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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!”


Financial advice: adapting to change – Alistair Bean

Firstly, we at Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers want to send our best wishes to all, hoping that you and your families are fit and well.

Personal disclosure documents are available free on demand

By Alistair Bean & Associates Managing Director Alistair Bean

Among other things, financial change has hit most of us like we have never known before and this causes concern for past, present and future planning.

But this is exactly what we must do. We must continue to plan; however it doesn’t need to be difficult.

Sticking to your own rules is extremely important but adapting those rules to situations as they occur is vital to success.

Re-visiting the reasons for your short, medium and longer-term goals are imperative however, it doesn’t need to be cumbersome.

Your short-term goals should include immediate plans for spending like upgrading cars, home maintenance and perhaps family weddings.

Overseas trips may now be deferred for some time and maybe you have received a hotel refund and an airfare credit, so include these figures in calculations.

We say that you should have a three-month backstop of emergency savings for expenses; my recommendation is that you now make this at least a 12-month back-stop.

For medium and longer-term, look at the reasons why you originally selected your investments.

For example, was it because you were going to get a good rate of interest and this has now reduced, or you bought some shares only because you were to receive a dividend, but that dividend is no longer there or reduced significantly.

Perhaps you purchased another investment in an industry that may now not see recovery for a number of years, whether it be property, tourism or entertainment.

For these decisions maybe it’s time to consider investments in sectors that now look more in need.

Discuss these short, medium and longer-term plans with us.

We can individualise what is best suited to your own situation; it may be that you continue as you are, or we can recommend adapted changes as appropriate to your own needs.

Interestingly what gives me some comfort lately is an article I read recently, in the current Covid environment; 96-year-old Charlie Munger, (investment guru, Warren Buffett’s offsider) said, “there is no need to rush when making investment decisions to buy, hold or sell”.

I thought, when a 96-year-old says there’s no need to rush, then you should probably listen.

He went on to say that moving investments at the right price is the right thing to do.

This isn’t about market timing; it’s more about what makes sense as opposed to ‘common’ sense.

We at Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers understand the market highs and lows, and we can help guide you through these unprecedented times.

Our specialty is “to make decisions for you, so you don’t have to”.

My team and I look forward to assisting you to help review your past, present and future ongoing needs. Please feel free to contact us today to assist you in adapting to change.


Making Moves

So you spent lockdown hibernating, that’s ok! Maybe it’s time you pulled the activewear out of the bottom drawer and get a wriggle on! Getting back into it isn’t as overwhelming as you may think. We’ve pulled together some of our top tips to make a move and introduce more exercise into your day to day life.



  1. Take a hike: So you spent lockdown hibernating, that’s ok! Maybe it’s time you pulled the activewear out of the bottom drawer and get a wriggle on! Getting back into it isn’t as overwhelming as you may think. We’ve pulled together some of our top tips to make a move and introduce more exercise into your day to day life.
  2. Beauty and a beat: It’s undeniable that the right song on the dancefloor can get anyone grooving, it’s the same when trying to motivate yourself to run. Running isn’t for everyone, but it’s made a lot easier with a tune that will put a spring in your step. If you’re feeling like you need extra motivation download Zombies, Run! free from the app store. It’s an ultra-immersive running game that assigns you the role of the protagonist, where every run becomes a mission. Again, it’s not for everyone but it might just be the cool new form of running that will get you to enjoy it.
  3. A block…and a bit: A good way to introduce more movement into your life, is through limiting how much you drive your car. If it’s within walking distance – walk, if it’s a nice day outside and you have some time to spare – walk. It’s better for both you and the environment. Or take it in small steps by parking a block away from your workplace or meeting… then a bit more next time. There’s nothing better than already feeling a sense of accomplishment when you walk in those office doors in the morning.
  4. You vs you: If month long or weeks-worth of challenges aren’t for you then take on ‘mini exercise’ challenges instead. When hanging out the washing, pick up every item individually and properly complete a squat each time. Do a few sets of sit ups, crunches, lunges (or any exercise of your choice) while you’re binging your favourite Netflix show. Increase the complexity by completing a set every episode (for extreme bingers only). The only person who can hold you acceptable to those challenges is yourself.

the voices of hope

When you are experiencing mental illness, it can often feel like there is no way out.

