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The Earls of East Block: Earl Restaurant


Restaurateur Tom Newfield and business partner, Chef Sam Campbell, opened Welles Street in 2017. Now they’re the Earls of a new culinary kingdom at 128 Lichfield Street in the city. We caught up with Tom to find out about Earl.

 

 

You haven’t even been open for six months, but you’ve had Nigella Lawson and the Prime Minister dining in, how does it feel to get that level of kudos?
I’m super proud of what my team and I have created, we are just excited to share it with everyone. Of course, rather humbled to host these two guests in particular, both of whom were extremely lovely, in fact I was more nervous of my 10 year old nephew’s review on the same dish that Nigella ate; he can be a harsh critic – but in the end they both agreed, the Earl of Burger is a ten out ten.


What drew you to hospitality?
The people, the energy, the round the clock sense of fun… and of course, the food.


How did you see Earl standing out against other culinary options in the city?
I see it more as complementing the other offerings here in Christchurch; all these unique, individual passionate operators doing their own thing, beating to their own drum, creates an eclectic and vibrant hospitality fabric for the city which gives our customers so much choice, appealing to everyone’s taste. Earl will appeal to those diners geared towards great wine, conversation and simple food done well.


How would you describe Earl’s vibe and your culinary offering?
Earl serves as a canvas for produce-driven dishes synonymous with the flavour, energy and relaxed vibe inspired by the coastal European culture. Our food philosophy is to take simple and traditional dishes and execute them using exceptional ingredients, whilst having some fun. This presents a skilful yet still unpretentious blend of cuisines and ideas. The vibe is casual yet refined – like an understated bistro you find in neighbourhoods of big metropolitan cities, but right here in the SALT district of our own inner city.


What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
Lots, but also more of the same, as I think consistency is the key. As an emerging lifestyle hospitality brand, we are basing our foundations on accessibility and informality, so with any new venture (which you may see open in the next 12 months), you can expect nothing less than our all-inclusive hospitality to be on offer where fun and flavour go hand in hand.


 

A heart of gold: Q&A with Tim Shadbolt


Invercargill’s long-time mayor Tim Shadbolt can now be called Sir Tim after being made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to local government and the community.

 

 

But the 72-year-old is still just Mayor Tim; the fun-loving Southlander with a cheeky grin and a heart of gold. We caught up with Sir Tim about one of his latest charitable endeavours.

You’ve partnered with the lovely people at Slingshot to raise funds for the Koha Kai charity through a unique limited edition modem (pictured) with your own mug on it. How important is Koha Kai to you as a charity?
What I liked about it was that it was looking at feeding kids and that’s so crucial to their development. It goes further than providing lunches; it looks at the whole process, from horticulture and the packaging of food, to distributing it as well. So it’s about so much more than just providing food.


How does it feel to be in a position where you can utilise your profile to make a real difference?
I think people who are well-known tend to spend a lot of their time and energy supporting charitable projects, which is a great. Myself and Gary McCormick did fundraise for a school in Kaikoura just recently. As a mayor you’re expected to contribute directly or indirectly to good causes and it’s great to be able to give a good boost to the community.


Standing-up for your causes and supporting the average Kiwi have always been important to you…
Yes, the opportunities come in all sorts of ways, often unexpectedly, such as Dancing with the Stars. I did the first season of Dancing with the Stars and raised $75,000 for the MS Society, so you can have fun and enjoy yourself and get the pleasure of giving.


Now you’ve got a Sir added to your name, how does it feel to have achieved the accolade?
I get teased a little bit by some of my counsellors that now I’m a knight, so now I’m their nightmare! I think it’s part of that Kiwi thing, making light of awards like this. On a more serious note, they are appreciated. Some of the work I’ve been involved in, especially with education projects like Zero Free Schemes, have had a big impact on provincial cities like Invercargill.


You were described as an inspirational leader and you’ve obviously made a lot of significant decisions during your mayoralty, why do you think people have connected so strongly with you?
Well I like to think I’ve added an element of humour to charitable work and local politics, carrying my concrete mixer behind the mayoral car for example and I think people appreciate that element in my work. Local government can be a rather droll affair at times; I hope I’ve added energy, excitement and humour to it.


