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Author: Tracey Edwardes

Summoning Spring

Summoning Spring

All gardens beckon to be beautified in spring. Thankfully, the professionals can do those hard chores, making life so much easier.


Summoning Spring


Pruning may seem simple, but there’s a science to it. A great gardener will have the knack. A professional prune up is a sensible spring start, to help produce healthy roses and abundant summer fruits. Hedges will be starting to bush out in all directions, so enlist someone with the right tools to tackle this arduous job, safely.
Muddy-patched lawns might need re-sowing and fertilising as it’ll soon be time to relax on a carpet of lush green. Just like a vacuumed floor or well-made bed, gardens look finished with beautiful lawns.

It’s party time for weeds, so a great gardener will remove them by their resilient roots and create a cunning plan to mitigate an invasion of the weedy kind! They can prepare and replenish soils, mulch and fertilise, for a vegetable garden that reaps tasty rewards. Savvy advice for ongoing garden maintenance and problems make these green-fingered professionals worth every penny!
Mossy, mouldy paths and decks, suddenly seems so drearily drab in spring sunshine, so get someone in to carefully water-blast and freshly stain the deck, and see to those messy jobs, like clearing spouting and drains, and places rotting foliage and debris have accumulated.

If an area just doesn’t seem to work and no solution springs to mind, landscapers are creative creatures, brimming with practical, aesthetic ideas. Perhaps a patio, pergola, paved pathway, barbeque area, artwork, lighting, or releveling and terracing. Adding the right trees and shrubbery can shelter exposed areas, or add privacy and colour. Make the garden the most magnificent room of the home this summer!



Peter Ray Homes

Personalised Perfection: Peter Ray Homes

Over 32 years, Peter Ray Homes has grown from humble beginnings to a well-respected company that is still family owned, designing and building award-winning personalised homes in Christchurch, Blenheim and Nelson.


Peter Ray Homes


Every year the company achieves at the Master Builders House of the Year Awards for Canterbury. This year, a customer’s home was one of the top 100 Gold Reserve finalists in the country selected for the National finals and another received the Gold Award for its category.
Each Peter Ray home is a unique build. “Our point of difference is our customers are encouraged to put their own thumb print on their new home,” General Manager John Baugh says. “The owners are really proud of the awards, as they themselves have input.”

A Lincoln luxury family home won Reserve Gold in the Volume/Group Housing New Homes between $450,000 and $700,000 category. A head turner, it impressed judges with great street appeal and its internal timber-clad deck with access via large sliding doors to the living areas, giving privacy and shelter from the easterly. The roof contrasted with the white plaster exterior and vertical detailing – the colour scheme flowing internally with greys and white, with feature bulkhead ceilings to personalise. An executive kitchen is at the home’s heart, with custom-designed pendant lighting.


Peter Ray Homes


In Halswell, another customer’s home was awarded Gold in Volume/Group Housing New Home up to $450,000 category. A gabled roof complements vertical cedar cladding, designer brick and schist. A feature entrance way has a raking soffit, leading to a high-ceiling hallway entrance. Judges were impressed with the enviable functional living, including ample storage. An elegant kitchen is adjacent to bi-fold doors which also leads to the social internal, timber-clad courtyard. This four-bedroom, two living area home exudes contemporary flair.

“Customers work with our inhouse consultants and designers,” John says. “When they first come in, we’ll design a complimentary concept plan and layout as a starting point. It costs the customer no money to design a home unique to them. They receive a brochure with over 40 plans – a starting point for ideas, before working with our designers, whose experience helps put together whatever style is wanted. Our colour consultant then ties it all together.”


Peter Ray Homes


Peter Ray Homes specialises in residential building, working with first home KiwiSaver customers through to the upper-end architectural two-storey Fendalton abode. Peter Ray Homes has a strong presence in rural sectors, especially the Selwyn regions of Lincoln, Rolleston and Prebbleton. Well-known suppliers are involved in all the subcontracting work, offering quality workmanship.
Peace of mind is assured as they design and build to your budget. “We offer a fixed-price contract. When you sign up there is a fixed figure at the bottom of the quote and, unless changes are requested, this will not change.”


