February energy forecast from Gaia Chinniah

Gaia Chinniah is an internationally known healer, medium and spiritual coach. She founded Soul 33 a healing company and the modality of Soul Progression Therapy. Using the energetic cycles and seasons to set your goals, heal and manifest what you want in life is such a powerful tool to help us to navigate life daily without resistance. To use this February Energy Forecast, review once in its entirety and then at the beginning and end of each week remind yourself what the energy of the week is asking of you.

WEEK ONE: 1–11 February 

This is a powerful month! Starting with Chinese New Year and the transition into the powerful year of the dragon. There will be a recalibration of everything in our lives and this is the time to focus on what we have in front of us. The grass is green where you water it, and you are not anywhere else but right here in the present, so there is no need to search for something better. Right here is what needs to be watered and there are benefits to reap. 

The hustle has stopped for us to revisit what we have and if we are feeling burnt out it is because we have a New Moon inviting us to connect and acknowledge our emotions. Finances may come up, but we are being asked to look at them from a practical stand point of what we have now that we can build from. There is the beginning of something new with taking pride in our accomplishments and then making changes from there. You are flowing effortlessly into things you create and there is a positive outcome.

Card of the week: Movement

The Movement card comes up to connect us with the movement emotions can bring and how they can be used as a catalyst to create physical change. Emotions can set us free by expressing them in a way that can create this change.

New Moon in Aquarius – February 9

The beginning of a new cycle in our 2024 chapter. We will want to see new hope come to light and the expansion of what we have now. Set intentions this new moon that build on what you already have, but look to do it differently. What do you want to create effortlessly from what you have now and how will your emotions be used to support your growth?

WEEK TWO: 12 – 18 February

We can’t help but think about love and relationships in the week of Valentine’s Day. With this in mind, the overall energy for the week is working your creative magic to bring what you want forward! When we want something, we need to be able to give it to receive it. Relationships are not just romantic but there is an opportunity to serve and help others that makes them feel loved.

There are obstacles lifting but we need to ensure we are reflecting and learning from what we have done to use that knowledge to not repeat old patterns. This guidance is around both relationships with others and our relationship with money. This is a week to not be lazy with anything. If we want to see abundance and growth, then we need to take action. There is hope and positive energy to fill our cosmic egg with potential and infuse energy to recharge our connections with who and what is important.

Card of the week: Break the cycle

There are cycles breaking this week for the better! Step 1) Acknowledge what the cycle is 2) Know what you need to do 3) Take action and do something positive towards what you want. 

WEEK THREE: 19 – 25 February

Time to collaborate and work in a team. This week is not falling into the mentality that you need to do everything yourself to see it come into fruition. Lean into people spirit says and get some support! This is about letting go of the ‘ideal’ and loving yourself to ask for the help and support you need. There is a personal celebration that will offer possibilities and self-discipline to keep on moving forward with inspired action. You are either going to be the leader this week or find someone to lead you! Take some time to meditate to bring in inner harmony.

Card of the week: Renewal

There is a sense of renewal in the air with a new perception as to how you are being supported. 

Full Moon in Virgo – February 24

This full moon will be a time of releasing old paradigms that you have to do everything yourself. You might feel burdened or resentful around this time, but this is in order for you to get organised and have clarity in how you need help and support to get things done. Many hands make light work!

WEEK FOUR: 26 February – 3 March

Time to re-evaluate your expectations. Don’t be too hard on yourself or others. There is fertility in the air and its coming from your connection of feeling at home, being at home with people that feel like home. You will start to see an existing situation in a new expanded light, meaning that you may even been falling in love deeper or seeing someone that you have not seen in a while and seeing a part of them that you had not seen before. Situations and people will be showing their true nature and friendship is in the air too. You will see love present and someone who has your back step up.

Card of the week: Transformation

Transformation of situations and relationships are occurring for your highest good. 

February is an exciting month with lots of endings to start again. The common theme is death and rebirth in such positive ways of things coming together. Relationships have an opportunity to thrive and grow, new additions and expanded perspectives on life giving us the ability to create more and know that we are supported in our pursuits.

Related article:  World-renowned medium and spiritual coach Gaia Chinniah on her spiritual awakening

WIN a fine dining experience at home courtesy of The Gourmet Edit from My Food Bag! 

Fancy a gourmet restaurant dinner, but don’t feel like leaving the house?

Well, for the month of February (including Valentine’s Day) you can enjoy a meal from three of Auckland’s top restaurants – Anise, Gilt Brasserie and kingi from the comfort of home thanks to My Food Bag’s limited-edition Gourmet Edit.

An exquisite recipe from each of these three acclaimed restaurants will be added to My Food Bag’s gourmet menu in February, with the option to purchase a one-off Guest Chef meal kit for two for $39.99 plus delivery. And what’s more, everything you need to create it, conveniently delivered to your door for the perfect Valentine’s Day / date night celebration.

Read below to learn how to be in to win a free My Food Bag and try one of these recipes and experience the limited-edition Gourmet Edit for yourself. RRP $188

To be in with a chance of winning, Simply sign up to our free weekly newsletters here. A winner will be drawn February 4. 

Entrants must be based in My Food Bag’s delivery regions.

January Energy Forecast From Gaia Chinniah

Gaia Chinniah is an internationally known healer, medium and spiritual coach. She founded Soul 33 a healing company and the modality of Soul Progression Therapy. Using the energetic cycles and seasons to set your goals, heal and manifest what you want in life is such a powerful tool to help us to navigate life daily without resistance. To use this January Energy Forecast, review once in its entirety and then at the beginning and end of each week remind yourself what the energy of the week is asking of you.

WEEK ONE: 1 – 7 January 

Happy New Year! The 1st of January brings mercury retrograde to an end and communication begins to clear up. You will feel like a mission has completed and that’s what an end of a year brings. It’s a week of reflection, a new cycle starting and also looking at some timelines ahead. Spirit says look at the next quarter rather than too far ahead. What do you need or want to do until March? Spend some time reflecting on that this week and putting some plans into motion. 

There is a turning point and fast paced movement even though it’s still holiday time for most. What may come up is a need to put voice to what and how you feel and to be heard. A week to rest, recharge and be ready to say yes to what you want.

Card of the week: Triumph

This card is acknowledgment of how far you have come and what you will achieve through saying yes to what feels good. Obstacles are moving out of the way!

WEEK TWO: 8 – 14 January

Nature asks you to listen to it and watch. It will be teaching you about how to authentically express yourself and seeing life from a higher perspective. This is because you are being asked to moderate things that have gone off kilter and come back into balance again. Revisit some nice memories and go back to a place of innocence and joy. If you have been trying to fit in, spirit says be who you wish to be, as long as you are coming from a place of love people will see the authority you have by how rooted you are in your natural self.

Card of the week: Movement

Things are beginning to move for you this week but you will be great just by being in your natural balance.

New Moon – Jan 11 (New Moon in Capricorn) 

Challenge yourself and dream big with this New Moon. This New Moon you want to intend that you live your truth and step into your authentic power even more. What really gives you joy? This is time for your full expression.

WEEK THREE: 15 – 21 January

A week of being fearless and standing strong. There are new realizations that you would have come to over the last few weeks and this knowledge is to help you expand your potential and progress. There will be foresight for you in what you need and want to do. Spirit says we don’t want to live with regret or disappointment, so what must you do now? Your freedom and challenging your status quo will be required in order for you to love every part of yourself and life. Allow your life to be a full spectrum of colour rather than muted tones.

Card of the week: A new idea

This card comes up because we will be given or presented with new options. Are you going to take them?

WEEK FOUR: 22 – 31 January

Take a leap of faith and channel your inner crone, which is to be a self-respected, unapologetic person and do what is necessary. You are a warrior and have faith in yourself and your convictions to fill your own cup with creativity, curiosity and possibility. This week there will be direction and success! Long term goals are starting to pay off and you will see how your perseverance and investment is adding to your confidence.

Card of the week: Back yourself

Use your power but not with force. This card comes up to remind you to back yourself with confidence this week knowing that everything is working out for you.

Full Moon – January 25

A time to release old beliefs and insecurities preventing yourself from backing yourself. A full moon that may bring up feelings of self judgement or being judged by others. Whatever comes up to be released at this time is making way for more confidence and power!

There is wonderful energy this month to come back to ourselves and really cultivate the theme for the year of having possibility. We have a lot of power, strength and movement setting us up for the year ahead. Be who you want to be and who you really are!

Related Article: World-renowned medium and spiritual coach Gaia Chinniah on her spiritual awakening

How Bronwyn Designer Sarah Street Is Redefining Modern Footwear

With a sharp eye for chic design, footwear designer Sarah Street is finding success with her minimalist brand, Bronwyn. Sarah tells Evelyn Ebrey about what she’s learned five seasons into her own business and how her Virgo perfectionism drives her forward.

In the fast-paced world of fashion, Sarah Street is making her mark as a talented designer and businesswoman, who is redefining modern footwear. The ethos behind her stylish brand Bronwyn is to create footwear that complements the multifaceted lives that women lead, something Sarah innately understands as a working mother.

Her focus with Bronwyn is on creating wardrobe staples that can be worn for seasons to come. Every style is designed to have a minimalist aesthetic paired with subtle, elevated detailing, and contemporary comfort. The result is meticulously hand-crafted footwear that is ethically made and effortlessly versatile, these are shoes you can wear every day, wherever life takes you.

Photo credit: Clara Pafundi

It was a long-held dream of Sarah’s to have her own footwear label and she named the brand after her late mother Bronwyn, who has been one of Sarah’s biggest inspirations in life. It feels fitting that Sarah’s love for her mother underpins her business journey, which required finding the courage within herself to take the leap of faith and turn her dream into reality.

Sarah Street’s journey to date is a testament to the power of perseverance and a deep passion for design. Having worked as the head designer at beloved footwear brands Mi Piaci and Overland Footwear, Sarah honed her footwear expertise over 12 years in both New Zealand and the UK before launching Bronwyn in 2021.

Now five collections into the brand, Bronwyn is going from strength to strength. The business recently marked a significant milestone by opening its first store on Auckland’s popular Ponsonby Road. 


Photo credit: Clara Pafundi

“We had an unexpected opportunity for a mid-term lease, which is until February 2024, so a perfect length of time for us to ‘test the waters’ of a retail space to see if it is worth investigating further,” says Sarah Street. “It’s such an exciting opportunity for the brand, and so incredible to meet all our lovely customers in real life. I’m enjoying having the full collection on display and interacting with shoppers. It’s also a great opportunity to view how styles fit on different feet, what styles customers gravitate towards and why, and to get some important insights from the beautiful people who wear Bronwyn.”

This direct interaction enriches the brand’s relationship with its customers and informs the two ranges that make up Bronwyn’s current offering. The capsule collection features limited edition styles in key seasonal hues, while the foundation collection consists of timeless, neutral-coloured pieces with a minimalistic aesthetic and chic details.

Bronwyn’s fifth collection reflects Sarah Street’s evolution as a designer and a deeper understanding of the Bronwyn customer’s preferences. This latest range embodies shoes that are equally coveted and curated, pushing the boundaries of proportion and silhouette while incorporating small, thoughtful touches that elevate each design.

While it’s always hard to choose her favourites from each collection, Sarah has an enduring love for the foundation style, Cas, and the Billie flatforms. She is also excited about the Otto and Dillon styles from drop one of season five, and the Tobi and Winona from drop two which are sure to be popular with the brand’s customers.


Photo credit: Clara Pafundi

Bronwyn’s collections are currently sold online and in the new store, and Sarah has also engaged with wholesaling, which can be a strategic way to grow the brand and reach new customers. The retail market is heavily influenced by consumer behaviours and market trends so there are some things that small businesses must be aware of when wholesaling to stockists. Aligning with the traditional retail calendar is key as the consumer market is driven by peak delivery and peak sale periods. Getting the timing of collections right means a brand can optimise sales and having a point of difference is also important. 

“From a trend and collection perspective, customers are increasingly engaging with brands that chart their own unique paths. They seek brands that celebrate and connect with their customers, aligning with their values and preferences. This trend aligns perfectly with Bronwyn’s philosophy of crafting timeless, sustainable footwear,” adds Sarah.

Balancing creativity and the demands of running a business is a perpetual challenge for Sarah, like many small business owners. While the creative aspect comes naturally to her, it sometimes has to take a backseat due to the necessity of attending to operations. The business and marketing side involves a continuous learning process while budgeting, forecasting, making content, and defining the brand’s identity are vital components that keep her on her toes. Each day brings a unique set of challenges, making the journey as a small business owner both thrilling and demanding.

