Our Life

A Jaguar still taking its owner's breath away

A rare hypercar lives out its retirement, seldom driven but much admired.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: Cracking the age code

Understanding disposition could revolutionise ageing, offering tailored strategies for optimal longevity.

Bringing back the stars

Keeping the Wairarapa in the dark is a six-year mission for a resident and his band of like-minded enthusiasts.

A man's journey to leadership through reconnecting to his roots

Hemi Sundgren's quest to reclaim identity and te reo Māori has put him in the roles of historian, artist and tribal leader.

Going into retirement: Why a ‘zest for life’ is crucial

Answer this unusual question: What would you cross on an I-beam for?

A snapshot in time: Earliest known photographs of Aotearoa/New Zealand exhibited in new book

Piha’s community effort to resurrect their land

The Piha community rallies to plant native bush on slips caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The company marching into battle against cleaning product giants

Auckland start-up Cleanery is cleaning up the supermarket aisles, one sachet at a time.

A childhood fashion dream led to this Otago's woman's thriving sustainable coat company

An Otago woman’s quest to find the perfect locally made woollen coat turned into a sustainable fashion brand starring the wool from her own sheep

Recommended Reading: Books by Aotearoa/New Zealand authors

Our resident bibliophile shares her thoughts on novels penned within our own shores

The view from the top of the Seaward Kaikōura Range is worth the climb

The remote beauty of the Seaward Kaikōura Range allows for the avid climber to trek through historical footsteps.

The American sport quickly capturing Kiwi hearts

A full-time school principal and part-time pickleball player hopes his sport will become New Zealand’s next big thing.

DIY: Miniature Garden

Time to downsize! Create your own tiny landscape out of moss, flowers, twigs and foliage.

DIY: A pressed flower lantern to light up dark evenings

Candlelight and flowers — what could be prettier?

A highly-coveted Holden and its nostalgic owner

A car purchased for fun and frolics has turned its owner into an accidental investor.

That peaceful easy feeling: A new era for Volkswagen vans

Up, up and away at a moment’s notice and in ultimate comfort is the happy option for today’s Volkswagen campervan owners

Four top-notch interior design tips for improving a stylish abode

It doesn't take a lot of time, cost or effort to elevate the beauty of your home, says interiors expert Tracy Hawker.

The duo protecting kororā in Kaiteriteri

As little penguins make the risky journey to and from their burrows, a couple from Kaiteriteri act as their guardians.

The Buick that crossed the Pacific

Purchased from a seller in Michigan, a dismantled vintage car makes an international journey.

Recommended reading: Award-winning books worth their accolades

Our resident bibliophile dips into award-winning books from across the decades.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: Talking about chronic pain

New light is being shed on the type of pain that has no obvious cause, prompting hope for thousands.

One man’s return to his motoring roots results in a grand Triumph

A British sportscar fan, keen to recreate a marque he was involved in developing, nearly stumbles at the last hurdle.

How kickboxing can provide more than just the workout

A young Auckland man finds solace in full-combat sport.

Keeping a cool house this summer

As heatwaves hit the country, make sure you're maintaining a cool temperature in your house.

Homemade Christmas gift ideas

Shun the shops and reduce waste with these simple, handcrafted gifts.

Helping you feel better while navigating cancer

New Zealand charity Look Good Feel Better helps people face cancer with confidence.

Island Bay's marine conservation warriors are on a mission

A haven for marine species is also a place for schoolchildren to discover sea life.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: Fuel of the future

Hydrogen is tipped to tackle various energy crises, but is it really the reliable next-gen energy source it claims to be?

The perfectly imperfect science behind a homegrown wedding

It’s hard to get a wedding perfect, but according to a family who created a beautiful, rustic-themed celebration on their Nelson lifestyle block, it doesn’t need to be.

The giant pumpkin contest that revived a community

On a rural road near the north Auckland town of Helensville, a group of residents are fostering community spirit by reviving an annual giant pumpkin contest.

DIY: A sturdy outdoor sun lounger

Welcome sunny days by relaxing in this easy-to-make lounge chair.

Block bouquets: The unique foliage florists are clamouring for

While money doesn’t grow on trees, eucalyptus may be the exception.

Recommended reading: Books to take you on a walking journey

Meredith Hicks takes an amble with an armful of amiable book companions.

8 pretty Christmas tags to add to your gifts this year

Get these free, easy to print Christmas gift tags that you can customise for a homemade touch.

Social connection at the heart of this Christchurch retirement village

A leading innovator in retirement living, the Qestral corporation creates conditions for flourishing social connections in its newest village.

A Christmas gift guide for both indoor and outdoor adventure lovers

Gifts that excel in design, utility and the joy of using them.

A guide to treasure hunting with contemporary fibre artist Fleur Woods

There are endless creative adventures to discover in an opshop.

7 ideas for eco-friendly gift wrap

Skip the traditional gift wrap this year with these easy, minimal wrapping ideas.

The brilliantly blue Lotus that took a whole lot of heart to restore

Blue was how the owner of this roadster felt in the middle of the car's significant overhaul. But now he's much sunnier.

Gut-soothing herbs and home concoctions

For when bloating, belching or heartburn are getting you down.

Why this Wellington man collects watches

Watches are worn for more reasons than timekeeping. Meet a collector who finds meaning in the ticking of a hand.

A book-lover's walk through Dunedin

Follow this wandering bibliophile as he takes you on a personal journey of search and discovery.

The science behind the benefits of psychedelics

A favourable spotlight is being shone on psychedelic substances after decades of suppression. Why?

Recommended reading: Books for making a fresh start

Find inspiration for seeking new beginnings in one (or all) of these five reads.

The woman foraging her world from her Kāpiti Coast home

Collecting materials from the land is a way of life for one woman with a passion for sustainable, healthy living.

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Q&A with writer and stylist Tracey Strange Watts

The writer and stylist chooses Resene paints to colour her Titirangi home among the trees

A 60s icon gets a clean, green makeover

Volkswagen's journey to green energy just got groovier.

Keeping the oceans blue: A day in the life of a marine ranger

A day in the life of ranger Marie Everth involves wearing four hats — scientist, enforcement officer, advocate and educator.

Eight herbs for your first aid cabinet

From battlefield balms to itchy-skin ointments, your garden has everything you need to make a handy first aid kit.

How to make a spring tablescape fit for a celebration

Dress your table to the nines and celebrate the arrival of spring with a high tea, long luncheon or dinner party.

Q&A: Building your immunity with Dr Roderick Mulgan

Dr Mulgan has a particular interest in how lifestyle choices affect wellbeing.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: Returning to the wild

Rewilding — or letting nature take care of itself — is a progressive approach to conservation.

We test drive the luxe new fully electrifed Lexus RZ

Luxury sparkles in the clear Central Otago air

New horizons for Qestral retirement living communities

A series of new bespoke multi-storey homes have opened at its Nelson coastal view village

The inspiring power of walking every day

A committed group of walkers, clocking up an average of 3.3 kilometres a day, are noting the health benefits.

How to save thousands when you’re going off-grid

The beauty of going off-grid is no more power bills, but there are ways to save on the setup too.

Pluck of the Irish: An Otago winemaking legend's latest project

The man often referred to as the godfather of Central Otago wine is still chasing the perfect pinot well into his 80s.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: Here we go again

Welcome to the brave new world of perpetual pandemics.

A solid solution to eco-friendly dental hygiene

A Tītahi Bay start-up is bringing sustainable toothpaste to the masses, cancelling out plastic tubes in the process.

Legendary environmental activist's latest (tiny) project

Tiny forest plantings are gaining international momentum and being promoted by one of the country’s most enduring eco-warriors.

How colour drives this clever crafter

Crafting comes before housework in the dictionary, says this committed crafter

DIY: How to make bunting fit for a King's coronation

This easy DIY bunting brightens up any room. It's fit for any King's coronation celebrations you may have coming up.

The Radon family are farming and crafting in paradise

Antonia and Mike Radon farm pāua, sheep and cattle, grow pearls, host visitors and sell jewellery to tourists in Whekenui Bay, Marlborough Sounds.

DIY: How to make your own candles

Ready yourself for cosy winter evenings with this handy step-by-step guide

A homegrown Mother's Day gift guide

How to light your (clean) fire

A good fire can be clean, if you get a few fundamentals right.

Burnout: What it means and how to spot it

This fatigue is more than the sort we experience at the end of a demanding week.

A DIY guide to making a chic and sustainable shirt dress

Refashion three pre-loved T-shirts into shirt dress with this handy tutorial.

The Trade Me find that resulted in this man's dream car

Guy Hilson can blame it on The Saint. The stylish and charming television character drove a sporty Volvo, so why shouldn't Guy?

Dr Roderick Mulgan: John Snow's epidemiological legacy

A calculated guess by a doctor nearly two centuries ago continues to influence the world today.

Behind this unique home is a years-long childhood dream

An old railway carriage, named Primrose because of the flower’s association with love, renewal and optimism, has found a new home on a hillside overlooking the sea.

5 things to know about building a container house

A used shipping container has travelled the equivalent of a trip to the moon and back, and is still tough enough to become a dream house.

How this 1929 Model A Ford found its way home

Some people get socks for their birthday; the owner of this Model A Ford was gifted an automotive classic.

Dr Roderick Mulgan: No health justifications for bottled water

Water, water everywhere and far too much to drink…

From scheduling to supplements: 6 easy ways to improve sleep

For those struggling to drift off into slumberland, it's time to get back to basics.

How this couple made a perfect retro caravan road-ready

Hundreds of old-school caravans have been restored and returned to the roads in recent years. Each reflects the personality of its owner in a kaleidoscope of ways — and is infinitely interesting for it.

The yacht gracing Auckland's waters for nearly 90 years

One of the world’s largest one-day regatta fleets sets sail every Auckland Anniversary Day.

DIY: A beginner-friendly macramé plant holder

This macrame plant holder project is ideal for beginners - and your next rainy day.

The sunny side of bush life near the Forgotten World Highway

A backcountry hut along the Forgotten World Highway lights up thanks to the sun.

9 spices and herbs that could (naturally) boost your mood

Adding herbs and spices lift a dish's taste and can help improve your mood.

DIY: Make floating citronella candles this summer

Perfume the air with heavenly scented floating candles while entertaining al fresco − and fend off bite-y bugs while you are at it.

How to build a straw bale home

The DIY straw bale home and food forest garden of Monika and Hermann Geister is their recipe for life, and a labour of love.

Inside one of the most photographed cottages in Arrowtown

It’s loved by visitors to Arrowtown for its historic 1870s bones, but Stevenson’s Cottage is a portal to the halcyon days of this family’s 1980s youth.

Inside a designer's 10sqm eco cabin in Central Otago

A Dunedin designer’s beautiful bespoke garments incorporate wild pest fur. No wonder Central Otago’s plentiful rabbits steer well clear of Jane Avery’s tiny Earnscleugh holiday cabin.

Inside Blair Somerville's world-famous Lost Gypsy caravan

His gallery is a Gypsy Caravan, he is possibly a gypsy himself, but Blair Somerville is far from lost in the world of fantastical art.

