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A sensory experience: Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts

They moved on 2 September to their new prime-spot location on Williams Street, Kaiapoi, and with a spectacular 16 metre display window, owner Suzie Lambert can’t wait to get creative, for when it comes to Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts, Suzie says it’s all about the senses.



Sight – The impact of colour in this large, airy space of massed flowers, bouquets, potted colour, pots and vases, and exquisite French Country silk flowers (the biggest selection in Christchurch, which can be arranged in customers’ own vases) is visually stunning.

Sound – The tiered water fountain with its gentle trickle of water makes for a soothing background accompaniment while wandering through this delightful flowery bowery.

Smell – Bask in a myriad of flower scents, then nuzzle your nose amongst the heavenly scented candles and diffusers from Mor (Marshmallow, Peony, Pomegranate, Belladonna, Snow Gardenia and Lychee Flower), the food-fragranced Waxglo collection and new room-scenting ranges from Australia and America. What an olfactory oasis!

Taste – If it’s something sweet you seek to win that special person’s favour, then a box of award-winning Devonport Chocolates, such as the scrumptious Luxurious Chocolate Assortment, will have them surrendering in no time.

Touch – With an extensive giftware range that’s ever-changing, take time to inspect frames, mirrors, ornaments and household ware, unique cards-to-cherish and so much more.

“Our flowers are always different,” Suzie says, “That’s why our customers love coming here.”

Find Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts at 178E River View Terraces, Williams Street, Kaiapoi. Phone 03 327 6535 or visit All products are available online 24/7.




Getting a fabulous fit: Blackwell’s

The perfect foundation will set off every Cup Day and special occasion outfit.


It’s what’s underneath that really enhances the whole outfit.


When investing in fabulously fitting lingerie, the result will be a flawless shape. Blackwell’s lingerie expert Lynn Fairbairn says “It’s what’s underneath that really enhances the whole outfit.”
Lynn works closely with each and every customer to guarantee the best fit, offering excellent bra brands that range from A to K cup.

“We can fit your shape with the appropriate lingerie to complement your outfit. It literally gives you an uplifting experience – the right contours are sure to set your garment off.” Blackwell’s lingerie department has an outstanding variety of brands including selected styles from Europe’s favourite Fantasie and Elomi collections, designed specifically for fuller busts. Also available in store is new season’s women’s fashion clothing, footwear and accessories.



Please call to book your bra fitting with the instore lingerie specialist. Appointments available Tuesday – Friday.

Blackwell’s Department Store, Kaiapoi
Ph 03 327 8029


Urban Revival

Revive Yourself: Urban Revival

In the Silverstream subdivision, West Kaiapoi, Urban Revival is an inviting, spacious café where you’ll find deliciously fresh site prepared food and great coffee.

Urban Revival


Enjoy some hearty comfort food, with teas, coffees, kombucha or even smoothies here. Relax within the eclectic surrounds and indulge in a vino or two. On cooler days nothing beats the ambiance of the log fire. If you haven’t been to their Friday P nights (pizza, pasta, platters and plonk), you’re missing out – with happy hour 5pm to 6pm each Friday too.
Bring the scrumptious taste of Urban Revival to your event with the bespoke catering service. The entire venue is available for hire or for smaller functions and meetings there is a private function room with a 14-seat dining table.

Do yourself and your taste buds a favour; from the Northern Motorway, take the Ohoka Road turn-off to Silverstream and you’re virtually there. Go ahead – revive yourself!

Compass Homes

Turning dreams into reality: how Compass Homes work with you to make your dream home your real home

Clients can sit back and enjoy the building experience by choosing Compass Homes. The company’s process is relaxing and enjoyable and the result is a good quality home.

Compass Homes

There are three very experienced Home Consultants at the Christchurch office who understand the emotional investment involved with building a dream home and are great listeners, with the ability to point you in the right direction to transform your dreams into reality.
While you will be spoilt for choice with more than 70 contemporary house plans to select from, each design can be easily customised to meet a client’s needs, wants and dreams. Compass Homes is flexible and can meet a range of needs, with house and land packages available or the company can provide design and build services if you have your own section.
There is an experienced team of designers, engineers and project managers, who are highly skilled at considering the individual building site orientation, budget, and the purchaser’s personal style and future needs.
Three show homes in Christchurch – Kaiapoi, Rolleston and Preston’s Park – allow potential clients to experience the homeliness and style the company offers. The fittings are all high quality and what you see in the show homes is what you get, all-inclusive in the price of your own new home, so no surprises when the account comes in.

Compass Homes Working with a smaller intimate company that focuses on customer service has huge advantages as clients are never ‘just a number’.
The business uses innovative technology to keep the client up to date via an online project management system and that means a client is always aware of progress as it’s happening. The company ethos is strongly focused on the importance of open communication and full transparency throughout the building process.