To manage the myriad tasks, Sarah relies on making lists in her diary before bedtime, a simple but effective strategy that helps her stay organised. She also seeks advice from friends and peers in the industry, recognising the value of collaboration and shared wisdom.


Photo credit: Clara Pafundi

Sarah Street’s background in industrial design laid the foundation for her deep love for shoes. Footwear design is a harmonious blend of form and function, making it a challenging yet rewarding discipline. Shoes must not only look great but also provide comfort and support while enduring the constant impact of daily life. A well-designed shoe can transform an outfit and punctuate personal style, creating a statement with every step. Sarah relishes the feedback from her customers, humbled by their willingness to invest in the pieces she creates.

When asked what defines success for her, Sarah admits that her idea of success continues to evolve as her business journey does.

“As a textbook Virgo perfectionist, I find acknowledging success quite challenging as I often view things through a lens of criticism, but I’ve been trying to allow myself more time to focus on the wins, because at times it feels like it is few and far between when you’re starting a small business. As success is receiving feedback from customers who love the brand, or a particular product. When a product sells out it’s a pretty incredible feeling too. I also think as a designer, seeing your pieces out in the world on real people is just one of the most beautiful things you can ever experience.”

She maintains a positive attitude when faced with challenges or setbacks. Sarah views those experiences as an opportunity for growth and learning. She allows herself a few moments to feel the frustration, then shifts into problem-solving mode and takes action. She emphasises the importance of adaptability and a consumer-centric mindset. She believes it’s essential to be adaptable as consumers and trends are constantly evolving, so market research and having a curious mindset is key to overcoming challenges. 

As a working mother, daughter, partner, friend and designer, Sarah Street, like many of us, wears many hats. It’s a busy life but she is grateful for the opportunities that have come her way and to have built a life that makes her heart full.

“My biggest achievement will forever be my two boys, Vinnie and Cas. They bring me the greatest feeling of love and pride I have ever experienced. They make this very hard journey absolutely worth it. I love that I get to honour my Mum every day through Bronwyn, and I’m so grateful each day to be doing something that I am incredibly passionate about.”

Related Article: Designing Women: 3 Female Architects Who Are Changing Our Cities

Two Cocktail Recipes For Summer

Impress your party guests this sunny season with these two fresh and bright cocktails! The Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV is a tasty sparkling wine with subtle apple and pear hues, and pairs fantastically in a summer tipple. Brown Brothers has shared their two favourite cocktails made with Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV – the Prosecco Bitters Spritz and the Prosecco Mojito.

Prosecco Bitters Spritz

A light and refreshing cocktail combining the effervescence of Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV with bright, aromatic bitters and zesty fresh citrus.   


  • 1 x 750ml bottle of Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV 
  • 6-8 drops of Aromatic bitters 
  • Fresh lemon slice to garnish 
  • Ice cubes (for chilling) 


  • Combine the Prosecco and aromatic bitters in a jug 
  • Cut the lemon into the thinly sliced discs and add to the jug 
  • Add ice cubes to the jug to keep the cocktail chilled, stirring gently to mix all the ingredients together 
  • To serve, pour the Sparkling Bitter Spritz into ice-filled glasses  
  • Garnish with a lemon slice or twist  
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your Prosecco Bitters Spritz! 

Prosecco Passionfruit Mojito

A sparkling twist on a classic favourite, this bright and bubbly prosecco Mojito combines zesty lime and crisp mint with Brown Brothers Prosecco NV. 


  • 30ml white rum 
  • 15ml lime juice 
  • 30ml simple syrup 
  • 60ml sparkling/soda water 
  • Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV 
  • Half a lime 
  • Mint leaves 

Glassware and garnish 

  • Highball glass 
  • Mint sprig 


  • Add half a lime and a handful of mint leaves to your glass and gently muddle 
  • Add the rum and simple syrup and fill with ice 
  • Add sparkling water and top the glass with Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV 
  • Give the drink a good stir and garnish with a mint sprig* 

*Top tip: before garnishing, gently slap the mint against your wrist. This will help to release the aromas! 

Brown Brothers King Valley Prosecco NV is available nationwide and is competitively priced at $19.99 NZD. 

Related Article: Three Delicious Cocktail Recipes from Good Cocktail Co.

Fringe Festival Director Vanessa Stacey On Arts Advocacy 

New Zealand Fringe Festival Director Vanessa Stacey (Ngāti Kuia/Te Atiawa) is a Te Whanganui-a-Tara-based multidisciplinary artist with over twenty-five years of experience in Creative Arts and Arts Education.

This year, working with an incredible Fringe team, she delivered the most diverse, inclusive and successful NZ Fringe Festival to date. This led to the production of a tour through September and October of the multi-award-winning Fringe show ‘ARAWHATA’ by Wellington Ballroom. Vanessa also curates the Ngā Toi and Indigenous artists for the local festival CubaDupa, with a particular focus on the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage. You can also catch her on screen playing the female villain in upcoming Firefly-produced feature Bookworm alongside Elijah Wood and Michael Smiley and directed by Ant Timpson. 

Vanessa Stacey

How did you first become involved in NZ Fringe? 

New Zealand Fringe is where I cut my teeth as an artist many years ago after drama school, it is kind of a rite of passage for most artists of note in Aotearoa. Because Fringe is accessible price-wise, most audiences are generally a little more adventurous and forgiving, so it’s a wonderful place for artists to develop work, take some risks and be innovative. Taking the role of Festival Director, I was excited about using all of my skills and experience to help develop and diversify the festival. I wanted to see more space for more artistic disciplines and more inclusion of Indigenous works, while further developing our artist capability programme. 

How have you found this mahi in the current arts funding climate, has it been successful thus far? 

The last three years have been both interesting and challenging at times. In response to artist feedback that they wanted the festival to proceed, albeit safely, we delivered an entire festival of 170+ events during RED restrictions in 2022, with venue capacities cut in half and our amazing team working in ‘bubbles’ so we could safely support our artists in sharing their work. It was also the year we introduced our new ‘Most Promising Pasifika Artist’ award in our awards programme and the FATU Fund to support our Pacific artists, with thanks to our good friends at CNZ Pasifika, which was awesome. I also believe that resulted in the community coming out in force to support the festival the following year in 2023, with a record registration of amazing events, ticket sales up by 131% and the delivery of our most diverse, inclusive and successful festival yet. This meant a lot to me. This year we were also fortunate enough to receive additional support from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to assist with the development of our artist capability programme.

Exciting! Tell us more about your new artist capability programme. 

There’s a diverse range of upskilling opportunities being presented through seven strands. In response to artist feedback on areas where they most need assistance, the teaching of producing and administration skills will be prioritised as part of the Artist Capability Development strand. To further growth in this area, NZ Fringe are developing new producers and creating a way for them to collaborate and pool skills with the Pōneke Artist Hub and Arts Producers Network.

The Living Wage subsidy is another welcome support for artists to create incredible new works. This initiative will increase the wellbeing of artists and recognise their mahi by providing up to 100 hours of Living Wage pay per solo event, and 200 hours per group event. It’s fantastic to be able to financially support artists for their work. 

On top of this, the six national Fringe Festivals around Aotearoa are in the midst of coordinating and co-designing solutions and models for the further development of the National Fringe Network, ensuring each Fringe festival can share their support, knowledge and experience in the development of a National Fringe Touring Circuit. This touring circuit gives artists, who often invest in new and innovative works for one season, the opportunity to tour nationally via a circuit of Fringe festivals, and thus extend their art practice and reach. 

So there’s lots going on, and I’m really excited to be able to further support Aotearoa artists with upskilling, funding and touring opportunities. As an artist myself, supporting our next generation of creative minds is something I’m really passionate about and I am fortunate to be able to do that through my work with NZ Fringe.

Related Article: One Tapestry At A Time — Genevieve Rae

Passion in Bloom

An adoration of precious gems and flair for impeccable design is at the heart of Alice Herald’s fine jewellery brand. She tells WOMAN about her exquisite new collection and how Aotearoa inspires her.

STORYTELLERS OFTEN use words or moving pictures to tell their tales. For Wānaka-based jewellery designer Alice Herald, she utilises structure and form through artfully designed pieces of luxury adornment.

Her latest collection, Dahlia, is no exception. Inspired by the intricacies of the dahlia flower, renowned for its vibrancy in colour and voluminosity in size, the collection is anchored by the magnificent Dahlia ring. At over 13-carats total gem weight with a 5.87-carat rhodolite garnet at its centre, this heroine piece is simply breathtaking. The 22-piece collection includes stacker rings in yellow and orange or pink and blue sapphires, and diamond-bunch hoop earrings that are designed to capture the dahlia’s petal patterns and rich patterns.

“I see jewels in nature. Nature’s colour, its architecture, and quiet energy have such an influence on my design. A friend gave me a dahlia, and I sat with it whilst deciding how to encapsulate its immense presence and burst of colour. The flower being as it is, deserved the status of an entire couture collection,” says Alice Herald.

WOMAN Magazine were privileged to view Dahlia and pieces from Herald’s other collections up close over a private dinner in Auckland. We saw first-hand that her pieces really are works of art. Each one is inspired by nature with a unique story to tell, and each detail having a compelling raison d’être; a reason for every line, every stone, every aspect, including how the piece will eventually be worn and who will wear it.

It was during travel through Mexico at the age of 19 that led Herald to where she is today.  Whilst studying sculpture at Instituto Allende, it was the class next door teaching jewellery that really enticed her.  Here she was introduced by her “Mad Canadian” tutor to looking at jewellery as miniature art forms to be viewed and enjoyed from all 360 angles.  It was this experience that encouraged her to see jewellery as structure, and — no matter how much you look there is always something else to catch your eye.

Herald then travelled back to her hometown of the UK to study art history, only to miss the hands-on joys of designing and crafting. So, she applied and gained a place at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London completing her studies with a BA honours degree in jewellery design. During and after her studies, Alice Herald worked for Benney, silversmiths and goldsmiths to the Royal Family, where Herald learned the quality of true craftsmanship, both in the materials used and the methods. To this day, Herald is the only woman to have struck a hammer in the Benney workshop.  Her experience through her degree and with the British goldsmiths taught her to constantly critique and refine her work, which is evident in the masterpieces on display during our intimate dinner.

Love of the outdoors, particularly skiing, and love of the heart brought her to New Zealand.  After meeting her now husband in Europe during a skiing trip, they decided to travel to Aotearoa for one year but never left.  Alice speaks of New Zealand giving her space and calm, an environment that gives tremendous support to her creative process. 

“When I moved to New Zealand, my mother told me to ‘never lose the creativity that you’ve got.’  I’ve always honoured that.  I’ve grown up and found myself over time, and my jewellery is a reflection of that.  My internal expression comes out externally through my work” muses Herald.  “I find such joy and satisfaction in what I do because many of my clients resonate with that expression.  They find something in a piece or collection that also celebrates them, and ultimately become connected to that piece.  It’s a wonderful thing to witness.”

The ‘Dahlia’ collection is currently on display at Alice Herald’s Wānaka studio and can be explored online.  Catering to clients both local and abroad, private one-on-one design consultations are available both in person and remotely, offering a personalised experience for those in pursuit of bespoke, meaningful jewellery.

Related Article: Gift Guide: Meaningful Gift Ideas to Avoid Throwaway Culture this Christmas

Our Top Picks From George Street Linen For Sublime Sleep 

George Street Linen’s beautifully crafted bed linen and home accessories that are made from premium fabrics sourced from around the globe are on our wishlist this Christmas – check out WOMAN’s cosy favourites.  

The Pure Linen Collection

Although available in 11 different shades, WOMAN loves the soft hue of Buttercup and Powder. This duvet and pillow case set has a soft, lived-in look that epitomises restfulness and relaxation, and the lightweight texture provides easy comfort. This set is crafted from 100% fine European flax. Linen is wonderfully light and breathable, keeping you cool in humid weather while also providing warmth when it’s colder. Its ability to wick away moisture and adapt to different temperatures makes it a great choice for a year-round set. 

Bamboo Cotton Sheets

Silky smooth, hypoallergenic and thermal-regulating to your body temperature, Bamboo Cotton is a must-have. The Bamboo fibres come from Moso Bamboo, which uses no fertilisers, pesticides or little irrigation. Bamboo’s natural thermal regulating properties naturally repel both odours and allergens away from the sleeper – making it a great fit for summer. WOMAN loves the shade Blush, which is a delicate, pretty pink. 

Linen Bathrobes

George Street Linen’s robes are made from the same beautiful linen as their bedding, and are just as soft and cosy. Featuring pockets and a tie waist, they’re the perfect thing to throw on after a shower, first thing in the morning or whenever you just can’t deal with getting dressed. Pre-washed for an amazingly supple feel, you’ll practically want to live in these beautiful gowns. WOMAN adores the vintage look of these robes – check out the Bria print, which is decorated with whimsical ferns and flowers. 

