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Bowl me over

Bowl me over: The food bowl trend

From acai bowls to ramen bowls and even Buddha bowls, the food bowl trend continues to assert its place in many domestic kitchens, cafés and restaurants. In Christchurch, you will find many local eateries are creating food bowls, with ingredients from all around the world.


Bowl me over


Acai, a Brazilian-grown fruit with a rich, sweet taste has certainly helped popularise the food bowl trend. However, this trendy concept of eating has been around for many years. According to food historian, Rachel Laudan, the poke bowl, which originated in Hawaii, was first popularised in the 1970s. This delicious bowl of goodness contains a base of rice, topped with seasoned, raw fish and various types of vegetables and sauces. In a way, it is similar to a deconstructed sushi roll.

Beautiful bowls also tie in to the gratification of the food. They say you eat with your eyes so it’s a bonus that eating from a bowl can bring a visual experience as the contents are colourful, full of flavour, and super photogenic, making them very Instagramable.
Flavour and fashion apart, this healthy bowl trend also promotes the ‘feel good factor’ – making you feel good about your meal choice.


It also has the convenience factor and the appeal that you can almost eat anything out of it. From noodles to dumplings, soups to salads, acai bowls to the more original bowl of porridge, all these meals are customisable, quick to prepare, wholesome and healthy. And, if made fresh, with a little creativity, they can also be packed with rich and bold flavours – and that’s what culinary dreams are made of.



Harcourts Redwood

The CBD entices: Harcourts Redwood

The CBD entices the return of the inner-city dweller, with new apartments and townhouses filling in the gaps. According to the 2010 census, the CBD contained 9,000 residents. This plummeted to 4,900 residents in 2013.

Harcourts Redwood

To meet the council’s target of 20,000 living within the four avenues by 2025, 4,000 new homes are needed – mostly one-and two-bedroom, averaging 2.1 occupants.
I have organised 12 bus trips over the last four years for those keen on a close-up tour of the progressing inner city. There are limited spaces on the next free 2-hour tour on 23 September. We’ll view construction sites, completed apartments and townhouses, and anchor projects such as the Convention Centre and Cultural and Art Precinct, with an overview of what is involved in buying in the inner city.
Since the quakes, 1,200 apartments were demolished, making way for the new, which meet engineering, acoustic and fire-safety requirements. Current bank regulations enforce developers to first sell more than 60 percent off the plans before building can commence. However, buyers’ deposits must stay safely in a solicitor’s trust account until built.
We have already presold the Juno boutique apartments at 36 Cranmer Square and there’s under half the new Latimer Apartments on Barbadoes Street still available.
I’ve spent 15 years living in or close to the inner city and own a number of apartments. It’s simplicity of lifestyle. Spare time won’t disappear through weeding, maintenance and renovations. Explore, go to shows, expos and festivals instead – as the city literally becomes your backyard.


Mark O’Loughlin
By Harcourts Gold

For the free info book on the city tour or to book a seat, contact Mark O’Loughlin, Harcourts Gold office,
Phone 03-352 0352 or 021 339 078, email


Architect Craig South

Puzzle Turning to Promise in Central City: Architect Craig South

Christchurch has waited six years for the 100 day blueprint to come off the plan and deliver on its promise, but the new CBD revealed in that blueprint is now moving much closer.

Architect Craig South

The plan laid out by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) in 2012 was a bold one, based on a vision of the city’s future produced by the Christchurch City Council in consultation with the public through the Share an Idea campaign. Nothing less than a truly liveable 21st central city was at the heart of that plan. It has been a long time coming but now, in 2018, we’re starting to see it happen, and it’s going to be amazing!

The anchor projects – a cornerstone of the rebuild – are heading in the right direction and are poised to reinvigorate our city centre with contemporary architecture and state of the art facilities.
Complementing the city’s new fabric are our heritage treasures; which I have a real passion for. After much deliberation, work to restore the Cathedral is due to get underway in coming months, while the Arts Centre restoration is in full swing. Connected by gracious Worcester Boulevard, these two Gothic Revival survivors are touchstones for the city, linking past to present.

When the new central library, Tūranga, opens in the next few months, it will be the largest library in the South Island and also one of its most innovative, I’m excited to explore all that it has to offer. I think it needed to be cutting edge and hopefully it will deliver on its potential as both a digital and print hub, as well as a cultural flagship for the city.

Te Pae, Christchurch’s $475 million convention centre, is on track to open its doors in 2020 and is already taking bookings. It is exactly what is needed to bring visitors back into the city centre. By the time Te Pae is up and running, the Christchurch Town Hall restoration will also be complete with events due to be held there from 2019.
Adding to the positive momentum, including progress on the new stadium and the city’s east and south frames, is the fabulous new waterfront taking shape along the Ōtākaro/Avon River. It is opening up the river for walking and cycling, with a promenade all the way from the Antigua Boat Sheds to the Margaret Mahy Playground.

