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Author: Melinda Collins

Va Va Vegan

Va Va Vegan

Limiting or excluding meat, dairy products and eggs was once on the cusp of consumer consciousness. But now veganism is hitting the mainstream. A menu that was traditionally not universally available or appetising, today it is all that and a bag of kale chips.


Va Va Vegan


In New Zealand, more than half of Kiwis say they are eating less meat, and a quarter expect to be mostly meat-free by 2025, according to the results of a recent survey by Bean Supreme.

Meanwhile to research from Stanford University in the United States suggests a produce-driven diet directly helps the health of the planet in more ways than one: growing produce generates fewer carbon emissions and uses less water than raising livestock, resulting in less of an environmental toll.


If you’re getting a serious case of culinary FOMO, we have collated a creative collection of our all-time vegan favourites:

Vegan Mac n Cheese

Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles

Creamy (vegan!) Butternut Squash Linguine with Fried Sage

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Vegetable Paella

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chilli with Avocado




90’s Fashion

Whether you remember it with nostalgia or have blocked it from your mind, there’s no doubting the 90s was a revolutionary decade for fashion. From scrunchies to tube tops, Adidas scuffs to denim overalls, many trends are making a comeback and some are here to stay. We check out some of the most revered and reviled and what we can expect to see on the streets in the coming months.




Fabulous footwear: The fashionable feet of the 90s were adorned with heavy-duty combat boots, simple slip-ons from Birkenstocks to Adidas scuffs, while Converse’s Chuck Taylors and Manolo Blahnik’s Mary Jane style shoes too were on high rotation.




Not over overalls: Dungarees or overalls are hitting the sartorial consciousness in a very big way. They’re the closet staple of the 2010s; easy to slip into, effortless and ridiculously chic.


The long or short of it: Midriff-baring crop tops were a 90s must-have. Why not relive the best fashion from the decade by pairing a crop top with a pair of mum jeans, a chic combination that is a favourite of celebrities and street style stars alike.





Mum jeans: These high-rise, non-stretch, vintage-inspired mum jeans are showing up everywhere right now, with their timeless, flattering aesthetic and ability to suit everyone.


Cyclical trends: They say fashion does a full circle and it meets this brief in a more literal way this sartorial season, with round glasses the current hot property of eyewear, adding a vintage vibe to any outfit.




Skirting the rules: The denim skirt is having a moment. The ’90s and early-2000s throwback is making the rounds this summer, in varying lengths and styles.


All choked up: In the 90s, chokers came in stretchy plastic to resemble tattoos, while others boasted a fabric construction featuring charms and jewels. Now they are well and truly back in fashion and add that chic ’90’s touch to any outfit.





Scrunched up: Hair accessories like scrunchies were a favourite of this decade and everything from satin to glamorous velvet designs added colour to ponytails, buns and even pigtails.



Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: Nov 22 2018

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”

Mahatma Gandhi


My 13-year-old daughter’s hair has varied considerably in length over the years, generally ranging from midway down her back to as far down as her hips. Now it’s a ‘number one’.


Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

For those of you unfamiliar with the hairdressing (or perhaps more accurately, ‘shearing’) term, this corresponds to a 1/8 inch length.
Rather than the increasing temperatures causing her to recreate the look Sinead O’Connor made popular in the late-80s, it was all in aid of raising much-needed funds for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer (LBC) New Zealand.

Six Kiwis a day are diagnosed with a blood cancer or related condition and LBC is the leading organisation dedicated to supporting patients and their families. While I am pleased about the bathroom time this has freed up for myself, I am most proud of the fact that this was a completely self-motivated move and one which has netted more than $900 for the charity.

While this has given rise to the very sobering reality that I am far too wedded to my own hair, it has also demonstrated the fact that one small person can make a very big difference. As Thomas Fuller once said, ‘Charity begins at home but should not end there.”



Newly Minted

Newly Minted

Each passing season brings with it the perfect opportunity to introduce a new aesthetic into the home and, although it seems somewhat cliché to defer to green tones when it comes to spring’s seasonal spruce-up, we can think of nothing cooler than mint to make our interiors sing.


Newly Minted


According to trend forecasting giant, World Global style Network (WGSN), this pastel shade of green, coined ‘neo mint’, will dominate the worlds of fashion and interiors in 2020. Described by the institution as a gender-neutral colour with “an oxygenating, fresh tone that aligns science and technology with nature”, we think it’s just plain cool.


Newly Minted


If it has a somewhat familiar feel to it, you would be correct; 2010, 2003 and 2005 all featured their own iterations of this happy hue, with Turquoise, Aqua Sky and Blue Turquoise respectively topping Pantone’s colour of the year.  Today we’re moving away from the duskier and more weathered shades, with mint offering a very fresh, light feel that is more than welcome in our abodes. We’ve tuned in our trend radars and looked out how to newly mint your home.


