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Addington Cup Week is on – join the party

Addington Cup Week is getting ready to be the most exhilarating event on the spring calendar.


“This year, we are more than ever looking forward to sharing Addington Cup Week with Canterbury,” Addington Raceway CEO Brian Thompson says.

“We are excited that on Tuesday 10 and Friday 13 of November, we will be able to offer Cantabrians the opportunity to dress up, enjoy live entertainment, celebrate life with friends and colleagues, and experience the very best of harness racing action.”

Planning is well underway with enquiries running hot to secure some amazing hospitality packages.

There’s no grander occasion to celebrate, network and thank staff, clients and friends, than at Australasia’s biggest harness racing event of the year.

For a crowd of 40 or more, private marquees reign supreme. These stylish individual marquees can be branded and are well-positioned, offering an indoor-outdoor flow to your own courtyard with a scrumptious ‘taste of spring’ luncheon and their own private bar.

The most popular Johnny Globe Marquee – located on the outer track – is a fast seller. Not surprising, with all-day Lanson champagne, fantastic food, an MC, band and prime viewing of the home straight.

The Boot Party gets glammed up with individual boots and personalised number plates, always the hot favourite. With MC and a band, this is the indoor/outdoor pad to party in, with great home-straight views.

To soak up the entertainment and access personal mini marquees, Emerson’s Village rocks a backyard brews and BBQ vibe.

Lanson Champagne will be flowing in the Blossom Lady Lounge on the newly renovated top level of the Metropolitan stand. Floor to ceiling windows look over the track and winning post – with a bird’s eye view of the fashion awards.

For single and casual crowds, the inclusive hospitality at Spectators is perfectly positioned on Metropolitan’s ground floor for intimate race action.

For friends and fashionistas who wish to mingle in a more social area to enjoy the races, dance, and clink glasses, the lively Lindauer Lawn and roof top party is back again.

And for revelers who like to be amongst it all, with a larger, party atmosphere, The Edge Public Village is where the action happens.

“This year we see our responsibility to create an amazing event even more important. We’re in need of a good time here in Christchurch and Cup Week at Addington has always provided the ability for Cantabrians to celebrate.”

Brochures are out, so it’s a race to book your hospitality packages which have traditionally sold out for Addington Cup Week.

General admission and the Lindauer Lawn and rooftop will be capped this year, and go on sale 1 September. Addington Cup Week 2020 will be a sure-bet sensation! Join the party!

Email Joanne McMaster to book your spot


Tackling tall poppy syndrome

Tall poppy syndrome (n) a perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable wealth or prominence in public life.


Kiwis have long valued hard work and recognition. Just don’t achieve too much; that’s the message that’s coming through loud and clear to our young people, whether it’s on the sports field or in the classroom.

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya called out tall poppy syndrome on a national stage as he was awarded the New Zealand sportsman of the year title at the Halberg Awards in February, encouraging the public to embrace the country’s success stories instead of knocking them down.

“New Zealanders are known as friendly, hardworking and laid back, but live here for a while and you’ll also discover that sometimes we have a bad habit of criticising, resenting and cutting down those poppies who seek to do something different or succeed,” E Tū Tāngata founder, Jay Geldard says.

A new social development programme designed to tackle tall poppy syndrome, E Tū Tāngata was launched last month in Christchurch. “E Tū Tāngata seeks to change the narrative. Instead of objections and unhelpful criticism we want to raise the bar,” Jay says.

Most Kiwis, when asked how they see themselves out of 10, will answer a ‘six’ or ‘seven’, including Jacinda Ardern and Bill English who were asked this question in a 2017 Leaders’ Debate. “This is seen to be ‘the right answer’ for New Zealanders,” Jay says.

“However, when we apply the E Tū Tāngata mindset to this conversation, it creates an environment where we can call out greatness in ourselves and others. Surely, we don’t want to be a nation that undermines ourselves or systematically cut others down to make ourselves feel better. This should not be a part of our DNA. Instead, we need to Stand Together / E Tū Tāngata.”

Jay describes the programme as a toolkit to help us understand the way we see ourselves and others.

