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Nelson Tasman and Marlborough’s magazine /

ISSUE 164 / MARCH 2020 / $8.95

Café culture - Embracing the vibe


Blenheim & Picton History Barber Shops WildTomato CEO Coppermine Race Rainbow Rage Suzuki Vitara Shakespeare Snapped Heaphy Track Adventures







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Mike Greer Homes offers a great selection of Home and Land packages available throughout the Nelson Tasman region. Mike Greer Homes has over 25 years of experience building homes that are characterised by design innovation and quality workmanship. The value of our specialist knowledge and attention to detail is evident in every home that we build.The Hilltops If you're looking to buy or build a new home in the Nelson Tasman region, come home to more with Mike Greer Homes.

Contact us Contact us Vanessa Clark 027 733 1409 vclark@mikegreerhomes.co.nz Vanessa Clark 027021 733682 1409 Emma McCashin 787 vclark@mikegreerhomes.co.nz emccashin@mikegreerhomes.co.nz Emma McCashin 021 682 787 emccashin@mikegreerhomes.co.nz Dave Chambers 027 572 1958 dchambers@mikegreerhomes.co.nz

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Features Issue 164 / March 2020

Nelson Tasman and Marlborough’s magazine

28 Café culture Every café has its own vibe, its own specialties and its own clients. Sarah Nottage looks at Nelson Tasman and Marlborough’s unique café culture

34 Barber boys Many blokes – and some women – are ditching the hair salon in favour of razors, scissors and blades at their local barber. Eddie Allnutt finds out more

38 Blenheim & Picton History Blenheim and Picton’s colonial heritage dates back more than 170 years. Alistair Hughes takes a look back at its early colonisation



12 My Big Idea Two Tasman women are hopping on their bikes and taking to the road to raise funds for two very worthy causes. Sandy McKay explains

20 The Interview After living much of her working life overseas to date, Lisa Friis has now taken on a new challenge as CEO for WildTomato magazine and WildMedia. Editor Lynda Papesch finds the company’s new chief is a determined DIYer who lives by the creed that women can do anything


24 Creative Couple Imagine fine dining as a condiment to the spectacular Heaphy Track walk. Alistair Hughes meets a couple who work the magic

26 Event Showcase Phil Barnes profiles the uniquely Nelson Coppermine mountain bike race through diverse and historic landscapes

82 My Education After a slight detour and with encouragement from her boss, Marlene Herewini is halfway through her study towards a Bachelor of Career Development. She talks to Alana Bozoky 4












Debbie Cooper

Anne Hunter

Jacqui Miller

Wendy Lindbom

021 0252 8294

027 630 2811

027 327 3619

03 546 4706

debbiecooper.co.nz 5

Columns Issue 164 / March 2020


41 Café chic Stylist Amy McLeod and photographer Ishna Jacobs set the fashion for café-hopping in and around the Top of the South






48 My Home Spectacular views convinced a returning Nelson couple to build a stunning new home in Bellevue Heights, Ivy Lynden reports

54 My Health In her final column, GP Cindy de Villiers delivers a case study for being faster, smarter and stronger

55 My Garden Nutrient-dense fruit, vegetables and beautiful blooms need healthy soil, writes Brenda Webb

56 My Kitchen Enjoy a succulent raw fish salad aka Pacific Rim Kokoda from Madame Lu’s Kitchen

58 Dine Out Try authentic Thai with a twist at Nahm Thai in Nelson, says foodie Hugo Sampson

60 Wine One of Nelson Tasman’s longest established wine companies Seifried Estate continues to cement its place in local wine history, taking out New Zealand’s top sauvignon blanc trophy recently, writes Lynda Papesch

61 Brews Head to Kaikoura for a few pints of craft beer, music and all round good times, urges Mark Preece ACTIVE

64 Adventure Pete Oswald bikes the renowned Heaphy trail, and meets a swarthy recluse in the dark 6

66 Sport New Zealand mountain biking history will be reached next month when the Nelson Honey Rainbow Rage’s 25th anniversary challenge takes place. Phil Barnes reports

68 Motoring Suzuki’s latest Vitara is throwing out a challenge to other compact SUVs, writes motoring reviewer Geoff Moffett


76 Music The Lee Fern Band has a serious music pedigree, writes Eddie Allnutt

77 Film This homegrown movie comes with plenty of quirkiness and action, witty one-liners, a zany foot chase through South Auckland backyards, mana, a pesky cop, romance and even a smidgen of horror, says Eddie Allnutt

72 Art Sometimes the stars align to bring together just the right people for just the right idea. Such was the case with two of Nelson’s musical powerhouses, Tanya Nock and Ryan Beehre, says John Du-Four

74 Books Reviewer Renée Lang talks to author Catherine Robertson who spoke in Nelson last month


8 Editor’s letter 10 Noticeboard 14 Snapped 57 Dine Out Guide 73 In the Gallery 78 Events


Editor's letter




ime rolls by so fast and it’s hard to believe we are almost a quarter of the way through 2020 already. March is a busy time, heralding the start of autumn, celebrating St Patrick’s Day for all the Irish out there and sadly this year the first anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attack on 15th March at two Christchurch mosques. Fifty one people died that infamous day putting New Zealand firmly in the glare of the international terrorism spotlight, but at the same time uniting this country’s moral and ethical people against such hatred and racism. Throughout our history – especially during the nation’s early development – there have been many clashes of different sorts over real and perceived grievances and some, such as the historic Wairau Affray, have turned deadly. Despite this, New Zealanders have stepped up, united and moved on to develop a solid, steadfast nation with a multi-cultural population. Even the early settlers in Picton and Blenheim worked together to sort their differences and develop what is now known as Marlborough. Check out on page 38 what went on during the last 170 years. Our main feature this month is about café culture and who doesn’t enjoy an espresso and a piece of sugar-free slice? The Top of the South has a huge range of café options catering for all walks of life, all ages and all stages so check them out on the following pages and in person. Maybe the girls can get together for coffee and cake while the guys head for a trim and some ‘beardscaping’ at one of the interesting local barber shops. Throughout New Zealand, including right across Nelson Tasman and Marlborough, old-style barber shops are enjoying a resurgence with a contemporary twist and there’s more about that in the following pages too. Elsewhere there’s the usual interesting columns and interviews so pick up your WildTomato, order that flat white, Americano or pot of English breakfast tea and take time out of your busy day to relax and enjoy.

Lynda Papesch 021 073 2786 lynda@wildtomato.co.nz

Lisa Friis 021 0879 4411 lisa@wildtomato.co.nz

Design & art direction Hester Janssen design@wildtomato.co.nz


Eddie Allnutt, Phil Barnes, Alana Bozoky, Chelsea Chang, Elora Chang, Cindy de Villiers, Maureen Dewar, Carries Dobbs, John Du Four, Lisa Duncan, Bob Irvine, Ishna Jacobs, Aimee Jules, Alistair Hughes, Steve Hussey, Henry Jaine, Renée Lang, Sarah La Touche, Ivy Lynden, Brent McGilvary, Sandy McKay, Amy McLeod, Geoff Moffett, Sarah Nottage, Pete Oswald, Mark Preece, Hugo Sampson, Adena Teka, Brenda Webb, Dominque White.

Advertising executives Jo Hender 021 264 7559 jo@wildtomato.co.nz Wendy Rankin 027 221 6969 wendy@wildtomato.co.nz Carrie Frew 021 190 7120 carrie@wildtomato.co.nz

Lead ad designer Patrick Connor production@wildtomato.co.nz

Subscriptions $75 for 12 issues wildtomato.co.nz/subscribe



Jack Martin WildTomato Media Ltd The Boiler Room, 204 Hardy St, Nelson 7010 PO Box 1901 Nelson 7040 info@wildtomato.co.nz wildtomato.co.nz Read online at issuu.com/wildtomato

Love local

WildTomato magazine is subject to copyright in its entirety and its contents may not be reproduced in any form, either wholly or in part, without written permission. The opinions expressed in WildTomato magazine are not necessarily those of WildTomato Media Ltd or its principals.

Heading to Marchfest


opular Lyttleton band The Eastern (pictured) is one of the feature acts at this year’s Marchfest on Saturday 14th March at Founders Heritage Park. Celebrating its 13th year, Marchfest is a unique craft beer and music festival held annually in Nelson. Unlike ordinary beer festivals, all the beers available at Marchfest have been specially commissioned for the event and have never previously been


tasted by the public. Last year was the biggest Marchfest yet, with a sell-out crowd of more than 4000 people enjoying the one-day event. Marchfest is the keynote event of Nelson Beer Week (NBW) now in its third year. Last year over 25 fun beer-related events were held across different venues, involving great beers from Kiwi breweries all over the country.

Cover photography by Ishna Jacobs and styled by Amy McLeod, check out page 41 of Fashion for where you can get the look

WildTomato magazine is printed by Blue Star Group (New Zealand) Limited using, vegetable based inks and environmentally responsible paper. Printed on Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified stocks, papers made of Mixed Source pulp from Responsible Sources.

Contributor spotlight A L I S TA I R H U G H E S

Blenheim & Picton 170th (page 38) It has taken decades, but I’ve finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Golden Bay. Usually slightly better with deadlines, I’m a writer and graphic artist who spent many years with Fairfax Media, and am now a ‘pen for hire’. My love of words, graphics and classic film combined recently for my first book, Infogothic: An Unauthorised Graphic Guide to Hammer Horror, (Telos Publishing, UK). When not balancing a cat on my lap while at my keyboard, I’m usually out exploring, with adventurous new friends who’ve taken us under their wings. In this issue I look back at the history and development of Blenheim and Picton.


Snapped photography (pages 18 & 19) Café culture (page 28) I am a Nelson-based commercial photographer. In the words of Matilda, my stepdaughter; “Steve has a vibrant mind and he is always creating beautiful music and photos. He makes your day a very treasured time and he is an hilarious, adventurous guy. He has won many photography awards and they are still clogging up the post. His heart is full of love for life, family, music, adventure, photography and especially coffee. This is the one and only Steve Hussey!!” I live in Stoke with my partner Sarah Nottage and we are raising four very cool kids.

Selling your property?

Each week over 859,000* New Zealanders read the Property Press.

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Ask your real estate professional about Property Press. S A R A H N OT TA G E

Café culture feature (page 28) I have always had wanderlust and after university I was part of Helen Clark’s ‘Brain Drain’. Living in big cities and crazy places gave me perspective. Firstly, that Nelson is an utterly incredible place to visit and live. Secondly, that it is very easy to become complacent about living in an utterly incredible place. My partner Steve Hussey and I are raising four children together whilst growing our photography business and going on as many adventures as we can in order to explore. We are ready and willing to push our comfort levels and boundaries along the way!

Also available online at www.propertypress.co.nz

*Statistics from Horizon Research’s February 2017 survey, 2066 respondents aged 18+, weighted to represent the New Zealand national adult population. The survey has a maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level of +2.2% overall.



Donate your pre-loved sports gear


udos to Cadbury in New Zealand for re-inventing Britain’s 2003 purple locker scheme which collects pre-loved sports gear and redistributes it to needy young people. All you have to do is drop your pre-loved gear into the nearest purple locker to be re-homed. Or you can donate by post using the virtual locker and free pre-paid courier label available via the Cadbury website. Purple kit boxes across the Top of the South may be found at: F45 Nelson, 101 Bridge Street, Nelson, F45 Richmond, 15 Sundial Square, Richmond, F45 Training Motueka, 201 High Street, Motueka, Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000, Kinross Street, Blenheim

G I V E AWAY Thanks to HarperCollins, we have a copy of Life as a Casketeer to give away to one lucky reader

Y Disabled Nelson sailors take on Wellington


ell done to the four young disabled Nelson sailors who competed in the 2020 National Hansa Regatta in Wellington from 21 to 23 February. Accompanied by parents and with Sailability Nelson Trust support, the sailors exceeded the trust’s goals, says chairman John MacDuff. Sailability Nelson is a charitable trust set up five years ago to enable disabled Nelsonians to experience sailing. From October to April it sails from the Nelson Yacht Club every second Sunday, weather permitting. Visit the website www.sailabilitynelson.org.nz

ou’ve seen them on TV – now read about what the business of death can teach the living. Inspirational, hilarious and wide, it’s a book that will make you see dying, grief and remembrance in a totally new light. Write in 50 words or less why you’d like the book and email by 5pm Friday 13th March to: editor@wildtomato.co.nz

Where do you read yours? Kenzie Biggs reads her WildTomato while on holiday kayaking off the Abel Tasman National Park. Send your image to editor@wildtomato.co.nz ONLY JPG FILES ACCEPTED, MIN 1MB


Fire & Earth:


he Suter Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū is currently showing works by invited ceramic artists from the top of the South Island in its Fire & Earth: Contemporary Ceramics from the Top of the South biennial exhibition. The show is on at The Suter until 22nd March. Above: Cultivator disc sculpture by Michael Macmillian


Summer GIGS

What’s on 28 March Tactix v Southern Steel

8 MARCH 7.30 PM

9 April

Gypsy Violin & Guitar

Giants v Jets

Fiona Pears & Connor Hartley-Hall 13 MARCH 7.30 PM

Boxwood Concert

Irish, Scottish & Maritime Canada 17 MARCH 7.30 PM

Mystical World Music with Monk Party Middle Eastern, African, meditative. 20 MARCH 8 PM

Shades of Shakti

Sarangi, tabla, violin, percussion 26 MARCH 7.30 PM

Lachy Hamilton Jazz Trio Double bass, drums & saxophone

12 April The Dudes

18 April Giants v Airs

21 April Ten Tenors

24-26 April Top of the South Gymnastics

Enjoy the regular concerts & theatre or hire Fairfield for your very own celebration 48 VAN DIEMEN ST, NELSON

FOR BOOKINGS & FRIENDLY ADVICE 03 548 3640 | fairfieldnelson.org.nz

For more info and tickets visit:






Cycling for a worthy cause Two Golden Bay women are hopping on their bikes and taking to the road to raise funds for two very worthy causes. Sandy McKay explains … PHOTO CARRIE DOBBS

What is your big idea? We are two mothers who have each gone through experiences that have impacted our mental health, and we are raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation and a local Golden Bay organisation, Te Whare Mahana.

Why a cycle trip? We are cousins, Jo-Anna McKay and Sandy McKay. Jo-Anna’s son Jack Robertson lost his battle for life, suiciding in late 2018. I lost my son to cot death in infancy. Both events reshaped our lives. This came about when Jo-Anna was making Jack’s favourite mud cake for the first birthday after his passing. Jo-Anna, after having a complete meltdown, decided that from then on she would celebrate Jack’s life on these occasions Above: Cousins Sandy McKay, right, and Jo-Anna McKay take to the road 12

by doing something fun and physical. She contacted me in April saying, “You are the only one I know who would be crazy enough to do this. Would you bike the South Island with me to celebrate Jack’s life, starting on his birthday March 6 next year 2020? I want to celebrate Jack’s life by challenging myself.” My first reaction was, “Why not?” My second reaction was, “Some training will be needed here, actually quite a lot, eeeek!”

What does it involve? So here we are. We set off from Farewell Spit on Jack’s 2020 birthday – the 6th of March – to ride our bikes to Bluff, supported by family and friends along the way. It’s exciting for us, raising funds and awareness of the importance of mental health. This is one friend helping another realise a dream. We are calling it the ‘Leave it on the road tour’. From experience we both believe that the following two things can help your mental health: 1. Exercise is a saving grace, you just need to put one foot after the other. Moving forward seems to bring some comfort to your thoughts.

2. Surround yourself with supportive people who can bring laughter to you. Laughter, even in the hard times, can lift you up just a little. All funds from this Givealittle page and raffle will go to the Mental Health Foundation, who work tirelessly in an area of health often overlooked, and Te Whare Mahana, a local Golden Bay organisation committed to helping people with their mental health. Jo-Anna contacted Rev Bikes in Richmond to ask if they would consider donating one of their e-bikes to the ‘Leave it on the road tour’. Owner Ross Keeley so very kindly chose to sponsor us by providing a $4000 Vitage Vacay e-bike for us to ride and raffle.

How can people support us? By making donations to the ‘Givealittle’ page link below. www./givealittle.co.nz/cause/twomothers-biking-the-south-island Join our ‘Leave it on the road tour’ Facebook page to follow our journey and message us to buy the Vacay e-bike raffle tickets.

