metropol » One on One » Page 2

Tag: One on One

Sophisticated style afoot: Mikko Shoes

Mikko Shoes’ new season collection is an enchanting offering of energising colourways and sophisticated shapes providing ample inspiration for the warmer months ahead. Metropol spoke with founder and buyer, Michaela, about this season’s trends and the Mikko difference.



I launched Mikko in 2013 to offer an extensive range of European hand selected and handcrafted quality shoes for women who wanted stylish footwear, without having to compromise on comfort. I felt there was an opportunity to provide a truly personalised instore experience – our team are professionally trained in fitting and styling.

Europe is the origin of shoemaking with a rich history of quality and excellent craftsmanship. The brands we choose are family-owned businesses, just like us. Each brand has its own story and every shoe has four things in common: comfort, quality, style and value. Since day one, we have prioritised artisanal quality, unparalleled comfort and timeless design that will last.

There are two ends of the colour spectrum to enjoy. Poolside Daydream – punchy, playful, ‘60s inspired tones of fuchsia, coral and teal – and Design Emotion – a Nordic-inspired, earthy palette, think jute, woodgrain and cork; a textural blend of sophistication and warmth.

We see an evolution of the interesting silhouettes, finishes and features introduced in winter – large scale exotic prints, the ‘90s square toe, brushed metallics and the architectural heel. Also new are corsage trims with glamorous oversized adornments.

Sneakers are seasonless! We love fresh interpretations like platform soles, metallic touches, animal prints and retro influences. We’ve also launched DL Sport – an Italian luxury casual sneaker range.

The vibe is joyful, inspiring and optimistic – and who isn’t feeling in the mood for that?

Visit Mikko Shoes at 143 Victoria Street or online




The vital truth about vitamins and minerals: Unichem Cashel

With common symptoms like fatigue, headaches and muscle pain – it can be easy to live unaware of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Unichem Cashel Head Pharmacist Annabel Turley tells Metropol how treating these issues can be simple – but greatly improve quality of life.



What is a vitamin and mineral deficiency, and how do they happen?
“It is when you’re not getting enough nutrients like vitamins and minerals from your diet, or you’re taking medications that deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body. There’s a number of common medications which many people in New Zealand take which can prevent vitamins and minerals being absorbed into the body. Our soil also doesn’t have a lot of minerals in it, so we don’t always get enough from our food. A lot of people don’t understand a vitamin and mineral deficiency can affect your overall health – and it can be so simple to fix.”

Can you tell if you are deficient?
“The symptoms are similar to a number of common complaints, like migraines, headaches, muscle pain and cramps, and low energy levels – so it can be hard for the untrained eye to determine what may be behind these common issues. You can get a blood test to see your iron levels or B12, but a lot of vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be treated via the symptoms. Our staff are all trained specifically to spot these symptoms, and to provide appropriate and informed advice.”

How can these issues be treated?
“It can be as simple as taking a multi-vitamin for some people who may be having general signs of vitamin or mineral deficiency – but not all vitamin supplements are created equally. It is best to seek advice from someone who has been trained and upskilled to not only spot symptoms, but to advise on the specific type of supplement.
“For example, not all supplements can easily be absorbed by the body so there are different forms which are better for different conditions and to be used with different medications.”

Find Unichem Pharmacy at 111 Cashel Street from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm.



Powered by plants

Chelsea Winter is unleashing her culinary creativity on the world yet again, but not like you’ve ever seen before. Because Chelsea, who has long been famed for her down to earth approach to butter, cream and meat, has ditched them all for a plant-based model. But if you think plant-based is parlance for deprivation, then you’ve got another thing coming.


Photography Tam West


After all, there’s nothing lacking when it comes to Winter’s Banoffee Pie, Chicken-out Mayo Sammies, Oozy Quesadillas, Chocolate Mousse, Elvish Toast Bread, Jellytip Cheesecake, Snausage Rolls (which we have the recipe for on page 66), Macho Nachos, Creamy Alfredo and Gooey Caramel Slice – dairy or no dairy. And there definitely is no dairy here folks!

