metropol » NZ

Tag: NZ

Kiwi icon of comedy


It’s all about hearty belly laughs – even in times of adversity – for this Kiwi icon of comedy.

 

 

Peter Rowley is an actor well-loved by those who were glued to the telly in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

He was the straight guy in many a Kiwiana satirical series, such as McPhail and Gatsby, and most notoriously, the Billy T James Show, of which Peter also wrote the scripts with his late, great best-bud Billy. More recently he stared in 2018’s Mortal Engines.

This eternal funny guy still rocks the enthusiastic energy he’s infamous for, even at the suave age of 68.

During Stage 4 lockdown he got up-close and personal with his ‘lockdown comedy’ on Facebook every single day.

The rendition of traditional funny-bone ticklers, showcased his repertoire of impersonations, accents and elastic expressions – adding the odd sound effect with a click of a talented tongue.

He does a Billy Conolly arguably as good as the Scotsman himself. Being too PC or polite doesn’t feature in a Rowley script. It’s comedy in its riotous raw. A

“I resonate with today’s straight-shooting comedians like Ricky Jervis and I admire Spike Milligan for introducing absurdity into comedy.”

Being exceptionally observant is his recipe for creating good comedy.

At this year’s World Buskers Festival, he took to the Spiegeltent stage for the Palaver Grand show. “My happy place is stand-up comedy, so I’m all for its resurgence.”

Born in Timaru and Christ College schooled, he became the “funny boy” so people would like him – and his grandmother was also a comedian.

Peter’s been ensconced back in Christchurch where he grew up, since 2018, after a stint as a Central Otago radio jock.

Prior to that, Peter lived in Melbourne, acting in shows such as Underbelly and Neighbours… and even a Viagra commercial!

“I was pretty much an unknown over there, until I walked into a pub and mentioned I was the voice of Dog in the movie Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale. It was all matey hugs and beers after that! The Aussie’s love it.”

Son of a wartime fighter pilot, Peter’s other passion is flying and he’s also enjoyed MCing and livening up many a corporate event.

A voluminous CV of screen and stage stints has led to opportune moments, like having a cuppa with Joan Collins and smoking a cigar with Tommy Lee Jones and Dudley Moore.

This comedic character once owned a Russian Vodka bar.

And recently he conjured up the recipe to his own gin label.

Unsurprisingly christened Laughing Club Gin, the tasteful tipple of London Dry style botanicals, has a beguiling backstory involving Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, sea voyages and British Kings – well matched to its rather glam Art Deco logo.

And why gin? “Because you can always have a great laugh with friends over a really good gin – responsibly of course!”

A boutique Marlborough distillery is preparing for production. “We’ll use a traditional copper still to produce a top-quality mellifluous mouthfeel, which will be PH perfect.”

Peter, who bounced back from a heart attack in 2005, is even more in tune with his creative life mission.

His advice to artists and entrepreneurs?

“It’s courage. When you don’t have fear, then you can allow yourself to be brilliant.

Take your life and make it into the best story in the world!”


 

Jack-et of all trades


It’s time trade in those cute cardigans for some heavy-duty winter warmers – we’re talking about jackets and coats. Metropol gets the lowdown on all of the latest jackets we’re seeing coming through in fashion.

 

TRELISE COOPER MAKE MY HEART BEAT COAT

 

TIME TO TAN: Gone are the days of minimal layers and getting a tan… winter is the season to wear tan. The Cocoon Jacket from Ketz-ke is a stylish option that is super soft and snuggly on the inside and sophisticated on the outside.

LET THERE BE LEATHER: The leather jacket is a statement piece that has reigned supreme for decades. Change it up by opting for a non-traditional colour like red or blue. There are even vegan leather options on the market or just go for a faux.

LONGLINE, HERE FOR THE LONGRUN: The longline winter coat is a must-have for the 2020 cold season. With coats that go down to or past your knees, you won’t be feeling that winter chill creeping up your back. Button it up or leave it loose, either way will bring elegance to your closet.

TICK FOR TRENCH: If you find the right one, a trench coat can be a beloved wardrobe piece for years to come, after all, this is a classic that never seems to go out of fashion. The popular double-breasted silhouette is strong transitional piece which will take you through winter and into spring and summer. In 2020, we’re seeing arty detailing, like leather panelling, ruffled bodices, open slit sleeves and double lapels.


 

Every drop counts


Every 18 minutes someone in New Zealand needs blood or plasma. Whether it be during a national tragedy or for a sick child, every single drop counts.

 

Over a 15-month period, New Zealand firstly endured the Christchurch Mosque attacks, where 520 units of red cells, platelets, cryoprecipitate and fresh frozen plasma from the New Zealand Blood Service went directly to help save lives.

Then it was Whakaari/White Island eruption with multiple casualties, followed by COVID-19. Our blood donors ensured blood and blood products were available to help save lives throughout the lock-down. Donor centres remained full and 15,300 Kiwis ensured blood was always available.

On 14 June, New Zealand celebrates World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) to increase awareness of this life-saving essential service, and to acknowledge and thank our blood donor heroes; 14 June also marks the birth-date of Karl Landsteiner, who discovered the universal ABO blood group system.

For one little boy, Seb Turner, his life was saved.

Although a common A+ blood type, he was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million autoimmune disease, Aplastic Anaemia; a rare disease that also killed Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie.

Seb had bone marrow failure and his own immune system was attacking his stem cells, making him highly vulnerable to infections.

When Seb was two, his mum Caroline noticed some unusual bruising.”

