Our People

The rockin’ new hobby spreading kindness in NZ

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

Meet the Christchurch sisters trying to change perceptions of the plant-based diet

Low energy and poor mental health had Margo and Rosa Flanagan trying out the vegetarian diet. They’ve never looked back, but look to the future with their new cookbook Two Raw Sisters.

An Ōpōtiki artist transforms feathers into works of art

This Bay of Plenty artist fastidiously creates her feathered art, placing plumage perfectly — just as it is in nature.

How this New Plymouth project director kicked workplace sexism to the kerb

The project director for New Plymouth’s new airport terminal is flying high.

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.

What is switchel? Meet the Kiwi couple brewing kombucha's switched-on cousin

Chantel and Mike Priddy are quenching a thirst for living well with a traditional fermented drink.

From London to Herne Bay: A British-Kiwi couple learn to love the slow life

This couple spent many years among the glitterati in London’s fast lane. Now Auckland-based, they’re learning the joy of slow(ish) motion.

The couple behind Forty Thieves share three ways to prepare hummus

Traditional hummus is a staple for Shyr and Brent Godfrey. Here's how they do it.

A wild suburban garden inspired by Tāne Mahuta

Two of Valda Poletti’s ancestors arrived from England, settled on land near New Plymouth and burned the bush and forest to make way for pastures of ryegrass and clover. Valda has done precisely the opposite.

This Auckland artist (literally) paints the shirt off his back

This Auckland artist’s joyous art is an antidote to melancholy. It’s a prescription he’s taking to the world.

Explore this nomadic couple's home-turned-gallery café in Stratford

A heritage building in need of revival brought this creative — but nomadic — couple back to their home town after decades away.

Goodnature's self-resetting traps are changing pest control in NZ

A Wellington company is delivering a lethal blow to the world’s pests.

A Ford F1 Flathead V8 pickup and its journey to Aotearoa

Cheap to mass-produce, incredibly popular, the Ford F1 Flathead V8 kickstarted the United States’ ongoing love affair with the pickup truck.

C’est si bon in Hastings

The combined cultures, competences and courage of a French-Kiwi couple have fueled a journey of love and food.

The Nelson couple connects pets and people with their pet-sharing service

Imagine getting all the benefits of a pet without the need for a sprawling yard or doggy daycare. Welcome to pet-sharing.

Sally Brown's must-dos for a year-round cutting garden

A vase of fresh flowers is a simple way to bring joy into your home. Expert gardener Sally Brown shares her tips on how to grow cutting blooms all year-round.

Yeshi Taye's homemade Ethiopian sauce is stirring up Wellington's food scene

A former refugee cooks up a taste of Sudanese culture in memory of her mum.

The Kiwi connection at Wardington Manor

Designing duo Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld are the pick of the bunch with their design and cut-flower company the Land Gardeners.

Poet Amy Leigh Wicks on love, marriage and earthquakes

Amy Leigh Wicks’ second volume of poetry, The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage, looks back to her childhood in the United States, untangles her arrival in New Zealand, and charts the upheaval of her adopted hometown, Kaikōura.

The artisan tonic water from a once-secret colonial recipe

A once-secret family recipe that saved lives in Kenya’s colonial days has become available to New Zealand G&T lovers.

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.

An Oamaru family breaking the mould with a very special blue cheese

Good things take time say the team behind the winner of this year’s NZ Life & Leisure spirit of New Zealand award.

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.

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.

'Garden angels' transform cemetery into a blooming garden

An old cemetery — the final resting place of many notable Taranakians — is fully appreciated by the still (thankfully) alive and kicking due to the efforts of a bunch of hardworking volunteer gardeners.

David Walshaw traded city life to grow olives

A financier leaves a 25-year city career to pursue an ancient rural trade.

Brigit and David Kirk's Hawke's Bay retreat

David Kirk and his wife Brigit live in Sydney, but have established a part-time New Zealand base not far from where their shared story began.

Foxton's DIY queen creates upcycled treasures

Meet Foxton’s upcycling queen. Not only does she create stylish effects with masking tape and bright paint, she also redistributes any profits she earns from her clever crafting.

Why Survivor winner Avi Duckor-Jones considers his tiny house 'abundant'

New Zealand’s first Survivor winner is back-to-basics again in an Auckland tiny house, using lessons learned during his time in Nicaragua and Ghana.

How Kurow locals transformed a wasteland into a clean, green wonderland

North Otago locals transform a polluted river island into a community paradise.

Omaka marae 'aunties' say their preserves are 'Maori culture in a jar'

Manaaki condiments, made in Blenheim with traditional Māori ingredients, aren’t just delicious. They also spread hospitality and generosity.

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.

Kurow lavender farm’s sweet smell of success

A picture-perfect lavender farm, is just one of a bunch of businesses nourished by a Kurow dairy farm.

A couple's yacht voyage inspires safety device for boaties

A voyage on the high seas inspired an entrepreneurial couple to create a marine tracking system for boaties.

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.

Maximalism in tiny spaces: Inside a designer's bold 65sqm apartment

A top interior designer has a new London pied-à-terre and a modern side business — one that builds on the links between home, wellbeing and state-of-the-art technology.

