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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.”


Energising the airwaves

Mike Puru energisers the airwaves along with Anika Moa and Stacey Morrison on The Hits Drive show from 3 to 7pm. After a decade at The Edge and as TV host for the first two seasons of The Bachelor, he’s the personality from Southland who has won hearts nationwide.



So how much fun is it sharing the studio with two of the coolest chicks in showbiz? What a trio!

It’s a great combo – two very special women who have the biggest hearts but also the best humour.

They are both admired in the specialty fields and maintain family life but are always keen to share experiences and laughs.

I’m always learning Māori and what it’s like to have kids, so I just add my yarns and experience and it makes me laugh every day.

What are a couple of awesome/weird/profound moments?

We all, quite often, sing along to the songs and every now and then Stace and I look up at Anika and think ‘wow you are amazing’.

We forget she is actually one of New Zealand’s best singers.

The other profound moment is the realisation of our backgrounds – all very similar upbringings and somewhat weird we all ended up together!

You hosted for the first two seasons of the Bachelor. So, The Bachelorette 2020 – wish you were there and what do you think of it?

Where to start? First of all I think the Bachelorette is brilliant; I would hate being a single straight male dating, so I’m finding it hilarious watching these guys.

Secondly it’s much better just watching it on TV – the problem you have with hosting is you know what happens before it airs and it’s hard to keep your mouth shut until it airs.

And thirdly, I think Art is great at presenting – although I miss being part of something so huge on TV.

I’ve been there, done that and quite happy to be a watcher… PS, it is all real – I used to get asked so many times but I can assure you what you see it what happened!

TV or radio – differences for you?

Someone once told me ‘radio pays ya mortgage, TV pays for ya holidays’ – and that was great advice!

TV is so fickle and short-lived.

I was out of full-time work for a few years constantly freelancing in many areas, but I loved the move back to full time radio as there’s something special about being live each day and having your listeners become part of your extended family.

TV is great fun, but changing fast; radio has stood the test of time and I love it.

Do you get to your hometown of Gore often? Is Southland still stuck in your soul?

Love Gore! It was big enough to have opportunities but small enough to not have to compete for jobs and experiences.

I host the Gold Guitars each year and love catching up with family as well as being part of something that is part of Gore’s history – I owe Gore a lot so it holds a special place in my heart.

What’s life at the moment for you when you’re off the air – what gobbles up your leisure time?

Radio demands mean you are constantly looking for material so it never really ends but you need to live life to experience that so I mainly just hang with my partner and dog at home doing house things – I’ve found mowing lawns and cleaning quite therapeutic.

We try often to sponge off our mates who have holiday homes; Auckland is a great region for weekend getaways so we try to do that as often as we can.

Dreams (big and small) for this year/decade?

I’d love for our radio show to become of the “must listen“ shows in the afternoon and I would also love to get back to France where my partner is from – his family and the region (Southwest France) is amazing and I can’t wait to get back …

so please tune in and give the gayest, brownest family-friendly entertaining show on radio a go so I can earn enough money to get back to France.