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New destinations: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


After Covid-19 left long-time flight attendants Tom Noonan and Sam Main out of work, the pair spread their wings to new horizons – and are set to open a new furniture store in Christchurch. Interior Warehouse will stock affordable luxury furniture and homewares when it opens on Moorhouse Ave next month.

 

 

Tom says his position was disestablished almost straight away when Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand last March. He had worked for Air New Zealand for about 10 years, and at Emirates and Qantas before that. Sam’s position was disestablished about six months later after 19 years of service.

“We both consider ourselves flyers at heart, so it was quite a blow,” says Tom, who grew up in Christchurch but has been based in Auckland and overseas in more recent times.

He found work quickly, filling online grocery orders for Countdown, but the owner at Interior Warehouse in Auckland got in touch with him to offer him a job.

“I said I was okay with this job until flying started up again, but then it became quite apparent flying wasn’t coming back and I needed to think long-term. During that time, Interior Warehouse’s business was going really well and they were looking at expanding.”

With recently opened Gore and Napier stores performing well, the men jumped at the opportunity to franchise a Christchurch store.

“Even though it means saying goodbye to flying, we’re really excited about this.”

Interior Warehouse sources furniture directly from designers around the word, ensuring not only unique and modern designs, but lower prices for customers.


 

Leeann Watson

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


The last few weeks have intensified the spotlight on Covid-19. We have seen changes in Alert Levels, which have again caused disruption in our community. However this time we were all better prepared, with systems and practices in place to be able to respond.

 

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

 

This was foreshadowed by the announcement of the arrival of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and planned roll-out throughout the population. The vaccine is positive news because it provides a degree of certainty and confidence for the community as well as businesses.

It is also an important milestone in moving towards operating in an environment with Covid-19 given the likelihood of this pandemic being around for the foreseeable future, following the latest outbreaks offshore.

As the roll-out progresses, we will be working with government to ensure there is good science and evidenced-based information around the vaccination for all employers to pass on to their employees, to ensure we are all able to make well-informed decisions.

It will be interesting to see the impact of the vaccine on how we manage our borders and Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities and how this will evolve as we learn more about the virus and continue to develop technology and systems for rapid tracking and tracing of cases.

As the reality is that we need to learn to live with Covid-19 and in such a way that businesses can continue to operate, trade and travel in a Covid-19-safe way to continue to support our economy and the livelihoods of all New Zealanders.


 

Carving out change: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


What do you do when all your business instantly stops? For one Christchurch business, Moko Pounamu, it meant completely changing business models and moving from a wholesaler of beautiful greenstone and bone carvings – to a retailer.

DEAN MORETON IN HIS WORKSHOP

 

The greenstone and bone carving specialists have supplied beautiful New Zealand keepsakes for the country’s souvenir gift shops since the early ‘90s. When the Covid-19 pandemic saw the end of international tourism, founder Deane Moreton knew he had to act quickly to save not just his business – but the jobs of his carvers, sales reps and distribution staff, too.

“When the announcement was made that borders were closing, everything just stopped dead,” he says. “People stopped ordering; the orders just stopped.

“Over lockdown I put a lot of thought into what I was going to do next and how I was going to keep the business going for my staff for the next year or two until the tourists come back.”

And so, a retail website and store were born. Moko Pounamu now sells directly to consumers online and at a bricks and mortar premises on Durham Street.

“There is a lovely sense of patriotism in New Zealand at the moment to support New Zealand businesses and New Zealand-made products, and we have seen that people want a piece of pounamu to give to their family members.

“It’s not just in New Zealand either, though. We have had orders from Switzerland, Hungary, England, Australia and the US.”

The shift has also meant the business has been able to employ more local carvers making more bespoke, one-off pieces.

“We’ve always had production in New Zealand, but one thing we have found is there’s lots of talented carvers who don’t have their own marketing or sales channels, so now we can provide that for them while offering customers beautiful one-off designs.”

Visit the Moko Pounamu retail store at 340 Durham Street, or online at www.mokopounamu.co.nz.

MOKO POUNAMU PRODUCTS

Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

The re-upholstery renaissance: McDonald Hartshorne


If nothing else, Covid-19 has had us focus on tackling those backburner projects. Many have spruced their homes with a new paint job, and while that goes a long way to aesthetic enhancement, shabby furniture can let the whole project down.

Artisan re-upholsterer McDonald and Hartshorne shares some wisdom on remedying that situation:

 

 

BOLSTER LIMP INNERS AND SEAT CUSHIONS WITH NEW INNERS – And don’t neglect rips or unravelling stitches. The sooner the repair, the better the outcome.

HEIRLOOM PIECES DESERVE TO BE PASSED DOWN THE GENERATIONS – A repair to framework, some woodwork stripping, repolishing and a reupholster, soon restores pieces to their original beauty.

 

 

A SCATTER OF COLOURFUL CUSHIONS – Bespoke new or re-covered cushions in a gorgeous fabric, creates a dramatic change.

