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The Pandemic Pivot: Socially-distanced drinking


An increasingly hygiene conscious world could have been the end of Christchurch man Ian McCormick’s drinking fountain business. Instead, he invented a solution.

 

 

Now, TapWaterWells’ new contactless fountains and water bottle fillers are being installed in schools and public facilities around New Zealand.

The Contactless Hydration Stations are so socially distanced, users can fill their bottle or drink from the faucet with their hands in their pocket, simply stepping on the foot pedal to start the water.

As concerns of COVID-19 hitting our shores grew in March, Ian started fielding calls from his customers – mainly schools – that they were turning off the fountains because they feared the machines required too much hand contact and may transmit the virus.

By the time the country was put into Level 4 lockdown, Ian knew it might be some time before the fountains – which children often put their mouths on – were welcome again.

So, he and his wife Madeleine put on their thinking caps and happened to both come up with the same idea: Pedal-power.

“All I had to do was design the see-saw operated foot pedal instead of the previous push mechanism, which required your hands,” he says.

Ian sent rough sketches of the mechanism to his Computer-aided Design (CAD) designer, who turned them into workable designs from his home.

Ian also uses a small local engineer, who also works solo from his home and who was able to turn the design into reality with some spare materials he had.

“By the time we came out of lockdown, we had the prototype operating and are now in full production.

“They’re now installed in schools in Christchurch, Havelock North, Tauranga and Auckland.

“We also have an order to be installed at a new bus depot in Silverdale in Auckland, and a multi-unit installation at an event centre also in Auckland.”

Ian says if he hadn’t acted quickly, his business could be facing a very uncertain future.

“As soon as the school said they were shutting them down, we knew this could be a problem – so if we wanted to stay in business we had to be ahead of the pack.

“We’re a small local business and were able to react reasonably quickly. This has really opened up opportunities for us, perhaps even overseas.”

Ian says the Contactless Hydration Stations can be used in schools and businesses, as they’re great for hygienically filling bottles and cups.

 

Tap Water Wells and Metropol are giving away two Contactless Hydration Station water bottle fillers. One to a primary school, and one to an ECE. Visit Metropol’s Facebook page to enter!


 

Event of the summer

February always represents plenty of amazing events happening in the city and Cantabrians are gearing up for one of the hottest events of the year – the Lexus Urban Polo, coming to Hagley Park, Saturday 29 February!

 

 

The Colombo is giving its shoppers the ultimate polo experience whereby one lucky winner and three friends receive complimentary tickets to the polo, an outfit worth $400 from any of The Colombo stores, shoes, a facial treatment, a manicure and pedicure, hair and makeup.

As for any special occasion, people love having the opportunity to dress to the nines, but it’s important to make time to fit in some necessary grooming appointments before the big day to ensure you look as fabulous as you feel.

Book ahead in salons such as Pinkies or Embrayce Beauty & MediSpa which offer a Microdermaplaning facial and the Power of Three facial – the latter being a fabulous treatment that includes LED Light Therapy, Laser Skin Rejuvenation and Active Vitamin Infusion with Sonophoresis.

Next step – your polo ensemble! For effortless elegance, tops and trousers from The Collective and Repertoire are of a luxurious drape and look sensational.

Heels and wedges from Andrea Biani will show off those pedicures and nothing beats a statement clutch from Redcurrent.

Annah Stretton does verve and vibrancy like nobody else, while those who prefer the casual but cool approach will find plenty of inspiration at Stencil.

Rendezvous with friends at The Belgian Beer Café Torenhof, head to the Beer Library for your favourite pre-polo tipple or kick back with a coffee from Underground Café Colombo.

Bring your enthusiasm to the game; cheer the players and clap every victory, as fan interaction is encouraged, but do be mindful of the ponies that can be easily spooked by spectator over-exuberance however well meant. Always stay alert for stray balls, mallets and horses.

Whatever occasion is marked on your calendar for February, be it a party, a wedding, a special Valentine’s Day celebration, or the polo, make sure you look your best and stand out from the rest in something stunning from any of the beautiful stores at The Colombo. They look forward to meeting you.