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Snapped WildTomato goes out on the town‌




Renwick Summer Concert Giesen Sports & Events Centre, Renwick P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y B R E N T M C G I LVA R Y

1. Richard & Theresa Abernethy

5. Amber Beswick & Andy Fishburn

2. Bess & Greg Colquhoun

6. Renee Foster & Jamie Cooter

3. Fraser Brown, Leisha & Neive Mackenzie

7. Pauline Davies & Linda Cosgrove

4. Bryan Palmer & Mark Davis

9. Pam Shaskey & Nic Mullen



8. Stacey Brown & Bradley Houart








2 Te Pātaka o Wairau Māori Night Market Seymour Square, Blenheim PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADENA TEKA

1. Anita Hira, Asha & Rekha Kothani


2. Heather Moller, Rita Powick & Diane St Claire

5. Geena Te Kawa & Nadine Farmer 6. Mokoia & Rina Pinker 7. Debra & Tana Hill

3. Rewai Teka & Andrea Harnett

8. Jodie Palatchie & Te Ra Morris

4. Asher-lee Rarere & Arlie Bates

9. Phil Reeves & Lena Charters











Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet Play Fairfield House, Nelson P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y B R E N T M C G I LVA R Y

1. Ian & Sandy Phillips, Jack & Gill Burrell 2. Tami Mansfield, Laura Irish, Scott Sumby, Beccy Myers & Finlay Langelaan 3. Betina & John Davies

4. Lucy Ryder & Helen McClintock 5. Roger Dunham & Alli Campbell 6. Sue Bateup & Karen King 7. Philip & Maria Archer 8. Oliver Steding












2 Karen Walker Fashion Event Palm Boutique, Nelson PHOTOGRAPHY BY AIMEE JULES


1. Nic Kidson, Janae Turner & Kymberly Widley

5. Jenny Kennedy & Nicky Hayman

2. Sarah Clarkson, Rachael Brown & Tracy Bowater

6. Nicola Hill & Suzanne Beuker

3. Rosie Finn, Francine Thomas & Linley Taylor 4. Karen Walker & Lisa Friis





7. Katie Stallard & Joanne Morris 8. Amy Cunningham & Renee Wilson







Tasman Bay Cruising Club Social Club HQ, Port Nelson PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE HUSSEY

1. Jefford Flintoft, Pete Langford & Vee Braddock 2. Mike Wright, Hamish McKenzie, & Matt Allen 3. Rowan Boot, Jackie Clemmar & Noel Eichbaum 4. Al Pattie & Sjieuwke Vriesinga

5. Jim & Jill Mills 6. Paul Davies & Jayne Evans 7. Carol Shirley & Graham Caradus 8. Chris Taylor & Bobby Brooks 9. David Selway & Alice Rae











2 Evolve Festival Founders Park, Nelson PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVE HUSSEY

1. Steve Welch, Telitha & Tiana Walterfang & Tino Patelesio


5. Rick & Anne Ussher

2. Charlene Barker & Debi Jones

6. Lori Anne Parker & Sheila Kennard

3. Amanda Fergus, Merryn Penington & Cherie Levy

7. Liam Dunstan & Andrew Stephenson

4. Siorche Harris & Matt Easton

8. Ayaka Okubo & Chris Cund








Rising to a wild new challenge After living much of her working life overseas to date, Lisa Friis has now taken on a new challenge as CEO for WildTomato magazine and WildMedia. Editor Lynda Papesch finds the company’s new chief is a determined DIYer who lives by the creed that women can do anything. PHOTOGRAPHY AIMEE JULES


xperts say that to understand the child, one should look to the parents. WildTomato’s new CEO Lisa Friis is an excellent example of that. Full of praise for her upbringing, she credits her parents, especially the example from her mother, with helping to shape her into the strong, successful individual that she is today. Along the way she faced numerous challenges such as learning to live and work with dyslexia and in male-dominated working environments. With no university qualification to her name, she has risen high in investment banking internationally in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Now she’s using her considerable skills to continue the success of Nelson Tasman and Marlborough’s only local lifestyle magazine WildTomato and its marketing and social media arm WildMedia. Born in Auckland to Danish parents, Karen Elisabeth Friis – aka Lisa – is a first-generation Kiwi, unashamedly proud of

her birth country. Indeed, wanting her daughter Charlotte to have a ‘Kiwi kid’ upbringing is what brought her home to New Zealand and specifically to Nelson Tasman after decades of working abroad. She grew up in Auckland after mum Vibeke married her dad Peter and migrated there from Scandinavia. “Mum arrived in New Zealand aged 21 and pregnant, ready to start a new life. Mum and Dad have always been such hard workers, they don’t do I can’t. They thrived and so did we.” Her mother, she explains is Danish but grew up in Sweden where she went to an elite photography school, notwithstanding the fact it was a male-only domain. In Auckland, Vibeke and Peter ran their own business with Lisa and her siblings helping out and learning valuable skills along the way. “Slave labour,” laughs Lisa fondly. A move from Titirangi to a four hectare lifestyle block at Kumeu when she was nine brought new impetus for Lisa and the start of a life-long love affair with animals. “I loved it; I’d spend all my spare time on the farm with Dad, such a great childhood; I was a complete tomboy.” In the meantime she struggled through school because of her dyslexia, until her mother came to the fore, helping with special tutorial sessions during the day. “I remember saying to my mother a few years back that I would give my right arm not to be dyslexic; that if I could spell I could rule the world. Her answer was that if I had been able to spell, I wouldn’t have had the challenges that I overcame to be the person I am today.”

Photo: Peter Friis

With no university qualification to her name, she has risen high in investment banking internationally in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. 20

“It’s really important to accept and appreciate your imperfections; to know your strengths and weaknesses and to accept who you are. If you can do that then there are no limits to what you can achieve.” She admits that life is not always easy being dyslexic, but adds “while that is part of who I am, it has never held me back”. Both her parents were enablers, which helped develop her own do anything philosophy, DIY attitude and strength of character. “They’re fantastic; I am no longer young but they still have my back.” From her mother she learned that she could reach for the stars and she decided from a young age that she wanted to either be just like her photographer mother or to work with animals. “Mum was capable of doing anything and everything, and I cannot imagine not having animals in my life.” It was her father’s love of geography, history and travel however that shaped her first career move. “He travelled a lot and it rubbed off on me.” Lisa first took to the skies on her own aged 11 when she visited cousins in Los Angeles. “I worked for my parents and around the neighbourhood for a year to pay for the airfare,” she recalls.

Seeing the world

Photo: Vibeke Friis

A few years on she got a job as receptionist in a travel agency and dived headfirst into seeing the world. “I moved from reception into wholesale travel, looking at destinations, putting tours together. I loved it.” While at high school she’d met her future husband Graeme Peacock and in 1988 they left for Europe on their OE. “We went for one year; I came back 27 years later in 2015!” During that time the world was her proverbial oyster. A selfconfessed ski fanatic, she’s skied all over Europe, backpacked around Africa and spent time in Italy learning Italian. Eastern Europe and South America are still on her travel bucket list. Graeme and Lisa spent 13 years in the UK where they were married then a further 14 in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The first decade was spent in the travel industry in a variety of roles, including one of her favourites in sales and marketing for Air New Zealand in London. While in London Lisa also discovered a knack for IT, eventually signing on as Trading Floor IT support with internationally renowned Deutsche Bank.

Above: Clockwise -Lisa at the helm; below - Lisa and her cousin Kate Wilton, visiting from the UK, with Kate’s grandson Noah Wilton Opposite page: Clockwise - New WildTomato CEO Lisa Friis; sisters AnneMarie, left and Lisa, centre with their mum Vibeke

“For some reason IT just makes sense to me. I became the first female IT support person on the trading floor at Deutsche Bank, traders are an interesting lot !” Again she credits her upbringing and her parents with her success. “They empowered me; encouraging me to ‘give it a go’ and to use my initiative. The result is a hard-working Kiwi ethos with problem-solving fundamental to who I am.” Rising up the Deutsche Bank promotions ladder, Lisa became IT manager for money markets trading group, then branched out into IT project work for the bank, helping to develop systems that were rolled out all around the world. That included Sydney, Australia, where the family moved in 2001 and where daughter Charlotte was born. After six years in Australia, the family headed for Singapore then Hong Kong when other Deutsche Bank job opportunities arose for Lisa. “We stayed four years in Singapore then almost five in Hong Kong where I was COO of corporate finance Asia for Deutsche Bank, one of my most exciting roles.” Wrapping up 17 years with the bank, she decided it was time to “come home”. “Graeme and I had separated – although we remain really good friends – and I wanted Charlotte to live a Kiwi life. “My parents retired to Nelson Tasman 16 years ago, my older sister Anne-Marie (marketing manager for foodservices at Ōra King) has lived here for about 20 years and I have an older half-brother John who lives at Marahau. I’d visited often and love the region so it was an obvious choice, family and a beautiful place.” The move proved a huge change from an expat life with amazing holidays, exotic locations and live-in home help to Nelson Tasman and a Kiwi lifestyle. “My sister Anne-Maire was amazing, she introduced me to the joys on living in Nelson, there is so much to do here. “Initially there was a level of re-connecting with family, enjoying Kiwi summers and Christmases etc and no real plans. I needed some down time.” 21

Photo: Vibeke Friis

Above: Clockwise - Lisa with Søren Jensen (Lisa’s uncle) and Rebecca Sheppard on a weekend cruise on Hong Kong harbour; with George her horse Opposite page: Clockwise - From left, Jacquai Patchett, Mel Neilson, Lisa Friis and Ang Kondo at Huka Falls during their road trip; Lisa and her daughter Charlotte having a laugh; Bella playing fetch at Tahunanui Beach

Photo: Vibeke Friis

Six months after moving back, she bought a home and started looking for something she could ‘sink her teeth into’. “I didn’t want to work in finance; I wanted something I could believe in, build up and be proud of.” That’s when Lisa came across Plantae Certified Organic Skincare which wanted to expand into the overseas market. She invested, joined the board and after six months stepped in as CEO for the company until the brand was sold to new owners. In the meantime living in Nelson Tasman enabled the family to embrace its fondness for animals, adding George, a thoroughbred horse, Bella, a border collie/blue heeler dog and latterly a new border collie/husky/staffy puppy Codie for Charlotte to the mix. A call from a friend, former WildTomato manager Laura Loghry, proved the opening for yet another career change.


“WildTomato is such a quality product and there is nothing else to match it in the Top of the South. “Laura was taking on a new challenge herself and looking for someone to fill her role. She asked me if I’d be interested. I’m not one to say ‘no’ to an opportunity especially if it is a challenge so I talked with Laura and WildTomato owner Jack Martin and became really excited about it. Now here I am as CEO.”

New challenges

New to the magazine industry, Lisa sees some irony in her being dyslexic and working in the print/media industry, but also knows that although spelling is a challenge dyslexics are visual thinkers, which is great graphically and subscribes to the ‘get on with it’ business ethos and is fast becoming familiar with the magazine and its social media/marketing off-shoot WildMedia. “Luckily I’m part of an excellent team with an experienced editor and a proofreader. “WildTomato is such a quality product and there is nothing else to match it in the Top of the South. I’d previously flicked through it regularly so when I came on board I was already a big fan. I love its quality, the feel of the magazine and its uniqueness.” While it’s early days and too early in the job to complete the vision of where the company will go, Lisa’s already working on several ideas for both WildTomato and WildMedia. “The magazine is already very successful, well read and a quality product so initially I’m familiarising myself with it and its demographic and then we’ll start looking at how we can improve on that. And the WildMedia offering is exciting and is such a great opportunity. I’m always out to conquer the world! A single parent for over four years now, she’s determined to empower daughter Charlotte Peacock (15), a year 11 student at Nelson College for Girls, in the same way she was by her parents. “Charlotte’s my best friend and my child; she has amazing empathy and is fun to be with. We work well together and she genuinely likes me as a friend and her mum.”

Photo: Supplied

One of people’s biggest limiting factors, Lisa believes, is a lack of belief in themselves. “It’s really important to accept and appreciate your imperfections; to know your strengths and weaknesses and to accept who you are. If you can do that then there are no limits to what you can achieve.”

Her return to New Zealand and life in Nelson Tasman was another challenge to be overcome, but more than four years down the track Lisa couldn’t be happier with her decision to return and put down Kiwi roots. “I didn’t actually think I would ever come back to New Zealand to live and without a doubt I miss Hong Kong, my friends and my life there. Now I am so appreciative of my life in New Zealand, especially when I see the terrible pain that Hong Kong has been going through with the riots and now the coronavirus threats.” Nelson Tasman, she says, is a great place to live. “We have the best dog beach; I get such joy out of taking Bella down there. And if I’m tired of the beach there are some great runs you can do with your dog.” Since her arrival she’s added netball to her sporting repertoire. “I’m very proud to be part of the Rival netball club. I joined in 2016 and just love my netball family. We moved up to Senior 1 last season; an awesome achievement from the most lovely team.” The team is always out to win, she adds, yet the members are all great friends and very supportive of each other on and off

Photo: Ana Galloway

Life in Nelson Tasman

“We have the best dog beach; I get such joy out of taking Bella down there. And if I’m tired of the beach there are some great runs you can do with your dog.” the court. “I can’t wait for the winter season to start. I love the fact that I am still playing at this level and secretly a bit proud that I have so many years on the rest of the team.”

Photo: Vibeke Friis

Family and friends

Having family so close after living overseas for so many years is a huge blessing in her life, she says. And so too is making new friends! “Living closer to my parents, my sister and brother and their families is fabulous, especially now that I am not just an occasional visitor to New Zealand. “I also have some crazy new friends who really make me laugh and we have such good times together. I’ve just been on a fantastic road trip with the girls to Tauranga for the Cold Chisel concert in early February; what amazing memories.” Now she’s looking forward to many more happy memories with family, friends and the team at WildTomato! 23


A great walk on gourmet fuel Imagine fine dining as a condiment to the spectacular Heaphy Track walk. Alistair Hughes meets a couple who work the magic. PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED


he Heaphy Track may be named after a British explorer, but the famous route between Golden Bay and the West Coast was known to Māori centuries before European settlement. The track became well-travelled during the gold rush of the late 1800s, then fell into relative disuse at the dawn of the 20th century. When the former North-West Nelson Forest Park was established in 1965, the overgrown track was cleared for public use. Today it is deservedly one of the best-known of New Zealand’s 10 designated Great Walks. Angus McKenzie, managing director of Southern Wilderness NZ, knows ‘the Heaphy’ better than most, having guided groups along the track since 2012. He was studying in Christchurch for a Bachelor of Sustainability and took a summer off to come to Nelson and work for the then-owner of Southern Wilderness. Two seasons later, Angus seized the opportunity to buy the business. His partner-to-be, Toni Hutton, had also begun working as a guide on the same track, and they got to hear of each other via the ‘bush telegraph’. They finally met by chance on the 880m Perry Saddle. “And that was how it all started,” Toni laughs. “It evolved very organically; very ‘Golden Bay’.”

From rush to bush

New Zealand-born Toni’s own recent background, in the bustling world of London corporate finance, couldn’t be further from the tranquillity of the New Zealand bush. She made a complete 24

“At the end of the trip people aren’t ready to go back to the online world ...” ANGUS MCKENZIE

change and moved to Golden Bay. Initially working in a variety of jobs, Toni then made the joyous discovery that, as a wilderness guide, she could combine her love of tramping and cooking. Those qualities proved ideal for Southern Wilderness. The company’s point of difference is that rather than making do with tinned and dehydrated food at the end of a long day’s walk, Angus and Toni serve up fresh, sumptuous gourmet meals to their guests, enhancing the wonderful natural setting. “Basically, we take people out into the wilderness, feed them delicious things and make it really easy,” says Angus, who honed his own culinary skills working for a few years in Christchurch cafés and restaurants. “Fresh is the key,” he says of Southern Wilderness cuisine. “Everything is made out in the wild, so nothing is pre-prepared (apart from the provided ‘snack-packs’). And it’s all calculated down to the gram before we go, as we carry everything.” Toni adds that her partner is always experimenting in the kitchen. “Angus gets an idea in his head and makes something amazing – he loves food.”

Toni’s introduction to cuisine is a similar story. “I grew up in Queenstown and worked in cafés and restaurants, so had that practical experience. And I’m always cooking at home – like Angus, I definitely come from a ‘foodie’ family.”

Cruising the Heaphy

Southern Wilderness clients can choose to complete the track in four or five days. “Four days are perfect for busy people as we usually run it from Friday to Monday,” Angus explains. “We recommend five days to everybody because it’s a fuller experience.” The extra day allows for a slower pace with more opportunities to stop and explore the walk’s many attractions. “It’s incredibly diverse and every day is totally different.” The walk starts through beech forest and then crosses tussock downs on the second day. Trampers face some hill work before heading back down towards the West Coast, which is full of nikau palms and huge rata trees. “Amazing limestone formations and the wild sea pounding away on the shore are really special; that’s the finale,” says Angus. With no cell-phone coverage for several days, busy clients adapt quickly to a simpler, more relaxing life on the track, he says. “At the end of the trip people aren’t ready to go back to the online world – lots leave their phones in their bags and pretend they aren’t there.” The standard of huts on the Heaphy complements the quality meals provided by Angus and Toni. Built relatively recently by the Department of Conservation, the huts are insulated, double-glazed with solar lights and have big windows with views out to the mountains or sea. An extra attraction has been the 2018 release of 30 takahe in the area. “It’s the only wild release of those birds to date,” Toni

Above: Clockwise - Toni introduces walkers to a giant northern rata on the Heaphy Track; a West Coast sunset from the Heaphy hut; a Southern Wilderness party crosses the Gouland Downs; gourmet paella for dinner Opposite page: Angus McKenzie and Toni Hutton

“Effectively, you are going on holiday with people …” TO N I H U T TO N

explains. “When the first breeding season arrived they split up, swapped partners, moved away … it was a total soap-opera: ‘Days of our Takahe Lives’.” Toni, who also works as a part-time DOC ranger, is happy that the territorial takahe seem to be fitting in with the existing populations of weka, great spotted kiwi and kaka.

Guilt-free reward

At the end of the walk a driver meets the party at Kohaihai and takes everyone back to Nelson. “We drive back through the spectacular Buller Gorge to Murchison for the most guiltfree ice cream you’ll ever have in your life – you’ve walked 80km for that one.” The Heaphy may be its most popular and well-known walk, but Southern Wilderness also offers a gourmet experience on the West Coast’s Old Ghost Road, and the Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes National Parks. “Nelson Lakes is a bit more technical,” says Toni. “The last two trips into the Travers Valley have been turned back just because someone’s probably not been quite up to it, so Angus has made the call. The safety of the whole group comes first.” The current season for Southern Wilderness filled up fast, but Angus and Toni managed to enjoy some rare time at home before heading out into the wilds again. But neither of them would rather be anywhere else. “The Heaphy is a very special place,” says Angus. Toni sums up the attraction for her: “Effectively, you are going on holiday with people – you’re just the one in service, making sure their experience is enhanced in this amazing place you want to share with them.” (See also page 64) 25


Coppermine: furious and fun Phil Barnes profiles the uniquely Nelson mountain bike race through diverse and historic landscapes. P HO T O G R A P H Y H E N RY JA I N E


round 150 competitors are expected to line up for the annual Coppermine mountain bike race on March 28. Skye Irwin, from the organising Gravity Nelson bike company, says the event comprises two main course options, the Coppermine Classic and the Coppermine Epic. The 40km Classic comprises a loop of the Dun Mountain Trail that includes the mineral belt around Coppermine Saddle. At an altitude of 878m, the saddle, unable to support beech forest, is dominated by reddish-brown rocks and limited vegetation. The course then descends steadily on a fast and often exhilarating track. Skye says Easy Trail Services have done a wonderful job upgrading the descent track over the last year, taking out rocks, smoothing crossings over streams and adding berms. The refurbished surface is a further attraction for entrants.

