Kate’s good news: From Madame Mizuna to magazine mogul


I have the most exciting news. In a pre-Christmas miracle to rival the Virgin Birth for excitement I became the owner of NZ Life & Leisure magazine. So here I am, both editor and publisher of this great magazine, with a smile as wide as the Southern Alps, knees knocking with anticipation, my house in hock all the way to its eaves and in new offices with a small, clever and very passionate team. You’ll understand why I leapt at this opportunity to buy the magazine I started over a decade ago. I love it. Its power to shine a light on interesting New Zealanders doing good things changes people’s lives and helps us to make this a better country.

Was it hard to abandon life as Madame Mizuna – and my weekend tending of the Rocket Ranch gourmet greens – in order to move back to the city and take up life as a wannabe magazine mogul? Not at all. The energy went into seeing how quickly I could make it happen, not worrying about whether to do it. Was Lord Lettuce reluctant to leave the ride-on for a grass-less townhouse? No, actually, rather the opposite.
Four years growing gourmet greens taught us such respect for growers, and now we realize how efficient they are. When I see a bunch of perfect carrots, a beautifully presented box of strawberries or two heads of broccoli for $2, I weep for the grower. All that work. All that skill. I admire their courage enormously.
The best thing about NZ Life & Leisure isn’t that it’s Magazine of the Year (twice now), or that it’s one of the few magazines with growing circulation (though that pleases the bank). You, the readers and the people we write about – you are, by far and away, the shining glory of this magnificent magazine. I know you’ll support me in taking it successfully into private ownership. My first priority is to make subscribing easier. That won’t happen immediately as I have to install another whole new system for this. I’ll also let you know when our new user-friendly website is operational. But these are my priorities. In the meantime, please let us know if we can help with anything on [email protected]
The best way you can help us preserve the quality and unique voice of NZ Life & Leisure is to promote it. Buy lots of subscriptions and tell your friends about it. And let us know how we are going. This is our first (privately owned) issue and, by sheer coincidence, it features some of the country’s cleverest gardeners and growers. It doesn’t feature ex-Madame Mizuna though. She’s hard at work learning the new ways of magazine mogulness.

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