Despite the surname, Winter is a ray of sunshine; bubbly, passionate and so beautifully down to earth. It’s what has endeared the country to her since she took out the third series of television mainstay, Masterchef in 2012.

She went on to put out an incredible five cookbooks in five years – beautiful, but accessible recipes for everyday Kiwis, culminating in the best-selling New Zealand cookbook and the best-selling book overall of 2017, Eat.

But it seems in 2020 Kiwis have had their fill of the classics and were craving something different – Supergood served up just that and was on its third reprint less than a week after hitting the streets!

“I think this was the most exciting one yet,” she says of the latest cookbook, which came after a three-year hiatus.

“This book being particularly close to my heart, it was like Christmas Eve for a little kid the night before launch! It’s an incredible feeling seeing all the energy, hard work and love you’ve put into something there as a real, finished thing. Then seeing the book in people’s kitchens and the food being made is a real thrill.”

Supergood is a strong reflection of the changes in Winter’s own eating, a natural evolution she has made with partner Douglas and their 15-month-old Sky, who you’ll find, more often than not, attached to Winter’s hip in the kitchen – “I can still manage to do everything except chop,” she laughs.

Photography Tam West

“I’ve been on a bit of a journey of knowledge and awareness over the past few years, intuitively eating more plant-based food, until I got to a point where it’s pretty much all I eat now,” she explains.

“And I’ve fallen in love with this lifestyle; this beautiful, sustainable, utterly delicious way of living. Now I’m just beyond excited to share it with people and let them see that plant-based food does not have to be scary, bland, boring or skimpy! No disappointing salads in this book. I think it’s the future.”

So how can the recipes be any good without all the cheese and butter and cream and chicken?

“Trust me, they are. I’ve worked a bit of wizardry to create an entire book of plant-based comfort food – you wouldn’t even know there was no meat or cheese or eggs if you were just flicking through the book. And based on the overwhelming feedback I’ve had from hundreds of home cooks, the recipes are going down a treat with even the hardiest of carnivores!

“This is exactly what I had in mind and I’m tickled pink.”

When quizzed on its popularity, Winter suspects that it’s all simply down to making a new way of eating accessible. “I honestly think it’s because the book is plant-based, with a gluten-free option for most things – and because people trust my recipes,” she says.

“It seems to me that people are more than ready to be inspired for a new way of cooking and eating. They just need the right recipes to do it; recipes that are easy, use mostly normal ingredients and recipes that the whole family will eat, and that’s what I’ve tried to do with Supergood.”

So does this self-confessed purveyor of deliciousness and everyday gangly blonde Kiwi have a favourite Supergood recipe or are they all her babies? “It’s way too hard to choose,” she laughs.

“The Macho Nachoes and Creamy Dahl with Crispy Potatoes have been hugely popular. The Jellytip Cheesecake on the cover and the Snickalicious (choc peanut) cheesecake are pretty incredible too. And you can’t go past that amazing 10-second aioli!”

So, what is next on the culinary cards for Chelsea Winter? “Considering I spent all last summer in the kitchen working on Supergood, this summer I am having a rest! I plan to chill on the beach with the family, eat good plant-based food and enjoy this beautiful life I’ve been given.”

Photography Tam West



Tame-ing the Politicians

Jack Tame has spent 15 years keeping New Zealanders up to date on the biggest stories from around the world. Metropol catches up with the Christchurch-raised broadcaster about what it takes to take on the politicians ahead of an exceptional election.



One of New Zealand’s most recognisable television journalists, Jack Tame has been on our screens since he was hired by TVNZ at 19 years old. In that time, he’s chased news stories across all seven continents – narrating the most defining events of the last two decades.

The 33-year-old spent five years as the state-owned broadcaster’s foreign correspondent in New York, where his final assignment was the infamous 2016 US election.

Now, as the host of the hard news and current affairs show Q+A he’s holding New Zealand’s politicians to account amidst an unprecedented pandemic election.

“There are a few interesting dynamics at play,” he says about the current campaign. “First of all, it’s amazing to compare this election with the last election, I think of all the things this election isn’t about.

“Over the last three years the government has had to deal with a series of massive crises. Most people would probably say they’ve been fairly successful in dealing with those crises and have done on the whole a pretty good job.”