KIWIS LOVE THEIR SQUABS.- Dress bay-windows, patio benches or caravans with new squabs, or refresh tired ones with inner padding or outer fabric for an eye-popping transformation. McDonald and Hartshorne stock a large fabric range, including superb NZ leathers, leather-look vinyls (plain and textured) and vinyls in many colours.

Keith Hartshorne can visit by appointment at your home, workplace or business. Free no-obligation quotes available. Send through photos for email quotes.
Commercial quotes welcome, as are insurance assessments.


 

Masking disruption: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot


Christchurch-based apparel maker, Cactus Outdoor, has added a new product to its repertoire: Locally made face masks which use bacteria-busting natural wool filters.

 

Originally developed for dust protection before Covid-19 made face masks an essential item, Cactus Outdoors have manufactured tens of thousands of the mouth and nose coverings from its Christchurch factory since February.

Co-founder and director, Ben Kepes says the locally made masks have been snapped up.

“We developed the facemask before Covid-19 for our trade customers,” he says.

“When Covid-19 hit we ramped up production to fulfi l the massive demand.” The masks have a woollen filter which exceeds high N95 testing levels.

“Our masks feature a high-tech fi lter made from a specialised woollen fabric.

“To this we add organically grown cotton fabric to provide another layer of protection.”

Despite supply chain issues, Ben says the durable outdoor clothing, backpack and accessory maker’s Essential Service status meant production could continue during Alert Level 4.

“The fact our filter exceeds N95 levels…is made in New Zealand from natural materials, uses our amazing New Zealand-grown wool and is made with love by Kiwi workers has gone down a treat.”

• Good business story? Nominate a local business innovating to overcome Covid-19 challenges at editor@metros.co.nz.

Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

 


 

Building workplace wellbeing


As lives – and livelihoods – remain disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new platform to help small business owners monitor their team’s wellbeing has been launched.

 

The Check In is an online tool for small business leaders to help them facilitate free activities to support their teams and empower team members to support themselves.

Launched by cloud-based accounting software platform, Xero, The Check In has evidence-based ideas and insights to assist businesses to cultivate workplace wellbeing.

It also includes additional wellbeing resources and policy guides for small businesses that want to take wellbeing further.

Managing Director for New Zealand and Pacific Islands at Xero Craig Hudson, says the impact of the pandemic on the small business industry is far-reaching – impacting wellbeing and inflating day-to-day stresses.

“All workplaces play a central role in building people’s resilience and positive wellbeing, helping them to be healthy, contributing members to their families and communities.

“After specialist mental health services and primary health care, workplaces are the next biggest place of mental wellness support in the country, and 97 percent of New Zealand businesses are small businesses. So it’s vital that small businesses know what to do and how simple it can be.”

Likewise, the evidence for cultivating healthy workplaces shows returns, says Hudson.

A Deloitte study in the UK found mental health awareness and proactive intervention can result in a return on investment (ROI) of up to $8 for every $1 spent, while reactive support can result in an ROI of up to $4.50 for every $1 spent.


 

Help! How should I manage my investments during a global pandemic?! Alistair Bean


One of the keys to successful financial portfolio management is to ensure you are treated as an individual and not boxed in as just another number. Authorised Financial Adviser Alistair Bean tells Metropol why this approach is especially vital in uncertain times.

WHY SHOULD I HAVE AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN PREPARED BY A FINANCIAL ADVISER?
“More than just completing a series of fact finding and risk profile documents for your available lump sum, it’s about getting to know and truly understand you, your family, your trust, business or charity to discover how we can best help you meet your short, medium and longer-term goals and needs.”

DOESN’T IT TAKE TIME TO BUILD TRUST WITH AN ADVISER?
“I always tell my clients it may take some time to build a level of client-adviser trust, but any of my long-term clients will attest to how investing with Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers has helped them meet their life goals. I’ve been told authorising me to “make decisions so I don’t have to” was the best decision they ever made. I love hearing tales of how we’ve helped put children and grandchildren through school; buy new properties, cars, family holidays, and provided income for retirement. Clients are part of my family and doing our best to ensure the meeting of financial goals is my priority.”

WHAT DOES AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN INVOLVE?
“Among many other valuable things, you will be presented with initial investment recommendations for your available funds. These should reflect the current economic and market information available in New Zealand and overseas at the time and be used as a starting point.”

IF MY ADVISER HAS TOLD ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY AVAILABLE LUMP SUM, THEN WHY DON’T I JUST DO THIS MYSELF?
“This is where the rubber actually hits the road and where your financial adviser makes a difference! While funds should be allocated to the short, medium, and longer-term, as we are seeing in the current Covid-19 environment and many previous crisis situations – the whole world can spin on a ten-cent piece. Your financial adviser’s highest skills are employed here to adapt your investment portfolio as changes occur.”

WHAT KIND OF RECOMMENDATIONS MIGHT BE MADE?
“Your adviser’s actions will include ensuring you have enough funds to see you through a crisis. This used to be three months, but I now recommend a minimum of one year’s expenses.
“Then, ensuring you have medium-term funds for things like home improvements, family assistance, car, and appliance upgrades. And finally, for longer-term nest-egg and retirement provisions. Your financial adviser will keep an eye on your funds and adjust as appropriate to the current conditions. This could include keeping your investments exactly where they are or moving them somewhere deemed more beneficial.”

