What’s happening in Suzy’s World?

Suzy Cato first captured the hearts and minds of children more than two decades ago, which saw an entire generation of Kiwis lose their minds when she twirled her way back into the limelight for Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) last year.


Suzy Cato


We catch up with Suzy about the experience and what she has on the cards for 2019.


What’s happening in ‘Suzy’s World’ these days?
2018 was one of the best and busiest years I have had in a long time! DWTS was only one of many fabulously exciting projects last year, albeit an amazing one. I released two singles; the first ‘Sprinkle a Little Sunshine’ with the hugely talented Kath Bee, pre-Dancing with the Stars and the other, ‘We’re All Gonna Have Some Fun’ post the dance show; in conjunction with the compilation CD I curated for Sony Music NZ called the Totally Awesome Kiwi Kids Album.

I created and performed at the first ever Kids Music in Parks event for Auckland Council’s Music in Parks series, and curated, created and MCd the NZ Children’s Music Awards at Spark Arena’s Tuning Fork. There were also numerous opportunities to appear and MC at events all over the country, which I loved (The Vodafone Music Awards, the NZ Television Awards, the TedX Youth – Avon River event and of course the fabulous Christchurch Santa Parade, just to name a few).

And 2019 looks to be just as busy with another series of the much loved Kids Radio Show, Suzy & Friends to create and huge plans for my kids YouTube channel. Currently called TreehutTv, we’re looking to rebrand under the new channel name… SuzyCato!


How often do you get requests to sing, ‘It’s our time, kia ora, talofa’ or ‘See ya see ya later’?
All the time! We made over 2000 episodes of You & Me so I’ve sung both songs for the show at least 4000 times (once in the rehearsal and once in the record), but I’ve sung those songs at preschools, schools, live events for years and now that all those wee ones have grown up I’ve sung it at supermarkets, retail stores, my accountants, lawyers and… well everywhere!



How did you find DWTS?
I loved every moment of it! It was incredibly hard – physically and mentally – and not just on me but on my family. But, we all grew through it and we all loved the journey together.

I had the best dance partner. Matt Tatton-Brown is divine. I will always treasure the time I spent with Matt and the rest of the DWTS team; both contestants and crew. It really was fantastic. And hard – did I say hard? Because boy it was! It hurt – feet, ribs, back, legs, head, everything.



You had spent 15 years focused on your family. How did your children feel when DWTS happened and you were suddenly in the limelight again?
My gorgeous two young people are wee stars in their own right. Both love performing and were the reason I got back out performing again. They’d found a folder with some press clips of You & Me / Suzy’s World days and asked why I wasn’t performing like that anymore. It was with their encouragement that I started my YouTube channel.

DWTS was a really good opportunity to share with them the resilience and perseverance required and how to cope with ‘failure’. Not for a moment did I feel like a failure, not making it through to the final, but it was good for them and for those supporting me to see that not winning was ok.

Dancing for the Mental Health Foundation was a huge honour and one that I relished as I was able to share the journey and the struggle and show that no one is alone – we all have our down days and that’s ok.



What is the most fulfilling aspect of your career and everything you get to do?
Getting to be a part of someone’s day – either via the radio show, as I do now on a Saturday or Sunday morning; via the YouTube channel (where you can find eps of You & Me and Suzy’s World as well as all the new clips) or even via Facebook and Instagram – sharing a positive thought, a smile or a cyber hug is pretty damned special.

That I’m able to juggle it around my beautiful family (nearly always successfully) is a joy. For me family comes first and that’s why I hadn’t dived back into broadcasting, beyond the radio show, until recently. Growing great kids needs to start at home.



What does 2019 have in store for you?
On top of my own projects, I’m producer of the much-loved kids programme and resource Bryan & Bobby and Snr Const. Bryan Ward QSM has great plans for him and his Police Dog, this year. I’m also Chair of Kiwi Kids Music (www.kiwikidsmusic.co.nz).
I’ve got the Kids Music Awards to create for Spark Arena’s Tuning Fork. I have my album to finish recording and a tour to create and a book (or a few) to publish… Yup, 2019 promises to be an amazing one and I can’t wait to dance my way through it.



Q&A: Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams is returning to New Zealand in March 2019 to play concerts in Auckland and Wellington before being joined by Dave Dobbyn and the Jordan Luck Band to perform in Nelson and Christchurch.


Bryan Adams


We catch up with the ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ hitmaker ahead of his trip down under.


How many times have you visited New Zealand and what is your impression of our country?
I’ve been at least half a dozen times, all for gigs. My impression of NZ is much like everyone else in the world, this is where we need to go if there is a third world war. It’s safe, there is a strong environmental movement and you’re almost as nice as us Canadians.