Inside a bach and matching tiny house at Waikawa Beach

Life in Aotearoa is celebrated in a bach and matching tiny house on the Horowhenua coast.

Explore a boat-turned-tiny house in Whanganui

Approaching a century old, the Iona lies high and dry on the eastern bank of the Whanganui River. Her working days may be behind her, but this beautiful fishing boat is far from washed up.

From townies to goat cheese-makers

Seven years ago, David and Jennifer Rodrigue were townies, dreaming of the country. Today, they produce award-winning boutique cheeses and share their lives with a herd of happy princesses.

DIY: How to make fairy light lanterns

Light up your backyard with these glowing orbs of twine.

Raffles-inspired charm meets home comforts at new retirement complex

Burlington Village’s much-anticipated Pavilion combines a glamorous aesthetic with the hallmarks of every Qestral retirement facility.

Meet the plant-powered skincare ingredient found only in remote NZ

It’s no secret plants contain potent compounds for good health and skincare. But this skin-loving ingredient, derived from a native shrub, has remained hush-hush until only recently.

How you can transform an old, cold country house

Transforming an old, cold home into one with a much greener footprint is a slow but satisfying, cost-effective DIY project.

How to make your own beeswax wraps

Beeswax wraps are a great alternative to clingwrap to cover food and keep it fresh. They can be made at home easily using wax chips, pine rosin and a few household tools.

The social determinants of good health

Delivering positive health outcomes is a wider social issue and not one that can be solved by doctors alone.

A conservatory and tiny house filled with tropical greenery

These two houseplant devotees find calmness and joy from decorating their spaces with flora.

How to make a fairy garden in your backyard

Turn an ordinary pot into a whimsical wonderland for fairies — children will love it.

The winners and losers of the homegrown flour trials

Can you grow and process good alternatives to wheat flour? Homesteader Rebecca Stewart shares the results of her tests, using only homegrown and foraged ingredients.

A life — and home — designed around a vintage fleet of cars

Auckland’s Kawakawa Bay is home to a growing collection of notable classics.

DIY: How to make a willow wreath

Craft a pretty spring wreath from bendy stems.

DIY: How to make a tiered herb planter

Put your herbs on display with this pretty (and easy-to-make) three-tier planter.

This 1967 Mustang braved the high seas for the roadie life in Aotearoa

When a rare Mustang, based in Florida, catches the eye of an Auckland woman, she moves heaven and earth to park up the pony at home.

The Kiwi company changing the way we get rid of our gadgets

We throw out a mountain of electronics each year, but new recycling technology could help build a circular economy for more sustainable gadgets.

DIY: How to make flax (harakeke) placemats

Cook up a feast for family and friends, decorating the table with these flax placemats.

A writer discovers 'omotenashi' on the road with Lexus

Surprises come in many forms in the newest, electrifying chapter for Lexus.

The Waikato trust creating space in sport for women

A Sport Waikato initiative is helping females of all ages to feel comfortable about their bodies and encouraging them to be active.

Why trees and fires make bad bedfellows

Trees are significant hazards on their own, but pair them with fire and you’ve got a potential disaster. Michael Van de Elzen and FMG’s Montana Kerr share their top tips to mitigate risks.

How to make a crocheted lace beanie

An intermediate-level crochet project that is as pretty as it is practical.

What humans can learn from mushrooms

Mushroom enthusiast Alice Nicholls explores the mindset of a mushroom in her master's thesis titled 'How to Become a Mushroom'.

A doctor weighs in on plants vs meat

Should we eat animals? Many voices say food from plants is enough. So who is right? Dr Roderick Mulgan ponders the important questions.

4 things about firewood for a cosy winter

Knowing your hardwoods from your softwoods makes a big difference.

The history of Haldon Station

One of New Zealand’s iconic high-country stations, the 22,000-hectare Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Country, stars in a new book tracing its history, owners, managers and staff.

repurpose hot water bottle cover

How to make a cosy hot-water bottle cover

Give Jack Frost the cold shoulder with this easy-to-make ‘hottie’ coat made from recycled materials.

DIY: Make this easy, felt-ball trivet

Protect your table and benchtops from hot pots and pans with this colourful trivet. Time to felt up and get rolling!

Meet Wellington's all-electric turquoise ferry

There’s a new player in Wellington Harbour cruising alongside the familiar red tugboats and lumbering Interislander ferries.

5 things to know about inverters when you go off-grid

Solar panels are the visible sign of an off-grid power system, but at its heart is a little box with a big job.

World wanderers return to nest in a Far North tiny house

For two years, this couple traveled in a Jeep throughout the Americas, the length of Africa and into many of Europe’s far-flung corners — often facing great danger. But the lessons they learned together on the road will drive them into an exciting future.

5 fireplace trends to cosy up to

Some of the biggest design trends are contemporary rustic and cottage décor, with fires being a key feature.

Rangitīkei: Where to raft, fish, stroll and explore

On the Rangitīkei stretch of SH1— from the Manawatū and southwest to Horowhenua’s Foxton — rivers, lakes, wetlands and beaches create a vibrant ecosystem well worth a visit.

Hūhana Lyndon on using her influence for good

Hūhana Lyndon, previously a vocal critic of the Ngātiwai Trust Board, is its new chief executive.

The Akaroa Men's Shed has become the talk of the town

A retiree joins a global movement, lending a hand to build relationships — and neighbourhoods.

Growing an idyllic lifestyle (and garden-fresh ventures) on the Kina Peninsula

A natural phenomenon helped one Tasman woman shake off serious post-op complications and led to a thriving produce and floristry business involving an entire family.

Why you should light your fire upside down

This is how to light a clean fire, according to two Norwegian wood-burning experts.

The Kiwi company keeping its cool with eco-friendly refrigeration

When temperatures soar, the hum of air conditioning and refrigeration units sound an ominous chorus. This company is offering a greener solution.

10+ tips for starting a compost for beginners

Even when minimising waste much as possible, some food scraps can’t be eaten. Here's how best to combat food scraps.

Lynda Hallinan's tips for surviving tough gardening times

When the going gets tough, it’s not just the tough who get going.

20 tips for aspiring BnB hosts

If you live in paradise and want extra income, it makes sense to invite people to stay. Sheryn shares her lessons hosting visitors from near and far.

A couple creates a secluded retreat in the treetops of their farm

Diversification was on the cards when a buzz-loving broadcaster moved to a remote Canterbury valley with a sixth-generation farmer. Million Springs farm is today host to 2000 cows and a business in the trees.

These block owners are helping kids reconnect with nature

A Northland family share the healing powers of their land to help children in crisis, and it’s working.

Summer at Lynda Hallinan’s means two things — card games and cocktails

Summer is a time for garden parties and picnics. Let the games begin.

DIY: How to create a macramé plant hanger

With this super-simple macramé hanger, you’ll always have fresh flowers – or herbs – on hand.

Is a cold shower good for your heath?

There are times when stressing out the system can be good for the health — ask the artery-blessed Ama of Japan.

10 ways to help make cut flowers last

These simple steps will keep your cut flowers looking fresh for longer.


12 tips for upcycling old pallets

A few tricks to ensure you have a good pallet upcycling experience.

From ‘caravan graveyard’ to a sunny new life

Lovely Lola the caravan ensures the Browns relax in colourful comfort whether by the beach, the lake or in the bush.

A Taupō beekeeper finds another sweet gig — making mead

First there was craft beer, then gin. But is mead the next big artisan drink craze?

The zero-waste legend helping Matakana turn trash into treasure

This Matakana local has gone from being classed as a hippie to an environment hero.

When to thin your fruit trees

When fruit trees finish blossoming, the leaves unfurl, and trees set their crop for the season. That’s when it’s time to do your first pick.

The ancient reflex linked with overeating

Why do we overeat? New research shows the body is at the mercy of two mechanisms when faced with food — hunger and opportunity.

What to consider for your dream outdoor bath

If a bath beneath a starry, starry sky sounds like your kind of happy, you’re in excellent company.

Inside the stormy business of seaweed harvesting

When wild winds rage across the top of the Hauraki Gulf, it’s time for these farmers to harvest a special crop.

Getting hooked on a colourful, retro craft

Beth Willis is reviving a colourful 1970s craft — one crocheted daisy earring at a time.

Why the mindful art of pottery is the new ‘it’ hobby

The art of ceramics is piquing national interest, with beginner classes selling out around New Zealand.

Finding a balance between healthy foods and palatable flavour

It’s all very well for the strong-minded to advise ‘food be thy medicine’, but what if it tastes awful and has the mouthfeel of shoe leather?

How to dry flowers

Modern dried florals embrace the beauty of twisting leaves and wilting petals.

DIY: How to make a succulent wreath

Make a succulent wreath for Christmas and beyond. This living wreath will easily last until the next holiday season as the succulent cuttings will develop roots in time.

DIY: How to make biodegradable seedling pots

These newspaper seedling pots can be planted straight into the ground.

Why Lynda Hallinan can't give up on fussy ferns

Lynda indulges her fever for ferns with a tabletop collection of covetable species.

The South Canterbury dynasty behind a potato empire

One man’s penchant for potatoes has led to a thriving multigenerational family-run paddock-to-packet potato-chip business.

Inside the expensive world of houseplants

That old houseplant at your grandma’s house might be worth thousands, but can you make a killing growing the most on-trend houseplants?

Recloaking Gisborne with eco-sourced trees

A group of (mostly) women are regenerating Gisborne’s flora — one eco-sourced seed at a time.

How a bush hut inspired this couple's new lease on life

A backcountry hut along the Forgotten World Highway is a befitting backdrop for this city-eschewing couple.

A Queenstown couple's outdoor approach to teaching pre-schoolers

A Queenstown couple take on the task of nurturing Aotearoa’s most valuable and important resource.

DIY: How to make a cute macramé keychain

Learn how to make this cute macramé keychain before moving on to larger projects.

DIY: Knit a classic pompom beanie

Dust off those needles – this easy-to-knit beanie teams New Zealand natural wool with a cute-as-a-button possum-fur pompom.

DIY project: Turn soft plastic wrappers into a tote bag

Grab the iron and a bundle of soft plastic bags then make a tote with sustainable style.

A bonsai collector learns resilience from meticulously pruned trees

A bonsai collector shares the lesson of caring for artfully pruned trees.

What are nutraceuticals?

Scientists call foods that are good for the body ‘functional’. Marketers call them ‘superfoods’. Welcome to the health-giving world of nutraceuticals.

4 easy ways to make your own fire starter

Light your fire with these simple, homemade starters.

10 things you may not know about building a log home

You might think hunting lodge, you might think it’s too much  wood for one home, but the modern log house is a strong statement in clean, green, renewable, hand-crafted building work.

DIY: Make your own botanical stepping stones

Create a magical trail of stepping stones using ready-mix concrete and decorated with bold, beautiful leaves from the backyard.

4 beautiful NZ barn houses

Converting a barn into a home can create a distinctive living space, but it involves a unique set of building challenges.

How this young woman grew a slow-flower farm from the ground up

A psychology student’s budding business, providing solace when she most needed it, is rooted in the belief that homegrown flowers can heal the mind, body and soul.