Metropol caught up with Genevieve Mora and Jazz Thornton from Voices of Hope to get their top tips for those who are struggling and to find out what resources are available.


Genevieve Mora (left) and Jazz Thornton (right)


Can you tell us a little bit about Voices of Hope and what your purpose is?
Gen: Voices of Hope was started by myself and Jazz in 2017. We wanted to create content that we wish we had had when we were unwell. When you are experiencing mental illness it can often feel like there is no way out, that this will be your reality forever. Voices of Hope aims to give hope to those struggling by sharing stories of those with lived experience. People who have been through it and are now well. We believe that sharing your struggles and successes allows others to feel safe to do the same.

How much harder is lockdown for those who are suffering from mental illness, whether it’s anorexia, depression or anxiety?
Jazz: Lockdown is really difficult for everyone, but especially those dealing with mental illness. It is mentally isolating, so adding physical isolation makes everything 10 times harder.

Is there some overall advice you could give to people who are suffering from mental illness during this time?
Gen: Be kind to yourself. We are facing a lot of uncertainty and change and with that can come heightened anxiety and struggles. Remind yourself that you are not alone in this, we are all facing this ‘new normal’ together and that it’s understandable that you are struggling a little more now perhaps. In saying that, make sure you reach out for help, tell those around you that you’re struggling and know that this will pass.

What are some of your best ways to keep happy and healthy during lockdown?
Jazz: Keep a routine. Go to bed and get up at a reasonable time. Keep a schedule as much as you can doing things you would usually do (showering, get changed, eat at normal times). Make sure you connect with people too because while we are physically isolated, we don’t have to be socially isolated. Reach out, get on facetime or zoom – you are not alone!

If there were some messages to get out to people who are suffering right now, what would they be?
Jazz: You are not a burden! Just because we are in a current world crisis doesn’t make your struggles any less valid or real. Don’t let it silence you, continue to speak up and ask for help.

What other resources do you recommend for people who are struggling?
Jazz: At Voices of Hope we are hosting online events three times a week to create some sense of community for those who need a boost. As well as this we have had many people blog for us on this topic.


Acclaimed British writer hits city

Fans of literature are in for a treat when highly acclaimed British author Zadie Smith hits the city for her first – and only – New Zealand appearance at the Christchurch Town Hall’s James Hay Theatre on 13 November, presented by WORD Christchurch and Penguin Random House New Zealand.



Smith has turned her highly acclaimed authorial hand to race, religion and cultural identity, and her novels are becoming known for their eccentric characters, savvy humour and snappy dialogue.

She exploded onto the literary scene 20 years ago with her debut novel White Teeth, which captured London in all its multi-cultural glory, and she has gone on to an illustrious career in writing, producing novels, essays, and short stories.

Out this month is her new book Grand Union, a collection of sharply alert and prescient short fiction stories which move exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives from the historical to the dystopian.

“Zadie Smith is one of the most important voices of her generation,” WORD Christchurch Programme Director Rachael King says.

“She is a sought-after voice on issues of culture and creativity, but also on race, class, politics and feminism. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be hosting her in Christchurch.”

Smith will appear in conversation on stage, with a chance for the audience to ask questions and to meet her afterwards at a post-show book signing.

‘An Evening with Zadie Smith’ is at 7pm on Wednesday 13 November at the James Hay Theatre, Christchurch Town Hall.

For ticketing information visit




Expert photography workshops

Multi award-winning photographer Scott Fowler first picked up a camera at age six – and for the next 50 years he has barely put it down.



After being successful in a number of international photography competitions in 2008, people began asking Scott for his expert advice, so he started running one-day workshops from home.

Today, Scott is sharing his passion and creativity with budding photographers all over the country and overseas – and many of them are going on to win international accolades themselves. “I encourage my students to enter internationally and they do very well.”

From portrait classes and one-on-one lessons to six-day workshops in stunning Central Otago settings or 14-day photography tours in Samoa, part of his teaching is around full immersion. “When you’re practising something 24 hours a day and totally immersing yourself in the subject without any distractions from the outside world, it really accelerates your learning.”