Newly Minted


Outside the box:

Add accents in unconventional places; go bold with a mint green bathroom sink, a mint headboard or mint tapware.


The gold treatment:

Mint green makes the perfect partnership with gold accents, with their yellow tones bringing some warmth to this cool shade.


The bold and the beautiful:

Why not go all out with a feature wall or a mint coloured fridge? After all, go big or go home, right?


Newly Minted


Start small:

Maybe you aren’t ready to hope off the neutral bus quite yet? That’s ok, in fact, small splashes of mint accessories can keep you in the trend party.


Opposites attract:

Although being directionally opposite red on the colour wheel makes this fiery hue mint’s perfect partner, by virtue of being a secondary colour, it can comfortably co-exist with orange and purple. Just aim for colours of the same intensity and you’re on a roll.


Newly Minted


Make a statement:

The perfect antidote to dark and lifeless spaces, why not spring for some colourful mint cabinetry, which will make the perfect partnership with white appliances.






Blooming Delicious

Blooming Delicious

When it comes to summer entertaining, you want to impress your guests with eats that look as good as they taste. Why not up your culinary game with edible flowers?


Blooming Delicious


While flowers have been used by cultures throughout the world for thousands of years, it seems these beautiful blooms have now gone upmarket, adorning the plates of high-end restaurants globally.
Edible flowers not only make colourful and tasty additions to your cooking, they can also transform your summer drinks into talking points. Just freeze your flowers in ice cubes and add to your summer tipples.

We look at 10 blooming delicious examples:

All in for alliums: Alliums include the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek and chives, all which make for delicious additions to green salads, potato and pasta salads and dips.

Never forget nasturtiums: Nasturtium blossoms have a peppur like watercress. All colours and varieties are tasty in salads or as garnishes, with their leaves able to be eaten too.

Must-have marigolds: With a mildly citrus taste, marigold petals can be sprinkled into salads. With colours ranging from pure yellow to orange and red, they are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the belly.

Pretty as a pansy: Pansies have a wintergreen flavour and are pretty on cakes and other desserts.

Sweet as honeysuckle: Although its berries are poisonous, honeysuckle blossoms make a pretty, and safe, addition to salads.

Forage some borage: The fuzzy-leaved herb borage has sky-blue flowers with a light cucumber taste. Add to fruit salads, green salads or freeze in ice cubes for cold drinks.

Cute little chamomile: A pretty plant that graces the herb garden with masses of small flowers, chamomile offers a tasty apple-like flavour.

Newly minted: All flowers of the mint family make for tasty additions to your cooking. Try lemon balm or spearmint in iced tea.

Game of squash: Squash blossoms can be used as a garnish, made into fritters or chucked into a stir-fry.

Stop and eat the roses: All roses are edible, with miniature varieties ideal to garnish ice cream and desserts, while larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads.



Seafoam Supreme

Seafoam Supreme

The hottest hue to hit the consumer conscience ahead of summer has had many former incarnations.


Seafoam Supreme


But the colour formerly known as turquoise, mint, aqua or even pale blue or green is back with a cool new name and a new hip attitude.
A soothing blue-green colour reminiscent of crashing waves, seafoam is summer’s must-have shade.

A cool new name and a new hip attitude.

Seafoam Supreme


Pair seafoam with seafoam, or make the perfect partnership with other tropical temptations, such as coral pink, light sand and navy blue. Try some of our top picks here or dip your toes in the seafoam with just a splash of this chic shade.


Seafoam Supreme
Seafoam Supreme





Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: November 8th Issue

“I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world,” —Meryl Streep


Melinda Collins
Melinda Collins


It’s been said that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Beautiful in its simplicity, it points to the ripple effect that kindness can make in the world. The ancient Greeks viewed kindness as not only beneficial for the salvation of the soul in the afterlife, but also in this life too! Physiologically, kindness increases the dopamine levels in our brains, creating a natural high. Meanwhile, emotional warmth produces oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure and the free radicals associated with aging.

Our beautiful cover model this issue, Jacinda Adhern, has been taking messages of kindness to a global stage. “I really rebel against this idea that politics has to be a place full of ego and where you’re constantly focused on scoring hits against one another,” she said in a recent interview. “Yes we need a robust democracy, but you can be strong and you can be kind.”

Early in my media career I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Whitebait TV’s Janine Morrell-Gunn. Living, breathing proof that being a successful businesswoman and being a nice person are not mutually exclusive, she said, “You don’t have to be an ass to get what you want”.

“There are a lot of tough people in television, but we have this saying ‘first do no harm’. It is possible and we have always tried to treat people well.”

Thankfully we have plenty of inspirational women leaders, both locally and internationally, who too believe in the virtue of kindness



Cherry on the Top

Cherry on the Top

Cherry red certainly packs a sartorial punch. The fiery shade is dominating the fashion shows this season, with a look which has us all hot around the sartorial collar and not just when looking through rose-tinted glasses.


