NZ's finest food producers revealed
We raise a glass, and a tasty morsel or two, to the winners of this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.
7 ways to use up firewood ashes
If you're never sure what to do with the ash from your fireplace, don’t be too quick to dump it, give these helpful tips a try instead.
Grow your own stevia
As a cash crop, stevia ticks all the boxes: it's easy to grow; doesn't take up much space; and doesn't need your full-time commitment.
Polly's Blog: Love thy neighbour
Tensions with a neighbour force Polly to learn lessons from the land.
What to do with unripe tomatoes
Ways to ripen those green tomatoes that just won't go red and a handy recipe for green tomato salsa.
8 nuts you need to grow
Growing your own nuts is a long-term plan, but these trees don’t need a lot of attention and having your own fresh, free nut supply is definitely worth a few years of waiting.
Three lime myths busted
Dr Doug Edmeades busts pH balancing myths and explains why you should try adding lime to your soil.
What's On: Dancing with Mozart
Great music inspires great dance, as the Royal New Zealand Ballet presents an eclectic programme of four works – classical and contemporary – inspired by the music of Mozart.
Screen Sirens podcast: A Wrinkle in Time
The Screen Sirens didn't enjoy watching A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, although they have a lot of fun discussing the Disney fantasy film in their latest podcast.
Polly's Blog: Love thy neighbour
Tensions with a neighbour force Polly to learn lessons from the land.
Cocktail delivery service? Sign us up
Cocktails look and taste great, but are tricky to do at home. Meet the NZ entrepreneurs making them easy. Plus 2 bonus cocktail recipes.
Is this the feijoa cake of your dreams?
Kristina Jensen's gooey upside down feijoa caramel cake is the autumn cake you've been waiting for.
Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist
An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.
Recipe: Moroccan honey and mint syrup cake
This cake from East End Café in Wairoa is delicious served with a dollop of cream or unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
Polly's blog: Easter camping misadventures
While townies flock to the campgrounds to get away from it all, for bush baby Polly the holiday park is a chance to reconnect.
How this family reduced their power bill to $30
Inside the life of a sustainable family who only need to work part-time and eat from a permaculture pantry that grows right up to their back door.
What's On: The Lie
With a nod to Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Harold Pinter’s landmark 1970s adultery drama Betrayal, the ruthless comedy dissects the hypocrisies that hold society together. This playful farce runs from 7 April to 5 May at the Circa Theatre in Wellington.
Auckland A & P Association celebrates 175th Anniversary
The Auckland A & P Association is celebrating its 175th anniversary at this year’s Royal Easter Show. But the family event looked quite different at its premier in 1843.
The Growroom project aims to encourage urban agriculture
Architects are collaborating on innovative solutions for food production in increasingly urbanised areas.
Video: 138 kg of food harvested from 15 sqm in 6 months
When NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan left behind her vast veggie beds at the Rocket Ranch for city life, she called in the experts to create a 100% edible courtyard garden.
Recipe: Ruth Pretty's Easter Buns with Lemon Icing Drizzle
Please a crowd these holidays with Ruth Pretty's zesty Easter buns which are packed with spices, dried apricots, raisins and sultanas.
Four generations' memories at Rangitikei's Tyrone farm
For more than 100 years, a Rangitikei farm has been home to one family. Now the fourth generation is putting its own twist on tradition.
Recipe: Sugar-cured venison
This luscious dish makes good use of seasonal produce. You need to make the red pepper relish at least a day ahead, but it makes a huge amount so can be stored away for colder months.
Polly's Blog: A lesson from the children
All it takes is a different point of view to see wild pigs and whole grains from a new perspective.
Recipe: Tomato cashew soup
This tomato soup with carrots, celery and cashew cream is a local favourite.
Make this cute crochet possum bookmark
Mark our words, there’s nothing better than a squished possum. This cute, comical bookmark is just the fun craft project to remind you of that.
Film review: Tomb Raider
It may not be the female action-hero film you’ve been hanging out for, but a new movie starring Alicia Vikander breathes new life into the relic-hunting character Lara Croft.
A beginner's guide to goat's cheese SPONSORED
Goat's cheese is a hot culinary trend - but do you know which flavours to match with it? Take a course in goat's cheese 101 with two new cheeses from Whitestone.
How a look through a camera lens saved a century-plus-old villa
When Rotorua photographer Tracey Scott looks through her camera, she sees possibilities - not problems - which is also her metaphor for life.
Recipe: Roasted baby turnips
A simple turnip recipe that makes a great addition to a weekend roast.
Jim Kayes' blog: Telling little lies
This week, Jim gets caught telling a few porkies.
Lisa Scott goes cage diving with great white sharks
They say the only way to conquer a fear is to confront it, but Lisa Scott discovers singing “la la la” and completely ignoring it might be less psychologically damaging in the long run.
Novelist Tanya Moir's double life
Our heroine casts a dashing figure as she marches across the Banks Peninsula. And like all good dramatic characters, her past holds a compelling secret.
Recipe: 20-vegetable salad with cucumber dressing
Ruth Pretty's recipe is based on a salad she loved eating in Tokyo. Change the veggies depending on what is in your fridge or the garden.
NZ’s top chefs compete in Restaurant Awards
New Zealanders have a chance to sample more than 60 original dishes on menus across the country during the judging period for the Silver Fern Farms Restaurant of the Year Awards.
11 inspiring New Zealand women share their stories
In celebration of International Women's Day, we share a few of our most popular stories about inspiring Kiwi women.
How a dry garden and lavender farm helped Karen Rhind start again
For a lavender enthusiast and landscape designer, crafting a wild and beautiful garden in one of the country’s most inhospitable environments was an expression of letting go.
Dunedin to Queenstown: A road trip to remember
A road trip through iconic southern scenery spins the wheels and the twangs the heart-strings.
Tickled pink by a 1973 Holden LJ Torana
A 45-year-old Aussie eye-catcher has added colour to its owner’s life.
Recipe: Gingerbread Kisses
These little individual cakes are very, VERY good. You can keep a stash of unfilled cakes in the freezer for emergencies.
Andrea Bosshard on filming her father for new doco
Kobi – a Life Work documents the story of film-maker Andrea Bosshard’s father – an unassuming goldsmith and mountaineer who became known as New Zealand’s grandfather of contemporary jewellery.
Dr Compost's recipe for the good life and top composting tips
As a champion of the health and happiness benefits of rich, rotting compost, nothing makes Ben Elms more content than the multitude of microscopic critters squirming in his compost.
How Ryan Sanders and Marco Creemers scaled the heights of success
Scaling the heights of success is becoming almost commonplace for a couple who became engaged on Mt Everest and steer a company that just scooped New Zealand’s most prestigious tourism award.
Ruth Pretty on how to be the host with the most
Ruth Pretty's name is synonymous with having a good time: meet the well-loved caterer who is bringing her special brand of deliciousness to your dinner table.
The tiny guide to building tiny
While she wasn’t immediately sold on the tiny house movement, 20-something Amanda Chapman has now jumped on board, boots and all, building her own.
Be in to win one of two Kahukura wraps
Untouched World's throw-over women's wrap is an ideal way to dress up a simple outfit and stay warm at the same time.
One family's experience with deer velvet farming
The Inch family farm red deer with a velvet hand and a soft touch, but it has been a learning curve for his city-born-and-bred wife.
Final call for entries for Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards
Entries close Friday 2 March for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.
5 steps to the perfect cup of tea
Mindfulness is a key ingredient in the preparation of your daily cuppa, explains Tea Master Anna Kydd.
How to create a food forest garden
Food forests can seem like the most complicated of garden designs, but here's how to do it yourself, step-by-step.
