Zed and beyond

New Zealand pop rock band Zed and Christchurch’s iconic brunch spot Addington Coffee Co-op have one thing in common, and that’s drummer Adrian Palmer. Metropol’s deputy editor Daniella Judge chats to him about his past, present, and future.


K iwi band Zed became a pop rock sensation when it burst on to the music scene with its debut album, Silencer. The album skyrocketed to No.1 on the New Zealand Albums chart in 2000, taking the band’s members along with it.

Canterbury-born drummer, Adrian Palmer found himself thrust into a whirlwind of excitement, travel, and a taste of fame, all of which he wasn’t totally prepared for.

In 2005, Zed broke up and its members went on to pursue new endeavours. Adrian found his purpose, after an eye-opening visit to Kolkata, India, where he witnessed the devastating impact of modern slavery, and extreme poverty, on local communities. Fuelled by a desire to make a tangible difference, Adrian, with other like-minded people, established Addington Coffee Co-op in 2008, with profits going to Kolkata and Christchurch communities in need. Their mission has been clear: to effect positive change in both Aotearoa and overseas, with a commitment to redistributing profits and transforming lives.

As you step into the Co-op, echoes of its past as a mechanic’s workshop still linger, with the large ceiling, wooden beams, and walls of windows only adding to its appeal. The pocket-sized Addington store, encapsulated within the space, is home to a vibrant tapestry of eclectic items and stocks a treasure trove of change-making books waiting to be explored. And oh, let’s not forget the illuminated cabinet brimming with delectable treats.
It’s an inviting haven, drawing many Cantabrians to settle in and enjoy.

On the success of the Addington Coffee Co-op as a well-loved coffee spot, Adrian humbly expresses gratitude. “I’m just grateful that this is a place where people like to spend their time.”

Essential to the operation of the Addington Coffee Co-op is its partnership with Joyya, an organisation providing essential assistance in Kolkata. Joyya’s dedicated team engages with the local Kolkata communities to gain an authentic understanding of their needs. The funnel that feeds Joyya is a portion of the Addington Coffee Co-op profits, the apparel goods sold in-store, online and directly to companies, and the Common Good Coffee sold to businesses across New Zealand.

As an advocate for the greater good, Adrian encourages other businesses to embrace the “common good” ethos. Business owners need to challenge themselves to step beyond their comfort zones. That first step, he suggests, could be as simple as stocking Common Good coffee grounds in staffrooms. By immersing themselves in the stories of diverse groups, businesses can discover a cause to rally behind. Adrian firmly believes that instilling a greater sense of purpose within any team will undoubtedly yield positive results.

In 2019 Zed re-united, and Adrian tells how the members are enjoying jamming together again. They even have their original producer, Nic Manders, back on the scene and the team are set to release music in the next year with a genre shift from their 2000s music.

As the band reunites and prepares for new music, Addington Coffee Co-op continues to inspire positive change.


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