6 lessons from a very tiny Airbnb

A tennis coach and an IT professional have transformed their not-much-good-for-anything land into a tiny house escape.

DIY: Make natural dyes with plants, fruits and pantry items

The pantry contains a smörgåsbord of ingredients perfect as natural dyes.

The paint-spattered Badcock family tree

Father and daughter, John and Susan Badcock, are just two members of the thoroughly paint-spattered Badcock family tree.

The ups and downs of sculptor Ben Foster's car restoration

Ben Foster has come to realize his car project is a form of therapy for himself and his mates after the psychological and mental anguish of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and the last year of the pandemic.

Going off-grid and mortgage-free in King Country

A family committed to a self-sufficient way of life have quickly turned an untamed block into a productive homestead.

This woman proves it's never too late to change careers

Kay Paku feels life has delivered her a series of career options — each a lucky chance rather than a deliberate choice.

The best way to be zero waste on a block

Waste from your block is actually quite the opposite to its name — here's how to make the most of its value.

Top 10 veggie crops for city gardeners

These veggies are excellent for small gardens.

3 ways to use kawakawa

Make the most of this medicinal plant by making a salve, throat gargle or even natural perfume.

10 tips to drying firewood in just 6 weeks

Get the basics right, and you can have perfect firewood in as little as six weeks.

Why food is the best medicine

The best diet for long life and good health is an age old conundrum. Modern insights say it has a lot to do with eating the right drugs.

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.

How to build a Norwegian Round Stack

Norwegian rounds are a space-saving wood stacking technique that will keep your wood dry

6 healing tonics to make with herbs from the garden

With cold and flu season around the corner, it’s time to turn to Mother Nature for the tools of self-defence. These herbs can be grown then made into potions that soothe and strengthen.

Black Ferns Sevens star ready for the Olympic spotlight

Working to improve her mental strength and gaining much-needed confidence has been a game-changer for Black Ferns Sevens star Michaela Blyde.

DIY: 6 skincare products to make at home

Give skin a boost with naturally soothing ingredients that might already be in your garden or kitchen.

How Kathleen Green is paying homage to the classic Kiwi blanket

Finding herself unemployed in the middle of a recession, Kathleen Green began restoring vintage wool blankets to their former glory.

The immune system and ageing's big diseases

In the first of a new column, a medical doctor explains how the immune system changes after middle age and causes ageing’s big diseases.

How this woman scored a 1969 Lancia Fulvia

Italian flair comes to Ōhakune in the form of a racy little italian number.

Houseplant happiness: A beginner’s guide

If you can turn a houseplant into a withered has-been overnight, then this guide that matches indoor greenery to the conditions (and homeowner’s personality) is a life saver.

Meet the foragers turning wild herbs into wellness

A love of foraging in the hills of Central Otago is at the heart of a natural health business that's transforming wild herbs into wellness.

Meet the inspiring mums behind bilingual book series Reo Pepi

A vision to reclaim their ancestral language prompted these Dunedin cousins to create a bilingual resource for future generations.

The art and science of making good gin

There’s a ‘ginaissance’ going on, with craft distilleries popping up around New Zealand, but it takes more than bit of this and a bit of that to make the ‘it’ drink.

Your go-to guide to freezing fresh produce

Freezing your favourite summer produce is a simple, fast, and economical way (if you do it right) to preserve the best in your crops.

How to give old furniture a fresh new life

Transforming a pre-loved item destined for landfill takes patience. But breathing new life into a tired object can be immensely satisfying.

8 tiny homes around the country

Dreaming of living in a tiny home? From refurnished boats in Whanganui to views of the Auckland skyline, the space is small but the ideas are bigger than ever.

DIY: How to build a fruit and veggie rack

Build a storage rack for your autumn harvest and preserves.

The Hastings couple led by the nose for high spirits

Two former winemakers are creating gin and other spirits, capturing the essence of the region in which they live.

Why this Kiwi film-maker visited México and never left

The vibrant spontaneity of a city where a circus troupe might suddenly appear amid the colourful buildings appealed to the creative spirit of this film-maker. So she relocated to Mexico's San Miguel de Allende— and never left.

Explore this bright-but-basic bach at Punakaiki

A couple of legal high-flyers and their twin girls are now enjoying a slower way of life in a basic-but-beloved bach on the West Coast.

Lynda Hallinan’s Blog: The liberation of dried-flowers

Before the tanks run dry in summer, this land-lover raids her cottage-style picking garden for buds, blooms and seedheads to hang in her dried-flower hut.

This family turns its 30-tonne feijoa harvest into liquid gold

Love them or loathe them, Lothlorien Winery’s founders believe their beloved feijoas have a budding future as more people grow to love them here and abroad – starting with their sparkling feijoa wines.

From news junkie to a radio newsreader

She never expected to be a radio newsreader, nor the voice of a mobile network. But these days Mary-Jane Tomasi is broadcast far and wide.

This Wānaka couple finds purpose in the mountains

Helping people to find their “why” is the life purpose of a Wānaka-based couple who find answers in the mountains.

A wee hut on a 1400ha farm in north Canterbury

This couple has built a first-rate life among the drylands of north Canterbury, spiced up — as if it were needed — with classic cars and a cottage with a view that rolls on forever.

Wisdom from a couple with a certified organic block

After almost 30 years on their block, this Ohoka couple are brimming with wisdom for wannabe block owners.

Why you should consider letting your lawn go wild

Life's too short to be fussy over a lawn, it's time to let nature take its course.

This bike-lover rides away the mid-life blues

Originally designed in late-1950s communist Czechoslovakia, the Czeta was rebranded to NZeta when it reached Aotearoa. One, now meticulously restored, helped this bike-lover through a mid-life crisis.

10+ tips and tricks to creating a great outdoor space

The newest 'room' of your house could be right outside your door. Here's what to think about when you're creating the ultimate outdoor space.

What you need to know about inflammation

Sometimes termed “the fire within”, inflammation is often insidious, causing damage where it can’t be seen. One doctor is on a mission to help people understand that the lifestyle choices they make now will almost certainly affect their health later.

6 hands-on projects for sprucing up the garden

There's never a better time to add affordable improvements to the garden.

Why Joanna Wickham is letting nature reclaim her property

A ballad of birdsong, rushing water and rustling kauri caused this photographer to swap the crowded streets of inner-city Auckland for the gravel roads of Donnellys Crossing.



How this Pāpāmoa dad became king of the sandcastle

A nostalgic summer activity reaches new heights in the hands of a Bay of Plenty performance artist.

Whangamata business owner can work 20 days in a row over summer

Boutique owner Karan Gregory has an eye for business based on experience earned, not learned.

A fabric upcycler Sarah Lancaster's cute tiny house

A sewing teacher with a superhero-like enthusiasm for saving the planet packs a heap of personality into her tiny house.

Retro caravan called Roxanne restored to heyday looks

Summer holidays for a Hamilton family mean a beach on the wild Waikato west coast with a small dog called Rosie and a retro caravan called Roxanne.

4 signs you need for your farmers' market stand

A good sign is the very first part of your sales strategy. An effective one will catch people's eye as they get within 10m or so of your stand.

Explore this cute-as-a-button tiny home in Burkes Pass

Marie Pourcel wakes each morning to goats bleating outside her tiny home in Burkes Pass. It feels like a million miles from the apartment and office job she left behind in France’s fourth-largest city.

A block owner's guide to summer sleepouts

If you want extra beds for summer guests, a simple sleepout may be the ideal solution.

3 easy plant-based oils to make at home

Specialty oils are expensive to buy. Most people assume they’re difficult to make, but it’s possible to do it yourself.

Creative ways with succulents

Succulents are a beautiful business plan if you enjoy some simple DIY and a little creativity.

How this Auckland man makes a litter(al) difference

A walker recovering from illness took the chance to clean up his local area. Both are now in good health.

This Ōākura artist regards colour as therapy

A secondary school art teacher scolded his students for being “plum puddings” and told them to get on with their art. One of them took this admonition to heart, his words inspiring her since.

DIY: Upcyle an old pallet into a pallet swing

An old pallet becomes a place of rest.

Explore these timeless baches around New Zealand

An oh-so-glorious collection of timeless baches and holiday getaways to celebrate the best of summer in New Zealand.

9 edible gifts to make for friends and family

Nothing says love or friendship like a sweet little treat made at home.

Busting the myths of the common cold

A cold may be common but finding a cure for it has thwarted scientists for centuries. It’s not for lack of trying, however. “Cures” abound (including that one involving vitamin C)…

The adventures of an off-grid couple near Rotorua

They live off-grid in a log cabin, drive an electric car, and measure their progress in toilets. Meet a pair of earth nerds living their great adventure.

The Kiwi mum-turned-leader in maternity activewear

This Whāngārei-based maternity activewear brand reached 14 on the Deloitte Fast 50 list within five years of shipping its first bras.

Explore this wedge-shaped house in Central Otago

A conductor and a violinist find a soothing new tempo inside a Central Otago triangle.

DIY Project: An artistic climbing frame for plants

A practical climbing frame for plants can double as art for the garden.

The Toyota that stole her heart and joined her down the aisle

Kellie Hollingsworth wasn’t interested in cars, let alone restoring them. But then a shabby old Toyota stole her heart.

Playing it forward at the Taranaki Toy Library

A New Plymouth mum pours her heart into a global movement, bettering the planet one toy at a time.

7 easy and festive nibbles to make for Christmas

After one frustrating cheese board fail, Nadene Hall breaks down seven festive appetisers that are practically foolproof.

Why is gardening so good for the soul?

Gardeners know growing plants is great for your health, and now science is showing us some of the reasons why.

What not to do with your ride-on mower

NZ Lifestyle Block editor Nadene Hall has a confession: she is a bad ride-on mower owner.

Q&A: A Marlborough artist on patience, painting wild birds

Marlborough-based artist Nicolas Dillon’s coffee-table book of drawings and paintings of New Zealand birds represents his lifetime love affair with the natural world.

5 non-fiction books to add to your wishlist

Book reviewer Hayley McLarin’s round-up includes a plant-based cookbook, a story of a man and his rescue cat, and an economist’s take on global loneliness.

DIY Project: Upcycle old tools into a garden gate

Turn your old tools into a decorative garden gate.

Tackling a fear of heights in Central Otago

Lisa Scott has always been afraid of heights or, to be more precise, falling. Now she’s attempting to overcome that fear.

How to build an origami kiwi for Bird of the Year

This paper kiwi is an easy origami project for beginners and kids. Make one to celebrate the Bird of the Year competition.

Homemade gift idea: tie dyed napkins

Add a splash of colour to the dinner table with these simple tricks for tie dyeing and shibori napkins. They are an easy homemade present to make.

Harnessing the power of sunflowers in Waitaki

Two Waitaki families farming in partnership for more than 50 years have developed a bird-loving business out of a crop sown on a wing and a prayer.

Everything you need to know about slow fashion

Clothing has an enormous impact on the environment and, very often, an effect on the people who make it. When purchasing, remember these Rs ‒ reduce, recycle, resale, repair, repurpose and even rent.

Lynda Hallinan's Blog: The charm of a barn

This garden-lover’s pet project sees a rundown barn turned into a room of her own.