3 irresistible plum recipes
When plums go crazy, these recipes will help you use them all up in the most delicious ways possible.
Recipe: honey-roasted pork belly
Use strong honey, such as manuka, so the flavour permeates this rich and sticky pork dish. To make it easier to carve, ask your butcher to remove the bone from the pork.
11 tips to marketing a successful food business
Three experts share their wisdom on how to create a profitable food product.
How the Big Bang Theory transformed Glenn Jones' business
Graphic designer Glenn Jones burst onto the T-shirt scene with a bang and has gone on to create a global business from the spare room of his Auckland villa.
Recipe: Citrus cooler
You can use any mix of citrus to make this perfect evening drink, and dress it up with mint and borage flowers.
Jim Kayes' blog: Big dogs vs small dogs
In Jim Kayes' blog this week - the family debates whether to downsize their next pooch.
The Off-Topic Book Club: Lincoln in the Bardo
The Off-Topic Book Club can't agree about whether George Saunders' Man Booker winning novel lives up to the hype.
Polly's blog: heartbreak in the holiday season
A seaside town is brought to a standstill after a drowning.
Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you
You’ll know when your digestive system is working the way it should.
Recipe: cheesy eggplant bake
This dish is a household staple at tomato grower, Gemma Romano's home. Her grandson Anthony likes to eat it as an afternoon snack, sandwiched between two slices of white bread.
3 inspiring New Zealand food forests
We take a guided tour through three very different food forests at different stages in their lifecycle.
Make money from honey (without being a beekeeper)
Here’s how to profit from bees without becoming a beekeeper.
Recipe: Beer-can chicken
A Kiwi-summer favourite has been given a tasty upgrade with a spicy rub.
Take a tour of Jools Topp's cute-as-a-button caboose
When everybody knows your name, a private space becomes a treasure and Jools Topp has found hers in a country caboose.
How the southerly winds inspire Mark Hill's amazing sculptures
Southerly gales invigorate the Hills family life in a holiday house by the sea.
Recipe: Holiday braised leg of lamb
This dish can be cooked at a leisurely pace in a lidded barbecue or pizza oven.
Family and friendships formed on the Tora Coastal Walk
The journey has been every bit as important as the destination for two farming families behind New Zealand’s longest-running private walk.
Villa Maria founder's Waipu Cove escape
A bach at the beach yields vintage holidays for one of New Zealand’s best-known wine-making families.
Palmerston North's award-winning bagpipe player
One of Australasia’s most successful bagpipe players, plays a triumphant tune that drifts from the flat plains of Palmerston North to the Scottish Highlands.
Recipe: Campfire couscous
A couscous perfect for summer with spring onions, dates and feta.
A caravan suffering from a mid-life crisis
Hula girls, grass skirts and a pineapple ice bucket... the only thing missing from this Hawaiian homage is a coconut palm swaying in the warm Waiheke breeze.
What to do at Lake Waikaremoana
Lake Waikaremoana is a special place; we share the best places to walk, explore and learn from this amazing part of New Zealand.
Hipsy Scott's storybook home on wheels
There was a young girl who dreamt of faraway lands, who saw roads stretching ahead filled with never-ending stories. Thankfully, it became it reality.
Take a tour of the historic Bull Creek cribs in Otago
Kith and kinship are at the heart of the happiness found in a tiny holiday community on the South Island’s south coast.
4 Golden Bay outdoor activities
Visiting Golden Bay - the Insider's Guide has got you covered.
Why scientists are researching health benefits of Moonglow tomatoes
There are tomatoes, and then there is this great-tasting heritage variety with a very special secret.
Wired-up sculptor Cherise Thomson's No. 8 creations
An Auckland artist regularly uses hundreds of kilometres of wire, but she isn’t making fences.
Think global, act local - and hurry up!
Unwanted waste might disappear from the immediate environment, but it has to go somewhere.
Lisa Scott... goes tramping
The earth moved for the Feckless Miss Scott on her first three-day tramp high in the Naumann range north of Lake Ohau.
Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds
These Wellington boat sheds – some of them important local landmarks – mean many things to many people.
Orongorongo Valley's 50 private huts
Fifty private huts, hidden in native bush in the Orongorongo Valley near Wellington, have played an important role for generations of families.
The Restoration of Daisy Mae, the caravan
Don Jessen shares his experience restoring a rusty 1958 14-foot (4.2 metre) Liteweight Kiwi caravan, one of only 28 built, to her former glory.
Jim Kayes' Blog: Keeping up with the kids
This week Jim suffers from a wounded ego when he lags behind his daughters on the sports field.
Motueka nursery growing rare native seedlings
The nursery supporting its local habitat, local gardeners and its owners.
Lake Hawea's dreamy stone glasshouse
So she said: ‘I’d really like a stone glasshouse.’ And he said: ‘Sure, I know exactly what you mean. I’ll build it.’ And he did.
The adventurer living in a treehouse
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ could have been invented for adventure traveler Ellis Emmett.
From derelict barn to award-winning berry business
A Wairarapa couple have transformed a derelict wee barn and rundown lifestyle block into a successful fruit and berry business.
Polly's Blog: In hot water
‘Valve’ becomes an offensive word when Polly and co suffer plumbing problems.
An unforgettable drive
Kelly Gillbanks drives the Holden Equinox SUV through the Forgotten World Highway and discovers some colourful New Zealand history including the feline vice-president of the 'Republic of Whangamomona' and a brand new private museum.
Turning back time on the Forgotten World Highway
The decommissioned Stratford-Okahukura line covers some of the most isolated country in the North Island making it home to the tunnels, bridges and townships that time forgot.
Jim Kayes' blog: Dad's on strike!
This week Jim is on strike to help improve his daughters’ usefulness around the house.
Artist John McLean's coastal orchard in Taranaki
Artist John McLean was driven by need to become self-sufficient 30 years ago, but today he and wife Chris couldn't live any other way.
Imake's 50M home brewing success story
A NZ home-brew company has doubled its turnover after launching an electric brewing machine called The Grainfather.
Book review: Life on Muzzle
A tale of pioneering in the 1980’s in one of NZ’s most remote high-country stations captures book reviewer Peter White’s imagination.
Travelling through Dublin by foot
A visitor to Dublin meets Molly Malone, Oscar Wilde and Handel, and downs his first-ever Guinness in the embrace of a local pub-goer.
Recipe: Southland cheese rolls
The best cheese rolls are found in Southland – and don’t dare suggest otherwise.
Video: Watch Amelia Ferrier transform a cake into a work of art
Cakes are a blank canvas for a talented baker and author of Melie's Kitchen.
Teaching mindfulness to vulnerable NZ teens
For Kristina Cavit – yoga teacher, mindfulness coach and youth leader – mindfulness means not only paying attention to and nourishing her present, but also that of others.
What Carolyn Ferraby learned creating Barewood Garden
Every vista in this world-class garden, photographed through the seasons, tempts visitors down a path laden with promise. Barewood Garden's creator shares how she's grown alongside her garden.
Sawmill Brewery scales up to 1M capacity
A Matakana couple find that brewing beer, staying creative and living in the country is the best medicine for what ails you.
How to garden with cats
Kirsty Pascoe is an avid gardener who has applied permaculture principles to her back yard and her cats.
Animals set to steal the show at Heroic Festival
A colourful Auckland family with a motley crew of animals are opening their garden gate for the Heroic Garden Festival.
Religious community launches tiny house business
Driven by a vision of a simpler way, five Manawatu families are reaping the benefits of living side by side.
We try riding an electric bike through Auckland
Electric bikes are popular in Asia and Europe, but will they catch on in Auckland? We see what the buzz is about.
