a look at the hypersexualised videos on MTV these days and ask yourself if that is the idea of middle-aged female music execs? Yeah, nah. The compliant players are also rife. If someone told you to wear a

pair of cut-offs two sizes too small on telly and sing “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” and you’ll earn a million dollars, would you? Katy Perry did. And that’s the rub. This is a world of consenting adults and free choice and personal responsibility. If you are prepared to throw yourself into the self-absorbed ego fest and power trip that is the music industry, you need to go in with your defences up and your radar on. In this jungle both Lorde and Benee have had their parents with them every step of the way. They knew the risks. The first time I met Lorde, I also met her mother, who asked me pointedly whether I “was one of the good ones?” Interestingly, Benee and Lorde have been managed by the two men at the heart of the recent scandal and appear to have navigated past the swamp. Obviously Lorde and Benee were not vulnerable victims and had support systems with them. Lydia Cole, on the other hand, was not so lucky. I’ve interviewed Lydia a number of times and spent a great night chatting with her during a music awards event a while back. After our second interview I complimented her on just how good her record was and how far she had come. She blushed the blush of the century and was extremely taken aback that I liked her tune and her work. She is not a self-confident person. She has taken time out of the business because the anxiety of it was overwhelming. Her vulnerability and fragility is what gives her music such power. To think she was taken advantage of by a much older person charged with helping is chilling. Predators can always spot easy prey. But in saying all this the democratisation of the music business through the rise of digital production means that stories like these are decreasing. Middle-aged men are no longer gatekeepers to money and studios and success. Artists are controlling their careers more than ever — Billie Eilish and her brother make all their records in their bedroom using gear you can buy at PB Tech. Taylor Swift bangs out two folk albums for fun, tells the record company to release this now, and has enormous success. The days of the rock ‘n’ roll music exec dinosaurs are slowly ending. They are becoming aware that we can spot their snake oil, and that’s a good thing. Alison Mau’s article was a reminder to every musician and their parents that the music business is not all fun and fame and giggles but a very hard and perilous business. Enter with your eyes wide open. — Andrew Dickens

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the icon

Antoine's says Au Revoir After close to five decades serving fine French cuisine at his Parnell restaurant, Tony Astle has closed Antoine’s, leaving many happy memories of fine dining and fine times. By Hélène Ravlich

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We want to thank you all for the loyal support over the past 47 years, but the time has come for us to say good bye. You will all sincerely be missed, and the memories will live on from all the great times we had which we thank you for. Although this is me signing off for now, there might be something new in the pipeline a bit later so keep your eyes peeled. Once again, thank you to all.

his is the message that greets visitors to the website for Antoine’s, one of the country’s most iconic fine dining establishments bringing loyal clientele its own brand of classic cuisine, wit and sass for an incredible 47 years. Behind its accolades, anecdotes, celebration of offal and silver service is Tony Astle, a man whose reputation as a chef and bon vivant precedes him. From his early days in the industry through the hedonistic eighties — of which Parnell and in particular, Antoine’s was the epicentre — and beyond, his talent, brutal honesty and dedication has set him apart. As well as providing exceptional cuisine and service from behind Antoine’s velvet ropes since 1973, he also found time to mentor many of the city’s finest chefs who came through his kitchen, including Simon Wright (formerly of The French Café), Michael Meredith and Simon Gault. This contribution along with other accolades were recognised in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List, when Astle received the Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit for his services as a chef. Reflecting on his career, Astle has said, “I was very lucky because I found a job that I loved really, more than anything else and one that just kept on inspiring and inspiring.” That was evident at every service, with each meal hitting the kitchen pass meeting his exacting standards. From its earliest days, Antoine’s Parnell Rd villa, set back on a paved pathway in the restored Parnell Village, attracted celebrities like moths to a flaming crêpe suzette. Television stars and noisy locals Peter Hudson and David Halls were regulars from the mid ‘70s. “They wanted to be seen out and about and in those days, we were the place to be seen,” Astle reminisced to The Hobson in 2017.