One of my fondest memories of Christchurch from before the earthquakes is of taking a day trip into the central city by bus with my daughters; visiting the library, having lunch at a café and wandering along the Avon River. A generation of young people have missed out on experiences such as these while Christchurch has been without a fully functioning city centre. It will be great to take the girls back into the city again, now that the blueprint is becoming a reality.
Our central city has been like a broken jigsaw puzzle, but the pieces are finally coming together. Plan and reality are joining up to create an amazing liveable city, whether for working, shopping, walking, cycling or socialising. The excitement is beginning to build for what’s in store!


Architect Craig South
Architect Craig South reviews progress on the Christchurch rebuild and finds a city on the cusp of an exciting future.


An ocean-side makeover

An ocean-side makeover: Southshore and South New Brighton are to get a makeover

It’s an exciting time in Christchurch as areas of the city that we know and love are being built back up.

Now it’s time for the beloved Southshore and South New Brighton area to get a makeover and residents could have a say in it. Residents and visitors adore this area because of its picturesque sea views, beach access and recreational activities.

An ocean-side makeover

The government organisation Regenerate Christchurch is engaging with the local community, while also teaming up with Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu to develop a plan for this area’s future. The group also hopes to address how to manage sea level rise and other short, medium and long-term effects of climate change on these seaside communities.

The organisation says it wants community members to be involved in the process. First, residents can learn about the regeneration strategy at a community hub located at 82 Estuary Road. Then the next phase will be in the hands of a team of nine community members, who are tasked with identifying the best ways to get area residents’ input on the regeneration of the Southshore and South New Brighton.

“Our goal is to build a shared understanding of the values, opportunities and risks for Southshore and South New Brighton, and the ability and capacity to work together to address them,” says Regenerate Christchurch chief executive Ivan Iafeta.

The project covers and addresses the area from Rodney Street to the end of the Southshore spit.
For more information, visit

Short-term accommodation

Short-term accommodation

The hotel is dead; long live Airbnb.

It is not quite as dramatic as that; there will always be a place for traditional travellers’ accommodation, with hotels, motels and hostels continuing to serve a purpose. The old assumption however, that a stay away from home means a cramped space with an overpriced minibar and poor room service is dead. There’s a revolution afoot and it is being led in no small way by Airbnb.

Short-term  accommodation

ChristchurchNZ figures show Airbnb options in the city jumped from about 1100 to 2000 in the year to September 2017, before stabilising at about 2400. This represents about 21 percent of the city’s available accommodation. In response, ChristchurchNZ joined forces with Canterbury University to investigate the economic, social and environmental effects of Airbnb, which has become the modern way of travelling.

There is no doubt there are benefits for Christchurch from the Airbnb phenomenon. It will attract even more visitors to see our city’s exciting transformation. This in turn will have an advantageous domino effect for tourism, hospitality, performing arts and retail. People who come here and have a great experience will also be the city’s best advocates.

A key attraction of Airbnb is ready walking access to restaurants, events, concerts and theatre, resulting in highly sought-after accommodation options in central Christchurch. Apartments and townhouses in the central city are excellent opportunities for potential buyers looking to benefit from Airbnb to secure a better future for themselves and their families.

Mark O’Loughlin
By Harcourts Gold

Contact Mark on 021 339 078,

email or


Hanmer Springs

Something for Everyone: Hanmer Springs

Winter is here and this year, visitors should embrace the season instead of resisting it.

Hanmer Springs

What better way to welcome the cold temperatures than by grabbing the warmest clothes and adventure gear and equipment to head roughly two hours north of Christchurch to the ideal spot for a trip. Hanmer Springs is the go-to winter getaway destination and has something to offer you or your family this season.

With its beautiful alpine scenery, this winter wonderland has activities for all to enjoy. Thrill seekers can embrace the adrenaline rushes from skiing or snowboarding at the affordable Hanmer Springs Ski Area on Mount Saint Patrick. Snow sports aren’t the only outdoor activities for visitors.

There are also ample opportunities for tramping, walking and mountain biking to enjoy Mother Nature.
Travelers who aren’t a fan of the outdoors can let their worries wash away as they indulge and soak in the thermal sulfur or aqua therapy pools, which help relieve pain from sore or achy muscles and joints. Families can frolic and have a good time at the water playground, two large activity pools and hydroslides. After a nice soak, they can pamper themselves with a massage or beauty treatment at the spa.Whether you seek adventure or you simply fancy a relaxing holiday, you’re bound to find an activity you enjoy at this holiday location. Sit back and savor every minute of it.


CBD a Culinary Hotspot: The CBD is emerging as a space that packs a culinary punch

Amid the concrete and glass of Christchurch’s sparkling new city, the CBD is emerging as a space that packs a culinary punch. Because, although deciding where to have dinner can be a tough decision, the central city has become a hotspot for the hungry with all types of foods and cuisines including Thai, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Japanese and everything in between.

The central city has become a hotspot for the hungry

The city doesn’t just have a plethora of cuisines to offer hungry people, it also has unique options that give customers a different dining experience. For instance, The Little High Eatery, located on Saint Asaph Street, is a classy food court that houses eight local and family-run businesses. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for filling your mouth with tasty food – Thai, sushi, pizza, burgers and more!
Just around the corner on High Street, The Monday Room is another eatery that has made a splash in the central city dining space. You’ll feast your eyes on a range of elegantly prepared, meat and seafood-focused dishes such as braised lamb shoulder served with a mouth-pleasing mixture of orange, watercress, mint and pomegranate.