Venus Summer Stone Washed Cotton Velvet Throws

Made from soft cotton velvet, this classic look is effortlessly luxurious without compromising on comfort. The quilted design adds texture and depth, making it a beautiful accent piece for your living room couches, or draped across your bed. Not only is this throw stylish and comfortable, but it is also easy to care for. It is machine washable, making it convenient for everyday use. The cotton velvet fabric is durable and long-lasting, ensuring that this throw will be a favourite for years to come. Olive is our top pick here at WOMAN, the easy martini green is a classic shade that will compliment neutral decor. 

George Street Linen is a total sleep experience, not just a set of sheets. Get started with your better sleep journey here. 

Pearls On The Gift List? The Guide To Choosing Your Pearl Jewellery! 

Timeless and always elegant, pearls will never go out of fashion. Although trends come and go, there has been a recent resurgence in pearls with the TikTok hashtag ‘PearlJewellery’ recently garnering 373 million views! WOMAN is delighted to see pearls making a triumphant return to the forefront of style. While we remember them best from the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel, and Jackie Kennedy, pearls are not just the domain of female icons, with Harry Styles, Pharrel Williams, Elton John, and Marc Jacobs also indulging in pearl jewellery. 

Jenni Franich from John Franich Jewellers in the Northwest Mall in West Auckland has seen a notable uptake in pearls selling over the past few months and she predicts pearls to be one of her bigger categories selling for Christmas this year. 

Here are some of Jenni Franich’s top picks for a Christmas gift list from the store: 

Autore 9-11mm White Oval South Seas Pearls Necklace, $8,000

This feminine masterpiece is the Queen of Pearls. Nurtured in the warm tropical lagoons and ocean waters of Australia, these naturally coloured white pearls have a shimmering iridescence. This necklace would look incredible against a summery gown for an evening dinner date – put it on your Christmas wishlist now!

Autore 18k White Gold SouthSea Pearl & Diamonds Ring, $3,500

The Autore Pearl Ring is an elegant twist on the typical diamond traditional engagement ring and it reminds us of Ariana Grande’s beautiful ring from Dalton Gomez. The delicate diamonds along the band give it that bridal glow, but the large South Sea pearl is the true star of the show. Often called the Queen of Pearls, white South Sea pearls are the most valuable pearls produced today. John Franich Jewellers’ South Sea pearls are grown in the Autore Pearl farms off the coasts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. South Sea pearls are one of the most valuable pearls on the market, and are highly sought after for their lustre and large size.

Autore 18k White Gold 11mm South Seas Pearl & Diamond Stud Earrings, $6,500

Sharing the same name as the Swiss luxury alpine resort town, these St Moritz 18kt white gold earrings conjure up glitzy images with their shimmering pave diamond and lustrous South Sea pearl drop. 

Autore 18k White Gold South Seas Pearl & Diamonds Pendant, $3,500

This versatile charm would look adorable on a necklace or a bracelet, and would add a delicate touch to any statement piece. The 18k white gold Autore South Sea Pearl pendant has 18 small round brilliant cut diamonds set in the bail, with a 12mm Autore South Sea pearl. Simply classic, and delightful to wear. 

John Franich Jewellers is a reputable store with many years of experience in jewellery. We asked Jenni if the old “rub it on your teeth” trick was an accurate test? 

“Yes!” says Jenni. “Many customers come in wanting to try the tooth test – not the most hygienic method, so we prefer to explain the source of the pearls and the certifications and process we follow to verify and certify the jewellery we sell to give them the confidence.” 

What about caring for pearls? Jenni advises not to wear your pearl jewellery while taking a hot bath, a shower or while swimming – especially not in any of New Zealand’s hot pools. Hot water and sulphur can damage pearls permanently, along with household cleaning products and any silver or gold polishes. 

Years of design experience coupled with a significant design library are the catalysts that will set you on your way to creating a jewellery masterpiece that is uniquely yours. John Franich invites you to visit their store and sit with them to discuss your needs . Together they can create a design as individual as you.

Visit John Franich Jewellers online to start your journey with pearls today. John Franich also offers Afterpay to help spread the upfront cost of your investment. 

Related Article: From Grapes To Gold 

One Tapestry At A Time: Genevieve Rae

Members of the public are invited to join Local Wellington artist and loom weaver Genevieve Rae and her community of weavers this December, as they share their public arts activation Micro Mill. Micro Mill is offering free loom and spinning opportunities using waste textiles as a way to educate and discuss our problem with textile waste.

Genevieve Rae

Micro Mill is a community activation, shared with the public from Wednesday 6 December to Thursday 21 December, on the corner of Victoria and Dixon Street. Open from 11am to 7pm, the project will invite people  to take part in using a loom, weaving found waste textiles to create a community tapestry. Alongside this, artist and weaver, Genevieve Rae, will be using the opportunity to discuss problems with waste textiles with the public. 

Bringing together a community of five other weavers, Genevieve’s aim is to engage the public in loom practice and spinning processes, helping us grasp the realities of our textiles.  Through the corresponding kōrero, they also hope to increase people’s knowledge and depth of understanding about how woven textiles are produced and  the physical labour that goes into making them.

Genevieve speaks of her hopes for Micro Mill. “Many people are aware of how detrimental the textile and fashion industries are to the wellbeing of te taiao, however for many of us it feels like such a big unsolvable issue that is difficult to face as an individual. We hope to offer a space to connect, be playful, share knowledge, and build a sense of community around meaningful relationships with textiles. Together we can create deeper understandings of textiles and feel empowered to respond to how and why they become ‘waste’.”

Alongside the weaving loom, Micro Mill will also feature a yarn spinning wheel as well as providing smaller weaving frames, providing plenty of fun for the public to engage with. The site will also feature the opportunity for the public to interact with the loom workers and share their thoughts about textile waste.

“We hope participants leave having learnt some new skills, feel empowered and confident to enact those skills in their textile relationships, and inspired to share them with their communities. In the Micro Mill we are weaving waste, but also textile connections!” says Genevieve.

Related Article: The Insiders Guide: Wellington

Things I Love — Angie Fredatovich

My wish list is ever-evolving and with the holiday season on the horizon, I thought you may find this list inspiring for gifting of your own.

Kerry Rocks

Literally any of her gold peridot pieces have my heart and she’s been one of my favourite jewellers for as long as I can remember.

Samsung Projector

Now this is what I really want! Sure, it’s a little on the pricey side, but It has a smart TV built in, 360° sound and you can set it up in any room or position you want.

Tory Burch Sandals

I mean, honestly, they speak for themselves, but these Tory Burch Pierced Mule Sandals are an absolute must and are at the top of my Christmas wish list.

Tropicale Vintage Puzzles

I love a quirky puzzle to take to the bach. It’s the perfect ‘kick back and relax’ activity after a long day in the sunshine and these vintage-style puzzles are right up my alley.

Light Soy Lamp

Created using over 75% ocean-bound plastic, Heliograph’s super fun and quirky Light Soy Lamp is designed to stop ocean pollution at the ‘sauce’.

Birdie Dress

This Birdie Shirt Dress by Alemais… Actually, let’s be honest, anything from Alemais has my heart.

Book Embosser

A wonderful tool to ‘make your mark’ on your book collection. Choose a design, add your name or initials and create your custom embosser. There’s a fair few to choose from on Etsy or right here in Aotearoa from Windmill Press.

Related Article: What’s On This December

Designing Women: 3 Female Architects Who Are Changing Our Cities

The work of an architect requires many skills: there’s practicality — mathematics, science and engineering — required to manifest a successful building. And then there’s the creativity needed to cultivate beauty, innovation and originality. Add to that knowledge of construction, climate challenges, economics, geology, urban design, even weather patterns, and creating a building that is significant is no mean feat.

For Beth Cameron, one of a handful of female architects whose buildings were recognised in the recent New Zealand Architecture Awards, architecture is also about understanding people. “Architecture ultimately improves people’s lives and wellbeing,” says Cameron, co-founder of Makers of Architecture. “Form and scale can have a lasting effect on health and culture.”

Kirsten Matthew sat down with three of the award-winning wāhine toa to talk about their careers in architecture, their ethos’, and how they are redefining our built environments.

Caroline Robertson

As a co-founder of Spacecraft Architects, Caroline Robertson celebrates simplicity. 

“You can do such beautiful work with simple, normal building elements,” she explains. “I can understand wild designs, but I like to think about how we can improve a building, looking at what clients really need, what will make the most difference by doing as little as possible.” 

It’s a philosophy that can be seen in Spacecraft’s Pōneke Wellington co-housing project, Block Party, which won a Housing — Multi Unit prize at the recent awards. Described by the judges as “an exemplar for increased density in our cities”, it includes four homes that house six friends. 

“Cohousing is complicated in its own way, but it’s healthy and really nice to have a social framework around you that isn’t total isolation,” says Robertson. “You can allow for interaction and that psychology is quite central to what I’m thinking about at the moment.” 

It’s a way of life that Robertson, her partner Tim Gittos and their children enjoy themselves, living on a section with two houses, the second owned by friends. It’s not exactly co-housing, but it is a dream arrangement: Robertson drops all children to school in the morning, and the neighbours bring the kids home. She and Gittos share work and parenting: While they both design new homes, apartment fitouts, even a marina at the moment, Robertson is responsible for accounts, while Gittos takes care of client management. 

Next year, the family are packing up and moving to Whangarei to build a courtyard house on poles with their own bare hands. “We get really involved in the process outside the architecture, so we know the risks worth taking,” says Robertson. “In Whangarei, building work will start early and finish early. Afternoons will be for admin, making sure our Spacecraft staff have client work to do, and so on. The process of building is so refreshing. It will be a nice counterpoint to designing.”  

Beth Cameron


“It’s really about problem solving,” Beth Cameron says of her profession. “To design beautiful environments that are accessible to many through technological advancements, design and manufacture. Architecture definitely has a political element, too. It has a huge effect on cityscapes and the future of a place and its culture.”

As a co-founder, with her husband Jae Warrander, of Makers of Architecture studio, Cameron is known for residential projects that often feature pre-fabricated, sustainable materials. She established her business 10 years ago with friends. Warrander’s parents were their first clients. The practice has grown significantly in the last five years, with six staff now supporting Cameron in her work. A construction arm of the business, Makers Fabrication, has split off from the studio, and employs more than 20 people.  

Cameron, who recently had her first child, takes care of design, client liaison, new enquiries and social media and marketing. “Jae and I seem to work together really well; it’s easy,” she says. “We’re lucky. We have different strengths but shared values that have held the company together.”

Their most-recent award-winning project, a tasting room at Ata Rangi winery in the Wairarapa, was conceived to support social interaction, raise awareness of the wine making process, and pay homage to the existing buildings and people who work in them. The awards’ jury described it as an “elegant, superbly executed building”. 

“Wellbeing and health is an ingredient that has disappeared in many built structures, but it’s important,” explains Cameron. “Sensitivity to light and environment, how people will interact with each other, how it physically positions them, are all important things.”

Colette McCartney


For Colette McCartney, it’s co-design with mana whenua that makes her architecture fulfilling. It wasn’t always so: after studying architecture at University of Auckland, she worked in Sydney, on interior architecture projects for Merrill Lynch, Reuters, and various retailers. In London, she worked for renowned architects Pringle Brandon, creating interior architecture for civic and commercial entities. There was no co-design in any of the work, but since returning home, McCartney has come to relish large, cultural collaborations.

 “After 20-something years I’ve gone back to my whakapapa,” explains McCartney, who lives in Papamoa with her husband and two children and is director of interiors and fitout management at GHD Design.

With Whangārei Māori Land Court, Te Kooti Whenua Māori, which won a national Interior Architecture award, McCartney was part of the team that transformed an austere 1960s building into a civic space that sings. Designed as a gathering space with judges, rather than a hierarchical courtroom, it’s imbued with the principles of mahi toi (art and craft), ahi kā (continuous occupation), tohu (guidance), and whakapapa (ancestry). As Nicole Dannhauser, Project Manager, Ministry of Justice, says, “The outcome is a space that is welcoming, respectful and flexible.”

McCartney, who is on the board of the Designers Institute and is committed to increasing the numbers of young Māori in architecture and interiors, is now focussed on Tauranga Moana Innovative Courthouse, a huge civic project that will span years. “Projects like this — big, internal, interior architecture with a co-design aspect — are a dream for me,” says McCartney. “You have room to do unique things in one space. It is work that has meaning.” 

