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All about you: Elyse Campbell


Elyse Campbell is not your typical Real Estate Agent! Elyse understands that in essence – it’s all about, you.

 

 

“I’m here to provide you a service and get you top dollar. End of story. The fact that we have fun along the way – that I know my selling process inside out, which then takes the stress out of it for you – creates a dynamic where everyone wins,” she says.

Elyse loves people: “I just think, when good people get together around the kitchen table – amazing things happen.”

Sharing her skills and facilitating the process enables people to fulfil their next project while creating the dream opportunity for someone else!

“It’s very satisfying helping people with a very meaningful transaction.”

She is an avid yogi, loves hand stitching and knitting, is a lover of fashion and design, a self-confessed excellent scone maker.

And will even attempt the cha-cha. Having been brought up in Queenstown and lived all around New Zealand, packing and shifting is second nature.

When you need to discuss your property sale or purchase with someone who will work hard for you, give Elyse a call for a personal and confidential conversation – it will be one of your smartest moves in 2021.

Email her at
elyse@oneagencyres.co.nz or check out the One Agency website.


 

Poetry Knights


It truly was a gathering of literary luminaries when literature and art magazine takahē celebrated 31 years of circulation with the recent launch of its 100th issue at, most fittingly, the Sign of the Takahē.

 

 

Current takahē chair, Jeni Curtis, introduced guest speaker and takahē founder, Sandra Arnold, whose anecdotes on the birth of the magazine were both historically intriguing and entertaining.

Aotearoa Poet Laureate, David Eggleton, then read three poems: ‘A Week in the Valley’, ‘Dear Reader’, and ‘The Burning Cathedral’ – a moving poem about the fire of Notre Dame.

Next to take the stage was local poets James Norcliffe and Bernadette Hall, followed by takahē essay editor, Andrew Woods.

Cindy Botham, from Tauranga, read her poignant poem ‘From the Settlers’ Cemetery, Akaroa’, which won the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Competition Award, 2020.

‘Strike the Pounamu’, a 100-line poem on voices of Aotearoa, was read by takahē poetry editors Gail Ingram, and Jeni.

With 84 of our country’s finest poets having contributed lines to the work – such as Vaughan Rapatahana, Sue Wootton, Karen Zelas, Michael Harlow, Siobhan Harvey, Fleur Adcock, Albert Wendt and former poet laureate Elizabeth Smither – it was, indeed, the perfect ending to a poetic night.


 

Wiggling their way to NZ


They perform for littlies, but the star power of the Wiggles is anything but. And the South Island is set to be the first place in the world to hear them perform mid-pandemic. Metropol catches up with Red Wiggle (and new father) Simon Pryce, ahead of the We’re All Fruit Salad! tour.

 

 

 

The beloved children’s band – made up of Emma Watkins, Lachlan Gillespie, Simon Pryce and Anthony Field – will be joined onstage by Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and their newest Wiggly Friend; Shirley Shawn the Unicorn for one of 2021’s most highly anticipated tours (in certain circles) in March.

“We have been to New Zealand a bit over the years,” says Red Wiggle Simon Pryce, who has just welcomed another Wiggles fan, his newborn son, Asher, earlier this month.

“We can’t wait [to come to New Zealand]! Normally we would be touring up to eight months in a year. The New Zealand shows will be the first we’re doing after 12 months! And New Zealand is a beautiful, beautiful place to come to.”

A multiple-choice quiz through the school careers advisor suggested Simon was best suited to being a gift card shop owner, but he ended up studying sports science at university before the grandson of two opera singers found his way to drama school and, later, to The Wiggles.

He had known the original band and done a lot of studio work for them over the years.

In 2012 it was announced that Simon would replace Murray Cook, who retired, along with lead singer Greg Page and Purple Wiggle, Jeff Fatt.

“Murray and I were the same size, so maybe I just fit his skivvy and pants,” laughs Simon. But he was a natural fit – and not just for the stage costume!

“It’s been eight years now, an incredible eight years. For some reason these things happen and you’re in the right place, right time.”

The tour, which coincides with the band’s 30-year anniversary, promises all the classics, with some new songs, dances, drums, bagpipes and banjos.