However, he says progress made on the domestic agenda – around mental health, child poverty and housing affordability – don’t stack up with promises made ahead of the last time Kiwis voted.

“In a normal election campaign, the government might feel a lot of pressure from the opposition to deliver on their promises – but this isn’t a normal election. Covid-19 has changed everything about how we live.”

A fact which, Jack says, sees Labour and National offering similar solutions.

“I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference between our major parties when it comes to policies. It’s almost like Covid-19 has brought them closer together than they might have otherwise been.”

The build up to a general election can be a hectic time for journalists. Long hours, a lot of travel, and considerable pressure to be all over the ever-breaking latest news.

So what happens when that all-consuming period is extended another month?

“The only certain thing in the world at the moment is uncertainty, and journalists and newsrooms thrive in trying circumstances,” he says.

“As difficult as this year has been for all of us, it has also been a rewarding year and a thrilling thing to be part of. It’s not good Covid-19 is here or anything, but it’s in these moments of crises that you feel like you’re contributing to the greater good.”

And it has been a year where audiences are more tuned into the news than perhaps ever before.

“The decision to move alert levels really impacts our lives in a significant way – so it’s no wonder people have been interested,” he says.

With that attention, though, comes extra scrutiny and criticism.

“I get a lot of hate mail. I just accept that that is part of the job. What I strive for is to be hated evenly. I want both sides to be calling me biased.”

This criticism, however, is not always from the audience. A recent Q+A interview with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters made its own headlines when the political stalwart took offence to a line of questioning about NZ First allegedly leaking information about Green Party funding. During which, he called TVNZ a “disgrace” and called Jack “James” repeatedly.

“It was very funny,” says Jack nonchalantly.

“He and I have had many interviews, many times and it was hardly the first time we’ve seen Winston Peters rallying against the media.”

While such confrontations would make many people sweat, Jack says he backs his well-researched questions and believes Kiwis are owed the answers.

An approach which will only intensify as we get closer to polling day.

• The 1 NEWS Your Vote 2020 Election Night Special airs 7pm Saturday 17 Oct, and the Q+A Election Special airs Sunday 18 Oct, 8am, TVNZ 1.


Eighty and still racing

Eighty years. It’s a milestone held by a cyclist, his bicycle, and a challenging race across Banks Peninsula. Octogenarian John Winkie is aiming to raise $80,000 for research to help those with debilitating spinal cord injuries get back in the saddle again.


John will be cycling on his trusty 1940s bicycle from Christchurch to Akaroa, to raise funds and awareness for The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust.

Originally an entrant in the now-cancelled Le Race, John will still tackle the course with his cycling buddies.

John’s desire to help came after his biking buddy Jim Dollimore took a debilitating tumble while cycling in February.

“It was a tribute to him and a tribute to the people at Burwood hospital” he says of his close mate’s recovery. He was totally paralysed, but is now back on his feet and on the mend.”

Only ever breaking a couple of bones himself, two more of John’s fellow cyclists have also bounced back from serious spinal injuries, through the amazing help and support they received.

However, some are not so lucky. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of spinal injuries through accidents in the world.

The CatWalk Trust is supporting very promising research worldwide and locally at the Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility (SCIRF).

Every year in New Zealand, close to 80 to 130 people suffer acute spinal cord injury, the majority occurring in males between 25- and 45-years of age.

A global body of very promising evidence is that a cure will be found. John was aware of the funding needed to for this critical research.

East London born, he bought his Duckett Superlite bicycle for his paper round and a London to Wales cycle marathon at the age of 12.

It has since had the gears modified for hill rides, spokes replaced, and it’s repainted black. Immigrating to New Zealand with his wife Maria in 1973, he now resides and cycles regularly in Omaha Beach, Auckland.

“My daughter rode my bike in club races in the ‘80s, but it has since been gathering dust under the house. It was just by chance that it was still hanging around, so I took it out a couple of months ago.”

The superstar octogenarian is a national bike-industry legend, and holds the title of Masters World Mountain Biking Champion, and will be hopefully competing in the Masters Games next year in Japan.

