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Youth Led Activism for Climate Change

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Thousands of students strike from school to unite and protest for climate change action. Photo: Michelle McConell

A climate change movement is gaining momentum globally and today’s youth is taking the lead.

The School Strike 4 Climate rally is a student-organized event, a part of the global Fridays For Future movement where young people leave school for a day in order to protest for climate change action.

A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the Earth’s global warming should stay well below 1.5 degrees Celsius or risk catastrophic environmental damage to our planet.

“Where will the bellbird sing?” The phrase originates from a saying that depicts a bellbird perched on a flax bush. Photo: Michelle McConell

“Even that burden you leave to us children”. Frank and brutally honest, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg delivered this cutting speech to a UN Climate Change Conference, spearheading a global movement that was inspired by her earlier protests where she missed school to sit outside Stockholm parliament with a banner that read “kolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for climate).

When Thunberg started her solitary protests in the August of 2018, her lone figure stood in stark contrast to the magnitude of her mission.

Three months on and 17,000 strikers in 17 countries joined her cause.

In March of this year, the largest strike to date was recorded with 1.8 million people across the globe participating.

At the same time, 30,000 strikers from multiple events spanning New Zealand were recorded with hundreds filling squares, marching through city centres and protesting outside parliament.

An estimated 30,000 strikers attended the March 15 strike in NZ. Photo: Christine Reyes

“What do want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!” On March 15, a group of youths stood on the base of Godley statue in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square, colourful banners with urgent messages of action held high as they led the hundred strong crowd to chant as one.

These young activists demand carbon neutrality by the year 2050, the year UN researchers have estimated for the world’s population to exceed the available resources earth can offer. They insist on cancelling permits for explorations of fossil fuels. They ask for tighter regulations on agriculture emissions.

Evidently, not everyone is supportive. Politicians question the impact of the strike while some educators did not show full support for the March rally, reasoning that it was only for students to skip out on school and threatened them to be marked truant.

“Climate change is bigger than two periods off school, it’s a crisis!” One of the Christchurch organisers, 17 year old Mia Sutherland shared this response when asked to comment on those that tried to prevent the strikes from happening.

Even so, the government may very well be feeling the pressure. They have declared a commitment to passing the Zero Carbon Act this year and vowed to cut the nation’s climate pollution.

In Christchurch, the local council is working towards moving to a low-carbon economy and hopes to be carbon-neutral as early as 2030.

As for the future of the movement, there will be another nation-wide School Strike 4 Climate on May 24. However, the day’s events will differ from the strike before.

“This will look different in different towns and cities across Aotearoa as they work out what’s going to be best for them.”

One thing is for sure: this movement will not be stopping anytime soon.

The next nation-wide School Strike 4 Climate is scheduled for May 24. Photo: Michelle McConell

Aves Invasion 3.0 – Inside the Canterbury Street Racing Community

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Ritual of the Skid Gods

A mist descended upon the four avenues during the Easter weekend but this was not any ordinary autumn fog, this was a mixture of tire smoke and strawberry flavoured vape juice. It was the beginning of Canterbury Street Racing’s third ‘Aves Invasion’.

Upon arrival, it was quieter than expected, with only the occasional car that looked like it may be participating in the Aves Invasion. My friend, Sam, who had been at a previous event, assured me that the squadrons of street racers came in pockets, and if we kept going we would eventually reach one.

Multiple Skylines, a Subaru WRX, and a Toyota Prius (with a driver who looked like he did not want to be there) were among the automobiles in the pocket we eventually stumbled upon. We were amongst it, the sound of engines revving rattled my humble Subaru Forester.

One of the gathered cars

Very quickly, the momentum from the evening’s growing excitement was brought to a halt by a cop stop, with a line that stretched from the corner of Moorhouse and Fitzgerald Avenues to Washington Skatepark. We slowly crept forward, watching the defeated looks of those whose night was over due to illegal car modifications or intoxication.

To avoid the cop stop, we decided to turn around and drive down the opposite side of the road. We did not get far down Moorhouse Avenue before we spotted a meetup in the Countdown carpark.

We could hear the faint sound of EDM music getting louder and louder the closer we got. We were definitely in the right place.