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
Well first of all there’s an election coming up in five months, then I’ll work out my options from there, but hopefully carrying on the same work I’ve been doing for 32 years as a mayor and I guess another 10 years as a social and political activist.


 

Adam Rennie in the Spotlight: Q&A


Metropol catches up with actor Adam Rennie as he prepares for his first production with The Court Theatre from May 11 to June 1 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

 

 

 

When did the acting bug first bite you, Adam?
When I was 6 or 7, I was in a production of Oliver and was devastated I wasn’t cast as Oliver and have been on a mission to prove Rockdale Musical Society wrong ever since.


What did it mean to you to make the move from Sydney to New York City?
I’ve always known I wanted to live in NYC. It is the birthplace of almost every show I grew up dreaming of seeing and performing in. NYC is hard and exhausting, but I’m surrounded by incredibly talented and driven people who egg me on and inspire me to grow and push myself.


Of all your stage performances thus far, which role did you most relish playing?
I had such a blast playing Frank N Furter. There is something incredibly freeing and empowering about that character. He’s sexy, funny, powerful and an alien – what’s not to love?


What are the challenges in playing Hedwig in the stage musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch?
Just technically, there is a lot to learn; the show has so many facets to it – stand-up comedy, storytelling, rock music and raw emotional moments. Then you add the makeup, the accent and a character that’s as ferocious as she is vulnerable and you have a lot of moving parts to nail down.


What do you think Christchurch people will love about this show?
It’s a show that defies category. It’s funny and electric energy every night. The music is incredible. I can guarantee a fun time, but it also speaks clearly to all of us and where we are today. How we see humanity and human connections in ‘the other’.


You have described playing Hedwig as a ‘dream role’ – why is that?
Playing Hedwig is the opportunity of a lifetime. She’s arguably the most challenging role in musical theatre and forces me to bring everything I have, every single day. There’s nowhere to hide. On top of that, there are very few roles where I can embrace every part of me. I’m a queer actor and I don’t have to leave that experience at the door; in fact, it’s celebrated! I can’t overstate how grateful I am to have The Court celebrate my uniqueness and show others that they can be celebrated for theirs.


Pick any famous stage/screen actor… who would you most love to perform alongside?
I’d probably choose one of those incredible Shakespeare actors that have also managed to crossover into Hollywood, Ian Mckellan or Patrick Stewart because they have so much gravitas. Wait, also Catherine O’Hara, because she’s an improvising and comedic genius!


What’s up next after Hedwig and the Angry Inch?
I’m honestly not sure; probably a big long nap followed by a few weeks getting the glitter out of everything I own.

 

 


 

Allyson Gofton on beautiful baking: Q&A


Allyson Gofton has been a beloved New Zealand cook and television personality for 30 years since first cutting her teeth in the test kitchen of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

 

 

Allyson was recently in the city for a fundraising event for St Johns in conjunction with Westburn School and Piccadilly Bookshop to release The Baker’s Companion, the third iteration of Gofton’s The Great New Zealand Baking Book, which first came out 25 years ago. We caught up with her about making magic in the kitchen.

You’ve just released your new book The Baker’s Companion, can you tell us about the book?
After Food in a Minute, I wanted to pull all my knowledge of baking into a book. The Baker’s Companion is about trying to explain why your cakes may fail. It’s about making sure the money you invest in baking is a success. It’s about the enjoyment of baking; passing down the knowledge of baking so that when you go to cook, you get the information that’s not written into a recipe. It’s all there. It’s certainly not about glamorous baking or creating expensive items. It’s about enjoyment, good flavour and making sure that when it comes out of the oven, it looks like the picture you see in front of you.