Related Article: If I Could Change the World

Christmas Cravings: Satisfy Your Festive Fever

With Christmas approaching faster than a sled full of presents on Christmas Eve, festive fever is well and truly sweeping the nation. Kiwis are turning their attention to preparing for the holiday season but it can be a daunting task to find tasteful decorating solutions that don’t break the bank. 

The Warehouse’s Homewares Design Lead, Jade Turner, knows that Kiwis are looking to spend more consciously this season and has cultivated the perfect selection for even the most hesitant home decorators. With a focus on incorporating natural elements to create welcoming spaces for friends and family, these choices also represent great value that can be used throughout the year and kept for Christmases to come. 

Looking to embrace the natural beauty of the festive season? Share your household’s Christmas cheer with a traditional door wreath or brighten up the interior with a beautiful flower garland. A glass trifle bowl is another great, multipurpose choice. Fill it with a delicious dessert for Christmas dinner or try packing it with pinecones, repurposing it into the perfect year-round ornament.

For those that want to further blur the lines between outside and in, the combination of fairy lights with an outdoor lounge set makes for a picturesque festive area during day or night. To help embrace the warmer weather and really take your outdoor festivities to the next level, pair this with your favourite cold drinks from a collection of textured wine glasses, jugs and tumblers

Elevate your Christmas spread with items that are sure to invoke the holiday spirit but can be used year-round as well. Dress your table with vintage gin glasses, a golden 4-wick candle and a matching set of gold cutlery all for less than $100 to give your Christmas dinner a truly luxurious feel. A gold star tree topper can serve as another fantastic, multipurpose option. It works amazingly as a festive ornament to accompany your luxe for less spread or simply as a traditional centrepiece for decorating the tree. 

Jade also recommends a new family tradition, only purchasing a few quality decorations each Christmas. This fantastic idea helps lighten the load on your wallet this Christmas, and in the coming years, but more importantly strengthens the feelings of nostalgia when dressing the tree each year. With the Warehouse’s range of great choices from summer themed vans to more traditional baubles, sticking to just a few might just require a Christmas miracle. 

Related Article: MECCA Bang-For-Your-Buck Gifts

MECCA Bang-For-Your-Buck Gifts

When it comes to the holiday season, every penny counts and we have done the work to come up with the top 10 bang-for-your-buck gifts at MECCA to help your money go further this festive season. From fragrance discovery sets, and party-ready makeup that brings colour and sparkle, to the skincare superstars that will have your entire routine sorted, there is no girl math necessary with these value-for-money gift sets – thank us later!

Kiehl’s MECCA Favourites $130 NZD

Starting off with a bang, this holiday gift set features a trio of our best-selling hydration products valued at $168 AUD/ $174 NZD (that’s a saving of $43 AUD/$44 NZD), including our Ultra Facial Cleanser, Ultra Facial Cream and Avocado Eye Cream. This set makes for a great gift to give or keep for yourself. Featuring a limited edition holiday design by artist Duo Icinori.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian The Set of Precious Elixirs Oud Satin Mood $213 NZD

Nothing screams value for money more than a fragrance discovery set, and this OUD Satin Mood Extrait de Parfum gives off a mysterious trail of oud wood from Laos, roses, violets and lush vanilla. This set of precious elixirs is the perfect way to test and trial your next signature scent without having to splurge on the full size!

Laura Mercier The Guiding Star Translucent Loose Setting Powder & Puff $78 NZD

A limited-edition Translucent Loose Setting Powder with the signature Velour Puff in special limited edition design, Laura Mercier’s Holiday 2023 collection takes inspiration from the overwhelming beauty of the night sky—its velvet darkness bursting with radiant constellations and incandescent stardust.

NARS Gold Star Laguna Duo – $58 NZD

Show up sun-kissed anytime, anywhere with this duo of Laguna cheek essentials. Perfect for the summer season ahead, take these exclusive minis with you on your next summer vacay and seamlessly build a golden glow with mini Laguna Bronzing Powder and add a rush of bronze radiance to cheeks with mini Afterglow Liquid Blush’s limited-edition shade.

By Terry Opulent Star Stunning Eyes Cracker $78 NZD

This stunning eye beauty cracker includes the bestselling cream eyeshadow Ombre Blackstar in shade N°4 Bronze Moon and a mini-to-go version of the iconic Mascara Terrybly in shade N°1 Black Partis-Pris, helping you effortlessly create a captivating look. Presented in festive eco-friendly packaging, making it an ideal gift.

Origins Fantastic Favourites Skincare Essentials $105 NZD

Six best-selling essentials—from cleanser to moisturizer—sized to go wherever the holidays take you. These essentials go the distance: cleanse with our #1 Cleanser; purify pores with our Charcoal Mask; soothe the look of redness with Treatment Lotion; boost glow with Vitamin C Serum; intensely hydrate with Weightless Moisturizer and brighten under eyes (now and later) with Refreshing Eye Cream.

Drunk Elephant Day Dazzle: The Morning Kit $178 NZD

The dawn is breaking, the sun is shining, and your complexion is glowing: A complete morning routine to give you and your skin a fresh, healthy, moisturized start to the day. Protini™ Cream moisturizes and strengthens, C-Firma™ Fresh brightens and firms, B-Hydra™ hydrates and replenishes the complexion, and C-Tango™ delivers brighter, firmer skin around the eyes.

Urban Decay Eye Liner Trio
 $104 NZD

Available in a range of intensely vivid shades, save $14 AUD / $25 NZD with this trio of liners infused with jojoba oil for a bolder, long-lasting pigment. Perfect for creating precise lines or smudged for a smokier feel. The creamy, waterproof formula glides across the lid without grabbing or pulling to deliver a high-impact colour.

Ellis Faas Holiday Set $137 NZD

Beauty can rarely be defined, however, this Ellis Faas is one of the best bargains this holiday season, valued at $151 AUD | $170 NZD (save $30 AUD/$33 NZD). Included in this limited edition set are three of Ellis’ (and our) favourite products, Creamy Eyes, Eyelights and Creamy Lips, pair them all together to create an iconic masterpiece.

Diptyque Eau de Parfum Holiday Discovery Set $225 NZD

Have you been tossing up which Diptyque scent is for you? Look no further than the Holiday Discovery Set, filled with some of the brand’s best-selling scents in a limited edition travel size, only available during the holiday season, run don’t walk!

Related Article: Powerhouse Designer Kiri Nathan On The Challenges Underlying Her Success

The Insiders Guide: Wellington

Heading to our stylish capital city? Wellington local, Sopheak Seng, has shared their hottest spots and hidden gems, with everything from great coffee shops to memorable day trips, so you can make the most out of your stay.

Best Coffee

Coffee is serious business in Wellington, everyone has their faves and will fight to the bitter end, ‘scuse the pun, over whose recommendation reigns supreme. While Customs Brew Bar and Pour & Twist were also a tie for first, I had to choose just one… Evil Twins: A local family-run business that started as a hole in the wall, that now has its own bricks and mortar coffee shop. Its vibe is all about community, connection and creativity. The usual fare of choice when it comes to coffee, but these guys also do the best jar drinks with their ‘Matcha Love’ being their absolute best seller. 

Best Thrift

Wellington style is always eclectic and fashion forward thanks to its treasure trove of thrift stores. You can simply walk Cuba Street and find many a door to the thrifting of your dreams, but my standout of them all is… Zigguarat: With true vintage pieces from the twenties right through to modern fashion, Zigguarat is truly a fashion lover’s dream. Beautifully arranged in a way that you can lose hours in there with something for everyone, at every price point. From costume jewellery to archival Karen Walker, it’s a Wellington institution for a reason.

Best Bar

With special mention to Elixir in Chews Lane, because it truly is a hidden gem with superior sips and an equally delicious menu, however, my take on the tipple of the town is… Puffin: Dark and moody with velvet banquets and taxidermy – think luxurious speakeasy vibes. The menu focuses on classic cocktails with a twist, beer on tap, with a focus on natural organic wines. This is where you come to either start off your night or end it as its cosy intimate seating is perfect for couples as well as big groups.

Best Takeaways

The Wellington food scene is never short of amazing options when it comes to takeaways, whatever your mood is there is something for everyone. KC Cafe: A Wellington institution and is perfect for those seeking something cheap and cheerful and always reliable. The menu is extensive, but well worth it. Their dumplings are some of the best, as is their duck. Hearty Asian fare that always delights. Good Boy Sammies: Born out of a few drinks at the pub, Good Boy Sammies really do deliver some of the best sandwiches in town. A hole in the wall that is only open Wednesday to Sunday they serve up some truly out of this world combinations. Tomboy: If you are after a sweet treat, you really can’t go past Tomboy based in Mount Victoria. Kate is a true master of their craft. The cheese scones are legendary as are her cakes and sweet treats. Her cabinets are always filled with some of the most delicious and Insta worthy food.

Best Day Trip

On a nice sunny day, catch the ferry to Eastbourne and spend the day at the beach or enjoy lunch at the Pavillion or one of the beautiful cafes around. Alternatively, you can also take the ferry across to Matui/ Somes Island and walk the trails. Pack a lunch and enjoy the views of Wellington from the other side. This is a great way to escape the city for a few hours and be at one with nature.

Best Beach Spot

There are so many options when it comes to beaches in Wellington, being surrounded by water means that there are so many choices, so much so, I couldn’t choose just one. Lyall Bay is great for surfing and people watching, Scorching Bay is the perfect summertime family beach with a beautiful grassy area for picnicking and soft sand for swimming, sunning (safely) and watching boats. Also, you must stroll across the road to Scorchorama for an ice-cream or one of their famous thickshakes. Oriental Bay Beach is an oasis in the middle of the city. You can sit along one of the park benches and watch the world go by with a coffee or good book.

The IYKYK Spot

Wellingtonians love nothing more than getting out into nature. There are so many fabulous places to walk and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. From Massey Memorial walk, which takes you to the memorial, the old gun embankments and through to the old Miramar prison in the Eastern Suburbs, to Mount Kaukau which is great for seeing an almost 360 view of Wellington Harbour – yes, it is worth the trek up the hill. You also can’t beat Mount Victoria lookout and the Green Belt- there are so many tracks and ways that you can get there depending on where you start and the level of intensity you want to go for.

City Escape

Nothing beats getting out of the city and heading over the hill to Wairarapa/ Martinborough. An hour’s drive away from Wellington, this is the perfect day trip or weekend away. Here you can visit local galleries or for the wine and food lover there are numerous wineries and eateries, and trust me, Moy Hall is a must for lunch while overlooking their vineyard. You could even hire a bike and do wine tastings. My top picks to try are Escarpment, Palliser, and Ata Rangi.

Hidden Gem

Take the cable car up to a true hidden gem – Fragrifert Victorian Perfumery. A truly unique Wellington experience. There you will find fragrances by artisan perfumer Francesco van Eerd, featuring NZ florals and botanicals. It’s a great place to not only view Wellington from up high but also learn about the craft of distilling from the knowledgeable staff.

Local Must Do

Sunday Markets on Wellington Waterfront is a great way of seeing Wellington in action. This small haven is perfect for picking up the week’s veggies, discovering local producers and food artisans, as well as watching the coming and goings of Wellingtonians and visitors alike. Grab a souvlaki from the Greek Food Truck and sit on the steps of the Te Papa and enjoy a few hours of the Wellington vibe.

Art Scene

There are so many choices when it comes to galleries and the art scene. From private galleries to public institutions there is always something happening art-wise. Enjoy Contemporary Art Space: Features an ever-rotating schedule of work, Enjoy is perfect whether you are an art aficionado or a casual art lover. You will always find something that will tempt you in to view. McLeavey Gallery: A name that is synonymous with the art world. Started by Peter McLeavey, dealing in contemporary NZ art, the gallery has held over 560 exhibitions to date. The Dowse: Located in the Hutt, The Dowse has managed to carve out a niche for itself by showcasing interesting and fantastical exhibitions where applied arts is concerned. With a focus on ceramics, textiles, weaving and the likes, the museum has garnered over 3,500 objects to delight its visitors. Its focus on accessible art and exhibitions makes it one that is also very family friendly.

Top Eats

Kisa Slinging Turkish and Middle Eastern inspired eats, Kisa is a must-dine spot and its open windows overlooking Cuba Street also make it an ideal place to watch the world go by. Koji: Asian cuisine with NZ ingredients, Koji serves up great eats with an unusual spin that is forward-thinking and always creative. Liberty: From the team at Logan Brown, Liberty is a more casual take on its older sibling. More sharing plates and an innovative menu. Liberty is all about pushing the boundaries of what you would expect and making the ingredients the star.
Rita: Book in advance… if you can. This one’s harder to get into than your local doctor, but well worth it! Cute cottage serving incredible food. The three course menu changes frequently, so no two meals are ever the same! Hiakai: Helmed by celebrity chef Monique Fiso, this is a gastronomic tour of the taste buds. Hiakai celebrates Māori ingredients and cooking styles and serves up truly mind-blowing creations.