Everywhere you looked there was a fellow with a Billy Maverick or a Woodstock in hand. Motorcyclists were doing burnouts in front of gathered crowds who were in awe at the sight of the skids. An audience had even set themselves up on the footpath with snacks and camp chairs for front row viewing of the street racing spectacle.

The gathered crowd

I heard one guy tell his mate that he survives solely off “alcohol, marijuana, and sex”. A bold diet choice, perhaps only for the hardiest of Christchurch hoons.

A drag race was expected at every red light. At one point, there was even a classic case of man vs. machine.

Meet up in Countdown Carpark

My eyes were pulled from the road when over the sounds of the many car engines, I heard the voice of a single man with a megaphone. Referred to as Mic-Man in the community, he was the ultimate hype man for anyone willing to do donuts in the Countdown carpark.

Mic-Man’s voice was recognised as the summoning call for the street racers, as the crowd flocked to his lo-fi cries. A human circle was formed around Mic-Man and a Ford Falcon.

The circle was engulfed in a thick cloud of tire smoke, but no one cared as they were simply in the moment, admiring the Falcon being taken to its limits.

Before long, the cops caught on and were forming their own invasion of the Countdown carpark. Mic-man’s calls for everyone to “Stand your ground!”, either were not heard over the car engines and police sirens or were not listened to. As soon as the police showed up, the crowd left, heading back to the aves.

We had not been on the aves for long before the Street Racing Snapchat had a new update… There was a meet up happening at the Tram Road and Bradleys Road intersection.

The cars around us must have received the same message as we all headed out in the same direction. Our squadron became a convoy as we hit the Christchurch Northern Motorway. We were on a mission, a mission to hoon.

It did not take long for the police to catch on, and they had the advantage of not being pulled over when speeding. At one point I thought I was going to get pulled over, but when I swerved into the shoulder of the highway, the police just shot past. The focus was not on speeding Subarus, but rather preventing this meet up from happening.

They succeeded. When we got to the turn off onto Tram Road, we were met with a police blockade directing us back into the city. The police officers’ faces showed how chuffed they were with getting the upper hand as well as disappointment with the youth of Canterbury.

We got back to the Christchurch City Centre, disappointed with the lack of meet up action, when our spirits were lifted once more. Another snapchat was received: there was another meet up at the intersection of Ruru and Maces Road. This was on the other side of town, and the cops were still all the way in Kaiapoi.

The convoy was on the move once again, and this time we made it to the meet up area. There was already a gathering, with the legend himself, Mic-Man right in the middle.

There was much more of a ruckus at this meetup than at the Countdown carpark meetup. Even though I was mainly there to observe, I could not help but receive some second-hand rowdiness.

One by one, committed street racers entered the human circle. Burnouts, donuts, and drifts created yet another cloud of tire smoke. The occasional whiff of a delectable smelling vape cloud provided relief for nasal passages which were being overwhelmed with the smell of burning rubber. People of all ages had gathered (I even saw a few children there) all with a common passion for street racing and skids.

The road was covered in skid marks, and the grass in empty bottles of bourbon and cola. The airy atmosphere created by the night sky and the tire smoke mist came together with the passionate cries of the committed street racers to resemble something out of a renaissance painting. I would call it The Ritual of the Skid Gods’.

Ritual of the Skid Gods

So transfixed with my renaissance fantasy, it took me a while to realise that the police had caught up and formed a wall of vans, cars and officers. This wall was slowly creeping towards the human circle. Worst off all, the police had their own Mic-Man yelling, “Leave now or you will be arrested!”

Police Wall (Move now or you will be arrested)

This may have been intimidating had it not been for the fact that Police Mic-Man sounded more like an angry Dai Henwood than a tough police officer with a temper.

The street racer Mic-Man retaliated with his own megaphone siren and a call for the street racers to once again “Stand your ground”. This time it seemed to work, the street racers stood their ground against the oncoming march of the police line.

I stood back and observed from a distance, but Sam was amongst the action, trying to get the best possible photos of the police vs. street racer antics, truly dedicated to the art of iPhone photography.

Tensions were high as the street racers were starting to form their own line to face the incoming police officers. As the two got closer, street racers began to lose confidence and back off, despite the motivational words of street racer Mic-Man, perhaps they were intimidated by Police Mic-Man’s threats of arrest. I hoped that my lack of a goatee would work in my favour if things turned sour.