“Easy Trail Services have done a wonderful job upgrading the descent track over the last year, taking out rocks, smoothing crossings over streams and adding berms.” 26

The Epic course is a similar distance to the Coppermine but consists of 500m of extra vertical climbing and is far more technical. This is due to a separate section where the Epic leaves the Coppermine course at Four Corners to climb steeply to the top of Fringed Hill (793m). It then follows the single-track descent through native forest along the rugged and undulating Black Diamond tramping track, before rejoining the Coppermine course just past Third House. Skye says the Classic ride is the more popular of the two. The Epic tends to attract more experienced and competitive mountain bikers.

Solos and teams

Skye, who combines roles for Gravity Nelson of administration along with coaching, guiding and driving work, says the event is divided into several categories. These include single-speed, e-bike, parent and child, family and corporate teams. Family teams must have at least three members. The corporate grade generally comprises workplace teams of four. Skye says teams often wear costumes to add to the fun of the event. “We had a group last year who wore suits, but cut off the arm sleeves.” The criterion for team categories is that all members must stay together. The start and finish area for the event will be on the flat area known as the Maitai Esplanade Reserve just before the campground on the way up Maitai Valley Rd. An ‘event village’ will feature food and coffee for sale, as well as a range of games and entertainment. Skye says children are encouraged to bring their own bikes to the area. Last year included a competition (for all ages) to see who was fastest to ride a single-speed bike around a giant log.



The uphill is on us.

“We had a group last year who wore suits, but cut off the arm sleeves.” S K Y E I RW I N


www.helicoptersnelson.co.nz The games area will feature attractions such as a log-pulling competition and a coin toss to win this year’s main prize – a helicopter trip into the mountains and then a guided mountain bike descent. The event will be followed by a prizegiving with performance and spot prizes, as well as rewards for King and Queen of the Mountain riders.

Fast times to beat

Cash prizes will also be on offer for anyone who can break the existing male and female Coppermine Epic race records. These are held by Kim Hurst, who completed the course in 2hr 32min 24s in 2013, and Tim Wilding, who stopped the clock at 2hr 1min 21s in 2012. The event, now in its 13th year, has been held in various formats since 2008. However, at that time the course was far more technical – with some parts unrideable. When the Dun Mountain Trail was opened and subsequently became part of the New Zealand Cycle Trails Great Rides network in 2011, those gnarly sections became far more friendly. A major attraction for competitors from outside the area is the historical aspect of parts of the course. The section between Brook St and Coppermine Saddle follows part of the route of New Zealand’s first railway, the Dun Mountain railway, which was opened in 1862 to transport chromite and copper from the mineral belt around the saddle. For people seeking further information or wanting to take part, go to www.coppermine.co.nz

03 545 8484 | 027 766 6032 info@gravitynelson.co.nz Proud sponsors of the Coppermine Event

Opposite page: A last minute chat before heading out Above: An uphill climb 27

Café Culture

Our coffee cups runneth over Café culture has exploded in the Top of the South and continues to evolve. Sarah Nottage samples an exciting vibe. PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE HUSSEY


“People send their children or partners out to bring home one of our raw cheesecakes or donuts.” G E O R G I A T R AT H E N , B L A C K B I R D E AT E RY, ANNESBROOK


ith more than 100 registered cafés in Nelson alone, enjoying a cup of java has become an integral part of our identity. Amid what used to be a bland social landscape of milk bars and pubs closing at 6pm, visionary Dutch immigrant Eelco Boswijk opened Nelson’s first café in 1961. For over 40 years, people flocked to Chez Eelco at the top of Trafalgar St for generous hospitality, good conversation, food, music and art in low-lit, bohemian surroundings. A café is a third space, neither home nor work – a relatively lawless space with plenty of room for idiosyncrasy, as long as the operator knows what they are in for. These days, although we are still partial to the occasional custard square, cafés are expected to meet our diverse dietary and social needs. With flexible work arrangements and little time, we also use cafés as zones of productivity. We ask a lot out of our café experience. We are looking for a gastronomic, humanistic and environmental trinity – goodquality food, drinks, service and atmosphere. We want attractive, welcoming spaces close to home or work, with music that creates the right vibe. We appreciate friendly service. We are increasingly moving to more ethical eating and drinking habits as we try our best to minimise our impact on the planet. If we can tick off our To Do list all at one place – buy our groceries, grab a coffee and a snack or meal, hang out with friends and whānau – we are happy. Most of us don’t have time to prepare home-baking, let alone clean the house and entertain visitors, yet we crave social contact and connection. Working from home is not glamorous. There is the procrastination without immediate consequence, mindless snacking from the top shelf, bad coffee and lack of social contact. Hence the thriving ‘coffice-worker culture’ (‘A café one makes into an office where non-coffeeshop work is performed’ – Urban Dictionary). Coffice workers want a clean workspace, minimal background noise, good coffee, food that doesn’t get stuck in the teeth for when the meeting Above: From left to right - Coffee at Blackbird Eatery; post-workout snack at Blackbird Eatery Opposite page: Georgia Trathen, owner/operator of Blackbird Eatery

begins, and a genial relationship with café staff, who understand that we won’t stay too long. Parents/whānau and grandparents want to go to cafés where they won’t be judged by their children’s behaviour; where a visible, secure play area ensures carers have a few minutes to themselves without fear that their children will go missing. They want sugar-free options so that grandparents don’t have to tell porkies about the amount of sugar their grandchildren consumed. Fortunately, no matter what you are looking for in a café experience, you’ll find it in the Top of the South, in cafés such as Marlborough’s Vines Village, Nelson’s Coffee 101 , Bobby Franks, Sublime Coffee Roastery and Brew Bar and Tasman’s Hooked.

Work out and chill out

Blackbird Eatery and Coffee has a unique location on the premises of CityFitness, Annesbrook, and in the heart of the industrial area close to the airport, which brings a varied clientele to their doorstep. When you are pounding a treadmill, the smell of bacon cooking can be pretty motivating. Owner/operator Georgia Trathen grew up in a family who love to cook. Needing to change their eating and lifestyle habits, Georgia and her mother became regulars at the gym, and had fun at home experimenting with cooking raw, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and dairy-free options at home. Having completed a cookery course at NMIT, Georgia jumped at the opportunity when the café space came up for rent in 2015. Blackbird’s cabinet and menu options are both naughty and healthy, colourful, inviting and varied. Their salads change daily, according to seasonal variation and what is in the fridge. “I am always experimenting and looking for different, fresh ideas, which keeps things interesting and makes me motivated to come to work,” says Georgia. Blackbird also offers catering and cake-making services. “I just baked a vegan wedding cake that was so light and fluffy no-one could tell it was vegan.” Posting photos of their food on social media is an effective marketing tool for Blackbird. “People send their children or partners out to bring home one of our raw cheesecakes or donuts. I love how excited people get about our food.” 29

“From the day we opened we haven’t offered disposable cups and I stand by it.” YA R A H U N T, B L O O M , M O T U E K A

sustainable, environmentally responsible business practices. They and their three young children recently moved to a fivehectare property over Whangamoa Hill, where they use all the waste from the café as compost, including the coffee grinds. “We intend to grow seasonal vegetables to use in the café – to bring the farm to the plate. We have two cute goats who are clearing the land and eating the weeds,” says Keira. Their Soul Arch coffee is starting to appear in local businesses. Marc roasted for Marvell St Coffee Roasters in Byron Bay for several years, and knows what he likes. Their coffee beans are sourced seasonally. They have developed their own house blend with Colombian and African beans, and single-origins that they put through their filter. “We love our single-origins; with one type of bean you can taste the origin of the bean. At the moment, our favourite is La Cristalina from Colombia. It has chocolate notes, and we seem to get so many flavours out of it,” Keira says.

A verdant oasis Above: Clockwise - Bobby Franks Cafe; Nicole and Julie Wood at Bloom Cafe Motueka Opposite page: Clockwise: Jocelyn Winters and Petra Van Hasz at Bloom Cafe Motueka; Kylie Fenwick at Connings Food Market; colourful artwork at Bloom Cafe Motueka

Eddie Edwards, personal trainer at CityFitness, says having access to Blackbird enhances his service, particularly with new clients. “It can be quite intimidating for new clients to come to the gym, but if we sit down in the café over a coffee it puts them at ease, which helps me get to know them and put together the best training programme. Having the café adjacent to the gym also creates a really vibrant atmosphere – I always see big groups sitting down to coffee and a treat after a workout. The social element of exercise can be just as important as the exercise. Hopefully they are making good food choices.”

Funky in The Wood

Bobby Franks Cafe in The Wood, Nelson, has been described by regular customer Zinnia as a “ friendly and approachable team who are happy to cater to my dietary requirements, offering fresh, good-quality ingredients”. Operators Keira and Marc Shaw have drawn on many shared years of hospitality experience in New Zealand and Australia, a passion for food, coffee and their love of the ocean to create a funky, welcoming café and exciting menu. “Marc is a cooking whiz; he loves to create and experiment. I have a cookbook obsession – we mix it up a bit and find what works,” says Keira. “The ‘Hippie’ goes off – it’s our big vegetarian breakfast that has a little bit of everything. And the ‘Green Grocer’ [named after the historic 150-year-old building] is also popular; it changes seasonally and is currently a house-made herb falafel with white-bean hummus, garden herbs, slowroasted vegetables and chimichurri.” The couple have clear long-term goals for Bobby Franks and their coffee-roasting company, Soul Arch, aligned with 30

Bloom Cafe Motueka was created with integrity and experience by operators Yara Hunt and Aaron Banks, who met as teenagers while studying cookery in Christchurch. Walking under the pink arch along the path to Bloom, you feel like you have discovered a secret treasure. The conventional High St gives way to a lush, calming oasis. Light pours into the café through the large windows, illuminating the delicious cabinet food, thriving pot plants, stunning artworks and vibrant green walls. In summer, bifold doors are opened to create a relaxed indoor/outdoor flow to the sheltered courtyard, which lends itself to leisurely family gatherings over wood-fired pizza topped with local ingredients and Aaron’s homemade sauces. As one customer says, “You go there in the early morning with the sun coming in at a low angle and it’s just like, ‘Oh wow’. For someone who has owned two cafés, I know that Bloom is the real deal.” The food, whether from the cabinet or off the menu, is generous, abundant and fresh, thanks to Aaron’s wealth of

“People who shop with us are more accepting of blemishes on their fruit and vegetables ... there is nothing wrong with them, and they are much cheaper.” SIMON CONNING, C O N N I N G S F O O D M A R K E T, A P P L E B Y

culinary experience and the couple’s personal preferences. “We love food,” says Yara. “We create options that we enjoy eating ourselves. Life is meant to be fun and vibrant so we want to create that kind of environment where people can feel comfortable and express themselves.” The name Bloom has stuck with Yara for a long time. She is big on writing down ideas in notebooks and being specific in order to manifest what she wants in life. She came across one of those notebooks from years ago in which the café was all planned out, with the word Bloom beside it. “I love the idea that we are all capable; that we all have the potential to grow, given the right circumstances. Aaron and I understand that in creating this space we are in control of something that can benefit the wider community.” To promote more community connection and encourage artistic expression, Bloom are organising creative workshops in the evenings. They invite a local artist to transform their blackboard art every month. Bloom do everything they can to minimise their impact on the planet – with no tokenism in that approach. “There is so much on this earth already, we have to be brave and make a stand,” says Yara. The café offers discounts to customers who bring their own containers, is dog-friendly, and has a ‘no disposable cups’ policy. Crockery mugs are provided free to customers who want takeaway coffees. “People can take them home, donate them to an op-shop, bring them back. I really believe this approach is the way we need to live and the way of the future, and I want it to hurry up,” says Yara. “A lot of people walk out. That’s okay with me. From the day we opened we haven’t offered disposable cups and I stand by

it. I do find it hard when we offer a mug, the customer refuses, goes to the next café and is given a takeaway cup.”

Branching out from fruit and veg

‘Promoting the imperfect’ is a core value at Connings Food Market at Old Factory Corner in Appleby. The Conning family have been supplying the region with fresh fruit and vegetables for decades, and are establishing Old Factory Corner as a community hub where people can shop for a range of highquality goods. At the heart of the complex is a deli, surrounded by fresh produce, artisan products, bouquets of flowers, a café with indoor/outdoor seating, a children’s playground and in summer, a Berrylands fresh-fruit ice cream stall. The building was designed to be easily accessible for everyone, with easy parking. “Our intention is to offer high-quality, locally grown produce and minimise organic and packaging waste,” says Simon Conning. “People who shop with us are more accepting of blemishes on their fruit and vegetables because that is what we promote – there is nothing wrong with them, and they are much cheaper.” The deli and food market are stocked with picnic and lastminute dinner ingredients – salads, sandwiches and smoothies, as well as delicious sugar-free baked treats. The café is still evolving and will continue to do so, especially considering the large-scale residential development underway just down the road. They are always coming up with new ideas and seeking feedback from customers. Now that the three Conning brothers – Simon, Toby and Ben – have all moved back to Nelson, they are creating much more work for their parents Robbie and Cheryl Conning, and also building an exciting complex quite unlike anything else in the Top of the South. 31

Photo: Steve Hussey

Service, good eats & great coffee The success or otherwise of a café depends on several factors. Ivy Lynden talks to the winners of the 2019 Kono Dine Out “Best Café Nelson Tasman” Award to see what makes them stand out.


ast year WildTomato’s foodie panel judged Hardy St Eatery the best café in Nelson for 2019. Situated in Hardy St as per its name, the eatery is both a café and a restaurant open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Saturday, and for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with a separate menu.


Photo: Brent McGilvary

Owners James Rutherford and Louise Morten moved to Nelson from Wellington several years ago with a vision to create an eatery with an atmosphere that customers can liken to dining at home. Drawing on James’ experience as a chef in New Zealand and internationally, their eatery food philosophy is creative,


Above: Clockwise - Lunch time at Hardy St Eatery; Owner James Rutherford and front-of-house Andrew Clancey

seasonal and approachable meals from a regularly changing menu, using fresh local ingredients whenever possible. James and his staff all agree about the need for consistency in the hospitality they offer at Hardy St Eatery. “Nelson is a unique location. It historically has a super busy summer season and then we hunker down in the winter months, so it was important for us from the outset to capture the local market.”

Amazing product

The success of this came through forming solid relationships, investing time with all their customers and getting to know them on a personal level, says James. “For me it’s always important to set the tone as soon as someone enters, to greet people to guide them through the experience we have created at Hardy St and to make sure people feel relaxed and comfortable in the environment and then leave feeling better for it. “Consistency is the key to any good business; to be able to deliver the same product day-in day-out so that the customers don’t know who made their coffee or scrambled the eggs. This takes time and is something we are always working on. “Relationships with suppliers are also important. We get our coffee from Revive in Wellington where I worked for a couple of years. I know the love they put into their roasting and the passion Dallas (the head roaster) has for all things coffee. “We are also lucky in Nelson Tasman to have such amazing produce. I start every Saturday morning off at the local markets filling the larder for the week ahead.” James says it’s crucial to be able to touch and smell the produce as the seasons roll on by; that picking produce at its peak makes the job easier in the kitchen. “That way there’s less we have to do to it before we put it on the plate and it makes so much easier for the front-ofhouse to sell a product that is at its best. “Most of all, he says, having a café is about creating an environment that people are comfortable in, where they feel relaxed, somewhere for them to check out of the rat race, to people watch, a community hub, a home-away-from -home away from home where they will be treated to consistently great coffee, food and service.

Experience these must-visit cafés from the Top of the South ... Sublime Coffee Roastery and Brew Bar


reating a buzz on New Street is the Sublime Coffee Roastery and Brew Bar. Offering an interactive experience where customers can watch the roasting process, their effortlessly funky industrial café space is a haven for coffee lovers with a thirst for discovery. Sublime serve filtered coffee, which allows the drinker to appreciate the subtle nuances and taste the differences in single origin coffees from around the world. A down-to-earth family business, Sublime have selected, roasted and blended the highest quality coffee beans since 2005. Passionate about sustainability and authenticity, Sublime have achieved the ultimate — all their packaging is compostable, from coffee cups and wholesale bags to the ink they use. Ph 03 546 9470 www.sublimecoffeeroasters.co.nz

Coffee 101


offee 101 is a small coffee house that packs a big punch with coffee lovers of Nelson, located in the heart of Nelson at 101 Bridge Street .We are proud recipients of the 2019 Kono Dine Out Awards Best Coffee Venue title. Our aim is to provide consistently, delicious coffee the way you like it! Every time! We have teamed up with Allpress coffee and espresso specialist to ensure we have some of the best equipment and beans available. We also offer smoothies, sugar and sugar-free sweets, gluten-free options and a tonne of milk alternatives. We look forward to welcoming you to our little slice of coffee paradise. Ph 022 372 1592 www.facebook.com/coffee101nelson

Bobby Franks Cafe


obby Franks Cafe, a relaxed yet sophisticated space in a recently refurbished historic building, has added a culinary kick to The Wood, Nelson. Selfconfessed foodies with a passion for coffee, owners Keira and Marc roast and serve their own coffee – ‘Soul Arch Coffee Roasters’.