The science behind sleep disorders

Sleep accounts for one-quarter to one-third of the human lifespan. Yet what exactly happens during it is not known, and its biological purpose remains one of life’s great mysteries.

Trevor Nathan's journey from signwriter to sculptor

A traditional signwriter carves a new niche for himself after technology turns his industry upside-down.

DIY Project: Upcycle old pallets into a mobile table

Turn three old pallets into a useful mobile table for entertaining.

3 golden rules for getting started at a farmer’s market

Experienced stallholder Jono Walker shares his tips for beginners.

Making the health and beauty supermarket aisle plastic-free

An ambitious duo hopes to change the world with affordably priced personal-care products packaged without plastic.

Five new NZ books to add to your reading list

Book reviewer Hayley McClarin sees whether this crime thriller Girl in the Mirror lives up to the hype and also reviews, The Jacaranda House, by Deborah Challinor and Tim Saunders’  This Farming Life.

Zooming in: Beauty therapist teaches confidence from her new rural home

A beauty therapist loves her new rural life while keeping up her work for a good cause.

A fast and fancy facelift for old furniture

You don't need any artistic skill to upcycle homewares with chalk paint and decorative adhesive transfers, as Lynda Hallinan discovers.

Tom Scott's searches for the "real" Charles Upham in his new book

Our country’s most decorated soldier, Charles Upham, is the subject of a biography by one of our country’s most decorated cartoonists, Tom Scott.

Simple living in a 65-sqm eco-home

A Southland photographer has repurposed her former possession-driven life to become a conscious consumer in a small eco-home.

A springboard diver plunges into tiny house living

A world-class springboard diver is not only relishing a second chance at her athletic career but also hoping her tiny-homes business will have a big impact on the planet.

Listen up: three perfect-for-bedtime podcasts guaranteed to put you to sleep

Editor Kate Coughlan suggests three perfect-for-bedtime podcasts guaranteed to put you to sleep.

20 spring projects to do at home

Spring doesn't always have to be about cleaning. Put some pep back into your kitchen or garden with these fun projects.

DIY: Two ways to make a fabric face mask at home

Use whatever fabric you have on hand to make these two personalised face masks.

This Austin 7 Boat Tail remained a secret for a year

Seven is a lucky number in many cultures, and Jill Evans knows it for sure every time she steps into her Austin 7 Boat Tail.

Lesley Pearse talks about 1970s London and her new novel Liar

Author Lesley Pearse, who come to writing later in life, has sold millions of copies of her novels, and draws on personal experience in penning her latest gripping work.

Their high-country wools hit the mark for lockdown knitters

The excitement of opening new retail store Perriam in Christchurch vanished in an instant as the lockdown was imposed.

DIY: Make a chic planter box

An easy way to create a bespoke planter box for your backyard.

Walking speed may indicate how fast you're ageing

Scientists believe that how fast people walk in their 40s is a sign of how their brains, as well as their bodies, are ageing.

Zero-waste hero: This is all Kristy Lorson sends to landfill each month

Kristy Lorson, her husband and young daughter fill one wheelie bin with rubbish every two years. They love their (virtually) zero-waste life.

DIY: Knit a popcorn-stitch beanie

This cute-as-a-button popcorn stitch beanie from the team at Perriam, will keep little warm during winter.

Everything to know before investing in solar panels

Solar power is an important source of renewable energy. Think it might be useful at home? Here are some things to keep in mind.

A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland

Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable. Big canvases. Hyperrealism.

DIY: How to make shampoo and conditioner bars

Making solid shampoo and conditioner bars is a fun, natural way to cut down on excess plastic packaging.

LilyBee founder's practical advice for low-waste living

A Hawke’s Bay entrepreneur takes tiny steps to create a better world for future generations.

5 tips for getting started at a farmer's market

Pro tip: You won't be able to please everyone.

6 ways to tackle dampness in your home

Stop dampness in its tracks by tracking down the underlying cause. It may be cheaper to fix than you think.

Kid's DIY Project: Make a paper-mache volcano

A simple concoction of vinegar and baking soda gives this volcano an exciting lava flow at the end.

What are autoimmune disorders? This is what you should know

What causes the body to attack itself? The reasons are as varied as the diseases themselves.

How dung beetles can improve soil health and reduce runoff

A Whenuapai firm aims to revolutionize New Zealand agriculture by breeding an army of underground critters.

Why New Zealanders are not natural-born mushroom foragers

Mushroom foraging can be dangerous even in the age of Google.

DIY Project: Make a bandana for your small dog

Small pooches can step up their style with this easy-to-make bandana.

3 preposterous crime podcasts and a right royal rumble with the Catherine the Great

A podcast about a missing crypto queen, and racy Russian queen TV mini series are this week's podcast and TV picks.

Is your home properly insulated? Here's how to find out

There are important steps to take before you invest in a new home heating system.

DIY Project: Make a coat stand from an old door

Turn an old door into a stylish — and useful — piece of furniture.

Editor's Picks: Podcasts and TV shows to keep you entertained

Heart-racing podcasts, a political doco series and a 60s-style variety show top this week's picks.

Why Nicky Pellegrino created the Book Bubble

NZ Author and journalist Nicky Pellegrino says New Zealanders are craving new reading material.

This 15sqm garage-turned-tiny house features a catamaran-inspired trampoline

A desire to see the world encouraged an Auckland couple to reimagine their living requirements and move into their reworked garage.

DIY: Make a colourful crochet bag

This cute shoulder bag is easy enough for those just starting their crochet journey.

How to make ginger beer at home

The secret to good ginger beer is in the bug, says Sheryn Dean.

4 easy activities to do with kids over Easter

Ideas to keep the kids busy this Easter that won’t require dashing to the supermarket for supplies.

DIY: How to make homemade soap

Cut packaging out of the equation with homemade beauty essentials.

Nicola Galloway's inspiring garden-to-table life

The real magic happens at snail’s pace in this devoted foodie’s kitchen and garden.

'How scooters, macaroni cheese and a kowhai helped me save 3.4 tonnes of carbon'

A four-week challenge to reduce carbon emissions identifies an unexpectedly colossal footprint.

Build a cute-as-a-button fruit and vegetable stand (part 2)

In part two of our series, we finish building a mobile roadside stand for selling your farm goods.

A 47km pest-proof fence near Cambridge can keep even baby mice out

An ancient forest atop a Waikato mountain is home to the world’s largest mainland pest-free sanctuary.

A couple turns their orchard into an organic garden, café and gallery

Annie and Shaun Wilson stress the importance of having multiple income streams.

What you need to know about epigenetics

Developments in the science of epigenetics, which links genes and the environment, offer fresh insight to preventative healthcare but might have unforeseen consequences.

The benefits of hosting volunteers on your block

Volunteer schemes are not a way to get things done for free around your block, but Sheryn has still found it very profitable.

Exploring Mount Aspiring National Park in the all new Jeep Gladiator

The new Jeep Gladiator is put through its paces in scenic Central Otago.

20+ things you need to know if you're on tank water during a drought

Forecast rain might be a welcome relief for tank water users across the parched North Island, but now they should be wary of contamination.

DIY: Make your own hanging bird bath

Made with twigs ‘n’ twine and a pot-plant saucer, this bird bath will appeal to the arty gardener.

DIY project: Make a cute seat from old tyres

Here’s how to turn nasty old tyres into something pretty and useful.

New books to add to your reading list

These new release books are must-reads this summer.

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.

Lucy Corry: The city dweller's guide to foraging

Even city dwellers can forage for edible finds with a few rudimentary guidelines to keep the tummy happy and the neighbours sweet, says Lucy Corry

Build this cute-as-a-button fruit and vegetable stand

In part one of a two part series, learn how to build a mobile roadside stand for selling your farm goods.

Citroën 2CV van gets an electric makeover

Dinky, red and full of green cred, a wheezing Citroën 2CV van gets a zippy new electric life.

Preserves 101: How to sterilize jars and preserve fruit safely

Make summer fruit and veggies last through winter with these simple preserving techniques, including low-sugar options for fruit bottling and jams.

8 lessons from long-time lifestyle block owners

If you could give one piece of advice to block owners, what would it be? Some long-time growers share their words of wisdom.

How Polly Greeks uses a pizza oven for off-grid living (plus her time-tested oven tips)

NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks is building an off-grid mudbrick home in the Far North. The family of four’s pizza oven is not just a luxury, it’s an essential part of life.

How to buy the lifestyle block of your dreams

Looking for what is not there is often the hardest part.

Kiwiana décor, homewares and art in a 1960s Fibrolite bach

It’s more than a storehouse of treasured family memories, more than a good example of 1960s bach architecture. It’s a museum of its era and now it has inspired a book.

How to prevent burglars on your rural property

It’s time to have a rest and spend time enjoying the summer sun, but burglars love your beach holiday as much as you do.

How to make natural after-sun skincare

Looking for a natural solution for too much sun? Jane Wrigglesworth digs up four herbs good for treating mild sunburn.

How to set up an irrigation system PLUS how to use Olla terracotta pots

Sick of losing plants because you forgot to water them? Make life easier by installing irrigation.

homemade soap

8 homemade gift ideas plus 16 baking treats

Show your love to friends and family, with  a home made gift idea for Christmas.  Find here eight DIY projects plus 16 baking ideas that will make them smile.

DIY project: How to make a fresh garland for Christmas

Dreaming of a green Christmas? Deck the halls naturally with this fresh festive decoration.

Everything to know about harvesting rainwater and greywater

Harvesting rainwater and greywater can be a great way to curb your environmental footprint. But regulations, safety and maintenance shouldn't be overlooked.

DIY Project: Make a self-watering container garden

Lettuce, herbs or flowers will stay hydrated all summer long in this self-watering container garden.

Quad bike accidents tend to happen to this kind of person in NZ

Injuries from quad bikes are increasing despite greater awareness of safety issues.

Craft project: 11 low-waste festive decorations to make at home

Transform bits and bobs around the home into festive, sustainable decorations this Christmas.

A Golden Bay mum's small business turns into a health product empire

In 1988, a solo mum living in the back of beyond launched a business selling health products. It now turns over $35 million a year.

They crowd-funded $30,000 to bring locally cultivated yeast to brewers

From brewing beer to cultivating cow-less milk, companies are experimenting with yeast to make food and drinks for an increasingly eco-minded world.

Limited-edition designer onesies for a good cause

Twenty-one designers have aligned with Great Full for its first charity initiative. The founder of the social enterprise, Melissa Gardi, explains why community matters.

DIY: No Sew Christmas Wreath

Use new or recycled bits of fabric to make a funky twist on a classic decoration.

What is a dark-sky nation? This Nelson writer wants New Zealand to be the first

Two and a half years spent researching and writing a book about the southern skies convinced science writer Naomi Arnold of the importance of protecting the darkness of our nights.

Inside the little Dunedin cottage where writers get big ideas

Since 2003, writers have been invited to a tiny brick cottage just off Dunedin’s main street to tap away at whatever they need to get down on paper.

7 tips to growing gluten-free amaranth flour

It’s your last chance to plant amaranth for seeds, and grow a low-maintenance, protein-rich food.