The arrival of a fire engine seemed to spook everyone and the crowd eventually dispersed, leaving poor Mic-Man shouting “Stand your ground!” to an increasingly smaller crowd. We headed back to the Forester and back onto the aves.

The street racers heading back to the aves were filled with the adrenalin from the events that had just occurred. Drivers were rhythmically honking their horns, and passengers were leaning out windows drumming on the car roofs.

The initial excitement of the re-entry onto the aves quickly died down as the cops returned yet again. The Invasion was set to last till the morning, but I was ready to call it a night at 3:00 AM. Unlike others, I had not fuelled up on bourbon and cola or energy drinks.

We headed home and parked up the faithful Subaru Forester. She had done well considering she had had the engine light on since August last year.

I went to bed exhausted but with my heart still pumping from adrenalin in my system. I lay there thinking that regardless of how menacing or loud the Canterbury Street Racing community was, they were a group of people with passion. Although they were a cut more on the dangerous side in comparison to your average chess club, it seemed the only intention of their gathering on Christchurch’s four avenues was to share that passion for cars with likeminded people and have a great night.

Photo Credit Sam Annand

Is the ‘teeth whitening’ trend really worth being a part of?

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Would you bleach your teeth for that movie screen smile?

The ‘life changing’ results of HiSmile

When you put any money towards whitening your teeth, you’re allowing for the same chemical, hydrogen peroxide, that is used to bleach and strip hair of colour to be put in your mouth.

Pearly white teeth are a must in the beauty world thanks to the sponsored posts and glowing smiles of Instagram influencers. There’s an array of stunning supermodels and professional athletes endorsing the over the counter products and they even have the tick of approval by most of the Kardashian clan.

There is the option to have your teeth whitened by a dentist but at no small cost. Zoe Macpherson, student and proud owner of professionally whitened teeth, believes that

“home whitening kits don’t have the same turn out as a professional. I had my teeth whitened two years ago and they still look exactly the same without having to do any maintenance. Using a kit doesn’t give you the same results and you have to constantly be using it”.

But for those who can’t afford to spend “$350 per tooth” like Zoe, there’s the option to bleach your teeth from the comforts of your very own home. HiSmile, LumiBrite and Ice White Teeth are just a few brands who promise you a perfect smile for a more affordable price.

It’s as simple as putting a gel into a mouth piece attached to an LED light and putting the tray in your mouth with promised results in just ten minutes.

Although this option seems affordable and easy it might not necessarily be the safest. Not all at-home teeth whitening kits use hydrogen peroxide but it’s important to look out for the ones that do.

The American Dental Association raised its concerns with the bleaching treatments mentioning that

“studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide is an irritant and also cytotoxic (damaging to living cells). It is known that at concentrations of 10% hydrogen peroxide or higher, the chemical is potentially corrosive to mucous membranes or skin, and can cause a burning sensation and tissue damage”.

They also go on to explain that “the hydrogen peroxide content in at-home bleaching products usually ranges from 3% to 10%; however, there have been home-use products containing up to 15% hydrogen peroxide”.

So the dangers are there but your favourite celebrity on Instagram might not be telling you that.

 

Girl Whitening GIF by HiSmileTeeth - Find & Share on GIPHY

They also may forget to mention you may not look as attractive as them during the process.

I’m no dentist but I think it would be fair to assume that not all healthy teeth are supposed to reflect the sunlight off them and catch everyone’s eyes who walk past. Now while they look really nice across billboards, magazines and tv screens when the average Joe decides they want to look like an A-lister they run the risk of sticking out like a sore thumb.

There is always the cheaper option I use, which is just editing your photos to make your teeth seem whiter. No one can complain that it’s costly or harmful.

Before Aviary (free to download at an App Store near you)
After Aviary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But with teeth whitening being such a sought-after trend nowadays the question remains, is this bizarre trend worth being a part of and how far will you go for beauty? What’s next… do it yourself Botox?

Authentic Chinese Food Without the Airline Ticket – The Five Best Places in Christchurch

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 If you don’t want to fly twelvehours to China for an authentic bite of Chinese food over the weekend, some places in Christchurch may be a good alternative, all within a 20 minute drive.

Christchurch is a multicultural cityand you can find many ethnic restaurants in town. Chinese cuisine has a long history and varies in different regions.The growing number of Chinese immigrants has made their food here even more authentic today.