Stars brought stars: Hudson and Halls brought along their friend Elton John. One memorable night, Antoine’s hosted Elton John, George Benson and Rod Stewart. One of Astle’s anecdotes about that time encapsulates ‘70s celebrity and the hospo business of the day. “The waiters hated them,” Astle recalled of Hudson and Hall. “If they didn’t like something they’d send it back. I remember saying to them, ‘you poncy pricks, when you can cook, tell me about it’. Peter and David and I used to sit here until six in the morning. Everyone used to smoke in those days and we’d have cognac. I like alcohol and they loved alcohol.” Parnell local Emerald Gilmour has many a happy memory of Antoine’s in the ‘80s, a time when Parnell really was the nexus of the era. Gilmour and Helmut Alba started their restaurant, Clichy, around the same time Antoine’s opened. With its brick walls and chalkboard menu, Clichy was most definitely more bistro in style, “while Tony chose to take the high road!” She calls the ’80s “a truly mad time, when an awful lot of very expensive champagne was drunk. When we went to Antoine’s we’d order RD Bollinger, not the non-vintage.” She adds that she can’t help but admire the discipline and persistence that Astle exhibited not just then, but every year since. “These chefs that are big names around town these days, especially the ones with backers and whatnot, would not believe the size of the kitchen that man worked in – it was tiny. He cooked in a confined space for 47 years and never failed to apply himself with conscientious rigour to each and every order.” After that was done he’d finally allow himself to sit down and “have a drink or three, usually of the best wine available. He had a fabulous wine

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Tony Astle in the Antoine's dining room. Left, vignettes from Antoine's social media pages, including monogrammed butter pats and the 'Nostalgia' menu's duck a l'orange underway.

cellar, some onsite and some offsite, at a secret location.” When Gilmour returned to Auckland from living in Melbourne, one of the first places she dined was naturally, Antoine’s. Her daughter Mimi Gilmour (now a hospo innovator in her own right, as is her sister Sophie) was just ten days old but fitted in perfectly – in a Moses basket under the table, that is. Gilmour and Astle later collaborated for three years in the early 90s on Tatler and its upstairs winebar, Spectator; an ambitious city venture that eventually fell victim to the tail end of the GFC. She is effusive when it comes to her love and admiration for Astle, even though the pair clashed over Astle’s heart-on-sleeve politics. “He is fearless in his comments, perhaps even brutal,” laughs Gilmour, “and he isn’t afraid of sharing his conservative views when it comes to politics. I am a life-long Labour voter, which sometimes meant I was on thin ice!” Gilmour also pays due credit to Astle’s right-hand woman, his wife, Beth. “In my opinion, Beth is the wind beneath his wings. In fact, she was the wind beneath Antoine’s wings — in the restaurant every morning at 8 o’clock doing the books and ordering and even waiting the lunch service when needed.” It’s a long friendship that will endure, but for now, Gilmour will miss her favourite dish, Antoine’s twice-baked blue cheese soufflé, “the first in town and still one of the best”. NZ cuisine champion and cookbook author Lauraine Jacobs enjoyed more than a few meals at Antoine’s, and was able to see another aspect of Tony Astle: that of inspiring and influential judge and mentor. “People think Tony just stayed in his kitchen and helped a few chefs, but he was also a brilliant judge,” Jacobs says. “When Corban’s set up the Wine and Food Challenge in 1991, he was named as the head judge, and did a terrific job for many years in that role.” Sarah, Lady Fay, is another regular whose relationship with Astle stretches back over the decades. He’s almost a part of the Fay family. “He is a wonderful man and a fantastic chef

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"The real fun was when Tony had finished for the night and joined your table for cocktails," says Desley Simpson (above). "That's when he relaxed and Tony the raconteur came out and regaled you with laughter, insight and forthright opinion."

Celebrating at the 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards with regular diner and friend Danyel Simich, who drew the portrait on the front cover.

of course. He did all of our christenings, eighteenth birthdays, the 21sts, the 30ths, 40ths, 50ths and 60th birthdays. We are so fond of him and Beth, and I love how fabulously rude he is to me every time I see him!” A regular until the restaurant closed in December (Antoine’s announced it was not reopening after the usual short summer break), she says she’ll miss her goto chicken liver salad, as well as Astle’s take on crayfish, “which was always the best in town”. “And he always made a superb martini, which I’ll miss very much!” The Antoine’s dining room was also a magnet for politicians. For one thing, conversations could be had without sharing your business (dinner music was ambient and there was carpet). Former Prime Minister Sir John Key lives nearby and was a regular. “Tony is to Parnell what the Beehive is to Wellington, an iconic institution,” he says. “In the entire time I went to Antoine’s, I never had a bad meal or less than perfect experience. Now he’s gone, our only hope is that Tony goes on TV — he’ll make Gordon Ramsay look like a pussycat.” Desley Simpson, now an Auckland councillor, is another who can mark off many special family occasions at Antoine’s. “It was always the epitome of elegance, and that included the whole experience; the food, the service, the decor and the chef himself. He had a standard and never lowered it.”