What can we expect from your new album, Shine A Light?
It’s a collection of songs I wrote while not working on the Broadway musical “Pretty Woman: The Musical”. ‘Shine A Light’, the lead single, was co-written (on email) with my new friend Ed Sheeran, plus I have a duet with….


Jennifer Lopez! What is she like to work with after your duet ‘That’s How Strong Our Love Is’?
Yes… Jennifer sounds amazing on the song; I think everyone will be surprised how well we sing together. I’m delighted we were able to fit it into our busy schedules.


Your music spans over four decades with a host of feel-good hits. What is your favourite and why?
I like all the songs everyone else likes. It’s easy to go on tour these days, everyone sings them for me. So honestly it would be hard to choose one song out of them all. ‘Summer of 69’ has turned into this global hit at parties and in karaoke. It’s funny because when it was released it hardly did anything. I think that’s true of many of my songs, they’ve been sleepers.


You’ve done a lot of humanitarian work and given back to many disadvantaged people through The Bryan Adams Foundation. Is there any particular project that you’ve supported that stands out for you?
For sure. In 2013, I did a photography book and exhibition featuring wounded soldiers, “Wounded – The Legacy of War”.


Out of all the artists and musicians you have worked with, who has had the biggest impact on your music career?
Tina Turner helped me back in the mid-80s by taking me to Europe. We sang every night and ripped the place apart. Was truly the most fun.


You turn 60 this year… how will you celebrate?
I’m not sure yet, probably underneath a bed sheet somewhere, or out trying to learn how to surf (my life-long ambition).


What does the future hold for Bryan Adams?
Other than international surfer extraordinaire? I’m just loving my daughters and trying to master the art of growing tomatoes.

You can add published winning photographer to the list of your multi-talents. What is your favourite subject/topic to photograph?
People, I love interesting characters. I have a book coming this year called ‘Homeless’ on people living on the streets of London.
See you soon NZ.



An Odd Couple: The Court Theatre

Ross Gumbley and Mark Hadlow last appeared on stage together in The Court Theatre’s 2010 production Gods of Carnage; now they are to be reunited as mismatched flatmates in the quirky Norwegian comedy play Elling.


The Court Theatre


Hadlow’s Elling is a neurotic budding poet, while Gumbley’s Kjell is a gentle giant who wants nothing more than to have sex. Director Lara Macgregor says that the appeal of Elling comes from seeing two human beings who are struggling with mental health issues trying to survive in a ‘normal living environment’ – and how that challenge brings about a wonderful friendship.

Elling marks Gumbley’s first on-stage performance in almost a decade. Gumbley, who is also The Court’s Artistic Director, says that he and Mark had been looking for a play that could reunite them and when he saw Elling in Australia in 2009, he knew he had found his play. “I thought ‘I’ve never seen a role absolutely begging for Mark Hadlow to play it’.”

Hadlow, one of New Zealand’s most prominent actors, is delighted to be working with Ross again. “We go right back to Flatmates Wanted in the 1980s. It’s wonderful to work with someone you completely trust.” Gumbley says that Elling is lyrical, touching, funny and honest – but also raises questions around underfunding of mental health, which is particularly relevant to New Zealand audiences.

Veteran performers Bruce Phillips, Gregory Cooper and Luanne Gordon round out the cast. Elling – The Court Theatre, 23 February to 16 March 2019.


For bookings phone 03 963 0870 or visit www.courtheatre.org.nz.


A Triumphant Finale: Volkswagen Touareg

In a play, there is always so much anticipation for the third act. Act one, we get to know the story and the characters; act two, the plot thickens; and with act three there is usually a triumphant finale. Such is the case with the Volkswagen Touareg, which has just evolved into its third generation.


Volkswagen Touareg


In the past, the Touareg has been in the shadow of the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, despite Volkswagen owning both Audi and Porsche. With the new Touareg, Volkswagen has upped its game and it shows. I had the new model on test for a week and can safely say the new car is the best yet.

Make no bones about it, the new Touareg is the flagship of Volkswagen’s fleet. Prices start at $92,990 for the entry point V6 and finish at $107,990 for the V6S. Both models come with a new 3.0-litre V6 TDi engine with 170kW/500Nm (V6) and 210kW/600Nm (V6S) respectively. A new eight-speed DSG box puts that grunt to all four wheels via a new torque-splitting centre differential, which can distribute 70 percent of drive to the front and 80 to the rear.

Climb inside and straight away you’ll be captivated by the massive 15 touch screen on the centre console. The Discover Premium infotainment system is in charge of the car’s interior functions, leaving buttons to a minimum. While the usual tech of Nav, heated and air conditioned leather seats are always welcome, it’s the option of night vision which is really cool, allowing you to see on a screen potential hazards from hundreds of metres away.

