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From the Editor: 01 October 2020


In case you hadn’t noticed, it is spring. The blossoms are here (and, so too, are the associated photos), daylight saving has arrived, and the temperatures are creeping up.

 

As cliché as it may be, there really is nothing quite like the invigorating energy and possibility of spring.

It is hard not to feel motivated by the extra daylight hours and balmier weather to act on ideas which might have been brewing over the colder months.

Psychologists and philosophers alike put these feelings of seasonal inspiration down to what’s occurring in nature. What seem like such external factors actually deeply impact our internal systems: from neurotransmitters in the brain to our metabolism and hormone balances – we’re biologically built to be more energised in spring.

And it is this powerful force of change which has inspired our cover this fortnight, from Kiwi designer Mahsa Willis’ latest collection, Enduring Nature.

Her designs speak to the resilience and beauty of nature through change and catastrophe; adapting and renewing in the face of endless challenge.

Like Mahsa tells Metropol on page 16, as part of nature, we too, will endure and thrive in these extraordinary times.

So, whether that is tackling some jobs around the house, kickstarting a new exercise regime, or something much bigger; there’s no better time to make like nature and harness some spring fever to set yourself up for a satisfying summer.


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

From the Editor: 06 August 2020


“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut” – Dr Seuss

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

 

I have interviewed and written about some of this city’s most passionate and inspiring people over the past seven years working across Canterbury Rebuild and Metropol magazines. But it is perhaps the words below that are some of the most poignant – and daunting – as it will be the last time I title a blank word document with ‘Editor’s Perspective’.

I am sad to announce I am hanging up my editor’s cap and this issue will be my last in the hot seat.

It’s been an incredible ride and I’ve met some beautiful and inspiring people along the way.

I have been part of a wonderful team of people that are equally as passionate about what we create every fortnight.

I am leaving my post in very capable hands, with our new Editor, Morgan Tait taking the reins from our next issue.

Having spent the past few weeks working alongside Morgan, I know we can expect to see more of the interesting and engaging reads that Metropol has become renowned for and I look forward to tuning in every fortnight to get my Metropol fix, just as you all do.

It will be unusual experiencing this from the outside in, without seeing the heart and soul that goes into Metropol’s production, but I know that the same passion and dedication that has seen this prestigious publication thrive for 22 years will still be there.


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

From the Editor: 23 July 2020


“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

 

The world is facing unprecedented challenges.

From bush fires to a global pandemic, it feels like we’ve been hit by one thing after another. But the word on the street – from Tony Robbins to Oprah – is that gratitude is key to getting through those challenges and leading a fulfilled and successful life.

When things seem dire, the hardest thing in the world seems to be focusing on the ‘good’ and yet the science is pretty adamant on the fact that gratitude is food for the soul.

Whether you focus on the big things in your life you are grateful for, such as your health and family or the small things in your everyday life like a good cup of coffee or a beautiful sunset, gratitude can be lifechanging.

Gratitude is said to enrich human life; it elevates, energises, inspires and transforms, and those who practice it will experience significant improvements both physically and mentally.

There really isn’t any downside, so what do we have to lose?

After all, it’s not happiness that brings us gratitude; but rather it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 09 July 2020


“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower” Hans Christian Anderson

 

 

We’ve just waved goodbye to the gloomiest month of weather in more than two decades.

Yes June, we’re talking about you and since you’ve given us the least amount of recorded sunshine hours in more than two decades and thrown in a violent 11.82 metre storm wave, we’re not sorry to see you go!

But then June, in all its gloomy glory did give rise to some inspirational conversations here at Metropol headquarters.

Namely, just how much more we appreciate the sun when we’ve had a little – or a lot of – rain. Because, in the words of J Cole, I’m Coming Home, “in order to appreciate the sun, you gotta know what rain is”.

If you’re bracing yourself against the cold right now and struggling to see the positive side, New Zealand has plenty.

The Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki featured on page 12 are something special in winter.

The water forced through these limestone formations makes tiny geysers and blowholes.

Follow in the footsteps of Sir Peter Jackson and film the beautiful snow-covered peaks surrounding the Lindis Pass (home to the Misty Mountains).

And don’t forget the jewel in winter’s crown – Queenstown, where everything is exquisite in the chilly months.

Staying home? Nothing comes close however, to rugging up by the fire with a copy of Metropol and a cuppa.


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 25 June 2020


“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.”
– Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

 

Did you know that an event is neither positive or negative and that it is through our perception that we assign feelings to it?

It’s a powerful concept, because it is extremely easy to hear of a break-in and to make an assumption about the perpetrator.

But imagine if you knew of the extreme hardship that perpetrator came from; that they were resorting to what they thought was the only way to provide for the young children in their care or if you knew of the mental health difficulties, abuse or trauma they themselves had suffered?

What better time to choose to re-frame our narrative than a time when we’re surrounded by negativity?

Yes there are some extremely sad stories out there right now, but I like to think that things happen for a reason.

Because I’ve also heard some incredibly uplifting ones; people who have discovered their passion and created successful businesses from redundancy; those who have become aware of their health and embarked on a new fitness regime; and those who have simply become more empathetic and got to know their neighbours.

Sometimes we just need to remember that regardless of whether the glass is half full or half empty, the fact is, it’s refillable. And if you’re after some more uplifting content, the pages ahead are jam-packed!


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 28 May 2020


While medical experts have been encouraging physical distancing for the past three months, mental health experts have been encouraging us to stay more connected than ever before.

 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

 

Social connection is understood to be a fundamental human need; as crucial for mental development as it is for physical development.