The book is focused on beautiful baking – are you all about the sweet side of life or do you get into the savoury side as well?
Do I like the sweet side? Yes I do, though I don’t do chocolate, but I love festive food, like Easter, and I do enjoy the savoury side of life as well. Slow-cooked food is something I love – slow-cooked food and baking are two genres I have become known for in my career. Interestingly, I trained as a chef in the late 70s (which is giving away my age) and trained here as a food writer. So my skills are in professional cookery, but I was also a communicator of food. Over the years I’ve worked as a food editor for Next magazine, through which I had to understand all aspects of food. I’ve done a professional apprenticeship, and then I did journalism papers before constantly travelling and updating my skills. As a food writer, it was usually about family food; food writers today concentrate on one genre, such as cake decoration, vegan recipes or gluten-free material. In the career I’ve had, you had to write across all genres. This is the third baking book I’ve done over 30 years. It’s been updated and upgraded over the years, so it reflects where we’ve come today. Things in cooking and baking come in and out of favour. Once upon a time you would whisk up a sponge. Now you melt butter and milk together and bake it. How we bake has changed so much over time.


What’s your favourite recipe from the book?
One of my favourites is the Kasbah Date Scones (on page 62 of this issue of Metropol). I love the photo and I also love date scones. This one is made like a swiss roll and inside is a lovely spiral of dates cooking with orange oil and Kasbah spices, like in the Middle East. It’s a lovely modern twist on the scone, taking a traditional recipe to the next level.


You’ve been making culinary magic for more than 30 years now and you’re just as popular now as you were back then. Why do you think New Zealand has connected so strongly with what you do?
I have been lucky to have been able to follow my dreams. I left home wanting to be like a Margaret Fulton or Tui Flower; being a good editor was my dream. You did a lot of hard work, a lot you didn’t get paid for. I happened to stumble across magazines. I come from a very humble family, a blue-collar working family from Tasmania. I love home cooks; I love family; I love that people try to cook in their homes. You don’t have to make café style food in the house; it’s about small budget, short order cooking. I think somehow in amongst all that, people have enjoyed my food, but they can see I’m just like them. I love learning about food. I love studying food; its role in our lives, how society has changed the way we eat and its impact. I spent four years in advertising as an accounts manager to pay the rent. One of my jobs was looking at how we market food to consumers. I found that fascinating. It doesn’t matter if you don’t cut your own onions. Tomorrow’s children will probably buy them frozen and already cut, but the most important thing is they cook for the family. You can buy ingredients pre-chopped and pre-sliced, but you’re still cooking it; that’s all that really matters. It’s not, ‘ooh she doesn’t peel her carrots’; what’s important is that we are eating them.


You headed down our way recently for an event in conjunction with Westburn School and Piccadilly Bookshop that was a fundraiser for St Johns. How does it feel to get to use your profile for the greater good?
I’ve been asked so many times to go to places and if I can do something for the community, I always try to say yes. My father was awarded an Order of Australia for his work for the charity Legacy. They raised money and looked after children of the widows of World War II. We spent Saturdays doing sport things with these children without parents; if we got too many presents, we gave to those children; if we won something in a raffle, it was given to those children. My parents instilled in me that we only need what we need.


What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
I’m a strong believer in a reasonably traditional role of mother. I’m a bit old fashioned like that. We have a family business in Auckland, a factory that makes cosmetics believe it or not. My husband works in Auckland, so at the moment my role is to settle the family into our new home in Cambridge (from Auckland), then put the lipstick on a Friday night with a glass of wine. I have more ideas than I have time to live. I have some ideas, but they’re constantly changing. I would love to work with schools and teenagers, teaching them about what you need to eat, looking at how the world’s normalising ‘treats’ as ‘snacks’. So I have lots of ideas, but first I’ve got 400 boxes to unpack; if someone said the decluttering process of moving takes a weight off your shoulders, the process is nothing other than laborious. So that’s this year, decluttering, then we’ll see what next year brings.


 

Toni Street’s Beautiful Surrogacy Journey: Q&A


Nine months ago, popular New Zealand broadcaster Toni Street got the addition to her family she never thought she would have. Health complications meant she had closed the door on bringing baby number 3 into the world, but then her best friend Sophie Braggins offered to be a surrogate for Toni and her husband Matt France. Lachlan Stephen France arrived on 9 August 2018. We caught up with Toni about her surrogacy journey and juggling being a busy mum of three.