“The feedback from schools and workplaces hints at the transformation possible when people’s eyes are opened to this way of being; genuine change has occurred within those who have participated individually and collectively.

“E Tū Tāngata is more than a programme; it’s a conversation that we need to have around the dinner table, classroom, maraes and community.”

An online learning programme, E Tū Tāngata encourages personal reflection, group work and community contribution.

But it is so much more than scratching the surface, with very real research at its heart.

Psychologist Gabrielle Bisseker leads the research team behind the programme, ensuring a strong evidence-based foundation for the social enterprise.

She is supported by the University of Canterbury’s Dr Myron Friesen, who has a focus on developing, implementing and evaluating E Tū Tāngata using the Theory of Change framework from Harvard University.

And it has had Sir Steve Hansen’s support from square one, with the former head coach of the All Blacks describing the programme as embracing humanity at its best. “Everyone wants to be valued and cared about, it is the greatest thing that can happen to any individual because it gives them worth and if you have worth, you can go out and achieve whatever you want to do,” Sir Steve says.

Pointing to our high suicide rates in New Zealand, Sir Steve says it’s critical that we start looking at anything we can do to help in this area and starting the conversation is the first step to solving it. “Success creates a perception, but doesn’t actually define who you really are; I think your character does that,” Sir Steve says.

“It’s not about one person succeeding; it’s about all succeeding together. Jay wanted to put together E Tū Tāngata to start that conversation, understand the key principles around this and how we can be successful together.”

In the words of sportsman of the year Israel Adesanya, “If you see one of us shining – whether it be the netball team, the Black Caps, the sailors – pump them up; embrace them, because if they win, we win. If I win, you win.”


A blissful day out: Country Christmas Fete

Festivities will have a floral feel at this year’s annual Country Christmas Fete on October 29, which has secured a new venue at Amberley House.



Just 40-minutes from central Christchurch, Amberley House’s splendid and seldom open-to-the-public gardens will be open to tour.

There’s even more space for extra stalls, with an adjacent carpark, mobility access and bus parking. The Starlets will also be back entertaining the crowds this year.

Stall applications have been extended to assist those struggling with the effects of COVID-19, but there’s already at least 35 products which are brand new to The Country Christmas Fete, Fete Director Mike Sheppard says.

He says the event could be one of few opportunities to have a great day out as we head into summer and towards Christmas.

“With the shutdown of events caused by COVID-19, including the Canterbury A&P Show, the Fete is likely to be the first real opportunity for people to be able to enjoy a day out.
“With fabulous Christmas shopping from many stalls offering unique New Zealand made products, it’s a great opportunity to get into the festive spirit and catch up with friends for lunch from the wide variety of food offerings, and then enjoy a Pimms or wine to finish the day before heading home.”
Great mobile coverage means Eftpos will be available and ATMs will be on site when gates open at 10am. Entry is off Amberley Beach Road and there will be plenty of signage from just before Amberley.
Purchase tickets online and save $5 off the gate price and enter faster.

Building a legacy

Melissa Vining and her late husband Blair spent his year-long cancer battle fighting for better care for his fellow cancer sufferers.


Now, donors can buy bricks to contribute their part to the Southland Charity Hospital being built as a result of the couple’s efforts.

Blair was given just weeks to live when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal bowel cancer in October 2018.

After finding out waitlists meant he may not see a specialist before this time, he and Melissa, along with their two daughters, advocated for better care for Kiwi cancer sufferers.

Their quest took them all the way to Parliament, armed with a petition signed by more than 140,000 New Zealanders, resulting in the establishment of the Southland Charity Hospital Trust.

Modelled off the successful Canterbury Charity Hospital, which has helped thousands of patients since its inception in 2007, the Southland version will provide care to patients in Southland and Otago upon its completion.

But its construction is dependent on support from the communities it seeks to help.

The Invercargill Licensing Trust has donated a building for the site and about half of the $1 million needed to start work has also been raised.

The recently launched buy a brick campaign hopes to bridge the gap.

Supporters can buy a brick for $100 and each brick can be engraved with up to two lines of 16 characters each.