Asia-based lawyer Cathy Odgers didn’t experience Antoine’s during the hectic, hedonistic days of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but became a devoted regular whenever work found her back in Auckland over the past decade. She has marvelled that “in over 47 years — more than I have been alive — Tony has been magnificent more than once and reinvented his clientele over and over again”. Odgers points to the grandchildren of his original customers coming in as adults, enjoying the white linen, silver service atmosphere and the fare. “You didn’t go to Antoine's to try a new Asian fusion menu item,” she says, “you went to enjoy the old stuff. He even got me to briefly enjoy tripe. It was a very brief flirtation. When you made your reservation Astle had already gone to market and bought your food. He knew what you would be eating and that is why the one-man band survived so many years. “When he wanted a holiday, he would close the restaurant rather than leave it to someone else to run. Yes, you paid for your meal, but he was there in that tiny kitchen cooking it. Every damn night. For 47 years.” p

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the bookmark

The Perfectionist Two local medical specialists pay tribute to a remarkable surgeon

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ir William Manchester achieved the status of becoming one of New Zealand’s greatest plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Manchester’s achievements not only included internationally recognised advancements in skin graft and cleft palate surgery, but also the establishment of a world-class surgical unit at Middlemore Hospital. A long-time Remuera and Parnell resident with his wife, Lois, Manchester’s out-of-scrubs suits were invariably embellished with a fresh rosebud in his lapel. It was a hint of the effervescent personality of the precise, exacting surgeon and his joy in simple pleasures, such as gardening or building a crystal radio set with his then-young neighbour, the late Sir Rob Fenwick, and making each other laugh with The Goon Show impersonations. “We had suggested he write his memoirs,” says retired plastic surgeon Earle Brown of a conversation some decades ago with Manchester. “With his interesting life, huge intellect and an amazing command of the English language, this would have been a masterpiece.” Manchester modestly demurred. But ten years after the surgeon’s death on Christmas Day 2001, Brown was passed boxes of his mentor’s notes and memorabilia. A conversation with fellow plastic surgeon Michael Klaassen saw the two spend hours sifting and reviewing the material at Brown’s Parnell home, ultimately writing Perfection: The life and times of Sir William Manchester, published this month. After graduating from the University of Otago’s medical school, Manchester spent a year as a graduate assistant at the medical school before a year as a house surgeon at New Plymouth Hospital. WWII saw him sign up for active service in February 1940, and in May, he sailed from Wellington for England, a lieutenant in the 22nd Battalion. In the following extract, Manchester is introduced to his future speciality in the relatively new discipline of plastic surgery, treating wounded airmen at Queen Victoria Hospital, Sussex. The injuries were complicated and challenging, which proved a comprehensive training ground.

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n a letter to his father, Manchester wrote, ‘I set out for East Grinstead in Sussex where I am attached to Archie McIndoe (a New Zealander and pupil of Sir Harold Gillies). He is a grand chap and about the best Plastic Surgeon in England today. The idea is for me to stay here for about 3 or 4 months then go East and practice the game if I am any good at it. I may be taken away at any time. However the experience I am gaining now will be invaluable in any case. I am to be here for at least 3 months if all goes well. Of course it’s quite possible I may not be any use at all so please don’t get the idea I will ever do much at it.’