On 7 February 2019, he was referred to Christchurch hospital and by the end of that night, had a blood transfusion. “It only took half an hour for the blood to arrive,” Caroline says.

“A week later, after a bone marrow biopsy, he was diagnosed. There were no matches to get a bone marrow transplant, so Seb had his platelets replaced every week and red blood cells every 10 days for six months, as his body was unable to produce them. “

Last November Seb’s Hickman line was removed and he has been transfusion-free for six months.

The lively little boy from Lincoln is otherwise a normal healthy three-year-old who is crazy about dinosaurs, diggers and dogs.

“He’s a little firecracker. Even in the recovery ward at Christchurch Hospital, he just wanted to get up and play. We’re now heading towards remission as his bloods are really good. He’s starting to ask questions now. We tell him his blood is sick – he’s not sick.”

The New Zealand blood service is a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution of all blood and blood products nationwide.

There are currently 110,000 wonderful unremunerated volunteer blood donors in New Zealand, of which 11,000 are plasma donors.

To keep up with demand, NZBS needs to double the plasma-donor registry. Currently less than four percent of eligible Kiwis are registered to donate.

Red blood cells only have a 35 day shelf life and platelets need to be transfused within seven days.

To keep up with essential demand, the NZBS needs to collect more than 3,500 donations every week. There is no substitute for blood.

“We are so lucky,” Caroline says. “Many third-world countries, where he wouldn’t have survived, don’t have a blood donor system.

“I am beyond grateful. They have kept Seb alive. He would not be here today without our donor service. It is all because of complete strangers, who have been so incredibly selfless.”

Some of Caroline’s friends donated blood when Seb got sick and now Caroline has become a donor for the first time.

“I was too scared of needles 20 years ago, so I was surprised it was really quick and easy, only taking five to 10 minutes. It really didn’t feel like anything… and I got a Kit Kat at the end!”

The NZBS relies on Kiwis across the country to volunteer to donate, ensuring a continual supply of precious blood and blood products to help health services save thousands of lives.

To become a blood donor, download the app, visit nzblood.co.nz, or phone 0800 448 325 (0800 GIVE BLOOD) and book an appointment to donate.


 

Prestigious timber projects


Timber’s benefits make for a lengthy list – spanning both form and function and, while its longevity of use speaks of its function, it’s the NZ Wood Resene 2020 Timber Design Awards that speak of its form.

ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH

 

The Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown may have put paid to the celebratory event for the highly-acclaimed, annual showcase of the innovative, structural and aesthetic use of timber, but local winners of this prestigious event have been announced.

Haus Expresso (Dalman Architects), Arvida Living Well Park Lane (Jasmax), St Patricks Church (WSP Opus), CSO Centre, Christchurch Town Hall – Ron Ball Studio (Warren & Mahoney), Boat Shed – Lyttelton (Christchurch City Council), Farmers Corner Pavilion Ashburton (PTL Consultants) and the James Hay Theatre Timber Floor – Christchurch Town Hall (Timbers of NZ) are just some of the exceptional local projects to receive awards this year.

St Patricks Church (pictured) offers a stunning example of how structural timber elements can be expressed as the main architectural feature of a building.

Utilising New Zealand grown radiata pine with a clear coat finish, the timber creates a warm feel for the 250 square metre church.

The Lincoln project by WSP Opus was the winner of a new category – Public Design.

It was also the proud winner of an Interior Architecture award in the NZIA’s 2020 Canterbury Architecture Awards (page 79).

“Once again, the quality of entries is exceptional,” judges agree.

“More and more novel, innovative applications of timber are submitted every year. The quality, design, materials and build philosophies employed demonstrate the evolving and imaginative use of timber in New Zealand and indeed, around the world.”


 

Keep the faith


It’s been 10 years since Faith No More last hit New Zealand, but that’s about to change with the five-piece Californian rock band set to head down south in May.

 

 

Bassist Bill Gould says the band – which is performing just seven arena shows across New Zealand and Australia – is well overdue for a proper Kiwi tour.

“Faith No More has taken many twists and turns over the years, and both Australia and New Zealand have been with us every step of the way; this is something that we have always appreciated,” Bill says.

“Nevertheless, we realise that it’s been 20 years since our last proper tour there. If we wait another 20, we’ll be in our 70s!”

Faith No More will kick off the New Zealand leg of their tour at Spark Arena in Auckland on 8 May, before performing at Horncastle Arena on Sunday, 10 May.

Faith No More’s pioneering, genre-defining career saw the band morph from cult underground heroes to boundary-pushing global chart-toppers, mixing metal to alt-rock to hip-hop to punk and much more, with hits such as Epic, Falling to Pieces, Ashes to Ashes, Easy, Midlife Crisis and Sunny Side Up.

The band is made up of Mike Bordin (drums), Roddy Bottum (keyboards), Billy Gould (bass), Jon Hudson (guitar) and Mike Patton (vocals).

They have released seven studio albums to date: We Care A Lot (1985), Introduce Yourself (1987), The Real Thing (1989), Angel Dust (1992), King For A Day… Fool For A Lifetime (1995), Album of the Year (1997) and Sol Invictus (2015).

Also performing at all shows is Melbourne band RVG, who’ll return in 2020 with the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2017 debut, A Quality of Mercy.

Lending their support following Australia’s bushfire crisis, Faith No More will be donating $1 (plus GST) from each ticket sold across the AU/NZ dates to Animals Australia, and state fire services in affected areas, including NSW Rural Fire Service, Country Fire Association VIC, SA Country Fire Service, Rural Fire Brigades Association QLD