The subject of human connection is even more poignant for the Metropol team, as we compile our annual bridal issue.

It hasn’t been without its challenges, as we put together what is one of our favourite renditions of our fortnightly pilgrimage to showcase the very best of what Canterbury has to offer, as our team operates remotely, around our bubble families, both young and old.

It’s also a poignant reminder of the weddings that have been postponed and the plans that have changed.

We think also of those for whom border control measures will prevent from sharing those special times with us physically and especially those of us we have lost, but who will be with us in both mind and spirit.

We are reminded too at this time of the sweet sentiment that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and such is how we feel as we count down to all the big days that are in the works both now and in the future as life slowly, but surely, gets back to some degree of normalcy.

Soon we will once again be able to share those special moments with our loved ones, mentally, spiritually and physically, and these special times we’re sure will be that much sweeter after the wait.

From our bubble to yours, we bring you all the inspiration for your special day.

With love,
Metropol


 

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 21 May 2020


In New Zealand, a small business is a big deal. There is, after all, more than 500,000 of them. Those 500,000 small businesses employ upwards of 600,000 people and contribute 28 percent to our gross domestic product (GDP), so that makes them a big deal, to all of us!

 

Editor: Melinda Collins

 

And they need us right now. We can all play a small part in getting Canterbury back on its feet.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between small business and community – an important one! Local businesses are the backbone of a strong and vibrant community; both need each other to survive.

The most effective way to help local businesses survive is, quite simply, by supporting them in any way you can.

So why should you? There are plenty of reasons!

For every $100 of local spend, $68 will stay local.

That’s because local businesses stock local products and use local services.

Small local businesses are also big local employers and, with a smaller footprint, it’s also the sustainable option.

Now’s the time to spend every dollar we can locally, but it’s not just opening your wallet that can support our small local businesses; we can shout their names from the rooftops – virtually or literally, if you have the lung capacity.

Follow them on social media, share their posts, tell your friends about them… better yet, take your friends to them – when it’s safe to, of course!

If you can’t visit a local favourite now, but know you’ll want to later, buy a gift voucher!

Got an event planned with local businesses that can’t go ahead right now?

Why not work out how you can reschedule instead of cancel?

And always consider a local option before you hit ‘buy now’ on that website.

After all, you may not be able to buy happiness, but you can buy local and for
that local businessowner, that’s kind of the same thing.


 

Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: 19 March 2020


“Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be” —Sonia Ricotti

 

New Zealand could become a “lifeboat to save humanity from extinction” if there was a catastrophic pandemic, according to an Otago University report pre-dating COVID-19, just a few short months ago.

Although it was a fictional genetically-engineered pandemic threatening human survival that formed the basis of the report, the World Health Organisation has officially declared COVID-19 as a ‘pandemic’ and global panic surrounding the spread of the virus has since reached epic proportions.

Although it makes absolute sense for countries to take urgent and aggressive action on border control to contain its spread, it is equally important that we adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach when it comes to our domestic activities; our economy relies on it.

COVID-19 has spread from biological to financial and economic parts of our lives.

But it’s in our hands how this affects our domestic trade. It’s not time to stop going out for dinner, to stop heading to the movies, or to stop spending time with friends; it’s time to support our local businesses, while following the Ministry of Health’s hygiene guidelines of course.

It’s an unprecedented time in the travel industry and we’re in uncharted waters; airlines have cancelled routes, cruise companies have postponed trips and countries have closed their borders.

But at the time of print, New Zealand has had no community spread of COVID-19.

While it might be time to reconsider long haul travel, maybe this is the opportunity to realise just what we have in our own backyard.

Why not head into your local travel agent and get planning your Bay of Islands escape, a Queenstown vacay, or perhaps this is some extra time to plan a bigger, better overseas sojourn… for next year!

In the meantime, our younger generations are watching us and learning about how to respond to stress and uncertainty. Let’s wire our kids for resilience, not panic.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 06 February 2020


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.”

Frederick Keonig

 

 

It’s long been said that money doesn’t buy happiness and I’m sure that no truer saying has been said.

After all, some of the world’s most financially-rich are also some of the world’s most happiness-poor.

I think it’s easy for us to forget that happiness isn’t something that is handed to some people and not to others because, as the Dalai Lama once said,

“Happiness is not something ready-made; it comes from your own actions”.

Happiness results, not from circumstance, but how we react to circumstance and the beauty of that is the knowledge and appreciation that our reactions to circumstance are completely within our control.

So in 2020, my challenge to you is, smell the roses, use the good tea set, have the second glass of wine and accept the compliment.

And remember, no act of kindness, no hint of compassion, no good deed – however small – is ever wasted; 2020 is the year of happiness but let’s also make it the year of kindness.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 23 January 2020


“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie

 

 

When a New Year dawns it is already a great year – we’ve yet again been blessed with an opportunity to live and love.

And, although it seems rather cliché to say, it really is a time of year that is capable of inciting profound transformative change to mind, body and soul.

Of course while some changes in life work, others may not, but the whole point is about giving something new a go.

After all, as Einstein so wisely and poignantly pointed out, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity.

So whether the changes you are contemplating in your lives this year are great or small – whether it is simply to turn your talented hand to a new hobby, curling your tongue around a new language, changing jobs or taking an entrepreneurial punt on a new venture – go hard!

It’s time to give it your best shot and don’t worry if it doesn’t work out entirely as you had planned, you will no doubt be richer for the experience.

The Metropol team is excited to embark on yet another adventurous chapter in 2020 and look forward to you joining us on this journey.