“It’s such an incredible job, particularly as an Australian performer being able to travel the world. Meeting children and families around the world has been the standout about what we do,” explains Simon, who describes the fortunate position of being able to bring light into the lives of children and families who have been doing it tough, whether financially or medically.

He recalls singing ‘Big Red Car’ to a young boy in hospital who started singing along, when the boy’s shocked father started crying. Turns out, those words had been the most his son had said all year. “That’s really been the foundation of 30 years of The Wiggles and that’s what keeps us going.”

Often touring up to 300 days a year, it’s an intense workload. Band members need to look after themselves, get enough sleep and, a prerequisite, they must love the work! “You can’t be a grumpy Wiggle,” Simon laughs.

“We’re inherently happy people, but when you’re doing shows, it could be the fourth show in a day for us. It’s tiring! But we try to remember that for a lot of the audience, it might be their first time seeing us live, so it’s up to us to give the best show possible.

“The energy of the audience is so infectious; you can’t help but smile and have a great time.”

And with the arrival of Asher the baby Wiggle, he’s going to need all the energy he can get!

The tour kicks off in Invercargill on March 19 and will take the talented team to Dunedin, Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga, Hamilton, Auckland, Napier and Palmerston North before finishing in Wellington on April 1.


 

Home for summer


Christchurch model Eleni Tsavousis has forged a formidable career in front of the camera. Home from New York for summer, Metropol catches up with the local beauty about a tumultuous year in the Big Apple – and what’s in store for the one to come.

 

Eleni is represented by Christchurch-based modelling agency Portfolio while she is in New Zealand.

 

Tell us a bit about your upbringing in Christchurch and how this led to your modelling career?
“I was born in Christchurch, but then spent my childhood years in Nassau in the Bahamas. At 13, we all moved back to NZ and I started to hear more about how my mum and aunt had worked in the industry, but I can’t say I ever thought about it as a career for me. When I was 15 I got approached a few times. I didn’t pursue either advance, but a year or so later a friend of my mum’s, Sharon Ng, asked me to do a shoot for her. I remember feeling super embarrassed, but also flattered to be considered for her beautiful work, so I said yes and we shared a lovely (freezing) winter’s day shooting in the Port Hills. After that I walked for her in a show and then started working more regularly. It’s been a pretty incredible ride and the industry has given me so much. I’ve been working for more than 15 years now and I am so grateful for the gift of being able to live and work around the world. It’s taken me to live in Australia, Hamburg, Berlin, London, South Africa, Los Angeles and New York. I get to meet new people in new places every day for work which I love. I’m truly so grateful for it and how it has shaped my life.”

2020, what a year. New York has been in the global spotlight for the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the city. What has it been like living amongst the chaos?
“What a year indeed. My partner and I were supposed to have our wedding in April and I had a flight booked home to Christchurch early March to finish my wedding dress with my mum. We ended up staying until July and when we got back to New York it was a ghost town. I walked around Manhattan a few times, which is usually a bustling hub of tourists and business and was shocked to find block after block of homeless encampments. It was a very sobering time.”

Not to mention the impact on the fashion industry. We’ve seen a widespread re-think of the notion of frequent seasonal fashion. What have your observations been about this, and how does it impact your work? What do you think we will see from the industry in 2021?
“In my time in the industry, I have become increasingly aware of its problems, and am very pleased to see companies trying to find solutions that are environmentally and socially conscious. But, I think we as consumers also have to take responsibility. We have power and a lot of choice about how we spend. So I really try to take the time to think twice before I buy. Buy less, buy local, up-cycle, recycle, shop at thrift stores, be the hand that forces change. Moving forward I think we are going to see a push for artisan craftsmanship, for localised production and for an understanding of who made what and where.”

But now you’re back in New Zealand (and Christchurch)! What did you get up to in your quarantine hotel – and how do you plan to spend the summer?
“Home sweet home! I am actually in quarantine as I write this! Shout out to The Sebel Hotel in Manakau! I have been so impressed by the effective and thoughtful way our government has been able to keep NZ safe and still welcome home so many returning New Zealanders. It has made me so proud and grateful to be a Kiwi.
On release, I plan to annoy my mum with as many DIY projects as I can get away with, continue my life long saga of trying to get my dad to teach me French, guilt my brother into taking annual leave to hang out with me, catch up with my wonderful whanau and friends and take my husband on his first Kiwi tramp! I smile just thinking about it.”