Self-taught knitter turns heads at Vogue
Nicole Leybourne’s designer jumpers are so sought after, she’s had to hire a team of knitters across the country.
Christmas on the barbie menu
Have yourself a very merry Christmas barbecue with these show-stopping recipes by Anthony Hoy Fong
The magic of madness at Matakana Sculptureum
Anthony and Sandra Grant's curious Matakana playground mixes a love of art with a soupcon of insanity for all to enjoy.
4 reasons why you need to visit Blackball
Gold is hidden in the black sands and gravel creeks of Greymouth but travelers need to venture no further to find quirks and curiosity than Blackball, 30 kilometres inland from Greymouth.
Jim Kayes' Blog: Playing with fire in Samoa
This week Jim takes the family to Samoa and it is confirmed, those daughters are an easy step ahead of him in his Apia-bought jandals.
7 kaka facts for bird lovers
The kākā is vying for your vote in Bird of the Year. We share seven reasons why this gregarious parrot deserves to be New Zealand's top bird.
Raglan biz chasing pet food market
The doggedness of two Raglan friends - plus a supportive community - helped launch a posh pet brand
Couple create fernbird safehaven
A Southland couple have turned their block into an internationally-recognised wetland of importance, and a safe haven for one of NZ's rare birds.
Polly's blog: Meeting Far North Boogeyman
Polly comes face-to-face with Brutus, the local boar, and the Far North version of the Boogeyman.
Kate tries her hand at cheesemaking
NZ Life & Leisure editor Kate Coughlan, aka Little Miss Muffet, takes a voyage around her great-grandfather and makes cheese.
Water Cooler: Deco decadence and anti-plastic fantastic
This week in the water cooler: we're exploring Napier's Art Deco architecture in style, reducing our use of plastic bags and taking part in an important study.
Jim Kayes' blog: Saying goodbye
This week Jim ponders different ways of grieving and wonders, yet-again, if those daughters aren’t a step ahead of him.
Tickets available to the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners
Readers in Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin can sample the award-winning cuisine at the Outstanding Food Producer Dinners.
Why Chelsea Winter feels at home in the country
The cookbook queen is happiest when she's following the lead of her nature-loving mother.
Is this Disneyland for dogs?
Angela Beer didn't even know she was a dog person until she met her beloved Dunhill, and she had even less idea just how far that love would take her.
Screen Sirens podcast: Top of the Lake
Are we living in a television golden age? The Screen Sirens discuss why award-winning Kiwi writer and director Jane Campion now prefers to work on TV these days. They then give the low down on the second season of Top of the Lake.
Video: Watch Ben Foster create his faceted sculptures
Between the mountains and the sea, sculptor Ben Foster and environmentalist Sabrina Luecht have found the best of nests.
The veggie that helps break the sugar habit
Kristina is trying to break her addiction to sugar and she's found there's a veggie on her side.
Great Dixter gardener heading to NZ
When a legendary gardener dies, what becomes of his or her garden? Ask Fergus Garrett, the guest speaker at November's Nelmac Garden Marlborough.
Water Cooler: NZ's best chocolates
This week in the water cooler: We announce NZ's best chocolates, meet a very special creche at Ararimu School and wage a war on stickered fruit.
Mother and son racing team rally on
Brenda Williamson is as competent managing a private hospital as she is navigating tight corners.
Polly's blog: Please and thanks
This week, Polly finds manners put grease in social cogs while attending a children's birthday party.
A 'tail' of pet technology
New wearable pet sensors will not only find Fido, they can also report on how he's feeling.
Behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards
Being a chocolate judge would be many children’s dream. thisNZlife goes behind the scenes at the NZ Chocolate Awards to discover how to taste chocolate like a pro.
Jim Kayes' blog: breaking bad
This week the sky falls in after a slip on the rocks.
Game on for Lumsden salami business
A passion for hunting and a taste for cured meat prompted Chris and Sally Thorn to start their own artisan business in Lumsden.
The biochemist discovering secrets in NZ soil
A spirited New Zealand biochemist and entrepreneur is finding ways to support women in science on her own home soil.
Alice Englert talks about her mum Jane Campion
Actress Alice Englert wasn’t fazed baring her soul on camera for her mother Jane Campion’s latest series.
Recipe: Roast leg of lamb with broad beans with easy gravy
Mint enhances the flavour of both the lamb and the broad beans, bringing a freshness to this dish.
Recipe: Steamed fennel
This fennel dish makes a lovely addition to a traditional roast meal, or is a good accompaniment to fish and chicken.
Water Cooler: Dog adopting and ballet
This week in the water cooler, we're tutu impressed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet's Romeo & Juliet, are finding heart-melting dogs, are celebrating Tanya Carlson's 20 years in fashion and are watching Helen Clark documentary, My Year With Helen.
Lisa Scott's wild ride at Awakino Ski Field
Lisa Scott’s first day of snowboarding at Awakino skifield in North Otago involved a helicopter and an avalanche.
Polly's blog: listening to the natural world
The family visit the local marae, and reap the mother of all harvests.
7 things to do in Invercargill
There’s plenty waiting to be discovered in the big city of Invercargill and in the small towns that line its wild coast.
Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann
This German-born dream machine is loving Kiwi country roads
Screen Sirens: Keeping up with Keaton
The Screen Sirens weigh up how the new film Hampstead compares to Diane Keaton's other movies.
Water Cooler: Virtual worlds and grapefruit hunting
This week in the water cooler, we're foraging for grapefruit, exploring virtual worlds, taking trips to Spain and are feeling inspired by a New Zealand business leader.
Dr Libby talks weight loss and low energy availability
The weight-loss equation of calories in/calories out is not only dated, it can also be harmful
Why manuka is New Zealand’s super-healing oil SPONSORED
A New Zealand super-plant is powering the healing properties of a must-have multi-tasking new balm.
The Burt Munro of the skies
A New Zealand pilot is channeling Burt Munro racing a Soviet World War II era fighter plane in Reno next month.
Simon Gault from plot to plate
Former MasterChef judge Simon Gault’s diabetes diagnosis is a 'sauce' of inspiration for a new food venture and at his restaurant Giraffe where he serves veggies grown in his own garden .
Exploring South East Asia by cruise ship
A cruise passenger speed-dates destinations along the south-east Asian coast, and hopes to meet some of them again.
Recipe: two great avocado ideas
NZ avocados are particularly special, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 per cent more folate than those grown in other parts of the world.
Recipe: Okroshka soup
This cold summer soup, made with kvas, is Russia’s answer to gazpacho.
The Russian fermented drink, brewed in Christchurch
A Christchurch-based couple who met in Russia had a gut feeling a tasty new probiotic would be a hit in New Zealand. They were right
Jim Kayes' blog: growing up quickly
This week Jim realises he’s been left behind - again.
10 timeless makeup and beauty secrets
You can’t actually age backwards, but you can look like it. Take these few make-up tips for keeping your face as ageless as your spirit.
9 tips for starting a local food co-op
For more than 25 years, the locals of a small rural Southland community have co-operated to provide themselves with mostly locally-grown, organic food. They encourage others to try it, and to learn from their years of experience.
Eruption survivor climbs to the top
Mt Ruapehu robbed William Pike of one of his legs but never his ability to inspire
Reader story: Joany's sometimes stall
The roadside stalls that dot the rural landscape, suddenly appearing on a windy road when you least expect it, so I was trying not to let on just how desperate I was for one of my own.
Water cooler: a winter weekend, clever koura and hockey stars
This week in the water cooler: A winter weekend in Central, wild waterways and their wonderful creatures, underwater world champions and a towering construction.