Hard work, scenic views: The farmers of Glenmore Station are earning the good life

Will and Ems Murray are the fifth generation of the family to farm Glenmore, a high-country station bordering Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. They aim to not be the last.

A Timaru roller-derby dame's colourful slice of life

The bright side of life isn’t half bright enough for a roller-derby dame feeling her groove in Timaru.

A former movie exec creates a whimsical garden

Making movies in London one minute; growing grapes and welcoming guests to a rural garden the next. Life is full of surprises.

Marlborough's regional airline reaches new heights – literally

One of New Zealand’s smaller airlines is on a route to success.

At home with Wellington oil painter Jane Blackmore

Jane Blackmore has been painting in oils for 25 years. Her work is well-known to fans of her landscapes, seascapes and florals, but Jane is anticipating a move.

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.

200 meals per day for kids in need

A community that not only grows its food — but also shares it around — is incredibly powerful, says this Wellington altruist.

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.

From doctor to author: A Lower Hutt woman's path to award-winning fiction

As a doctor, Eileen Merriman knows the science of blood and bone. As an author, she delves into the intricate depths of heart and soul.

Inside a colour-blind gardener's 800-sqm wonderland in Taupo

Renowned gardener Gordon Collier is red/green colour blind — but it isn’t the reason he refuses to plant by painted numbers in his small suburban garden; he prefers to mix it up a little.

Behind the scenes at a third generation angus stud auction

A historic angus cattle stud takes winter by the horns with a seasonal celebration.

Cranmer Square's Red House rises again

When this Christchurch couple saw their dream home disintegrate before their very eyes, they discovered the Phoenix inside — and skills they never knew they had.

Auckland start-up's game-changing wine technology

An idea spun from a university project is making an explosive impression on the wine industry.

Clevedon stables becomes garden oasis

Over three decades of patient-yet-determined graft, the Walkers of Clevedon have crafted a rural enclave around a thoroughbred stables that they hope will stay the distance way past the winning post.

From clay soil to a block blooming with herbs

Cathy Bouma never planned to have a herb business. Or a block.

The Kiwis behind the next generation of eco-products

Meet the innovators driving the push for products that last.

Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats' lamb hot in demand

Wairarapa sheep and beef farmers Dion Kilmister and Ali Scott of Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats are focused on ensuring what their customers eat is as good as what they eat at home.

A life in isolation on the Chatham Islands

Helen Bint turned her back on the city to live a pioneering life on New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands.

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.

How an Auckland couple is bringing native butterflies back to the city

Robert Jones and Angela Moon-Jones are bringing native butterflies back — one garden at a time.

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.

Taranaki farmers go with the grain in dairy country

A Taranaki family with an eye on the future have sown their faith in an ancient grain.

Woman in the Wilderness author loves a life without walls

Miriam Lancewood lives the epitome of an “open door” policy – except, for the past eight years, she’s had no doors. Or a roof. Or an address. And that makes her very happy.

Oamaru's Whitestone Cheese rakes in medals for top-notch cheeses

Whitestone Cheese may not be reinventing the wheel, but it is certainly giving it a twist — one that earned them the Spirit of New Zealand award at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2019.

Provenance Meat owner says healthy soil is behind award-winning lamb

Bio-farmed and ethically raised, the lambs grown for Provenance Meat are owner David Crutchley’s pride and joy — and reason for winning the paddock category of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2019.

A Gisborne fishery delivers transparency and sustainability

In Gisborne, two men are delivering fish that’s not only wharf-side fresh but traceable and sustainable — and are much deserving of winning the water category at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards of 2019.

The Chia Sisters reach new heights for award-winning, solar-powered juicery

The success of a South Island soft-drinks company has its owners juiced — and selected as winner of the earth category in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards for 2019.

Wooden Spoon Freezery's ice-cream makers get playful with flavour

A scoopful of fun is included in every tub made by these award-winning, boutique ice-cream makers.

Wooden Spoon Freezery named Supreme Champion at 2019 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

The ice-cream makers at Wooden Spoon Freezery are proof that business and pleasure can be mixed.

160kg of fruit per tree at this Whakatane feijoa orchard

Whakatane’s White Goose Orchard produces fantastic feijoas and winning wines, and its owners are huge proponents of the potential nutritional benefits of the aromatic fruit.

How artist Ema Frost followed her instincts to pursue art full time

While an art career started as an off-piste dream, young creative Ema Frost couldn't shake the feeling that art had chosen her.

Two clever new farming products from Kiwi inventors

New Zealand minds are behind a new biodegradable tree guard and recyclable, lightweight batten system.

A Marlborough distiller is putting New Zealand bitters on the map

Marlborough-made bitters are making waves in the cocktail world, and their creator is just getting started.

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.

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.

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.

Is sheep milk NZ's next big export industry?

Businessman Scottie Chapman was told: ‘No one wants that product.’ It was music to his ears

How a Papamoa couple grew their house tree by tree

A couple, seeing the wood within the trees, set out with a long-term vision for a new home and an alternative forestry industry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

waitakere jason duff kauri

A Waitakere ranger finds joy protecting vulnerable park

The park ranger reflects on the past, present and future protection of Auckland’s Waitākere Regional Park.