In later years he commented that although his arrival at the hospital had been expected, no arrangements had been made for his accommodation. ‘I was given a bed in a ward with four severely burned RAF pilots, one of whom was Richard Hillary, who later wrote a best-selling book about his experiences entitled ‘The Last Enemy’. These gentlemen carried on their esoteric conversations as if I was not there, and this did nothing for my self-esteem, already at a very low ebb.’ Nothing would prepare Bill Manchester for his re-entry into hospital practice after his time as an infantry Medical Officer. The senior surgeons at the hospital were all civilians, whereas most of the trainees were seconded from the Armed Forces. In November 1940 McIndoe arranged for hospital discipline to be relaxed for those patients requiring long-term plastic surgery treatment so that the wards were like boarding school dormitories. Bill Manchester had little knowledge of plastic surgery and his status would have been that of a junior hospital doctor. He would have been required to examine new admissions, attend ward rounds, see to the general management of the ward patients and assist Archie McIndoe or another surgeon in the operation theatre. The Plastic and Maxillo-facial Unit was housed in three newly built wards together with a dental hut and auxiliary kitchen at the back of the main hospital. The new wards were called ‘blisters’. Richard Hillary described Ward 3 as a long low hut with doors at each end. There were 20 beds down each side, separated by lockers and in the middle of the ward a table with a radio; a piano and a stove. A saline bath (an ordinary bath with a collection of pipes designed to provide a constant flow of saline of appropriate concentration and regulated temperature) was situated close to the entrance. Mosley, in his biography of McIndoe, Faces from the Fire, describes Ward 3 as a fearsome place, often worse for visitors than patients. For staff it was no place for a delicate ear or stomach. The patients had a variety of bandages, splints and flaps. The ward smells were of a mixture of the scent of flowers, burned flesh and the tang of salt water. This was before the regular use of specific topical antibiotic creams and early excision of the burn wound. During the period when the patient was being prepared for skin grafting with daily saline baths and the debridement of the dead tissue, the patient lost a huge amount of weight due to a negative nitrogen balance. The humour of the burned airmen was described as vulgar, coarse, obscene and unkind. This was the scene that greeted Manchester on his arrival. In January 1941, an outbreak in the wards of a virulent haemolytic streptococcus bug resulted in terrible infections, the loss of grafts and more surgery for some of the wounded:

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Ward 3 was evacuated, all equipment thoroughly disinfected. Bacteriologists were called in, and as a result, the hospital acquired a pathology lab. For Manchester, it was a lifelong lesson in the risks of soft-tissue infection. In February, Manchester told his family how much he was enjoying his work. He had successfully completed his first skin graft. In March, he wrote that he was ‘getting the hang’ of plastic surgery, found it most fascinating and had done a number of skin grafts. After a time Manchester overcame his shyness, made many friends and began to feel at home. The workload on all the hospital staff was immense. Most of the burned airmen had extensive facial burns which were treated with free skin grafts, acromio-thoracic flaps or a combination of the two. Many had extensive hand burns which required repair and mobilisation. The previously accepted methods of treating burns were being radically challenged by a small group of surgeons led by Archibald McIndoe. He stated that the treatment of burns was a threefold matter, namely the saving of life, the local treatment of the burned areas and the preservation of function in the parts involved. He recognised patterns of burn injury arising from particular circumstances (the airman’s burn of unprotected face and hands), abolished the use of tannic acid to coagulate the burn and introduced the saline bath regime for extensive burns. The treatment of facial fractures was also changing and McIndoe presented the experience of his team of plastic and maxillo-facial surgeons to the Royal Society of Medicine. These results illustrated the importance of having a multi-disciplinary team for the treatment of complex injuries, an approach Manchester would champion in his career. In May 1941, Manchester was promoted to captain. In June, Sir Harold Gillies moved his protégé to Hill End Hospital, Hertfordshire, where he worked under the tutelage of another leading NZ plastic surgeon, Rainsford Mowlem. His training also continued under Gillies, McIndoe and John Barron, all outstanding surgeons in this new specialty. After 11 months of training, Manchester was selected to establish a plastic surgery unit for wounded NZ soldiers in Helwan, Egypt, where the next chapter of his wartime experiences began. p

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Edited extract reprinted with permission from Perfection: The life and times of Sir William Manchester by Earle Brown and Michael F Klaassen; Mary Egan Publishing. RRP $39.95, inquiries to eg_brown@xtra.co.nz. Book proceeds will go to the Sir William and Lady Manchester Charitable Trust, which supports medical research, the arts and education.


the returnee

Loss and Reconnection A year ago, expatriate New Zealanders started to return to their country of birth, at first a trickle, then a flow as the global pandemic grew in strength and casualities. Journalist Peter Bale hadn’t lived in Auckland for more than three decades. A year on, he reflects on his journey of readjustment.