For an early morning espresso, lunch or afternoon sweet treat, Bobby Franks specialises in providing options for all appetites. Their eclectic, fresh, seasonal menu and food cabinet are bursting with deliciousness, and their talented chefs cater to everyone’s dietary requirements. Expect a twist on traditional fare and generous portions, such as ‘The Lumberjack’ and ‘The Hippie’. www.facebook.com/BobbyFranksNZ/

Sublime Cofffee

Coffee 101



ungry locals and visitors rejoice – now you can satisfy your appetite at the popular café, beer garden and restaurant Hooked all year, including the autumn and winter season, five days per week. Ideally situated in Marahau, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park, we have been ‘hooked on Hooked’ since it opened in 2002. With one of the best waterfront locations in the known universe, Hooked offers the freshest, best seafood and locally sourced produce. Hooked has attracted a loyal following, both as a relaxed hangout for a cool drink in the sun and an excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner venue. Ph 03 527 8576 www.hookedonmarahau.com

Bobby Franks Cafe

Vines Village Café & Deli


he Vines Village Café & Deli is WildTomato and the Kono Dine Out Awards ‘Marlborough Café of the Year’ and an award-winning favourite casual dining and foodie destination for locals and visitors alike. Twelve minutes drive from Blenheim, it sits amongst the expansive grounds and lakeside gardens of The Vines Village, surrounded by Marlborough’s world-famous vineyards and cellar doors. Specialising in nourishing breakfasts, fresh Supreme coffee, tasty lunches and afternoon drinks, The Vines Village also has a deli with Appleby Farms Ice Cream and ‘Pour Your Own’ Taylor Pass Honey. Roots Dry Gin and Golden Mile Brewing craft beer are made on site. Open 7 Days. 03 579 5424 www.vinesvillagecafe.co.nz


Vines Village


Barber Shops

Testosterone & pomade Many blokes – and some women – are ditching the hair salon in favour of razors, scissors and blades at their local barber. Eddie Allnutt finds out more. P H O T O G R A P H Y B R E N T M C G I LVA R Y



ur towns and cities have sprouted spirals of blue, white and red thanks to a boom in barber shops. Men young and old are rediscovering the joy of watching the barber’s craftsmanship or reminiscing over the paraphernalia. They shoot pool, shoot the breeze with mates, listen to great tunes, share their troubles and surrender to the edgy pampering of a cut-throat shave. The barbering zenith would have to be the Schorem (Dutch slang for ‘scumbag’) Barbers in Rotterdam, for whom old-school shaves and cuts are a thing of male beauty. These heavily tattooed, gritty ‘gentlemen’ are taking barbering to the next level and have achieved pilgrimage status. To quote one client: “I was here at eight o’clock in the morning, and I was number 30.”

A space to be a man

Nelson barber Kyle Crittenden, new owner of Stormy’s off Montgomery Square, hails from Seattle originally. He says barbers have made a spectacular comeback “because we provide a space where guys can feel comfortable”. The formula works and New Zealand now faces a huge shortage of barbers as a result. In the upstairs of a building that used to be a piano repair shop and wool products factory, five guys, who are dressed as if they are off to an Eddie Vedder gig, are busily creating contours, pomps, smooth skin, flattops, Sonny Bills and Ronaldos. I request a ‘Trumpy’ but Kyle says they are traditional barbers and don’t have any orange dye. He then tells me to slap my name on the blackboard – it’s no appointments – and have a Wakachangi beer while waiting. Guys are shooting pool and throwing darts with rays of sun disturbing their Jimmy White and Snakebite Wright poses. There’s a moose head, an Elvis, a jukebox and guys talking man’s stuff. Kyle says his barbershop could be described as a ‘garage’ or ‘garage sale’ type. “People are being re-acquainted with what it means to be part of a barber shop and what it’s trying to promote. Message: You don’t have to spend a whole bunch of money, and don’t have to have an awkward experience.” Kyle gets the feeling from his clients that they don’t want a flute of bubbly, lilies in the corner, frilly wallpaper or girly gossip. “There’s no need to have one service to cater for two different types of people. Men and women are very different and want different things.” Regular customer Paul Hughson – who’s got a bit of a ‘Chopper Read’ moustache happening – stumbled across Stormy’s a few years ago when new to town and both he and son Brandon were getting a tad scraggly. “I like the way you can sit in any barber chair and get a professional service with a male camaraderie-sided conversation,” Paul says. “You can have a chat about really anything that’s on your mind, or you can sit in relative silence. Up here it’s atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. There’s something for all ages. The foosball table, pool, darts, board games, puzzles and a wide range of magazines – which are all complemented with likeable playlists from Spotify.” Kyle finds guys are not fussy with their cuts but the top requirement for a barber – the difference between a good or a Above: Barber Kyle Crittenden with regular client Paul Hughson Opposite page: Nelson barber Kyle Crittenden works his magic

“ ... we providea space where guys can feel comfortable.” K Y L E C R I T T E N D E N , BA R B E R

great cut – is being meticulous. “A meticulous barber will check and recheck to get the last rogue hair. They’ll get more repeat custom and that’s important in a commission-driven industry.” Each barber supplies his or her own cutting tools like clippers but the shop provides the consumables such as pomade, and each barber will have their favourite brands. Then there’s that signature jar with scissors and combs drowning in its blue liquid (Maurice King concocted Barbicide in 1947). While some guys request vanguards, slickbacks and ‘the psycho’ – many just leave it to the man with the blade. “It’s easy to come in and say, ‘Look mate, you know what you’re doing – just make me look good’. We’re the experts. With that out of the way, you can then go on to talk about sport or the outdoors, or whatever. To me, that’s another reason why a barbershop is really attractive.” Shawn ‘Stormy’ Stormann, the well-known Nelson barber who founded Stormy’s Man Cave, has had a radical change in lifestyle, Kyle says. “He’s now living on Norfolk Island; he’s gardening there. I guess he just wanted to make his world a little smaller.”

Walk-ins only

Kyle says the difference between a barber and a salon is the latter “tends to have more rounded, soft, curved haircuts. They do curling and colours, dyes and washes too, which we don’t. “Typically, trained barber styles in men’s styled haircuts seem to be more square, chiselled and a little bit more robust. We’re looking for those squared edges, clean lines, those masculine haircuts and styles. We stick to clipper and scissor cuts plus traditional straight-razor shaves.” He also says classic barbershops are walk-ins only, no appointments. A barber shave is unique: the hot towels, the oil, the lather, the raspy movements of the cut-throat razor followed by a splash of Bay Rum to awaken the senses and refresh the skin. “Technically they call it a straight-razor shave,” says Kyle, “but in New Zealand, you have to say cut-throat because that’s how you know it. Usually, they take about 45 minutes.” 35

Paul adds: “I’ve seen everything from squirmy toddlers to the elderly and those who are holding on and embracing their final strands that sweep over their shiny scalps.” Cuts take 20 to 25 minutes on average. Kyle says seniors tend to wait longer between haircuts and “can come in looking a bit raggedly”. They are not so worried about appearance, and also their hair growth slows down. Young guys, on the other hand, can come in up every three or four weeks. Kyle explains that in Britain many guys get spruced up every Friday for the weekend. Grooming to look good is quite primal. “It’s been around since apes and cavemen. In essence, we want to look good for the opposite sex and feel confident.” For Kyle, it’s not only about running a business and making money. “Everyone is welcome to come up here. That’s really important to me. You don’t have to feel obligated to have a haircut. I have a lot of respect for this community and want to be part of it.” He’s even had a dad come up with his 16-year-old and say, “Son, if you’re ever in trouble, I want you to come up here.”

Thanks to the hipsters

Moustachioed Paul gives his spin on his style: “I’ve had the same type of haircut for ages now – boring, right? In saying that, I grew a beard – not the best beard I may add – that I had neatened every barber visit. The lads were awesome in making my beard look semi-presentable and shared their knowledge of beard oils and similar products. “I’ve had a cut-throat shave, which was a first for me – a little nervy but it was a great shave once complete. Currently, I have a moustache, which I’ve decided to keep from ‘Movember’. Not sure how long it will last though …”

Catering for all ages

I scan the waiting area to see quite a cross-section of Nelson – but no Tiki Taane today (he got a mohawk here not so long ago). A mum arrives with her young son and chalks his name on the board. A couple of guys look to be aged in their 30s, and a nice old gent flashes his SuperGold card to get the ‘Wise Men’ price of $20. Kyle says the male demographic you see on the street is reflected in the shop: “We gauge our music on whether a six- or 60-year-old would enjoy it. Music that isn’t too specific, to cater to our wide audience.”

“We’re just friends enough that they feel comfortable, and just strangers enough that they don’t feel like we’re in their close circle.” T H E BA R B E R A S A C O N F E S S I O N A L


‘No bookings, no coffee, no flash mags and no loud music. Just a darn good clip round the ears!’ Barbers on Buxton, one of the oldest such premises in Nelson, is proud of its no-nonsense slogan. Owner Olwen Murphy explains that barbershops have done “full circle” and are now back in vogue. “Years ago there’d be a barber shop on every corner of every town, but they reckon what changed that was the Beatles. People wanted long hairstyles, so salons became popular and barbers less and less.” However, barbers are back thanks to the ‘hipsters’ – that trendy subculture fond of checked shirts, geeky glasses and short-back-and-sides, fades, waxed handlebar moustaches and beard care. Barbers on Buxton is like an unofficial local barbering museum. There’s a till that came from Gibbons’ barbershop back in the ’60s, and a kids’ wooden horsehead barber chair that’s getting close to 100 years old and hailed from Brian Lucas’s barbershop. “We have one customer who’s a retired gentleman and he had his hair cut in that chair when he was a kid,” Olwen says. This resurgence, she adds, means that we are getting some “great quality products” such as the Kiwi-made Killer Groom brand with its perfect hold and a scent to sway the ladies. Olwen also stocks a shaving brush made from rimu with Mongolian wild-boar bristles.


BUXTON Affordable haircuts for the whole family

“It’s now becoming that hairdressers think it’s cool and are even putting little barber corners in their salons.” – T Y N I A S H E R I DA N , BA R B E R

Barbering in Blenheim

Tynia Sheridan, from the Barber Shop in Blenheim, says men’s haircutting culture “has just become phenomenal and in the last five years there’s been a huge turnaround”. With one barber in Picton and about half-a-dozen in Blenheim, the culture is a lot different to when she started cutting many years ago. “The barber shop we have was originally in the middle of town, so it’s been around since the horse-andcart days. It’s been through different stages. When I started there, they were employing ladies’ hairdressers ’cos barbering wasn’t cool. However, it’s now becoming that hairdressers think it’s cool and are even putting little barber corners in their salons.” The Barber Shop is ‘no appointment’. “We employ six staff because we like to keep waiting times down,” Tynia says. “Even if guys want a wet shave at lunchtime, they can decide, just like that.” They cater for weddings too and could give the groom’s party a wet shave and cut the morning of the big day. Barbering has become so popular that there’s now an official New Zealand qualification. Tynia reckons it’s an awesome trade for young guys and girls – she has two female barbers doing apprenticeships with her now. After two years’ hands-on experience, and a few block courses, they are ready and can ply their trade worldwide if they wish. “From farmers’ kids to lawyers, I just love the cross-section of customer and my job. It’s also a nice way for some older men to get a little pampering, luxury – their social interaction. Someone chats and spends a little time with them.” Footnote: The barbers’ signature pole has a morbid origin, with the colours representing veins, bandages and blood – dating back to medieval times when barbers were also surgeons. Thankfully, we’ve moved on since then. Above: Product and tools Opposite page: Clockwise - Essential supplies; Olwen Murphy at work; Brandon Hughson takes the barber’s chair

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Blenheim & Picton’s History

A tale of two fractious towns Blenheim and Picton survived a bad case of sibling rivalry, Alistair Hughes reports. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARLBOROUGH MUSEUM


ccording to ancient tradition, Blenheim and Picton owe much of their creation to a giant octopus. The story, detailed on a carved pou (marker post) at Picton’s Karaka Point, tells of Māori navigator Kupe’s deadly struggle with the mighty cephalopod Te Wheke-o-Muturangi. Their scrap ranged from ancestral Hawaiki, across the Pacific, until the combatants found themselves at Te Wheke o Te Tau Ihu, the northern South Island. Kupe overcame the creature in a final epic confrontation that gouged out the land, causing the sea to flow in and form the Marlborough Sounds. Afterwards Kupe continued to explore the new-found coastline, discovering and naming the Wairau Bar ‘the shoulder’ or Te Pokohiwi o Kupe. Centuries later these two locations served as gateways to the Wairau Plain for European settlers, and this year we begin commemorations of the 170th anniversary of Blenheim and Picton’s colonial founding. Opinions differ as to exactly when those dates should be marked. Initial European settlement of the region was set back several years after the tragic Wairau Affray in 1843, in which 26 people were slain in an armed clash between Ngāti Toa and the New Zealand Company over land. When pioneering spirit eventually overcame fearful memories, settlers gradually returned, including two men who were pivotal in the birth of the town now known as Blenheim. 38

Earliest settlers

The Wairau Bar was originally settled by 13th century explorers from Polynesia, becoming New Zealand’s earliest site of human habitation. Around 1847, enterprising Dutchman James Wynen moved from Port Underwood to the north side of the Wairau River mouth and established a virtual monopoly on receiving and transporting goods shipped to the bar from Nelson and Wellington. Wynen also set up a combined store and drinking shanty, whose patrons are described in caustic terms by TL Buick in his book Old Marlborough (1900) as “rough and uncouth bullock-drivers, boatmen and whalers, who … revelled in drunken orgies which are almost beyond our comprehension in these days of comparative sobriety”. The following year, a quake estimated at magnitude 7.5 altered the future province of Marlborough forever. The bed of the nearby Wairau lagoons lowered and the Ōpaoa (Opawa) River became a metre deeper – suddenly navigable by ships. Capitalising on this opportunity, Wynen built a store on the banks further inland, at the confluence of the Omaka and Ōpaoa rivers. Wynen’s outpost became known as Beaver Station. Blenheim’s long and unlikely association with a semi-aquatic rodent from the Northern Hemisphere probably dates back to when future MP Joseph Ward assisted in an 1847 survey of the Wairau Plain. Camped near the future site of Wynen’s station during a wretched day and night of rain, Ward’s party was forced to perch on bunks while floodwaters swirled around them. Ward later quipped that they sat “like a lot of beavers in a dam”. The name stuck to the area like superglue. A couple of years after Wynen’s new base was established, Scotsman James Sinclair arrived to live at the Wairau Bar settlement with his wife Christina. Their subsequent abrupt move further upriver is explained by AJ McIntosh in his 1940 book, Marlborough – A Provincial History: “The wild and drunken habits at … the grog shop moved Mrs Sinclair to horror after a few weeks, and she preferred the unknown terrors of the Beaver to the indignity of living in her new surroundings.” Before the end of 1852 Sinclair had set up his own business near Beaver Station, prospering as a land agent, banker and businessman,

A seaport was a necessary condition of becoming an independent province ... and rapidly eclipsing Wynen as one of the most influential men in the Wairau. Sinclair even gained the epithet ‘King of the Beaver’.

Picton by any name

While future Blenheim was being founded out of necessity, Picton became established for more political reasons. After Governor George Grey arranged purchase of the Wairau Plain in 1847, settlement of the area became a priority, and establishing a seaport was deemed an essential first step. A committee based in Nelson was quickly appointed to select the site. After a lengthy report had been delivered (discounting the Wairau Bar), in 1848 Governor Grey sailed to the head of Queen Charlotte Sound to negotiate acquisition of Waitohi from the Te Āti Awa people. Grey and Sir Francis Dillon, a New Zealand Company agent, were eventually able to buy Waitohi for £300 pounds in 1850. Establishment of the new port did not progress smoothly. Delays in building a road connecting Waitohi with the region it was supposed to serve proved discouraging for would-be settlers. The other factor was the unforeseen rise of Beaver. According to John Hegglun, author of A Life Less Ordinary, formal plans for the township of Beaver were issued in June 1857. It was now the economic centre for Wairau, river shipping flourished, and the growing town had its own court-house, blacksmith and post office. Waitohi seized the chance to re-establish its own significance when Wairau’s separation from Nelson administration became a reality. A seaport was a necessary condition of becoming an independent province, and this distinction could be leveraged to make the coastal harbour the provincial capital. But with another riverbed-lowering quake in 1855 making the Omaka and Ōpaoa even more navigable, the Wairau neither needed nor wanted Waitohi as a port, much less the capital. Trouble was brewing.

A capital choice

Separation from Nelson was granted on November 1, 1859, and the new province found itself christened after the Duke of Marlborough. Beaver, aka Beavertown, found itself dubbed after the Duke’s 1704 victory at the Battle of Blenheim. No time was wasted in creating a provincial council, but sadly, what should have been the beginning of a prosperous union between Blenheim and Picton degenerated into a long, bitter dispute over the title of provincial capital. For six long

Above: Clockwise - Afternoon at the top of Queen Charlotte’s Sound (as it was known then), photographed in 1872; the wharves and Fell’s stores at Blenheim, taken in 1873 Opposite page: In 1982, the Marlborough Colleges presented an original musical, A Capital Choice, which shone a light on Blenheim and Picton’s bitter feud over which should be named the provincial capital

years the seat of local government wrenched from Blenheim, to Picton and then back again while squabbling administrations repeatedly collapsed, reformed, then pulled themselves apart once more. Author AD McIntosh describes this rivalry as “comicopera politics” that “rendered [Marlborough] the laughing stock of New Zealand and helped ultimately to bring the whole system of provincial government into disrepute”. Little evidence exists today of this animosity between the two towns. In 1976, a congratulatory notice from the Blenheimbased County Council, marking Picton’s first centenary, extolled the virtues of friendship: “As Picton, (the thriving Gateway to the South), enters its second century, its future and that of Marlborough County seem destined to follow an even more integrated path, each relying on the other more and more …” Perhaps mutual embarrassment has drawn a discreet veil across the previous century’s mortifying events, which finally compelled central government to decree in 1876 that no-one would have a provincial capital again.