John invented the revolutionary Keywin Speed Pedal when he was General Manager at Franklin Machinery – a twist-out release principle, now a standard by pedal makers worldwide. His innovation is a lifesaver at traffic lights.

The six foot, slim 80-year-old attributes his eternally fit agility to “a very balanced lifestyle, no fads and drawing from the theories of Kiwi Olympiad Arthur Lydiard. I just keep going, I’ve always been naturally damn fit!”

“I’ll be travelling down to Christchurch with our riding group, The Warkworth Riders, and I’m looking forward to meeting up with my old racer buddies in Christchurch as well. I know there will be some really big hills, but I should finish in around five hours, going at a speed of 20 to 25km/h.”

Despite no official race, John will still be a big winner in the race to get people up and out of their wheelchairs.


The cult of skincare

Discovering her skincare wasn’t safe during pregnancy sent Kiwi woman Emma Lewisham on a mission to create natural, yet powerful, products. Her eponymous range launched this year and already has a cult-like following. Metropol catches up with Emma about what it takes to create a coveted range.


A conversation with her GP about fertility in 2016 changed the course of New Zealand woman Emma Lewisham’s life – and quite possibly the country’s skincare industry.

“I was going through a bit of a turning point in my life, I had just lost my mother to cancer and was finding that really hard to come to terms with. She was really young, and I started to realise I was taking my own health for granted.

“I started thinking, ‘I’m in my 30s now, I need to think about how I live and the things I do every day’, I was also trying and struggling to get pregnant at the time, and so I was speaking to my GP about what I needed to consider for my general health.”

When asked what skincare she was using, Emma named a heavy-hitting product she employed to help even her skin tone.

“She said, ‘Stop using that right now’. It contained an ingredient which I found out was banned in Europe and Japan, but in New Zealand they still allowed the sale of it despite it having a lot of credible research behind it as a known carcinogen.

“And I just thought, ‘If I couldn’t use it then, why would I use it ever?’.”

The discovery of this unwitting pay off between her health and results set Emma on a journey.

“From there I knew I wanted to use more clean and natural products, so I went to pharmacies and health shops, but I was used to really high performing skincare and couldn’t find anything which would get those same results.

“I didn’t accept that you either had to compromise your health for results, or compromise results for using natural products.”

A global marketing executive for a Japanese tech company at the time, Emma was far removed from the science and process of creating skincare.

“I didn’t have experience producing skincare, but I had experience identifying gaps in the market and I just felt like I was onto something, and that it was going to resonate with people.”

And that it did.

Since launching last year, the Emma Lewisham range has gained near-instant notoriety.

Featured in top Australasian lifestyle magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Viva, Remix, Mindfood, Mamamia, and on The Spinoff’s Business is Boring podcast, as well as influential blogs like The Twenties Club.

It’s also a favourite of Kiwi Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler, her also-a-model sister, Kate, and fellow New Zealand-born, Aussie-based model, Eden Bristowe.

But developing a coveted skincare range doesn’t just happen overnight – it took three years of research and development and a team of scientists to bring her vision to life.

Those experts told Emma about research happening around the world into high-performing plant-derived ingredients.

To those not familiar with skincare, that may sound far-fetched.

But consumer interest in cosmetic skincare has skyrocketed in recent years, with the global industry projected to exceed NZD$1 trillion by 2025, according to business data platform Statista.

“I was very driven to get luxury high performing products at any cost,” says Emma.

“We sourced ingredients from 30 countries, and instead of focussing on two or three ingredients per product, we put up to 30 in and at up to two to four times higher concentrate than what was in the market.”

Initially launching with three products (a daily moisturiser, SPF and face oil serum) two more (a serum targeting hyperpigmentation and a night cream) followed.

She’s also launched Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle, where consumers can return any brand’s facial skincare packaging for recycling. And last week announced a refillable product option designed to reduce water and carbon emissions.

Emma, now a mother of one who visits Christchurch frequently to see her father who lives here, credits her tenacity to strong female role models.

“My grandmother, Patricia Crossett, was one of the first female CEOs of the day.