Ashburton Events

All things entertaining: All things entertaining in Ashburton.

In rural mid-Canterbury’s largest town – with the biggest heart – it’s not only the spring lambs that are in a playful mood. The social calendar for all things entertaining is hotting up in Ashburton.


Ashburton Events

Celtic Illusion – Saturday 15 September

A fantastical fusion of mesmerising Irish dance, conjures with magic, illusion and music. This dance spectacular has astounded Australasian audiences since 2011.
World-class dancers, including those from Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, synchronise furiously fast, feet-thumping rhythms to a sensational soundtrack. The show is led by Australian Anthony Street, who performed leading roles in Lord of the Dance, including the role Michael Flatley himself originally performed. Curtains open at 8:30pm at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre. For tickets, phone 0800 224244


What a Beginning! – Women’s Suffrage Church Service – Sunday 16 September

A church service at 2-3:30pm commemorates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, at Plain’s Railway Church in Tinwald. A Kate Sheppard Camelia will be planted afterwards and the Plains Village vintage trains will be running.


Antique and Collectables Fair – Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September

Presented by The Antique Fair Charitable Trust, beguiling antique treasures and vintage finds – from furniture to jewellery – are on sale at the Tinwald War Memorial Hall. Door sales are $4 per person.


Adam McGrath’s Roaring Days – Saturday 22 September

Outstanding folk singer Adam McGrath from legendary country band, The Eastern, will perform solo on his rock ‘n’ roll revival tour. A national icon, his intensity, humour and rugged passion will grip the hearts of the audience.

This is a no-charge, but instead an ‘open-hat’ donation, event at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, starting 7:30pm. Visit Arts on Tour NZ Trust website for details.


Boulevard Day – Monday 24 September

For the 40th year, Boulevard Day offers over 100 stall holders, manned by businesses both local and nationwide. Entertainment and music will add ambience to East Street on South Canterbury’s anniversary day – 9am to 3:30pm.


The Extravaganza Fair – Saturday 29 September and Sunday 30 September

From 9am to 5pm, this fantastic family fair at Ashburton Domain will have amazing market stalls, arts, crafts, food, massage, a hipster barber shop and oodles more, including retro family fun such as sack races and tug o’ war. On the solar-powered stage will be the Aston Family circus, Dylan Daisy’s Magic Show and talented live musicians like the comedic Karl Austin. This sustainability focused, free-entry event also showcases the unique NZ Tiny Homes. Visit Facebook for details.

The Cat in the Hat – Wednesday 10 October

Not for just the young – that crazy endearing cat, with the very tall stripy hat, will entertain in madcap mischievousness in a zany play adapted from Dr Suess’s most beloved book, for the stage, by the National Theatre of Britain. Two matinee shows kick off 10am then 12:30pm at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre. Phone
0802 24224 for tickets.



Ferguson Builders

A standout build: Ferguson Builders

The standout build at 18 Falconer Rise, Jacks Point, Queenstown, beautifully blends with nature – a unique testimony of Ferguson Builders’ craftmanship.

Ferguson Builders
Rob Ferguson moved to Christchurch from Scotland seven years ago, putting his exceptional skills to use, also building his own home, before moving to Queenstown with his wife Mel, from Invergargill, and two daughters. “This time I decided to build a comfortable family home exactly how we wanted. I appreciate the hard work and dedication from everyone involved.”

Rob says the geometric design was a challenge: roofline contours mirror the dramatic Remarkables backdrop to the east. Five-metre high ceilings let in light and mountain views above a schist stone feature-wall, which extends to the outside. An architectural feat by DF Designs, the exterior was cleverly angled to align the 760sqm section’s asymmetric shape.
Two pavilions form the four-bedroom home either side of the entranceway.