Sister Mary Horn's third calling

From the moment she was baptised Mary Dominica, Mary Horn was on a path to a convent. Her call to be an artist came much later — at nearly 60.

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

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

A tram to call home in a rainbow flower garden

If this green-fingered Dunedin landscape architect had her way, the entire world would be a massive garden with flowers bursting into bloom all year round.

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.

Camanda tiny house on wheels

In Your Backyard: Living Lightly on sale now

Learn to live a greener and more sustainable life with our special edition. In Your Backyard: Living Lightly.

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.

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.

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.

Eleanor Ozich's recipes for the simple life

Could making your own larder staples, cleaning products and beauty creams really be a simpler, healthier way of life?

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.

When Helly met Sally: love through the lens

Sally Maguire’s dog knew a thing or two when it introduced its owner to the love of her life, Helmut Hirler. They walk us through their beautiful home and art gallery, 'Artmosphere' .

Meet the guardians of bird-lover's paradise Kapiti Island

The vast majority of Kāpiti Island is a nature reserve. But 20 hectares of the iconic island is privately owned by a whānau dedicated to preserving their whakapapa — including the land and everything upon it — and sharing it with the world.

Fiordland cruise with a difference: Passengers participate in conservation work

An entrepreneurial couple have built a Fiordland-based business that takes New Zealanders out of their daily lives and back in time.

Meet NZ's biggest Toyota fan

Possibly the most authentic Corolla in the country rocks the socks off its 28-year-old owner.

Life as a Paris Opera première ballerina

Hannah O’Neill is thriving in the fifth year of a lifetime contract with one of the world’s premier ballet companies.

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.

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.

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.

Discovering the lost spring of Taputapuatea

Most people avoid getting into hot water, but the creator of a Coromandel resort spent two decades, and many millions of dollars, drilling for it.

A milk bottle chandelier at The Milk Station in Otaki.

Derelict milk station transformed

A 1926 Grade II Historic Place-listed concrete milk station is seeing a new life as a spectacular Otaki wedding venue.

On holiday at Project Kiwi's home base

One man’s vision for protecting an unspoiled Coromandel Peninsula is shared by family and friends who count themselves lucky to holiday there.

Volunteer divers keep Wellington's waterfront plastic-free

Meet the scuba diver on a mission to clean up Wellington’s ocean floor.

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.

All hands on deck for Kiwi yacht-support business

When Sam met Jess on a ski field in Turkey, neither guessed they’d end up running a yacht-support business together in Vanuatu.

This couple call a wildlife sanctuary on Great Barrier home

The only human residents of a thriving Great Barrier Island wildlife sanctuary are fiercely protective of their native neighbours.

Christchurch's ring master: Meet hilarious hula-hooper Toni Smith

Hilarious hula-hooper Toni Smith brings her international street performance routines home for Bread and Circus, the World Buskers’ Festival in Christchurch from January 10 to February 3.

Glamping at historic Clifton Station

The sixth generation of a Hawke’s Bay farming family is bringing style to an historic landscape.

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.

The Southland wedding venue with a difference

It takes a village to create a thriving business for one Southland couple. Or in this case, several very small villages, a railway, and a real church.

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.

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 with SIPS

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

NZ-made clothes designed in a high-country sheep station:

Hayley Rhind moved onto a new farm with her husband and two young children. Then she had a brilliant idea for a clothing business.

Native plant nursery founder wins big at NZI Rural Women Business Awards

A group of innovative thinkers has been given top honours at the prestigious NZI Rural Women Business Awards.

Wellington craft soft drink start-up mixing up the beverage market

Former bartender James Waugh went underground to develop a range of Prohibition-inspired soft drinks that are mixing it with the best.

How a grandpa's invention grew into a multi-national business

When Bill ‘Grandpa’ Kirkham came up with a good idea for a chicken feeder, he had no idea it would turn into a family-run multi-national business.

Nelson gardener brewing strong tea business

A herbal tea hobby has brewed into a strong cup of business for a Nelson gardener.

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.

Watch: Brooke & Maggie Noonan find true north in Mangonui

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

Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan's wedding plans

New Zealand’s Lord of the Reins, Lance O’Sullivan, and his wife Bridgette have found new passions beyond the heady days of Bollinger and BMWs.

Sisters making intentionally unsexy underwear

A pair of Wairarapa sisters are two decades in to making comfy underwear designed for the wearer, not the viewer.

Kingsland brewery's Champagne pilsner

A brewery and tasting room in Kingsland is planning to convert as many as possible to craft beer. It’s fermenting a potent name for itself, including with thirsty international visitors, fresh off the plane.

Pagan Karauria's shear determination overcoming adversity

She’s a hard job, wool handling. For some, it’s harder than shearing. Pagan Karauria of Central Otago says that’s the case for her, and she’s a master wool handler as well as a shearer.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan Reader Lunch

The food was exquisite, the sake was flowing and the conversation was filled with colourful travel stories at the NZ Life & Leisure and Walk Japan reader lunch.