Related Article: What’s On This December

What Drives Dame Anne Salmond

On the release of a new book that revisits some of her best pieces of writing, Dame Anne Salmond pays tribute to the one person who has been her main inspiration.

Esteemed anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond is a national treasure who has helped Aotearoa New Zealand understand our cultural history through her writing and her life-long love affair with Māori.   

At 78, Salmond, winner of New Zealander of the Year in 2013, has recently been reflecting on her ground-breaking work as an anthropologist, environmentalist and writer with the release of her new book, Knowledge is a Blessing on Your Mind; Selected Writings, 1980–2020. It’s a collection of forty years of Salmond’s key written work about the Māori world, Te Tiriti and the wider Pacific and embedding her writing with her life, her relationships, her travels and friends.  

The collection includes Hui: A Study of Māori Ceremonial Gatherings, Eruera: The Teachings of a Māori Elder, and more recently, writing about race and Te Tiriti.   

“I’ve led a joyful life. It hasn’t been an angst ridden journey. It’s been a lot of fun,” she says.  

“It was wonderful to retrace my journey, going back to the beginning and remembering all of the relationships I’ve had, the people that I’ve known and the things that I have been involved with.”  

But the release of her new book comes with a tinge of sadness for Salmond. One of her biggest supporters, her husband Jeremy Salmond, one of the country’s leading conservation architects, died earlier this year. He encouraged Salmond to write this book, and passed  away before the book’s release.  

Anne Salmond

“We were together for 54 years and extremely close. It’s like losing half of yourself. He was a major personality in his own right, a gorgeous man who was very much loved by everyone. It’s been a very tough year,” she solemnly says.  

 “When you’re with someone for a very long time, and your lives weave together. you become a unit in a very deep way.”  

Jeremy shared Salmond’s love for history and the environment and often took many photos she used for her work.

Born in Wellington and raised in Gisborne, Salmond is a Pākehā New Zealander who has always had a special bond for Māori and their history.   

She says her connection to telling Māori stories stemmed from her great-grandfather, James McDonald, who was born in 1865, and was a photographer and filmmaker who had a close friendship with prominent Māori politicians Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck. James filmed, photographed and used cutting edge technology of the time to document Māori history because he feared that the culture was vanishing.   

Salmond shared her great grandfather’s passion, and also inherited his notebooks of his work.  

She went on her own journey of discovery, learning how to speak Māori, after she spent a year in the US as an AFS exchange student.  

“When I was in the US, I had to do a lot of talks about Aotearoa. That’s when I realised I knew very little about Māori, that I was completely ignorant. When I returned, I was fascinated with the culture and I learned te reo Māori.”  

Salmond has a close connection to the University of Auckland, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966 and a Master of Arts in anthropology in 1968. She later became a highly acclaimed Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Māori Studies. She gained a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 with her thesis titled Hui – a study of Māori ceremonial gatherings.  

Salmond not only became a lecturer in Māori studies, but she was also involved in some of the major activist activities in the 70s that impacted Māori. including Bastion Point and was pregnant when she marched across the Auckland Harbour Bridge during the infamous 1975 land march led by Dame Whina Cooper. Her close friendship and working relationship with kaumatua Eruera and Amiria Stirling helped her build close connections and relationships in the Māori world.  

Despite her extensive work, Salmond has never claimed to speak for Māori. Her passion has always been around her willingness to observe and document.  

“I don’t claim any type of authority,” she says.  “What I share is a journey and sense of wonder, and excitement. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been surrounded by elders and kaumatua with a great deal of mana, and I’ve had a korowai wrapped around me to protect and support me.” 

These days, at 74, Salmond is still working, focusing her time on environmental projects. As with anthropology and Māori culture and history, she has excelled in writing, research and in practical work in the fields of conservation and preservation.  

“I work on environmental projects because of my four grandchildren. I want them to have a future and a world to live in.”

This is public interest journalism funded by NZ on Air.

Related Article: Pacific Health Leader Shares Her Painful Medical Battle

Christmas Dessert Hacks: Entertaining, Bring A Plate Or Hostess Gift!

Tis the season to be jolly, but who said it can’t be the season to be savvy? As the festive vibes kick in, the last thing you want is to be tangled in the tinsel of stressful dessert preparations. This Christmas, Woolworths has a sleigh full of hacks that will save you time, and stress with their ready-to-devour desserts! From trifles to tarts, meringues to mince pies, cookies to cheese and all things in between, they have everything you need to help make Christmas special. 

Gold Chocolate, Coconut and Raspberry Yule Log – $43 

A Christmas classic, but who has the time to roll and bake a log-shaped cake from scratch? Yule love this easy-peasy Yule Log from the bakery department, hand decorated and is a perfect blend of flavours and textures. 

For a homemade touch, dust with sugar, top with fresh fruit and a sprig of holly! 

Dulce De Leche Trifle – $45 

The unsung hero of holiday desserts! This hand-finished masterpiece is layered with dulce de leche, custard, and sponge, promising a rich and indulgent experience with every bite. 

Top it off with edible glitter or festive sprinkles for a homemade touch!

Gingerbread DIY House – $25

Photographer: Timothy Roberts

A labour of love, and patience you can be the holiday hero without breaking a sweat (or cracking an egg) This DIY Gingerbread House comes complete with pipe-able icing and a variety of decorations, allowing you to customise your creation to your heart’s content. 

Limited-edition Christmas Smash Cake – $50

Have your cake and smash it too this silly season, with Woolworths’ most highly anticipated Christmas item hitting stores this week. The supermarket’s limited-edition Christmas Smash Cake sold out in 2022 and is expected to fly off shelves again this year. Designed to bring a little moment of magic to young and old alike, the festive favourite has gone viral on TikTok and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleasing centrepiece this Christmas. Simply crack open the solid chocolate dome to reveal layers of rich chocolate sponge and buttercream, topped with an assortment of sweets! Then slice, slice baby – it can be shared with up to 26 people, making it an affordable treat at just under $2 per serve. 

So, there you have it dessert dreamers, a guide to hacking Christmas with store-bought desserts that will leave your guests wondering if you have a secret family recipe. Woolworths Food range has everything you need to help make Christmas special. Visit in-store or online to see the full range here Christmas at Woolworths.

Related Article: WOMAN Relaunches As A Quarterly Magazine!

What’s On This December

This festive season brings us many exciting events to jot down in our calendars, check them out!

Kāpiti Food Fair
2 December 

More than 220 food vendors, and a bustling crowd of 10,000 people, the Kāpiti Food Fair is a scrumptious showcase of everything that we love about New Zealand food. Don’t bypass the Tuatara bar and stage for local brews and grooves. kapitifoodfair.co.nz

The Jingle Bellethon Telethon Christmas Show
On Now until 22 December

Celebrating its fourteenth year, The Basement Theatre Christmas Show is back, and this time it’s going off the rails with Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahuki Whangaroa) and Bea Gladding (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) steering the comedic sleigh. Brace yourself for the perfect blend of scripted brilliance and spontaneous hilarity as Jingle Bellethon Telethon takes the stage and flips the classic Kiwi Telethon on its head.

Christmas in the Park
Christchurch, Auckland
25 November, 9 December

Photo: Richard Linton

It wouldn’t be a December events list without the iconic Christmas big bash. Two nights, in two different cities, and another year of musical and dance entertainment plus a jaw-dropping display of fireworks to top off the festivities. This free knees-up should be a fixture in your Christmas calendar. coke.co.nz

JW Marriott in partnership with Curated Botanics
Now until 5 January

This festive wonderland, located in the JW Marriott hotel’s Premium Suite, is a luxurious holiday accomodation option for those who love everything Christmas! For those looking to ditch their aprons, JW Marriott Auckland will also be hosting three festive dining packages: Christmas Eve Dinner featuring a tailor made 4-course set menu, Christmas Day Buffet, and the New Year’s Eve Dinner. Available for booking now. marriott.com

South Island Wine & Food Festival
2 December

This festival in Christchurch’s Hagley Park is your ticket to drinking and nibbling your way around the South Island. The Black Seeds will provide easy listening reggae as your soundtrack for the day. winefestival.co.nz

Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Exhibition
14 December-28 April

Explore the Marvel Universe and discover the stories behind the superheroes at this world-premiere exhibition at Tākina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre. Celebrating 80 years of Marvel, you will have the chance to see original comic art, film props and costumes and exclusive memorabilia, as well as meeting the creators and minds behind the characters. Tickets required. wellingtonnz.com

Boxing Day Festival
Hawke’s Bay
26 December

Onto its eighth edition, the Cape Estate fest is a family-friendly staple in Hawke’s Bay and we can see why. A Boxing Day of pure bliss in the open-air garden setting, with a picturesque view of Cape Kidnappers, good food and great musical line-up. boxingdayfestival.co.nz

Related Article: Meet WOMAN’s New Editor Angie Fredatovich

December Energy Forecast From Gaia Chinniah

Gaia Chinniah is an internationally known healer, medium and spiritual coach. She founded Soul 33 a healing company and the modality of Soul Progression Therapy. Using the energetic cycles and seasons to set your goals, heal and manifest what you want in life is such a powerful tool to help us to navigate life daily without resistance. To use this December Energy Forecast, review once in its entirety and then at the beginning and end of each week remind yourself what the energy of the week is asking of you.

Week One: 1 – 10 December

The final month of the calendar year is here, and things are wrapping up. There is a lot of power this week to discover yourself through some independence and making a commitment to your greatness. Do you understand the power you have within your circumstance?

You will receive intuitive guidance through your meditation practice and quiet time to be sure, wait to ensure you are not being negative and then use your voice to articulate what you need. This is a week of following your dreams, taking a stand but not from a negative stance and revealing your truth through your expression. Take action! You be surprised as to how influential you are.

Card of the week: Signs

The intuitive messages you will receive this week are through signs and synchronicities. Receive signs without looking and spend time deciphering what they are telling you before speaking and acting. This card comes up to remind you to ask for a sign!

Week Two: 11 – 17 December

Mind your thoughts this week, be realistic and don’t over think when it comes to exchanges. Exchanges in terms of what you are giving in return for something. Are you doing things only to get something in return? There may be some sort of conflict or inner conflict but look at how you can come together with another and converge rather than working to fulfill independent needs. Intend and surrender, be in the flow. Be balanced by being patient but also remember memories are being created and you want them to be impressions that are lasting for how you made someone feel. Be in the flow of life this week.

Card of the week: Trust

Trust that relationships are coming together for a common purpose. Trust in yourself that you are enough. This card comes up to remind you that you can trust what is happening for you.

New Moon: 12 December

We have a new moon and it’s time to intend bigger things for yourself. Remove mental limitations from your intentions and create the roots for feeling safe before the New Year.

Mercury Retrograde: 13 December 1 January

The planet Mercury is said to rule our communication, our minds and our emotions. It is a planet with strong forces that impact us because energetically we are all connected as people, as souls and with the planets that are in our Universe. Spirit tells me to be more mindful of exchanges of your energy during this period. Think before you speak or write and be clear in the mind before you say anything. Mercury Retrograde is nothing to fear, it’s a time to get clear on your intentions and be clear with your energetic exchanges, communications and the outcomes you desire.  

Week Three: 18 – 24 December

We have the solstice this week which is a time of purification and a new beginning! We want to think about applying purification and simplicity in our life, especially in areas where you feel you have lacked progress. What value does this area or person hold in your life?  Why do you want to keep it? Find your courage and determination to see the situation with new eyes; paint a new reality! There are some closures this week, things that will make you feel like you want to be done with certain things and this is so you can unlearn and let go. Abundance is in the air once we can move past ourselves, and you will see support showing up around you to remind you that you are not alone.

Card of the week: Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth comes from awareness of what is ending and beginning in your life. You are spiritually growing this week by allowing closures and recreating a new perspective. This card comes up to remind you that you are growing!

Week Four: 25 – 31 December

It is Christmas this week and there is magic in the air. While it can be a triggering and confronting time of year we are being asked to be as emotionally balanced as possible, be gracious and social by living in the present moment. There is a turning point and truths being revealed about how you feel about certain things, take some time out if you can and retreat and gain power from the knowledge that you receive. Tune into the collective and embrace the festive season of giving, receiving and feeling the sacred bonds you have with yourself and those around you.

Card of the week: Masters

It is not surprising the Masters card comes up for us this week to remind us about why we celebrate Christmas. The Masters card appears when there is deep guidance back to what is most important. This is a reminder that you are divinely connected and are safe and supported in life.

