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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7 ways to celebrate mum's special day
Mother’s Day is almost here (it’s this Sunday, May 13th) so get sorted with these fresh ideas for activities, gestures and gifts to show you care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
'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.
How Monique Fiso is raising the bar on Maori cuisine
Monique Fiso is one of the most innovative young chefs in Maori and Pacific cuisine, but it took a job halfway around the world for her to discover her true passion.
Farm reinvented as Southland wedding venue
A love of beautiful things- particularly weddings- has transformed the lives of a Southland family from the ground up.
A 60sqm container house in a cherry orchard
When a crane swung two shipping containers over the treetops of a cherry orchard it signalled the start of a new way of life for the Heeringa family.
The colourful couple behind the Mussel Inn
The Mussel Inn beats at the heart of Golden Bay's creative, organic community. Its music-loving owners created it with grit, vision... and a bit of inspiration from Bob Dylan.
Blog: The case of the disappearing duck
In Polly Greek's blog this week: when a Pekin duck goes missing, James goes on stoat-catching duty.
From farm to 'glampground'
Cows and sheep aren’t the only creatures enjoying the bucolic life — holiday-making families can too. as farmers look for new ways to diversify, home-stays and holiday rentals, even posh camping sites – are on the rise.
Martinborough firm riding Mexican wave
Surf-loving foodies Jason and Melissa Philips downsized and relocated to the Wairarapa to give their hand-rolled burrito business the best chance of catching a big break.
'Losing my sight at 14 hasn't held me back'
As a teenager Minnie Baragwanath was told her disability would limit her life. But the winner of the 2013 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award is determined to make a difference for the lives of disabled people.
Kohu Road founder's career path to the sweet life
It’s been a flavourful career for Kohu Road founder Greg Hall. There’s a pinch of everything in his recipe for success – and the outcome is simply delicious.
Living large in a 20sqm gypsy caravan
Life is a movable feast for these house-bus-living, fun-loving, free-spirited ‘gypstas’.
Entrepreneur finds success testing the waters
A Christchurch paddleboard entrepreneur is riding a steady wave of growth.
Serial inventor's wastewater system could revolutionise dairy industry
He blew up his first methane tank, built a boat in the shape of a saucer, and helped to design a super-efficient water blaster, but Coll Bell’s favourite inventions involve manure, and the more, the better.
Carriages see new life off the rails
A South Island couple takes on two run-down old rail carriages and, in doing so, embarks on a long, exhausting – and ultimately very rewarding – journey.
Cruising in the Trinidad
For more than half a century, this classic launch has been a summer base afloat.
How a wonky kennel inspired a cute-as-a-button hut
Dogged determination helps restore the DIY mana of a west Auckland pastry chef, and creates the ultimate city retreat.
Wild horses, big dreams
Louise McNutt thought climbing into a wolf den was the biggest challenge she’d face in her animal-focused career, until she chose to ride the length of New Zealand on horseback.
Actress finds her happily ever after in Rakaia Gorge
A storybook house in the towering mountains offers an adorable princess, talking animals, a modest prince and a very funny mummy. She's a comedy writer, he's a beekeeper- meet the Dunbars.
Why the Beer Baroness misses beer
She may have named her first craft beer after a famous lipstick, but brewer Ava Nakagawa is certainly not making beer just for the girls.
A life lived large: artist Deidre Copeland
Central Otago artist Deidre Copeland's paintings are immediately recognizable . Big canvases. Hyperrealism. She talks to Nathalie Brown about her career and crazy lifestyle.
How to make Green Tea Smoked Beef
The Pitches Store chef shares his award-winning recipe for Green Tea Smoked Silver Fern Farms Reserve Beef with Beetroot Mustard.
Architect couple's two different approaches to design
He’s interested in how everything is interconnected; she in the personal story of her clients. This pair of Sydney-based Kiwi architects continue to make their mark on both civic and private jobs
Life on the run with Liz Stringer
For a woman who really loves black and white, Wellington businesswoman Liz Stringer lives a most colourful life, split between town and country.
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.
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
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.
How this woman is changing NZ wine
A wine producer is allowing her creative spirit to pop while exploring the Chinese heritage of Central Otago.
How 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.
This inspiring 80- year-old will make your day
Noeline Young is a trail-blazer who adores aviation.
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.
'How I quit plastic'
Urban eco warrior Jessica Rose suggests some easy lifestyle changes to make for Plastic-Free July.
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.
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.
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.
Kim Crossman and the new TV frontier
Kimberley Crossman talks about working with William Shatner on her new breakthrough show Hashtaggers.
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.
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.
A new Italian life at 57
Christchurch’s Averil Stuart-Head followed her heart to create art in a medieval village in Italy.
Waitomo photos shared around the world
Photos of a celebrity Asian couple at Waitomo Caves have gone viral.
Blog: When compost loos go bad
This week Polly Greeks discovers the perils of a compost toilet.
Life on a container ship
26 days on a container ship puts life on dry land in perspective for a photographer.
Inside the world of rugby romance literature
A romance writer adds rugby to the traditional plot mix and finds an avid and growing audience - who are currently exploring New Zealand.
How a personalised number plate led to rockabilly love
Hey Daddy-O! Meet the Nixon-Sparkes - the coolest bunch of crazy cats to ever shake rattle 'n' roll.
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 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.
Video: Behind the scenes at Clachanburn Country Garden
What does it take to create a garden of national significance in a remote place with an extreme climate and heavy clay soil? A body made of strong bones and a soul full of magic is a good start.
The king of Kombi vans
A series of chance encounters with volkswagens has steered an Auckland family to a love of vintage campers.
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