Interior quality is first rate and head and legroom, front and rear, is most capacious, as is the boot. The Touareg also weighs in at 1995kg and can still tow an impressive 3.5 tonnes. Moving off and above 2,000rpm, that 600Nm kicks in and you are pulled forward rather quicker than expected. Power delivery is effortless, smooth and lively for a big luxury SUV. Despite being in comfort mode, the ride can be still quite firm in places, so it’s probably best to leave it in normal. In sport mode, the Touareg squats down and proves itself to be more than capable of eating up bendy bitumen.

Leaving the tarmac and selecting off-road mode, the Touareg is surprisingly capable. Fiddling with the off-road settings and you bound along with a great degree of pomp and circumstance. My test car came with the $6,000 option of air suspension, allowing you to lower or raise the car from the flick of a switch; handy for devouring gravel and muddy roads.

The biggest surprise was just how fuel efficient the Touraeg is. At 6.9l/100km, for a big V6 bruiser, that’s epic. In summary, if you are in the market for a luxury SUV, you would be hard pressed to overlook the new Touareg.



Let’s talk Architecture: Allfrey + South Architects

Architects Cymon Allfrey and Craig South announce a new brand, along with an exciting new group to draw people together with a shared passion for architecture.


Allfrey + South Architects


It is energising to have started the year with a fresh new brand, Allfrey + South Architects and to reflect on what that represents. The name change captures the strong partnership within our practice and gives a renewed sense of purpose for the New Year.
While the name is different, we have the same team of creative people on board who love everything about architecture.

We share a culture of collaboration and a desire to achieve extraordinary results. Wrapped up in our name too, is a sense of social responsibility that means we endeavour to create buildings that are completely in sync with their location and community. Above all, we recognise how privileged we are to be invited into our clients’ lives, to turn their dreams into architectural reality.

In truth, we are all totally passionate about architecture and love talking about it whenever we can and to whoever will listen. Wherever we go, we tend to explore and immerse ourselves in architecture and may easily get distracted by the curve of a wall or a choice of cladding. It’s an occupational hazard!


Allfrey + South Architects

We can’t help but bombard each other and our friends and family with architectural conversation, but last year we had one of those light bulb moments when we realised other people might also be genuinely interested in what we have to say. That moment arose from an open studio session where we met a lovely couple familiar with our work. They wanted to delve deeper into our design theories and hear about our current projects. Their level of curiosity really impressed us.

It got us thinking that there must be other people in and around Christchurch who would love to discuss architecture and would like to get involved with a group that could make that happen.


Architect Craig South
Craig South
Cymon Allfrey
Cymon Allfrey









The perfect position: Armstrong Interiors

Multi award-winning interior design firm Armstrong Interiors has moved into Merivale where you can now find the company’s sassy new work room at 27 Papanui Road.


Armstrong Interiors


Armstrong Interiors prides itself on offering the latest interior trends and the new office is full of gorgeous samples for you to see and touch, immersing yourself in the creativity of interior design.  The team can help you with all your design requirements, whether it’s for a renovation, or a new build and can fully accommodate you on job size and budget, ensuring you get personalised service and attention to detail.

Working together with your architect, adding value to your home living, whatever your style. Make an appointment for a design consultation and enjoy looking around the much-loved space they have created. Something to look out for every month is the front window which will feature a new interior scheme each month, calling on the company’s favourite suppliers and demonstrating what is achievable.


Armstrong Interiors

The new work room has been a long held dream for Angelique Armstrong, but well worth the wait. “This move has been an exciting way to start 2019,” she says.  “I was looking for the perfect position for nearly two years. Now we are in, I just love the feel of our work room, dedicated meeting rooms and shop front windows.

“I wanted to bring something a little bit different to Christchurch, with bespoke interiors and design. When you walk in the space feels quite eclectic and definitely reflects who I am.”

Angelique Armstrong
Angelique Armstrong
Armstrong Interiors Ltd




Kumara & Zucchini Fritters

For many of us, annual holidays jetsetting around the world are the time to let go and forget about the diet. For others it’s the time to focus on health and wellness. But according to Hayes & Jarvis, we can have our cake and eat it


Kumara & Zucchini Fritters


The travel expert has released a study into the most well-rounded cuisines throughout the world, making it easy to find globalised cuisines that are as healthy as they are delicious.

Although New Zealand ranked slightly lower than Australia overall in eleventh place, it proved to have the best dinner option, serving up kumara fritters. So we hunted out our favourite recipe.

An easy and popular meal option that can be made ahead of time and perfect for the lunchbox, vegetable fritters are a great way to pack some nutritional punch into your day. Crispy and golden brown, these kumara and zucchini fritters can be served as a side dish or appetiser and they’re easy to customise to use up any leftover vegetables



2 medium-sized kumara – grated
1 small zucchini – grated
1/2 onion – grated
2 cloves garlic – chopped
2 tbsp chives – chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

Dill Yogurt Dip
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste



Combine grated kumara, zucchini, onion, garlic and chives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add heaped tbsp of kumara mixture to hot oil, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook until crispy, browned and kumara is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Dill Yogurt Dip
Meanwhile combine sour cream, yogurt, olive oil, dill and salt and pepper, stir to combine.