And what does 2021 have in store for you?
“2020 was definitely a lesson in impermanence and being flexible with what the world delivers to us. I feel so lucky we have come through unscathed relative to so many we know and many we don’t. Honestly, I don’t know what my future holds; for now I’m looking forward to having a few months at home with my family and working with amazing creative Kiwis!”

 

 


 

From the Editor: 17 December 2020


As we send our last magazine of 2020 to print, it seems hard to believe this time last year we were unaware of a mysterious illness which was about to dramatically redefine the months ahead.

 

 

It’s fair to say: We had no idea what was coming.

While much of the world succumbed to Covid-19’s devastating effects on lives and livelihoods, our little islands were spared the full brunt of this pandemic.

Our team of five million has a lot to be proud of when counting their accomplishments for the year that was.

It’s not every year you can pat yourself on the back for not leaving the house much.

But you should pat yourself on the back, because while our individual experiences of Covid-19 may have been anything but universal, 2020 has been a universally challenging year.

And we wouldn’t have got to December, staring down the barrel of a relatively normal (whatever that means anymore) holiday period without each person playing their part.

Whether that was as an Essential Service worker, a family that juggled home schooling with WFH, and all those now dedicated to supporting local business and charities.

For all the uncertainty which has permeated our collective 2020, one thing is very certain: It’s time for a break.

For all those lucky to have some time off this holiday season – enjoy.

Cherish the time with your friends and whanau, and we’ll see you again in 2021.

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.”


 

An artistic partnership


Local art lovers are in for a treat as a broad array of exhibitions will be coming to town, thanks to an 18-month partnership between Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA) and Auckland gallery, Objectspace.

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An idea born out of lockdown, the new collaborative project is thanks in part to Canterbury expat, Kim Paton, whose love of art grew at CoCA and who is now the director of Objectspace.

Kim says the collaboration pools resources across locations to bring more ambitious exhibitions to more people, by more artists.

“The partnership will express a kind of marriage between CoCA’s focus and Objectspace’s discipline focus. Another key focus is really trying to think about how to engage and attract diverse audiences. I really believe in the democracy of a public gallery, as a public space for everyone.

“With doing that work with Objectspace, we’ve learnt a huge amount and it’s a good footing to take that knowledge and be able to hit the ground running in Christchurch.”

The partnership will see four seasons of exhibitions delivered across CoCA’s Mair and North Galleries and Objectspace’s Ockham and Chartwell Galleries. Highlights include major exhibition Hostile Architecture that will open simultaneously across the two venues in late 2021.

“The partnership particularly focuses on creating good and well-resourced opportunities for artists in the midst of not ideal conditions,” she says of the impact Covid-19 has had on the arts.

“I think without a doubt the cultural sector is underfunded, so certainly the pressures Covid-19 has placed on that make these incredibly testing and challenging times for big and small institutions throughout the country.”

Kim says CoCA was an important influence in her love of art as a teen which grew into her career. She holds a First Class Honours degree in Sculpture and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management, has held academic positions at Massey University and Wintec School of Media Arts, and has curated and written extensively on craft and contemporary art.

“CoCA was an important space to visit particularly through my teens, so I’ve obviously got really strong memories of it in that way, but I also love the architecture of the building.

“It’s a beautiful example of regional modernism and that is an incredibly exciting architectural space for exhibitions due to its scale and natural light.”

 


 

behind the beauty brand which gives a damn


Hannah Duder is the Christchurch-based co-founder and CEO of Indigo and Iris, an ethical beauty brand which donates 50 percent of profits to restoring sight to people in the Pacific Islands and to empowering New Zealand women to achieve financial independence. Metropol catches up with Hannah about what drives her in business.

 

 

The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome as a woman in business was confidence and imposter syndrome. I luckily overcame this while I was at university through having female role models that I could look up to and people who made me realise my age and gender did not need to hold me back from anything.

