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Putting the Green in building: Green Builders


A substantial three-bedroom house interwoven with nature has been an enjoyable project for the team at Green Builders.

 

 

Nestled into the bush-clad hillside, the home is just 90 metres from the high tide as well,” says Director Reuben Green.

“Jason Higham at Higham Architecture designed the home to be at one with its surroundings, cladding it in linea in sea fog and stria in lignite, with a dark tray roof.

“A favourite feature is the natural timber flooring in American Oak in the entry and living and kitchen area, which connects to the 170sqm decking,” says Reuben.

Built to capture the views and the sun, the over-height windows and doors are complemented by the over-height ceiling in the living and entry.

“Working out of town but sticking closely to our schedule showcased our rigorous project management,” says Reuben.

“And that always includes enabling clients to bring in subcontractors or products of their choice.”

The programme is continuously varied for the team, and also on track is a heritage-style house in Sumner, as well as a contemporary bach at Castle Hill.

“Our goal is to have everyone delighted with results at the end of a build, and especially that we have very happy clients.”


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

I’m sure all of you – alongside every other person in New Zealand (and the world!) – are looking forward to a long-deserved break from the turmoil of what has been a very difficult year.

There’s no guarantee that 2021 will be easier, but the best prescription will be recovery and rest with whānau and friends.

We work with the high growth entrepreneurs at our startup hub in the centre of the city, Te Ōhaka, where 20 or so high-growth startups are building ambitious and innovative dreams.

This means is we are surrounded by optimists. And – even in this hellish of all years – it has been incredible to see how these founders have dealt with the lemons that just kept coming.

To be an entrepreneur is to be a world-class optimist. But – to be a startup founder is to be a next level optimist.

A startup founder believes that, not only have they got an idea, their idea is so good the whole world will want it.

There’s huge risk in being a startup founder and being vulnerable to the inevitable and daily twists and turns of growing a business, never mind in a global pandemic.

We are so proud of the startup founders we’ve backed this year at Te Ōhaka alongside ChristchurchNZ, Ara, Wynn Williams, and EY. All 20 startup founders here have not only successfully picked their way through the minefield of 2020, they’ve knocked the year out of the park.

Meri Kirihimete all you dreamers and stargazers of Christchurch!


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited
Chief Executive

Because Ōtākaro Limited was born out of the response to a natural disaster, we’ve never lived in a “business as usual” environment.

This inherent agility has enabled us to continue to make good progress on Christchurch’s Anchor Projects in a year that ranks right up there with the most unusual the world has known.

To regain momentum, contractors got back to work post-lockdown quickly, successfully implementing social distancing measures on sites where nationalities and languages are as numerous as the façade tiles on Te Pae.

This rapid return to work allowed us to keep funnelling millions of dollars into the community through a nervous construction sector, at a time when many people were worrying about their jobs.

So, while the doors may not have swung open at the convention centre this year as planned, it has still served us well.

This year the Metro Sports Facility has sprung out of the ground.

It’s a towering steel skeleton reminding all who travel along Moorhouse Ave that Christchurch will be home to one of the country’s top sports and recreation facilities.

The South Frame is now close to 90 percent complete and 95 percent of the first 172 homes in the East Frame have been sold.

There’s also a 100 percent chance the award-winning Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct will be finished next year, when we open the North Frame pedestrian bridge.

So even though it may be through a mask, there has still been plenty of progress to smile about this year.
Happy holidays.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

Christchurch is home to some real superstars who are making contributions to their communities, recognised far beyond our city boundaries.

Two key players in Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct (TPH) have just received high recognition from their respective institutions.

Professor Gail Gillon, a founding member of the TPH Council, has received the University of Canterbury’s highest research honour for her internationally renowned work aimed at improving children’s learning and wellbeing, the UC 2020 Research Medal.

She is the founding Director of the UC Child Wellbeing Research Institute.

Her research is acclaimed here and around the world and is informing policies to reduce inequities in the New Zealand education system.

Professor David Murdoch, a TPH Council member and Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch, has recently been awarded the University of Otago’s Distinguished Research Medal, the university’s highest honour.

He is a recognised world leader in the study, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases.

We can all be very proud of having such respected and acclaimed leaders in their fields living, working and researching in our city.

Te Papa Hauora has just hosted the Health Research Society of Canterbury’s 2020 poster event, an opportunity for researchers to display their research achievements and mix with fellow Canterbury researchers.

You can be sure that amongst those presenters, there are more outstanding leaders in research that will shine here in Christchurch and beyond.

TPH is planning to showcase more achievers in health throughout 2021, all of whom contribute to a remarkable regional health system.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ
Chief Executive

Partly, Vxt, eClean Envirotech and Medsalv. Four companies that encapsulate Ōtautahi Christchurch’s spirit of exploration – and four companies which feature in our most recent campaign highlighting how this city makes innovative ideas real.

Christchurch has long been the birthplace of innovation and technology-based start-up companies, from Tait Electronics in the 1950s to Jade in the 1990s and recent successes including Orbica and Seequent. The city’s entrepreneurial spirit has not been subdued by Covid-19.

