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Pointe in time


Christchurch-raised ballet dancer, Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson, has returned
from ten years dancing in the US due to Covid-19 and taken up a position with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He tells Morgan Tait what it’s like to be a performer amidst a pandemic.

 

 

“The biggest way that Covid-19 has affected me is that it has brought me home. It has always been hard to be away from my family, so once Covid-19 hit I got on a plane to come back very quickly.

“The impact of losing shows this year has been really hard. I joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet for the rescheduled season of Venus Rising. The show was ready to open. It was gut-wrenching to have it cancelled and slip from our grasp like that.

Some of the dancers had been working on it for nine months.

“A ballet can quickly become a part of you. When you learn a ballet you spend 40 hours a week working on it, and often take it home with you to study at night, you condition your body to be ready for the most difficult steps — it becomes your world.

“There’s also a really big physical and emotional release you get when you finally open a show, it’s like the dance has been bottled up inside you for months and then you finally share it with an audience and the experience is no longer just yours, it’s electric. It is funny because I usually forget the steps of many ballets soon after we finish performing them, but with Venus Rising, I still feel like I could do that program right now if I was asked to perform it tonight. It’s unfinished business.

“It’s my fourth time performing the iconic ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, and each time I’ve gotten to tackle different roles, so it is fun to keep coming back to it from different angles.”


 

Inside Out


A decked out entertaining space is the ultimate way to enjoy a Kiwi summer. We’ve got all the tips and tricks to get you there.

 

DECKED OUT
A deck that is flush with your interior living space is the ultimate way to create indoor outdoor flow and make your backyard feel more spacious; run your timber horizontally if your space is narrow or create multi-levels to break the space up.

FIRED UP
New Zealand is renowned for its “four seasons in one day” but with a little forward planning you can enjoy your garden year-round. Try an electric radiant, gas heater or an outdoor fireplace to make a cosy focal point.

ZONED OUT
While interior designers have long espoused the importance of creating ‘zones’, it’s equally important when it comes to your exterior spaces. Use materials, screens and planters to break up your space, making it feel deliberate and considered.

COVER UP
They say to prepare for the worst and when it comes to Kiwi weather, that’s certainly an apt expression. Invest in a shade sail or clear polycarbonate roofing, or, louvre roofing gives you all the options.

LIGHTING THE WAY
Lighting is about function as well as form. There’s something for everyone, from solar lights and little lanterns to festoon lights and long string lights, just ensure any cooking and eating spaces have ample visibility.

HOMEWARE HIDEAWAY
Exterior space uncovered? Hidden storage bench seats or treasure chests that double as tables are great for storing pillows, squabs, seat covers and utensils, or select options that can be left in the elements.

SOFT IS STYLISH
Don’t be afraid to add soft furnishings – beyond a canvas covered squab – to your outdoor areas. Throws, cushions, bean bags and ottomans can all be included in hardwearing, durable fabrics for added comfort – and a little bit of luxe.

INDOOR OUTDOOR FLOW
Styling an outdoor space should have the same considerations as would apply indoors. Stick to a complementary colour palette, layer with patterns and materials to create texture – and which expresses your individual style.


 

Collective action: The Kowhai Collective


Craft lovers rejoice, Kowhai Collective has brought the best of locally made arts, crafts and homewares to the central city.

 

Tucked into the SALT district near Little High Eatery and Utopia Ice ice cream store, and opposite C1 Espresso, Kowhai Collective is just waiting to be discovered.

Stocking an enchanting range of unique items including the ever-popular Zippitydoodah felt bunnies, jewellery, ceramics, prints, homewares and candles – Kowhai Collective is the perfect holiday shopping destination to support dozens of local artisans and business owners.

All products are hand made locally, and celebrate the talent and materials local to Christchurch and New Zealand.

Visit the store at 181 High Street.

www.thekowhaicollective.co.nz


 

Homegrown in the Lab: The Artisan Lab


In the four years Narielle A’Court ran her market stall at Akaroa, too often customers related their experiences of buying so-called New Zealand made from giftshops, only to find when they got home that it wasn’t.

 

Their stories inspired the glass jewellery artist to open The Artisan Lab at Little River.

“I thought there had to be an easier way to showcase genuine New Zealand works. We’ve so many talented people out there.”