Full Moon: December 27

The emotions that come up this week may be around home, family and feeling de-stabilised by triggers. With this full moon phase you have the opportunity to get some relief and a strong foundation for January 2024.

This is a magical month with a lot of support showing up for us and the ability to be courageous in our direction. Many truths will be unveiled for us to have clarity and to allow things to end for a new beginning which will be a vital part of how we begin a new year. You will find your power and your voice this month but be sure to take a moment before speaking and acting. You want to be clear in your mind first.

Related Article: WOMAN Relaunches As A Quarterly Magazine!

Strawberries & Cream Tiramisu Recipe

Delicious tiramisu recipe courtesy of Luna Bakehouse and Brown Brothers.


  • 4 fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam (50gms)
  • Fresh cream (120mls)
  • Mascarpone (100 gms)
  • 6-8 ladyfingers
  • Brown Brothers Moscato Strawberries & Cream (100ml)



  • Whisk the fresh cream and jam until slightly thickened
  • Add Marscapone and whisk until stiff peaks form
  • In a deep bowl, dip one side of the ladyfingers into the Brown Brothers Moscato Strawberries & Cream
  • Layer the dipped ladyfingers in a serving dish
  • Spoon the cream mixture over the ladyfingers
  • Repeat the layers until at the desired height
  • Add fresh sliced strawberries on top 
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
  • Slice and serve chilled
  • Enjoy your Tiramisu!

Related Article: Three Delicious Cocktail Recipes from Good Cocktail Co.

Powerhouse Designer Kiri Nathan On The Challenges Underlying Her Success

Fresh from her stellar runway show at New Zealand Fashion Week: Kahuria 2023, fashion designer, Kiri Nathan, tells journalist and playwright, Aroha Awarau, about her electrifying show.

Kiri Nathan

Māori designer, Kiri Nathan (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Hauā), opened this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week in August, with an emotive runway show chronicling the history of Māori garments. Fashion bible Vogue Australia described the experience as “the changing of the guard” in New Zealand fashion.

Kiri blushes whenever she’s congratulated about the milestone spectacle that she created and, in the process, becoming the very first Māori designer to open New Zealand’s premiere fashion event in its 20-year history.

Instead, Kiri prefers to give credit to the 280 whānau and friends who worked tirelessly to make the show happen. Importantly, she also acknowledges the up-and-coming Māori and indigenous fashion designers that are making their own mark in the fashion industry.

“After the show, we were given a full-house standing ovation. It was joyous and celebratory. This kind of reception hardly happens at New Zealand Fashion Week. Everyone connected and responded to the runway experience. It made an impact,” Kiri explains.

“It was a powerful moment for Māori fashion. The garments told stories of how Māori wore and made clothes, based on social and environmental impacts. Our history and our aspirations for the future were all connected.”

Kiri established her eponymous high-end brand thirteen years ago. Her distinctive fashion garments, jewellery, and pounamu designed by co-founder and husband Jason Nathan, weave together Māori culture, tradition, and contemporary designs. She uses ancient techniques like weaving, and kākahu (handwoven garments and cloaks) to create her pieces. Her clothes honour the world of Māori by acknowledging whakapapa (genealogy) and utilise sustainable materials to form a deeper connection to the environment.

Kiri Nathan

When Kiri first started her brand, some fashion insiders told her that her unapologetic focus on Māori and indigenous ideologies had no place in modern fashion.  But Kiri stuck to her principles, believing that her authentic indigenous lens was what made her unique, and her brand became well-known locally and internationally. She has designed garments and gifted pounamu and kākahu to international personalities like Barack Obama, Meghan Markle, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, and her gowns have appeared on the red carpet at the Oscars and Hollywood premieres.

“It’s been an evolution, for me personally, as a creative and as a businesswoman. I continue to learn and grow. During the early years, it was extremely challenging. There were many negative experiences within the industry, I found the frameworks and how people treated each other especially difficult.”

Kiri’s business has become so successful that a year ago she moved her base from her tiny Auckland home and studio, into her own showroom and operations hub situated in the heart of the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes.  Named Te Āhuru Mōwai, meaning shelter or safe haven, the working space is where Kiri not only makes her clothing and woven kākahu, but it’s also a community hub for the future of Aotearoa fashion to be mentored in design and business.

Kiri proudly takes us on a tour of her immaculate showroom, renovated from recycled and repurposed wood and furniture.  Clothing is not arranged in seasons, like other fashion houses. Instead, they are arranged by various components of the Māori world. For instance, there’s a Matariki collection, with each garment inspired by the nine stars of Matariki.

She based her workshop in the working class suburb of Glen Innes, as opposed to the inner city, because Glen Innes is where Kiri was raised and went to school. It was important to return home, to re-connect and give back to her community.

“My formative years were spent here in Glen Innes. This is where my creativity started, it was an outlet that always brought me into a space that felt safe and secure.”

There are many taonga (treasures) displayed inside Te Āhuru Mōwai that have great significance. In one corner lies a giant mauri greenstone gifted to her by the people of the South Island iwi of Kai Tahu. In another corner is her most precious taonga, an old Singer sewing machine owned by her paternal grandmother, Inez Fullerton. Inez was a talented seamstress who sewed and knitted clothes for her whanau.

“I used to sit at the foot of the sewing machine and spent hours watching grandma sew. I used to watch her cut patterns and make clothes. It was calming for me,” adds Kiri.

“As I got older, she let me have a go at sewing and making clothes. I always wanted a place to honour her sewing machine and the memories that it holds.”

At 18, Kiri became a single mother to her son Astley. To help provide a future for herself and her baby, Kiri spent three years completing a diploma in visual arts at the Manukau Institute of Technology, majoring in fashion. But after she graduated, Kiri was disheartened with fashion and became a flight attendant and an in-flight manager for Ansett and Air New Zealand for fourteen years.

“By the end of the three years of study, I never wanted to see a sewing machine again. The theory-based course killed my desire to create for years.”

She met her husband Jason and his daughter Ahmardia in 1998. They married and went on to have three more children.

While juggling a career at Air New Zealand and family life, Kiri entered various fashion competitions including the New Zealand Wearable Art Awards. In 2008, she won the Supreme Award at Style Pasifika with a garment that was inspired by a picture of her grandparents when they were younger. Winning the major prize, and with the support from her husband, they had the confidence to start their own label. 

“We were clueless, completely green with no idea where to start. In our divine wisdom, we thought it would be a wonderful idea to start a business, and work around the kids.”

Today, that decision has paid off. Kiri has become a major influence in New Zealand fashion and for indigenous designers around the world. She became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2020 for her contribution to Māori and the fashion industry.

In 2017, she founded Kahui Collective, a community to support Māori fashion designers in their businesses and creative endeavours.

“It’s important to bring all of our like-minded and creative whānau together. We’re in an industry that is still on its journey to fully understanding and realising the potential of Māori fashion. For Māori fashion to be successful, it has to be a collective effort.”

This article was published in Volume 1 of WOMAN Magazine, on sale now at all good magazine retailers.

This is public interest journalism funded by NZ on Air.

Related Article: Pacific Health Leader Shares Her Painful Medical Battle

Pacific Health Leader Shares Her Painful Medical Battle

The leader of a major Pacific organisation is making the ultimate sacrifice to ensure more women are aware of the dangers of breast cancer.

Debbie Sorensen is the chief executive of the Pasifika Medical Association, the largest Pacific non-governmental organisation in New Zealand, and for 16 years she has helmed the entity with a strong and confident style of leadership.

But last month, she allowed herself to be vulnerable when she released a short documentary detailing her diagnosis with an aggressive form of breast cancer and the medical battle she endured to save her life. This was Debbie Sorensen whom her colleagues, peers and the public have never seen before. She was emotional, fragile, sick in a hospital bed with little hair on her head, allowing the world to see her experience the harsh reality of fighting breast cancer.

“We’ve watched too many sad medical movies when things don’t end well and people die. But this is a different story. I’m not dead yet.  We really need to encourage our Pacific women to not be so fearful. We can’t afford to have our Pacific mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and sisters die, so we have to do something about it,” she says.

Debbie was initially hesitant about letting the cameras in. She agreed to be filmed because she wanted to show a high-profile Pacific woman going through this experience and hoped it would encourage other Pacific women to have regular mammograms.  She also wanted to dispel the myths and anxieties that may surround chemotherapy and radiology treatments.

Debbie accepted that the most impactful way to spread the message was to show the rawness and honesty of battling breast cancer.

“If the documentary was a nice, flowery floating story, then women wouldn’t feel like they needed to act.  But actually, it’s very serious. I want people to be shocked, and that to be a call to action.”

A report published last year by Breast Cancer Foundation NZ found that Pacific women were 52% more likely to die of breast cancer within 10 years than Pākehā and had the highest rate of stage 3 and 4 breast cancers and of HER2+ cancers, and more grade 3 tumours than all other ethnicities.

Debbie’s breast cancer was discovered last April after she went for a check-up. It was an aggressive form of breast cancer that needed urgent attention, and she had a biopsy after her examination. Ten days later, she was in the theatre having a partial mastectomy, and ten weeks after that she started chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

“I was in shock. No one on either side of my family has had breast cancer. I thought I could get lots of other cancers, but not breast cancer. My father died of bowel cancer. When I was young, I smoked, and it would have been easy for me to get lung cancer. I was expecting the doctors to tell me it was only a breast lump. Lots of women have lumps removed and examined and they are benign.”

Once the seriousness of the cancer was confirmed, and the treatment plan had been put in place, Debbie prepared herself for the gruelling days of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“I’m not a person to feel sorry for myself. We just needed to get on with it. If they hadn’t found this early, then I might be planning a funeral,” she says.

“My overwhelming feeling was one of gratitude. I feel grateful that it was found, grateful that I was able to access health services, and grateful that I work in such an organisation where all my bosses are doctors and were very supportive.”

Debbie is a Tongan leader, a mother and a grandmother, who started her medical career as a nurse. She branched out into governance, management, and health advocacy for the Pacific community when she helped establish the Pasifika Medical Association in 1996. The association includes Pasifika Futures, the Whanau ora Commissioning Agency for Pacific families and ETU Pasifika Primary Care services in Auckland and Christchurch. 

Today, Debbie is back at work and feeling much better. She has yet to be given an all-clear from her doctors and still requires regular checks.

“I have to continue to be vigilant, and positive and continue to listen to my doctor’s health advice.”

She says the experience has given her a deeper insight into the public health system and has encouraged her to continue to fight for health equity for the Pacific community . 

“This experience has made me insightful. It’s made me determined to make sure that everything that we do makes it better for our Pacific people and their engagement with the health sector,” she says.

“The experience has also made me realise how loved I am and how important it is for me to get better and live the best life that I can.”

Watch Debbie’s documentary here.

This is public interest journalism funded by NZ on Air.

Related Article: How Miriama Smith Learned How to Love Acting

WOMAN Relaunches As A Quarterly Magazine!

With the digital platform in growth mode, School Road Publishing are coming back into the market with WOMAN magazine, giving the brand more exposure and credibility than ever.

WOMAN magazine returns to the newsstands Monday 27 November in a new more stylish and directional seasonal format. 

The changes come after Martine Skinner (ex Bauer/ACP) was announced General Manager and Sarah Hoffmann (ex Bauer, STUFF and NZME) was appointed Sales Director of School Road Publishing, owned by the Waitapu Group. 

 “We’ve bought the magazine back in a redesigned, contemporary matt format with more content so our audience can enjoy WOMAN in a more relaxed and tactile way during their leisure time, while still receiving continuous updates from womanmagazine.co.nz and its social platforms throughout the week,” says Skinner.

Through a unique commercial model, WOMAN has invited a limited number of well-known brands to be Preferred Partners over the summer months and who are seamlessly integrated into the magazine.  

“We could not have delivered this issue without our preferred partners. We’re excited to be collaborating with them and sharing their stories through a mixture of editorial and sponsored editorial across all platforms” says Hoffmann.

At the helm of the first new look issue is Editor Angie Fredatovich, working alongside the creative talents of Waitapu Group’s other companies including the specialist visual storytellers at Film 360 and Stanley Street Agency’s design talents.  Experience editor and publisher Christina Sayers-Wickstead has contributed to the issue.

WOMAN Magazine is on sale now at all good magazine retailers.

Meet WOMAN’s New Editor Angie Fredatovich

It’s a ‘pinch me’ moment to be introducing myself as the new editor of WOMAN Magazine. Thirteen-year-old me who read fashion magazines cover to cover used to dream of one day being the girl who got to be the captain of such a creative ship. Secret confession — I also wanted to be the person who got to give nail polishes those clever, quirky colour names.