This article will introduce you to five restaurants in Christchurch that can give you an authentic bite of the several different Chinese cuisines.

  1. Madam Kwong / 美食轩
Dim sum plates at Madam Kwong

You don’t need to fly all the way to Hong Kong for great dim sum. Christchurch’s biggest Cantonese restaurant, Madam Kwong, has a wide variety of dim sum and they are the best Cantonese dim sum in town!

Dim sum are often in small dishes and there is usually a variety. A typical dish could be about four steamed shrimp dumplings or three small steamed buns on a plate. Each plate costs just $3 to $4.

You can fill your stomach with a small bite of everything. The waiters put these small dishes in hot trolleys and you can pick whatever looks appealing.

Dim sum in China is also called ‘morning tea’. Traditionally, businessmen gather in the tea house in the morning to have a cup of tea and discuss business. Dim sum was just the side food along with the tea. Nowadays, with the development of culinary culture, this side food has expanded in variety and has become a commonly featured dish, a favourite of many people.

If you would like a nice chat in the morning with your friend, along with some nice teas and small dishes, Madam Kwong is the best place to go.

  1. Dragon House / 龙顶轩
Hot pot and some common foods that come with hot pot meals


Dragon House is a hot pot restaurant. Hot pot is a Chinese cooking and dining method where you make a pot of meat soup with different spices and put it in the center of the table.

The soup has usually been slowly stewing for hours or days. To serve, you prepare thinly-cut raw food in dishes and put them around the pot.  You then sit down with friends or family around the table and use chopsticks to dip the food in the boiling soup for a few seconds. Then it is ready to eat!

These pots are usually spicy and hot but also have rich flavors that are amazing in the mouth! Dragon House’s soup always has a mellow smell as all the cooking ingredients and spices are sent from China to provide that authentic taste.

Chinese hot pot is also an important part of Chinese culture as it is usually experienced together. The atmosphere of gathering family and friends is the fundamental objective.

If you are ready for a spicy and hot meal, and maybe a family affair, then Dragon House is worth trying!

  1. Benson / 统一
Some classic dishes at Benson restaurant

With a great location in Riccarton mall, Benson is probably the most popular Chinese restaurant in Christchurch.

Benson’s dishes are typical traditional Chinese dishes and go well with white rice. They combine several major Chinese cuisines making it therefore suitable for people who like to try the different kinds of Chinese dishes.

You can select from cold, hot, spicy, or non-spicy, and all kinds of meats and vegetables in different cooking styles.

The downside to Benson is their prices are higher than other Chinese restaurants as they always emphasize their quality in food and service.

If you want a nice rice meal with traditional Chinese flavours, and don’t mind spending a bit more, Benson will not fail you.

  1. Little Taipei / 小台北
The first two photos – Decoration at Little Taipei / Third photo – The bubble tea is a featured product at Little Taipei

As the restaurant’s name has shown, Little Taipei is a Taiwanese restaurant full of cultural flavour and style, from their dishes to the restaurant’s decoration. This Taiwanese owned restaurant can give you the most authentic taste of Taiwan, right here in Christchurch.

This cuisine is usually sweet and different from other mainland Chinese cuisines. The braised chicken, seafood, and soup are cooked with different cooking methods and taste quite different from traditional mainland Chinese restaurants such as Benson.

If you don’t like spicy and hot or prefer sweet dishes, then Little Taipei can give you a new taste and experience in Chinese food!

Their desserts are their featured products so don’t forget to take a look at their dessert menu. As it is invented in Taiwan the bubble tea is a must try!

  1. Love Shanghai / 爱上海
Steamed soup dumplings, soybean milk, and fried dough sticks at Love Shanghai restaurant

Love Shanghai’s menu is simple and offers the Shanghai style breakfast.

The traditional Shanghai breakfast includes fried dough sticks, steamed sticky rice dumplings, and steamed soup dumplings (drinkable soup inside the dumplings) that perfectly go with soybean milk or tofu jelly soup. One tea egg also ensures that you get your animal protein intake.

At Love Shanghai, a nutritious breakfast is ready to go and everything here is homemade.

A Shanghai style breakfast is very popular throughout China nowadays, especially in busy cities such as Shanghai itself, as it is so quick and nutritious.