Scott is also a sought-after commercial and wedding photographer, as well as an accredited judge with the Photographic Society of New Zealand and an online instructor for the Photographic Society of America.

His storyteller’s imagination and love of surreal imagery keeps his students coming back for more. “I will always go the extra distance for you to get the right shot. I tell all my new students that the time it takes for you to get the right shot is the time it takes, so go at your own speed.”

Visit for more information.



Be part of the magic!

Get ready for the biggest week in Christchurch!



Starting at Addington Raceway, Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day on Tuesday 12 November will be full of excitement to toast Christchurch Casino’s 25th anniversary.

This year elegant glasses of Lanson Champagne will clink, gourmet cuisine will be served, and the 116th running of the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and 11 spectacular races will amaze.

Fabulous race day attire will be seen on the catwalk, with The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Competition heats and semi-finals being held in The Edge Public Village, and finals in the presentation area. Competition will be fierce with over $20,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, including phenomenal international travel courtesy of Air New Zealand.

This year promises to build on all the excitement, glamour and entertainment the event has become famous for during its proud history that spans more than a century.

On Cup Day, Addington is proudly supporting St John and Ronald McDonald House South Island. The week’s excitement continues at Addington’s Show Day Races on Friday 15 November, Canterbury Anniversary Day, with great racing, live entertainment and a free kids’ entertainment zone and petting zoo. Entry is by gold coin donation to Māia Health Foundation and no public surcharges will apply.

During Cup Week, Addington will be offering an exceptional range of hospitality options, including private and shared marquees, prime viewing hospitality and indoor and outdoor choices. Limited options remain for both days.

Public tickets go on sale 2 September. For full details about how you can #bepartofthemagic, visit



A global odyssey

It was a “life is too short” moment that led a photographer from Loburn on a journey to meet the people who have lived on earth the longest.



Last year, Katherine Williams of Tandem Photography travelled to some of the world’s most interesting crevices, which culminated in her winning New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP) Nikon Photographer of the Year 2019.
After a back injury that kept her out of the action for 10 months, she realised that saying “we’ll do it in three years’ time” just meant continual postponement.

Katherine committed to take her husband and business partner Neil – also an award-winning photographer – and her two daughters, on an educational worldwide odyssey. The goal was to capture the essence of her chosen photographic subjects – centenarians. Deciding on the ambitious project came after one of those unexplainable eureka moments. “I knew it was something I just had to do.”

The creative couple refinanced to fund the trip. “But it wasn’t until literally the week before leaving that everything came together including renting our home out to make it possible.”



One of the first stops was the lush jungle of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, where the family slept on bamboo slats with no mattress or pillow, the patter of piglets and roosters outside – and the odd snake wriggling across the path. The seven-month journey then traversed the likes of Japan, Alaska, Cuba, Costa Rica, Croatia, Mexico and Montenegro, and the less-trodden paths of USA, Italy, France and the Greece Isles.

“I was confident my daughters would learn immeasurably more about life, not by just having conversations about different cultures, but by walking amongst them. The only way was to show them, not just tell. I wanted to empower my children – completely and utterly – with an appreciation of experience and basic street smarts. Nothing beats that immersion.”

She enlisted locals as interpreters to help her extract the stories behind the well-lived faces. “These people all had something special to share,” she says. “It’s not just a life story engraved into their facial lines, but their surroundings I capture to tell the story too – inviting a peek into their environment.”



Katherine has curiosity and deep empathy for the people she photographs. “One of the common threads for the reason of their longevity was tenacity for life, the ability to ride the storms – those hardships, trials and tribulations.”
Dramatic landscapes, such as daunting mountains tumbling into frothy seas, didn’t escape her lens either.

On harnessing courage to embark on an adventure, Katherine says, “You need the fortitude to jump in head first, then back that up without needing to know every detail. It will just fall into place.”

Back home, an enchanted heritage building in Ferry Road houses the studio for wedding and portrait photography. However, for her evolving creative project, Katherine is looking for more centenarians of different nationalities to immortalise in a website, book and exhibition.