True to its business ethos, The Artisan Lab is 100 percent Kiwi made, with over 30 Banks Peninsula artisans showcasing their woollen, ceramic, painting, glass jewellery, earthquake-recycled rimu ware and so much more.

How’s that for championing local while extolling the unsurpassable distinctiveness of organic Aotearoa art?


 

Making moves


Brodie Kane has been a fixture on New Zealand television screens and radio waves for the past 13 years, earning her success and respect for being relatable, unfiltered and unashamedly herself. Metropol catches up with the much-loved local about losing her radio job just before a global pandemic, starting her own media business in the middle of one – and everything in between.

 

 

Losing a job can be one of life’s toughest challenges – let alone doing so in the public eye. But that’s exactly the position much-loved broadcaster Brodie Kane found herself in when The Hits’ Brodie and Fitzy was cancelled in February.

“I wasn’t expecting it, but it is the nature of the beast. I made the decision to work in the public eye and this comes with the territory.”

Brodie has taken her shock redundancy, like most things, in her stride.

“There’s no shame in being made redundant, I think a lot of people think you should be embarrassed or feel like you failed, but sometimes you’re just a cog in a wheel.”

Instead of ruminating, she took the opportunity to fast track a long-held career goal.

So, using her 13 years of experience at the country’s largest media outlets including TVNZ, NZME and Mediaworks, she launched Brodie Kane Media.

“I always wanted to try and create a business which is just me and focuses my skillset in other professions, not just traditional media.”

So far, she has worked with the likes of My Food Bag, Interislander, Heritage Hotels, and Duco Events.

“I still want to broadcast, it just looks a little different now.”

As well as her Kiwi Yarns podcast, Brodie also co-hosts The Girls Uninterrupted, with Gracie Taylor and Caitlin Marett.

The show has gained a strong following for its discussions on everything from pop culture and politics, to sex, relationships, navigating single life in your 30s, and mental health.

“Women have, for a long time, felt uncomfortable or uneasy to talk about certain things,” she says. “What we have found is, the more we have talked and jumped into difficult subjects, the more support and positive feedback we have received.”

A recent sold out tour in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch highlighted the importance of creating space for such conversations.

“We had women coming up to us saying we had changed their lives, that they finally left an abusive boyfriend or quit their job and gone back to uni.”

One area Brodie – a keen runner and endurance athlete – has been particularly outspoken on is body image and self-acceptance.

“Health, fitness, and body image – it is such a tricky one, and at the moment the term is ‘self-love’.

“I find self-love interesting; I think that every one should absolutely embrace and love and celebrate themselves and all that, but it is almost just repackaging the fact that women still have to always think about their bodies.”

She says the conversation is still dictating to women how they should operate their bodies, with the potential to introduce even more pressure or feelings of failure should they not love every part of themselves.

Instead, she wants women to focus on their bodies “for themselves, not for anyone else.”

Brodie has been candid about her own use of cosmetic injectables and is one of a growing number of public figures dismantling the stigma around such procedures.

“You can want to be better, you don’t have to beat yourself up. If it’s for you – fill your boots!”


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

The events of this year have brought the value of health into sharp focus.

They also placed unprecedented pressure on already stretched health, education and research resources.

In Canterbury, our health board is fighting to balance growing demand with financial constraints.

Organisations training our future health workers are facing, among other challenges, a large drop in international students.

Funding for life-saving research is harder to get. I am very proud of how our local health system has responded to extraordinary recent challenges.

When Covid-19 threatened New Zealanders, all parts of the system from laboratory workers to researchers joined the fight.

We were fortunate that key players in Canterbury’s health system already collaborate through the unique-in-New Zealand Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct.

It brings health-related organisations together to foster innovation and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, members run regular simulation exercises where students and working professionals practice different medical scenarios together to improve their performance when encountering them in real life.

They are working together to ensure the next generation of nurses are ready to meet changing patient needs and deliver more care in the community.

Today’s challenges are not going to disappear. New ones will undoubtedly emerge.

It just makes sense to work together to address them and improve outcomes for everyone. In Canterbury we are well positioned to do just that.


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

For the last few days, I have been helping eight finalists of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge prepare their five-minute presentations for the upcoming final Demo Night where they will compete for $340,000 of in-kind and cash prizes.

It’s been pretty interesting work hearing about the healthtech innovations of our future and meeting the researchers, students, and startup founders who are responsible for them.