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iscombobulated* has been my word of the past year, this strange Covid-19 year. While recognising how fortunate I have been to spend that year in New Zealand as opposed to my adopted home in London, life has still been turned upside down. When I left New Zealand to join Reuters news agency, I knew I might never come back to work here: I committed to the idea of being a foreign correspondent. The year I left, Robert Muldoon was Prime Minister – or at least had called the election that ushered in Labour under David Lange. “Poi E” was number one in the music charts. New Zealand went nuclear free. Came a Hot Friday was in cinemas. Although I came back most years – particularly after my daughter was born to her New Zealand mother and I – my connection was to people and a sense of place forged by childhood more than adulthood. I’ve lived overseas far longer than I have lived in New Zealand. This year is the longest I’ve been here for 35 years. I am grateful and feel like I am learning about my country afresh and in love with it, oddly at home. It wasn’t meant to be this way. I came back in February for the funeral of my father-in-law, intending to go home with my Air New Zealand ticket a few weeks later. (That ticket is now a voucher.) Giving his eulogy reminded me of some of the values he had that I associate with New Zealand: belief in a fair go, curiosity. Not long after that funeral came the first lockdown, in which I hunkered down with my elder brother and his wife in Snells Beach. I learned the names of dogs that patrol the promenade, like the duo of schnauzers, Tracker and Kaiser. Like many people, we cooked for each other, tuned in to the Jacinda and Ashley show, and did our best to “be kind”. I avoided cabin fever by curating a column for Newsroom on how shit the Covid situation was in the rest of the world. When I started last March, half a million cases and 36,000 deaths had happened worldwide. Now that’s more than 110 million and 2.2 million. Naturally, like so many, I appreciated how fortunate I was to be in New Zealand and not in London or another place I spend time in, Spain. It became clear that my original home would once again become my home, a refuge. Jacinda Ardern was a child when I left. I guess I first thought seriously about her when she said three words after the Christchurch mosque massacres that hit me: “They are us.” I nearly burst into tears telling a New Zealand acquaintance in London how much that had moved me.

Journalistically, and as a dual citizen, I’ve respected Jacinda’s authenticity, clarity, and the coherence of her — and the government’s — messaging on Covid as I tuned in to the chaotic bluffing and deadly prevarication of Boris Johnson. Of course, that doesn’t mean she and the government should avoid scrutiny from media or that we become complacent. Meanwhile, I fell in love with the tūī, gannets and variable oystercatchers at Snells Beach. I saw kiwi and kererū by night at Tāwharanui. I downloaded the Bird Nerd app and bookmarked New Zealand bird websites. I engaged more deeply than for decades with New Zealand politics, news, and life in general. That meant updating my knowledge. I already admired what I knew of the Waitangi Tribunal, the use of te reo in everyday speech, public discourse and media; the economic shift since I had left before Rogernomics, but I needed to know more. Vincent O’Malley’s The New Zealand Wars recalibrated that period and its legacy today. Looking out at Governor Grey’s Kawau Island every day made it quite real. Dame Anne Salmond’s Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds educated me on pre-Waitangi colonialism, the Musket Wars, and Māori rangatira. Joan Druett’s Tupaia: Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator opened ideas I glimpsed at the British Library’s 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage, and ‘Oceania’ at the Royal Academy, where Lisa Reihana’s In Pursuit of Venus [infected] had a huge impact. That meeting of Cook and Polynesian navigation and Pākehā New Zealand fascinates me in Michael Parekowhai’s Lighthouse on Queens Wharf, not to mention his, Reihana’s and others’ work in the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. My reconnection as a deracinated and Pākehā New Zealander to Aotearoa has touched my professional life. I’ve been doing some work at Stuff and was moved by the Tā Mātou Pono/Our Truth acknowledgement of marginalisation and racism. I don’t mean to come over all worthy. I’ve also reconnected to beaches, Waiheke, Rangitoto, drinking New Zealand wine, fishing, swimming, and getting to know younger family. All of it has helped offset the discombobulation, which has included the end of a marriage. (Cue Benee and “Supalonely.”) I’m a lucky Kiwi and I know it. — Peter Bale p

*Discombobulation is said to be a late 19th century Americanism, perhaps originating in ‘discompose’ or ‘discomfit’. Its use has increased almost eightfold under Covid, according to Google’s search string analysis.

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Peter Bale pictured with a new friend, Whybee the blue-tongued skink, on the Kaipara. (Picture: Matt Martel)

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THE MENU

Everything's Peachy

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he summer has thrown up a superb stretch of warm, but never too hot, sunny weather. It’s been so good that we’ve only ventured reluctantly back into the city for one or two days each week. Both places, home and away, are in the midst of an abundance of very good food choices. Matakana, with the unique stretch of farm stands on the Omaha Flats has supplied me with amazing fresh vegetables, eggs and fruit, and there’s been some great boating weather so fish has been our mainstay for protein. It’s made me realise how lucky we are in The Hobson catchment area to have so many very fine food stores and supermarkets close to home. The fruit and vegetables, and indeed fish, meat and dairy that we buy in those well stocked stores is almost all

as fresh and high quality as my fresh-from-farm produce or the ocean at Omaha. I spent a short time each day, while away, watering and tending to a small patch of garden that we have built in a sheltered spot. My daughter Katie started a new business, Green Shoots, late last year, to supply a selection of seedlings and information regularly to encourage people to try growing their own herbs and lettuces. I bought two kits of her fragrant mix and fertiliser, planted and watered them, and within three weeks we were enjoying the first pickings. It’s surprising how little space you need to grow good stuff and some of the seedlings are also thriving in pots. [Editor’s note: for more about Green Shoots, see page 17.]