As we get to know each other you’ll learn that the one thing I dislike more than anything else is ageism. It’s important to me that whether you’re 19 or 90 you’ll find lots of things you love and can relate to in our newest issue (on sale Monday 27 November). You can rock the fashion, find inspiration, enjoy the escapism and get lost in the reads.

At the heart of WOMAN are the profiles we write about other women and this issue is filled to the brim with smart, inspiring and wonderful wãhine toa. It’s not just about giving voice to the women we write about, it’s also about giving you a voice. Please know that you can always reach out to us, and tell us what you’re thinking or what’s inspiring you, we’d love to hear from you via hello@ womanmagazine.co.nz.

I want to leave you with one last thought before you read the newest issue. Attitude not age, because it’s not about the number of years you’ve lived, but the way in which you’ve lived them.

WOMAN Magazine is on sale now at all good magazine retailers.

Karen Walker on her Limited Edition Puzzle

With a cult international following and collections stocked in more than 1,000 stores in over 40 countries, Karen Walker is undoubtedly New Zealand’s most famous fashion export. She’s a self-confessed lover of creating order out of chaos and mixing pragmatism with eccentricity —both of which apply to her prowess as a fashion designer and her love of a good puzzle. We talk to NZ’s most acclaimed fashion designer Karen Walker about the inspiration behind the design of her Runaway Stamps puzzle, how she prioritises wellbeing in her day and, of course, delve into her love affair with the humble puzzle. 

The Karen Walker x Piecehouse puzzle is inspired by her childhood stamp collection, rich with adventure and exotic locales.

Your pieces are usually found on catwalks, not in a box. What led you to this collaboration? 

As a puzzle fanatic, I’ve actually wanted to create a jigsaw puzzle for many years! When PieceHouse sent us a puzzle to look at out of the blue, we knew we’d found the right partner. They’re puzzle fanatics like me and create lovely puzzles that are carefully crafted. 

We’ve spotted your signature Runaway Girl, but tell us more about the Runaway Stamps puzzle design.

We reworked a print from our 2018 collection called Love Letter a montage of vintage postage stamps that nod to Edwardian etchings and feature camels, giraffes, a kiwi bird and, of course, the graphic silhouette of our Runaway Girl with her shoulder-slung bindle front and centre. As a child, I was a bit of a stamp collector and was always drawn to the multifarious graphics and the sense of adventure and possibility they suggested. We took the original fabric, recoloured the graphics and repositioned the stamps, taking care to have them placed in just the right way to create a puzzle that’s challenging but still fun. 

You’re a self-confessed puzzle fanatic; where did it all start?

I’m a lifelong puzzler. My first, as a very young child, was an old wooden puzzle found at the back of Grandma’s games cupboard. The scene: a Regency painting of a grand drawing room with parquet floors, chandelier, harpsichord and a woman in a white gown by a large window. I was hooked. From then, every winter school holiday had a puzzle – 1,000 pieces minimum. One of the Eiffel Tower was the only one to beat me – too much flat, blue Parisian sky. Forty years on, that defeat still stings. 

Tell us what your dream puzzling scenario looks like.

Having company when puzzling is great fun (with the right types at the table), but they are also divine solo. My perfect puzzling scenario is a mid-morning empty house, a fresh pot of Earl Grey tea and one of my favourite podcasts or audiobooks. I’ll often do a bit of binge and really enjoyed having every John le Carré for company on one such binge (le Carré himself a lovely reader) and, on another, worked my way through every 007 (David Tennant is particularly good company) followed by every Jeeves and Wooster (Martin Jarvis does a lovely job). That’s a lot of puzzling and a lot of fantastic books. 

How do you juggle seemingly endless work demands with personal wellbeing? What advice would you give those aspiring to live a balanced life?

What works for me is building my wellbeing into my schedule as I do with my work responsibilities. That might be scheduling a dog walk, yoga class or meditation without guilt. These tasks are just as important as anything else in my day. I also start a puzzle at any time of year when I notice my mind’s buzzier than I like it to be, as a puzzle is one of the best ways I know to calm that buzzy state. 

Q&A credit to Piecehouse.

Related Article: Kowtow’s Gosia Piatek On Fashion, Sustainability And Making A Change For Good

Dietitian Deb Sue’s Top Tips for Supermarket Shopping with Kids

Supermarket shopping with kids can be a stressful exercise, so in a bid to make the experience easier for shoppers big and small, Woolworths is making changes at checkouts all across the country.

80 percent of food items at checkouts will carry a Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 or above, with the remaining checkout space undefined by HSR, and kids confectionery will also be removed from checkouts across Woolworths supermarkets nationwide.

While treats and snacks will still be available for customers to choose in other parts of the supermarket, Woolworths New Zealand nutritionist and registered dietitian, Deb Sue, says the supermarket is giving shoppers a helping hand to make healthier choices at the checkout.

Deb Sue

“We want to give all New Zealanders healthier snack options to choose from at the checkout which is why you’ll find a selection that’s focused on higher Health Star Ratings. We’re not telling anyone what they should be putting in their trolley, but by upping healthier options and moving less healthy choices into aisles, hopefully it makes it that little bit easier.”

Those end-of-shop negotiations from the little ones will get a little less theatrical as parents can take comfort in knowing more healthy options are replacing products aimed at children at the checkouts.

But how to get to the end of the shop smoothly? Dietitian and mum Deb Sue shares her dos and don’ts to tackle any trolley tension:

  1. Don’t shop when you’re hungry, particularly with hungry kids

    • Go after breakfast or lunch and you’re less likely to make impulsive or hangry decisions, and bring the kids’ water bottles to keep them hydrated so they don’t mistake thirst for hunger

  2. Get the kids involved with meal planning and finding the groceries they need in store

    • If the kids are helping to make their favourite meals during the week, they’ll be more invested in getting the right ingredients to complete their goals

  3. Get the kids looking out for the HSR rating in store and knowing what this means

    • The HSR rating uses a rating scale of 0.5 to 5 stars. When comparing similar foods, foods with more stars are healthier than foods with fewer stars
    • Educate and distract at the same time!

  4. Role play shopping at home with your little ones

    • Give the kids an insight into the things you need to think about (and ignore) while shopping and they might have a little empathy next time

  5. Get them to help make the shopping list before you go & match it as much as possible to match the layout of the store

    • Call it orienteering or a treasure hunt and get the kids to select as many of the things on your list without backtracking or going down the same aisle twice
    • Tip: The myCountdown app has a product locator so you can find the exact aisle number

  6. Always start the shopping process in the fresh fruit and veg section – look out for the free fruit for kids tubs

    • Fill as much of the trolley as you can with vegetables and fruit so the kids see the trolley become full at the beginning, plus filling them up on free fruit will keep them distracted, full and less likely to want a packaged treat

  7. Pre-select a treat

    • If your little one is going to demand something no matter what, agree on what they can have before your shop. Even better, give them two healthy options so they feel they have a say on the matter when choosing between the two
    • Better yet, keep the focus off food and entice them with a non-food treat like going to the park, pool, or library afterwards (and it’s likely to speed up the shopping!)

  8. Make it fun

    • Distract the kids and get them to count how many blue shirts, or hats, or sneakers they can see throughout the shop

Related Article: The Importance of a Will for Blended Families

New Zealand’s Best Wedding Cakeries

Calling all lovebirds! Are you ready to embark on the sweetest journey of your lives? Well, hold onto your cake forks because we’re about to take you on a whirlwind tour of New Zealand’s top wedding cakeries! These talented bakers and decorators have mastered the art of turning sugar, flour, and a whole lot of love into edible works of art that will leave your taste buds begging for more. So, grab your sweetheart and get ready to discover the crème de la crème of the cake world right here in NZ!


Cake & Co.

Let’s begin our journey in the vibrant city of Auckland, where you will find the land of heavenly sweets. First stop is Cake & Co. This bakery is a little piece of paradise with mind-blowing creations that seem to have come from a fairytale run by the wonderful Jackie who you will fall in love with!. From elegant and classic designs to trendy and modern masterpieces, their cake artists will bring your wildest dessert dreams to life. 

Just Jess Boujee bakery

The Just Jess Boujee bakery is quickly becoming everyone’s favourite bakery.  With a name like “Just Jess,” you know her work will come with a personal flair. Her cakes are edible works of art that will have your guests taking photos from all sides. 


Bluebells is a cakery that will make your heart skip a beat. If you have read some of my wedding writing before, you may have picked up that I’m a florist, and it just so happens that I am a florist that actually does a lot of the flower action at the Bluebells Kingsland bakery, nestled in the heart of Auckland. Bluebells is a hidden gem that has been crafting edible works of art for years. Their dedication to perfection and their love for all things sweet shine through in every wedding cake they create.



Sweet Avenue Cakes

Travelling south to Hamilton, this quaint city is home to a little piece of heaven called Sweet Avenue Cakes. They will design a cake that tells your love story with their extraordinary attention to detail and dedication to perfection. Sweet Avenue Cakes will bring a touch of sweetness and charm to your special day, whether it’s with whimsical woodland themes or glitzy showstoppers.

Chrissy Cakes 

We have another sweet surprise from the city of Hamilton. The queen of sweets, Chrissy Cakes is able to fulfil all of your wedding cake fantasies. With her artistic flair and culinary expertise, Chrissy will whip up a masterpiece that not only tastes divine but also showcases your individuality as a couple. Trust us, Chrissy Cakes will leave your guests in awe and your taste buds in everlasting bliss.


Sage & Grace 

On this sugar-coated journey, Tauranga is the next stop. You’ll be taken to a world of sophisticated flavours and culinary artistry with every bite. This is my all-time favourite caker on this side of NZ. You must follow their Instagram for a constant stream of wedding inspo.  Sage & Grace is the cakery to go to if you want a cake that exudes grace and charm. These images above will tell you just that. 


Em & Skye

Em & Skye of Wellington is ready to add a little magic to your wedding day. These cake masters have mastered the technique of fusing flavour and design to produce jaw-dropping works of art. Em & Skye will completely mesmerise you and your guests with their whimsical creations and bold colours. Additionally, they provide bespoke designs to satisfy your most extravagant cake fantasies. 


The Cake Eating Company 

Now, we’re off to Christchurch, where The Cake Eating Company reigns supreme. These cake maestros are true artists, crafting cakes that are almost too beautiful to eat (almost!). From delicate hand-painted watercolor designs to intricate sugar sculptures (check out that monstera stencil! The Cake Eating Company will create a masterpiece that perfectly complements your wedding vision. Trust us, your taste buds and your eyes will thank you!  


Weeping Willow Cakes

Ah, Queenstown, the South Island’s crown jewel. This breathtaking location demands an equally breathtaking wedding cake, and we know the perfect bakeries to make that happen! Your go-to place for mouthwatering, picture-perfect cakes is Weeping Willow. They will produce a cake that is as lovely as Queenstown itself thanks to their attention to detail and commitment to using only the best ingredients. This team will turn your cake fantasies into a reality, whether you want rustic naked cakes or lavish tiered creations.

The Country Cakery

With their exquisite designs and mouth-watering flavours, the Country Cakery will tug at your heartstrings with their exquisite designs and flavors that will make your taste buds sing. With a dash of romance and a sprinkle of elegance, you can count on Nadine to create a cake that is an expression of your love story. From the first bite to the last, your guests will be transported to a world of pure culinary delight.

So, dear couples, as you embark on this sweet journey towards your big day, remember that your wedding cake is more than just a dessert — it’s a symbol of your love and your style. Let these talented cakeries work their magic and create a cake that will not only tantalise your taste buds but also capture the essence of your love. I hope these amazing cakeries make your wedding day a truly delectable experience. Happy cake hunting, lovebirds!

Related Article: Decadent chocolate cake with butterscotch frosting

Three Delicious Cocktail Recipes from Good Cocktail Co.

Check out these tasty Good Cocktail Co. recipes below — perfect for the warmer weather on the horizon. WOMAN tried and approved.

Lemon Foam Margarita

Good Cocktail Co.


  • Good Cocktail Co. Margarita Mixer
  • Altos Tequila
  • Garnish with Good Cocktail Co. Chili and Sweet Orange Salt Rim Garnish

Add 45ml tequila and 75ml Margarita Mixer into a cocktail shaker.

Add ice into the cocktail shaker and shake well.

Strain into a glass full of ice.

Garnish with Good Cocktail Co. Chili and Sweet Orange Salt Rim Garnish!

Cosmo Fizz


  • 45ml of Absolut Vodka
  • 75ml Good Cocktail Co. Cosmo Mixer
  • Good Cocktail Co. Berry and Lime Rim Garnish

Build all elements into a highball.

Garnish with Good Cocktail Co. Berry and Lime Rim Garnish and dried boysenberries or grapefruit.