Love Shanghai is open all day from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, so if you want to experience a Shanghai Style breakfast at night, it is not too late!

The Ultimate Cheap Wine Taste Test

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Picture this: you’re on your way to a BYO and find yourself standing in front of the wine section at your local Countdown. With endless bottles in front of you, how do you choose the cheapest wine with the highest liquor content that also tastes half decent?

To try and solve this dilemma once and for all, we picked eleven under $10 wines – a mix of reds, whites, rosé, and canned wine – and put them through the ‘Ultimate Cheap Wine Taste Test’.

 

The Wines

 

The Testers

We bought all eleven bottles at Countdown and spent between $4.00 to $10.00 per bottle. We tested each wine on the basis of three categories: Flavour, Quality, and Aftertaste. We ranked the bottle out of thirty points, and thus giving each bottle a combined score of ninety overall.

Without further ado, here’s how each wine was ranked.

 

The Winner

Picture Perfect Moscato – 750ml (6%alc – 3.6 standard drinks) $9.00 per bottle

A sweet, delicious white wine that everyone agreed was a clear favourite.

Picture Perfect: Berry Sorbet Moscato

Verdict: 81/90. Perfect if you have a sweet tooth. This particular wine is 0.4 standards per dollar which is on the low side but would perfectly compliment some salty Chinese food.

Bonus: tastes like you’re drinking dessert.

Tasting Notes: A “very sweet” white that comes in a highly aesthetic, pleasing bottle and makes for an easy skull.

BYO Worthy? Yes. Despite its low standards, we would still take it along to a BYO as a good option for when you want to have a fun time but also be in bed by 10pm.

 

  The Loser

Wolf Blass Shiraz

Wolf Blass Shiraz– 750ml (13.5%alc – 8 standard drinks) $9.99 per bottle

A wine that was truly hated by all.

Verdict:  3/90. Speaks for itself. With 0.8 standards per dollar, this wine is perfect if you feel like punishing yourself.

Tasting Notes: “Ewww” “Tasted like vomit” “I feel like I’m drinking vinegar” “Just no!”

BYO Worthy? Not at all.

 

Best Red

Remember Me Rosé

Remember Me Rosé– 750ml (13%alc – 7.5 standard drinks) $9.00 per bottle

A wine that we would all drink but couldn’t work out whether we actually liked.  

Verdict:  49/90. This bottle of wine was definitely memorable. 0.83 standards per dollar makes this wine a particular standout as it is great value for money. Remember Me had potential but let itself down with its weird lingering aftertaste.

Tasting Notes: “Take me to flavour town!” We all felt it had a nice taste when drinking it, but then were left with a watery aftertaste that made us want to drink some more for it to taste better again.  

BYO Worthy? Yes. If you’re a red fan, this rosé is a must try. It’s of great value for its low cost and that funny aftertaste will make you want to keep drinking.  

 

Best Canned Wine

Crafters Union Sauvignon Blanc

Crafters Union Sauvignon Blanc – 250ml (12%alc – 2.4 standard drinks) $7.00 per bottle

A refreshing white with hints of citrus that made us want to purchase this wine in a full-sized bottle.  

Verdict:  64/90. This is a “feel-good wine” that’s light and zesty. It leans on being more crisp and sharp tasting but still manages to have notes of sweetness. At 0.34 standards per can, this was the most expensive wine.

Tasting Notes: A really nice light wine but probably not worth its price. Really gorgeous can though.

BYO Worthy? No. Unfortunately, this pricey can won’t get you far at a BYO. Would recommend as a fridge staple to sip with light dinners if you feel like treating yourself.

 

Overall Rankings

 

The tested cheap wines


Hopefully our Taste Test helps you the next time you find yourself searching for the tastiest and cheapest bottle of wine. 

The Infinite Crystal Universe

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My heart beat with anticipation as I navigated my way through a tight, pitch black corridor.

The small hallway was covered in a soft material and the surface was uneven. It was similar to walking over rolling hills but on a far smaller scale.

I was a part of a group of 20 people struggling to find their feet as we were forced to use our touch and hearing over our preferred sense of sight.

Leading the pack, the only direction I had was the music playing softly in the distance. When I reached the door at the end, the environment I met with on the other side exceeded any expectations I may have had.

Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People – Infinity. teamLab, 2016-2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless.

I entered a dark room with mirrors covering the walls and ceiling.

At the beginning of the tour we were told to take off our shoes and roll up our jeans. I thought this was a strange request but after entering this room it made sense.

The most enticing and beautiful part of the setting was the floor. I was knee deep in milky coloured warm water, while colourful koi fish were projected onto the surface.

In more technical terms, I was standing in an interactive pond, surrounded by computer generated aquatic life. I was completely immersed in a peaceful fantasy, a vivid and sensory experience like no other.

The Infinite Crystal Universe. teamLab, 2018, Interactive installation of Light Sculpture, LED.

Digital art collective teamLab is a Japanese company based in Tokyo and has two locations across the city. It was founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko, shortly after he finished a degree in physics and mathematical engineering. The museum certainly reflects this, it is an environment that combines art and science, redefining the line between art and technology.

Modern day perceptions of technology can often leave people feeling disconnected from their environments. teamLab Borderless changes the way we think about the digital world and its negative impact on the individual.

Completely reliant on technology, the installations in the museum are exceptionally wholesome and inviting – much like the Japanese culture.

The dream-like settings allow people to be in complete darkness then suddenly in a room full of small crystal lights. It is the ultimate balance between fantasy and reality, utterly unique in its execution.

Japan has an exceptionally advanced society; it is a country where any concept, idea and dream is achievable. The condense, urban environment looks like something out of a video game, due to the vibrant technology and crazy screens built into the buildings. It has the most breathtaking infrastructure, efficient public transport system and flawlessly dressed public I have ever seen or experienced.

9.2 million people live in Tokyo’s concrete jungle, yet I still felt completely safe and a part of everyday life. While being in the most contrasting setting to Christchurch, I found the wholesome Japanese culture to be so inviting and special. It is a truly amazing example of the infinite possibilities of society and different ways of life.

Weightless Forest of Resonating Life – Flattening 3 colours and 9 Blurred Colours. teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation.

I had never seen so much visible happiness from a group of complete strangers before visiting teamLab’s digital art museum. No reproduction, photo or video will ever do this concept justice.

If anything, the time I spent here reminded me to be present in my environment and to ironically ‘live in the moment’.

Super Rugby – Is It Really That Super?

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The Crusaders' Sevu Reece crashes over for one of his two tries in their round 10 match up versus the Lions / Photo credit: Photosport
The Crusaders’ Sevu Reece crashes over for one of his two tries in their round 10 match up versus the Lions / Photo credit: Photosport

While the Crusaders remain on top and the others are lagging behind, the fortunes of the New Zealand Super Rugby teams are varying greatly.

There are aspects of this season’s Super Rugby that remain the same as preceding seasons; the Crusaders are cruising, the Hurricanes are just behind and the other three New Zealand teams are battling to avoid the fifth place slot.

While some things have not changed, the fortunes of each club have taken a turn. For the Blues, it is significantly better than what the Chiefs and Highlanders have been experiencing.

The Blues started this year without a win in a New Zealand derby since 2016, with the team whipping the boys of the New Zealand conference. Finishing last of the conference and second-to-last overall in 2018 meant there was a lot to work on.

This is exactly what the Blues have done.

A refreshment of the coaching and player lineups has seen the Blues bounce back better than they have since the early days of Super Rugby, when Carlos Spencer and the Blues were the strongest team in the league.

In addition, the resurgence of Auckland rugby last year with a Premiership win over Canterbury in the Mitre 10 Cup means the fans are back too, signalling real change for the region. The Blues now have the same amount of wins they got in total last year so while they still languish fourth in the conference, things are certainly starting to look upwards for the club.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Chiefs and the Highlanders.

While maintaining their overperforming history, the Highlanders have stuttered thanks to a wary side and one that has experienced a multitude of injuries. Likewise, the Chiefs have grappled with the loss of some star All Blacks to injuries. They currently sit at the bottom of the conference, being victims of two 50-point drubbings this year.

Through the course of the year, a void has opened up between the New Zealand conference, with the aforementioned three teams vying to keep pace with the Crusaders.

While not in the bottom three, the Hurricanes are by no means in the same class as the Crusaders, struggling to contend with the Southern men. While the other teams work with injuries or poor performance history, the Hurricanes have been plain disappointing putting together performances that rely all too heavily on the Barretts, Perenara and Savea.

