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.
December is undeniably a month synonymous with spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones. And in a year which did its utmost to keep us all apart, there is no doubt we will all be appreciating these opportunities should we be lucky enough to have them.
But, as with many things, it can be easier said than done.
With all the joys the festive season brings, it all too often comes with its fair share of stress as we succumb to pressures to do it all: Attend all the events, buy all the presents, host all the guests, cook all the food – and the list goes on.
In a bid to find some calm amongst the storm of the holiday period, we’ve compiled some tips throughout this issue to help you find your zen amidst the Christmas calamity.
On page 43 we look at expert advice like the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing (connect, give, take notice, keep learning, and be active), to the art of delegation, practising gratitude and getting out and about in Mother Nature.
The therapeutic benefits of baking having been widely noted throughout 2020 – but if you’re sick of sourdough, we have Annabel Langbein’s delicious recipe for a festive panforte on page 45.
Or, if you’re more into the equally soothing art of crafts, we’re helping you get creative for your Christmas table on page 60 and with gift wrapping on page 75.
Perhaps it’s as simple as kicking your feet up with a cup of tea (or something stronger), reading a book or watching a cheesy Christmas movie.
However you choose to take your time out this hectic month, just know you deserve it.
Another fortnight, another opportunity to showcase the talented people and businesses which make up our region. This issue we have some incredible stories from all corners of the region which highlight, celebrate and champion those who give our locale its unique and special character.
On page 16, we learn about the inspiring musical journey of Christchurch teen, Analise Twemlow, who doesn’t experience the involuntary tics caused by Tourette’s syndrome when she sings and performs. Her new single, ‘Made in New Zealand’, is raising money for other Kiwis diagnosed with the disorder.
Through our cover star, Canterbury fashion icon Bridget Hope, we keep the spirit of Cup Week alive by learning about her race day look, style tips, and her wider approach to the art form of fashion.
In our Fashion, Health and Beauty section we learn about the wide range of beauty treatments and health services to indulge in for the social season, or to treat your loved ones with as we enter the gifting period.
In Cuisine, we give the lowdown on the region’s new and noteworthy hospitality hot spots, and in Home we share some festive design inspiration.
Our monthly Build section is a chance to salute our ever-evolving cityscape – and this issue is no different as we not only hear from our region’s most influential thought leaders, but also get a look inside local winning architectural designs.
Afterall, there’s always plenty worth celebrating around here.
We’re here. The tail end of 2020 has arrived, and those Christmas lights at the end of the tunnel are starting to glow brighter. So, too, are the longer days and anticipation for the season of socialising and celebration.
In Canterbury, the commencement of silly season is traditionally signalled by Cup Week. An event which, this year, carries more meaning than usual.
As we prepare to head to the races or celebrate anniversary weekend another way, some of the largest cities in the world are heading back into government-mandated lockdown.
If there has been one enduring dispatch of this inexplicable year, it has to be how fortunate we are to call New Zealand home.
I, like many of you, may have suspected – if not known – this fact already. But amidst a global pandemic and entering the time of year where social contact is most crucial, it seems we have a lot to be thankful for.
So, while the build up to the holiday period can be understandably stressful – between finishing off work projects, attending social events, present shopping, and packing for out of town vacations – it seems, this year, the bright side is incredibly easy to find.
Just as this issue heads to print, we head into the long weekend. For many, Labour Weekend marks the home straight to summer. Perhaps it is your yardstick for when it’s time to head to the beach, lake or bach. Or, maybe it’s an opportunity to slow down and take a breather before that final push to the end of year break.
By the time this issue is back from the printers, you too will be back from whatever it was you chose to do.
And in this issue we are – as we always do – sharing local stories from local people and businesses who make our Canterbury, Wanaka and Queenstown communities worth celebrating.
We speak to a young Queenstown musician, Anderson Rocio, who whipped up a song for hit Netflix show Lucifer from her bedroom in a few hours.
Paradise has more than a million streams on Spotify – and counting!
We also catch up with the Two Raw Sisters, Rosa and Margo Flanagan.
In a world of restrictive diets and food fads, the Christchurch duo serve up a refreshing food philosophy which encourages us to challenge our preconceptions around labels like “plant based”.
Christchurch-born tailors, Working Style, share their foray into women’s suiting, and in the Fashion section we let you in on our love of rib. In the Cuisine pages, we get creative with breakfast ideas and Home looks at some covetable new interior design trends.