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find me foraging in my garden for that burst of extra flavour. Heritage peaches from my favourite farm stand have also been exceptional this year and some lovely Golden Queens and other more hardy varieties will be available right through March. This juicy fruit and the fresh garden salad leaves inspired me to make this vibrant salad with it sweet peachy notes. Nectarines would also be an excellent choice if the supermarket peaches are too soft. I have long been a fan of duck. Too many cooks do not think of using this delicious meat but it’s very easy to cook duck breast, as you should think of it like cooking a steak. There’s no waste as there are no bones and being such a rich meat you only need two duck breasts to feed four. I plucked a variety of leaves from Katie’s collection for this salad – the frilly crunchy green, red oak leaf, radicchio, rocket, basil and of course the colourful herb flowers of chives, rocket and rosemary. Tomatoes give the salad a little acidity, along with the lemon juice, and the honey-baked walnuts add a little crunch. The result is a fragrant, interesting meal that’s light and truly refreshing. An inspired summer hit, thanks to my daughter and the farmers of Omaha Flats. — Lauraine Jacobs

Duck Breast Salad with Peaches, Tomatoes & Walnuts 2 large duck breasts 1 tsp five spice powder Salt and pepper Handful of fresh walnuts 1 tbsp liquid honey 1 tbsp olive oil 2-3 large juicy peaches 16 cherry tomatoes, halved or 4 small tomatoes cut into segments 3 cups fresh mixed salad leaves and herbs (basil, oregano or chervil) A few herb flowers to decorate 1 lemon, juice only Slash the duck skin in a criss-cross pattern and generously season both sides with five spice powder, salt and pepper. Take a heavy based frying pan and add the duck skin-side down. Turn on the heat which helps the fat start to run and then lower the heat as soon as the duck starts to sizzle. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes over very gentle heat until the skin is crisp and much of the fat has been released. Turn the breast over and cook for no more than 2-3 minutes on the reverse side. Remove and allow the duck breasts to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. My son arrived with his family and after getting the boys to help with the watering and then nibbling ‘Aunty Katie’s red lettuce’ leaves, my three and five-year-old grandsons are now fans of lettuce. Quite the triumph, as the children, to my horror, had previously decided they were averse to anything green except cucumber. The herbs are exceptional and you can dial up so much more flavour and interest by adding freshly picked chives, parsley, oregano, thyme, rocket or basil to anything you’re cooking. Salads are much classier with fresh leaves, and the advantage of your own garden is that you only need to pluck a few leaves rather than buy the whole plant for dinner with the inevitable waste. So at every meal you will

Toss the walnuts into a roasting pan, coating with the honey and one tbsp of oil and roast at 170°C for 5-7 minutes until they are crisp. Remove immediately to cool. To assemble the salad, wash the leaves and herbs, dry carefully and arrange them on a large serving platter. Cut or gently twist the peaches into half and slice neatly. Evenly scatter the peaches, tomatoes, walnuts and duck slices on top of the salad leaves. Finish with the herb flowers and drizzle a little of the hot duck fat and the lemon juice over everything with a few extra salt flakes. Serves 4.

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the magpie

A Pantone

Palette

Work it by the numbers: Pantone’s colours for 2021 are Ultimate Gray (17-5104) and Illuminating (13-0647) — solid, dependable gray is warmed by uplifting yellow. However you wear it, use it, style it, it’s chic and cheerful.

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1. Wrap me up! The sensation of being in this wool-cashmere Isabel Marant Poppy Sweater will give a warm feeling about the cooler months. $1898, workshop.co.nz

beauty empire is well worth a serious look: the goopbeauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator is a place to start. $221, meccabeauty.co.nz

length, is reversable for a different look and bless them – it has pockets. It’s $220, available at hej-hej.co or find them in BLOC, Normanby Rd

2. This little cutie looks like a solid allrounder if ever we saw one. Trans-seasonal, work-to-party ready and bang on colour trend. Leo + Be Depot Top in sunflower, $145, Flo & Frankie branches or floandfrankie.com