The farming family taking Blue Ducks under their wing

Fortunate indeed are the endangered Blue Ducks now flourishing under the protection of a family that has figured out how to combine farming with eco-tourism.

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.

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.

Anthony Hoy Fong's big bites in the Big Apple

From deep-fried chicken to fine-dining foams, and from family man to food warrior, this New York-based New Zealand chef loves his kai – in more ways than one.

Ditching the boardroom for the brushes

Jumping off a cliff was a free-to-be-me revelation for a one-time middle manager who ditched the boardroom for the brushes.

Wild yeast ale made in a low-ceilinged cavern

An Oamaru couple play with wild yeasts and wild ideas in a low-ceilinged cavern where they brew Belgian-inspired ales that could put hairs on the chest.

Five generations of Central Otago orchardists

Five generations of a Central Otago family have tilled soil, trained trees, and fought the forces of nature and political upheaval to sustain a lifestyle they love.

Behind the scenes at Hortensia House

Behind the scenes at the September/ October issue of NZ Life & Leisure cover shoot at Hortensia House.

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.

Orchid growers put down roots in Titirangi tree house

Ice cream and photography were the unlikely stepping stones that led a couple to a house among the trees and into the exotic-flower business.

After 20 owners, Bertha the Impala finds her forever home

A custard-coloured Impala has had a string of owners over the decades but has now found her sweet spot – her forever home.

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.

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.

Kate White's crusade to protect the Waitaki river in Kurow

Just as the Waitaki River grinds down mountain ranges carrying them in serpentine fashion to the sea, Kate White is an irresistible force changing the face of a small south island town.

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.

A new take on the classic NZ sheepskin

A Wanaka couple’s enthusiasm for natural-fibre products weaves essential purpose into their business, warmth into their home, and ties them to a very personal pioneering past.

An eco school where kids learn outdoors - and take risks

Dani Lebo uses her family’s permaculture farm to teach local children about farming, food, fun and taking an element of risk – all outdoors and in all weathers.

Entries close soon for the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards 2018 celebrates innovative women in the rural sector who illustrate success through their rural business.

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!’”

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.

What your dog is trying to tell you

If your dog often barks and jumps at strangers, pulls on the lead,  or whines when you leave for work these could be symptoms of a relationship problem. Selina McIntyre, a former lion-cub carer turned dog-behavioural expert explains why.

From Hollywood to Wellywood: A renowned costume designer comes home

In a world where robots rule, superheroes surprise us and gorgeous frocks rock, costume designer Kate Hawley has found her forever home. Occasionally, she returns to Wellington where she’s surrounded by treasures magpied on her travels.

TV builder Cocksy's Tairua home

Popular TV builder John Cocks is a keen diver who refuses to simply go with flow: although his body is ailing, his maverick spirit prevails – so there’s no cause for the undersea critters around Tairua to rest easy just yet.

chris ballantyne

Take a tour of Chris Ballantyne's organic mini-farm in Te Atatu

A landscaper with a mini backyard farm believes small-scale food production is key to well-being and urban ecological balance.

Lisa Scott gets her skates on for roller derby

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

A life of caravans, corsets and tiny sculptures

When you occupy a world in which fantasy and reality converge, where life-size and miniature models co-exist, you need an artful attitude – and a kickass outfit or two.

Pets make the best therapists

The president of Canine Friends Pet Therapy is used to people looking straight past her or peeking over her shoulder, but Ann Evans is happy to step aside and let her furry stars shine.

From the UN to a back-to-nature apothecary

Once on the international stage for environmental causes, Georgina Langdale returned home to set up a back-to-nature business that makes a difference, one purposeful potion at a time.

How the advice of a headmistress shaped a corporate exec turned viticulturist

Annika Streefland’s dreams of being a botanist stalled when a formidable headmistress gave her a lecture on the value of independence. How thankful she is now.

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.

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.

Mum knows best: 'The best advice mum gave me'

What’s the best advice your mum ever gave you? We asked some people who have featured in our stories as well as writers for our site to share motherly words of wisdom.

"Make me a supermodel"

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

Trading London life for paddock-to-plate

Getting to grips with the grassroots of growing, and of a community, Lloyd Rooney and Michael Fraser found contentment by leaving the glamour of London for the quiet backwaters of the Waikato.

Philippa Fourbet fell for Anduze pots, then the French potter

When a French potter met a vineyard-owning investment banker from the opposite side of the world, they discovered their talents and tastes were sublimely matched.

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.

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.

NZ's finest food producers revealed

We raise a glass, and a tasty morsel or two, to the winners of this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Cocktail delivery service? Sign us up

Cocktails look and taste great, but are tricky to do at home. Meet the NZ entrepreneurs making them easy. Plus 2 bonus cocktail recipes.

International cheese expert's new Hawke's Bay venture

Global cheese aficionado Juliet Harbutt hosts foodie tours from her home with vineyard views.

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.

Sustainable packaging firm driving change

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

Globe-trotting couple's homes with heart

Traveling frequently between homes in the United States and two in both New Zealand and Sri Lanka, keeps this international couple from falling into the groove of predictable living.

