metropol » out and about

Tag: out and about

Canterbury’s market: A vibrant, exciting hub

Have you been to Riverside Market yet? Given its meteoric popularity and the numbers already through the doors, you could be forgiven for thinking you are in a minority if you haven’t.




Following a ‘soft’ opening in late September, on 5 October this extraordinary new feature of the CBD was officially opened. Richard Peebles, along with co-investors Mike Percasky and Kris Inglis, and guest speakers, MP for Wigram Dr. Megan Woods and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, declared the five-year-long project open for business.

Riverside Market, overlooking The Avon and The Bridge of Remembrance, is a chic collection of eateries, retail outlets, and with the vibrancy of farmer’s market stalls, brings to you the freshest local produce, meats, seafood, baked goods and so much more!

“We want this to be Canterbury’s market,” says Riverside General Manager Mike Fisher. “It will be a community gathering place, a hive of activity, and a celebration of the diversity of Christchurch.”


A hive of activity it is! From the moment you step inside you feel the buzz of a busy street market and smell the aromas of freshly baked, cooked, and prepared foods of every type imaginable.

Inside, the design leads you through a rustic network of stalls featuring the warmth of natural timbers and the strength of iron, elegantly intertwined to produce an industrial heritage vibe. The use of recycled materials – rimu, bricks, salvaged windows, even 100-year-old wallpaper – culminates with the installation of two faces of the now iconic Christchurch Railway Station clock that froze in time at 4.36am on September 4, 2010.


There are three levels of activity, with multiple entry points from Cashel Street, Oxford Terrace, and Lichfield Street. With more to come, the ground floor is a cornucopia of delicacies, treats, meals, beverages and foods, cheeses, sauces and more and more and more!

Dining space is provided on three levels, including outdoors, with even more eateries to open.

More than 70 market stalls, food outlets, retail boutiques, bars and restaurants bring you the best of the best. Small business owners – micro artisan producers – have the opportunity so sell their products via The Riverside Collective – a space shared by those who may not be able, financially or time-wise, to rent full time in the permanent stalls.


“It’s an incredibly amazing idea,” says Sarah Page, owner of Vegan Deli Diva ( Her artisan cheeses and deli products – handmade, organic, dairy, plant based, and wheat and GMO free – are available alongside other local producers such as The Brothers Green, Spicy Boys, Kākāriki Kitchen and more.

On the street level outside (on Oxford Terrace), there is al fresco eating with many retailers having open frontages, including Le Panier, Dimitri’s, and summertime favourite Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!

See all the new additions at The dream of Riverside Market as a vibrant, exciting hub has already come true. From fresh produce, fish and cured meats to donuts, crêpes, a sushi train and even a kitchen school, Riverside Market will be the place to go in the CBD this summer!



Luxury Facilities: Dakins Group

When it comes to providing your event with the best possible portable toilet and bathroom facilities, you need look no further than the Dakins Group, a family business proudly run by husband and wife team Diane Dakin and Jay Ritchie.



The Dakins Group offers everything from single unit port-aloos to luxury facilities. They also have the South Island’s largest selection of 20-foot and 40-foot portable toilet and bathroom facilities. Many event organisers and planners work with the Dakins Group, such as the bi-annual Classic Fighters AirShow from the 19th to the 21st of April. When it comes to significant events involving high numbers of patrons, The Dakin Group definitely has the necessary planning, implementation and staffing experience to provide safe, secure and hygienic sanitation for all guests.

To discuss facilities for your event, visit for more information or call 03 384 9100.


Scootin’ Around: EV Scooters

With fuel prices skyrocketing and traffic congestion growing, now is the best time to re-evaluate your weekly transport, and what better way than with an electric powered scooter from EV Scooters Canterbury.

Founded by electric transport fans George and Julie Hayward, EV Scooters Canterbury ( gives customers the chance to choose from a wide range of quality electric scooters ideal for getting around. “We are a husband and wife team who believe that electric scooters and electric vehicles are the future in city transport,” the couple says. “Following the sale of a business that we ran for 25 years, we wanted to have an interest in the electric vehicle field.”

EV Scooters Canterbury currently has three models on offer. The Mango and Askmy X3 are practical, cost-effective, fold-up commuter scooters that can be transported in the boot of a vehicle, be unfolded and then ridden to your final destination. The Storm Cruiser S scooter is designed for larger distances and has an option to fit a pillion seat to carry two people.They are particularly suitable for golfers and for off-road recreational fun.