5. Deadly Ponies Mr Mini Robin is the perfect everyday bag. The detachable chain extension strap, brass hardware, magneticclasp for folding — don’t leave home without him. $699, deadlyponies.com

8. Pairing vintage style with modern technology, the past meets the future in the Adidas Marathon Tech. The shiny mesh upper shows off suede overlays for a textured look, and the retro web midsole offers energy return with every step. $220, adidas.co.nz

3. What joy — Bon Parfumeur 202 eau de parfum is like a cocktail you spritz, leaving delicious wafts of watermelon and jasmine. A sweet $79 for 30ml, it’s the perfect travel or handbag buddy. From Maman, 407 Remuera Rd or maman.co.nz 4. Get that Gwyneth glow without swerving to jade eggs or candles that smell like . . . never mind. The actress-entreprenuer’s

6. Introduced by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, the small Dior Book Tote has become a staple of the Dior aesthetic. Embroidered, capacious enough to tote essentials, it’s on the wish list of many a Magpie. In a plethora of patterns and colours, it’s available from $4800 at Dior, Queen St 7. Linen is hej hej’s expertise. The hej hej Eat Sleep Repeat Dress had a great midi

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9. Cult French footwear label Veja puts their best foot forward with a brand that embraces Fair Trade and sustainable, environmentally responsible practices. Find these Veja Campo Extra White/Tonic kicks, $235, at Karen Walker Playpark in Balm St or karenwalker.com

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10. CASETIFY create some of the slimmest and most protective iPhone cases available and make a perfect team with the Karen Walker Runaway Girl. From $70, various sizes. karenwalker.com

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11. A little on the utilitarian side, but then again not. The Magpie kinda likes that vibe and this shirt is damn cool. Isabel Marant Etoile Madras Shirt in light grey, $629, workshop.co.nz 12. Fight the rays year round with Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense. Bioactive mushroom complex and antioxidant-rich green tea extracts help soothe and reduce UV-induced redness and dryness. Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive. $103 from Skintopia or dermalogica.co.nz

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13. That Swedish house of style, Acne, know a good scarf. The Magpie has this at the top of her ‘Autumn needs’ list. Acne Studios Canada scarf in new grey, $298, workshop.co.nz 14. When asked about his own style and aesthetic, Danish designer Simon Legald anwers “honest, with Nordic simplicity”. Legald’s Turn Table for Normann Copenhagen perfectly captures this spirit. From $1375 and in three sizes, backhousenz.com 15. You may think the timeless Magis 360° Container has been around forever, but it’s only been a shade over a decade. And speaking of shades, there’s seven available in the five or 10-drawer units. $1215 (five drawer), ecc.co.nz

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16. Sentiment and history meets functionality and ergonomics in the Comback Chair by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell. Lumbar support is given, a base or rockers, swivel or legs is your choice. From $1235, backhousenz.com 17. The A.I. Chair is a collaboration between designer Philippe Starck, manufacturer Kartell and software company Autodesk. It came to being with Starck asking the artificial rntelligence software the question, “A.I., how can you support our body with the least amount of material and energy possible?” Wrap it up, HAL, we’ll take it. $595, backhousenz.com

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18. A modern icon with a material update: the Componibili Bio storage unit is now made from a revolutionary natural material obtained from agricultural waste. Thanks to an organic process, waste materials generate a biomass that is similar to plastic. Clever. $510, backhousenz.com

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19. The Magis Brut Armchair is designed by Konstantin Grcic, and is a very cool chair for very cool spaces. Also available in more Magpie-esque colourways, like charcoal and black. $6715 from ecc.co.nz 20. All we saw was boffy and deliciousness and it turns out the creators of this sofa and armchair collection named it Swell in reference to rising bread. Now we see boffy and delicious rising bread that we very much want to sit in. Swell chair by Jonas Wagell for Normann Copenhagen, made to order, inquiries to backhousenz.com

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21. How many men does it take to change a lightbulb? A bird just doesn’t care what the answer is, but is impressed with the two clever men who created the epically cool Artemide Tolomeo Micro Bicolour lamp. $535, ecc.co.nz

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the kiosk

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        $ &!        %  $$$   %

A DVER TIS E HE RE Advertising your business or service in The Kiosk couldn’t be easier. Supply your details, high resolution logo and/or picture file if you have one, and we’ll put your ad together for you.

Contact: business@thehobson.co.nz

Join local MP David Seymour and special guest, Councillor Desley Simpson. Sick of having to wash and dry your hair after every swim? Is your daughter in a swimming squad? Get a Bunbathers swimcap! It's specially shaped to fit a ponytail on top, keeping hair higher and drier.