How a look through a camera lens saved a century-plus-old villa

When Rotorua photographer Tracey Scott looks through her camera, she sees possibilities - not problems - which is also her metaphor for life.

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.

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.

How Ryan Sanders and Marco Creemers scaled the heights of success

Scaling the heights of success is becoming almost commonplace for a couple who became engaged on Mt Everest and steer a company that just scooped New Zealand’s most prestigious tourism award.

Ruth Pretty on how to be the host with the most

Ruth Pretty's name is synonymous with having a good time: meet the well-loved caterer who is bringing her special brand of deliciousness to your dinner table.

The tiny guide to building tiny

While she wasn’t immediately sold on the tiny house movement, 20-something Amanda Chapman has now jumped on board, boots and all, building her own.

Why vermouth is enjoying a revival

Otago winemaker Duncan Forsyth agrees it's almost counter-intuitive a top pinot noir producer should start making vermouth.

Three generations' Anaura Bay bach escape

Three generations of one family ride the tides of change on an East Coast beach saturated with history.

From rotting walls to dreamy wedding venue

The latest instalment in a story that began 170 years ago sees a historic estate earning its keep in a very modern way.

How the Big Bang Theory transformed Glenn Jones' business

Graphic designer Glenn Jones burst onto the T-shirt scene with a bang and has gone on to create a global business from the spare room of his Auckland villa.

Fiona Campbell: 'My millions came at a cost'

Coming into a great deal of money isn’t a guarantee of an easy life. It takes tenacity and planning to live well, says someone who knows.

The cave at the bottom of a Mt Eden garden

Some people have fairies at the bottom of their garden; the Jacob family of Mt Eden have a cave.

How the southerly winds inspire Mark Hill's amazing sculptures

Southerly gales invigorate the Hills family life in a holiday house by the sea.

Family and friendships formed on the Tora Coastal Walk

The journey has been every bit as important as the destination for two farming families behind New Zealand’s longest-running private walk.

Villa Maria founder's Waipu Cove escape

A bach at the beach yields vintage holidays for one of New Zealand’s best-known wine-making families.

Palmerston North's award-winning bagpipe player

One of Australasia’s most successful bagpipe players, plays a triumphant tune that drifts from the flat plains of Palmerston North to the Scottish Highlands.

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.

Hipsy Scott's storybook home on wheels

There was a young girl who dreamt of faraway lands, who saw roads stretching ahead filled with never-ending stories. Thankfully, it became it reality.

Take a tour of the historic Bull Creek cribs in Otago

Kith and kinship are at the heart of the happiness found in a tiny holiday community on the South Island’s south coast.


Wired-up sculptor Cherise Thomson's No. 8 creations

An Auckland artist regularly uses hundreds of kilometres of wire, but she isn’t making fences.

Debra Cruickshank named supreme winner of Enterprising Rural Women Awards

A boutique winemaker has taken out the top prize at the Enterprising Rural Women Awards.

Nelson family growing capri tomatoes since the 40's

Thanks to one very determined grower, Nelson’s favourite tomato is still growing strong after 60 years.

Lake Hawea's dreamy stone glasshouse

So she said: ‘I’d really like a stone glasshouse.’ And he said: ‘Sure, I know exactly what you mean. I’ll build it.’ And he did.


The adventurer living in a treehouse

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ could have been invented for adventure traveler Ellis Emmett.

Artist John McLean's coastal orchard in Taranaki

Artist John McLean was driven by need to become self-sufficient 30 years ago, but today he and wife Chris couldn't live any other way.

Garden Marlborough

Water Cooler: Garden Marlborough marvels

This week in the water cooler, Kate explores Garden Marlborough, Emma steps aboard the Orient Express and Nadene finds inspiration in a new book Growing More than Grass.

Kristina Cavit

Teaching mindfulness to vulnerable NZ teens

For Kristina Cavit – yoga teacher, mindfulness coach and youth leader – mindfulness means not only paying attention to and nourishing her present, but also that of others.

What Carolyn Ferraby learned creating Barewood Garden

Every vista in this world-class garden, photographed through the seasons, tempts visitors down a path laden with promise. Barewood Garden's creator shares how she's grown alongside her garden.

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.

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.

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 magic of madness at Matakana Sculptureum

Anthony and Sandra Grant's curious Matakana playground mixes a love of art with a soupcon of insanity for all to enjoy.

Kelly Wilson back in the saddle saving the snowy brumbies

Kelly Wilson’s work with wild horses is a family affair - but it nearly didn’t happen.

Seatoun families open doors for Neonatal Trust tour

Homeowners in a prime Wellington’s seaside suburb are opening their doors to help some of the country’s smallest babies.

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…

The imaginarium of Virgil & Fay

When life is for living, why settle for 'beige'? Virgil and Fay Roberts have crafted a sculpture of a home, as colourful and exuberant as they are.

Why Chelsea Winter feels at home in the country

The cookbook queen is happiest when she's following the lead of her nature-loving mother.

Is this Disneyland for dogs?

