Our People

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.

Yes, this cow is made of cake

Kim Donker has turned a baking hobby into a thriving home business. She shares tips for getting started without breaking the bank.

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.

Growing creative minds in a converted boatshed

Friends told Peter and Ellen Jarratt they were reckless, crazy and throwing it all away when they upped sticks to follow their hearts. But they did it anyway.

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.

Monique Fiso

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.

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.

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. 

How a wonky kennel inspired a cute-as-a-button hut

Dogged determination helps restore the DIY mana of a west Auckland pastry chef, and creates the ultimate city retreat.

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.

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.

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.

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

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' .

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.

Top female go-karter inspiring new generation

Top go-karter Tiff Chittenden is teaching a new generation of speedsters how to tackle the track.

Joan Withers

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’

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.

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.

Personalised perfume business winning fans

A burgeoning, and bespoke, perfume business strays no further than nature’s garden for ingredients

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.

Dunedin through a phone lens

A travelling foodie changes captures the best of Dunedin - through her phone.

The street artist giving power to the people

Paul Walsh is the artist behind the quirky animal utlity boxes around Auckland. He shares his story of being homeless on the streets of London and his passion for creating public art.

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.

A garden of surprises

Planting in this geometrically composed garden was underway long before the decision was made to build a Restoration-period house in its centre. The two are a seamless match

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.

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.

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.

Turning heads at 78

Dunedin style icon Barbara Brinsley says she isn't afraid to stand out in a crowd.

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.

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.

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.

Business bubbling along in the Catlins

A bubbly soapmaker has turned her favourite hobby into a cottage industry on her Otago small block.

Watercooler: magnolias, bliss balls & a song for walking

In this weeks water cooler, we devour delicious bliss balls, sing along with Geoff Chapple, and give away tickets to an award-winning Christchurch play.

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

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.

The Artisan Paper Pusher

David Stedman is doing his artisan bit to keep our digitally drenched society in love with paper.

Success with bush basics

The secret to Diane Coleman’s successful tree nursery business is in the way she’s grown it.

Markantonia

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

Thinking inside the box

This shipping container uses every square inch to nurture the future of country kids, and the adults too.

Two weddings and a Land Rover

Romance has fulled the revival of a family's much-loved 60-year-old Land Rover.

Following his guitar dreams

Guitar-maker Dave Gilberd ditched a high-flying career in engineering to follow his dreams.

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

Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels

An architect designed his dream house on the shores of the Kaipara using coolstore panels.

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.

martin carroll

Policeman by day, silversmith by night

Half of Martin Carroll's life is spent stopping dangerous drivers; the other half is spent creating works of art

Silver Fern Farms

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.

Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche

Daniel Gudsell turns a customer complaint into a thriving, environmentally friendly wood business.

Jing Song

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.

Hukerenui School

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.

Noeline Young

This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day

Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.

Okewa raincoats

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.

Jessica Rose tries living without plastic.

'How I quit plastic'

Urban eco warrior Jessica Rose suggests some easy lifestyle changes to make for Plastic-Free July.

neil mclachlan

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.

A milk bottle chandelier at The Milk Station in Otaki.

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.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

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.

Michael MacMillan and family

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.

Kimberley Crossman as Nikki Hart in Hashtaggers.

Kim Crossman and the new TV frontier

Kimberley Crossman talks about working with William Shatner on her new breakthrough show Hashtaggers.

Apollo Taito.

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.

Why his nickname is 'Bulldog'

There's a reason why Brook MacDonald is a top 10 World Cup mountain bike rider.

Shoemaker Louise Clifton

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.

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.

Averil Stuart-Head in Italy

A new Italian life at 57

Christchurch’s Averil Stuart-Head followed her heart to create art in a medieval village in Italy.

Actress Liu Shishi at the Waitomo caves in King Country, New Zealand.

Waitomo photos shared around the world

Photos of a celebrity Asian couple at Waitomo Caves have gone viral.

compost toilet

Blog: When compost loos go bad

This week Polly Greeks discovers the perils of a compost toilet.

life on a container ship

Life on a container ship

26 days on a container ship puts life on dry land in perspective for a photographer.

rugby romance tour tattoo

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.

Geocaching in New Zealand

Modern day treasure hunters

Sophie Armitage is just one of millions taking part in a worldwide treasure hunt, where the prize is prestige and may be hidden just around the corner.

A life less ordinary at the Fox River Commune

The times may be a changing but the Fox River Commune on the West Coast still attracts a colourful group of thinkers, dreamers and creators.

peony growers New Zealand

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.

Soul searching with Hollie Smith

A number one album isn't enough to make a living in the music industry. Soul and jazz singer Hollie Smith's new album has topped the charts but she's still cleaning houses to make ends meet.

Clachanburn Country Garden

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.

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.

Good Bitches Baking

Saving the world through cake

What started as an idea to spread some sweetness throughout Wellington has blossomed into a national charity movement.

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