Purchase a supporter’s brick at


Getting real estate results: Harcourts Gold Milena Bartlett

Their individual skills and experience are very impressive. Harcourts Gold sales consultant Milena Bartlett has brought to her real estate role a wealth of experience in sales to the most discerning of customers, while her colleague Andrew Swift has served real estate with passion and drive for more than 20 years. Put these two powerhouses together and you have created a really formidable team.



“We decided to form a partnership because we really are like-minded in the way we think and act. The client gets double the attention and double the service. The primary focus for both of us is on meeting our customers’ needs. We know that every vendor’s or buyer’s circumstances will be different and so we work with them to achieve the best result possible.”

Milena and Andrew say that while they bring complementary strengths and abilities to the partnership their combined experience, skill, knowledge and accessibility are what sets them apart from most other sales consultants.

They love a challenge and will persevere until they get a result or find a solution to a problem.

Their passion for outstanding customer service has earned Andrew and Milena an enviable reputation for success in the industry. In the last financial year they were recognised amongst the top 20 consultants for Harcourts Gold.

“Of course accolades are nice to receive, but it’s helping people that’s the greatest accolade for us. Our clients appreciate our promptness of service and our availability and that is not going to change.”


Siouxsie & the superbugs

Heading Auckland University’s Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab, Dr Siouxsie Wiles has formulated a career which combines her twin loves of bioluminescence and infectious diseases. In short, Siouxsie and her team make bacteria that glow in the dark… not your everyday job!




The cool, calm microbiologist became an unconventional expert delivering vital information to a panicked public right from the outset of COVID-19.

Communicating with the public goes against the very grain of academia, a world which Siouxsie says seems to mostly value internal communication amongst peers.

“That’s how we get promoted, how we get grants, how academia survives, but actually that’s not where the research finishes,” Siouxsie explains.

“I’m a firm believer that research needs to be communicated much more widely.”

Siouxsie recalls demanding an exemption from dissecting a rat in a high school biology class, which is quite ironic, given her career.

“Of all the people I went to school with, I was the one that ended up doing animal research!” she states.

When she won an award for research relating to the use of animals in science early in her career, she didn’t want her name to be made public. “I was fearful of how people would respond. It’s an emotionally difficult subject, but that’s why I’m so driven to do things more humanely.”

The organisation responsible for the award sat her down and helped her understand that by not going public, she was in fact contributing to public misunderstanding of science.

“They explained to me that this was an important part of the conversation about medical research that was missing,” a conversation which ended up becoming a core theme of her later career.

Siouxsie began working with artists and illustrators to make science accessible and by the outbreak of COVID-19 she had 15 years of experience talking about science to different audiences.

“When COVID-19 happened, having that understanding of what was going on and being able to help people understand what they didn’t know was something I had the skill to do.”

She immediately got to work with cartoonist Toby Morris and through their combined talents, spent lockdown communicating complicated ideas is a way we could all digest.

“This work has shown me the impact I can have,” Siouxsie says. “As a scientist, you always hope you will benefit society in some way.

My work to discover new antibiotics is ongoing and the benefits will take time, but this has shown me that through communication I can have a positive impact.

“At a time when the world needed good information, it’s the thing I’m most proud of. It shows those who have been dismissive of the importance of communication that they were wrong.”

She’s referring to when she sought to upskill in the communication area and was warned that it would ruin her career, coupled with the suggestion from her peers that she wasn’t a “real” scientist, but rather just a “science communicator”.

But then Siouxsie has never been afraid of a challenge – whether it’s challenging people’s ideas, stereotypes or even traditions.

She has been outspoken about having more women in science and has even taken on Lego in a TEDx talk on gender-stereotyping within toys produced by the global manufacturer.

“The research is clear, when there are diverse viewpoints and lived experiences, better outcomes are made,” she says.|

The career-long criticism which seems to come with female success in a male dominated profession has given her a thick skin; one that was needed upon the outbreak of COVID-19 because, while the pandemic has thrust science – and Siouxsie herself – into the global consciousness, a high profile comes at a high cost.