• more comfortable & won't ride up around the edges • great for girls with grommets —­

Topic:

The State of Hobson Bay

When: 10.30am Friday 12 March Where: St Marks, 95 Remuera Rd, Remuera RSVP:

cap stays down over the ears

• ideal for long, thick hair • metallic rose gold silicone • local Remuera business

www.bunbathers.com Instagram & Facebook: @bunbathers

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You’re invited.

Phone 09 522 7464 or email mpepsom@parliament.govt.nz Please email your questions for Desley Simpson

David Seymour

ACT Leader and MP For Epsom Authorised by David Seymour, Suite 2.4, Level 2, 27 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, AKL. Funded by the Parliamentary Service.

Affiliated training partner

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!

www.rickwells.co.nz @RickWellsSport


the district diary

March/Māehe 2021 3 Keen to learn te reo? The easiest way is by song; join in the fun at Waiata in the Library Whare. Free, every Wednesday from 10am11.30am at Central City Library in Lorne St. Remuera Library also runs Huinga Kōrero; a space for you to converse and practice your reo Māori over a cup of tea, every Thursday, 4.30pm-5.30pm 4-21 The Auckland Arts Festival is back, celebrating the diversity that brings Tāmaki Makaurau alive. The year’s theme is AROHA. Find the list of ticketed and many free events at aaf.co.nz 5 Shake your tail feather under the glitterballs at the You Should Be Dancing disco celebration tour when it grooves into Galatos, 17 Galatos St, Newton. 8pm, tickets from galatos.co.nz 6 ACG Parnell College welcomes you to their open day. 2 Titoki St, 9.30am-1.30pm Sistema Aotearoa, a programme that inspires kids with music, is celebrating 10 years of existence with Tekau! as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. The joyous sounds of a 100-piece string orchestra and a choir of 150 will fill the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, with favourites like “Poi E” and “Maranga Rā”. 4pm, tickets from aaf.co.nz, Aotea Centre, Mayoral Dr 7 Where can you relax and escape the bustle of the city, right in the middle of the city? Tai Chi under the Cornwall Park tree canopy, is where. Free, beginners welcome, every Sunday 9am-10am, Pōhutukawa Dr, Cornwall Park 8 Exploring themes of identity, gender politics, power and the changing role of women Revolt She Said is a docu-film featuring Helen Clark, Alison Mau, Lizzie Marvelley and others. Rialto Cinema, 167 Broadway, 7.30pm-9pm. tickettailor.com 12 Hobson Bay’s water quality is an ongoing concern: local MP David Seymour and councillor Desley Simpson will discuss what’s being done about it at a public meeting at St Marks, 95 Remuera Rd, 10.30am. All welcome

Bring the family to the Meadowbank Night Market for a food truck dinner, then browse the stalls. 4pm-8.30pm, Meadowbank Shopping Centre 18 The Food Truck Collective will be at Orakei Bay Village alongside a pop-up Brothers Beer bar and live entertainment. Lower carpark at OBV, 5pm-9pm 19 The Ayrlies Plant Fair (photo above) returns today and tomorrow, better than ever after an enforced hiatus last year. Wander the stunning gardens and wetlands and stock up on quality plants for your own patch. 9am-3pm each day, $12.50 entry, cash at the gate or prepay online. BYO bags for plant purchases, no under 12s or dogs for safety reasons. 125 Potts Rd, Whitford. ayrlies.co.nz

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20 Find out how a St Cuthbert’s education could benefit your daughter at the school’s open day, 10am-midday, Market Rd, Epsom. Registration and info at stcuthberts.school.nz 22 Happy birthday Operatunity! Celebrate 20 years of song and fun at Somervell Presbyterian Church, Remuera Rd, 11am1pm. Tickets at operatunity.co.nz 23 Chill with the librarians, play board games and meet new friends at Game On Tuesday, held weekly at Remuera Library. All ages, free, 3.30pm-4.30pm


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Please book in advance Call Angus McPhee on 027 929 2007


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Profile for The Hobson

The Hobson March 2021  

Au revoir to Antoine's: our March cover raises a glass to Tony Astle, whose Antoine's restaurant has closed in Parnell after 47 years. The H...

The Hobson March 2021  

Au revoir to Antoine's: our March cover raises a glass to Tony Astle, whose Antoine's restaurant has closed in Parnell after 47 years. The H...

Profile for thehobson
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