NZ Life & Leisure
I AM WRITING this very quietly as it is late at night and I am on kuia duty for my two- day- old granddaughter Emmeline Kate, with whom I am more than proud to share a name and for whom I am shortly to provide a bottle.
I hope the rat-a-tat of my keyboard does not wake her before I finish, as she has a way of compelling me to focus only on her. She is making those distinctive newborn wriggling and snuff ling noises, so I mustn’t dawdle. She is a happy and healthy baby, born to wonderful parents and into a boisterous clan that will envelop her in a lifelong safety net of love and care among people with a lot of opinions on everything, mostly opposing and always vociferously given. She’ll cope and be all the better for it. Surely it is our differences, our various skills and attitudes, that strengthen society, not our conformity and sameness?
The rich wonder of human nature never fails to astonish me. By now, and this is issue 99 of NZ Life & Leisure, you know I can be a bit of a Pollyanna. The bright side is always the one facing me. But even so, the exploits of the people featured in this issue take my breath away:
How do you set out to design a product that will last forever? Every bit must be either repairable or able to be repurposed into another use to avoid the expensive and wasteful recycling process. That it is made from flax is even more astonishing. Answers on page 82.
The ambition and audacious goals of a family of potato growers from Washdyke have seen them become one of the country’s largest processors of potatoes and their crisps among its most sought-after product. The humble spud is the cornerstone of an interesting dynasty. Meet the Bowans on page 90.
A young working mother in Blenheim, with a busy job, decides to tackle one of the world’s most challenging examinations. How does she go? Read about Sophie Parker-Thomson, also our cover star for this issue, on page 26.
An artist training herself in a different medium every few years, is now making exquisite ceramic jewellery, or is it wearable art? See page 38.
Living the life less ordinary is a couple based between Ōākura and Whangamomona. Their commitment to healthy living and the environment leads them to take significant steps on the land and in their lives.
See page 74.
What does it take to hit the ocean, rain or shine, in a new venture bringing fresh kaimoana to plates while respecting the ocean’s resources? Head to page 108 to meet the couple who has won this year’s NZ Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand Award.
And this is by no means the exhaustive list of fascinating people to meet in this issue. It takes a lot of courage to do what they have done and continue to do every day. They make our country a better place.
Enjoy meeting them while I get back to my duties as kuia. I am so very fortunate.