There have been nasty comments and ongoing harassment, from her vibrant hair to her supposed involvement in a global conspiracy.

When the first cases hit headlines, Siouxsie expressed in an interview that there didn’t seem to be much to be overly concerned about yet.

Within weeks the emerging pandemic escalated, along with her concerns.

However, she continues to get sent that January interview from people pointing out how wrong she is.

“That interview was based purely on what we knew at the time,” she explains.

“People don’t seem to understand that a scientist’s views are supposed to change as evidence changes,” she says of science which, by its very definition, is the study of the physical and natural world through “observation and experiment”.

While she’s still catching up after a busy six-months, Siouxsie is hoping to squeeze in a holiday with her daughter and husband this year.

However, she worries about the growing portion of New Zealanders demanding we open up the borders.

“The reality is we’re in a very scary position right now because the pandemic is raging overseas and many other countries seem to have given up for various reasons. The more this carries on overseas, the louder the voices here are that say we can’t stay isolated forever.

“I’m worried about how this will go so a big part of my focus will be on trying to keep up with what’s going on overseas and communicating why we are in such a privileged position.
“I’m not advocating to stay completely cut off, but we do have to be very careful about how we open up.”

Gwen Isaac offers a unique insight into Siouxsie’s role in a defining moment in New Zealand history, with the documentary maker turning her talented hand to Siouxsie & the Virus; part of a collection of eight Loading Docs short documentaries to be released late-August 2020.


Back on the horse

Getting back on the proverbial horse has taken on a much more literal meaning for champion harness racing driver Ricky May, who is back in the sulky again.


It’s been just six months since the seven-time New Zealand Cup winner was brought back to life after suffering a medical event on the track, but last month he climbed back in the sulky at Addington Raceway for a remarkable return at the winter meeting.

In one of the most shocking incidents in harness racing history, May collapsed mid-race while driving A G’s White Socks in the $30,000 Central Otago Cup at Omakau in Central Otago in January.

Thousands watched live and on television as fellow driver, 24-year-old trained physiotherapist Ellie Barron rushed to his side. He had no heartbeat.

Barron sprang into action, giving May the CPR that’s credited with saving his life – and breaking a few ribs in the process. Importantly, it kept the oxygen flowing to May’s brain until the medical team arrived.

Believed to have had no pulse for up to 10 minutes, the 62-year-old was rushed to hospital where he was later diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a condition where the heart muscles thicken despite the heart itself being completely healthy. It’s a condition which has been known to affect young athletes at the peak of their physical prowess.

Now with a cardioverter defibrillator implanted in his chest, May is already back driving the tractor, welding and doing the heavy lifting around his Methven farm, so it was only going to be so long before he was back in the saddle.

“I’ve never had any time off before in my life,” he laughs about his enforced health break.

“I felt if I didn’t do it straight away I wouldn’t do it, so as soon as the specialist gave me the go-ahead, I got back in there.”

He had seven drives in his first meeting on 12 June. “I didn’t win but got one second and four thirds!”

Six months after “dying” he is able to laugh about it. Most are not so lucky. It’s a second chance and a remarkable one at that.

But May is not ready to watch the footage and he likely never will, he admits. “Everyone has said, ‘you don’t want to see it!’” he remarks.

In their 2013 Addington Harness Hall of Fame, May is credited with being a “man small in stature, modest of nature but big on achievement”.

From a prominent harness racing family – his grandfather Clarrie May won 1946 AK Cup with Loyal Nurse, his father Terry May a former trainer and driver and Uncle Leo May, a former trainer/driver – harness racing has always been a big part of May’s life.

“I wasn’t even remotely interested in the start,” he laughs. “My grandfather would train horses and I’d help out driving them, but I much preferred to go farming.”

When he left school he made the decision to stick it out with driving.

“You’ve got to give it 100 percent; there’s no use going half-pie. If you have success people start giving you more drives; you get on better horses, so there’s a bit of luck there as well. I was also lucky to have had a pretty supportive family.”

May has 2,949 career wins in New Zealand and has big plans to become only the third driver ever to gain 3,000 victories here. With his attitude, you can bet on it – literally and figuratively.


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.