Ferguson Builders

Using eco-friendly components, the cladding is Siberian Larch – a dense, fast-growing, sustainable and cost-effective timber, it produces its own natural oils and doesn’t require staining. Exterior framework was an extra-thick 140mm and Maxraft polystyrene insulation was installed between the ground and the heated concrete flooring.
Expansive German aluminium windows have aesthetic timber-framing on the inside and are triple glazed. Mel designed the interior to blend with nature, incorporating striking black, white and neutral themes.

Ferguson Builders sources cost-effective, energy efficient solutions, passing savings onto its clients, which has included his neighbour. Renovation or new builds in Queenstown reflect the highest-quality workmanship from Rob and his skilled team of builders and apprentices.

Visit, find on Facebook and Ferg_Build on Instagram for stunning visuals of this inspiring project.


QEII Recreation and Sport Centre

An adrenalin-charged project: The new QEII

Not since the Commonwealth Games of ‘74 has there been such excitement in east Christchurch. The new Taiora QEII Recreation and Sport Centre, sporting an adrenalin-charged hydro slide, is world-class.

QEII Recreation and Sport Centre


Apollo Projects, specialising in aquatic and sport centre design and construction, completed the 15-month build, on time and on budget. Councillor David East commended the work. “These thoughts, spaces and the layout have been exceedingly well delivered by Apollo Projects.”
The remediated ground was rammed with aggregate piers every 2.1m; a solid foundation for the Travis swampland.

“There was a creative health and wellness focus; a change from just swimming; a place to reconnect and meet the entire community’s needs,” says Apollo’s Business Development Manager Iain Ansell, who was ironically working at QEII during the quakes. “The addition of the hydrotherapy pool reflects a worldwide trend for aging populations.”
There are five pools, a splash pad, spa, sauna, steam-room, weights and gym, wooden sprung fitness studio and spin room. A floating floor allows half the 25 x 25 main pool to repurpose from 2m to 1.2ms. Pools are low-maintenance stainless steel, from the company behind Singapore’s Marina Bays Sands infinity pool.

QEII Recreation and Sport Centre

The inflatable rafts of the AquaSphere Hydroslide snake down 120m of exhilarating twists and turns. Add aqua toys, rope bridge and a lazy river, and its thrills rival any theme park.
“Project Manager, Steve Hastie, did a fantastic job leading a great team. A project of this size delivered on time and budget demonstrates a real win for the Canterbury and the construction industry.”

Backyard Winters

Backyard Winters

Winter in the backyard can either be an inviting wonderland, or a dreary scene to close the curtain to. Why is it that some gardens have that straight-out-of-a-magazine look? It’s very likely it was the professionals’ doing. They ultimately save homeowners time and upkeep, by adding a lifestyle dimension to brighten the darkest day.
Backyard Winters

It’s hard, especially if having lived awhile in one place, to imagine the outdoor area could possibly transform into something completely different.
A professional gardener, landscaper, or building contractor will look at the project with a fresh and enthusiastic eye. The latest ideas, techniques and equipment are making backyard dreams very plausible.
Crisp but sunny Cantabrian winter days are perfect for topping up on vitamin D, but not so inviting when traversing slimy pathways of slippery rotted leaves! Safe, level, non-pooling walkways and courtyard areas are a landscaper’s forte.
Adding a sturdy outside wall – and perhaps a gas fire and adjustable canopy – and it’s literally another room, without the expense of an extension.

Dappled light through bare branches is enchanting, but may uncover a need for privacy, such as fencing solutions or a gardener’s advice on planting evergreens. It’s imperative to plant to the conditions and an experienced hand saves on wasted trial and error.
It’s generally easier to enlist the pick of the professionals in winter too. They’re usually less busy. Options are excitingly endless. Install a glasshouse for winter vegetables, a pagoda, a pergola, or a summer house – which is also really a cosy winter house for mulled-wine get-togethers.