Classic Mojito


  • Havana Rum
  • Mojito Mixer
  • Mint
  • Good Cocktail Co. Passionfruit and Ginger Rim Garnish

Add 45ml Havana Rum and 75 ml Mojito Mixer into a highball glass.

Add mint and ice into the highball glass.

Garnish with Good Cocktail Co. Passionfruit and Ginger Rim Garnish and a sprig of mint.

Related Article: A Passion To Do Good: Daily Good’s Impact On Rural Fijian Women

If I Could Change the World

Life can be tough at the best of times – and we can all agree that these are not the best of times. But three Kiwi women are doing their bit to help save the world – or at least their corner of it – in very different ways. SHARON STEPHENSON sat down with them to find out how they’re making a difference.  


Not all heroes wear capes, this we know. Some wear leggings, singlets and jandals.

It’s the most comfortable clothing when you’re rescuing dogs in 40 degree heat on the streets of Bali, admits Alanah Dalton who founded the charity Sari the Bali Dog in 2016.

When we speak, Alanah has just come back from saving a dog that was about to be eaten.

“The dog meat trade is Bali is illegal but it does go on,” says Alanah. “Someone told us the dog meat people were coming for this dog so Gusti, a lovely Balinese man I work with, rescued her. She’s the sweetest dog and we’re about to get her sterilised so hopefully she can be re-homed.”

The Indonesian island is now home for Alanah, 45, who first visited in 2005.

“I went on a day trip to Ubud and saw a mural which turned out to be for a dog rescue. Back then there weren’t many people doing this kind of work and there were so many dogs needing help. What I saw at that centre moved me to tears.”

Having graduated from Canterbury University with a law degree, Alanah was busy climbing the career ladder in Christchurch’s IT sector. But after that holiday, her thoughts kept returning to the plight of the Bali dogs.

She returned several times over the next few years, her suitcase bulging with blankets, towels and toys for the dogs, along with money she’d fund-raised. Each visit would be spent volunteering at the charity.

“My house in Christchurch was badly affected by the quakes so in 2015 I sold it, put all my stuff in storage and decided to travel for a year, firstly to Bali for four months then to Cuba, Mexico and Europe.”

However, Alanah was offered a full-time role at the charity and stayed. “I was happier volunteering than I had ever been in a paid job. I would go home at night sweaty and covered in dirt and blood from things like pulling maggots out of a dog’s wound. It was totally unglamorous but I loved it.”  

It wasn’t long before Alanah began fostering street dogs, including a tiny bundle of brown and white fur she named Sari. Her charity, named after that dog who’s now eight, is focused on rescuing and rehabilitating the street dogs she finds in her travels or that come via Gusti who’s been feeding stray dogs for years. 

It includes getting animals the vet care they need, fostering them, helping them find homes and fundraising mainly via social media.

As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, in August this year Alanah and two friends – a fellow Kiwi and an Australian/Balinese woman – started another charity, The Undateable Bali Dogs, to provide a refuge for the kind of older, disabled dogs who often aren’t winners in the adoption lottery.

Online work for Kiwi companies helps to pay the rent  and Alanah is about to launch a business offering products for both children and dogs that she’s hoping to launch in New Zealand. 

“Everything I do is about teaching people how beautiful these animals are and how to care for them.”

Despite some of the horrific things she’s seen, Alanah admits that the “hundreds and hundreds” of dogs she’s helped over the years are what keep her going.

“I’ve seen dogs deliberately slashed by machetes, ropes embedded in their necks and faces eaten by maggots. But they’ve done nothing wrong and I can’t close my eyes to it. If I don’t help them, who will?”

Although a return to Aotearoa is on the cards one day, for now Bali is home. 

“People always say, the dogs are so lucky to have you but I’m the lucky one! I’ve gotten so much more from the dogs than I’ve given them because they’ve taught me patience and generosity. No  matter what happens they still trust humans. But most of all, they’ve taught me never to give up. Many of these dogs have been through horrible things but they keep fighting every day to survive.” 



Five years ago, while writing about Hawke’s Bay eateries, I met Gretta Carney (Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi), naturopath and founder of Hapi Organic Cafe. 

When I told Gretta how much I liked her cold-pressed turmeric tonic, she gifted me several bottles, along with so many loaves of seedy bread and pottles of cashew cheese I was in danger of overshooting the luggage allowance on my flight home. 

That’s just the kind of person Gretta is. Anyone who knows the 48-year-old knows of her generous spirit, of the way she shares her passion for food as medicine with whoever is fortunate enough to fall into her orbit.

From a central Napier cafe that marries healthy with cool, Gretta’s team of 15 turn out chipolte tofu tacos, vegan mac ‘n cheese, organic miso and paelo bread, washed down with cold pressed elixirs and nut mylks.

Much of the produce comes from the 4ha organic farm on the outskirts of Napier Gretta shares with her children Orlando, 22, Esadora, 13, and Vida, 11. 

“We’re about providing fresh, flavourful, nourishing food that supports well-being and promotes a sustainable approach to food and business that benefits people and the land,” says Gretta.

It’s not just a line, polished to a high sheen for media: Gretta has lived experience of how nutrition can have a huge impact, having used it to solve her own health issues of epilepsy and depression.

Her story begins in rural Hawke’s Bay, on a beef and cattle farm not too far from where she now lives. The eldest of three children, Gretta had her sights set on becoming a lawyer and started a law degree at Victoria University.

But while managing her epilepsy, which appeared at puberty, and subsequent depression, she became interested in the impact that food and the environment had on her health.

“I was told I’d be on epilepsy drugs for the rest of my life. But I knew I didn’t have to accept that diagnosis, that I could fight for my own health.”

She spent her 20s gathering as much information as she could to heal herself (she’s been free of both epilepsy and depression since 1997). 

Around the same time, Gretta realised that she didn’t actually want to be a lawyer so switched her focus to a theatre and film degree where her classmate was Taika Waititi. 

“When I finished my degree I took off around the South Island for a year and then headed to the Arizona desert where I had my epiphany.”

That would be her A-ha moment among towering cactus in the Sedona desert, the wellness capital of the world.

“I had a profoundly spiritual experience where I understood that healthy food was where my future lay.”

She returned to Wellington and started The Organic Catering Company with a neighbour, feeding and watering high-profile clients such as the Green Party.

When Orlando was born with significant health issues, Gretta once again switched tack, this time  researching how food and the environment – particularly eliminating toxins such as industrial cleaning products and pollution – can impact ailments such as autism, asthma and eczema.

“I did biomedical analysis, started studying bio-dynamic agriculture, which takes a more holistic approach to growing our food, and qualified as a naturopath.”

By now back in the Bay, Gretta juggled raising children with policy work at Te Waka Kai Ora, the national Māori organics association. “That allowed me to combine my passion for food and work as a naturopath with connecting with who I am as Māori.”

Despite having a CV free of hospitality roles, Gretta decided to channel her love of food into feeding others and opened Hapi in late 2015.

While it proved hard yakka – “I didn’t pay myself for years” – Gretta is proud of the wellness hub she’s created.

“I could tell you 50 stories of how whole, organic food has helped people’s allergies or physical or mental health issues. Creating the space for clean eating that supports our health, the kind of food  our ancestors have eaten for centuries, can be a cure for many ills.”

Next up for the dynamic wellness crusader is expanding her online offerings and supplying consumers directly with produce from growers.

“That allows us to support local artisanal food producers and bypass supermarkets.” 

And when she’s not doing that, Gretta is focused on her side hustle, growing Kai Co-op, a project involving cooking classes for rangitahi (youth) that sends them home with a box of ingredients and recipes so they can recreate the dishes. 

”Our food system is not something that needs to be reinvented or re-imagined, it just needs to be remembered. If I have learned one thing in my journey it’s that the answers are always simple. He kai he rongoā, he rongoā he kai.”



Ever since humans learned how to pack a suitcase, mankind has been on the move. Some people relocate in search of work or economic opportunity, to join family or to study while others move to escape conflict, persecution or natural disasters. 

According to the United Nations, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born: in 2020, for example, the global number of international migrants was estimated to be 281 million, or around 3.5 per cent of the global population.

If you’re one of them you’ll know that every move necessitates a laundry list of items to sort out, from getting the kids into schools to finding a place to live and opening a bank account. 

Aucklander Bridget Romanes has been on the frontline of global moves many times, having ping-ponged between Auckland, India and Singapore. 

So helping new migrants settle into Aotearoa seemed like a natural fit for the 57-year-old former diplomat. 

In the time-honoured tradition of seeing a gap in the market and and going for it, in 2016 Bridget became what she calls an ‘accidental entrepreneur’ when she started Mobile Relocations, a business funded largely by employers that helps newcomers settle successfully in Aotearoa.

“It’s in the interests of a healthy society that new migrants can settle quickly, make friends and become part of the community,” says the mother of three adult children. 

“It also works for the employer who has seen the value of bringing talent and their familes from offshore to New Zealand and has invested a lot of money doing so. Not only do they have a duty of care to those employees they also need them to be happy so that they can deliver, because if people can’t settle they may leave and that’s a huge amount of money wasted from the employer’s perspective.”

Bridget, who landed a coverted role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade after finishing a politics and economics degree at Otago University, was posted to India in 1991. She loved the diplomatic and trade aspects of the role, and enjoyed travelling around the sub-continent, but found one aspect of her three years at the NZ Embassy in New Delhi particularly hard.

“It was probably the biggest challenge of my life learning to be a minority in a country. I had to learn to fit into their world rather than impose my world on theirs.”

So too when she was based in Singapore working on the 1999 APEC summit and had 21 nationalities in her office.

“It taught me how to work in a different cultural environment and how to be effective and respectful in that enviroment.”

If I could change the world

It helped that Bridget had grown up with a travel-loving father, Wally Romanes, who climbed the Himalayas with Sir Edmund Hillary and started NZ’s first adventure travel company. 

“We always had lots of interesting people from India, Nepal and Germany at our house.” 

Bridget brought all those strands together for Mobile Relocations which today employs 20 staff around the country who do everything from pick up new arrivals at the airport to help them find a  gym.

Success came early, fuelled by contracts with companies such as Deloitte, KPMG and DB Breweries. 

When we speak Bridget is excited about a new initiative, Kiwi Launch Pad, a digital platform for new migrants, which is funded by employers and contains all the information newcomers need to settle successfully in NZ. 

“The government’s visa programme makes it mandatory for employers recruiting offshore to provide resettlement support for people they bring into NZ and the Kiwi Launch Pad provides that information in one place. ” 

Already 2,000 or so migrants are using the portal and Bridget sees the potential to roll it out to  other countries who employ talent from offshore. 

“I loved being an expat but I knew others had a very different experience. Better resettlement help  could have been a real solution for a lot of the unhappy expats I saw. A good resettlement service is like having a well informed friend who can make sure you’re happy and fitting well into your new country.”

*Gretta and Bridget were among seven 2023’s recipients of five-year interest-free loans, mentoring, resourcing and support from Coralus (formerly SheEO). Launched in NZ in 2017, Coralus is global organisation that’s raised $1.6 million to support women and non-binary-led businesses. 

Related Article: How Miriama Smith Learned How to Love Acting

The Importance of a Will for Blended Families

Blended families – which are families that consist of a couple, the children they have had together, and their children from previous relationships – face unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. 

Currently if you die without a will, your spouse will get chattels to the value of the first $155K, then 1/3rd of the remainder, and then your children will get 2/3rds of the remainder.

Where there are blended families, the situation is more complex. Whether your stepchildren are entitled to benefit from your estate will largely depend on whether those step children were being financially maintained (either wholly or partly), or were legally entitled to be financially maintained (either wholly or partly), by you, immediately before your death. We recommend you seek independent legal advice on your particular circumstances.

Glenys Talivai, CEO of Public Trust New Zealand, is passionate about encouraging blended families to consider where they want their assets to go after they are gone. 

“We see the devastating impact on all types of families when people don’t have plans in place, but with blended families in particular, there is an added layer of complexity. You may have a partner or spouse, shared children, or step-children, who all have different interests and needs that need to be considered. This ensures that everyone who relies on you is adequately provided for,” Glenys says. 

“With 65% of parents with children under the age of five without a will, we really encourage anyone with children to get their will sorted, not only to help ensure your children are provided for, but also so that you get to choose who you wish to appoint as testamentary guardian of you children – in other words, the person who gets to make important decisions about your children.” 

Glenys Talivai comes from a blended family herself, so she understands the complexities around this issue. “My husband has children from previous relationships and when we had our own kids, we had an honest discussion about how we would ensure all our children are taken care of through our wills. We took into consideration the assets we both brought to the relationship, the different needs of each child and that our wishes were clearly laid out.”

Related Article: Shelley Katae’s Vision For Home Ownership In Aotearoa

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