Our Build section offers a peek inside some award-winning architecture, interior design and construction. Not to mention sharing some exciting new designs for large public projects like the Canterbury Museum.
So wherever your long weekend took you, we’re very glad you ended up back here.
“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions basked on hope and possibility.” Michelle Obama.
Biking through the Christchurch CBD on a balmy Sunday afternoon, it was uplifting to see so many others out and about.
I waited in a long line for my Rollickin’ Gelato and had to dodge a fair few pedestrians to navigate my bike between the tram tracks and traffic queues.
Sitting on the banks of the Avon enjoying my salted caramel scoop, the sun-soaked bars and restaurants of The Terrace brimmed with denizens of all ages.
Perhaps it was the springtime daffodils and ducklings on display – or the sugar rush – but I couldn’t help feeling a sense of hope and possibility for our city.
The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the city’s centre has been late to flourish during the rebuild of the last decade, yet here were so many enjoying what the CBD has to offer.
My mind also turned to what had unfolded that week just around the corner. Where 93 people delivered brave and touching victim impact statements in front of a man who had robbed them of so much 18-months ago on March 15.
Outside of court, crowds gathered to support the Muslim community.
An attempt to terrorise had only instilled greater unity.
Once again, this community showed how hope prospers in Ōtautahi.
“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” – Alain de Botton
I was going to start this, my first column as editor of Metropol, writing about beginnings.
After a bit of googling I had found a lovely quote from spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle about the magic of beginnings, and had even written a few lines about the opportunities of starting anew.
But after Friday’s announcement – when we released an almost national (sorry, Auckland) sigh of relief that we would stay in the lockdown-less Alert Level 2 – I realised it’s not about starting, it’s about continuing.
And Canterbury knows a thing or two about that. Continuing is a common thread weaving the region’s stories together; our communities personify resilience.
When I moved back to Christchurch three years ago, I was blown away by the sense of community here.
There was a shared investment in communal success I’d never encountered before, and have come to understand as the city’s superpower.
In the face of adversity, Cantabrians know the key to getting through is to do it together.
I inherit some intimidatingly large shoes from Metropol’s outgoing editor, Melinda Collins, just as a global pandemic tries to sneak back into our communities.
Yet with so much uncertainty on the horizon, I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want to be doing it anywhere else.
Metropol has dedicated its pages to celebrating community for the last 22 years, and it’s a huge privilege to help that continue.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower” Hans Christian Anderson
We’ve just waved goodbye to the gloomiest month of weather in more than two decades.
Yes June, we’re talking about you and since you’ve given us the least amount of recorded sunshine hours in more than two decades and thrown in a violent 11.82 metre storm wave, we’re not sorry to see you go!
But then June, in all its gloomy glory did give rise to some inspirational conversations here at Metropol headquarters.
Namely, just how much more we appreciate the sun when we’ve had a little – or a lot of – rain. Because, in the words of J Cole, I’m Coming Home, “in order to appreciate the sun, you gotta know what rain is”.
If you’re bracing yourself against the cold right now and struggling to see the positive side, New Zealand has plenty.
The Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki featured on page 12 are something special in winter.
The water forced through these limestone formations makes tiny geysers and blowholes.
Follow in the footsteps of Sir Peter Jackson and film the beautiful snow-covered peaks surrounding the Lindis Pass (home to the Misty Mountains).
And don’t forget the jewel in winter’s crown – Queenstown, where everything is exquisite in the chilly months.
Staying home? Nothing comes close however, to rugging up by the fire with a copy of Metropol and a cuppa.
“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.”
– Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
Did you know that an event is neither positive or negative and that it is through our perception that we assign feelings to it?
It’s a powerful concept, because it is extremely easy to hear of a break-in and to make an assumption about the perpetrator.
But imagine if you knew of the extreme hardship that perpetrator came from; that they were resorting to what they thought was the only way to provide for the young children in their care or if you knew of the mental health difficulties, abuse or trauma they themselves had suffered?
What better time to choose to re-frame our narrative than a time when we’re surrounded by negativity?
Yes there are some extremely sad stories out there right now, but I like to think that things happen for a reason.
Because I’ve also heard some incredibly uplifting ones; people who have discovered their passion and created successful businesses from redundancy; those who have become aware of their health and embarked on a new fitness regime; and those who have simply become more empathetic and got to know their neighbours.
Sometimes we just need to remember that regardless of whether the glass is half full or half empty, the fact is, it’s refillable. And if you’re after some more uplifting content, the pages ahead are jam-packed!