M2 Developments

Apartment collaboration: M2 Developments is in the business of giving homeowners back their homes

A multi-unit project in Edgeware came together seamlessly – thanks to thorough communication between the three insurance companies, PMO, the four homeowners and the main contractor.

M2 Developments

M2 Developments Limited won the competitive tender to rebuild 160 Geraldine Street, from the remedial groundwork to completion. “We provided a comprehensive breakdown of costs with no hidden surprises,” says owner Matt Anink, whose company has been prominent in the residential rebuild with its competent team of carpenters and labourers.
Commencing in November with TC3 ground remediation, the project required additional excavation work and the capping of an artesian well prior to the relevelable RibRaft foundations. “We absorbed this unanticipated extra work within the project programme to keep to our pre-Christmas target of a roof on for the holiday break.”
Cam Sheppard, M2’s project manager, was at the helm throughout. “He handled ongoing negotiations with everyone involved, from the council to insurance companies – he was great,” Matt says.
Three 90sqm units, separated by firewalls, are single level, with the fourth above the group’s garages. The original dwellings were similar to the Summerhill Stone units next door. Looking fresh and contemporary, the new units stand solid with James Hardie Linea weatherboard in silt-grey tones of Resene’s Half Delta and Alabaster trim.
“Owners were engaged throughout the project and could choose to upgrade and personalise their mid-range fit-outs,” Matt says. “Two opted for stainless steel kitchen benching. One chose a wallpaper feature wall, black door handles and tapware.”
Exposed-aggregate driveways and new fencing completed the project before the keys were handed over to very contented clients.

EntX Entertainment Central

City’s world-class cinema complex: Calder Stewart takes the lead on EntX Entertainment Central

A world-class venture by Calder Stewart will soon showcase a very unique entertainment and dining experience in the CBD. The Cantabrian icon with the X-factor is on schedule, on budget, for a September 21 launch – in time for school holidays.

EntX Entertainment Central

A first for New Zealand, EntX Entertainment Central will house the state-of-the-art Hoyts complex extending between Tuam and Lichfield Streets, with seven cinemas on the first and second stories, and 18 restaurants and bars on the ground floor of a triple-height, 15 metre high atrium.
“After losing Regent on Worcester and the Hoyts 8 complex, Hoyts desired a new inner-city flagship cinema complex. Nothing could compare to this site’s location,” says Calder Stewart’s Project Director Mark Weaver. “It fits well within the overall scheme of the city and will become a popular entertainment destination.”
The base build, incorporating a total floor area of 10,500m2, commenced in February 2017, the Hoyts fitout has commenced and the dining tenants’ fitouts will begin in July.
Mark says the overall design incorporates a Canterbury landscape theme to create a large glade space and a more enclosed grove area . Supporting columns and the use of recycled timbers reflect the dark forest tree trunks of native Canterbury forest, all weaving amongst an eclectic maze of dining and socialising spaces. “And a spectacular lighting feature will soon be unveiled,” he says. Full-height glass windows link into the outside city vibe, a vibrant vista whilst descending the escalator from Hoyts’ first floor entrance.