Serve fritters with Dill Yogurt Dip and garnish with fresh dill.



A Culinary Adventure: You Travel Ferrymead

Italian culinary expert Tilde along with Rosie Petronelli from You Travel Ferrymead are hosting a 14 day ‘Taste of Italy Tour’ this August along the Amalfi Coast. Join them on this adventure!


You Travel Ferrymead


You Travel Ferrymead

Where did you learn to cook?
I was born and raised in Naples. During my childhood, my mum and grandmother were in the kitchen cooking delicious fresh food from our garden and making pasta was a daily occurrence.

Learning to roll gnocchi is one of my first memories.  My grandfather passed down the traditions of making wine and growing vegetables, which my brothers continue in our family owned pizzeria, located in Naples.

In 2009 my New Zealand husband and I moved to Sumner, where I started my cooking school. I love teaching Italian cuisine classes which is how I met Melissa and Rosie from You Travel Ferrymead.


You and Rosie are hosting a group to Amalfi in August, what can they expect?
Our group will learn, through hands on cooking classes at my brother’s restaurant, how to make traditional Italian recipes including fresh pastas, ravioli, gnocchi and pasta sauces.

Stuffed authentic zucchini flowers and of course pizza, pizza and more pizza, topped with mozzarella and served with a refreshing caprese salad. Learn the secrets of how to make the best tiramisu in town!


What is the magic behind taking visitors to Amalfi?
It’s my home so who better to have as your guide? Experience a 14 day tour between Naples, Capri, Pompei and the Amalfi Coast.

You will feel as if you are amongst family and friends as you experience Italian culture and cuisine at its finest, mingling with my own family in Naples and the Campania region which is shadowed by Mount

The Amalfi Coast, of incomparable beauty, has landscapes of ancient mythology and hilltop villages. Starting from Sorrento, the Capital of the Liqueur Limoncello, you will be seduced by the architecture of houses on the mountainside with bougainvillea plants growing on the walls, surrounded by orange and lemon trees.

Learn the history of the volcanic eruption of Pompei, a magical city where you will walk the same paved streets that existed over 2000 years ago before the volcano erupted. The village of Positano is a labyrinth of narrow streets and colourful stairs and you can shop until your heart’s content.



Hidden health: Metropol Recipe

The New Year has come and gone and on the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions for many of us is health.


Hidden health

We all know the value of including fruit and vegetables in our daily meal plan. For many people this can be a real struggle.  So why not grate, slice, blend, or cube pieces of fruit and veggies into your favourite recipes and gain the added health benefits without overpowering on their delivery or try out some deliciously unique recipes like our favourite Velvety avo popsicles below!



2 avocados pitted
1.5 cups coconut milk
3 tbs honey
2 tbs lime juice




Place all ingredients into a blender; secure lid and pulse to break down ingredients.

Scrape down the inner sides of the blender to incorporate splattered ingredients and replace lid.

Blend until the mixture is a smooth, creamy consistency without lumps.

Evenly distribute the mixture into six popsicle moulds. The blended ingredients are thick; you may find spooning the mixture into the moulds easier than pouring.

Tap the filled moulds on the counter top to remove air bubbles and settle the mixture.

Place popsicle sticks or handles into the mixture in the centre of the moulds.

Freeze the moulds for several hours, until the mixture has completely solidified.

When you are ready to eat, run the mould under water briefly to help release the popsicle. Gently pull the popsicle out by the handle and enjoy!



Get Inspired!

When it comes to enhancing your home and garden, all the inspiration you need is jam-packed into one exciting event in Queenstown later this month – the Queenstown Home Show.


Get Inspired!


Check out builders, renovation experts, kitchen companies, bathrooms, furniture, appliances, garden designers, lighting, interior design and many more, who are all ready to help you turn your dreams into a reality.

Sometimes, even DIYers need a little help. Whether you are looking for quick advice from a demonstration, the projects you need to get that project off the ground, or assistance from an exhibitor, the home show is the perfect destination for you to get the job done.

Bring your building or renovation specs with you as you grab a coffee and wander through the show, where you can talk to the experts, ask questions, compare ideas, research new products and get inspired! The home show will be held at the Queenstown Events Centre off Joe O’connell Drive, Frankton, nestled in the foothills of The Remarkables from 22-24 February from 10am to 5pm Friday and Saturday and 10am to 4pm Sunday. Entry is $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and children under-15 no charge.


For more information visit