To support Christchurch’s recovery from the economic effects of Covid-19, ChristchurchNZ is helping these entrepreneurs by giving them a leg-up in creating new start-ups and growing existing businesses here.

The storytelling in this campaign celebrates the businesses emerging in our city, and both their and Christchurch’s ingenuity, creativity, and personality.

This campaign follows on from our recent investment in Canterbury’s existing founder start-up and innovation incubators, Te Ōhaka at Ara Institute of Canterbury and ThincLab at the University of Canterbury.

We’re supporting these incubators to build the number of businesses they support and the depth of support available.

Each year at least 35 businesses will be provided the best chance of success through these partnerships.

Ultimately this work is about creating high-value jobs and ensuring our city is seen for what it is: An exciting place to live, to work and do business.

Expect to see plenty more from us here at ChristchurchNZ in 2021 as we continue to ignite bold ambition and create new and better economic opportunities for the city and its people.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

It’s hard to believe 2020 is finally coming to an end.

At the same time, it doesn’t feel like a year has passed with the dramatic changes that Covid-19 has forced on us.

I’ll be forever grateful to be part of the team of 5 million that acted together to prevent the spread of this coronavirus, in a way other places have not.

I think of us entering the holiday season with the confidence to celebrate with family and friends, as well as enjoying those places special to us at this time.

I’ll be spending Christmas and Boxing Days with family, as well as at the City Mission lunch, which I’m really looking forward to. I will also be spending the New Year with close friends in Coromandel as I usually do.

Many people travel overseas in this holiday period, so we can expect to see people from all around New Zealand visit Christchurch. Let’s make them feel welcome.

I get a lot of feedback from people who absolutely love the vibe of the central city. And I have to say I’m making the most of my annual tram pass.

It’s been a tough year for many people, but I am hopeful that next year is a good one for us all. I will be back in time for the Duvauchelle and Little River A&P Shows and Bread & Circus Backyard Buskers Festival – proving that our own entertainers and performers are world-class.


 

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

As I write my final Metropol column of the year, the last twelve months seem to have flown by.

And what a year it has been – one that none of us could have predicted and one we certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

So I’m pleased to be able to end the year on a positive note. The latest in retail spending suggests our community is heeding the call to support local and to spend to accelerate our economic recovery.

In October, more than half a billion dollars was spent at local retailers and eateries – an increase of seven percent from the same month last year.

Spending in the central city also increased for the same period, up 12 percent to $39 million. This shows that despite Covid-19, consumer confidence is high.

I have no doubt this trend will continue over the summer, with several events coming up which will help to support our economy.

Such as the University of Canterbury graduation ceremonies currently underway, the Bread & Circus Backyard Buskers Festival in mid-January, the Council’s SummerTimes events programme, and the cricket (a personal favourite!).

Not to mention the Great Kiwi Beer Festival at the end of January, and the Nostalgia Festival in February.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of these events – and support our local businesses in the process.

With Christmas just around the corner, I wish you Meri Kirihimete (Merry Christmas) and a safe summer season.


 

Dealing with stress and finding joy: Dr Libby Weaver


Dr Libby Weaver is an internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, author and speaker, and has just released wellness cards to educate and inspire. She chatted with Metropol about her secrets to de-stress, what brings her joy and a new way we can all make health a daily priority.

 

With the silly season fast approaching, do you get stressed?
“There are always going to be stressful situations in our lives that we can’t avoid. But a lot of the daily stress we experience comes from our perceptions and thoughts, so there is a lot of unnecessary suffering and it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve had a period in my life where I was a ‘Rushing Woman’ and that showed me that I had to make some changes – practically, but also exploring where I was creating stress for myself through perceptions of pressure and urgency. That’s where the gold really is.”


What do you do to relax?
“Having some time to myself early in the morning outside, watering trees and vegies, and watching the chickens, is a joy and brings me a sense of spaciousness, even if my day ahead is incredibly full. I also really love to watch the light changing in the sky. I made a decision a while back that I wanted to see more sunsets so even if my work day hasn’t ended by that time, I do my best to take a break to watch it.”


Why is prioritising health and wellness so important – and in particular this year?
“Collectively, I think there has been a realisation of just how important our health is, yet it’s so easy for self-care to sink to the bottom of the priority list, unless there is a health crisis. I think that for many who have slowed down this year, there’s also been a realisation that they don’t necessarily want to go back to how they were living previously.
“Ultimately, if we don’t prioritise our own health and wellbeing eventually it’s going to catch up with us and we won’t be able to contribute and care for others in the way we really want to. Taking great care of the immune system has become a focus this year, and how we eat, drink, move, think, breathe, believe and perceive really does matter—not just to immune system function but to every cell in the body.”


What can we all do to prioritise our health and wellbeing on a daily basis?
“Many people share with me that they struggle to consistently take great care of themselves so I wanted to do something different this year that would help. That’s why I created my new Wellness Cards – I wanted to offer a simple way for health to become a consistent priority in your day or week, even if you feel time-poor. The cards are divided across the three pillars that I focus on – biochemical, nutritional and emotional.”