 

 

 

First of all, how’s it going being a busy mum of three working around your radio job?
I just love being a mum of three; it’s chaotic but I love every minute of it. I actually found the step from one to two children harder, once you have three you’re so busy anyway! Because I’m up at 4:30am I get a lot of my work done before the kids are even awake and I love being around in the afternoons for school pick up and their activities. Lachie has been a really chilled baby, but he’s just starting to move so watch this space!


Your best friend Sophie offered to be your surrogate and delivered your third child Lachlan last August then you adopted him in December, can you describe the journey?
I still pinch myself that this has actually happened for me. We never thought we’d have a third child and my best friend sacrificed so much to make it happen. I just have so much love and gratitude for her. The whole process has been completely humbling and emotional and so, so special for all of us.


You’ve been fighting to have our 64-year-old adoption laws changed – how frustrating and complex was the process and how would you like to see this transformed?
We would have done anything to have Lachie, so we felt lucky to even be in the position to be going through the process. I can only speak to our specific situation, but it did seem bizarre that we needed to adopt our own genetic child… it felt like resources were wasted when we were being vetted by child protection services. Surrogacy has so many manifestations and our laws do not reflect this modern miracle.


Was not adding that last piece to your family puzzle ever an option?
Absolutely, it was my bestie that encouraged us to explore surrogacy; without the push from her we would have closed the door on having a third baby.


How much of an emotional and yet incredible experience was surrogacy?
The whole process from start to finish was emotional. From the moment Sophie offered to do this for us, to watching her belly grow with our son, to watching her give birth and her recovery it was incredibly emotional for all of us… but throughout the whole process we all knew we were doing something life changing and it was such a miracle.


You’ve also had some difficult times with your health over the past few years. How has this changed your outlook on life?
I’ve always known life is precious, as I’ve lost three siblings, but being sick myself made me really worry for my own kids. It’s a scary feeling thinking you might not be around for them. I am very conscious to appreciate each day and to do what makes you happy in this life.


You’ve done some inspiring roles across both television and radio – what drew you to the industry?
I loved the idea of getting to meet incredible people and I couldn’t believe people got paid to report on sport, that was my big passion in the beginning!


What do you consider to be some of your career highlights?
Reporting on the Olympic Games in China, hosting the America’s Cup in San Francisco and being asked to host a primetime show at TVNZ (Seven Sharp).


What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
I’ll continue hosting the Laura, Sam and Toni radio show on The Hits and filling in at TVNZ on Seven Sharp. Life will be super eventful at home, Lachie will start walking and I can’t wait to enjoy my downtime with the kids with a few holidays.


 

Stretton’s Sartorial Success: Q&A with Annah Stretton


Her name graces some of the country’s most elegantly feminine designs, forming a sartorial success story Annah Stretton has quite famously built up from nothing. It’s the story of a young mum from rural Waikato who started a fashion line from a dairy farm, making a million dollars in its first year.

 

 

Almost three decades later, as she prepares to hand the reigns of her fashionable empire over to daughter Sammi, she’s still as passionate today about everything she has turned her talented hand to.

Can you tell us about your latest collection Undone Glamour and the inspiration behind it?
The collection is taking its style cues from that all important Art Deco era; an era that signalled the winds of change for a women’s potential and place in the world and saw hemlines and hair length start to rise up in response. There was a freedom of spirit and celebration that infused the fashion of the day that will forever be synonymous with glamour and that made it perfect for the ‘glamour your way’ feel that we wanted the winter collection to have. The collection uses a jewel-like colour palette of cerise, dark sapphire and emerald green and pairs that with the bold and beautiful fl oral and geometric patterns in velvet and other beautiful fabrications that the Annah Stretton brand has become famous for. Design wise; there is a rich array of dresses, wide length pants, jumpsuits and two-piece outfits cut to suit the widest possible range of body shapes and sizes.


How would you define your design philosophy?
The Annah Stretton brand has always been about bringing colour, femininity and fabulousness to every woman’s special occasion and work wardrobe. At long last, we are living in the age of beauty where youth and body size no longer define what is beautiful. Today beauty is about being comfortable in our own skin and celebrating our body by feeling and looking fabulous. I like to think that our brand has always been in this space, with designs and styling that celebrate the beauty in all women.