Sweet smell of success for vegan soap business
A couple’s wish list read: their own land, a self-sustainable lifestyle and a business that reflected their personal values. After a bright idea and lots of hard work, that list has become a blueprint for the Blue Earth range of body products
Recipe: Red onion marmalade
Take your cheese board to the next level with this onion marmalade recipe.
Art with a world view
A leading Japanese businessman who has chosen New Zealand as his home, wields art to encourage society to reuse what exists rather than waste resources. he shares his vision for bringing contemporary art into the natural landscape.
Annette Presley says 'feel the fear and do it anyway'
A long list of charity work and a focus on living a good and healthy life occupies one of the country’s leading business people. Annette Presley shares her insight
A guide to NZ's backyard birds
How to identify birds and encourage birdlife in your backyard.
Video: Botanist Philip Simpson shares his love of totara
Our native trees are some of the most unique in the world, and so is the man who has dedicated his life to studying them and telling their stories, including his latest on the king of them all.
It's all good craic in Belfast
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but what do Game of Thrones, a jigging Irishman and Bill Clinton have in common? Belfast
A walk on the wild side in Southland
In this award-winning story, Lisa Scott travels on foot through northern Southland’s high country and on board a helicopter to the roof of the world in Southland.
Water cooler: Dunkirk review and garden goals
This week in the water cooler, we're raving about Dunkirk, achieving our garden goals and digging up our old handbags for a good cause.
Recipe: Quinoa fried chicken with coriander salsa
Switch breadcrumbs for quinoa for a gluten-free version of fried chicken.
My career path: Estée Lauder GM, Marie-Ann Billens
Marie-Ann Billens understands that the key to a long-lasting career is to create a good foundation – and to find a job that never feels like work
Polly's Blog: Pondering parenting styles
Polly tests an alternative parenting method on for size
Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino
Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time
Video: 21-year-old NZ mandala artist with worldwide fanbase
Meet 21-year-old fine arts student and artist Lizzie Snow who is winning fans around the world with her intricate geometric mandala designs. Watch our exclusive video.
Water Cooler: Celebrating science, dry July & French spirit
This week in the water cooler we: celebrate clever New Zealand scientists at the KiwiNet awards and take our horses to the dentist (yikes).
'Prioritize time to rest' says Dr Libby
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be a juggle but finding the right balance is essential for happiness and wellbeing.
Video: Hitching a ride on a rubbish truck
thisNZlife’s Emma Rawson and Sarah van Boheemen from Love Food Hate Waste hitch a ride on an Auckland Council food waste collection truck and see, firsthand, how much food New Zealanders throw away.
Jim Kayes' blog: Am I turning into my mum?
Jim turns from hero to zero when channeling his mother's parenting style.
How Tuhoe is leading the way in sustainable design
Te Kura Whare is a new-generation building embodying super-green values and the spirit of Tūhoe
Recipe: Gluten-free, dairy-free saffron almond cake
This cake is gluten and dairy-free - and delicious. It’s a beautiful saffron-gold colour, and has a delicious orange flavour and moist texture, plus it’s easy to make.
Video: Locals fighting to protect the waterways that feed Lake Wanaka
Water, a precious resource, is at its most pristine in a spring-fed stream chuckling its way through the heart of Wanaka
Recipe: Poor Man's Orange marmalade
Kelly Farrimond's Poor Man's Orange marmalade is a reduced sugar version of a family favourite.
Polly's Blog: A legendary stick-in-the-mud
Polly channels Crumpy and Scotty when she braves flood waters in a Hilux - and becomes a true bush woman in the process.
Sustainable sewing in a solar-powered campervan
Sarah Lancaster is a maker on a mission to encourage sustainability - one hand-made tote at a time. Through her business, Sew Love, she’s teaching basic tailoring skills such as hemming, mending and patchwork.
Twice as nice for couple living in villa for 2nd time
After years overseas, an Auckland couple has created an urban oasis on home soil in a house they have lived in twice.
Recipe: Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake
Maureen-Ann Farrimond's Pineapple Fruitcake is a family favourite.
Jim Kayes' blog: Coach dad
Jim Kayes finds himself cast in the role of coach, but can he hold court in the world of school netball?
Tiny house business booming for 21 year-old
A young Wellingtonian is thinking big with a burgeoning tiny house business.
Hunting for wild flowers in Aus
Western Australia’s wild flowers draw hoards of hunters in search of a floral fix.
Andean superfood quinoa grown in Taihape
A little experiment with a superfood has turned into a win-win business for a young farming couple.
The science behind growth hormones
One of the enduring myths about commercial poultry is that poultry producers worldwide use growth hormones to make broilers grow faster and produce more meat.
Polly's Blog: Pig hunting with the Scottish Bear Grylls
James hogs the limelight when he goes on the hunt for a pig and Polly wisely stays at home.
Wairoa's man of action
Environmental scientist and lawyer Fergus Power has moved from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to injecting a little “rocket fuel” into the Wairoa District Council.
People are swooning over this 1966 Cortina
Rongotea dairy farmer Alan Rowe has struck a surprising little problem with the car he has owned for 47 years.
No-fail pumpkin and coconut soup
This easy-to-make pumpkin soup is packed with flavour.
Water cooler: In praise of persimmons
This week in the water cooler: We wage a fruit war with Lynda Hallinan over persimmons explore a handy travel photo app, and mow our support for Emirates Team New Zealand.
The murky world of NZ water
The discussion around the state of NZ’s fresh water isn’t short of an opinion or two, but science is speaking out more loudly.
The hunt for the real llamas of NZ
This llama farmer is so dedicated to her quest to find and save the real llamas of New Zealand, she is making a life-changing move to a new home on a new island.
Jim's blog: Driving me mad
This week Jim Kayes teaches his daughter how to drive, and lives to tell the tale.
Our winter fashion wrap up
Stay chic and cosy this winter with our fashion picks.
Two same sex couples raising one happy little girl
Ask Rodney and Clinton and Erin and Emma... They’ll tell you it’s love that makes a family, not just blood ties.
Polly's blog: 'Save New Zealand's rivers for our kids'
As the debate over the country’s polluted waterways heats up, Polly Greeks writes a love letter to Aotearoa’s rivers and streams.
PurePod glass cabins are a partnership with NZ farmers
A stay at these all-glass cabins on the outskirts of Kaikoura is to step into a magical realm where the world is reframed and time works in mysterious ways.
Jim Kayes' Great Barrier Island fishy tale
Twenty-five years a journalist, Jim Kayes knows how to hook a story but when he ventures out on his rookie fishing trip he realises hooking a fish is completely different.
Water cooler: long weekend movies and wild Waikato roads
This week in the water cooler: we review McLaren and Wonder Woman, avoid some nasty slips in the Waikato and put porridge to the test.
Meet the stars of Pecking Order
The 2017 National Poultry Show is a celebration of NZ’s oldest poultry club, and its members are all stars of a chick flick with a difference.
Port for duck hunting season
Boutique winemaker Debra Cruickshank has produced a port especially for duck hunting season.
Jim Kayes' blog: Good morning sunshine
Jim Kayes has been a journalist for 25 years. He survived growing up with four sisters and is now married with two daughters. Despite this, he thinks he's in charge.
Slavko Martinov talks brain tumours and Pecking Order
The director of the new film Pecking Order talks about the bizarre world of poultry showing, and how a brain tumour has shaped his outlook on life.
1906 villa sees new life after Chch earthquake
When the owners of an earthquake-wrecked home were told it was a lost cause, They knew it wasn’t.
Water cooler: How to find a missing cat (we hope)
This week in the water cooler, we're using our CSI skills to search for a missing cat, eating all of the pies and are singing in the rain.