Forging ahead

The two towns have come a long way in the 170 years since that tumultuous founding. Picton is an undisputed major hub in the transport system of the entire country, and as the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds, also remains a major tourist destination. Ironically, while Marlborough’s 19th century seismic activity helped to establish Blenheim’s early river shipping to Picton’s detriment, the major 2013 Seddon quakes achieved the opposite. The apparent instability of the coastal Awatere area became a factor in ending a decades-long proposal to move the ferry terminal south to Clifford Bay, and safeguarded Picton’s lucrative status as the ‘front door’ to the South Island. Blenheim, meanwhile, has always enjoyed the benefits of being Marlborough’s most populous centre, with a strong pastoral and agricultural base. The explosion of viticulture in the late 1980s established Blenheim and its surrounds as one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions, spawning ‘wine tourism’. The marshy settlement once occupied by raupō reed and flax is now encircled by hectares of abundant vines. With thanks to Marlborough authors Ron Crosby and John Hegglun, and local historians Prue Mathews, Alan Simmons, Jenny Pierson, Peter Olliver, Carolyn Lister and Gillian Collins. 39

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ooking for a new home on their return to Nelson, Nicky and Paul Francis set their sights on a section with amazing views when they couldn’t find an existing home to suit. “We’d been told about the section in Bellevue Heights so we zoomed up, took a look and that was it,” says Nicky. Undaunted by the idea of building, the couple had plans drawn up by KAD and then contracted Nelson Tasman-based company Jason Gardiner Builders Ltd to construct their new home. Eight months later the end result is a stunning two bedroom, two bathroom contemporary home overlooking Haulashore Island, with a striking black exterior and cantilevered lounge and a separate office among other stand-out design features.

… hidden behind the ‘kitchen’ wall is a cleverly positioned laundry/scullery and a separate office. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Clean lines and contrasts in the sleek kitchen/dining area A blaze of yellow in the kitchen Kayia admires the view Charred Siberian larch on the exterior Pendant lights in the scenic kitchen Unique natural marble stairs lead up to the second floor A cool neutral palette with black contrasts The main entrance



The exterior construction is of charred Siberian larch with expansive decking for outdoor living looking out across Tasman Bay, and aluminium joinery.


The exterior construction is of charred Siberian larch with expansive decking for outdoor living looking out across Tasman Bay, and aluminium joinery. Inside the colour palette is restrained and neutral to offset features such as colour-changing recessed lighting in the pelmets and black granite counter tops, bright yellow perspex and French oak cabinetry by Klaus at Living Design in the kitchen. Designed to maximise the views from every room in the house, the new build includes two levels with the kitchen, lounge and living areas on the first floor and bedrooms on the second. Entering through the main entrance offers views across to Haulashore and Fifeshire Rock and the wider Tasman Bay while exiting the same way highlights the scenic beauty of the hills above Nelson. The entrance leads into an open-plan arrangement with the lounge cantilevered for better views, adjacent to the kitchen/dining area. Not one for clutter, Nicky had the kitchen hidden from view behind a wall of French oak cabinetry. When open the cabinets reveal the bright yellow Perspex which comes alive thanks to cleverly installed lighting behind it. Also hidden behind the ‘kitchen’ wall is a cleverly positioned laundry/scullery and a separate office.




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While black and neutral hues dominate the colour palette, Nicky loves the splashes of colour that stand out boldly in places. Colourful touches Unusual natural marble stairs brought in from China lead upstairs to the two bedrooms, again with magnificent views and a classic black and white colour palette. The bathrooms are spa-like with black granite vanities and white accents. Home also to family dog Kayia, some areas are carpeted with the neutral colour being dictated by Kayia’s hair, laughs Nicky. She describes the home as a dream to live in, uncluttered, low maintenance and with the neutral walls a great backdrop for art works. While black and neutral hues dominate the colour palette, Nicky loves the splashes of colour that stand out boldly in places. “I need colour, and I love the colour,” she says, adding that she has also planted her first ever flower garden on the section – a riot of flowers in a cottage-style garden which contrasts beautifully against the black exterior.




12. Stylish indoor/outdoor flow 13. The cantilevered lounge 14. Black and white in one of two bathrooms 15. Window joinery provides black accents, accessorised with turquoise ornaments 16. Neutral walls show off artworks throughout the home 17. The second bathroom again featuring black and white

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Faster, smarter, stronger - A case study BY CINDY DE VILLIERS, GP


urther to my previous columns on the democratisation of health and citizen scientists, this story provides a practical – in the words of a 53-year-old male. “I’ve been working on and off with nutrition and lifestyle for health and performance for the last 15 years, dropping weight by 15kg and doubling physical capacity. Those around me would have to judge cognitive performance, but I’m certainly a lot happier. “Having reached a plateau, it’s been interesting to add in the Oura Ring because it gets harder to make big gains after the basics are sorted.”

Oura Readiness Score “What I’ve found is my Oura Readiness Score (an aggregate measure of overall sleep, HRV and activity) is typically around 80%, dropping to 70% if I fall off the horse, or worst to date is 49% after travelling back from Europe. “About once every 4-6 weeks I get a 90% or above and that correlates to feeling like the world is my oyster. Up until now it has been tricky to get a score above 90% consistently. This is a big deal for me, because it gets harder to make big gains as tuning progresses. “I’m yet to pin down exactly what has made the difference, but with tracking my data, I have concluded that it is some mix of cold showers, NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) and perhaps the Ooler Chili Pads.” (www.chilitechnology.com).

Interventions 1. Cold showers: “Despite Scottish blood coursing through me, I’m not much into cold water and have engaged in delaying tactics against evidence that a certain amount of cold exposure stimulates enough just stress for the body to become stronger. However, when Glenn and Harriet from Tasman Performance related 54

that there was a pact from a bunch of their mates for no screen-time until after a cold shower in the morning, I was shamed into action. This has turned out to have multiple benefits including a focus on breathing, a boost in energy and delaying the ‘fight or flight’ aspect of smartphones to start the day off on a better keel. Ending a shower with 30 to 60 seconds of cold water is certainly easier in summer and hopefully I’ll have discovered my inner ‘Wim Hof’ before winter.”

2. NAD precursor: “NAD is a building block of energy (and DNA repair) that declines as we age. Supplementing NAD is getting a bunch of interest from those who have decided they’ll decide when they want to get old and tired, thanks very much! I started getting consistent 90% Readiness Scores after starting NAD, 90% Readiness saw me lumber jacking on a hill for a whole day with a 25-year-old and having gas left at the end of the day. The only way I’ll be sure that it’s the NAD making the difference is to stop taking it, which I’m not quite ready to do until I’ve got the winter wood all stored!”

3. Ooler Chilipad: “I started using the Ooler Chilipad before Xmas, just in time for the hot summer nights. Maintaining a cool body

temperature overnight significantly improves sleep – and thus performance.”

What have been the bumps on the road? 1. Air travel: “Even business class travel combined with time zone shifts had a horrendous week-long impact on readiness.”

2. Alcohol: “A glass of wine costs me about 20% Readiness the following day. It messes with breathing and temperature and all sorts of things, particularly at my age.”

Takeaways: “Having the basics of nutrition and lifestyle sorted provides access to benefits from more advanced interventions. “There’s no single magic ingredient for improving HRV – what works is different for everyone. “90% Readiness feels great and is more important to me than regular alcoholic and junk food sedation that inevitably leads to chronic lifestyle disease.” Whether it is lumber jacking all day, playing with the kids or winning at golf, you can find out what makes you faster, smarter and stronger.


Empower your soil BY BRENDA WEBB


utrient-dense fruit, vegetables and beautiful blooms need healthy soil. British-based Land Gardeners Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld told their packed sessions at November’s Raupara Springs Garden Marlborough that to have a successful garden you must first look at the basics. Making sure the soil has the right nutrients in the form of compost, or a compost tea, is an easily achievable solution, they say. “If we heal the soil then we heal the planet – the answer is under our feet,” said Bridget, who is New Zealand-born and raised. The couple run a successful florist and composting business in Britain but recently have become vocal in spreading

“If we heal the soil then we heal the planet – the answer is under our feet.” B R I D G E T E LW O RT H Y

the message that gardeners can become eco-warriors in their own gardens. They lament a lack of biodiversity and farming methods such as heavy tilling of the soil, the use of chemical sprays and burning crops, advocating a ‘no-dig’ method where the soil is covered and enriched with homemade compost. Alternatively, intermediate crops could be dug in to enrich the soil. In their own gardens they only use organic fertiliser and homemade compost.

Harnessing ‘nature’s way’ Weeds are nature’s way of protecting the soil, say the two women, so they encouraged gardeners to replicate this by covering vegetable and flower beds with compost made by blending nitrogen (fresh manures, lawn clippings, coffee grounds, weeds and kitchen scraps) with carbon (straw, shredded paper and cardboard, young woodchips, dry clippings and leaves). The key is adding clay to the mix as a slurry, plus a little of a previous compost to act as a starter. “Compost improves the soil immensely,” Henrietta told her Garden Marlborough audience. “It is a hive of activity – full of nutrients, microbes, worms and all sorts of goodies.”

The ingredients are layered – like a lasagne – and the clay slurry poured on top. The entire pile is watered and covered, (not with plastic that would cause it to overheat and turn rancid), then turned once the temperature reaches 60 degrees. Gardeners can use a kitchen thermometer to check. Their compost will be usable in six weeks. Compost should be regularly checked and should always smell sweet – if it smells putrid then it isn’t working properly. Introducing previous compost ensures there are plenty of microbes and worms to help aerate the mix and produce a rich brew.

Companion planting The couple also promote the use of seaweed – either whole or as a liquid to fertilise – and compost teas, which are made by soaking compost in water then using the tea on the garden and lawns. Bridget and Henrietta supply flowers to select London clients and grow endless blooms in their Cotswold garden, heading out in the early morning to pick whatever takes their fancy. They don’t follow trends, simply growing what they like. Vegetables happily flourish alongside blooms in their borders. 55


Pacific Rim Kokoda with rice crackers Warmer weather is the perfect time to enjoy this succulent raw fish salad which has a myriad of names and recipe options. BY MADAME LU’S KITCHEN

Serves 4 as a snack Kokoda Ingredients 150gm snapper fillets, chopped into small bite-size pieces 1 cup lemon juice 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 2 ripe tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped 1/2 medium-sized red onion, finely diced 1 avocado, stone and skin removed and cubed into bite-size pieces 1tbsp freshly grated ginger 1/4 cup coconut cream Large handful coriander, finely chopped 1/2tbsp fish sauce Rice Crackers 8 rice paper sheets, each sheet trimmed and cut into 4 squares 1 1/2 cups of coconut oil (this can be reused) Method:

1. In a medium-sized bowl

(ceramic or glass), combine the snapper and the lemon juice together, cover and set aside in the fridge until the fish whitens, approximately one hour.

is hot enough, place four rice paper squares into the pot at a time. They will bubble and puff up. Remove from the oil once they are crispy and white. Set aside on a paper towel to drain and repeat with remaining paper sheets.

2. To make the rice crackers, heat 3. To assemble the Kokoda, drain the the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil

snapper from the lemon juice, mix through the chilli, tomato, onion,

avocado, ginger, coconut cream, coriander and fish sauce. Add more fish sauce if not salty enough.

4. Transfer the Kokoda to a serving

bowl and serve the rice crackers on the side. The Kokoda is best eaten immediately once you have put a spoonful on a cracker to avoid the cracker going soft. www.madamelus.co.nz






ardy St Eatery is situated in the heart of the Nelson dining precinct. James and his small team bring many years of international hospitality experience together, delivering modern European food with personal service. Open Tuesday – Saturday 8am to 3pm and Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 5.30pm. Also available for private functions.



136 Hardy Street, Nelson 03 391 0077 www.hardysteatery.co.nz

109 High Street, Motueka - 03 528 0318 83 Hardy Street, Nelson - 03 539 0282 www.chokdee.co.nz

93 Middle Renwick Rd, Springlands, Blenheim 027 887 4822 - Mon-Friday 4pm - 8 pm Facebook minghettis Instagram minghettis.nz




fter 20 plus years Lambretta’s version two is stronger, literally! All earthquake-strengthened and ready bring you the same delicious treats you have come to expect from Lambretta’s. Daily cabinet selection of sweets, hot pies, quiche, sandwiches, salads and pizza, lunch menu from 11am. Breakfast menu to start the day from 8am till 3pm, something for everyone. Fully licensed, catering, functions. Open 7 days from 8am – 4pm, 3pm on Sundays.


204 Hardy Street, Nelson 03 545 8555 lambrettascafe.co.nz

The Forum, Queen Street, Blenheim 03 577 7300 www.cbdcafe.nz

xperience the exquisite and delicious flavours of Thailand. Our food is prepared from scratch, the traditional way, using only the freshest ingredients. We have something for everyone as we cater for a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet, along with your choice of heat. Takeaways available online at chokdee.co.nz

ue to a devastating fire through CBD Café recently we are temporarily closed.We are working hard to rebuild so don’t worry, we will soon be back, bringing you more yummy food and great service.

ituated in Springlands, Blenheim, Minghettis bakes Italian-style pizza in an authentic wood-fired oven. Merging ancient and modern artisanal techniques, they also craft sourdough breads. Sourcing the best ingredients available and keeping a close eye on the process means Minghettis always offers customers wholesome products, good for both body and taste buds.



ildTomato magazine is offering some exciting new advertising opportunities. Our Dine Out guide features six templated ad spaces which include a photo, the business name, a description of up to 50 words and contact/social media details. All you have to do is supply us with the photo and text, and we do the rest!

Contact: Jo Hender Advertising Executive, WildTomato Magazine  021 264 7559 | jo@wildtomato.co.nz 57


A real Thai gem with a twist BY HUGO SAMPSON

Book, it’s never not busy, which in my world speaks volumes.

Photo: Dominique White


inding authentic Thai food isn’t easy in New Zealand. So many of the dishes have been westernised to suit our tastebuds. The chilli score is often much milder than you’ll find in Thailand, without the pizzazz and über fresh flavours of their exotic herbs and spices. But here in Nelson we have a gem called Nahm. Their by-line is ‘Thai with a twist’ which does allow for a bit of westernisation – clever move to look after your client’s tastebuds. Happily, there are plenty of dishes on the menu that will bring you out in a sweat, and they make sure to pay close attention to this aspect. There is always a jar of fresh chilli on call too, for die-hard chilli lovers like my dining compatriot. So we ate a lot! That’s because there were so many yummy things on the menu, and we just had to try as much as we could. A doggy bag was called for though, and dessert awaits our next visit, as there was just no spare space after all the preceding yummyness. So, three small plates to start – calamari with spicy tom yum mayo, a nice twist on a standard; summer rolls with duck, fresh Thai herbs and a tangy hoisin dipping sauce; and a refreshing homage to a Chinese classic, Peking duck. Our pick of the starters, delicious spicy Thai fish cakes deep-fried in rice paper rolls, served

with lashings of toasted, crunchy peanuts, and a tasty dipping sauce of which we could have done with more. I should have asked. They would have brought more. The staff are so delightfully helpful.

Deckside dining You never have to wait long for anything at Nahm, the kitchen is right on to it, which is fantastic given they cater for take-out clients too. So before long, our mains arrived singing freshness. A stonkingly hot pork belly lava arrived on a cast iron plate with sweet chilli jam and crispy steamed beans and carrots. Luscious sweet and sour flavours with a whacking great kick of chilli (we ordered hot). Creamy tom yum tiger prawns was the highlight of the mains for me. A generous portion of five fat tiger prawns in a

wonderfully creamy broth, seasoned with plenty of Kaffir lime. Loved it! Our third choice, a prawn pad Thai whilst enjoyable and generous in itself, I probably wouldn’t order again as I found it too sweet. The wine list is sound, though not hugely imaginative, the ambiance lively and busy with views over the water, and terrace dining if you don’t mind the breeze. Book, it’s never not busy, which in my world speaks volumes.

Nahm Thai 322 Wakefield Quay, Stepneyville, Nelson. Ph: 03 548 7776. Opening Hours – 11.30am – 2.30pm lunch, & 5pm – 9.30pm dinner, 7 days a week. Cost: $148 for two – three starters, three mains, a beer and two glasses of wine.

Comida & Prego - two of Nelson’s finest ingredients in one location. Buxton Square, Nelson

Paella? Buen Provecho! Enjoy the last of summer with an authentic Spanishstyle paella at Comida. Add a glass of Rioja and savour la dolce vita.


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www.fico.co.nz 59


Pioneering winery still leading by example B Y LY N D A PA P E S C H | P H O T O C H O C O L AT E D O G S T U D I O


ne of Nelson Tasman’s longest established wine companies Seifried Estate continues to cement its place in local wine history, taking out New Zealand’s top sauvignon blanc trophy recently. The win is a pat on the back for the team at Seifried Estate and also for Nelson Tasman’s wine industry which has long touted its region as the home of aromatics. Seifried Estate was established by Austrian born Hermann Seifried and his Kiwi wife Agnes when they planted their first vineyard in the Moutere Valley in 1973, creating what was the region’s first commercial winery. Many boutique and family wine companies have followed in their footsteps. A major point of difference however has been the transitioning of Seifried Estate from a small to mediumsized winery while being retained in family ownership.

The Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy was one of two awarded to Seifried Estate at the New Zealand Wine Awards ... 60

Now with over 320 hectares of estate-grown vineyards over 10 properties in the Nelson Tasman region, Hermann and Agnes still oversee the business. However, it has grown into a true family organisation with son Chris and daughter Heidi both hands-on as qualified winemakers, while daughter Anna oversees the sales and marketing.