Can you tell us how you were able to establish yourself in such a cutthroat industry?
Getting established was the easy bit. Back in 1992, the competitor landscape was reasonably one dimensional. There was no online shopping, no international retail chains and very little product was being manufactured offshore, particularly at the top end of town. Success was all about establishing a strong retail footprint and building a loyal following through the design and manufacture of a well-made product. Fast forward to 2019 and life in the fashion industry couldn’t be more different. Competition is global and retailing is a 24/7 operation. New Zealand women can shop anytime, anywhere, with any label at any price point. To remain in business requires constant vigilance and reinvention. Nothing is as it was and the future demands that no complacency ever slips into a business. New Zealand has seen so many great labels suffer and ultimately close their doors as retail therapy goes online and goes global. Reinvention and a customer-centric focus is the key to surviving and thriving in this industry, but it is never a guarantee of recurring success.


In an industry that is said to take no prisoners, how have you not only been able to be an incredible success, but been able to remain current?
I guess that comes down to how you measure success. For me, success has never been about ‘the Boat, the Bach and the BMW’ to coin a phrase. Instead, it’s always been about making a contribution far broader than the delivery of a healthy bottom line. Right from the very beginning, the philanthropic heart of the company has been beating loudly. The staff, the customers and the community causes that we support have always been so much more important than the dollars. As a country, we are now starting to acknowledge the value of our human capital, but as a business we’ve been in this space for the last ten years. You only need to look at the average tenure of my retail and head office staff to see this ethos in action.
That same loyalty has also been present amongst all the wonderful women who continue to love the label. Their faithful support has enabled me to set up my charitable foundation and begin to make an impact on some of New Zealand’s more significant social challenges.


Why do you think people have connected so strongly with what you do?
Possibly because we are so much more than a fashion label. Everything we do is about making a bigger contribution in the community. When women buy from us they enable me to advance the social causes that have reached epic proportions in New Zealand. The social divide and therefore social challenges that we now face are significant. The only way forward is to apply new thinking and in doing so give hope and purpose to those who have never had any. We all deserve to travel down a pathway that brings us joy, and I’m absolutely passionate about making this happen for the socially disadvantaged women that I work with.


 

Slice of Vietnam: Q&A with You Hanoi Me’s Jason Whitelaw


You Hanoi Me is the city’s most recent and most exciting eatery, bought to you by the remarkable hospitality team Bar Bar Black Sheep who have also tingled our tastebuds with other culinary ventures like LOUIS Champagne Bar and Red Light District.

 

With Director Jason Whitelaw at the helm, Bar Bar Black Sheep has created an authentic slice of Vietnam right in the heart of Victoria Street’s hospitality scene – and we’re willing to bet it’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced before.
We caught up with Jason to chat about this magnificent culinary masterpiece and what’s next on their agenda.

 

Tell us about the story behind You Hanoi Me. What was the inspiration behind the name and the food?
Following a trip to Hanoi I came up with this concept to complete our offering in ‘The Vicinity’ – I like to do things that are unique and not another ‘Pacific Rim’ offerings. I scoured the markets and a lot of restaurants to get as many ideas on flavours, cooking methods, presentation and décor – then I put my own spin on it in collaboration with the team.


Can you tell us about yourself, and your relationship with You Hanoi Me?
I am a builder and developer but a publican at heart. Out of all my businesses, the hospitality ones present the most challenges, but it is exciting and rewarding when you see people enjoying our hospitality. I truly want to make Christchurch a great place to live, work and play which is the driving force behind my ventures.


What would you say makes You Hanoi Me ‘the most exciting Vietnamese dining experience in town’?
There is nothing else like it. We provide a modern twist on traditional Vietnamese dishes but have incorporated many other dishes and flavours from my travels. It is upbeat and fresh.


For those who don’t know, what would you say were the most important aspects of Vietnamese cuisine which sets it apart from other Asian fare?
The use of fragrances, limes, basil and mint are a key focus of Vietnamese dishes. There is a very large French influence on a lot of cuisine in Hanoi, however we purposefully chose not to incorporate that into our menu.


