A colour­ful new cafe brings Pa­cific flavours to Pon­sonby.

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At Natasha Finau and her brother Saione Greer’s Pon­sonby cafe, a vanilla scent hangs in the air. This, along­side trop­i­cal flow­ers – fresh, faux and painted – and the sweet sounds of R&B helps to make you feel like you’re lunch­ing in a far­away par­adise, rather than un­der­neath a mas­sive Count­down. But the space, de­signed with help from Anya Brig­house of Beau­ti­ful Bedlam, isn’t just an ode to the is­lands: Finau and her part­ner had al­ways wanted to open a cafe of their own, but never got the chance be­fore he passed away last year, so now she’s now tick­ing off this bucket list item by her­self. The menu is sim­ple, and while there are some calorific treats, most of the food is pretty nour­ish­ing – avo­cado salad with a poached egg, por­ridge et al, be­cause Finau wants to en­cour­age healthy eat­ing in her com­mu­nity. Two of seven sib­lings, Finau and Greer want to show that it’s okay to take risks and fol­low through with plans, even when life doesn’t go the way you think it will. “I said to Saione, how did two co­conuts end up here!?” Finau laughs. 4 Wil­liamson Ave, Pon­sonby

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