Contact Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers on 03 288 0404 or via Alistair.Bean@abafs.co.nz to help achieve your financial goals. Personal disclosure documents available free in the resources tab of the website below.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The second wave of Covid-19 has dealt the country a psychological blow alongside the economic and social impacts we are still experiencing from the first outbreak.
Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Socio-Economic Recovery Plan anticipated community transmission was likely and remains the basis for how we respond to these impacts. Our sights are firmly set on the immediate aim of supporting businesses and saving and growing jobs and, over the longer term we are building a foundation to reposition the city for a smart, sustainable future to ensure intergenerational wellbeing.
Already we’ve seen the delivery of several initiatives from the plan; including the recent partnership with the University of Canterbury (UC) Business School and Ara Institute of Canterbury and Ministry of Awesome through the Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth & Innovation, to deliver an all-of-city approach to innovation.
Start-ups and businesses with high growth potential now have even more support, advice, networks, mentoring and access to investor and commercial networks here and overseas.
The Ministry of Awesome will be the home for early-stage start-ups – their Incubation Programme and wealth of other start-up support will grow our best ideas into business opportunities.
ThincLab at UC will focus on high growth ventures, providing further incubator support and connecting businesses with the best local, national and international expertise to fast-track their growth.
Without a doubt, you can expect to see great things come out of the city’s innovation ecosystem over the next year.

 


 

John Bridgman

The Influencers: John Bridgman


One of the pleasing aspects of our work delivering anchor projects for Christchurch is the positive impact on suppliers.

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

We’re spending over $10m a month in the city at the moment. We’ve profiled some of those suppliers in recent in-house video updates.

Local company, John Jones Steel is producing 4500 tonnes of fabricated steelwork for the large Metro Sports Facility. It’s the biggest project in the company’s 50-year history and will keep them busy for a year.

John Jones Steel notes that their staff and families look forward to swimming in the competition and leisure pools, and playing on the court and other facilities, making it a special project for them.

That steel is being hoisted into place by Titan Cranes, which has three of the largest cranes ever used in New Zealand on-site, including a massive 500-tonne crawler crane especially imported for the project. I’m with one of the crane operators who notes excitedly: “You’re never too old to ride a hydroslide!”

But it’s not just the large companies that benefit from these projects. Remarkable Surfaces, a small family business based at Wigram, is spray painting the 487 gilded boxes that compose the ceiling design in the vast banquet room at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

This is the largest project that Remarkable Surfaces has ever undertaken, and they are indeed doing a remarkable job.

With Covid-19, these are challenging times to be delivering major construction projects. We look forward to having them completed for the enjoyment and benefit of us all.


 

 

Dancing home, from afar


Forced to reimage dance in a contactless, Covid-19 world, Switzerland-based Sumner-raised contemporary dancer Emma Murray has been selected for Christchurch-based Movement Art Practice (MAP)’s residency, which will be run and shown digitally for the first time at the end of this month.

 

 

Emma found her feet as a dancer at six-years-old and went on to study at the New Zealand School of Dance, later earning a place at the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company.

She left New Zealand in her early 20s to dance across Europe.

She’s recently completed a Masters in Contemporary Art Practice at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland and was selected for the MAP residency by an impressive lineup of Kiwi judges including Cat Ruka, Paul Young and Pelenakeke Brown.

She tells Metropol about her journey as a dancer.

I was attracted early on to the work being made in Europe and the strong traditions of contemporary dance and theater there, despite having a strong classical training.

I left New Zealand in 1997, making my way around Europe auditioning for dance companies in France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Holland and Montreal, Canada.

Eventually I found work in a city theater in Innsbruck, Austria and from there, moved to Switzerland where I was engaged as a soloist at the Stadt Theater Bern (now Konzert Theater Bern). That work was some of the most demanding and exciting of my career – not least because during this time I became a mother juggling fulltime dance and childcare.

Developing my own projects has allowed me to diversify my skills in and out of the studio, on and off the stage, as well as straddle various artistic disciplines and work with other artists across cultural divides. I left the Konzert Theater Bern in 2008, and I’ve continued to travel for performing, residencies or workshops, festivals and teaching engagements.

Probably what I’m most proud of – and in all honesty a little amazed by – is that I’m still doing it! Still performing and making work, still engaged on projects – my own and with others – and still finding the funding to do it.

Because of Covid-19, artists have been quick to look for alternatives or solutions. For me, a drop in productivity (the closure of theaters, postponement or cancellation of festivals and performances) has meant more time for reflection and practice.

The MAP Research Exchange programme offers me an opportunity to re-think performance in the digital sphere and explore tactile possibilities for working with multi-media. I’ll be doing this alongside the critical theorist Giulia Palladini. I am looking to bring alive a conversation between written text and the body, the body and digital technology, digital technology and performing an archive.

Watch the three winning residencies broadcast their projects at
www.movementartpractice.org