What are your most popular dishes and cocktails?
The Clay Pot Pork Belly, Braised Beef Cheek and Fresh Spring Rolls are the top sellers. My personal favourite is the Disco Eggs; you won’t find anything else like this dish in town. We sell a lot of Asahi and the crowd favourite on the cocktail list would have to be the Blueberry and Kafier Phojito.


You’re part of the team behind LOUIS Champagne Bar and Red Light District. We hear you guys have another restaurant coming to the city very soon – The Athens Yacht Club. Can you tell us about it?
We are on track to open the Athens Yacht Club in the former Saggio di Vino space in late May. We have found there to be a limited Greek offering in Christchurch when it is such a popular cuisine and I think the site lends itself well to this concept. We have done extensive research and visited the likes of Jim’s Greek Tavern in Melbourne and the Apollo in Sydney and believe we have a great product that will be embraced by locals.

 


 

Local Lad’s International Success


Portfolio Model Agency’s Jordan Barron has a whirlwind international career. However, the down to earth 25-year-old with the striking looks still calls Christchurch home.

Originally from Cambridgeshire UK, he moved here when he was 12. After finishing St Andrews College, Jordan was discovered by a modelling agency at Merivale’s Aikmans Bar. And next minute he had a 10-page Remix magazine shoot, and then modelled the Zambesi campaign, leading to experiences overseas.
He completed his degree in finance, accounting and commercial law, despite being asked to go to New York. Four years in Europe and Australia followed, with numerous events and working for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nicholls in London, and Hugo Boss and Armani in Sydney, before returning home.

“Fashion has been one interest, but I have always been interested in the person behind the clothes. Being in my 20s, my taste will evolve and change as I grow. I believe everyone’s style is a measure of someone’s story, values and confidence.”
He says modelling comes with tension, and when you are young it is often more difficult to stay true to who you are.
“Continuing to mature and learn about having good people around me will only help me understand the modelling landscape better. It’s a bit like the plains of Africa. In serving that landscape you deal with a lot of rejection and opportunities. This teaches me so much more about who I am; some of my greatest life lessons have come from those.”

Jordan’s friends didn’t understand modelling initially. “The great thing about my close friends and family is that they have kept me grounded. The funniest story was when my friend went to kiss a new girlfriend, he looked up, and there was a poster of me on her wall and his date didn’t go too well!
“I’m a big believer in as we move through life our choices shape who we are. I’ve learnt more about that in the last year especially. I don’t see myself as a role model – we all have a story which informs someone else’s story. I always have hope. We can all help someone or something else as we move through life.
“I’ve always been proud to be a Kiwi – it’s been great to come home after a long stint away.”


 

Son of a Gunn: Q&A with Jason Gunn


Jason Gunn has spent the bigger portion of his career lighting up television sets and now he’s got the radio airwaves buzzing.

 

The beloved entertainer doesn’t pull punches and tells it like it is, but with a true warmth and empathy that comes from a heart of gold. So it’s not surprising that Jason Gunn is turning his charitable hand to supporting Cholmondely Childrens Centre. We catch up with the son of a Gunn about his life in the limelight.

 

You have recently added ‘tech designer’ to your list of credentials, how did this come about?
The folk at Slingshot came to me with this amazing opportunity to design a modem – as in… the outside of the modem… I have no idea what goes on inside. So I got together with a professional designer (my original stick drawings were never gonna cut it) and we came up with my ‘piece of art’ which is all about ‘Staying Connected’ with friends and whanau.


Cholmondeley is a fantastic charity to align yourself with, why did you choose this one?
Cholmondeley is a magical place that does so much good for families in Canterbury. When things are tough at home, Cholmondeley allows kids to stay for a while so things can settle down and the kids can return to a happy home. They help families from all over Canterbury – the only problem is not enough of us know about Cholmondeley and they need our support to support these families.


How does it feel to get the opportunity to use your profile to support such good causes?
What’s the point of having any sort of ‘profile’ if you don’t do good with it? I see so many people out there trying to push their brand and profile just so they can get more free stuff and more money. The greatest feeling is giving back to others. And by giving to Cholmondeley you are giving to so many others.