With additional models in the pipeline, the future of EV Scooters Ltd will be an exciting journey based on their philosophy of providing a top quality, unique and practical product for the South Island.
For more information or to book a test ride, email or give George a call on 021 0254 6489. Scooter finance is available through MTF Carlton Corner, phone 03 377 3735.


Embrace Autumn in Merivale

At the heart of the desirable Merivale shopping precinct, you will find the iconic destination store Corso Merivale.


The exquisite boutique is characterised by notable brands not found elsewhere in Christchurch and it is their goal to ensure that Corso Merivale sets itself apart in quality, selection and service. As we head into autumn it gives us an opportunity to embrace the cooler weather and all its characteristics. Strong rich colours in whisky, dark inks and saffron can be found in a beautiful range of hand blocked linen cushions made at the hands of talented artisans. Natural materials are the focus at Corso Merivale; cashmere, wool, linen and organic cotton, just to touch on a few.

Along with the change of season comes an exciting change in beautiful quality homewares and lifestyle ranges on offer, from the comfort of Danish house shoes Glerups to the stunning fragrances from Belgium, Baobab candles. Cashmere separates by Laing Home are enduringly stylish, while Missoni’s very latest towelling selection will add vibrancy to your bathrooms, and layering textures and colours will give you depth, creating a rich and inviting ambience.


For the fashion savvy, R.M. Williams’s boots have marked their territory firmly at Corso Merivale. These iconic boots will endure for many years and only get better with age. Bassike continues to be a firm favourite, while Good & Co.’s unique winter range of merino and silk scarves are a touch of luxury either as a gift or for yourself.

Corso Merivale invites you to come and be inspired at 209-211 Papanui Road, or visit


Business Stars of the Future

It was very much a red carpeted affair on Tuesday 11 March when a crowd of bright young things gathered to hear who would be announced winner of the Big Break Award for 2018-19 from the Dream Believe Succeed Foundation.

The evening began with last year’s winner, Oliver Hunt, speaking of how the award had significantly contributed to the growth of his company, Medsalv, followed by Emily Hazelwood, founder of the Romer app, who spoke on how much she’s valued the mentoring support of those in the local community in helping her realise her dream of owning her own company. The final speaker was Steve Brooks, the man behind Dream Believe Succeed, who set up the award to raise awareness and develop an entrepreneurial spirit in our region’s youth. Steve spoke of how the foundation is achieving what it set out to do – to cultivate a more nurturing community for young entrepreneurs of Canterbury.

Steve then announced that Chelsea Aitken and Millie Morgan were this year’s Big Break Award winners. New Zealand and Beyond is their business venture; the concept behind it is to create a united storefront for New Zealand brands in the Chinese E-commerce market.
Chelsea and Millie’s prize includes mentoring and support services from companies such as Deloitte, Lane Neave, Sticky Thinking, Sherpa Insurance, Happy Hire and more, plus a cash prize of $20,000 to get their business venture off the ground.

Applications for next year’s award open in September. For more information on the foundation, visit


From Dinosaurs to Robots

Calling all children of Canterbury! Time-traveller Professor Harriet Wells is coming to The Court Theatre and she wants you to join her as she travels back in time to meet a T-Rex dinosaur, then travels forward in time to meet a talking robot!


Writer Andrew Todd has based his new kids play, Time Machine, on the original H.G. Wells time-travel story Time Machine. “I’ve taken Wells’ story and infused it with the energy of fellow time-travel work Doctor Who! This version has plucky and likeable lead characters, some wild time-travel antics and, since we’re travelling in time, dinosaurs and robots. Everyone likes dinosaurs and robots!”

Professor Wells, played by Hillary Moulder, and her assistant, Eloise, played by Monique Clementson, embark on their adventure after Wells’ patron, Lockbottom, played by Dylan Frewin, demands that Harriet proves her time machine invention works. Director Ben Freeth says Time Machine covers all sci-fi bases. “You don’t normally get sci-fi in theatre, let alone in a play for kids, so it’s something different!”

With Time Machine marking the actor’s directorial debut for The Court’s mainstage, Freeth’s vision is to challenge the audience’s imagination, introducing them to creatures they’ve only dreamed about.
“What I want to capture is a bit of theatre magic; things that make the kids ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’! I want to provide moments of spectacle.”

Time Machine – The Court Theatre 13-27 April, Relaxed Performance – Saturday 27 April, 11am. For bookings phone 03 963 0870 or visit All tickets are $10.