My business philosophy is you must think about the impact your business is having on the world because it is companies and business people who have only been concentrating on their profits that have caused some of the biggest social and environmental issues our world faces today.

The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in business was you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. You must focus and be lean and not try to do too many things at once.

The best advice I’ve been given was you need to focus on your own personal self to be truly successful in life. If you are broken you can’t fix the world. Not in those exact words, but my mentor and an investor in my business, Rob Woodward, tell me this all the time.

I try to approach my work with heart because it will mean that if my heart is in it I will do what I love but also make decisions with heart. That means considering the planet and the people on it when making any decision in my company.

I’m currently reading and enjoying the book, Her Way by Jaqui Thomas, a recent release from a New Zealand author. It is stories of women in New Zealand succeeding in business and doing so with love. I also love listening to podcasts – After Work Drinks, How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, Whatever I Want by FlexMami and Fletch, Vaughan and Megan on ZM.

My advice for other women coming in my field is: Make sure you care about what you are doing. It seems so obvious and has been said but it is really hard to keep going if you don’t care.


 

Curtain call, inside Canterbury’s Curtain Bank


The Christchurch-based Curtain Bank, one of the flagship offerings of Community Energy Action Charitable Trust (CEA) has been helping to keep Cantabrians (and more recently West Coasters) healthier for over 25 years. The first of its kind in New Zealand, it has provided over 6000 homes with good quality, recycled window coverings – as well as insulation and energy advice. Metropol catches up with the charity as it works through pandemic-induced higher needs for its services.

 

 

During uncertain times the need in the community increases. CEA and the Curtain Bank are looking towards autumn and winter with a view of ensuring as many in the community are warm, dry and healthy as possible.

“Windows are one of the weakest links when it comes to energy efficiency in a home,” says Caroline Shone, Chief Executive of CEA.

More heat can be lost through uncovered single glazed windows than through an uninsulated wall.”

And considering how many homes throughout Canterbury have single glazed windows, this is a lot of cold, damp and in the worst cases, mouldy, homes.

In New Zealand, it is estimated a third of homes are considered unhealthy, a figure which costs the country $145 million per year and results in 35,000 nights in hospital, according to a University of Otago study.

Those national figures are reflected in the Canterbury communities serviced by the CEA and Curtain Bank, which is Kaikoura to Ashburton, and across to the West Coast.

“In the aftermath of both the Canterbury and the North Canterbury earthquakes, CEA services, including the Curtain Bank, helped a large number of households who had earthquake damaged properties. We worked alongside councils in Christchurch, Waimakariri, Hurunui, Selwyn, Kaikoura and even Marlborough during that period,” says Caroline.

“Now our attention is to support families in the community through another challenging period: the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to let people know about CEA and the Curtain Bank and everything else we do.

“Curtaining is expensive, and not everyone can afford it. So instead of throwing good curtains away, they can be donated and re-used. That doesn’t just help other families but also the environment by reducing what goes to landfill.

“We know that the Curtain Bank has saved many tens of thousands of kilos from going to landfill, conserving energy and reducing emissions,” says Caroline.

Once received, donated curtains are cleaned and stored at the bank until an application is received.

If the Curtain Bank has the size required, curtains can be given out straight away. Where required curtains can be resized and another layer can be added to create a double layer.

The Curtain Bank has also helped set up others like it across New Zealand. Several years ago the Curtain Bank added a mobile service to get out to the more rural areas and to help those unable to get to the Christchurch premises.

However, it cost tens of thousands of dollars a year to keep the Curtain Bank running. Aside CEA’s own funding, the Curtain Bank is supported by individuals, soft furnishing stores (donating excess stock) and a few key sponsors including NZ Lottery Grants, the Christchurch Casino and for over ten years, its long-time supporter and funder, Genesis Energy.

Genesis Energy’s Community Investment & School-gen Manager Jenny Burke says CEA has done an outstanding job in reaching out to people in the community who need their support.

“As a major energy generator and retailer we believe in doing our part to help those people in the community who struggle to make their homes energy efficient.