“She ran her own businesses and it’s from her where I got the belief that women can do anything and how to hold my own and be confident as a female in my career.”


Lighting up the dark

In times of darkness we all just need to have a good laugh, says South African-Kiwi Urzila Carlson. And the multi award-winning comedian is certainly up to delivering on that brief. She speaks to Metropol about how humour can get us through.



From her Sydney hotel room on the last day of her mandated isolation, Urzila Carlson is typically hilarious – and busy.

Her two-week stay in a sunless room saw her continue her regular appearances on Australian, New Zealand and South African television, as well as, “podcasts, heaps of podcasts”.

She maintained her regular panellist slot on comedy show Have You Been Paying Attention? Australia and New Zealand, as well as conducting radio, television and podcast interviews.

These interviews centred around her upcoming rescheduled New Zealand tour and the success of her recent hour-long Netflix comedy special, Overqualified Loser.

Her feature on the global streaming platform makes her the first Kiwi to get a coveted hour-long special, a format known for featuring the trade’s biggest names (Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler) while launching lesser-known names into the spotlight (like Australian Hannah Gadsby), too.

“I was blown away when they offered it to me,” Urzila says.

“I did the 30-minute one [Comedians Around the World] then thought, ‘that’s it, I’m happy with that’, but then when they gave me the hour…wow. It’s such a good way and platform to open up comedy to the world.”

Not that Urzila necessarily needs to be introduced to the world.

Since first stepping on the stage in 2008, she has won the NZ Comedy Guild’s Best Female Comedian award six times as well as the coveted People’s Choice Award at the NZ International Comedy Festival two years in a row.

She has won the Sydney Comedy Festival’s Director’s Choice Award, was a nominee for Australia’s Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performer in 2018, and has sold out seasons in London, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch.

But undeniably, the show will introduce her to a new horde of fans.

“No matter where you go, people ask you, ‘do you prefer English or American comedy?’, and I’m like, ‘you realise there’s other regions?’.”

And in her experience, audiences don’t discriminate. When performing in Hong Kong and Singapore recently, she had sold out shows with predominantly local attendants.
“People just enjoy comedy.”

And it’s this philosophy she believes will see us all through the current uncertainty of Covid-19.

“My job is, when people have had a rough week, they can have a laugh. People just want to go out and have a laugh, they don’t want to be reminded of what’s going on – it’s not a news broadcast.

“My job is to make you laugh flat out for an hour.”

Those laughs often come from Urzila making fun of herself. Her self-deprecating humour – especially in Unqualified Loser – often centring around body image.

“I don’t really tell jokes,” she says. “I tell stories about my life.”

“We all go through the same experience, and this whole virus thing is proof of that. It’s really showing us we’re all going through the same thing.

“People laugh at the stuff they can relate to. If you’ve seen, heard or felt it you’re going to laugh at it.

“[Body image] is such a big thing, there’s not one human being on the planet, regardless of what they look like, who doesn’t have a hang up.

“We all have an issue with one part of ourselves. You could look at someone and say, ‘you’re perfect’ and they will say ‘I’ve got this weird droopy butt cheek’. Yes, we need to cut other people some slack, but also we need to cut ourselves some slack.”

When she comes to Christchurch, her “home away from home” as her mother and sister live here, she says her show – originally planned to be performed in July – will look at another universal experience: modern rage.

“As a society we’re angrier than ever, especially after we’ve survived something. In Christchurch after the earthquakes people were angry…and we’ll see it now after the virus, too.

“I think the world is going to suffer from PTSD after the virus because they had no outlet. Everything around you is facilitated to help your day go easier and smoother.”

She explains how humans used to have an outlet, doing household work like chopping firewood, now our rage stays put – until we get on the internet.

While that’s where the show’s spoilers end, Urzila promises attendees, “…just a great laugh”.

“There’s no life lessons to take away from it – just watch it, laugh and have a good time.”

Sounds like the perfect medicine for our times.

Urzila Carlton is scheduled to perform at the Christchurch Town Hall on December 10. Get your tickets from Live Nation.