Mix of old & new: Wigram

Wigram is expanding, not only culturally and historically, but geographically too. Awatea Green, a new living place, offers shared green spaces, playgrounds, meandering pathways and cycle lanes to take you all the way to the city. Wigram Primary School’s new campus is open and exciting. New restaurants, retail outlets and community services are operating and new housing is popping up everywhere.




The Ngāi Tahu vision for Wigram was that it be ‘more than a residential subdivision’; the idea that it be a vibrant community, including the social infrastructure required to create it, is being fulfilled.
Wigram is a sophisticated confluence of old and new. While reinvigorating the area with lots of sparkly new things, the designers were careful to respect the deep history that dates back over a hundred years in the modern era and for more than a millennium of indigenous activity.

On the relatively ‘new’ side of the slate (it’s been open a year and a half) is The Good Home, a gastropub that tries hard to provide the feeling of home for diners – and succeeds. With spaces to feel at ease in – whether bar leaners to watch the footy with friends, booths for the family, or comfy leather chairs upstairs with a book – and a menu to suit everyone, The Good Home really does feel like home.



On the ‘old’ side is Wigram Base Hotel, a wedding, conference and event venue. Built in 1938 to be the RNZAF Base Wigram Officer’s Mess, today it maintains much of the original décor. You can literally smell the history in the walls of the ballroom, the billiard room, or the anteroom. With a selection of venues for weddings, including the quaint St. Mark’s Chapel, and conferences, Wigram Base Hotel is tucked into pretty gardens on Henry Wigram Drive. The Harvard Bar and Café, on the same site, is a quiet, comfortable local with an all-day menu and indoor and outdoor dining.

Many local initiatives foster the community spirit intended in the original vision. Language classes, recreational activities, fundraisers and more. The Food Resilience Network, in conjunction with the CCC, will host a screening of locally made documentary Edible Paradise. On April 10 at the Air Force Museum, it is for residents who are keen on creating an edible component to the local landscape. See the FRN Facebook page for more details.



The Air Force Museum of New Zealand is a spectacular resource that, despite a high ranking on TripAdvisor’s ‘Things to do in Christchurch’ (#3!), many locals do not take advantage of. It is an excellent record of NZ’s military aviation history. There is so much to see and do; it’s a great afternoon, or a day, for the kids and grownups. It’s open from 10am until 5pm daily and it’s free!

Late last year (officially October 2018), Archives NZ opened its new Christchurch Regional Office on Harvard Avenue in Wigram. The new facility is “designed to place primary attention on the secure storage and environmental protection of valuable archives”, including government documents, maps, paintings, photographs and more.



Be a gem! – Cholmondeley

Everyone is invited to attend The Little Gems Project for Cholmondeley – where the theme for the night will be ‘Denim, Diamonds and Dancing’.




Saturday evening May 4 at Sixty6 on Peterborough is the chance to dig out the denim, put on some sparkle and join MC Jason Gunn for an evening of live entertainment, delicious canapes, a live auction and plenty of dancing.

“The Little Gems Project is based on the concept that Cholmondeley believes there is a diamond within all of us,” Cholmondeley’s Fundraising and Marketing Manager Tanya Cooke says.
“We want to bring out the inner sparkle in every precious Canterbury child – our Little Gems.”

Cholmondeley Children’s Centre provides short-term emergency and planned respite care and education to children aged 3-12 years who have families that are experiencing stress or crisis. “Cholmondeley Children’s Centre is a charitable organisation that is 80 percent community funded, we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses. The Little Gems Project for Cholmondeley will raise funds so we can continue our vital service and to support our Little Gems and their families.”


Get ready to sparkle for Cholmondeley Children’s Centre, at The Little Gems Project, on Saturday, May 4 at 7pm, at Sixty6 on Peterborough. Tickets are available at

#littlegemsproject #sparkleforcholmondeley #sharethesparkle


Pure Grit: A life on ice

Pure Grit: A life on ice

Ice Skating is not a well-known sport in New Zealand, but a Christchurch teenager is carving out an exciting career on ice.


Pure Grit: A life on ice


Milla Newbury “was born to move,” her mum Miranda says. “At four she loved ballet and dressing up – a wee showgirl.”  Miranda, who grew up in the Netherlands skating to school in winter along the canal, took five-year-old Milla to Alpine Ice rink two weeks after the February 2011 earthquake. Milla fell over, someone skated over her fingers and it was a quick trip to A&E. But a fortnight later she wanted to go back to the rink and joined the KiwiSkate programme, which quickly progressed to two sessions a week – “absolutely loving it”.