A sustainable, garden-to-table bistro tucked away in the Karangahake Gorge

Meet the city escapees whose off-the-trail bistro feeds their need for community, family and a fine vegetable garden.

Penguin playtime: How to make a felt rockhopper mask

Eastern rockhopper penguins might be declining in number, but they’re no less loved by  thisNZlife. The cute characters are our top pick for Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year competition and your kids can play along with this easy-to-make dress-up mask.


The rockin’ hobby spreading kindness in NZ

This new pastime is rocking the worlds of Kiwis of all ages – and sparking joy stone by stone.

Make this rockin' penguin beanie for Bird of the Year

The Rockhopper penguin is a New Zealand native whose numbers have sharply declined in the last 30 years. Inspire the kids to support the Rockhopper in Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year competition with this adorable crochet hat.

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.

DIY project: Make a vertical growing frame for climbing veggies

This easy-to-make A-frame gives veggies in the gourd family a place to grow up.

Why fermented food is good for you (and could help with anxiety)

New research shows why ferments are good for your gut, and that including fermented foods in your diet may help with anxiety.

DIY: Make a knitted pet bed

A cosy bed for your pet is at the tip of your needles.

How Kiwi innovators are tackling food fraud in New Zealand

Science is at the forefront of detecting and prosecuting food fraud.

What's the deal with gluten? Debunking the great gluten debate

Learning to eat without wheat is common. But why? And is going gluten-free really necessary?

Grow these plants to tap into the booming pet health industry

A Taranaki gardener has found there are some growing opportunities in the $1.5 billion pet health business.

Sally Brown's tips for displaying cut flowers

Don’t be myopic about what can be arranged in a vase to create beauty, says Sally.

DIY: Turn an old dresser into a brooder

If you’ve got a 1970s dresser that isn’t ever going to come back into style, here’s how to re-purpose it into a chick brooder.

How farm microbes may help children avoid asthma

These itty bitty organisms are big players in health and environmental issues.

DIY: Make a cute-as-a-button pompom rug

Turn scrap wool into something soft and stylish for your home.

DIY: Make a propagation station

A cost-effective way to repurpose old timber that is part potting table and part mini-greenhouse.

Backstage at Six Degrees of Separation with costume designer Lucy Jane Senior

Costume Designer and stylist Lucy Jane Senior agonized over finding the perfect pair of jewelled block heels for the new Auckland Theatre Company show.

An upcycling couple's eco home next to a train track

Two bike-loving upcyclers have built an eco home that is off the rails in suburban Auckland — but only just.

DIY: Make a colourful seesaw knit scarf

Brighten up a dreary day with a scarf bursting with colourful triangles.

Meet the former marketing guru getting Kiwis outdoors, one trip at a time

A social entrepreneur hosts outdoor excursions so New Zealanders can conquer their inner mountains — just as he has.

10 ways to use herbs in your home

Herbs from your garden can clean your house, help an upset stomach, and add new flavours to your dishes.

An easy recipe to reduce food waste

Thirty percent of all food produced on the planet is not eaten, and Kristina has a recipe for that.

Why Dave Cotty finally gave in to his Mini Cooper madness

An icon of the swinging 1960s, the Mini was revered as a new approach to compact-car making. It still enjoys an almost saintly status — just ask Dave Cotty.

5 non-edible uses for grapefruit

Grapefruit seem to be one of those contentious, love-it-or-loathe-it kind-of fruit. Here are some easy DIY ways to use up grapefruit that don’t involving eating them.

Thinking caps on: Hats made from upcycled fabric

An eco-entrepreneur, who started making caps from curtain scraps, is trying to save the world from waste, one limited-edition hat at a time.

two origami paper basket projects

How to make an origami paper bin liner and a paper kete

Replace single use plastic bags in the kitchen with these two easy-to-make origami paper bins.

VW Super Beetle resurrected from its hay shed retirement

A not-so-common species of beetle has been adored, stored and restored

Why every day is an open house at this Dunedin couple's gallery

A creative couple have established a gallery in their Dunedin home with everything for public view — even the art in the loo.

Kiwi actor digs deep to play Northland farmer in Bellbird

Marshall Napier knew nothing about cows before joining the Bellbird cast to play a Northland dairy farmer. She'll be right, he said.

This couple have sent no rubbish to landfill for three years

Yes, you can cut down on plastic waste. All it takes is a little planning to change to more eco-friendly habits says the experts.

How the eco-friendly commute is evolving in New Zealand

The race is on to get commuters out of their cars in favour of more sustainable ways of moving around.

Antibiotic resistance - what you need to know

Antibiotics were once touted as miracle cures. But their ongoing misuse may mean that even the most common operations won’t be available to future generations.

DIY: How to make natural shampoo in a slow cooker

Just whip out your slow cooker.

Craft project: Reusable crochet and towelling makeup wipes

Get crafty and DIY these crochet makeup remover wipes and  mini face cloths — pretty usable alternatives to disposables.

She gave up a new kitchen for her 1974 El Camino ute

Backcountry Gisborne is full of surprises. Here’s an unexpected sight sweeping around a corner right now.

DIY: Make an easy sheep-shaped bookcase

Add a touch of country charm to a kids' bedroom with this cute-as-a-button weekend project.

4 transforming beauty treatments worth the pain

Ask anyone who’s had a Brazilian, Botox or felt the repeated sting of IPL, beauty treatments can hurt. But some are so transforming, it’s better to embrace than avoid.

A Dunedin furrier transforms pest pelts into something pretty

Mooney’s Furriers in Dunedin can turn a home-caught possum or rabbit skin into a gorgeous soft furnishing.

The Kiwis behind the next generation of eco-products

Meet the innovators driving the push for products that last.

Review: Theresa Healey in The Audience

Kate Coughlan sees the Queen in a whole new light after watching the new Auckland Theatre Company production of The Audience.

DIY: How to make a beautiful bouquet

A step-by-step guide to creating a pro-looking posy for Mum.

7 creative ways to celebrate mum's special day

Mother’s Day is almost here (it’s this Sunday, May 12th) so get sorted with these fresh ideas for activities, gestures and gifts to show you care.

6 signs your chimney is unwell

When was the last time you had your chimney cleaned? If you can’t remember, it’s time to clean it, even if it has been a while since you last lit a fire.

Free Farm Fresh Eggs printable sign

If you want a stylish sign for outside your gate, or you’d like something chicken-inspired to hang in your home, you can download our free prints.

In Queenstown painter Tim Wilson's world, light is everything

Tim Wilson’s father was so excited by his son’s first exhibition of landscape paintings he proudly predicted, ‘You know Tim, one day you’ll be getting $1000 each for your pictures.’ He wasn’t wrong.

DIY: Cat-shaped heating pads

These easy cat-shaped heat pads are purrfect for keeping warm in winter.

6 ways to decorate Easter eggs

Grab the glitter and the glue for some easy crafting ahead of Easter.

DIY: Create a reusable tote from an old pillowcase

With just a few straight lines, create a set of reusable bags from rescued fabrics.

A new off-grid life in the Far North

Brooke and Maggie Noonan left jobs at Auckland Zoo to build an off-grid, eco-friendly house in the Far North. And they struck oil.

The 125-year-old restored New Plymouth icon

Each decade of their life together has taken a New Plymouth couple a step closer to the way they dreamed of living.

A grandmum's spirit lives on through her Hillman Imp

A creative and artistic grandmother’s blue-toned gift is one that keeps on giving.

How to design a pantry for year-round food storage

Autumn is a season of plenty. Here’s how to store any leftover crop safely and mitigate against a spring shortage.

A family's journey from farm eviction to the sweet life at Birdswoods

Evicted from their farm in Zimbabwe, a family’s fresh start in Havelock North has brought freedom, and an opportunity to pay it forward.

In your Backyard: Living Lightly online extra resources

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly, is a guide to making small steps towards a lighter footprint.  We’ve compiled extra materials and videos here to help further your understanding of this exciting topic.

Make a compact trestle table

This trestle is ideal for a compact potting table or a base for a plant container.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

Video: Sustainable living in a tiny house on wheels

A tiny house that includes upcycled parts of a state home is the first step towards sustainable living for an Auckland couple.

Lessons from an award-winning, 10-year-old smart house

This award-winning Geraldine home may be 10 years old, but it's still way ahead of the average NZ house.

Beekeeper's tiny house passion stemmed from a teenage illness

Nathan Orr’s enthusiasm for tiny homes and leaving a smaller footprint on the planet is rooted in a teenage illness.

Makerspace Hackland offers a grown-up playground

In Hackland, the grown-ups learn the same way kids do - by trying new things and having fun.

NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced

Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.

Give instant glam to a tired terracotta pot

A quick upcycling project to transform an old terracotta plant pot.

Christchurch terror attack: How to support NZ’s Muslim communities

Mass murder at mosques in Christchurch on Friday targeted Muslim New Zealanders at worship. Here are some things you can do to support a devastated community.

Why autumn is a great time to visit Queenstown

There’s no need to bungy-jump from a bridge or swing perilously close to a cliff-face in a jet-boat to sample the delights of New Zealand's adventure capital. Autumn is a time for gentler pursuits.

A set designer's showstopper home

Of all of the scenes set decorator Megan Vertelle has crafted into reality, her patchwork Piha villa is the one that steals the show.

How to avoid metabolic syndrome

Add metabolic syndrome to the long list of medical maladies that can be avoided by living well.

beeswax food wrap

Make your own beeswax food wraps: updated recipe

This environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling film is easy to make at home.

Artist paints native birds in the style of Goldie and Lindauer

A Wellington-based painter’s pop-surrealist works are finding favour among art buyers captivated by the subversive cuteness of her creatures.

New Zealand actor's hybrid career

Kiwi actor Nicola Kawana feels her life is nicely balanced between roles on the stage, in film, and her work as a gardener.

How to make a knitted cotton facecloth

These pretty, soft-as-silk knitted facecloths make the perfect homemade gift for friends or family.

From a cluttered workshop to a modern crib

A workshop, once bursting at the joists with a lifetime of useful things, is reworked into an exceptional holiday home.

Finding their tūrangawaewae in the Abel Tasman

Making sense of the past has allowed a Kaiteriteri couple to shape the future — titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamua. Now they are paddling forwards and taking others with them.

Preparing water tanks for the un-rainy days

Young, smart-thinking innovators are developing remote methods to ensure the country’s rain-water tanks never run dry.

The fast brain / slow brain split and healthy decision making

The brain is often split when it comes to processing information, which could be why humans don’t always do what they know they should.

How to arrange a simple bouquet

A few principles of flower arranging will help to create lovely bouquets from your garden this summer.

7 things quad bike owners need to know

Quad bikes are popular vehicles on farms and lifestyle blocks, yet one of the trickiest to use.

Architect Julie Villard's eco home built with cross-laminated timber

French architect Julie Villard has built a quiet, airy, compact smart home above a noisy  port.

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.

How warm, dry and safe is your house? Take the test

A new, free website will work out how smart your home is, and offer suggestions on how to make it smarter.

5 things you might not know about fire permits

There’s a new process if you want to light a fire this summer.

Photo essay: Rangitoto Island's historic baches

Rangitoto, Auckland’s most familiar landmark, harbours unexpected reminders of less-complicated times.