Angela Beer didn't even know she was a dog person until she met her beloved Dunhill, and she had even less idea just how far that love would take her.

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.

Mother and son racing team rally on

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

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.

Smooth riding in the 1962 Porsche Karmann

This German-born dream machine is  loving Kiwi country roads

Creating a Garden of International Significance

As Liz Morrow sits and drinks in her environment, she sees an extraordinary place of which she is but kaitiaki — or guardian.

The Burt Munro of the skies

A New Zealand pilot is channeling Burt Munro racing a Soviet World War II era fighter plane in Reno next month.

Simon Gault from plot to plate

Former MasterChef judge Simon Gault’s diabetes diagnosis is a 'sauce' of inspiration for a new food venture and at his restaurant Giraffe where he serves veggies grown in his own garden .

The Russian fermented drink, brewed in Christchurch

A Christchurch-based couple who met in Russia had a gut feeling a tasty new probiotic would be a hit in New Zealand. They were right

Eruption survivor climbs to the top

Mt Ruapehu robbed William Pike of one of his legs but never his ability to inspire

Reader story: Joany's sometimes stall

The roadside stalls that dot the rural landscape, suddenly appearing on a windy road when you least expect it, so I was trying not to let on just how desperate I was for one of my own.

Sweet smell of success for vegan soap business

A couple’s wish list read: their own land, a self-sustainable lifestyle and a business that reflected their personal values.  After a bright idea and lots of hard work, that list has become a blueprint for the Blue Earth range of body products

Art with a world view

A leading Japanese businessman who has chosen New Zealand as his home, wields art to encourage society to reuse what exists rather than waste resources. he shares his vision for bringing contemporary art into the natural landscape.

Annette Presley says 'feel the fear and do it anyway'

A long list of charity work and a focus on living a good and healthy life occupies one of the country’s leading business people. Annette Presley shares her insight

Video: Botanist Philip Simpson shares his love of totara

Our native trees are some of the most unique in the world, and so is the man who has dedicated his life to studying them and telling their stories, including his latest on the king of them all.

Some like it pop

A former DJ- with an intensely colourful streak- is dancing to the beat of his own drum in the Auckland urban jungle.

My career path: Estée Lauder GM, Marie-Ann Billens

Marie-Ann Billens understands that the key to a long-lasting career is to create a good foundation – and to find a job that never feels like work

Joan Withers

At home with top company director Joan Withers

Of all the many significant achievements in her very successful business career, what does Joan Withers identify as the most important? ‘Finding the right man at 15 and then marrying him’

Composting loos: the final frontier

Composting toilets are a sustainable waste disposal for the 21st Century. Home owners share their experiences with the next generation of fuss-free, low-odour, environmentally-friendly waste systems.

Meet the 'unofficial mayor' of Awakino

Garry Wycherley and Robyn Ansell are putting tiny Awakino on the map, one building at a time

How Tuhoe is leading the way in sustainable design

Te Kura Whare is a new-generation building embodying super-green values and the spirit of Tūhoe

Sustainable sewing in a solar-powered campervan

Sarah Lancaster is a maker on a mission to encourage sustainability - one hand-made tote at a time. Through her business, Sew Love, she’s teaching basic tailoring skills such as hemming, mending and patchwork.

Twice as nice for couple living in villa for 2nd time

After years overseas, an Auckland couple has created an urban oasis on home soil in a house they have lived in twice.

Tiny house business booming for 21 year-old

A young Wellingtonian is thinking big with a burgeoning tiny house business.

Cathy Dickison's thriving Erb business

The last thing Cathy Dickison thought she would be doing is turning her gardening skills into a dried herb business.

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.

The caves at the bottom of the farm

Looking for opportunities to keep their adult children working and raising their families nearby, Philip and Anne Woodward added cave exploration and a café to their farming operation in a remote area south of Port Waikato.

Wairoa's man of action

Environmental scientist and lawyer Fergus Power has moved from protecting the Great Barrier Reef to injecting a little “rocket fuel” into the Wairoa District Council.

Two same sex couples raising one happy little girl

Ask Rodney and Clinton and Erin and Emma... They’ll tell you it’s love that makes a family, not just blood ties.

PurePod glass cabins are a partnership with NZ farmers

A stay at these all-glass cabins on the outskirts of Kaikoura is to step into a magical realm where the world is reframed and time works in mysterious ways.

Meet the stars of Pecking Order

The 2017 National Poultry Show is a celebration of NZ’s oldest poultry club, and its members are all stars of a chick flick with a difference.

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.

MPI is out of touch says cheesemaker

An artisan cheesemaker is concerned that increasing costs of compliance will force their business to go underground.

Snake beans, bitter melons and curry leaf - grown in Whanganui

Whanganui based green house gardener Shane McCulloch has created a niche market for the hugely popular unusual Asian vegetable market.

1906 villa sees new life after Chch earthquake

When the owners of an earthquake-wrecked home were told it was a lost cause, They knew it wasn’t.

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.

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.

Why Pauline Bianchi always trusts her instincts

Art gallery founder Pauline Bianchi has overcome a life-threatening accident to create a meaningful life with her  6 year-old daughter Valentina.