From virtual reality that could repair brain damage, to artificial intelligence that detects disease, 22 of the country’s most innovative and life changing healthcare innovations were whittled down to this final eight.

The whole point of the challenge is to accelerate the future of healthcare and cement Ōtautahi Christchurch as a hotbed of healthtech innovation in New Zealand.

Sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare, the challenge aimed to identify commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems.

Why does Canterbury care about becoming a hotbed of health tech innovation?

At present, New Zealand’s current healthtech companies represent $1.9 billion revenue and the average wage – at $85,000 annually, is 40 percent higher than the average across other sectors.

We have proven capability in Christchurch to innovate in this sector and proudly headquarter healthtech powerhouses such as Aranz, Orion, and Taska Prosthetics to name a few.

Congratulations to the winners of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge. Their innovations could spawn the Cantabrian healthtech powerhouses of the future.


 

Loving local: Industria


It’s said that out of bad comes good, and if there’s one thing we Kiwis have embraced during these Covid-challenged times, it’s showing our support for all things local.

 

 

Giftware and homeware store Industria showcases curated artworks of paintings, ceramics, sculptures, garden art, jewellery and so much more from the cream of Aotearoa artisans.

Stunning Kiwiana imagery from 100% New Zealand; exquisite handcrafted jewellery from Julia Huyser Design and Rainey Designs; sustainable steelworks from Lisa Sarah Steel Art, and gorgeous garden birds from Metalbird, gives an indication of the fabulous NZ brands instore at Industria.

With two stores – at The Colombo and Rolleston Square – there’s every reason to plan a great day out, browsing the best of authentic, organic New Zealand giftware.


 

The places we call home: McAtamney Gallery


Norah Johnson came to New Zealand from Toronto when she was seven years old. Her Irish-Canadian father and Kiwi mother settled the family in Auckland, and though it initially came as quite a culture shock, gradually Norah came to love living in the City of Sails.

 

In her early 20s, Norah visited Canada on a pilgrimage to her birthplace, but halfway through her trip she began to miss New Zealand. “I missed the beaches, the light – the open skies.”

Norah returned home to do her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Art History and English Literature, followed by a Master of Arts in Communications Studies. After her Masters, Norah began painting and exhibited at Franklin Arts Centre, NZ Steel Gallery, Megan Dickinson Gallery and Hangar Gallery.

It was on a visit to Christchurch, post-quake, that Norah felt an attraction to our city and eventually made the move here. Ōtautahi is now the city she calls home.

Of her current exhibition Homage to Home at McAtamney Gallery, Norah has this to say:

“I’m an abstract expressionist. Colour and mark making are my primary tools for expression. My work embraces the accidental, the spontaneous and the experimental.

“I work intuitively – interacting with the canvas in a non-critical, unpremeditated way. I seek to bypass the conscious mind (as far as possible) and engage with more subtle, intangible processes of art making. I want to discover how colour and marks interrelate in a harmonious, balanced and abstracted manner to ultimately reveal their lyricism.

“Homage to Home is about the universal need and desire to put down roots and cultivate harmony within a landscape that is both domestic and geographical. Motifs and references of Mid-Canterbury and Christchurch have consistently featured in my work since I arrived 18-months ago. My work attempts to provide the viewer with a perceived sense of belonging to a time and place recorded and then distilled in an overall impression of that experience.”


 

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

Tēnā koutou katoa. As I write this, we are in the lead-up to Māori Language Week.

With a growing Māori population reflected in our workforce, customers and stakeholders, there has never been a better time to grow our competence and awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique and rich Māori heritage, culture and language.

While our children may be learning te reo at their schools and daycares, where does this leave those already in the workplace?

I am not fluent in te reo by any means, but I am willing to learn, which is why I joined some of my colleagues at our recent Māori Culture and Language in the Workplace workshop – a new programme of learning The Chamber launched this year.

Facilitated by Anton Matthews (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri), also owner of Fush restaurant, the three-part course covers basic pronunication, greetings, common workplace words and phrases, as well as an outline of tikanga (customary system of values and practices), and an overview of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and its importance today.

For many people who want to learn, but aren’t sure where to start, this is a great starting point to gain the confidence to give it a go – in fact, the course has been so popular we have another scheduled for November, as well as an advanced course.

This demonstrates an appetite among our business community to learn more about one of our official languages and share in our collective responsibility to keep this important, unique language alive. We’re all in this together — he waka eke noa.