NZ's most eye-catching classic car and caravan combos

We take a look at three eye-catching classic car and caravan combos to look out for on the road this summer.

Free printable animal Christmas gift tags

These free animal gift tags will make your present recipients smile — question is, who should receive the pig?

DIY Christmas table setting ideas

Get crafty for Christmas and deck out the dining table with homemade Santa sack cutlery holders.

Make beautiful craft paper: How to build a paper recycling kit

Making handmade paper from recycled paper is fun and a relatively easy process. It’s a great way to give junk mail, used packaging paper and even cardboard egg cartons, a new lease of life.

Pottery hens with a cult following

Yvonne Sutherland has been firing and painting hens for more than three decades and collectors around the world obviously adore them as much as she does.

Golden Bay's Clean Earth Soap

While her knowledge of soap-making was limited, she had already studied essential oils through a correspondence course which proved useful for what has turned out to be Clean Earth Soap.

Japanese Furoshiki: An eco-friendly alternative to paper gift wrapping

Whether you want to package up tiny jewel boxes, bottles of fizz, or magazine-shaped Christmas gifts, you can easily master this folded-cloth technique to wrap and carry anything beautifully.

Take a peek inside Wellington's iconic boat sheds

For more than 100 years Wellington’s Clyde Quay boat sheds have been happy places for people who love tinkering with boats.

How to build the ultimate tree house

You don't need a permit, plans or instructions to build a tree house. All you need is some nails,  timber and a hammer.

How to build with SIPs

A small house in an olive grove is the smart home of Brooke and Maggie Noonan's dreams.

From KwaZulu Natal with love

Beautiful, hand-made beadwork decorations put the compassion into Christmas.

3 new books NZ foodies will love

Three books that traverse the diverse culinary landscapes of Central Otago, Sri Lanka and Dunedin are bound to get food and wine-lovers talking.

DIY project: Build a vertical gutter garden

Build this smart stand-alone ‘gutter garden’ to grace a deck, patio, courtyard or an external wall. It has a shallow base and best suits shallow-rooted plants.

Have you done enough for a chocolatum rotunda?

The humble New Zealand biscuit is celebrated in a new tea towel and poster.

Finding a solution to period poverty in NZ

Six months' volunteering abroad inspired a 24-year-old Wellingtonian to look for a sustainable and economical solution to a worldwide problem - and to implement it on her university campus.

DIY Project: Build your own Pizza Oven

A comprehensive step-by-step guide to building a pizza oven for your backyard.

chicken coop stencil

Make your own 'Chick Inn' coop sign

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a Chick Inn Coop Sign, as seen on the cover the Summer bumper issue of NZ Lifestyle Block.

6 design tips from NZers who built eco houses

A smart home is one designed and built to a standard that few NZ houses meet. We talk to three design specialists about building small, efficient, warm, smart homes.

Sister act in the Sounds

Keeping it in the family, two talented Picton creatives share a love of hand-crafted work with individual pieces that take fierce focus and many hours to make.

An Italian/Maori romance

Whanau, film, theatre, love and Neapolitan sauce are paramount in the lives of a super-creative couple who have masterminded the revival of Italian cinema in Aotearoa.

Kids' craft: Make a rockhopper penguin

Keep the kids busy these school holidays and support the Eastern Rockhopper in Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year competition with this easy toilet-roll craft project with printable stencil.


Bubbles, undies and animals – the life and art of NZ children's author Ruth Paul

Ruth Paul is a children’s book writer and illustrator who shares her semi-rural lifestyle with her husband, sons, dog Teddy, and other wandering wildlife. She’s also just won Best Picture Book at the recent Children and Young Adult Book Awards.

Flying cars and farming robotics

With lab-raised meat and plants picked by robots, what was once science fiction is now reality.


Ruth Pretty's top tips for setting a beautiful table

Ruth Pretty 'the host with the most' shares tips for how to create a dinner party to remember.

Taranaki gardener grows pet health business

A Taranaki gardener has found there are some growing opportunities in the $1.5 billion pet health business.

7 homemade beeswax products

If you are lucky enough to have access to beeswax, or have a good stock from your own beehives, then you can use beeswax to make useful household and cosmetic products.

The US market is hot for this NZ-designed electric farm bike

An award-winning New Zealand-designed electric utility bike for the farm is on the road to success in the US market.

10 inventive NZers share their DIY coop designs

From a water-powered hen gate to a repurposed trampoline - ten inventive New Zealand chicken lovers share their best DIY  coop designs.

A life less ordinary in a 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II

Once the domain of royalty and rock stars, a glamorous Rolls-Royce is living the ordinary life in Rotorua – well, almost.

into the night

Book Club reviews Into the Night by Sarah Bailey

The reviews are in for Australian crime novel, Into the Night. 

The art of making paper

Looking for a satisfying craft project, therapeutic activity and a better way to recycle all in one?  Paula Lang in Whangarei suggests trying to make paper.

Video: A special poem for National Poetry Day

Wellington poet Chris Tse delivers a special poem for National Poetry Day from his collection He's So MASC.

Video: Home sweet tiny home

A young Wellington couple talk about designing and building their first home, a tiny house on wheels, and reveal what it’s really like to live in a whare iti in winter.

Intermittent fasting and its effects on the brain

Intermittent fasting has rapidly gained followers in the medical profession and public arena, but why and how does it work?

A pub crawl through NZ history

These five historical pubs have have survived the gold rush and the six o'clock swill. They are well worth a visit for those who wish to soak up some New Zealand  history with a cold one in hand.

5 tips for building a small shed

You can never have too many sheds, but if your budget doesn’t spring to something that requires a council permit, it is possible to build a garden shed under 10m², the typical size of a shed before you need one.

The bookshop at the end of the world

Rare books with adventure and action tucked into their pages have found a home which restless spirits of all kinds will appreciate in Oamaru.

Film review: She Shears

A  must-see New Zealand documentary follows five female sheep shearers on their journey to the Gold Shears.

danielle hawkins

Part-time vet, full-time romance novelist

An Otorohanga vet has won an international following writing romance novels with a country twist.

How taxidermist Peter Wells is preserving NZ natural history

The art of the taxidermist lies in the delicate processes of preservation and presentation of creatures great and small.

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.

How a family of four ditched cling film for good

Lunchbox snacks, leftovers and half-eaten avocados can all be kept fresh plastic free with a few simple swaps.

Celebrating Sue Macfarlane's Winterhome garden

In between many entrepreneurial pursuits, one hardworking, creative woman has left a living legacy - a five-star garden and a close-knit family - and made her mark on her community.

How to make a homemade beeswax salve

Beeswax is thought to help heal bruises, inflammation and burns, which make this oil an excellent ingredient in homemade salves and cosmetics.

Sacha Jones: "The older you are the funnier you get"

Amid teenage comic hopefuls sweating backstage at a comedy club, 52-year-old Sacha Jones sat reading a Charles Dickens’ novel. “People said, ‘Aren’t you nervous?’ and I told them, ‘I’m old!’”

Book review: Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner’s Guide

A new book from a permaculture expert helps beginners conquer their fear of fruit tree  pruning.

Passive Houses: Is it time NZ embraced this European trend?

Shocked at the number of cold, damp houses in New Zealand, a Waikato-based couple searched for their own building solution. A ground-breaking passive house provided the answer.

How I went plastic-free for a month (it’s not as hard as you think – promise)

Nicole Barratt shares easy everyday swaps you can make to ditch plastic.

Have you given Botox a fair chance?

Want skin that looks film-star fab and forever wrinkle-free? Develop a more trusting relationship with needles say the experts.

DIY: How to make lip balm with beeswax

As an ingredient in cosmetics, beeswax acts as both an emollient, soothing and softening skin, and a humectant, attracting water and helping to absorb it in the skin.

Minding their own beeswax

Two young Hawkes Bay parents are proud eco-exponents who turned their personal mission into an industrious enterprise. They're helping their little corner of the world go plastic free with beeswax food wraps.

Frodo's chainmail used for architectural solar screens

A Wellington entrepreneur who created chainmail worn by Frodo and others in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy is making sturdy armour for buildings.

plastic bag

Bags not: Retailers are ditching plastic bags – are you ready?

It’s finally happening. After lots of talk, greener bagging options are set for a checkout near you.

Lisa Scott gets her skates on for roller derby

Lisa Scott gets her skates and her badass attitude on at the roller-derby rink.

Such sweet sorrel – how to grow the perennial lemony herb

Sorrel is a robust and persistent sort that grows like a weed (which it’s not) and can be used to tart up your tastebuds in a variety of dishes.

Knit these cute booties for NZ babies in need

Here's a free pattern to knit some cute cotton wool booties for babies in need World Knit in Public Day.

Video: Wellington's characterful boat sheds

These Wellington boat sheds – some of them important local landmarks – mean many things to many people.


How to build a house from firewood

Rather than burning your seasoned firewood, with a tight budget and some time, you can use it to build a home.

Owner restores his late grandfather's 1958 Morris 1000

When you learn the best childhood lessons in a garage, and spend the ensuing decades tinkering with troublesome classics, you’re a bona fide car devotee

Two important things you can learn from a smoking chimney

Heating your home using a wood burner is cheaper than ever in New Zealand, if you know how to get the best out of it.


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.

An ancient natural beauty tonic recipe

One of the first commercially-produced cosmetic products in Europe was the ‘Queen of Hungary’s Water’, a simple but versatile cleanser that you can make at home.


Heart and soul found in Timber Design Awards

A teardrop-shaped caravan and a triangular apartment, both built using wood, are in the running for a design award that celebrates this living material.

ash hilton jewellery

West coast jewellery family's silver linings play book

When a Texan belle arrived in New Zealand for a three-month holiday, she didn’t plan on meeting a rugged West-Coaster. Thirteen years, two kids and a thriving jewellery business later, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

How to make a wet-felt beret

Turn your wool into a nice cosy hat for winter.

Giant jar of peanut butter auctioned for charity

An enormous jar of peanut butter is being auctioned for a good cause.

"Make me a supermodel"

Lisa Scott goes backstage at iD Dunedin Fashion Week, tries on an androgynous face and rediscovers her inner Milla Jovovich.

6 lifestyleblock design strategies to save time, money and effort

Here’s how to create a future-proof plan for your lifestyle block or farm to make sure you do it once, and do it right.


How to tell if your chicken has caught a cold

Chickens with breathing problems can wreak havoc with your flock and are difficult to identify, but here are some signs to look out for.

3 things to do in East Auckland

Trying to make sense of South and East Auckland is like peering into a kaleidoscope. Every twist reveals a new scene – there’s the colour of Otahuhu, the calm of Clevedon, the mana of Mangere, the solitude and beauty of the regional parks and the history of Howick.

DIY wedding decorations

When self-sufficiency enthusiast Julie Legg tied the knot on her Waikato lifestyle block, she created her own finishing touches for a wedding with flower confetti, bunting and other themed decorations.

Pandoro founder's brush with fate

The founder of a groundbreaking artisan bakery has returned to her childhood stomping ground and  a creative calling that was always waiting in the wings.