Compass Homes It is run as a joint venture (not a franchise) between the national owners and the branch owner. Unlike some franchise situations where an ‘all care but no responsibility’ scenario operates, Compass Homes has an ‘all care and all responsibility’ structure. The national owners have a personal liability and responsibility in each branch.
In addition to the 10-year Master Builders Guarantee and the 12-month maintenance period, each branch carries extensive public liability insurance to protect against all events, giving clients the confidence to relax, sit back and enjoy the journey.

Misco Joinery

Future-proofed kitchen nirvana: a visit to Misco Joinery’s Kaiapoi showroom

It was 30 years ago that Misco Joinery first opened its doors. And now, nearly a year on from its move to a purpose-built factory, the company’s full potential is being realised – a result of family values, consistent workmanship and solid experience.

Misco Joinery

Director Michael Chernishoff first launched Misco from the farm shed of his family home in Mairehau Road in support of his father’s building business. Glenn Colenso, a Director and Michael’s brother-in-law, started as his apprentice at the age of 17. When work flourished, they just added another shed. However, 12 years ago Michael had the foresight to purchase land at 62 Williams Street in Kaiapoi.
This future-proofed factory is a true kitchen nirvana. The showroom has four kitchens installed so far – showcasing stone benchtops and European hardware from Hafele through to soft closing doors. “As a move from post-earthquake all-white kitchen styling, we’re now seeing more neutrals, blacks and colour,” says Marketing Manager Penny Abell. She’s been part of the Misco family for 10 years.
“We aim to give clients an X-factor kitchen at an affordable price. Make an appointment for a measure and quote with Michael or a project manager. Using their experience and design flair they will create clever ways to use your available space. After clients talk over recommendations and ideas with our designers, and confirm plans and colours, it’s about eight to ten weeks to your new kitchen installation.”
Misco is spreading its wings fast. Kitchen designer Liselle, along with four installers, are now fully established in the Auckland region. While in Wellington the company has just completed the joinery fit-out at a new preschool. However, the loyal residential clientele in Canterbury will always be a family staple.

Action north of the Waimak'

Action north of the Waimak’: a guide to what’s on in North Canterbury

North Canterbury is a hotbed of innovation and creativity, which means there’s never a dull moment. We’ve staked out the land north of the Waimak’ to bring you some of the best upcoming events.

Action north of the Waimak'

11 May

World famous in Canterbury, Ethel & Bethel are putting on a fun night with raffles, silent auctions and lots of laughs to help the St. Patrick’s School PTA fundraise for the school.

St Patrick’s Church, 61 Fuller Street, Kaiapoi

Tickets from the St. Patrick’s School office, 03-327 7700 or email


Head along to the Rangiora Community Choir’s Autumn Concert and listen to some of your favourites, featuring show tunes, gospel and a couple of classics, including guest performers.

Rangiora Methodist Church, 176 King Street, Rangiora

Tickets via

9 June

An Indoor Market & Winter Wonderland, quality market stalls, fabulous food (pulled pork, high tea, American hot dogs, soup and more), live entertainment, the famous PTA cake stall, silent auction and so much more!

Rangiora New Life School, 2 Denchs Road, Southbrook, Rangiora

Tickets via

21 June

The Star of the new Sensing Murder Series Sue Nicholson presents her new live show Earth, Life & Beyond. It’ll be a unique, one-of-a-kind learning experience with a difference to enrich your soul.

Rangiora Town Hall, High Street, Rangiora

Tickets via

30 June

Amberley Community Preschool and Prep School presents ‘A Rockin’ Good Christmas!’ Forget hibernating at home, grab a babysitter and head to Amberley for a mid-winter Christmas bash! Enjoy hand-crafted platters and live entertainment before the ‘big auction’ and supper to follow.

Amberley Domain, Douglas Road, Amberley

Contact 03-314 9147 or via

6 July – 8 July

Head to Hanmer for a snowy winter holiday weekend and warm up to the rhythms of salsa, zouk, bachata, merengue and cha, with Latin dance workshops in the afternoon and salsa parties at night, whether you’re a beginner, seasoned dancer or never danced before.

Memorial Hall, Hanmer Springs

Contact or

28 July

A fully costumed show that takes you right from the very beginning of The Beach Boys and through their career featuring classic hits and cult favourites from California’s most famous band.

Rangiora Town Hall, High Street, Rangiora

For tickets phone 0800 ticketek

Blackwell's Department Store

Fine-figured wedding day: looking at lovely bridal lingerie for your wedding at Blackwell’s Department Store

Anything great must always start with the perfect foundation. With impeccable lingerie the foundation to your wedding dress will be flawless and ensure you are picture-perfect for your big day.