Key variety The Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy was one of two awarded to Seifried Estate at the New Zealand Wine Awards with its sauvignon blanc also recognised as the best 2019 wine from the Nelson Tasman region. Last year the same wine racked up a gold medal at the Austrian Wine Challenge in Vienna (the largest officially recognised wine competition in the world), scored gold at MUNDIS VINI in Germany and gold at the New Zealand International Wine Show. The wins capped off “an incredible season” for Seifried Estate says Anna, adding that everyone there is justifiably proud. “This wine is a

Above: The Seifried family, from left, Hermann, Agnes, Chris, Heidi and Anna

reflection of a tonne of hard work, an amazing season in Nelson Tasman, and a great team who nurse the grapes through their time in the vineyard, then hand over pristine fruit to the winemaking crew to work their magic.” Sauvignon blanc is its key grape variety, making up 60 percent of the company production, which is exported into 25 countries worldwide, including into Russia where there is huge demand, says winemaker Heidi. Heading into vintage 2020, Heidi says the wins have generated a huge response with a lot of national and international interest in the sauvignon blanc, which she describes as restrained with tropical and mineral flavours and aromas, comprising a blend of grapes from various vineyards. Tasting notes say the wine is concentrated and flavoursome, with a nose of dried hops and thyme alongside fresh basil notes and passionfruit. The palate is generous with lasting tropical citrus flavours wrapped around crisp minerally acidity. As well as being family-run, Seifried Estate keeps processing in-house, not only growing its own fruit and making the wine, but bottling, labelling and marketing, which keeps the team busy all-year round. Bring on the next vintage!


A taste of Kaikoura brewing Plenty of options exist for summer festivals in the Top of the South. This month, beer writer Mark Preece talks with Laura Finney about Emporium Brewing’s Kegkoura – the Kaikoura beer festival. PHOTOS DAN KERINS


his is something we’ve always wanted to do,” says Emporium Brewing’s owner Laura. “Especially after the 2016 earthquake, when town was pretty quiet, we thought it would be a great way to attract people to the town.” Unfortunately, the weather didn’t play ball for the debut, with the main state highway to Christchurch shut due to slips, while the alternative central road later closed because of a crash. “People still had lots of fun,” says Laura, “but we were a bit down in numbers, with only 150 to 200 people compared to our current 300 capacity.” While the first beer fest was held at the Old Kaikoura Winery, it’s now located at the Emporium Brewery, “near Kaikoura’s Top 10 Holiday Park and only a short walk into town afterwards,” says Laura. There’s plenty of entertainment, kicked off by local guitarist Marc Parkinson, followed by Christchurch’s Alaana Eileen, and Dusty Hustle, a sixpiece roots and dub rock band.

Upcoming beer fests This year Kegkoura has four guest breweries plus Emporium Brewing, says Laura. “We’ve got Derelict, Wilderness and Concept Brewing and, for the first time, Two Thumb Brewing Company.” Each brewery is requested to turn up with special brews, “not just their general IPAs, so you’re guaranteed something unique,” says Laura, “especially Derelict and Wilderness, who have some really interesting beers.” With each brewery having four to five different styles, there’s plenty to choose from. This year there’s a new 311ml teardrop glass with a 150ml Above: Clockwise - Fun and games; Sam Cottier from Derelict Brewing serves a customer

Each brewery is requested to turn up with special brews, “not just their general IPAs, so you’re guaranteed something unique ... ” L AU R A F I N N EY

tasting line, so you can sample the beers without committing to a full glass. Beer fest guests won’t go hungry, with food being served by SlamClub café, as well as by Kaikoura Cheese, “who do amazing platters”, says Laura. “And there’ll be the usual BBQ and burgers being served too.” While Kegkoura signals the start of some great beer festivals for March, here’s some more for the month: Marchfest, 14th March, Founders Park, Nelson. Nelson’s premier beer festival will boast beer from 15 different

breweries, a brew zone where you’ll learn about beer and brewing, as well as live music, a food and beer matching lunch, a tasting bar, children’s entertainment, delicious foods, local ciders and wine. Go to Marchfest.com for more information. BBQ and beer fest – Brewtown, 14th March, Upper Hutt. BBQs are back to Wellington in March – watch 17 teams battle it out. A great day out with live music, hot rods, demos, craft beer tours and locally brewed beer on tap – check out Brewtown.co.nz for more details. 61

Making a difference with loans B Y S A R A H N O T TA G E | P H O T O G R A P H Y S T E V E H U S S E Y


ecuring a home, business or rural loan is one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make, and finding the best possible funding and pricing structures can be stressful and time-consuming. The past few years have seen significant changes to the banking industry and lending in New Zealand, especially around regulatory requirements and compliance, making the process more complex. The influx of private and online lenders now competing with traditional financial institutions for customers has created a highly competitive market, and can cause confusion among borrowers. The sheer quantity of online information available on current mortgage rates, loan terms and qualification requirements has become overwhelming. And who has the time or energy to work out the best deal? Tony Alexander, chief economist at the BNZ for 25 years, who has published more commentary about the New Zealand economy than any other economist, gave the solution to prospective mortgagees in his January 2020 newsletter; “It’s worth using a broker to get the best deal. Broker 62

use is far higher in Australia than New Zealand, but we will probably catch up.” Prospective and current lenders should use the knowledge and expertise of a licensed broker. Gavin Frampton, loan adviser at Myloan, has been in the banking industry for 22 years in New Zealand, and brings extensive financial experience to the role. He has worked in the retail space with personal clients, lead branch teams as a branch manager, and for the past 10 years has been helping small to medium enterprises (SME) grow and develop across the region. Gavin says, “I have worked with clients across the Top of the South and the West Coast, which has given me an excellent understanding of seasonal flows and location-specific issues.” Myloan is powered by and 100% owned by national award-winning Malloch McClean Tasman, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. Malloch McClean

have been providing top-quality business and financial advisory services in New Zealand since 1933. As well as accounting services, Malloch McClean help people run smarter, better businesses, by providing business planning, coaching, advisory services and mentorship. Their ethos is ensuring that their clients achieve financial freedom, giving them the time and mind space to enjoy life. Gavin joined Malloch McClean as a business development manager and is ready to expand his responsibilities to include his role as loan adviser. It is obvious that the team at Malloch McClean take the time to get to know and listen to their clients. Myloan was established when Malloch McClean (including Gavin Frampton) identified that many of their clients don’t have the time or the knowledge to navigate the loan process, and need expert help.

Gavin Frampton, loan adviser at Myloan, has been in the banking industry for 22 years in New Zealand, and brings extensive financial experience to the role.


Myloan has the market knowledge, experience, and the time. Plus, broking services don’t cost the client anything, as the lender pays Myloan directly.

Wide-reaching services

You can use the analogy of a bicycle wheel to describe the range of advisory services on offer – Malloch McClean Tasman is the hub and therefore the power of the wheel, and Myloan is one of the spokes. Gavin says one of the many advantages of using Myloan to secure your loan is that not only do you receive specialist loan advice, you have access to accountancy and business advice, tailored to your individual needs. “I pull in the right experts at the right time – we work as a team to determine how best to structure your lending requirements.” Myloan is affiliated with all the main trading banks and up to 30 mortgage providers, which means they have an excellent chance of finding you a deal that suits your needs. Gavin has a calm, reassuring presence, and is clearly committed to building professional relationships with his clients and colleagues, based on trust and professional integrity. “I believe the key to structuring the best loan is taking the time to get to know and understand my clients’ specific needs. From firsttime home buyers to property investors and those new to business, everyone’s situation is different.” He also acknowledges the importance of proactive, transparent communication throughout the loan application process. “The amount of information the banking industry requires to approve a loan these days is significant, and time frames can be tight. I always ensure information is obtained and submitted to lenders in a timely manner, which meets the regulatory requirements for ourselves and our lenders, and gives peace of mind to my clients.” A dedicated father of five children aged between seven and 17 and a small business owner in Motueka, Gavin is not only discerning about how he spends his time outside of the Myloan office, he has clear reasoning behind his choices. Above: Gavin Frampton, centre, shares his expertise on home loans, business loans and refinances Opposite page: Myloan adviser Gavin Frampton, left and Malloch McClean managing director Manoli Aerakis

Myloan is affiliated with all the main trading banks and up to 30 mortgage providers, which means they have an excellent chance of finding you a deal that suits your needs. He also applies the advice he gives to his clients within his personal life; as a father, community member and small-business owner. In essence, he ‘practises what he preaches’. When his 12-year-old son tells him, “I want to be a billionaire”, Gavin gently enquires how his son is going to achieve his goal, and guides him to where he needs to find the information to help him on his way. “Random questions from my kids help to keep things fresh for me at work – I am constantly reviewing how to frame my advice and the questions I need to ask to help my clients.”

Local application

Gavin volunteers with Land Search & Rescue (LandSAR) and is board chair for Motueka South School. “My involvement with LandSAR has expanded my understanding of the local and wider geographical and social community, which has informed my practice as a loan adviser – I have multiple connection points from which I can source information for clients who may be new to the area.” Gavin’s ability to see the big picture, synthesise the information,

apply it to the local context and communicate it effectively has been invaluable in his role as board chair for Motueka South School. “I can help with its strategic direction, so that the school is aligned to the Ministry of Education guidelines and keeps on track to ensure a positive future for its students and their achievement.” When it comes to their own small business, Gavin applies the same advice he would give to his clients in his role as a business adviser – regularly reflecting with his wife to make sure that their business is expanding and heading in the right direction. Gavin from Myloan encourages you to get in touch with him and have a chat, no matter what your loan requirements are, or wherever you are based, throughout New Zealand.

Contact Ph 03 928 0391 www.myloan.co.nz



Standoff on the Heaphy Pete Oswald bikes the renowned trail, and meets a swarthy recluse in the dark. P H O T O G R A P H Y S O P H I E S T E V E N S & P E T E O S WA L D


ith no moon and no wind, I stopped walking. The only sound – the crunch of stones under my biking shoes – ceased. The massive void of the Gouland Downs plateau in Kahurangi National Park was completely tranquil. I stood alone, motionless on the trail, listening. A thin strip of bright stars separated the stunted-height native alpine trees either side of me.

The silence was slowly swallowed by the life of the night. My ears created images that my wide eyes chose to believe. I felt I could see even the smallest beetle scampering, digging and chomping. Suddenly there was a blundering rustle. I tracked the racket as it headed towards the trail. From the shrubby grass out popped a small, dark creature. It fell onto the path, picked itself up, then waddled across it like a drunk. My ready finger pressed the button on my head-torch and ‘woosh’ – the drunk froze mid-step as if being busted for petty theft. I was no less stunned. Kahurangi National Park is arguably the most remote part of New Zealand – more isolated than Fiordland, according to one source. Tucked up in the far northwest of the South Island, it is our second-largest national park (behind Fiordland). No roads go through Kahurangi. Access stops at the perimeter. The western edge is 100km of savage coastline to the Tasman Sea. The Heaphy Track is one of 10 Great Walks of New Zealand, but it is a world apart.

A mountain-biking detour Sophie and I drove from Queenstown to Blenheim up the West Coast and thought we’d mountain bike the Heaphy on the way. That still entailed a 1.5-hour, dead-end drive from Westport to the tiny town of Karamea. The track stretches 78km from nearby Kohaihai to the upper Aorere River valley near Collingwood. Whichever direction you choose to do the track you end up 450km (a 7-hour drive) from your car so Sophie and I opted to leave

My ready finger pressed the button on my head-torch and ‘woosh’ – the drunk froze midstep as if being busted for petty theft. 64

This secluded little jewel, far from the rush of the beaten tourist path, boasts many wonderful qualities ... our vehicle at the West Coast end and take a flight over the park to the start of our ride. With bikes strapped to the underside of the wings of the six-seater Cessna 206, and great banter from our pilot Mit of Adventure Flights Golden Bay, we gazed at the vast and pristine wilderness below. Even from 450m up we couldn’t see any evidence of human existence, apart from glimpses of the trail and huts. After landing in a farmer’s field, Mit unclipped our bikes and continued his great yarns as we prepped our steeds for adventure. Then we slogged up from Browns Hut, grinding and sweating but savouring the serenity that intensified with every

Above: Clockwise - Sophie on a downhill; the sky’s no limit; great spotted kiwi; Sophie takes a break Opposite page: Clockwise - Pete Oswald and Sophie Stevens; Sophie puts her back into it

pedal-stroke away from civilisation. The track negotiates gullies and ridges at a friendly gradient – we never needed to put a foot down.

Cresting the peak At 920m we hit the highest point of the Heaphy, then flowed through altitude-stunted forest towards the Gouland Downs plateau. We arrived at Saxon Hut by late afternoon to find we are sharing the shelter with three recently introduced and endangered takahe and five friendly ‘senior’ trampers. The lovely old folk told us that the takahe were not the only rare wildlife in the area, and if we went out at night we might just get lucky … So there I was, frozen in shock with my headlight beaming at a great spotted kiwi, also frozen in shock. Who knows how long the standoff lasted. The clumsy bugger finally broke pose turned and bolted back into the bush. I stood there for some time longer, savouring my first sight of our reclusive national bird. The next day we biked 12km of insanely fun, fast-flowing downhill track. We met many lovely people at the huts and on the trail, stopping to talk to them all. Our second night, at the Heaphy Hut, offered a location to equal a five-star exclusive island resort. We then biked along raw and beautiful coastline where nikau palm forest crashes into the wild Tasman sea. The Heaphy Track, in my limited experience, is the best of New Zealand’s Great Walks. This secluded little jewel, far from the rush of the beaten tourist path, boasts many wonderful qualities, but my favourite experience was that meeting with my clumsy kiwi friend. (See also page 24) 65


Somewhere over the rainbow BY PHIL BARNES

Photo: Supplied


significant milestone in New Zealand mountain biking history will be reached on April 4 when the Nelson Honey Rainbow Rage’s 25th anniversary challenge takes place. Organiser Mike Gane says he hopes between 200 and 300 cyclists will take part in the 106km challenge which starts near the turn off for the Rainbow Skifield road from State Highway 63, climbs up to a high point of 1400 metres at Island Pass and eventually descends sharply over the final 6km to finish at Hanmer Springs domain. He says the event has gone through various phases in popularity over the years. While just 66 cyclists entered the inaugural event in 1996, numbers then increased phenomenally to a peak of 1604 entrants in 2001. Incredibly, this made it the biggest single start mountain bike event in the southern hemisphere. Mike says much of the increase in popularity came when he changed the format of the event after the first year from a race to an adventure ride. This attracted people who wanted to take part in the event but not necessarily to race it flat out. It enabled the majority to enjoy the stunning scenery and socialise with other competitors. With many participants having done the event several times, the number of entrants gradually declined from 2001. The lack of numbers resulted in the event not being held in 2017 and 2019, although it has been held in all the previous years. However, Mike says Philip Cropp who lives on the Rainbow Station and whose family have taken part in the event over the years encouraged him to put on the event this year to mark its 25th anniversary. The challenge is divided into various categories to enable everyone to take part at a level that suits their ability and fitness. The event starts with ‘speed bunnies’ category. This grade is for anyone who anticipates their finishing time will be

within 4hrs 30mins. (The course record is 3hrs 26mins held by Tom Filmer.) Starting the speed bunnies first allows anyone who wants to race the event or to do the course in a fast time to get away clear from the rest of the field.

Open to all ages Fifteen minutes later the adventure and social riders start. Mike says this is for the rest of the field, many of whom still want to go hard on the day but not to the extent of cracking the four-hour barrier. Many of the more social riders simply want to take their time, enjoy the course and the scenery and even stop for a picnic along the way. There will be both a mountain bike class and a gravel grind class. Mike says gravel grind is a new class. A gravel grind bike is like a road bike with drop handle bars and tyres that are wider than ones used on a road bike but thinner then mountain bike tyres. “This will make it one of the longest, if not the longest, gravel grind races in the country.” The event is open to all age groups from 13 years upwards. He says anyone younger than 13 who wants to take part must speak to

While just 66 cyclists entered the inaugural event in 1996, numbers then increased phenomenally to a peak of 1604 entrants in 2001. 66

Above: Race record holder Tom Filmer, no. 89 leads the start line

him first, so he can find out how much mountain biking experience they have and whether they seem capable of completing the distance. The oldest competitor to have taken part was 84-year-old Alan Dean. Mike says Alan’s wit, sense of humour and attitude was something a rider 60 years younger would have been proud of. Riders will be age-graded automatically as they enter. The grades are: junior 13-17 years, senior 18-39, vet 1 40-55, vet 2 56-70 and vet 3 70 years plus. People may also complete the event using pedal-assisted e-bikes, tandems, single speed bikes, post office bikes and even unicycles. Mike says several people have done the event using bikes such as unicycles, single speed bikes and tandem bikes over the years. Well-known mountain bikers, the Kennett brothers, completed it using a triple tandem one year. He says the e-bike class has grown phenomenally. Tim Miller won the event two years ago with an e-bike, using three batteries to do so. However, he says most people can complete the 106km course on just one battery provided they use it conservatively. For further information or to enter the event go to www.rainbowrage.co.nz

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Let’s get creative




HEAPHY TRACK & OLD GHOST ROAD FLIGHTS Heli-Shuttles | Biking | Hiking | Rafting | Fishing With unrivalled knowledge and experience from years of working on the Heaphy Track and Old Ghost Road, we are the specialists when it comes to moving people, bikes and gear around the Kahurangi National Park. Our helicopters are based in Karamea, on the doorstep of the Heaphy Track and next to The Rough & Tumble Bush Lodge at the northern end of The Old Ghost Road. Custom packages available. Phone: 03 782 6111 Email: office@karameahelicharter.co.nz

www.karameahelicharter.co.nz 67


Vitara gets more verve BY GEOFF MOFFETT


ar-makers are always trying to come up with a trump card, especially in the highly competitive compact SUV market, and Suzuki is throwing out its challenge with a face- and rear-lift, plus updated technology, for the latest Vitara. The essentials remain: the terrific and evocatively named BoosterJet 1.4-cylinder, turbocharged four matched to a six-speed auto transmission. Yes, thanks, that’s all very good and for me this powerplant remains the standout feature of the Vitara, which is available in both two- and four-wheel drive. The refreshed Vitara, smarter looking front and back, also now has a suite of safety equipment that includes dual-sensor brake support, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert, complementing its adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, weaving alert and a speed limiter. There’s also smart-phone connectivity for Apple and Android. That’s a bag-load of kit in a $34k car but buyers now expect this, and are very choosy as they compare one set of specs with another in dealerships around town. Budget buyers can still drive a Vitara for under $30k, although for that you’ll have to settle for the less powerful 1.6-litre, non-turbo JLX version.