Five minutes with US author Karen Joy Fowler

We caught up with Karen Joy Fowler, author of the bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club, ahead of her Auckland visit in May.

Lisa Scott wings butterfly yoga

Social butterfly Lisa Scott is bent out of shape and all in a flutter doing hot yoga in the butterfly enclosure at the Otago Museum.

Words of remembrance for ANZAC Day

Rosemarie White reviews four very different New Zealand accounts of wartime campaigns.

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.

oprah wrinkle in time

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.

I feel pretty

Review: Amy Schumer surprises in I Feel Pretty

Amy Schumer's new film  I Feel Pretty is a departure from the brash comedy style the star is famous for.

girl hunched

How to fight the office slump

Looking down at iPhones and computers is damaging our spines. To relieve back pain, try out physio Steve August's quick-fixes.

NZ Canoe Polo Jordan Aria Housiaux

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.

Sweet Country Western is anything but

A new Western starring Sam Neill makes beautiful but confronting viewing.

Lost piece of NZ history discovered in Wairoa

An amateur art-world detective has discovered a dozen important public murals after years of digging.

Sustainable packaging firm driving change

A company formed by two childhood friends is helping New Zealand businesses reduce their waste.

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.

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.

possum bookmark

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.

Tomb Raider

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.

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 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.

Holden Commodore

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.

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.

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.

Free downloadable seed saving envelope

Make your own seed saving envelopes using our downloadable pdf.

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.

Relocation, relocation: Two portable homes make a perfect Point Wells retreat

With roots too deep to easily move, the Hart family found a temporary fix - two transportable cabins beside the estuary at Point Wells.

11 tips to marketing a successful food business

Three experts share their wisdom on how to create a profitable food product.

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.


Gourd-geous craft projects

If you’ve ever grown gourds you’ll know just how prolific these cucurbits can be, but do you know how to turn them into an art form?

Dr Libby: What your gut is telling you

You’ll know when your digestive system is working the way it should.

Make money from honey (without being a beekeeper)

Here’s how to profit from bees without becoming a beekeeper.

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.

Taking camping to the next level

Multi-roomed tents with real furniture make communing with nature a very smooth operation at Wainamu.

How much iron do you actually need?

Iron deficiency is common. How much do you need, and why? Dr Libby sums up a vital mineral.

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.

9 secrets to turning your artisan product into a supermarket star

Food product developer Martyn Atack looks at why you need to start with pen and paper in your office, not the kitchen.

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.

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.

Video: The buzz about Kelli Walker's booming business

Kelli Walker felt a business was brewing inside her, and found one that can’t stop bubbling, burbling and babbling about itself.


Water Cooler: homemade drip irrigation and the best cheese roll

This week in the water cooler, we bask in the deliciousness of the cheese that Nadene brought to the Christmas party, put some garden watering hacks to the test and  try to avoid bun fights.

DIY project: Make your own egg carrier

Make sure your eggs stay intact when carrying them from chook house or farmer's market with this easy-to-make DIY egg carrier.

How to do-up your vintage or retro caravan

Doing up a vintage or retro caravan is a bit like doing up a vintage car. Not only is it addictive, but you are also faced with a number of very similar decisions to make.

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.

Dr Libby on the benefits of eating organic

The more we demand organic foods and reject pesticides, the more available organics will become.

Water Cooler: DIY marbled paper

This week in the water cooler: Cheree gets crafty making marbled paper gift tags, Nadene has some handy advice ahead of the hot summer and Emma says, 'Yes, cheese'.

Top organic skincare picks

Organic, biodynamic and natural skin care products were once on the fringe. Now they are all the rage.


DIY hand-felted reindeer finger puppets

Ho, ho, ho! These cute reindeer finger puppets double as wine bottle toppers.

Turtles All the Way Down review and podcast

The Off-Topic Book Club has a lively discussion about John Green's latest novel Turtles All the Way Down. The club discuss the depiction of mental illness, tuatara and the Young Adult genre.

Cruising through Maniototo at a cool 160km/h

Eric Swinbourn hankered after a friend’s cobalt blue Alfa Berlina, and then his chance came his knocking.

Water Cooler: Justice League review and cooking with pomegranate

This week in the water cooler: we're saving the world in the latest superhero ensemble, Justice League  and baking with pomegranate.

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.

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.

How to build a house of hemp

When you take the magic ingredient out of marijuana, you get a building product to keep you warm, cosy and very happy.

Water cooler: dogs on Guy Fawkes

This week in the water cooler:  we learn how to look after dogs on Guy Fawkes Day, let boy bands navigate us and are eating cakes that can't be beet-en.

Maori and Pacific health researcher recognised

L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellow Dr Matire Harwood has long been a dedicated spokesperson and advocate for the health of Maori and Pacific Islanders.

Grow this lettuce ball as a Christmas gift

Create this lettuce sphere as a homegrown gift or an edible  patio decoration.

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.

Living and filming the good life in a 20 sqm home

The pair behind Happen Films spends their non-shooting time living and working in an unplumbed house that’s as small and perfectly formed as their short documentaries.

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.

The Huge Day Out

Water Cooler: The Huge Day Out and how the Gocks saved the kumara

This week in the water cooler: we're sheltering from the rain at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, exploring the Huge Day Out, binge-watching Stranger Things, and exploring Ashford Park.

book club marian keyes the break

The Off-Topic Book Club review The Break by Marian Keyes

The Off-Topic Book Club give the low down on The Break, the latest book from Irish author Marian Keyes.

Raglan biz chasing pet food market

The doggedness of two Raglan friends - plus a supportive community - helped launch a posh pet brand

Water Cooler: DIY seed-raising pots and vote kākā

This week in the water cooler, we're making our own seed-raising pots, supporting the kākā for Bird of the Year, learning about the Thinkladder app and visiting the On the Street exhibition.


Staying cool in the capital

Love and loss have given a 40-year-old sports car a new lease of life.

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.

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.

Water Cooler: Fat Yoga and the royal treatment

This week in the Water Cooler: we discover Fat Yoga, delve into rain science, get the royal treatment with Victoria and find a must-see exhibition.

How to make natural fabric dyes

Your garden is full of opportunities for you to make and use natural dyes.

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.

Water Cooler: watermelon slings and finding Dog Zen

This week in the water cooler we're planting golden midgets, learning some dog behaviour basics, and face a cuteness overload from a blind dog puppy.

Fergus Garrett shares Great Dixter garden secrets

When a legendary gardener dies, what becomes of his or her garden? Ask Fergus Garrett, the guest speaker at November's Nelmac Garden Marlborough.

Mother and son racing team rally on

Brenda Williamson is as competent managing a private hospital as she is navigating tight corners.

The 7 common reasons why a septic tank fails

It’s estimated that more than 40,000 of the 270,000 or so on-site domestic wastewater systems in NZ are at risk of failing.

Water Cooler: We cook like Chelsea

As a nod to NZ Life & Leisure’s cover star Chelsea Winter, the team put some recipes from the MasterChef winner’s new cookbook Eat to the taste test. It wasn't really a bake-odd just a really good week in the office.

Iona Weir

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.

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.

Make this cute garden tool belt

Jane Wrigglesworth’s spring craft project is an easy fabric tool belt for storing trowels, secateurs and other garden tools.

Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann

This German-born dream machine is  loving Kiwi country roads

How to build a pigtail rack

If you’ve got a big, messy pile of tangled pigtails, here’s a simple solution you can build to keep them neat and tidy.

Water Cooler: Poetry Day

Today in the water cooler: We get experimental with marshmallow, test our Downward-Facing Dog pose on a yoga app, and celebrate National Poetry Day.

Maori herbal tonic business in growth mode

A young entrepreneur from Great Barrier Island is tasting success from his own bitter medicine

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

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.

Water cooler: fun with soap, why NZ avocados are very special, and chicks for Ag Day

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.

Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club

The Off-Topic Book Club review Into the Water, the latest thriller from Paula Hawkins, author of the bestseller, The Girl on the Train.

'Lessons we learned building a cob house'

Buying a bush block, building a cob house, and starting a natural soap business takes huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm and commitment, but this family are thriving on the challenge of being as clean and green as possible in everything they do.

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.

Knit this cute fox scarf

Fur coats are frowned upon, but what about a fox scarf – a knitted one that is? Jane Wrigglesworth’s winter knitting project is a scarf shaped like a fox.

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.

rubbish car driver

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.

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

Water Cooler: A rising country star and first aid for dummies

This week in the water cooler: we're exploring a great body of work at the Auckland Art Gallery, learning the CPR basics on a St John first aid course and listening to some sweet country sounds from rising star Cam Luxton.

Off-Topic Book Club Podcast: The Suicide Club

The Off-Topic Book Club have a lively discussion about Berlin-based New Zealand author Sarah Quigley's new novel The Suicide Club.

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.

Water Cooler: Bird count and tunnel vision

This week in the water cooler: Lynley walks the Waterview tunnel, Yolanta is counting birds and Emma learns about the strange wrestling world.

Make your own willow bird feeder

Learn the art of basic willow weaving and give your local birds a tasty treat with our beginner's project.

Water Cooler: Winter solstice and Lumps and bumps

This week in the water cooler, we celebrate the winter solstice, go on a coop cleaning mission, watch trees walk before our eyes and take part in the great Jaffa Lump debate.

An illustrated life

Native birds and high fashion might be odd bedfellows but not in the hillside home of a German expat and A New Zealand designer.

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.

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.

Water cooler: we wage a war on clothing moths

This week in the water cooler: we wage a war against clothing moths, try reduction wood block printing, make lavender cuttings and review The Handmaid's Tale.

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.

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.

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.

Make these crochet fingerless mittens

These fingerless mittens are an easy to make winter project, perfect for crochet beginners.

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.

Brian Glassey Pecking Order

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.

Bird brains and darling dahlias

This week in the water cooler: Nadene has a flower flight of fancy, Kate is on a carrot crusade and Emma is squawking to save the birds.

12 easy ways to add radiance to your skin

Look younger, fresher and brighter with these radiance boosting tips.

willow maker golden bay

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.

Water cooler: Lazy granola and models on horseback

This week in the water cooler, we explore the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, are on the lookout for the harlequin ladybird and make lazy granola.

Raglan tiny home wows George Clarke

An innovative 35sqm house in Raglan might be small in space but it’s big on design features.

Gastrophysics by Charles Spence.

The Off-Topic Book Club review Gastrophysics

The Off-Topic Book Club has plenty of food for thought when exploring the science of eating in the non-fiction book Gastrophysics by Oxford University's Charles Spence.

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.

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.

tiny house

'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

The secrets to stacking wood like a Norwegian

During the week Jason Price is a management consultant and efficiency expert. At the weekend he becomes a chainsaw-wielding, firewood-stacking ninja who also likes efficiency.

Water cooler: podcast labyrinths and a harbour boardwalk

This week in the water cooler: Cheree gets lost in the maze of S Town, Emma strolls along the prom, Milla gets kinetic and Nadene has a full plate.

Building a human nest

Creating your own human nest? Landscape architect Sara Gerard has some tips on how to survive the renovation process, plus some tree house inspiration.