Screen Sirens podcast: Wonder Woman review
Screen Sirens reviewers Emma and Yolanta say Wonder Woman is the action movie women have been waiting for.
Former America's Cup sailor floats new business
A three-time America’s Cup winning team member is back on a boat but in a wooden dinghy.
How Bird on a Wire became one of NZ's fastest-growing firms
An Auckland chicken-restaurant chain founded on a wing and a prayer is now one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing businesses thanks to the adaptability of its owners.
Blog: treasure hunting in the Far North
In which Polly trades in foreign treasure-hunting for a more sedate seeking of materials and finds it just as rewarding.
How this rare pig could aid biomedical science
The rarest pig breed in the world is teetering on the brink of extinction, and the few people working to save it would love some help from anyone who enjoys the company of pigs, and a good slice or three of the tastiest bacon around.
Hedgehogs: friend or foe?
Hedgehogs present a prickly problem, being both garden friend and foe.
Anthony Byrt and the conversation of art
Journalist and art critic Anthony Byrt is doing his bit to make the world – and Northland – a better place.
Bird brains and Anne with an E
This week in the water cooler: We have birds on the brain reviewing Pecking Order, get caught in a web of spidey powers, and revisit a classic with Anne with an E.
Secrets of the Cook Islands
There are secrets to discover in the Cook Islands by following the road less traveled.
The 10 most cost-effective edibles to grow
Food is the biggest household expense after accommodation, and the cost of it seems to be skyrocketing year after year, so what are the most high value things you can grow to save money?
Why Pauline Bianchi always trusts her instincts
Art gallery founder Pauline Bianchi has overcome a life-threatening accident to create a meaningful life with her 6 year-old daughter Valentina.
Is eco-friendly Mangarara Station the future of NZ farming?
Greg and Rachel Hart share a mission: to connect New Zealanders with what they eat, how they live and with the planet itself.
Recipe: Gluten-free quinoa tart
This easy-to-make quinoa tart is a tasty and filling dish to serve to guests on a gluten-free diet.
Artisan willow weaver encourages community spirit
This old craft is still immensely popular, and encourages a true community spirit on a Golden Bay lifestyle block.
Polly's blog: a whale tale
Polly turns to a whale when time rushes by.
Design a home orchard
A well-designed orchard means you can be self-sufficient in fruit all year-round.
Career path: life as a ballet mistress
From a little girl in her mother’s Auckland studio to the big-city stages of the world, ballerina Clytie Campbell’s career has swept from one act to the next.
A divine conversion
Breathing new life into an old church has taken more than a decade and cost twice the estimate but the owners are in heaven.
Rigatoni con Salsiccia Siciliana e zucchine
This is a simple dish, yet to do it well you need to concentrate.
The inspiration behind Fred van Brandenberg's organic building design
A revelation turned an experienced and successful architect away from the traditional styles in which he’d always worked towards something far more organic.
Wild mushroom risotto with prawns and hot-smoked guanciale
This recipe by The Prodigal Daughter founder, Rachel Priestly showcases her own Italian- styled cured meats.
Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park
Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.
And the winner is...
Meet Sean and Jodi Brosnahan – East Coast farmers, breeders of supreme Angus beef and winners of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017.
Full list of winners for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards
NZ Life & Leisure proudly supports the annual Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. With 150 entries, from the Catlins to Kaitaia, the judges were spoilt for choice.
For crying out loud! NZ's town crier shortage
New Zealand towns and cities are crying out for more town criers. Two sisters are ringing the bell for a proud (and loud) institution.
'10 lessons I learned living in a 27sqm tiny house'
Golden Bay writer Charlotte Squire learned a lot about life in downsizing her family into a 27sqm home
Blog: the pros and cons of homeschool
The land is proving to be a natural classroom in more ways than one for Polly and her family.
Judges’ kitchen cupboard secrets
It’s almost time for the announcement of the winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017 so thisNZlife asked the award judges to reveal their kitchen secrets.
Vanilla pear, parma ham and blue cheese salad
This recipe by The Mountain Cafe's Kirsten Gilmour is perfect for a light, fresh, lunch or evening salad.
Water cooler: Chicken Screams and divine TV
This week in the water cooler: we scream like a chook, watch divine TV and gaze in awe at mighty Mt Ruapehu.
The brewery that uses wild yeast from Kapiti Island
The wild yeasts of Kapiti Island star in a new brew from a Waikanae company known for its barrel-fermented sour beers.
How to sanitise water
If water is contaminated after a disaster, there are several ways to purify it.
A healthy food plan for post-emergency power cuts
Food in a refrigerator won’t last long without power so plan your food usage carefully to avoid contamination.
How to look after animals in an emergency
How to keep animals calm after a disaster and how to plan for animal evacuation.
Blog: traveling with kids
Polly finds traveling with kids a less-than-relaxing experience.
Dr Libby's guide to eating 'flexitarian'
Force yourself to eat a certain way and you will likely fail. try giving yourself a little wiggle room instead.
Scientists explore cancer-fighting properties of heritage apples
An everyday accountant is working with New Zealand scientists to explore the disease-fighting properties of heritage apples and orange tomatoes.
The return of the community fridge
Zero-waste blogger Amanda Chapman discusses the community fridge project and her eco heroes.
A creative network of young country women
Meet the selection of creative female go-getters selling their wares at the Rural Ladies marketplace.
Rare footage of a Stewart Island brown kiwi during the day
Distracted by saddlebacks and robins, Insider’s Guide editor Cheree Morrison never expected to trip over a kiwi.
Connecting Young Rural Ladies
From two sprawling high-country stations on either side of the Waitaki River, two young and creative rural ladies are empowering and connecting like-minded women.
Jim Kayes cycles the Hauraki Rail Trail
Jim Kayes is easily led astray by his 10-year-old daughter on a bike along the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Blog: is it time for the ducks to get the chop?
This week, Polly defends her ducks from a date with the casserole pot.
Gluten-free bread business on the rise
An Auckland entrepreneur is earning a crust with a clever bread mix business.
How your kitchen can go pro
If you think selling food you’ve made in your home kitchen can’t be done legally, you could be in for a delicious surprise. We meet some small-time home-based business people with a passion for food who show how they work within the rules.
Creating a culture of innovation
An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button
6 inspiring man caves and she sheds
We’ve all heard of ‘man caves’, but there are so many inspiring garden buildings, including the ‘she shed’. Check out these beautiful projects from NZ and around the world, most made on a small budget and out of recycled materials.
Yes, this is actually a cucumber
If you like the long green cucumbers, you're going to love these extraordinary orbs.
Are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer?
Some businesses are disguising their employees as volunteers, so are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer from another volunteer scheme?
Move it in Madagascar
Cycling the exotic island of Madagascar provides a lesson in the country's economy, as well as one in humanity.
5 weird but really tasty things to make using basil
If you only think pesto when you think of basil, Jenny has some recipes to tickle your tastebuds.
Recipe: peanut butter burgers
Spice up your homemade burgers with a good dollop of peanut butter relish.
Mexican photographer's first farm visit
Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.
Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School
Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.
Annabel Langbein’s flash-roasted chilli lime salmon
Feeding a crowd? Annabel Langbein's zesty salmon dish with Nam Prik sauce is ready in 20 minutes.
Water cooler: lettuce soup and pumpkin growing tips
It's a garden harvest special in this week's water cooler as we share tips for growing pumpkins, harvesting fruit and transforming mature lettuce into a delicious soup.
Nature- enter me: Chris Parry's Coromandel home
Chris Parry, drummer for the iconic 1960s band Fourmyula and manager of British bands the Jam and the Cure, left New Zealand 50 years ago expecting never to return. But that was until he found a soul-soaring piece of turf he now calls home.