That’s a bag-load of kit in a $34k car but buyers now expect this … 68

All up, though, the Vitara turbo continues to offer a competitive package, especially once you hit the road. That punchy little engine is a sweet performer, offering no-lag acceleration through its range, delivering peak torque from 1500 to 4000rpm. And who needs seven or eight gears when six will do just fine. That’s especially so in a vehicle with a kerb weight of just 1120kg (60kg more for the AWD version). The Vitara is good to drive, with fast-response steering and strong grip – especially in the AWD model – and with a manual mode if you want to squeeze out even more fun from its revvy motor. The AWD has ‘AllGrip select’, giving drivers a choice of settings – auto, sport, snow and lock – at the turn of a dial. I didn’t get offroad but by all accounts, this wee beast is handy in the rough. The Vitara is notable, too, for its airy cabin, with heaps of headroom in front and sufficient legroom in the back for taller passengers. I’m no fan of the faux carbon dash insert or the hardish plastics, but overall the Vitara is nicely fitted out inside. Noise levels are very acceptable, and you’d be happy to wheel the Suzie down to Christchurch for a weekend. Luggage space is 375 litres in the back – and 710 litres with the rear seats down. Finding an address is a one-step operation with the voice-activated Satnav. You can enter street number,

name and city in one go – although the default voice is Australian. The Vitara, then, makes a compelling argument to be on your compact SUV shopping list, especially with the benefit of a fiveyear/100,000km warranty and five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Tech spec Price:

$27,990, 1.6-litre, non-turbo JLX manual; $33,990 2WD, 1.4-litre turbo, six-speed auto; $37,990 for AWD. (Add $800 for two-tone paint)


1.6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol, non-turbo, 86kw @ 6000rpm, 156Nm @ 4400rpm; 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder petrol, turbo, 103kw @ 5500rpm, 220Nm @ 1500-4000rpm


Combined-cycle, 5.9l/100km – 6.2 l/100km (2WD/AWD turbo)

Carbon emissions:

138-145g/km (2WD/ AWD turbo)

Vehicle courtesy of Nelson Bays Suzuki

The most Outback Outback ever. A Limited Edition version of the ever popular Outback, the Outback X is distinguished by its ability to tackle almost any terrain. For the first time ever in an Outback, Dual X-Mode has been added to Subaru’s legendary All-Wheel Drive. Featuring the ability to assist with snow,

The most Outback deep mud or extreme weather – it makes this the most capable Outback ever made. Built to take on almost Outback ever. anything you can throw at it with water repellent seat

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*The MY20 Subaru Outback X’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is $49,990 including GST and excludes on-road costs and accessories. Valid until December 30th 2020 or while stocks last. ˆWater repellent fabric repels water so that the fabric is not easily penetrated by small amounts of water. Fabric is not 100% water proof. If required, a treatment can be purchased in order to maintain water repellent characteristics.


*The MY20 Subaru Outback X’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is $49,990 including GST and excludes on-road costs and accessories. Valid until December 30th 2020 or while stocks last. ˆWater repellent fabric repels water so that the fabric is not easily penetrated by small amounts of water. Fabric is not 100% water proof. If required, a treatment can be purchased in order to maintain water repellent characteristics.

www.nbmg.co.nz Name or Logo

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Nathan Ryder Sales Consultant 027 628 3364

Shane Green Sales Consultant 021 259 1010

*The MY20 Subaru Outback X’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is $49,990 including GST and excludes on-road costs and accessories. Valid until December 30th 2020 or while stocks last. ˆWater repellent fabric repels water so that the fabric is not easily penetrated by small amounts of water. Fabric is not 100% water proof. If required, a treatment can be purchased in order to maintain water repellent characteristics.

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Collaborating to help our freshwater fish

species to complete their lifecycle,” says Tim Olley, Field Ecologist for Fish & Wildlife Services. “This is an important piece of the puzzle for helping conserve our native fish.”


Stream crossings have been added in the Nelson Forests estate over many years, some dating back to the days of the Forest Service. The crossings were put in place to allow access across rivers and streams to various parts of the estate for tree planting, forest management and tree harvesting activities. The natural migratory process of fish can be seriously impeded by poorly constructed and maintained stream crossings. Smooth concrete culverts can create something akin to a hydroslide, because of the way that they focus and intensify water flow, which fish can find impossible to swim through. Other structures, such as battery culvert fords, can become perched (raised above the level of the stream bed) as the stream bed downstream of the structure is eroded with time. These are significant, but not irreversible, barriers to many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s native fish. To solve the problem, Fish & Wildlife Services retrofit fish ramps, baffles and ropes to existing stream crossings that are an issue for fish passage. Heather Arnold, Environmental Planner for Nelson Forests has spearheaded the project to ensure unimpeded fish passage in streams in the company’s forest estate since 2017. The first task was to locate and map out stream crossings based


otearoa New Zealand has more than 50 native freshwater fish species. Around 70 per cent of these are threatened. Many of these fish access different habitats during their lifecycles. Some species, such as inanga (one of the whitebait species), are migratory. They move between fresh and sea water environments to complete their lifecycles. Other species spend their entire life in freshwater. Fish are found in a variety of freshwater habitats. For example, giant kōkopu and īnanga tend to be found in lowland rivers, streams

45° cut

and wetlands, whereas kōaro live in high, mountainous, bouldery streams. Many instream structures e.g. culverts across New Zealand are blocking fish migration and impacting our freshwater fish species. Nelson Forests has been collaborating with Fish & Wildlife Services to help ensure that fish can travel through streams in the Nelson Forests estate. “Nelson Forests’ commitment to improving fish passage at their structures aims to reconnect waterways and provide all habitats necessary for our freshwater

45° cut

Above: From top - Kōaro; Diagram: The culverts are fitted with fish baffles to slow water velocities and create pools for fish to rest as they move through the culverts. The baffles are cut at 45 degrees so fish have the option of swimming around or over the top of the baffles; the baffles are flexible, therefore they can flex over during high flows and maintain culvert capacity (an engineering friendly solution to fish passage). 70

Removing obstacles


on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) information. Each crossing then had to be validated, with photographs taken of it and a range of data collected and collated in order to pinpoint crossings that posed a barrier to fish passage, had blockages, or could be at risk of becoming blocked, as well as those that provided good passage for fish. “It was a big project to start with,” says Heather, “just to identify where all the crossings were in our fish-bearing streams, that we were aware of, because they weren’t in our GIS system. Some culverts were blocked and if they were in disused roads, access was challenging.” Heather utilised the skills of students taking part in Nelson Forests’ scholarship scheme. “They used the plan I had put together to go and physically find all the structures,” says Heather. “They couldn’t get to some of them as they were well overgrown. In those cases I would go and cut the gorse back myself.” Interestingly the work led to one of the students, Georgie Holdaway, using the project as the basis for her Honours dissertation in Forestry Engineering at the University of Canterbury. Once the data collection phase of the project was complete, Heather worked with Tim Olley to come up with a work programme and to implement solutions that would allow fish to move both upstream and downstream.

“All waterways, no matter how big or small, need protecting to ensure our fish species can thrive.” T I M O L L EY, F I S H & W I L D L I F E S E RV I C E S

Retrofitting In the process, Heather says she’s learnt a great deal about native fish species. “Little is known about so many of them. I had no idea, for example, that kōaro can ‘climb’ up waterfalls and can grow up to 28cm in length! That’s impressive!” “When migrating upstream, kōaro often encounter a number of obstacles along the way, including natural features such as waterfalls,” explains Tim Olley. “Typically, kōaro will leave the main, faster flow and climb the margins of waterfalls, otherwise known as ‘splash zones’ or ‘wetted margins’ using their streamlined body shape and large pectoral and pelvic fins.” Initially Nelson Forests’ fish passage work was prompted by the Tasman District Council’s Resource Management Plan, which required that any culverts or water courses must provide for fish passage and that any such structures that pre-dated when the plan became operative, needed to be retrofitted to provide fish passage by 8 March 2019. However, without further prompting from councils, Nelson Forests has extended the project to include its



forest estate within the areas regulated by Nelson City Council and Marlborough District Council. The project definitely illustrates how forestry practices have changed over the years, says Heather. It’s also provided an opportunity to build relationships between Nelson Forests and council staff. “We’re hoping to include a fish passage topic in field days that we host for council staff to showcase the practical challenges and limitations we face when doing this work, and also so we can work closely with councils to fully understand the regulatory framework that applies and make sure we’re complying with it. It also helps when people meet us so that when they call us, they already know the person they’re dealing with.”

Expanding the project Work in the Tasman district was completed in 2018, with work in the forest estate in the Nelson City Council area completed in 2019. “The Nelson City Council funded the assessment work with Nelson Forests funding the retrofitting work done by Tim,” says Heather. “Next year we will be rolling out the project into the area between the Rai Saddle and Havelock and then in 2021 we will roll it out to the rest of our forest estate in Marlborough. “It’s fantastic that we’re able to do this project and to extend its scope. Tim has been seeing native fish in the waterways while he’s doing his work so we know that we are helping the freshwater fish to get the whole way through a catchment and complete their lifecycles.” “We encountered some fish downstream of some structures we were working at, including longfin eel, dwarf galaxiid, and upland bully,” says Tim. “No introduced fish species were seen. We are constantly surprised by the areas where we are finding fish. All waterways, no matter how big or small, need protecting to ensure our fish species can thrive.”

Contact Above diagram: Ramps or fish ladders have been added to the culvert drop so fish can access the culvert by swimming or ‘climbing’ using rubber and rope or floating plastic ramps. Over time the retrofit solutions assimilate into the environment (growing algae and moss). These are the surfaces that our native fish have adapted to use in order to gain access to different habitats.



Photo: Ishna Jacobs


Music for the people by the people BY JOHN DU FOUR


ometimes the stars align to bring together just the right people for just the right idea. Such was the case with two of Nelson’s musical powerhouses, Tanya Nock and Ryan Beehre. I met the humble pair recently to discuss how they found their way to each other to create the Nelson Voice Collective, a community-focused pop-up choir that brings together an everchanging retinue of locals for the sheer pleasure of singing their hearts out. The gatherings are thoroughly casual affairs open to anyone. Singers start off the session sharing a cuppa, or something stronger, then spend the next hour being taught by Tanya the various parts of popular contemporary songs to the assured accompaniment of Ryan’s percussive guitar work. Admission is by koha, there are no rules and the kaupapa is all about enjoyment. Yet in these twos’ capable hands, the crowd, which can easily number over 60, almost effortlessly produces a blend of Above: Rehearsal time 72

vocal harmonies for the final videoed sing-through that invariably ends up with everyone clapping gleefully. Tanya arrived in Nelson from England in 2003, where she’d learned the violin and worked as a primary school teacher. “I heard the School of Music needed a violin teacher, so I took on that role,” she says. “Soon I also began teaching music to all the classes in Nelson Central School.” Tanya initiated a programme there and in Clifton Terrace School where rather than directly teaching students she instead taught the teachers, enabling they themselves to give a half hour’s music tuition each week. “It was so satisfying to see how the children, by the time they left the schools, had developed a genuine understanding of rhythm, the major scale, harmony and basic musical notation.” Tanya was originator and director of Nelson’s samba performance band Samba de Sol, and part of Nelson’s Masked Parade and Carnival team for six years. “And in 2016,” mentions Ryan, “she was Nelsonian of the Year for the Arts.” Meanwhile, up north in Whangarei Ryan’s own love of music began with his dad’s extensive record collection. He soon fell in love with the guitar. “I got my first one after seeing a Les Paul being played live.” He began gigging with blues bands and then, at seventeen, joined an Auckland covers band. “I got into off-beat and funky soul grooves,” he says. “It was

“Music is an art for the people. It should be accessible.” TA N YA N O C K

the time of progressive bands like Prodigy and Portishead. Sampling was in its heyday. I began experimenting with production.”

Grassroots In 1994 Ryan moved to Nelson, forming Minuit in 1999 with Ruth Carr and Paul Dodge. In 2003 the band released their debut album, The 88, which went gold. “We were amazed,” Ryan admits. Over the next decade, Minuit garnered much critical success, their music featuring on media as diverse as video games, TV themes and even mainstream US TV shows like Bones and Grey’s Anatomy. After Minuit disbanded in 2013 Ryan began teaching guitar at Nelson School of Music. When it opened its doors as the new NCMA in 2018, Tanya was appointed Education Coordinator. The pair met, and the rest, as they say, is history. “The Voice Collective is grassroots,” says Tanya. “Its pop-up nature means there’s no pressure to rehearse or commit. This removes a barrier to those who simply want to show up when it suits to enjoy the immersive musical vibe. “Music is an art for the people. It should be accessible.” “It’s about inclusiveness,” says Ryan. “No ego.”


March’s top creative picks March out this month and take a good look at all the exciting artisan works available across the Top of the South. Here’s a selection from our gallery must-haves to pique your interest.



1. Roz Speirs, Citrus Flower Bowl, fused glass, Wall to Wall Art, 112 Bridge St, Nelson, 027 500 5528, www.clarityglass.co.nz, $295 2. Rare Creations, Wooden Bow Ties, 150 Mapua Drive, 03 540 2225, www.rarecreations.co.nz, $39 - $59 3. Jens Hansen, Gold Silk Wave Pendants, www.jenshansen.co.nz, from $199 in silver 4. Peter Geen, True North, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 1000 x 550mm, EarthSea Gallery, Clifton, Takaka, 03 525 7007 or 027 525 7007, www.earthseagallery.com 5. Lauren Kitts, Hawks Eye View, marble sculpture, 6730mm (h) x 530 (w) x 300 (d), Hawks Valley Sculpture Gallery, 190 Williams Road, Tasman, 021 267 1127, $3,600






Sit down with a good book Although the holidays might now be a distant memory, the good news is that there’s still plenty of good reading out there. Compiled by Renée Lang.

Olive, Again Elizabeth Strout

Chick lit or just a damn good read?

Available now, $34.99 Penguin Random House



s I write, Catherine Robertson is in town (along with fellow author Sue Copsey) to celebrate Library Lovers’ Day on 13 and 14 February. No stranger to Nelson, Catherine was a frequent visitor during her childhood and then again, when she and her husband had a young family and would come from Wellington to stay with their “mad but broke American hippy friends” who back in the day rented a marvellous old villa on the port hills. Fast forward around 15 years to 2015 and her link with our city was appropriately cemented when her fourth novel, The Hiding Places, won the Nelson Libraries Award for New Zealand Fiction. “I was presented with a fantastic Royce McGlashen trophy,” she recalls, “and it was such a thrill.” Ask Catherine Robertson how she feels about the genre known as chick lit along with the fact that many readers who identify as feminists choose not to read it and her response is fast and fierce. “We have to start by looking at what women’s fiction used to be, in the 1980s especially, when there was a lot more subversion and self-determining characters in the work.” She cites Joanna Trollope, Mary Wesley, Barbara Trapido and Elizabeth Jane Howard as prime examples. “And then Bridget Jones’s Diary came along. I think it was a genuine comedic masterpiece. She’s never written anything that good again.” It’s her view that Bridget Jones started a trend for “slightly ditzy heroines and light, amusing books”. Thus the ‘chick lit’ genre was born, which quickly led to an onslaught of, says Catherine, “fluffy, trivial and not particularly well written books”. She then comes up with a heavy metal analogy, citing that Lez Zeppelin spawned a whole bunch of really bad heavy metal bands: “The original influence is awesome, but what comes out of it gets so diluted.” When she started writing, she wanted to write funny books, largely because all the writers she admired at the time were humorous writers, whether they were non-fiction or fiction. “I also liked books about relationships because they say a lot about who we are, but as soon as you write a funny book about a romantic relationship it’s categorised as ‘chick lit’. If I’d been more alert to the fact that I was going to be pigeon-holed or marketed as a chick lit writer I probably wouldn’t have written those books.” Her latest book, What You Wish For (2019), is a sequel to the very successful Gabriel’s Bay (2018). Above: Author Catherine Robertson 74


ack in 2008 Olive Kitteridge was a publishing sensation. Then it became the basis of a wonderful HBO television miniseries. Now fans of the ‘prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic’ main character will be delighted to pick up on the next decade of Olive’s life.

Adults Emma Jane Unsworth Available now, $32.99 HarperCollins


igital addiction. Yes, it’s a thing and 30-something Jenny has it bad. Social media is what she lives for – even though on one occasion her phone actually gives her a black eye when she falls asleep while gazing up at it. And although it’s a witty story, it does also lay bare the consequences of what can be a very unhealthy relationship.

Wife After Wife Olivia Hayfield Available now, $34.99 Hachette New Zealand


t’s not apparent from the cover but this modern-day tale of glamour and serial monogamy is loosely based on the most infamous historical playboy of them all, Henry VIII. The first clue is in his name and the next is the number of women who accept the opportunity to become Mrs Rose.

When a disability makes even everyday activities a struggle imagine what it must feel like out here.


or people with disabilities, sailing provides a unique sense of freedom and movement — life's daily frustrations are forgotten. Sailing pushes comfort zones and there are new risks to overcome. The sheer joy of sailing is immense for someone with a disability.

