Take a tour of Chris Ballantyne's organic mini-farm in Te Atatu
A landscaper with a mini backyard farm believes small-scale food production is key to well-being and urban ecological balance.
A life of caravans, corsets and tiny sculptures
When you occupy a world in which fantasy and reality converge, where life-size and miniature models co-exist, you need an artful attitude – and a kickass outfit or two.
From the UN to a back-to-nature apothecary
Once on the international stage for environmental causes, Georgina Langdale returned home to set up a back-to-nature business that makes a difference, one purposeful potion at a time.
WOW: At home with the creator of WearableArt
Vision, grit and a good shot of gumption propelled the World of WearableArt from a small-town show to a global spectacle.
Mum knows best: 'The best advice mum gave me'
What’s the best advice your mum ever gave you? We asked some people who have featured in our stories as well as writers for our site to share motherly words of wisdom.
7 ways to celebrate mum's special day
Mother’s Day is almost here (it’s this Sunday, May 13th) so get sorted with these fresh ideas for activities, gestures and gifts to show you care.
Philippa Fourbet fell for Anduze pots, then the French potter
When a French potter met a vineyard-owning investment banker from the opposite side of the world, they discovered their talents and tastes were sublimely matched.
An eco school where kids learn outdoors - and take risks
Dani Lebo uses her family’s permaculture farm to teach local children about farming, food, fun and taking an element of risk – all outdoors and in all weathers.
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.
Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist
An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.
Canoe polo is "basketball in boats"
Whether competing in NZ's national canoe polo team or working with sharks, this sporting talent is paddling her own path.
Globe-trotting couple's homes with heart
Traveling frequently between homes in the United States and two in both New Zealand and Sri Lanka, keeps this international couple from falling into the groove of predictable living.
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.
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.
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.
Three generations' Anaura Bay bach escape
Three generations of one family ride the tides of change on an East Coast beach saturated with history.
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.
The cave at the bottom of a Mt Eden garden
Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden; the Jacob family of Mt Eden have a cave.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nelson family growing capri tomatoes since the 40's
Thanks to one very determined grower, Nelson’s favourite tomato is still growing strong after 60 years.
The adventurer living in a treehouse
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ could have been invented for adventure traveler Ellis Emmett.
Water Cooler: Garden Marlborough marvels
This week in the water cooler, Kate explores Garden Marlborough, Emma steps aboard the Orient Express and Nadene finds inspiration in a new book Growing More than Grass.
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.
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.
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.
Kelly Wilson back in the saddle saving the snowy brumbies
Kelly Wilson’s work with wild horses is a family affair - but it nearly didn’t happen.
Naturalist Sheila Natusch celebrated on screen
New Zealand naturalist, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch brought science to the people. A film about her life captures her love of the natural world and her unconventional and indomitable spirit…
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.
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 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.
Creating a Garden of International Significance
As Liz Morrow sits and drinks in her environment, she sees an extraordinary place of which she is but kaitiaki — or guardian.
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 .
Eruption survivor climbs to the top
Mt Ruapehu robbed William Pike of one of his legs but never his ability to inspire
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
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
Some like it pop
A former DJ- with an intensely colourful streak- is dancing to the beat of his own drum in the Auckland urban jungle.
At home with top company director Joan Withers
Of all the many significant achievements in her very successful business career, what does Joan Withers identify as the most important? ‘Finding the right man at 15 and then marrying him’
Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino
Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time
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
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.
Cathy Dickison's thriving Erb business
The last thing Cathy Dickison thought she would be doing is turning her gardening skills into a dried herb business.
The caves at the bottom of the farm
Looking for opportunities to keep their adult children working and raising their families nearby, Philip and Anne Woodward added cave exploration and a café to their farming operation in a remote area south of Port Waikato.
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.
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.
MPI is out of touch says cheesemaker
An artisan cheesemaker is concerned that increasing costs of compliance will force their business to go underground.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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
NZ chef wins over Scottish food critics
Kirsten Gilmour is winning the hearts and stomachs of Scottish food critics one sweetcorn fritter at a time in her cafe in the Scottish Highlands.
How a grandpa's invention grew into a multi-national business
When Bill ‘Grandpa’ Kirkham came up with a good idea for a chicken feeder, he had no idea it would turn into a family-run multi-national business.
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.
Creating a culture of innovation
An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button
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.
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.
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.
George Clarke on Kiwi DIY and the power of tiny houses
Amazing Spaces host George Clarke is in New Zealand to build a tiny house with Mitre 10. He weighs in on two innovative tiny homes recently featured on thisNZlife.
How to host a country wedding
If you’re a romantic at heart, turning your land into a wedding venue might be an opportunity to earn some extra cash.
Reader responses: should we change the school term dates?
In the February Kate Coughlan made a case for shifting the school holidays until February. We had an overwhelming response.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan
Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.
Serial inventor's wastewater system could revolutionise dairy industry
He blew up his first methane tank, built a boat in the shape of a saucer, and helped to design a super-efficient water blaster, but Coll Bell’s favourite inventions involve manure, and the more, the better.
Cruising in the Trinidad
For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top female go-karter inspiring new generation
Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.
Personalised perfume business winning fans
A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients
Dunedin through a phone lens
A travelling foodie changes captures the best of Dunedin - through her phone.
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.
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.
Small town fashion success
Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.
Turning heads at 78
Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.
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.
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
The Artisan Paper Pusher
David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.
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
Two weddings and a Land Rover
Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.
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
Grandma's recipe for success
Marie Mullins is known as the pickle lady, and the secrets to her success lie on the beautiful lifestyle block she calls home.
How I became a meat grader
Sarah Duncan (42) appreciates a good steak — her career is dedicated to assuring that the meat on Kiwi forks is of the highest possible standard.
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.
'How I quit plastic'
Urban eco warrior Jessica Rose suggests some easy lifestyle changes to make for Plastic-Free July.
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.
5th generation artist explores heritage
With art in his arteries, Michael MacMillan maintains a family tradition in a valley of hops and hopefulness, his greatest supporter by his side.
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.
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.
A new Italian life at 57
Christchurch’s Averil Stuart-Head followed her heart to create art in a medieval village in Italy.
Inside the world of rugby romance literature
A romance writer adds rugby to the traditional plot mix and finds an avid and growing audience - who are currently exploring New Zealand.
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.
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.
Video: Behind the scenes at Clachanburn Country Garden
What does it take to create a garden of national significance in a remote place with an extreme climate and heavy clay soil? A body made of strong bones and a soul full of magic is a good start.
The king of Kombi vans
A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.
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