Architect Graeme North on the benefits of natural homes

Renowned architect Graeme North  discusses the benefits of natural homes with Nadene Hall.

7 types of natural homes

Old methods of using local natural materials are still some of the greenest building options around.

Water Cooler thisNZlife - every Friday

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.

What type of heating suits your home?

There are more options than ever for heating your home, but how do you work out which one will work in your space?

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.

Water Cooler: Back on Topp

In the water cooler this week: Cheree's explores her old stomping ground, Emma is in Denial and Yolanta campaigns to see New Zealand back on Topp.

How to get an official 'natural' product

Launching a natural product comes with unique compliance and marketing challenges. The women behind Dove River Peonies share their tips for starting a natural product business in New Zealand.

Water cooler: The sweet life

This week in the water cooler: long time baker Molly Coughlan gives reduced-sugar biscuits a crack (and discovers she's Sweet Enough all along).

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.

Water cooler: fowl play

This week in the water cooler: Nadene addresses the viral Brahma rooster, Cheree talks fritters and Jessica boycotts palm oil.

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.

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.

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.

Make your own moisturising bars

Use natural beeswax and coconut oil to make your own luxe moisturising bars.

Bespoke handwoven textiles on a World War One loom

A creative couple has spun a niche business by fusing old-world hand-weaving and modern design.

'Why I eat with the seasons'

When Loveday Why discovered she had chronic fatigue syndrome, she found the answer to good health was in her garden.

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.

Podcast: Off-Topic Book Club

In a summer reading special, The Off-Topic Book Club discuss The Spy, a novel about Mata Hari by Paulo Coelho as well as I'll Take You There, the latest novel by Wally Lamb.

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.

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.

Gandering at geese and Gandalf ganders NZ

This week in the water cooler: we discuss the great school-term debate, gander at the moon, explore Gandalf’s beautiful New Zealand and take a walk on the wildside.

10 great ideas from a top New Zealand barn

A small obsession with old barns played a big part in the design of this award-winning home. Follow Tane's tips to get the look.

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.

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.

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).

4 great ways to frame a country view

Getting the best windows to frame farm views is a crucial part of the design of a country home.

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.

Norfolk fruit chutney recipe

Pining for Norfolk chutney

This week in the water cooler: The office reaps the rewards of Lynley's  chutney, Nadene's geese are all grown up, and Rebecca is steps ahead of the rest of us.

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.

Water cooler: cheese and quokkas

This week in the water cooler: we make our own cheese, share our award-season movie picks and try out icing therapy.

Dr Libby: post-natal health

Some of the physical and emotional consequences of giving birth can be felt for up to 10 years afterwards. These are Dr Libby's tips for combating tiredness and focusing on your wellness.

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.

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.

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.

Three hot summer fashion trends

From sexy swimsuits to silky separates, skin-baring tops to transparent jumpsuits, summer is all about show.

Podcast: Screen Sirens review La La Land

La La Land is nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards. The Screen Sirens find out what all the fuss is about.

Lunch hour workout

Fitness coach Mat Lewisham shares his 20-minute workout designed to elevate the heart rate using body weight resistance training.


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.

A united kingdom

Review: A United Kingdom

Rosamund Pike shows off her acting talents in the new drama A United Kingdom.

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.

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.

Off-Topic Book Club: Mount!

The Off-Topic Book Club share a laugh while reviewing Jilly Cooper's saucy new novel Mount!

Christmas books

6 books for Christmas reading

Find a sunny spot and curl up with one of our picks for great Christmas reads this season.

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

Wet hot Beauties aquatic dance

Splashing beauties and buzzing bees

Splashing beauties, buzzing bumbles and sleeping dogs and a Pinnacles performance - what we are talking about in the water cooler this week.

Beauty product gift ideas

Beauty-junkie daughter? Fragrance-loving friend? Or just looking for some inspo for your own Christmas lust list…? here’s a guide to some of the best beauty gifts of this festive season.

make your own natural products

Make your own natural cleaning products

These tips will help you to reduce the amount of packaging you use, and get you into DIY cleaning products.

Fantastic films and the cream of the crop

This week in the water cooler, we review Fantastic Beasts, whip up some cashew cream and make Paua Porridge.

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.

Make your own pizza oven this summer, and learn to cook in it

Step away from your screens and eat under the stars with NZ Life & Leisure’s new outdoor cooking and DIY book: In Your Backyard: FOOD & FIRE, on sale now.

How to make almond milk

Kristina Jensen talks about the health benefits of almonds, how to make milk from almonds, and what to do with the leftover pulp.

Beautiful gardens, flying pigs and posh sheds

This week in the water cooler: we celebrate the highlights of Garden Marlborough, see some flying pigs and create posh sheds.

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.

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

Water Cooler: Billy Elliot,and "the best biscuits ever"

This week in the water cooler we dance up a storm, battle over cheese and bake the "best biscuits ever”

Dr Libby on nutritional deficiencies

In a two-part series, Dr Libby fronts up to a question about nutritional deficiencies.

The Girl on the Train and a girl's crafty secret

This week in the water cooler: we review The Girl on the Train, discover a girl's crafty secret store and have birds on the brain.

We test 'The world's most comfortable shoes'

Allbirds shoes, made of New Zealand merino, have been named the 'world's most comfortable shoe'. Co-founder Tim Brown shares his story, and thisNzlife's Yolanta Woldendorp puts them to the test.

Water cooler: a flying fox, fashion film and Onggojip

In this weeks water cooler, we dream of flying through the jungle and high-fashion couture, make coconut yoghurt and test restaurants with unpronounceable names.

Capri's journey from Berlin to Blenheim

He wanted a race car, she wanted a comfortable ride, turns out the 1974 Ford Capri was the car they didn't know they always wanted.

Water cooler gadget special... and chocolate

In the water cooler this week:  Miranda discovers a super product, Nadene gets worms,  Cheree becomes hot and steamy and Anna cracks the mystery gadget.

Small town fashion success

Jenny Drury is finding success with fashion label Ketz-ke by focussing on wholesale and supporting New Zealand retailers.

Razor sharp reading

Reviewer Miranda Spary is gripped by this cutting political tale.

Water cooler: guess the gadget

This week in the water cooler: We all scream for ice- cream, go crazy over cats in the tube and Anna Tait-Jamieson plays guess the gadget.

Kids walk near Ruapehu

Cool walks with the kids and lamb update

This week in the water cooler: Rebecca discovers a cool walk for the kids - and we check in on Serita the lamb.

wood burner stove

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.

Podcast: The Off-Topic Book Club

The Off-Topic book Club raves about The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

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

spring lamb

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.

Dr Libby's health advice

In the first of a new series, Dr Libby tackles a problem head on.

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Book review: The Eagle Tree

Ned Hayes' novel The Eagle Tree is an honest depiction of autism, without heavy-handed sentimentality, writes Miranda Spary.

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

Paws for thought on poetry day

When was the last time you read a poem? Try something new for poetry day Friday (26 August). You might get to pat a puppy...

Planting seed potatoes.

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

Screen Sirens podcast: UnREAL

The Screen Sirens discuss why you should binge-watch the Lightbox drama UnREAL.

Thinking inside the box

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

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.

The Refugee Olympians

Refugee Olympians and Whanganui wonders

This week in the water cooler: we sing the praises of the refugee Olympic team, discover a historic gem in Whanganui and have a light bulb moment.

The Food Show

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

Miranda Spary, hard at work reviewing The Reader on the 6.27.

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.

Origami bins and a canine Frida Kahlo

This week in the water cooler, we find an use for The NZ Herald, relive our calf club glory days and pay homage to a canine Frida Kahlo.

The Couple Next Door

Podcast: The Couple Next Door

In this episode the book club lives up to its name - talking about everything from 50 Shades of Grey to sleeping in the same bed as James Bond while reviewing The Couple Next Door.

Make this neck gecko scarf.

Make a NZ neck gecko scarf

This neck gecko scarf is made from reflective wool and is a good project for beginner knitters.

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.


Nuts, bikes and the boogeyman

This week in the watercooler the thisNZlife team talks about tough nuts, big friendly giants and big friendly vegetables.

Kate Beckinsale in Love & Friendship

Podcast: Love & Friendship

The Screen Sirens enter the ring for a Jane Austen rumble when reviewing this adaptation of the Austen novella Lady Susan.

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.

Cheree Morrison races a Subaru WRX

We try... racing a WRX

Cheree Morrison puts pedal to the metal on the Highlands Motorsport Park course in Cromwell.

Smokey the greyhound modelling his Swanndri.

Doggy couture and cake culture

This week thisNZlife office we were talking about greyhound couture, cake culture, popcorn for breakfast.

Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend

Off-Topic Book Club podcast

The club were divided over My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

Words in My Hand and The High Mountains of Portugal and

Book corner: Jann Martel is back

We review the new Yann Martel book and discover a new talent in historical fiction.

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.

chainsaw safety

A beginner's guide to buying a chainsaw

Chainsaws are an essential backyard tool, but it pays to do your research before you buy and learn how to maintain them.

the best way to cut into a pumpkin

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.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in Me Before You.

Screen Sirens podcast: Me Before You

The Screen Sirens find Emilia Clarke's eyebrows hypnotic in Me Before You.

ARV quad bike on a hill

How to ride an ATV on hilly ground

Riding an ATV is a learned skill and if you don’t do it properly you can easily be badly hurt.

Water tank

How to clean your water tank

Winter is an ideal time to clean  your water tank.

Morrinsville cow

Curious cows and squishy persimmons

A jet-setter's secret weapon and why Morrinsville is the place to be - things that got the thisNZlife office talking this week.

Global Crisis: War , Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

We review this really thick book

Book reviewer Rosemarie White says this 672 page book is worth its weight in gold (even if it doesn't fit in her handbag).

giza pyramid

The best in tech

Cultural wonders, spectacular solar footage and a pawsome way to hook up - Frances Jones premieres what's hot in tech at the moment.

1967 Fiat 500 F Bambina

A long lost Bambina

Some cars lead a colourful life this, is  the story of vibrant Italian icon called Niko.

Water cooler talk

The thisNZlife team reveal what got them talking this week.

building an effective fireplace

Build an efficient fire

How to make sure your firewood is working at its best and tips for staying warmer than ever this winter.

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.

book reviews 'The Battle for Home' and 'Running Wild'.

Syrian conflict explored through architecture

Can architecture change society? One book explores how a war-torn community has been shaped by its environment.

homemade soap

DIY: Make your own soap

Making your own soap is easy, affordable, doesn’t require any special equipment and is quite addictive.

The documentary Plant This Movie will change the way you think of your windowsill

Fogo Island

Film review: Strange and familiar on Fogo Island

How a fishing village became an arts Mecca

The Girl on the Train book review

Listen: The Girl on the Train book club podcast

The NZ Life & Leisure team had a lively chat about the twists and turns of this best-selling thriller over wine and cheese in our new podcast The Off-topic Book Club.

Florence Foster Jenkins film podcast

In our inaugural film and television podcast Screen Sirens, film fans Emma Rawson and Andrea Burke rate the comedy Florence Foster Jenkins.

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.

Create a refreshing rosemary hydrosol

Learn how to make  a refreshing distillation of this aromatic herb.

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