 

7 ways to incorporate healthy eating habits into your day to day life


Regularly maintaining healthy eating patterns can often be a challenge, particularly in especially busy times in your life when grabbing a quick tasty snack is just too tempting to resist. If you suspect that you may have given in to this temptation a few times too many recently, there are plenty of ways that you can get your diet back on track in a stress-free and efficient way. Have a look at the tips below to get inspired by a few methods and start your journey back in the right direction towards a healthy diet.

 

 

#1 Eat your veggies

A good rule to help you out is to aim for making at least half your plate fruit and veggies each meal. That way you can keep track of the amount of valuable nutrients you are getting and have a rule for regulating the other elements of your meal. Another good rule to remember is that the more colourful your plate is, the better it is for you. Eating your greens first is also a great way to ensure that you fill up on the good stuff first before moving onto the other elements on your plate. That way, instead of having your half plate of veggies as leftovers, they have been eaten before you’re too full and you don’t risk missing out on the nutrients they provide you.


#2 Cook at home

The more you cook for yourself at home, the more control you have over what goes into your body. Healthy eating can be fun and allowing yourself to experiment with the wide variety of tasty dishes out there is a great opportunity to flex those creative muscles. Trying a different recipe each week will help to keep mealtime enjoyable. It’s important to look forward to eating as this will further improve your attitude towards food and make you want to be invested in making healthy choices for yourself.


#3 Meal prep

If you find yourself pressed for time or don’t have the energy to come home and cook every single day, try setting aside some time on a quieter day to prepare all your meals for the week ahead of time. Be crafty with ingredients and find yourself some healthy go-tos that you can quickly whip up and have ready for any occasion.


#4 Only eat when you’re actually hungry

Another good tip for a healthier diet is to familiarise yourself with healthy eating guidelines and understand what you should be eating in a regular day in order to achieve a healthy balance. It’s important to eat when you actually feel hungry and not just when you’re bored. Reduce the chances of snacking by ensuring that you start each day with a good, filling breakfast that will sustain you through to lunchtime.


#5 Switch unhealthy snacks for healthy ones

If you do feel the urge for an energy boost during the day, opt for snacks that provide you with a healthy pick-me-up. For example, if you’re used to turning to chips, try a handful of nuts instead. If you fancy something sweet, grab a piece of fruit. There are many healthy snack options that are sure to satisfy your cravings just as well as their less-healthy counterparts


#6 Try keeping a food diary

A food diary is a great method to use to allow you to physically keep track of what you are eating. It’s difficult to keep track of every single thing you eat throughout the course of a day, particularly if you are prone to having a little snack here and there. Writing it down can help you remember and manage the amount of times you reach for the snack cupboard throughout the day, helping you keep track of your intake. Reviewing what you typically eat and refining your choices to better reflect your personal dietary needs is a significant step towards a healthier lifestyle.


#7 Shop with a list

How you plan your shopping trips can be a crucial element for your diet. Ensuring that you have pre-planned what you need to buy before you leave for the supermarket is an essential way to avoid any unnecessary purchases. This practice will also go hand in hand with your meal prepping and can be hugely beneficial for helping you maintain a healthier diet. As an added bonus, shopping with a list and with meal planning in mind will help you to reduce your food waste which is great for the environment. It is also beneficial to read the labels of the products that you buy to understand their nutritional value. Opt for healthier product alternatives such as wholegrain bread over white or low fat milk over full cream. These simple steps can have a large impact on the overall health value of your diet.

 

Healthy habits can be simple to incorporate into the routine of your everyday life. Informing yourself about a few basic methods that you can use for achieving a more balanced lifestyle is a great first step and a sign that you’re on your way to a healthier, happier you.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ
Chief Executive

As schools and tertiaries wrap up the academic year, students are facing a very different outlook to what they ever could have imagined.

In December approximately 7000 school leavers and 10,000 tertiary graduates will complete their studies.

So what are we doing to help them?

ChristchurchNZ is not just looking at those exiting education but all groups experiencing the impacts of a tough employment market, including those in lower skilled roles, Māori and Pacific populations and those in long-term unemployment.

We are mapping support available so we can target areas most in need.

This is creating a regional resource to help people find out where and how they can get support.

We’re developing a Regional Workforce Plan to identify skills needed now and, in the future, this will inform government investment, policy and education priorities.

A recession means more people choose to study, so we are supporting Ngāi Tahu’s development of an iwi skills hub creating pathways for young Māori into tertiary education and skilled jobs.

From a business perspective, we’re investing in our city’s innovation ecosystem to support start-ups (expect lots more on this to come soon) and working to attract additional businesses and jobs to our region.

Despite the uncertainty, there are many green shoots and opportunities.

It may require a different approach, particularly for our rangatahi looking to forge careers in a radically different environment, but we have bold ambitions for our city, a resilient population and we are dead set on supporting those impacted by the recession into sustainable, future-focused jobs.