Cherry on the Top


Bold tomato red hues stood out on the SS18 catwalks of several designers, including Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Dries van Noten and Max Mara.

It’s the power player that has been vying for our attention, but in all the right ways.
Whether you adorn yourself in this bold hue from head to toe, or stick to a bold lip or heel, it will be the cherry on the top that will finish off your look.



Cherry on the Top


Cherry on the Top
Cherry on the Top


Cherry on the Top

Coral Cravings

In Ancient Greece, red and pink coral symbolised happiness and immortality, with amulets of the aragonite mineral used to drive away misfortune and illness.


Coral Cravings


Whether recognising the talismanic qualities of nature’s bounty or simply the sartorial appeal of this summery shade, the darlings of the design world have been harnessing the uplifting powers of coral in their collections, utilising shades from soft blush to deep orange.


We’re happy to don these tropical tones for ourselves


As the days get warmer and we start craving tropical holidays full of sun and sand, we’re happy to acquiesce with their fashionable wisdom and don these tropical tones for ourselves.


Coral Cravings
Coral Cravings
Coral Cravings
Coral Cravings
Nathan Mikaere-Wallis

Child’s Play: The Secret Life of Girls

Forget lovingly dressing their dolls and maintaining organisation in the home. It seems that the little girls of today also seek to be the ‘Prime Minister of Auckland’, or the captain of their very own pirate ship. Rather than just sugar, spice and all things nice, they are equally competitive, ruthless and determined to win.


Nathan Mikaere-Wallis


It’s all laid on the line in The Secret Life of Girls, a two-part TVNZ special, now available on TVNZ on Demand, which follows the play, conversations and fascinating challenges set for a group of five and six-year-old girls. The scene is this: a typical Kiwi kindergarten has been rigged up with cameras to track the girls as they interact with each other, directed at times by two teachers. Meanwhile, professional analysis is provided by Dr Annette Henderson and renowned neuroscience educator, Nathan Mikaere-Wallis, a child development specialist from Christchurch.

If you recognise the name or perhaps the face, Wallis is well known to audiences throughout Australia and New Zealand for his commentary on child development or, more specifically, how our early interactions with children play a critical role in defining their outcomes. He’s been a university lecturer, he’s made podcasts and documentaries, written books and he travels around the world giving talks on the developing brain and positive parenting. “I’ve always had a fascination with human beings,” he says. “We’re the most advanced thing in the multiverse and also the most complex. And I’ve always loved children.”

The Secret Life of Girls has been a particularly fulfilling experience he says and, although the feedback from viewers around the country was surprise over the competitive and even sometimes aggressive nature of the young girls on the show, Wallis wasn’t in the slightest.
Filmed to correspond with the 125th anniversary of giving women the right to vote, what the show has been most successful at is upending gender stereotypes.

There is a general perception that men are more practical, aggressive and risk-taking, while women are more emotional, cautious and better at multitasking. Perhaps that’s so, but how much of that behaviour is down to social conditioning? “Research indicates these behaviours are much more learned than we think,” he says, pointing to research that has been done on babies in blue and pink stretch and grows and how the adults whose charge they are under, treat babies dressed in the different colours quite differently, making it hard to separate nature from nurture.

“Clearly we (males and females) are different hormonally, but the concept has been oversold in the media. We have the same traits but in differing amounts. Rather than men coming from Mars and women from Venus, it’s like Mars and Venus crashed and overlapped.”
Rather than a binary male/female thing, Wallis says American Indians have long recognised seven types of gender and, in fact, now that we can read genes, we know there are many more variations than just the female (XX chromosomes) and male (XY chromosomes).
“I think it just shows we’re complex, us human beings. There’s a whole spectrum and we’re not necessarily at one end or another.”
So, how much of the temperament displayed on the playground will stick around to adulthood and will the little leaders of the show be the future Jacinda Arderns of the country? In short yes, but it depends on whether there are any other significant developments (such as trauma) in the child’s life.

While your personality can change, your temperament doesn’t. “Temperament plus experience equals personality,” Wallis says.
So, while those little playground divas are likely to remain leaders throughout their lifetimes, they are likely to become more refined in their approach to leadership through their life experiences. As an educator – plus a father and now a grandfather – Wallis has always held fast to the belief that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are absolutely critical to wellbeing because, while they say ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it’s preferable, he says, for the village to wrap around a dyadic, or ‘one on one’ relationship.

While many think young children learn their social skills by being put into a preschool environment early, in actual fact, focusing primarily on creating a secure relationship with one key caregiver is the best foundation on which to build social skills. “We should be doing everything we can to support kids staying at home.”

While he has a busy year ahead of him, including a trip to Saudi Arabia to teach academic staff about brain development alongside Harvard educators and a new documentary series for TVNZ, Wallis plans to continue doing his parenting /brain talk talks around the country. “We continue getting 1,000-1,500 people turning up. They want to be informed but not told what to do. I simply use the research to inform.”