Then at the rink’s Christmas on Ice performance, coach and former international competitive skater Liz O’Neill picked her out of the crowd. “The now seven-year-long relationship between us has been amazing,” Liz says. “It’s a very expensive sport, and there’s no funding. Ice-skating teaches focus and hard work. It’s not just pretty spins and dresses – it’s skating on knives. Milla might have to repeat a certain thing 100 times, but she never gives up. You have to have passion to do this sport.”

Milla was a cute Olaf and Liz was Elsa in the 2016 performance of Frozen. She combined her private coaching with group sessions – a great way to connect with other skaters in which can otherwise be quite a lonely sport. Now 13, Milla competes in freestyle ice-skating – choreographed jumps and spins, “which is like a cross between ballet and gymnastics”.

She qualified and competed at New Zealand Ice Figure Skating Championships in 2017 and 2018 (Nationals) and won Silver at last year’s South Islands Figure Skating Championships. “I get up at 5:15am and train mornings or afternoons every week day, to qualify for this year’s nationals,” Milla says. “I now find it easier than walking! The ice kind of feels like my home.”

A dedicated student, she often takes her homework to the rink. Skating all week, she tries to keep the weekend free and also enjoys hip hop dance. The busy Year 10 student is also a Junior Associate at The Ballet Academy at St Andrew’s College, which similarly requires flexibility and strength. At 178cm tall, she’s also in development training with Portfolio Model Agency, with an ARA fashion show already under her professional belt.

This year she is expecting her sporting career to really take off and now has more comfortable, perfectly fitting ice-skating shoes. Miranda recently learnt the technique to mould them to fit and now does the same for other skaters in the club.

Milla has skated at the Grand Palais in Paris, Dubai Mall and The Hague, and says the bullet spin is her favourite element. “My goal is to travel the world and to skate everywhere, and either teach or coach,” she says.  “I want to keep skating forever – but for now I’m focusing on getting through my next grade test this month.”


Fiona Pears

Wild child with a Violin

Fiona Pears was five when her mother took her to see renowned violinist Carl Pini in concert. “I just fell in love with the violin. There was something about this crazy sounding instrument. I must have nagged mum and dad because eventually I found this tiny violin in my Christmas stocking.”


Fiona Pears


At 12 years of age, Fiona was leading the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and, at 14, she joined the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. It was due to hearing beautiful Spanish and jazz melodies in her late teens that Fiona began to explore other music styles, such as Latin, Celtic, gypsy and jazz. By the time she hit her 20s, she’d found her niche.

Fiona also began composing music around this time, with much inspiration coming from overseas backpacking experiences. “I got locked out of a backpackers one night because I’d returned late from playing in a blues bar in Belgium. I ended up sleeping on the concrete outside, with my arms wrapped round my violin. I was a bit of a wild child!” She recalls seeing both Nigel Kennedy and Hungarian musician, Roby Lakatos, at Ronnie Scots. “About a month later I was asked to play at Ronnie Scots. I remember standing on the stage doing a sound check and thinking, ‘This is ridiculous – I’m standing where Roby Lakatos did!’”


Conversation turns to how Fiona’s life has evolved since her 2014 album Swing Driven Thing came out. The biggest life-change is that she and music producer husband, Ian, are now working in respite care, looking after foster children in the weekends so that foster parents can have a break. “I was fortunate to have had a beautiful childhood, but some of these children haven’t, so we give to them as much as we can.”
Fiona’s English born husband, Ian Tilley, has produced for Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Universal, Classic FM, and BMG. Fiona works with Ian on these albums and writes many of the orchestral arrangements. Ian then heads to the UK to finish them.

“When it comes to my stuff, it’s Ian who does everything – from production to media to posters. I get the praise for my concerts, but really, a lot of the legwork is down to him.” The Gift of Music is Fiona’s next big gig and she’s thrilled to be part of it. “I remember walking down London’s Oxford Street with Ian literally dragging me, because I was crying; then homelessness came to Christchurch and I was crying walking the streets of my own city. How can there be such a divide? Nobody wakes up and says ‘Hey, I want to be a homeless person!”

All the money raised from The Gift of Music goes to registered charity Street Wise to help pay medical expenses for the homeless. “The cynics will have their say, but I don’t think about them,” Fiona says. “This is about helping people – trying to bridge that gap between the Great Divide.”



The Gift of Music will be held at the Transitional Cathedral on Saturday 30 March. Tickets available at