Culinary Hotspot
The establishment encourages its patrons to have a social dining experience while they savor shareable-sized meals. Its distinguished ‘Trust the Chef’ menu, where the chef crafts special dishes for each customer, sets it apart from other establishments in the area.
Meanwhile, a couple of blocks down, Welles Street too is making its culinary mark after local firm Box 112 repurposed six former industrial buildings, including a former blacksmith’s workshop, transforming them into a complex of artisan businesses known as The Welder after a former tenant.

Culinary Hotspot
Interesting, quirky and raw, the spaces in The Welder are engaging and authentic, headed by operators who have a shared vision for raising the standard of healthy, locally produced food in the city.
New Regent Street too is a culinary destination worthy of its prestige, with cafés, bars and restaurants making their commercial homes here, including 27 Steps, Moko Café, Caffeine Lab, Sushi Sachi, Shop Eight Food and Wine, Coffee Lovers and The Last Word.
Keep in mind that these are just some of the examples of the many eateries around the central city. Christchurch’s inner circle has a lot to offer, you just have to be willing to experience it. So the next time your stomach starts rumbling, step out of your comfort zone and into the CBD to try something new.

Dr Megan Woods

The Influencers Column: Dr Megan Woods

One of the priorities for me as the Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration is ensuring that we are well placed to learn from the Canterbury Earthquakes sequence going ahead. We know that there are valuable lessons to be learned from such an unprecedented event that will enable us to make sure our communities are more resilient and prepared in the future.

Dr Megan Woods
Dr Megan Woods,
Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister


It was a great pleasure to announce recently that there will be a two-day symposium held in November this year in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council. This symposium will also provide a platform to lead into a bigger international event that will mark the quake’s tenth anniversary in 2021.
We anticipate the involvement of up to 250 participants from across the public and private sectors, representing those who have been involved in the local recovery, as well as those that may be impacted by future events. Crucially, the symposium and workshops will also give communities the chance to share their wisdom and experiences as those at the coalface of the recovery.
Given New Zealand’s complex geography, we know that it’s merely a question of when and not if another community faces the same challenges. Our communities need to know that the disaster and recovery systems are effective and robust.
The symposium will provide a unique opportunity for community leaders, recovery practitioners and academics to learn from what’s happened in the past and to make sure we get it right in the future.

Matt Harris

The Influencers Column: Matt Harris

Prior to the devastating earthquake events of 2010/2011, the public generally didn’t know a geotechnical engineer from a civil engineer; with much of an engineer’s work often being hidden.

Matt Harris
Matt Harris, Babbage Consultants Ltd South Island Business Manager

Indeed, if it works and continues to do so, then an engineer’s work is often buried in the ground, or hidden behind building finishes, quietly doing its job.
High demand saw increased competition with many firms coming into Canterbury, only to now be leaving as we begin the ongoing trend back to pre-earthquake construction levels. Which begs the question, where will the providers of this advice be when future questions are raised on post-earthquake designs and earthquake repairs?
With so much achieved during the rebuild and so much still to be done, it’s important for clients to understand that seeking enduring, quality advice should always be balanced against the cost of acquiring it. Cost effective solutions are rarely the cheapest option.
Engaging a well-established expert as your trusted advisor brings with it long term benefits that endure long after the bill for the alternative cheaper design would have been paid. A trusted advisor will seek to help the client find an enduring long-term solution with practical options, easily discussed because of your ongoing working relationship based on trust and good communication.
Canterbury and beyond remains an active seismic area and earthquakes are a way of life for New Zealanders. Get the best advice by making sure your consultant is an expert and is willing to put the time in to become your trusted advisor.

Ivan Iafeta

The Influencers Column: Ivan Iafeta

After five weeks, our Red Zone Futures exhibition has ended and we are now assessing the feedback provided by everyone who visited the Cashel Mall site, engaged with our travelling exhibition and commented via the online exhibition.

Ivan Iafeta
Regenerate Christchurch CEO


This information, as well as the findings of qualitative research carried out during the exhibition period, will inform our development of the draft Regeneration Plan for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.
As the exhibition entered its final weeks, another of our projects reached a significant milestone. The release of our vision for Cathedral Square followed 18 months of design work, technical reports and engagement with Cathedral Square property owners, business groups, heritage groups, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the public and other key stakeholders.
We have appreciated the significant interest in our thinking for the square. But it’s not just about new things. To be regenerated, the square must return to its original purpose as a gathering place for local people and visitors. It needs to be a strong symbol of the vibrant future of the city centre.
The vision, which will be delivered in stages as funding and other developments allow, is aspirational in terms of design. But we believe the social regeneration of the square is achievable sooner rather than later and should be prioritised by tidying the place up and making it a place for the people again.
With that in mind, we will work with the city council on the development of a delivery strategy to support the private and public investment being made in the area.