“Working with CEA enables us to support those people in our communities who, for whatever reason, can’t afford insulated curtains. Hopefully with a warmer and drier home these families will suffer fewer respiratory illnesses – keeping kids in school and the elderly out of hospital.”

CEA is a charitable trust that also works as a trusted and established service provider for the government’s Warmer Kiwi Homes programme through EECA, for subsidised insulation and heating for low income homeowners.

“We also provide non-subsidised insulation,” says Caroline. “Any surplus money made from the non-subsidised insulation goes back into our services such as the Curtain Bank to help those that need them.”

• You too can help! By either donating to CEA’s Givealitte page, making direct donations or dropping off your good quality used curtains, longer than 1.8m, free of mould and not ripped or faded. See CEA’s website below for making donations in other ways and dropping off curtains.


 

A Major success


She’s the self-professed “small woman with a big voice”, who went from a three-year-old country crooner to one of the highest accoladed performers this country has seen. But the high note of Dame Malvina Major’s 50-year operatic career is the foundation set up in her name that celebrates its 30th anniversary next year. Metropol catches up with Dame Malvina about her life’s work.

The seventh of eight children, Dame Malvina has been entertaining crowds since first clambering onto the stage to join her siblings at two.

Country music was the family remit. But recognising the big voice coming from the small Malvina, it wasn’t long before her mother was pushing her into opera, despite a personal penchant for Broadway.

“It was a career that happened because I had the voice to do it in the first place, not because I wanted to be an opera singer,” says Dame Malvina.

“I was kind of led along by the success of it and ended up in a place where I didn’t know I wanted to be, but I kept getting contracts and it became my life.

“And in the finish, I loved it; the satisfaction of singing at that incredibly high-powered level, learning the required precision – that’s what stimulated me and I enjoyed that. Then after every mountain you climb you feel the rewards of reaching the top.”

Just before she reached the very top, with the world at her feet, Dame Malvina Major walked away.

A young Taranaki farmer, Winston Fleming, had won her heart and the couple married in 1964, before moving to England where their son Andrew was born.

Dame Malvina was poised for an exceptional international career, but it was home soil and family life that she craved, and, by the turn of the century, she was home.

“I was 15 years off the international scene and walked back in like it hadn’t happened. By then I had three children,” she says.

“When I look back at my career, I think of the words of Frank Sinatra – I did it my way.”

There have been plenty of highs throughout her career; she sang an outdoor concert at the pyramids in Egypt with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, she collaborated with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, she gave concerts to open and close the 2007 Rotary International Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah and she performed at the Covent Garden where she replaced Dame Joan Sutherland in Die Fledermaus. She has sung for kings, queens, princes, princesses and even an empress!

But perhaps her proudest achievement is the foundation which bears her name. “Like a lot of things in my life, it happened by chance,” she laughs.

Dame Malvina had been talking with the New Plymouth West Rotary Club about how lonely she was heading overseas to establish herself at 22.

“I felt like I was in a distant far off place. I wanted to do something to make sure New Zealand students going abroad had a connection and didn’t feel the loneliness I had felt.”

The Dame Malvina Major Foundation was launched in 1991 at Premier House in Wellington, an event hosted by then Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, and his wife, Joan. Almost three decades on, the foundation continues to provide support for talented young performing artists to achieve their potential, through financial assistance, performance opportunities and professional guidance, helping them to prepare for professional careers.

Dame Malvina – who has been a Senior Fellow in Music at the University of Waikato since 2012 – isn’t resting on her laurels. “I’m supposed to be retired,” she laughs.

“I keep saying they have to rename ‘retirement’. I’m certainly not sitting at home knitting or playing golf, though I do that, too! I’m very involved with youth; their future and progress, masterclasses and helping young people, attending performances, helping with the foundation.”

She’s also busy working on plans to create a training school within the foundation that has been in the back of her mind for 20 years.

“The idea is to enable the foundation to become a steppingstone to the world, so rather than sending young people to other parts of the world to train, doing it right here in New Zealand.”

She’s also got 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren that play a big part in her life. “They’ve become hugely important to me and, as I get older, it’s even more important that I
see them and show them my love.”