The Art of living

He proved us wrong about reality TV. Now married to the woman he met on the show, Matilda, the couple is about to celebrate their son’s first birthday. Cantabrian and former The Bachelor New Zealand, Art Green, speaks with Metropol about love and life in the limelight, and moving his business home.



Art became a household name almost overnight as the inaugural The Bachelor New Zealand, but it’s what he’s done since which has cemented his status there.

It’s been five-and-a-half years since Art gave Matilda her first rose, and the couple have now been married for 18-months and their son, wee Milo, is about to turn one.

And it’s been a busy few years – all lived in the public eye.

With a commercially lucrative 270,000 followers on Instagram between them, the pair have both launched successful careers from their high profiles.

They have started paleo ready-made meal company Plate Up, recorded six seasons of their podcast Well & Good, and fulfilled a handful of television presenter roles between them.

Art has gone on to host The Bachelorette New Zealand, while Matilda has hosted Heartbreak Island. Both have written books.

“Going on The Bachelor put my life in fast forward,” says Art. “And it feels like it wasn’t until Milo was born that now it can slow down, and I can stop and breathe and spend time with him and Mattie.”

That slow down means moving to Warkworth, north of Auckland and working mainly from home, where the decision was recently made to move production of Plate Up to Art’s hometown of Christchurch.

“We have a lot of customers down there and we procure a lot of fresh produce from there, so it made sense to move it down.”

Plate Up, like his other endeavours, is an extension of Art’s passion for health, fitness and wellbeing – a lifestyle he’s cultivated since childhood.

“It all started when I was little,” he says.

“My dad’s always been really fit and had a home gym, a bench made from beer crates and an old axle bar as a bench press. I’d hang out in the shed when he was doing that, and that’s probably where my interest began.”

It was that interest which saw him, after graduating from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Physical Education, land a job managing an onsite gym at a mining site in Western Australia.

There, he worked four weeks stints on site in the middle of the desert, where had free reign of a gym and all his meals catered – and realised he was in the perfect conditions to turn himself into a science experiment.

“I started looking at all sorts of diets and nutrition and exercise schools of thoughts and started testing them out. I did keto, [meal replacement shakes] Isagenix, no sugar, and then I did paleo.”

Known as “the caveman diet”, paleo nutrition centres around the concept of eating whole, unprocessed foods.

“At first I thought it was bullsh*t, but the more I read about it the more it made sense and then when I started doing it, it had great results for me – I had lots of energy, I wasn’t hungry
and was getting good results from training.”

He became a paleo poster boy of sorts. He moved back to New Zealand and joined two friends who had started their own paleo food venture, Clean Paleo, which was successful until a malfunction at its Auckland factory ruined its entire manufacturing operation.

After a year of trading in administration, the business was recently sold to new buyers. The business’ end was widely reported by the media, a fact Art has come to accept about life in the public eye.

“Our lives are certainly not private anymore. At the start I would go through stages with it, I used to find myself really not wanting to be held up as a role model, but it’s just an inevitability, and now I’m absolutely fine with it.

“It’s quite cool just meeting people out in the real world. People sometimes want to come up and have a chat with us, it can be quite a nice icebreaker, and I quite like it.”

He says a recent Well & Good episode, where the couple interviewed controversial Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans, showed him how far he’s come in dealing with the scrutiny.

“The social media side of things is a little bit more intense. It’s definitely a transition from going to having a private social media profile to have tens of thousands of people watching everything you post.

“It can be volatile at times. Most recently, with the podcast episode, we got a lot of backlash and I think we handled it well not just professionally but for ourselves personally, too.

“I think that’s just from years of experience being in the spotlight, and both dealing with these situations and being able to support each other.”

When it comes to Milo, the couple have thought a lot about how they plan to raise a family with so many eyes watching.

“It’s a really tough one to navigate, and we think it about it a lot, and thought about it a lot before he was born.

“He doesn’t feature in any posts that we’re undertaking to do with any brands or commercial stuff, and we’ve been trying to minimise the amount he’s in any of our posts.

“We’ll begin phasing him out of everything to do with social media once he’s old enough to be recognised.”