“Some of my subjects have already died, so it will be in honour of them and their families. It’s nowhere near complete yet – but I’m comfortable with it being a slow project.”



A too-curious kitty: Ourvets

When it comes to kittens, cute and adorable as they are, it’s good to keep in mind that old adage about curiosity killing the cat. Just like human babies, kittens are curious about the world around them and as they grow and gain in strength, it’s all too easy for them to get into trouble with eating things that, though satisfying their curiosity, might prove very harmful in the long run.



Such was the case with Shadow, a 12-week-old kitten who presented at Ourvets Parklands one morning having vomited up a pom-pom tassel the night before. She had since vomited several times and seemed lethargic, though she was still keen to eat.

An x-ray was taken, which showed that Shadow had something obstructing her gut. The situation necessitated surgery as soon as possible. Shadow’s stomach was opened and two hair-ties were removed, however there was another pom-pom tassel attached to them, extending down into her intestine. The intestines were trying so hard to pass the tassel that they had telescoped in on themselves. This piece of gut had to be removed, along with the tassel.

All up, this surgery took three hours, then she went into recovery. If the surgery had been delayed by even one day, Shadow could have died, but her mum was very diligent and brought her in at the first sign of trouble.

Veterinarian Alice Finch, who performed the operation, says that it pays to keep a vigilant eye on young animals. If they do present with sudden vomiting, even if they’re still keen to eat, the owner should get them checked out as soon as possible as it might be a very serious problem which could quickly escalate into a potentially life-threatening situation.

One month on and Alice says Shadow has made an excellent recovery. “It’s as if nothing happened; she was bright and playful, and was even attacking my knuckles!”

Find Ourvets Parklands at 438 Mairehau Road and phone 03 383 2233. For more information on Ourvets, visit or find them on Facebook: Ourvets@ourvets.christchurch.



Get Investing: Alistair Bean & Associates

Alistair Bean, Managing Director at Alistair Bean & Associates says, “it’s a great time to be investing in the stockmarket and managed funds”.



As a Financial Adviser, Alistair says, “It can be difficult to see past a media gloom fest. The current investment opportunities are driven by global low interest rates, a high New Zealand dollar and record global low unemployment. Company borrowing is therefore inexpensive, so debt can be repaid and money can be invested in things like infrastructure and staff, all of which helps to foster a growth economy.”

Alistair believes he has the right formula for expanding his clients’ wealth – just ask his clients, who have enjoyed absolutely stellar growth over the last number of years. Regulations restrict disclosing full data on investment returns, but it’s safe to say his clients’ base annual average return has gone a significant way into double digits.

“Making investment decisions for you so you don’t have to.”

From hour to hour, Alistair is paying very close attention to the subtle shifts in the market so that you don’t have to. “I take the stress of managing your investments from you – it’s a pleasure and a passion,” Alistair says.

“To make sufficient wealth for clients so that time is no longer an issue.”

After 37 years in finance, Alistair attributes his success to some basic investment principals he applies when contemplating promising assets to invest in:

• The share market rises and falls, creating buying opportunities for good shares at bargain prices. We aren’t followers when it comes to selling shares at a time when people should be buying. News in the marketplace always affects the values of shares. The key is having the strength to buy when others are selling at a discount, and being mindful of where a share price is in its cycle.

• The market has exponentially rewarded long-term investors. Despite major hurdles like world wars, recessions, oil shocks, Trump trade wars and Brexit, equities have still significantly outperformed property, bonds, cash and inflation. You need to be in the market and stay in the market with diversification still being the key.

Alistair travels the world to see investment managers, and spends many hours each day immersed in the business of researching investment opportunities, ensuring current investments maximise clients’ needs.

July saw Alistair Bean and Associates celebrating in style with their ‘client family’. After nearly seven spectacular years in business, they are thrilled to have moved into fabulous new premises in the city they love in Christchurch’s new West End Business Precinct. A client said to Alistair, “I was referred to you by my brother who raves about you. He was so happy, his partner and his best friend also invested with you, it’s like a family”.

“That’s how we like it to feel too, everyone deserves great investment advice,” Alistair says.

Disclosure documents are available, free upon request.