EntX Entertainment Central “The ground floor comprises a dining precinct with 18 restaurants representing all four corners of the globe, seating over 400 people comfortably,” Mark says. “It’s a great place to meet friends for a meal, watch a movie, or just people watch.”
EntX expects to be buzzing day and night with every type of dining environment from sociable bar leaners to soft leather couches by a cosy fireplace; world class – with a regional eclectic feel. The design and build project is headed by Mark, Project Manager Matt Peterson, Constructor Manager Jeff Sutherland and their talented team of carpenters.
Outside, the undulating canopy reflects the contours of the Port Hills, harmonising with the roof line of its adjacent neighbour, the Christchurch Bus Exchange. CS Roofing Canterbury was commissioned to supply and install the architectural wall cladding. The premium product, Euro Tray Angle Seam, was used to create the lightweight wall cladding of the atrium sides of the complex. Vertical lines varying in subtly changing shades emulate Canterbury plain’s patchwork landscape. “We used our highly skilled, experienced team on time and to budget, using this high-quality product, and met the challenges in the attention to detail required, from measuring and installation to sign off,” says Project Manager Shane Johnstone. “We are proud to be involved with such a prominent Christchurch Landmark.”
Hoyts cinemas incorporate more than 940 electric reclining seats with super spacious leg room across seven luxury cinemas – two extreme screens with Dolby surround take cinema to an exhilarating new level. For those special occasions, try one of the intimate 40 seat LUX cinemas with a restaurant to seat service.
AMT Mechanical Services strict acoustic requirements within the cinemas was one challenge, including delivery of conditioned air, to maintain patron comfort levels, while meeting very specific noise criteria. This includes large noise attenuators within duct runs, and developing alternate methods to support ducting around acoustic ceilings and walls. “The project has been fully BIM (3D) modelled via our in-house CAD engineers, allowing us to complete clash-analysis early on,” says Area Manager Chris Green. “To date we’ve commissioned four of the cinemas, and are installing mechanical services for the Hoyts kitchens and hospitality tenancies. Preliminary HVAC design commenced in June 2016. and we’re extremely excited see the project unfolding and very proud to work with Calder Stewart.”

EntX Entertainment Central Calder Stewart, predominately involved in industrial design and build development, has its own distribution fleet, access gear, cranes, as well as reinforcing steel, structural steel and concrete panel production plants. This was a cost-effective factor in the $50 million dollar project that utilised 580 tonnes of structural steel.
No stranger to central city development and construction, Calder Stewart also built the new Kathmandu and Vodafone buildings. “Our design and build process is very simple. Tell us what you want to achieve, and we’ll work on making it happen,” Mark says. “Our vertical supply chain means efficiencies and savings are passed onto our clients and our timeframes are shorter.”
As the company transitions from a regional base to a national focus with inroads into the Auckland and Hamilton markets, the latest outstanding new flagship in Christchurch showcases all that can be possible.

Project Partners

    Ph: 03 338 0013
    Ph: 03 338 0145
    Ph: 03 338 0400

A coastal paradise: Kaikoura is an international destination (that you won’t need a passport to visit)

If a stunning peninsula town encircled by majestic mountains and life-filled craggy coastlines takes your fancy, a weekend getaway to Kaikoura is pure paradise – for all senses in all seasons.


A $1.3 billion-dollar rebuild after the 2016 quakes returned its infrastructure and accessibility. However, the community’s vibrancy never really faded. Visitors are its life blood.
Kaikoura boasts world-class close encounters of the sea-life kind. Lonely Planet sites our fur seal community as second to none. Basking or frolicking, they are the cutest most fascinating creatures to watch. And swimming with smart, inquisitive dolphins has been life changing for many.
Sperm whale and dolphin viewing, by boat or air, astonishes millions of tourists and is the bucket list on many a travel itinerary. Its only 2.5 hour’s drive from Christchurch – how lucky are we!
Kaikoura translates ‘to eat crayfish’. Seafood lovers will be in heaven. Restaurants and cafés serve abundant fresh local fare, while accommodation ranges from hospitable B&Bs, to luxury beachfront hotels.
Kaikoura Museum, resembling a crayfish basket, houses collections of whaling history – and even antique telephones. While Fyffe House, home of the first settlers, has foundations built from whale backbones. Stunning walks now show a slightly different landscape, measuring in parts a coastal uplift of over a metre. There’s a lavender farm, a Maori tour, scuba diving, snorkelling, eco tours – the list is as endless as the panorama.
Literally breathtaking, by deeply inhaling both the bracing mountain air and the energising scent of sea spray, a trip to Kaikoura can renew jaded souls, rekindle romance, or offer the ultimate adventure explosion.