Blog: wet, wet weather and harvest fever
Polly gets wet feet during the storm and discovers she has to reap what she sows.
New exhibition transforms dead animals into art
Visual artist Rebecca Swan's exhibition at the Auckland Arts Festival transforms dead animals into works of art.
Pic's Peanut Butter's $50m success story
Serial entrepreneur Pic Picot has learned that nothing pays better than peanuts.
Ghost stories and the charming characters of Port Chalmers
Ghosts, nudie photographs and a Pacific slave trade - Lisa Scott takes a tour of Port Chalmers and discovers a few skeletons in the closet of this Dunedin suburb.
Water cooler: Going green and a poor little paw paw
In the water cooler this week: Emma has a double take at Twin Peaks, Nadene isn't peachy about the weather and Kate and Tracey go green.
Why this artisan cheesemaker doesn't get paid
The award-winning owners of Lonely Goat say the costs of compliance are nothing to yodel about, and explain why they are working for love, not money.
Recipe: Esther's gluten-free gingerbread recipe
A favourite gluten-free recipe from Mary Bigg's Country Cooking School.
Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm
Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.
Juliet Jackson: 'Losing my sight didn't curb my creative spirit'
Although losing her sight meant the end of artist Juliet Jackson’s love affair with painting, it sparked a new-found passion for the written word.
The Vinbrux family take Oamaru
In the two years since the proficiently self-sufficient Vinbrux family of Oamaru first captured the hearts of NZ Life & Leisure readers, for their ability to live well on food expenditure of $90 a week, the family has branched out and taken Oamaru food retailing by storm.
Recipe: Chocolate peanut butter cookies with salted date filling
These chewy and gooey bite-size sweet treats are not only delicious, but gluten-free.
The ugly, indispensable quince
It’s completely inedible when raw and dangerous to cut up, with a heady, perfumed scent that is completely at odds with its appearance. Sound like your kind of fruit?
How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine
Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.
Blog: No such thing as a stranger
At a time when travel bans and giant walls place severe strain on international relations, Polly reflects on the kind hospitality she received in the Middle East.
Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue
A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.
Recipe: honey rice crisps
Use a mild-flavoured honey, such as blue borage, in this toasted sesame version of the classic treat.
Incredible images of whales stranded on Farewell Spit
At Farewell Spit NZ Life & Leisure staff Cheree Morrison and Jane Ussher saw nature at its most beautiful and most cruel.
Tasty ways to use avocados
The smooth, creamy texture of avocados makes them a great ally in baking. Give these delicious recipes a try.
Water cooler: Griffons go global
This week in the water cooler: Nadene is seeing stars in Hunua, Emma has gone to the dogs (again) and Cheree goes banana(grams).
A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard
When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.
Exploring the sacred forest of Ubud, Bali
A sacred forest in Bali’s Ubud is both a conservation area for monkeys and a place where humans strive to reach physical and spiritual well-being in accord with Hindu principles.
3 fantastic green bean recipe
Turn a bean overload into three fantastic summer dishes.
The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn
The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.
A garden lover's pesto
Basil, parsley, rocket - use whatever greens you have growing in your garden to make this zesty pesto.
NZer saving animals of all sizes on Victoria farm
A multi-tasking Kiwi with a passion for saving animals has set up a special sanctuary on her lifestyle block just outside Melbourne.
How to start small in the cheese business
Many people have a dream to become artisan cheesemakers. It was 20 years in the making for Adrian and Jill Walcroft of Cartwheel Creamery, but they’re maturing nicely.
Blog: The case of the disappearing duck
In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.
6 surprising things about Abel Tasman
Dunedin writer Lisa Scott went adventuring in the Abel Tasman National Park, north west of Nelson, and came away reeling.
Auckland family catches piece of fishing history
She may be berthed close to the super yachts of the world’s well heeled at Auckland’s Silo Marina but the Moerangi is no flash-n-crass gin palace.
Couple switch corporate life for barrels of rum
An Anglo-American couple find their adventurous spirit by swapping international careers for a Golden Bay distillery and its stock of barrel-aged rum.
Dot Smith's garden with no soil
This is a garden of no soil that supplies the award-winning Riverstone Kitchen with its fresh vegetables and fruit all year-round, and it's a work of art.
From farm to 'glampground'
Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.
Blog: boys gone wild
Young boys run wild on Polly's family camping trip.
Recipe: Chilli lime prawn burrito with coriander slaw
The following recipe is fast, low fuss and delicious. It is ideal for feeding a crowd at the family bach.
Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave
Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.
Family of 5 living large in a 20sqm tiny house
This family of five lives in a 20m², off-grid and smart phone-free home with a composting toilet and a shower they share with the sky.
'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'
As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.
Recipe: creamy coconut chia seed pudding
Carine Claudepierre shares a dairy-free, egg-free breakfast option inspired by tapioca.
Thinking outside the box on Great Barrier Island
Less than 100km away from the 1.4 million people who make up Auckland is an island of the self-sufficient. Great Barrier Island resident and author Lindsay Wright checks out some of his industrious neighbours.
Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life
It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.
How to make cashew cream
Cashew cream is an easy to make dairy-free alternative to whipped cream.
Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan
Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.
Recipe: Balsamic strawberry bruschetta
If you're looking for something fresh and fancy for Christmas lunch this year, give this balsamic strawberry bruschetta a go.
Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters
A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.
Carriages see new life off the rails
A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.
Cruising in the Trinidad
For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat.
15 tips for designing a great country home
Today’s needs, tomorrow’s changes and even resale appeal need to be taken into account when designing the rooms in your home.
Welcome to The Outback
In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instruction on how to live.
The Perry family on how to "Raglan-afy" a bach
A universal truth is the power of three. In the coastal township of Raglan, three adored baches subscribe to that hypothesis.
Small kids in a campervan - no problem
Fun and freedom on a budget? Or the family holiday from hell? Traveling some 1200 kilometres from Christchurch to Auckland in a campervan with two small children isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven. But this family survived… and then some.
Recipe: Elderflower cordial
This has to be the most divine cordial ever. I can never make enough of it. You just need a small amount in a glass topped up with water and you'll be in heaven. This is how one writer describes it.
Three hot summer fashion trends
From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.
Blog: The great Christmas debate
Polly debates whether to boycott Christmas and celebrate the Summer Solstice instead.
Wild horses, big dreams
Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.
Water cooler: how to cook shellfish
In the final water cooler of 2016: Anna Tait-Jamieson shares her shellfish secrets, Cheree has her eye on the prize and Kate is all tied up in knots.
Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge
A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.
Incredibly practical Christmas gift ideas
Running out of present ideas for the practical person in your life? NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall's gift list might provide inspiration.
Classic baking: Yoyo recipe
These Yoyos are guaranteed to melt-in-the-mouth. This classic sweet treat is quick to make and will no doubt be an absolute crowd pleaser.
Water Cooler: Westworld and ice cream galore
This week in the water cooler: we get very confused watching Westworld, make green pizza bases and are screaming for ice cream.
Why the Beer Baroness misses beer
She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.
A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland
Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.
How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef
The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.
5 common plants causing your hayfever
Spring might be over, but there is plenty of pollen still in the air. Listed below are a few of the potential culprits, and it's probably not what you might think.
Architect couple's two different approaches to design
He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs
Horse trekking through the Coromandel
There may be a few hills to climb and you could well be subjected to a little karaoke, but this trek through some of New Zealand’s best scenery does good in more than one sense.
Life on the run with Liz Stringer
For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.