Sailability Nelson is one of ten active clubs across New Zealand, all of whom are part of a worldwide movement. From the Nelson Yacht Club we sail two person Hansa yachts set up for any disability and any age. Each yacht has an experienced sailor helper and each sail is for around 30 minutes.

Face/neck lift surgery Everyone experiences the signs of ageing as the collagen in our skin has less elasticity. Facial ageing produces loosening and sagging of the neck, jowl and jawline as well changes to the eyes. These changes can be addressed with facelift surgery also known as the S Lift. This technique effectively rolls the clock back 10 years.

Please contact us for more information on this surgery

We sail every second Sunday until mid-March. Please join us on a Sunday sail day and see what a difference we're making. You are welcome to support us by becoming a volunteer, helper sailor, sponsor or donor. To discuss how you would like to help please contact John MacDuff: 0274 245 112.

Join us to help disabled Nelsonians experience the freedom and joy of sailing.


We also offer the following procedures: Breast surgery Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) Otoplasty (ears) | Liposuction

Level 2 - 105 Collingwood Street, Nelson P: 03 548 1909 E: nelsonplasticsurgery@outlook.co.nz www.nelsonplasticsurgery.co.nz for more info


Photo: Dominique White


Songs you’ve forgotten you remember BY EDDIE ALLNUTT


rampton, Small Faces, Steely Dan, Wings, ACDC, Stereophonics and Joni Mitchell and that’s before the first set – and my first pint – had finished. “Songs you’ve forgotten you remember.” The Lee Fern Band coined this phrase many melodies ago and it has since been their motto to describe their improvised song selection. With this three-piece covers band, you won’t find a setlist gaffer-taped to the foldbacks, and just like the crowd, they don’t know what’s next until one of them powers into the opening riff, beat or bass line. It might be a number from the archives – their stockpile is hundreds – or live for the first time, rehearsals included. LFB consists of Lee Fern (lead vocals and bass), Chris Pierson (drums and vocals) and Andrew ‘Smiley’ Shellock (guitar and vocals). This year marks 20 years for the band, which first started as Kodiak with Fern, Pierson and different guitarists coming and going for three years until Shellock joined, which formed the right mix.

Fern, who almost has a four-octave range, can scream like Bon Scott and croon like Sinatra. 76

Pierson says, “We still have the mission statement to have fun, and they’re not obscure covers, but they’re not necessarily thrashed to death either. It’s definitely our point of difference to have a repertoire that’s not standard cover band.” Fern reiterates: “You get tired of hearing the same songs over and over, and the staff do too. I’m quite proud that we haven’t played Wagon Wheel yet.” With a cheeky smirk, Pierson adds, “And you’ll get asked to leave if you request it. It’s part of our reverence, not a serious threat.” The guys speak highly of each other’s musicianship. Pierson whispers, “He’s a great bass player, just the feel and the tone; never in a hurry to get to the end of the song,” and Fern says, “Smiley’s got magic fingers; the way he can assimilate keyboard parts on guitar. There’s a huge scope of stuff he can cover.” Outside the band they are also mates. Fern says, “The band has outlasted our marriages, times two.” “There’s enough love in the band to cut each other enough slack if things go wobbly,” Pierson adds. It’s worth noting that Pierson has toured with the Dance Exponents and has made a living from music. “From 15, I was very fortunate to get a gig in a band, straight into three nights a week, you know, bringing home more money than my dad but ironically having to borrow his suit and car to do the gig!” Fern, who almost has a four-octave range, can scream like Bon Scott and croon like Sinatra. He says, “Your voice gets match fit. If we did two nights on the trot it would be better on the second.” He also adds: “I grew up, playing in the 70s, with a five or six-piece

Above: Band members, from left: Chris Pierson, Lee Fern and Andrew Shellock

band and that’s why I’ve got a loud voice. The only way you could hear yourself – scream your lungs out.” Pierson says about Fern’s voice, “We hit our groove and in the chorus I watch him, and he’s about to hit that note, and I think, go on then, bloody give it to them!”

A mixed music bag When asked about live music in the region, the lads reminisce. They give anecdotes about bands and musicians such as Marc Steyn, Rupert Winter, Trudi Wilson and the late Susie Fray of the Johnnys. Fern talks about the decline of live music: “Twenty-five years ago I can remember queuing on a Tuesday night to get into Fletcher’s or Apache as it was then, which is now Bamboo Tiger, to see a band.” While Shellock has jazz-fusion and bluegrass influences – you might even catch him doing some chicken-pickin’ noodling between songs – Fern is punk; Stiff Little Fingers, Graham Maby, The Jam and he never gets tired of listening to the Stranglers’ Rattus Norvegicus. Pierson says, “My influences were power trios, especially the Police. I heard ‘Roxanne’ when I was nine. I’m thinking, there’s something odd about this rhythm, it’s back to front, I’ll have a crack at the drums.” Schlepping their gear is all part of it and they’ve gigged at some doozy venues over the years such as Government House and a biker pad. Who knows what this band on the run will play at their next gig, in this land of confusion?


A quirky grapple BY EDDIE ALLNUTT

91 Trafalgar Street, Nelson - Ph: 548 3885 The Legend of Baron To’a Action/Comedy Directed by Kiel McNaughton Starring Uli Latukefu, Nathaniel Lees, John Tui, Jay Laga’aia, Shavaughn Ruakere, Xavier Horan 1h 43min


ust imagine what happens when Nacho Libre meets the Mob in a miscellany of chuckles and figure-four leg locks. Foremost, this homegrown movie has enough quirkiness and action to keep you entertained with its witty one-liners, a zany foot chase through South Auckland backyards, mana, a pesky cop, romance and even a smidgen of horror. There are also a couple of violent fight scenes – the level of brutality questionable – that make Kiel McNaughton’s debut feature film as a director an oddball that’s worth checking out. Good luck to those who are doing the R classification on this one! It’s set in an enter-at-your-own-risk cul-de-sac called Kinlock Ave, which is full of state housing and gang HQ belonging to the ‘Pig Hunters’. Baron To’a (John Tui) died some years ago but he’s still a legend in the hood, not only for his no-nonsense dealing with scoundrels but also for his pro wrestling antics. You definitely wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of the Baron’s frog splashes or a K Road clothesline. The premise is simple. Fritz (Uli Latukefu), a businessman, returns to the dead end to persuade stoic Uncle Otto (Nathaniel Lees – The Matrix Reloaded) to sell up the old family house where Fritz’s dad (Baron To’a) used to live, but there’s a catch. Otto won’t sign the line until a stolen family heirloom is returned and guess who’ve got their trotters on it? It’s not going to be easy for Fritz to get it back from those hog’s breath patched members, young peddling punk prospects and behemoth president, Tahu. Kiel McNaughton was born in Manurewa and played nurse James ‘Scotty’ Scott in Shortland Street. He’s gathered a stellar cast of Māori and Pasifika and has said that he always wanted his first feature to be an action film, although you may find it more aligned to the comedy genre. Auckland-born John Tui of Tongan descent plays Baron To’a seamlessly. He’s got the talent to make a fictional character come alive. He gets sound support from Uli Latukefu, who’s got the lines both verbally and abdominally. Latukefu is Australian-born and, like Tui, has Tongan roots. There’s also good support from another Shorty Street celeb, Shavaughn Ruakere who incidentally made the finals of Dancing with the Stars. She plays Renee, the bodacious neighbour, who Constable Wayne (Xavier Horan) is always trying to get into the ‘sac’. Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho in Star Wars) plays George the diplomatic neighbour who keeps things covered up and close to his chest. Eddie Allnutt has left the cinema to view the WWF archive of the Bushwhackers attempting a ‘full nelson’ on Andre the Giant.

Movies Screening in MARCH DARK WATERS M | 2hrs 17min Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) leads this exposé thriller playing the real-life corporate defense attorney who took on the DuPont chemical company polluting the town’s water supply. MILITARY WIVES M | 2hrs Kristin Scott Thomas leads this comedic story based on the real-life phenomena of military wives forming a choir while their partners serve in Afghanistan, leading to a media sensation. A QUIET PLACE: PART II Rating: tbc | Runtime: tbc Director John Krasinski follows-up his 2018 post apocalyptic horror film, which pitted Earth’s last remaining souls against fierce extraterrestrials with sensational hearing. RADIOACTIVE M | 1hr 53min Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) is history-making physicist and chemist Marie Curie in this biopic from Oscar-nominated director Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis).

For more information, go to our website:




Regular Markets

Nelson Tasman Saturday 14

Every Saturday morning

Marchfest 2020

The Nelson Market 8am to 1pm

Marchfest is a celebration of all things craft beer and an event for the whole family! Tasting bar, cool live music, family-friendly entertainment, local artisan food and beverages. Noon to 9.39pm.


Every Sunday Motueka Market 8am to 1pm DECKS RESERVE CAR PARK


Monty’s Market 8am to 1pm MONTGOMERY SQUARE

MARCH - APRIL Thursday 5 NCMA’s Lunchtime Concert Series: Mendelssohn Piano Trio Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49, was completed in 1839 and published the following year. The trio is one of Mendelssohn’s most popular and recognised chamber works. 1pm to 1:45pm. See NCMA website for weekly programme. NELSON CENTRE OF MUSICAL ARTS

Saturday 7 Interislander The Big Tahuna Whether you’re trying out an ocean swim for the first time or looking for a new challenge, we’ve got a terrific range of swim experiences for swimmers of all ages and abilities. 7am to 1pm. TAHUNA BEACH FUNCTION CENTRE

Saturday 7

veteran sailing craft … hours of effort from ‘blokes in sheds’ will be displayed in the spectacular setting of Lake Rotoiti. 9am to 4pm both days. KERR BAY, ST ARNAUD, NELSON LAKES

Sunday 8 Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon As a series, this is the world’s largest sporting event for kids and is New Zealand’s premier kids’ sporting event. Entry is open to anyone aged between 6 and 15 of all sporting abilities. 7am for 9am start. TAHUNANUI SPORTSFIELD, NELSON

Monday 9 Chamber Music New Zealand - Juilliard415 Next generation baroque, this chamber orchestra of young players from one of the world’s most distinguished music schools starts our season with a bang. The New York Times describes Juilliard415 as an ensemble who plays with

Pangaea Hailing from India and NZ, this trio performs an exciting fusion of Indian and Western musical styles. Pangaea are a unique international act with an engaging rapport and brilliant style and are not to be missed! 7.30pm. NELSON CENTRE OF MUSICAL ARTS

Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show Sleek cedar kayaks, jet boats from the 60s, clunky clinkers and 78

Sunday 5 April Wakefield Apple Fair Fun, family friendly celebration of the apple harvest with freshly pressed apple juice, food and beverage stalls, games and entertainers. 10.30am to 3.30pm. WILLOW BANK HERITAGE VILLAGE, WAKEFIELD-KOHATU HIGHWAY

“consistent poise, and hairtrigger responsiveness”. NELSON CENTRE OF MUSICAL ARTS

Sunday 15 Sport Tasman Muddy Buddy Adventure Run Grab a buddy or lots of buddies and slither, slide and run the fully marked mud- packed course. This is an adventure for all abilities. Don’t forget to come in fancy dress (preferably something that can be recycled). 11am start. TASMAN SCHOOL

Wednesday 18 to Saturday 21 Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile

Every Wednesday Nelson Farmers’ Market 8.30am to 1.30pm KIRBY LANE

Every Thursday Isel Market 4.30pm till dark ISEL HOUSE AND PARK, STOKE

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 Summer Challenge Teams of three women navigate their way through scenically rewarding natural environments either kayaking, mountain biking or hiking, with a map and compass in hand. You and your friends will love it! All weekend.

A honeymoon cruise down the Nile sounds like the perfect way to get away from it all. But, the tranquil warm darkness of an Egyptian evening can change fast when the air is thick with hot passion and cold malice. This is a story of passion, rivalry and revenge. Can you work out whodunnit? 7.30pm.




Saturday 21 to Sunday 22 Relay for Life Get behind this amazing fundraising festival event. Plenty of entertainment, lights, food stalls and more! 4pm Saturday to 8am Sunday.


Regular Markets


Every Saturday Artisan Market 9am to 2pm

Saturday 14 Havelock Mussel & Seafood Festival 2020


This event has been getting bigger and better over the last few years and 2020 is shaping up to be another corker! There will be more great bands, delicious food, great beer and wine and of course celebrity chefs. 10am to 6pm.

Every Sunday Marlborough Farmers’ Market 9am to 12pm The Sunday Marlborough Farmers’ Market is based on supporting local, fresh and seasonal produce and products. Everything has been picked, grown, farmed, fished, produced and made by the people selling it at the market.



MARCH - APRIL Saturday 7

to the iconic Ring of Fire, Jeff Carter and Brooke McMullen bring to life a captivating and unforgettable musical concert. 7.30pm.

Fiona Pears & Connor Hartley-Hall


Violinist Fiona Pears and guitarist Connor Hartley-Hall share a love of gypsy jazz, and this exciting and dynamic show will be a mix of fiery gypsy jazz, heartwarming ballads and some well-known classics. 7.30pm.

Friday 13


Thursday 12 Leaving Jackson - The Johnny Cash & June Carter Show For more than 40 years Johnny Cash and June Carter enthralled audiences around the world with their songs of life, love and heartache. From the famous Walk the Line and Folsom Prison Blues

Framingham 2020 Harvest Concert The Framingham Harvest Concert is a celebration of the upcoming harvest season. Kickass live bands, awesome Framingham Nobody’s Hero wine, Parrot Dog beers and local fare from The Feast Merchants. 5.30pm to 11pm.

conjunction with the Marlborough Hospice. Any vehicle is welcome and the theme for this year’s display is ‘Holden’. Food stalls, coffee and ice creams available. 10am to 3pm.

and all-round entertainer. He is performing with Marlborough District Brass in Kevin Mosely’s final concert as MD as the band celebrates 30 years of his musical leadership. 7.30pm.



Saturday 21 The DeSotos - Acoustic Routes Tour The DeSotos hit the road for this intimate, up-close and personal acoustic tour, featuring material from their two critically acclaimed albums as well as personal favourites and a few surprises! 3pm to 6pm.

Saturday 21 Sport Tasman Marlborough Muddy Buddy This event offers all the laughs that can be found on an estuary. Buddy up and get your costume sorted and head on down to complete a loop of absolute fun! 12pm to 4pm.



Sunday 15

Saturday 21

Marlborough Hospice Vehicle Display

James Morrison

Saturday 28

James Morrison is an Australianborn internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist,

Whitehaven GrapeRide

Organised by the Classic Motoring Society of Marlborough in

Saturday 21 to Sunday 22 Antique and Collectables Fair A quality antique fair not to be missed, proudly supporting Children’s Autism. All items for sale including quality antiques furniture, china, crystal, art glass and silver, jewellery, collectables and much more. Admission is by gold coin donation. 10am. MARLBOROUGH CONVENTION CENTRE, BLENHEIM


The biggest recreational and competitive cycling event in the South Island. Road and mountain bike options with a variety of distances available. 6am to 5pm. THE VINES VILLAGE, BLENHEIM

Wednesday 1 April Menopause the Musical Inspired by a hot flush and a bottle of wine, this show is a celebration for women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived ‘The Change’. This sidesplitting musical parody will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles! 7.30pm. ASB THEATRE MARLBOROUGH, BLENHEIM



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Developing her career After a slight detour and with encouragement from her boss, Marlene Herewini is halfway through her study towards a Bachelor of Career Development. She talks to Alana Bozoky. PHOTO BY JORDAN ROELOFS

What drew you to study the Bachelor of Career Development (BCD) programme? I have been interested in career development since I had my first career planning session in 2001 with Career Services. I enrolled to complete a qualification in career development but sometimes life gives you a little detour, so it was in 2013 when a move to a new job working for a boss who walked, talked and encouraged the values of career development that I restarted my journey. My goal was to gain a tohu that would complement my existing New Zealand Diploma in Business (HR) and support my focus on career development.

You’re halfway through your study of the BCD; which course during the programme so far has been of most interest to you? I find that a lot of us are intimidated about the formality of research, so I was very hesitant going into this paper as a distance student, but the content was broken down in such a way that it felt like riding a bike. It wasn’t until you made it around the block that you realised, I’m really doing it!

How have you found the faceto-face sessions in Nelson? Being a distance student from the North Island, already working in the field of career development, I did question the need to travel to an orientation in Nelson … but it was definitely worth it! The networking is gold, I was fortunate to sit in with the final year students working through their research plans and was thoroughly motivated by their mahi, and the knowledge of our tutors. We are naturally people oriented so it just makes sense that we would gain so much from this experience, kanohi ki te kanohi.

The programme is mostly online. How have you found this? While working in the careers field I have been continuously impressed by the practicality of the assessments and how easily they can be incorporated into our current offerings, deliveries and face-to-face sessions with students. I am never left wondering … how does this relate to my practice? Resources are easy to locate, provided with good user support and information, and the layering of activities helps you build a comprehensive knowledge of their application.

How have you found the tutors on the programme? The tutors of this programme have been a real highlight for me, probably enhanced by my on-campus visit. They are knowledgeable, accessible, bicultural ambassadors who care deeply about career development, for our people now and into the future.

Your current role at Toi-Ohomai is a Careers and Employability

Facilitator. As you are halfway through the BCD has your learning so far helped in this role? If yes, how? With the changes happening in the tertiary sector it feels good to know that the knowledge, skills and development I am gaining now really will take me into the future with confidence, and that it continues to encourage my ‘life-long love of learning’. As ‘careers people’ we really need to be able to walk our talk and this qualification has really re-enforced that principle for me in a fun, challenging and exciting way.

How have you found working and studying? The commitment is real! You do need to put in the time, do your readings and read for value. Working full-time in the field and then studying part-time could feel a little overwhelming, but it just seemed to strengthen my practice and motivate me to keep doing better for those I serve.

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WildTomato March 2020