Is eco-friendly Mangarara Station the future of NZ farming?

Greg and Rachel Hart share a mission: to connect New Zealanders with what they eat, how they live and with the planet itself.

Career path: life as a ballet mistress

From a little girl in her mother’s Auckland studio to the big-city stages of the world, ballerina Clytie Campbell’s career has swept from one act to the next.

A divine conversion

Breathing new life into an old church has taken more than a decade and cost twice the estimate but the owners are in heaven.

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.

Raymond Herber's sculpture park

Forging ahead at the Iron Ridge Sculpture Park

Canterbury sculptor Raymond Herber has carved out a true niche for his life and work in an abandoned quarry.

Full list of winners for the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

NZ Life & Leisure proudly supports the annual Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. With 150 entries, from the Catlins to Kaitaia, the judges were spoilt for choice.

For crying out loud! NZ's town crier shortage

New Zealand towns and cities are crying out for more town criers. Two sisters are ringing the bell for a proud (and loud) institution.

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

Judges’ kitchen cupboard secrets

It’s almost time for the announcement of the winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017 so thisNZlife asked the award judges to reveal their kitchen secrets.

NZ chef wins over Scottish food critics

Kirsten Gilmour is winning the hearts and stomachs of Scottish food critics one sweetcorn fritter at a time in her cafe in the Scottish Highlands.

A healthy food plan for post-emergency power cuts

Food in a refrigerator won’t last long without power so plan your food usage carefully to avoid contamination.

A creative network of young country women

Meet the selection of creative female go-getters selling their wares at the Rural Ladies marketplace.

Connecting Young Rural Ladies

From two sprawling high-country stations on either side of the Waitaki River, two young and creative rural ladies are empowering and connecting like-minded women.

Gluten-free bread business on the rise

An Auckland entrepreneur is earning a crust with a clever bread mix business.

Creating a culture of innovation

An Auckland-based technology entrepreneur is making going to the doctor as easy as pushing a button

Are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer?

Some businesses are disguising their employees  as volunteers, so are you breaking the law when you host a wwoofer from another volunteer scheme?

Mexican photographer's first farm visit

Mexican photographer Carla Danieli had never spent time on a farm before her stay on a remote station in the Waihopai Valley.

Mary Biggs and the Country Cooking School

Mary Biggs started with Le Cordon Bleu, detoured into lemon cordial and is now back to basics with a country cooking school, sharing the bounty of her beloved farm.

Nature- enter me: Chris Parry's Coromandel home

Chris Parry, drummer for the iconic 1960s band Fourmyula and manager of British bands the Jam and the Cure, left New Zealand 50 years ago expecting never to return. But that was until he found a soul-soaring piece of turf he now calls home.

Growing a family business on the Wanaka Lavender Farm

Two brothers have turned a patch of Wanaka into a lavender business in full bloom.

Juliet Jackson: 'Losing my sight didn't curb my creative spirit'

Although losing her sight meant the end of artist Juliet Jackson’s love affair with painting, it sparked a new-found passion for the written word.

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.

George Clarke on Kiwi DIY and the power of tiny houses

Amazing Spaces host George Clarke is in New Zealand to build a tiny house with Mitre 10. He weighs in on two innovative tiny homes recently featured on thisNZlife.

Yes, this cow is made of cake

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

Growing creative minds in a converted boatshed

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

Reader responses: should we change the school term dates?

In the February Kate Coughlan made a case for shifting the school holidays until February. We had an overwhelming response.

Monique Fiso

How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine

Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.

Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue

A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.

A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard

When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.

The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.

Blog: The case of the disappearing duck

In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.

From farm to 'glampground'

Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.

Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave

Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.

'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'

As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.

Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life

It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.

Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan

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

Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters

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

Serial inventor's wastewater system could revolutionise dairy industry

He blew up his first methane tank, built a boat in the shape of a saucer, and helped to design a super-efficient water blaster, but Coll Bell’s favourite inventions involve manure, and the more, the better.

Carriages see new life off the rails

A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.

Cruising in the Trinidad

For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat. 

Wild horses, big dreams

Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.

Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge

A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.

Why the Beer Baroness misses beer

She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.

A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland

Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.

How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef

The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.

Architect couple's two different approaches to design

He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs

Life on the run with Liz Stringer

For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.

From Antarctica to Port Chalmers: David Elliot's well-drawn career

David Elliot loves nothing more than a good story. As luck (and hard work) would have it, his country-spanning, award-winning, character-rich career has bestowed him with plenty of content.

Highlights from the NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon

The NZ Life & Leisure spring luncheon was huge success, raising $6500 for Ranui House.

Top female go-karter inspiring new generation

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

Bringing super yacht technology down to size

Jason & Tristin Dickey talk us through how they brought superyacht technology down to size in a range of luxuriously fitted aluminium boats.

Personalised perfume business winning fans

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

Inside Lynda Hallinan's "posh barn"

Hurricane Hallinan, aka the country’s liveliest gardener Lynda Hallinan, shows us her spring makeover in time for another charity fundraiser.