When Helly met Sally: love through the lens
Sally Maguire’s dog knew a thing or two when it introduced its owner to the love of her life, Helmut Hirler. They walk us through their beautiful home and art gallery, 'Artmosphere' .
The quick and slow of Christmas cakes
There is always an easy way and a hard way to do something, and Christmas cake is no different.
From Antarctica to Port Chalmers: David Elliot's well-drawn career
David Elliot loves nothing more than a good story. As luck (and hard work) would have it, his country-spanning, award-winning, character-rich career has bestowed him with plenty of content.
Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon
The NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon was huge success, raising $6500 for Ranui House.
Harvesting a culinary profit
Starting a backyard herbal enterprise can be a viable means of earning extra cash. Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herbs spills her secrets to success.
Top female go-karter inspiring new generation
Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.
Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club
This month the Off-Topic Book Club do a podcast about a case made famous by a podcast when they review Adnan's Story by Rabia Chaudry.
The ultimate wedding gift
Sheryl welcomed her husband Tony into their marriage by giving him the key to her fabulous 56-year-old fin-tailed Ford.
Garden work for November
As the weather starts to warm up, it is prime time to start sprouting flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs in your home garden.
Bringing super yacht technology down to size
Jason & Tristin Dickey talk us through how they brought superyacht technology down to size in a range of luxuriously fitted aluminium boats.
Leading the way in eco tourism
Featuring New Zealand's largest earthbag buildings, tipis, a permaculture garden and solar energy, Raglan's Solscape eco-camp is leading the way in sustainable tourism.
5 ways to make stock handling safer
Livestock being moved around a property can become unsettled, and that can be dangerous. Here's five ways you can keep things under control.
Personalised perfume business winning fans
A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients
Water Cooler: Goats, glass and salmoriglio
This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of stained glass, wax lyrical about goats and make delicious yet unpronounceable sauces.
A guide to growing hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are still a niche product in New Zealand but they have the potential to be the country’s main nut crop.
Inside Lynda Hallinan's "posh barn"
Hurricane Hallinan, aka the country’s liveliest gardener Lynda Hallinan, shows us her spring makeover in time for another charity fundraiser.
Water Cooler: Breathless theatre and treasured faces
Thieving sparrows, heartless geese, breathless theatre and treasured faces: things that we were talking about in the thisNZlife office this week
A beginner's guide to geese
When you’re considering security options for your farm, you’re probably considering the obvious: alarm system, gate alarm, dog, automatic lights, security cameras, but have you considered the humble goose?
4 things you need to know about the new farming rules
Regional councils around NZ are introducing new rules around farming, and you need to know how they may affect what and how you do things on your block.
Blog: You can't get good help these days
As the mudbrick house construction progresses, Polly finds some workers are more help than others.
The high country station selling merino to NATO
Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.
New Zealand sake scoops international award
New Zealand-made Zenkuro sake is ranked among the world's best.
The most ambitious (and delicious) Lemon Meringue Pie
Looking for something special to bake? Why not try Simon Wright's Lemon Meringue Pie.
6 flowers for the cottage garden
If you want to emulate the soft, frothy hues of a cottage garden, these six flowers are a good start.
Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies
In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.
A guide to wheat-free pizza bases
Try these gluten-free alternatives to a standard wheat-based pizza crust.
An award-winning toy business run from home
The kids play in the bush and fish in the stream. The adults work from home creating toys that win awards.
How a coffee addiction led to a tea business
Wellington tea maker’s three herbal blends are led by gut instinct, ensuring what’s tasty also nurtures body and mind.
Blog: The big packing debate
There are two types of suitcase packers in this world, writes Polly Greeks, the Johnny-Go-Lightlies and the Just-In-Case packers.
How to reduce food waste
More than half the food thrown out by Kiwi households could be eaten.
From soap star to designer
Designer Katrina Hobbs is an expert at reinvention. From travel-show host to soap star, business presenter and now business owner, she takes a role and runs with it.
Small town fashion success
Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.
How a 100kg bag of cacao beans changed lives in two countries
A Havelock North's desire to support Pacific Island farmers has led to sweet business success.
Innovation driving success at watercress farm
A gravity driven watering system is just one of the innovations in use at an organic watercress farm in Raglan.
What drives a person to run 100km?
Cheree Morrison takes a walk in the well-worn running shoes of Fiona Hayvice, one of the world’s top ultra-marathon athletes.
Blog: near noodle starvation
A new wwoof-er demonstrates his unfamiliarity with wholefoods and a spiral staircase sends the family’s spirits to heaven.
Recipe: Banana bread waffles
For organic month, Kiwi firm, All Good Organics shares with us a recipe for delicious banana bread waffles and whipped coconut cream
2 natives that you don’t want to mess with
You may think of all natives as friendly plants, but two common ones have a deadly secret.
A beginner’s guide to wood burning stoves
Fans of the wood-burning stove explain why they find an old-fashioned form of cooking far more satisfying than modern gadgetry.
Turning heads at 78
Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.
Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club
The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.
Finding work/life balance
A personal quest for work/life balance is at the core of a new restaurant and wellness centre run by a top chef and his yogi wife.
What makes a leader?
What does it take to captain a rugby team through to win two successive World Cups? A new documentary tries to capture the man behind the hype
Shark attacks, cannibals and Antarctica
Dr Sea Rottman will soon depart on an all-female expedition to Antarctica - just one of many adventures in her life.
Wee little lambs and strange fruit
This week in the thisNZlife office: We're feeling inspired by a wee spring lamb, try some strange fruit and find hares in the garden.
Recipe: 5 Seed Sourdough
This delicious wheat free bread takes a little planning but is easy to make.
It's not easy being a green beekeeper
It's not easy being an organic beekeeper when bees can forage as far as 5km for their food.
Dr Libby's health advice
In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.
Blog: Big windfall and the big smoke
The big city beckons for a Kaitaia local, but sometimes the hitting the jackpot comes with a price.
Her patented pint-sized plant has fans around the world
Elsie Hall's patented plant creations are the celebrities of the lavender world
Business bubbling along in the Catlins
A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.
Creating a home in France
Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille
Why messy orchards are best
The last thing you need is for your orchard to look neat and tidy, at least not ground level anyway.
How to have hatching success
Part of the fun of owning a small flock is hatching eggs, whether by natural means or with a little mechanical intervention.
A twist of citrus
A delivery business with a twist boosts returns for a Gisborne orchard.
Take a leek & make a cake
Leeks are a vegetable that Kristina loves and hates, and then she gets baking.
World-class climber reaches new heights
Height is no limit for Dale Thomas. New Zealand's champion tree climber is just as comfortable at the tops of giant trees as he is with two feet on the ground.
10 things to know about growing walnuts
The fabulous walnut is a tasty treat for the home orchard owner, or a potential future crop with New Zealand’s climate meaning we can produce high quality nuts.
The Artisan Paper Pusher
David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.
Finding Love in the Outback
In a parched and withering place, a New Zealand photographer gets instructions on how to live.
What to sow in the garden right now
The wind-up to spring planting is starting, and one big decision is going to have year-long repercussions.
Watercooler: going crackers, wayward fruit & kids apps
This week in the water cooler, we savour the new season grapefruit, say hello to Talking Tom and make the best crackers EVER
10 natives that like wet feet
If you have a wet or swampy area, fence it off, plant something that thrives on wet soils, and turn it into a thing of beauty.
Things to consider when buying a ride-on mower
If you’re tired of pushing yourself to do the lawns get our tips on how to buy possibly the biggest investment in a single product you’ll make when you live on a lifestyle block.
Finding flower power
To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia
Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL
The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.
5 things to know if you had a drought at your place last summer
The after-effects of a dry summer will still be with you this spring.
Thinking inside the box
This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.