Born to sing

Delta Goodrem once told us she was, Born to Try. But to describe what this powerhouse performer has been able to achieve as simply ‘try’ would most certainly sell her short. Named after the Joe Cocker song Delta Lady, it seem Delta wasn’t Born to Try; she was born to sing.



“It was something that in my heart I knew was what I wanted to do,” she says of the career which will bring her to New Zealand next year for her Bridge Over Troubled Dreams Tour.

“Truthfully it was a feeling I had. My parents were so incredibly supportive of my dream.”

At the age of thirteen, Goodrem recorded a five-song demo CD, financed through TV commercials and minor roles in several Australian series.

Long story short, it secured her a record deal with Empire Records. But it was her role as shy school girl and aspiring singer Nina Tucker on Neighbours which made her a household name, launching her music career.

“I was so lucky to have had my parents. Nobody knew anyone in the industry; I was just a kid that wrote songs from what I was seeing in the world!”

Goodrem’s first ever headline tour of New Zealand will commence on 22 April 2021 at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, before moving to Auckland’s Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre on 23 April and hitting the Christchurch Town Hall on 24 April.

“There’s nothing like being on tour and being with people face to face and to share in the magic of live music,” says Goodrem, who is heavily involved creating her shows.

“From day one when I started making music, it was important to me that the overall feeling had to come from my heart; being authentic is what people respond to and I deeply love putting on shows. Nothing gets me more excited than creating a world for everyone to come to.

“Visually, I love to make sure a tour represents the energy of what this new album embodies. There are going to be incredible musical moments in bringing to life the surprise elements of this new album and all of the favourites from my previous records. Anyone who has been to my shows knows that I like to have a lot of fun and this record and tour is no different.”

The singer-songwriter who has been in self-lockdown in Sydney also recognises the opportunity for fans to let loose. “I know many people are going through challenging times right now; come next year I want to invigorate and empower everybody in the room to have the best night of their lives and we’ll sing and dance through it all.”

It’s also an opportunity to allow her fans to connect with her new music and reminisce over the old – the ‘old’ including 17 Top 10 hits, four number one albums and selling more than nine million records worldwide.

The ‘new’ includes Let It Rain, released in January as Australia battled devastating bushfires, with proceeds donated to bushfire relief.

Keep Climbing was released in her social media Bunkerdown sessions in May.

“I’d like this song to remind people to not be afraid to find the strength when they feel stuck between where they are and where they want to go,” Goodrem explains.

“To find that part in you to keep climbing and to continue to believe that it will lead you to that next moment in your life.”

Continuing to let the music do the talking, she released Paralyzed on the grand finale of The Voice Australia 2020; a narrative of when your whole world stops and has to be reset.

“Sometimes we are forced to take the difficult cards we are dealt with in life, in our stride. Of course it’s a personal song, but it’s there for everyone who is asking themselves for patience and a chance to stop and rewind,” she says.

Forming what she describes as her “new era of music”, she’s since come to realise the powerful lyrics mean something unique to everyone. “So many people have experienced it.”

Seemingly busier than ever during lockdown, Goodrem has also been undertaking highly-acclaimed performances for global event One World: Together At Home and Music From The Home Front where she shone as one of four hosts, delivering a show-stopping duet rendition of the Men At Work classic Down Under with Colin Hay.

But a project that is even closer to her heart has been the launch of the Delta Goodrem Foundation, in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.

Established to help fund medical research into blood cancers and autoimmune disease, the foundation stands in recognition of her own health battle – one with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was just 18.

“I think [that experience] cemented for me that health is the most important thing,” Goodrem says.

“And also the understanding that someone is going through that fight right now; you don’t know what someone is going through. Part of my DNA is this huge empathy and compassion for someone’s journey.

“Being able to talk to people as a survivor is a real privilege.”

But it is perhaps the establishment of the foundation which has been the biggest takeaway for her and $1 + GST from every ticket purchased for the Bridge Over Troubled Dreams Tour will be going to support the foundation’s work.

So what do the next 12 months have in store for this powerhouse performer?

“Hopefully lots and lots of new music, I’ll be continuing to bring out new songs and heading out on tour see you in person. I’m truly looking forward to it.”

She may be Australia’s sweetheart, but she might soon be ours too.



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.”