Dunedin through a phone lens

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

The street artist giving power to the people

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

The high country station selling merino to NATO

Meet the Williamsons: global merino suppliers raising a tribe of small boys and creating real socks appeal in Omarama.

A garden of surprises

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

An award-winning toy business run from home

The kids play in the bush and fish in the stream. The adults work from home creating toys that win awards.

From soap star to designer

Designer Katrina Hobbs is an expert at reinvention. From travel-show host to soap star, business presenter and now business owner, she takes a role and runs with it.

Small town fashion success

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

What drives a person to run 100km?

Cheree Morrison takes a walk in the well-worn running shoes of Fiona Hayvice, one of the world’s top ultra-marathon athletes.

Turning heads at 78

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

Finding work/life balance

A personal quest for work/life balance is at the core of a new restaurant and wellness centre run by a top chef and his yogi wife.

Shark attacks, cannibals and Antarctica

Dr Sea Rottman will soon depart on an all-female expedition to Antarctica - just one of many adventures in her life.

It's not easy being a green beekeeper

It's not easy being an organic beekeeper when bees can forage as far as 5km for their food.

Business bubbling along in the Catlins

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

Watercooler: magnolias, bliss balls & a song for walking

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

Creating a home in France

Former Auckland art dealer Anna Bibby ignored the voices that told her she was bonkers and upped and moved to small-town France for a life tres tranquille

World-class climber reaches new heights

Height is no limit for Dale Thomas. New Zealand's champion tree climber is just as comfortable at the tops of giant trees as he is with two feet on the ground.

The Artisan Paper Pusher

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

Success with bush basics

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


Finding flower power

To cement their partnership, Antonia de Vere and Mark Seeney got married. Now they combine their talents in one very creative business, Markantonia

Thinking inside the box

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

Two weddings and a Land Rover

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

Following his guitar dreams

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

A colourful life

There’s an element of Wonderland in interior designer Anya Brighouse’s home but this creative force is anything but out of control

Architect's dream home built from coolstore panels

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

Grandma's recipe for success

Marie Mullins is known as the pickle lady, and the secrets to her success lie on the beautiful lifestyle block she calls home.

martin carroll

Policeman by day, silversmith by night

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

Silver Fern Farms

How I became a meat grader

Sarah Duncan (42) appreciates a good steak — her career is dedicated to assuring that the meat on Kiwi forks is of the highest possible standard.

Wood entrepreneur finds eco niche

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

Jing Song

How this woman is changing NZ wine

A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.

Hukerenui School

How a school is making a profit from the land

The enterprising students of Hukerenui School are making a profit from growing maize, lavender and keeping bees.

Noeline Young

This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day

Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.

Okewa raincoats

Why this couple are singing in the rain

The rain fell down and a solution popped up – a young Wellington couple has designed a collection of classy raincoats that are making a splash.

Jessica Rose tries living without plastic.

'How I quit plastic'

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

neil mclachlan

A life saving houses

Despite growing up on the cutting edge of the minimal Modernist movement, this interior and architectural designer’s heart is in the past.

Chasing Great is in cinemas from September 1.

Trailer for Richie McCaw doco

What makes some people great? The documentary Chasing Great, featuring one of our best All Black captains ever, promises some answers.

Michael MacMillan and family

5th generation artist explores heritage

With art in his arteries, Michael MacMillan maintains a family tradition in a valley of hops and hopefulness, his greatest supporter by his side.

Kimberley Crossman as Nikki Hart in Hashtaggers.

Kim Crossman and the new TV frontier

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

Apollo Taito.

Career Path: The vegan soldier

Apollo Taito is a manager in the mental-health sector, part-time soldier, PhD student,  vegan and animal-rights campaigner.

Why his nickname is 'Bulldog'

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

Shoemaker Louise Clifton

Dunedin shoe school kicks off

She made her first pair of shoes out of some car mat, now Dunedin’s Louise Clifton has opened her own shoe school.

Using herbs to aid stress

When she began she thought $100 was a good day's takings, now Brownwyn Lowe is helping hundreds of people cure the symptoms of stress.

Averil Stuart-Head in Italy

A new Italian life at 57

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

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

Waitomo photos shared around the world

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

compost toilet

Blog: When compost loos go bad

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

life on a container ship

Life on a container ship

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

rugby romance tour tattoo

Inside the world of rugby romance literature

A romance writer adds rugby to the traditional plot mix and finds an avid and growing audience - who are currently exploring New Zealand.

A life less ordinary at the Fox River Commune

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

How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love

Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.

Geocaching in New Zealand

Modern day treasure hunters

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

peony growers New Zealand

Peony flower power: the secret beneath the soil

The peony is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, but it’s what it grows beneath the soil that has turned into a unique business for one Nelson couple.

Soul searching with Hollie Smith

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

Clachanburn Country Garden

Video: Behind the scenes at Clachanburn Country Garden

What does it take to create a garden of national significance in a remote place with an extreme climate and heavy clay soil? A body made of strong bones and a soul full of magic is a good start.

The king of Kombi vans

A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.

Good Bitches Baking

Saving the world through cake

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

Load More

Send this to a friend