Walking the magenta path
Sue Moody explores Auckland's magenta cycle way - by foot.
Movies that made us cry... and yet more dogs
Farm trips for the kids, a movie that made our heart sing and yet more dogs... things that got us talking in the thisNZlife office this week.
Two weddings and a Land Rover
Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.
Great-uncle Stephen was a pirate from Penzance
Searching for forebears takes an exciting turn for two NZ Life & Leisure writers.
A colourful life
There’s an element of Wonderland in interior designer Anya Brighouse’s home but this creative force is anything but out of control
What to do if you find an injured bird
Sometimes you may need to help an injured bird, and sometimes its best to leave it alone.
Boosting the Maori land economy
Taranaki-born Jamie Tuuta is enhancing the potential of Maori land and assets in his role as the Maori Trustee
Are your ewes due to lamb? Are you ready? Here are some things to consider.
Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels
An architect designed his dream house on the shores of the Kaipara using coolstore panels.
Netflix and Food Show survival tactics
This week in the water cooler: we make new discoveries on Netflix, search for the perfect umbrella tree and plan survival strategies for The Food Show
Mulching over winter
Mulching is an easy way to protect your soil until you’re ready to use it in spring.
Our reviewer found this book life-changing
Book reviewer Miranda Spary sees the world differently after reading The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent.
What gardeners can learn from this man
The late Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka created a revolutionary way of farming that has no plowing, no fertiliser, no weeding and no pesticides.
Self-sufficiency on Norfolk Island
When you live on a little island in the middle of a big ocean, you have to make your block of land pay its own way in the most self-sufficient manner possible.
Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche
Daniel Gudsell turns a customer complaint into a thriving, environmentally friendly wood business.
How this woman is changing NZ wine
A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.
4 amazing museums to visit in Ireland & the UK
Caught out by the weather while visiting the UK or Ireland? Here are four great museums to visit on a rainy day.
Is there a mouse in your house?
Pests are tricky, secretive creatures and it can be difficult to know if you have a small problem, or a really big one.
Coop of the month
Goats and chooks live in harmony in this funky recycled coop in Portland, Oregon.
Bare, naked tree planting tips
Winter is a great time to plant your future fruiting trees, but do you know how to do it so you give a tree the optimal start?
Blog: A bathroom at last
The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.
Recipe: chocolate stout cake
Kristina Jenson brews up some great beer-based recipes, including a fabulously decadent chocolate cake.
What to do if a goat eats something toxic
Most goats have a tendency to nibble first, check the toxicity of a plant later kind of strategy to life, and that can be deadly.
Will an app ever beat a book?
From the creator of Downton Abbey, the Belgravia serves up old-fashioned Dickensian serialised storytelling on a new digital app. But is the medium successful? Kate Coughlan weighs in.
Tips for getting 20kg of tamarillos per tree
They’re fussy, but tamarillos are a tangy treat, and prolific if you know the secrets to high production.
How a school is making a profit from the land
The enterprising students of Hukerenui School are making a profit from growing maize, lavender and keeping bees.
How hard can it be, to plant a stick?
Two great options for fodder, shelter, shade and firewood can be as simple as a stick in the ground
This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day
Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.
Why this couple are singing in the rain
The rain fell down and a solution popped up – a young Wellington couple has designed a collection of classy raincoats that are making a splash.
A life saving houses
Despite growing up on the cutting edge of the minimal Modernist movement, this interior and architectural designer’s heart is in the past.
Derelict milk station transformed
A 1926 Grade II Historic Place-listed concrete milk station is seeing a new life as a spectacular Otaki wedding venue.
Three amazing parsnip recipes
Don't overlook this gourmet low calorie vegetable. Jenny Somervell shares three tasty parsnip recipes.
Trailer for Richie McCaw doco
What makes some people great? The documentary Chasing Great, featuring one of our best All Black captains ever, promises some answers.
Career Path: The vegan soldier
Apollo Taito is a manager in the mental-health sector, part-time soldier, PhD student, vegan and animal-rights campaigner.
We try... racing a WRX
Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.
Dunedin shoe school kicks off
She made her first pair of shoes out of some car mat, now Dunedin’s Louise Clifton has opened her own shoe school.
Don't get stuck in the mud
No-one likes mud, and it's something you need to manage carefully or the damage to soil can be devastating.
Trend spotting: the future of skincare
From weird face masks to smart skin patches, there are plenty of beauty trends to help you face the future.
Using herbs to aid stress
When she began she thought $100 was a good day's takings, now Brownwyn Lowe is helping hundreds of people cure the symptoms of stress.
Turn this peel into a cake
Don't throw away your banana peels, they are the secret ingredient in this cake.
Water Cooler: How to cut into a pumpkin
Busy bees, balls of bliss and a country bumpkin and her pumpkins - things that got us talking this week.
Blog: Online shopping fails
Why all-terrain roller skates are no match for a goat track in the Far North.
Recipe: deconstructed cheesecake
This edible flower cheesecake tastes as good as it looks.
Auckland edible flower business blooming
A South Auckland grower shares the secrets of her edible garden.
The perfect cup of tea
New Zealand has a good climate for growing tea. Here's our guide to making the perfect cuppa from garden to table.
Is this the ultimate Kiwi dog?
This 30cm dog might be the ultimate Kiwi canine.
5 tips for a prettier vegetable garden
Now is a great time to create something pretty and functional for this spring.
Top tips for buying your first poultry flock
Avoid ruffling feathers when buying your first flock with our simple guide.
Rhubarb and rosehip jam
Gather rosehips and rhubarb to make this yummy winter jam.
3 green-fingered generations
A chance vacancy at Olveston Homestead has enabled three generations of the Goldsmith family to polish up a bit of Kiwi history
5 organic ways to weed
You can get rid of weeds using everything from a rabbit to a steam gun (but not together).
Coop of the month: Hönshus-1
There's no reason your hens shouldn't live in style. Introducing our coop of the month, the Hönshus-1.
Macadamia passionfruit truffles
Make these truffles even when passionfruit is out of season.
Gluten-free spiced apple cake
Pantry adventurer Duncan White shares this gluten-free alternative to this afternoon tea classic.
3 easy beetroot recipes
Easy to grow and delicious, beetroot are a versatile vegetable in the kitchen.
How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love
Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.
Great firewood trees (and what you might want to avoid)
Here’s what will keep you warm and cozy when you fire up your wood burner this winter.
Are ducks the new chickens?
If you like the benefits of keeping chickens, you’re going to love having ducks.
Blog: Off-the-grid and online
In the first of her fortnightly blogs, NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks shares an update of life in her mudbrick off-the-grid home in the Far North.
Recipe: Thai fish pie
An Asian spin on a winter Kiwi classic from Japanese-born cooking tutor Sachie Noumura.
Does a cup of tea taste better with Jersey cow milk?
A Waikato farming family takes the cow by the teats and markets its own jersey milk.
My wayward wheels: from mountains to the sea
Riding 300 kilometres on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail can be hard work but it’s worth every turn of the wheel.
Peony flower power: the secret beneath the soil
The peony is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, but it’s what it grows beneath the soil that has turned into a unique business for one Nelson couple.
My wayward feet: walking the Onehunga Foreshore
Aucklanders have a brand new $28 million foreshore on the Manukau Harbour at Onehunga, Sue Moody goes exploring.
Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success
A picture-perfect lavender farm, is just one of a bunch of businesses nourished by a Kurow dairy farm.
The king of Kombi vans
A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.
Saving the world through cake
What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.
Recipe: Roasted carrot salad with goat's cheese cream
This recipe from Little Poms is made with a kaleidoscope of vegetables from Cultivate Christchurch’s gardens.