Blackwell's Department Store
Blackwell’s lingerie expert Lynn Fairbairn says, “It’s what’s underneath your gown that really enhances the whole outfit”.
Lynn works closely with each and every customer to guarantee the best fit, offering excellent bra brands that range from A to K cup. “Once you have the perfect dress, we can fit your shape with the appropriate lingerie to compliment your outfit. It literally gives you an uplifting experience – the right contours are sure to set your garment off.”
Blackwell’s lingerie department has an outstanding variety of brands, including selected styles from Europe’s favourite Fantasie and Elomi Collections, designed specifically for fuller busts.
Visit Blackwell’s Department Store Kaiapoi,, email or phone 03-327 8029.

What's on in North Canterbury

What’s On: Three outings you will love in North Canterbury

Just a short drive from Christchurch, North Canterbury is a bit of a show off – in the best possible way. From its endless unspoiled terrain and natural beauty, to its townships brimming with all kinds of retail and recreational spoils, what’s not to love?

What's on in North Canterbury

We’ve prepared a little social calendar if an excursion is on your radar any time soon:

Ohoka Farmers Market & Artisan Craft Market, 30 March and ongoing

Ohoka Domain is the gift that keeps on giving. Each week it showcases the best the region has to offer by way of gourmet foods, organic produce, gluten free baking and garden plants. All of which can be enjoyed in the serene setting that is the Ohoka township.

Art on the Quay, 18 April

An exhibition of photographic art by Lisa Powers awaits at the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, 125 Raven Quay in Kaiapoi. Silence, Stillness and Solitude, is the powerful artist’s latest work. Lisa’s work is celebrated for being ethereal, enigmatic, surrealistic, mysterious and engaging.

Meccano Model & Toy Display, until 1 April

If you have a kid, or still count yourself as one, make a beeline for the Meccano Model & Toy Display being held at the Rangiora Bowls Club facilities this coming weekend. From lego electric trains to a huge selection of model steam engines and K’Nex Models, you’ll be in your entertainment element.

Bramble Grove

Setting a beautiful scene: Bramble Grove is the Instagram-perfect location for your wedding day

Under new ownership since June 2017, romantic Bramble Grove’s weddings are stress-free and memorable, thanks to warm hospitality from wedding coordinator extraordinaire Liz Breach and her husband Jason.

Bramble Grove

Enchanting gardens set a beautiful scene for the service, bridal walk, exploring and photos. The Garden Pavilion filters the sunlight by day and twinkles with fairy lights by night. “We are fully BYO for food and drink with no corkage fees, making us a very affordable venue option,” Liz says. “We can also offer recommendations for fantastic caterers and other wedding service vendors.”
A flat fee of $2,800 engages her professional assistance for the wedding, the venue, all staff and many invaluable trimmings (listed on the website). There is room for 120 to party with a large dance floor, but it’s also an equally intimate setting for 30.
Bramble Grove is at 19 Old North Road Kaiapoi. Limited dates available for 2018/2019 season, now taking bookings for 2019/2020. Visit

Kaiapoi Port

Ship-sized silver lining: The end of the MV Tuhoe and the start of an exciting historic research project

In 2015, the historic MV Tuhoe ship hit land near North Canterbury’s Waimakariri River mouth. It was the final destination for the 30-metre, double-masted, triple-skinned, kauri schooner which was built in 1919. Unable to be re-floated, she was later destroyed.

Kaiapoi Port

But if silver linings can come in ship-sized packages, this could well be one, with the ship’s demise spawning a historical account of the Kaiapoi Port.
Developed soon after Kaiapoi was established in the 1850s, the Port of Kaiapoi became one of the busiest coastal ports in the country, but its 175-year history was at risk of being lost.
When the ship met its untimely end, the MV Tuhoe Kaiapoi Trust took up the challenge of preserving its history. Rebranding itself as the Kaiapoi Maritime Heritage Trust, it set about commissioning a book to detail the port’s colourful past.
“We wanted to do something to recognise the history of the port and the boats that sailed in and out of it for all those years,” explains trust member Andrew Blackwell.
Writer Colin Amodeo and trust member Paul Croucher captured the changing fortunes of the port that was once the centre of commerce for North Canterbury in Taking the bar – A history of Kaiapoi Port.
It was a labour of love for Colin, a maritime historian with ancestors who have been seamen. “It is the kind of book which will appeal to ship lovers elsewhere and not just to Kaiapoi residents. My intention had been to place Kaiapoi port history in a wider framework of New Zealand history,” Colin says.
Taking the Bar is available from Blackwells Department Store in Kaiapoi. For a full list of stockists, please visit