You’ve also recently started a campaign to get Kiwi icon Thingee back on TV. It’s been 25 years, how much do you miss him?
I can’t start to explain how much I miss him. I am so over what so much of TV is about. All this unscripted reality is so ridiculously scripted and the furthest thing from reality. It dumbs us down!
Bringing Thingee back is all about clever, heartfelt, light-hearted entertainment that takes us back to simple times when we lived in the now a lot more.


You are one of the most recognised faces on New Zealand television. Why do you think New Zealand has connected so strongly with you?
Those are very kind words. I think I’ve just been me. I haven’t tried to be someone else. I don’t think I’m special in any way. I guess I connect well with people – I enjoy enabling others to shine.
I remember meeting a few big egos early on and thinking I never want to be like that. I’ve tried to stay relatable and I’m just like those people that watch me – I get so bloody excited if I meet someone actually famous and there’s always a drama going on somewhere in my life. As a parent there’s always a lot of balls in the air and like all parents you just want to spend as much time with your kids as you can. Family comes first.


It’s heading up to a year in April since you were joined by Jay-Jay in the afternoons from 3-7pm on MoreFM and it’s an amazing partnership! How has it been going?
JayJay is an incredible broadcaster. But more so she is amazing with her listeners and fans. When you walk down the street people come up to her all the time and she always stops to chat and makes them feel important. That’s a real gift. She’s very patient with my stories too and puts up with my hatred towards reality TV very well!


What have been some of your biggest standout career highlights?
I’ve been lucky enough to meet some well-known people – Prince Charles and Michael J Fox were highlights. I’ve travelled to some amazing places – we’ve broadcast live from Stewart Island, Universal Studios and Tokyo… But the real highlight is the New Zealanders I’ve met. The everyday people like me who just love living here and have a story to tell. And it’s a bloody good story! The visits to schools and I think the visits to hospitals are the two biggest highlights; being able to use your so called ‘profile’ for good. And trust me… things are very quickly put into respective when you are sitting with children in hospital!


What has the rest of 2019 got in store for you?
I am so excited to launch my new business www.jasegunn.com. I’ve talked about it for years and now I’m doing it. I want to teach others how to be at their best in front of an audience on stage, on camera and online. I’ve managed to somehow build a career on just saying a few words… and now I want to enable others to do the same. Email me! jase@jasegunn.com.


 

Sarah Harris Gould

A luxe local label: Q&A with Sarah Harris Gould


The Harris Tapper brand was most recently in Paris at Fashion Week. Now it’s hitting Christchurch where you’ll find this luxe label at The Contemporary Lounge at Ballantynes. Metropol caught up with Co-Founder and Director Sarah Harris Gould.

 

Sarah Harris Gould

 

Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the Harris Tapper brand?

I have had over 10 years experience in the industry working across buying, marketing and brand management in London for Urban Outfitters and in New Zealand for Topshop Topman. Lauren, my business partner, has worked in retail across top NZ brands and more recently in PR managing the account for Topshop Topman, which is how we met. We started to notice a gap in the market. We wanted to go against industry norms and create a brand with a ‘see-now buy-now’ business model. It was important to us that our brand was inclusive and all about celebrating strong, independent women.

 


Who is the Harris Tapper woman?

I suppose she’s globally aware and respected in her field, whatever that may be. The Harris Tapper woman is intelligent, inclusive, refined and independent. She leads a fast-paced, experiential life and isn’t afraid to push boundaries. She recognises quality and knows what she wants. She commands respect through what she stands for and what she achieves but she also instills this in others.

 


What’s your design philosophy?

We try to keep all of our designs uncomplicated. We want everything to be wearable, with an easy elegance. We have a strong idea of who our woman is so we design around her and what we believe she would want in her wardrobe.

 


Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Our main source of inspiration would have to be from other women. We try to surround ourselves with inspiring women and this really plays into our designs. What does she read? What are her values? What does she do? Where does she eat?

 


What does the rest of 2019 have in store for you?

Lauren will be taking our next collection over to Paris in June; I will be at home having a baby! This will be our second time this year in Paris. Our long-term goal is to become a global brand and use that platform to create a strong community and shine a light on women who inspire and uplift one another.