Thanks to these four players, they have acquired enough points that would put them into second overall if the conference system didn’t exist, but they are still a world behind the Crusaders, who have remained the team to beat in a year where the brand could come to an end.

The Crusaders, though upset by the Waratahs in round six, have continued to set the standard in New Zealand Rugby and are coasting towards another title.

Their complete dominance sets a dangerous precedent, dragging the other franchises behind merely battling away for relevancy.

The Crusaders currently have their pick of New Zealand’s youth, with the top 1st XV prospects flocking to the area. While the Crusaders get the pick of the bunch, the other four teams will fight for the scraps, striving to push the Crusaders and weakening New Zealand Rugby further.

If one team continues to prosper, New Zealand Rugby must look towards evening out the competition.

There is the continued need to push forward greater rivalry in New Zealand and this is something that hopefully occurs as the season unfolds.

Is Eating Meat Really Worth It?

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Sveta_zarzamora via Getty Images. Accessed from Huffington Post

Kiwis are changing up their lifestyles and ditching the typical meat and three veg, instead choosing to go for a more plant-based diet in hopes of maintaining a healthier way of living and helping our environment.

Michael Kemp, a twenty-year-old university student made the switch to cut out meat and dairy two years ago in his last year of high school after getting involved in the Young Enterprise programme.

This saw him create ‘Appetite Aotearoa’, a cookbook filled with a variety of vegetarian recipes from famous people in New Zealand including politicians, chefs, and athletes.

After doing research and talking to nutrition experts in the community, he was convinced eating meat and dairy were bad for both his health and the planet.

“I had just turned eighteen and was an avid lover of meat my whole life,” he explains, “after doing a bit of investigating, I realised my body just didn’t need it”.

While he found giving up meat and dairy a challenge, the toughest thing was dealing with the reactions of other people, including his own family. “They don’t like it. They find the whole idea ridiculous and weird. For them, it’s not the norm,” he says.

Then there’s his carnivorous flat mates. Michael will still cook meat for them, but there is generally a lot less of it. These days, a go-to dinner is a Buddha bowl filled with avocado, cabbage, broccoli, edamame beans and brown rice. “It’s a healthy, nutritious bowl of goodness that still keeps the flatties happy!”

Budda Bowls are the biggest trend in vegan food right now. Oksana Kiian via Getty Images 2017. Accessed from Huffington Post

Michael doesn’t consider himself a vegan – he still wears leather shoes – and doesn’t claim to be perfect. “Moving into my twenties and living away from home, I just want to be as healthy as possible,” he says. “I realise that still being young means I need to start focusing on my health for the future.”

He is not alone with his plant-based diet. 42% of all vegans are aged 15- 24. This has been documented by the Teen Vegan Network, a social network for the plant-based, who has watched this trend with interest. Last year, their first summer camp sold out in 34 hours and this year saw 150 young people on the waiting list.

Finn Ramsay, who is a part of the Veg Club of UC and works part time at Cafe101 has also noticed this trend. He says, “a few years ago, vegetarian options were never really popular. Now we see a lot of Uni students choosing plant-based food and looking for meat alternatives”. Finn’s sentiments echo the trend that has hit NZ youth, in which we are becoming more ethical about our eating choices.

“This is definitely a new trend and one that is good to see. Before this, vegetarian options came in the form of a salad and were severely lacking. Now there are so many great, diverse options you don’t feel like you’re missing out.”

So, should we all be following Michael and Finn’s footsteps and changing our diets to 100% plant based?

It is no secret that consuming processed meat is bad for us, such as bacon, salami and sausages. They are classed as a Group One carcinogen by the World Health Organisation.

There is strong evidence that diets high in red meats, such as beef and lamb, can increase our risk of cancer. For example, in Japan, a significant increase in consumption in recent times has led to a steep rise in the rates of bowel cancer. There are also other negative side effects from a meat-heavy diet with all the saturated fat being bad for the heart and arteries.

However, when it comes to nutrition, red meat can pack a powerful punch. It is the best source of haem iron, provides us with all the essential amino acids and is rich in vitamin B12, which those following a plant-based diet have to get from fortified foods or supplements.

Then there are the ways in which eating meat is damaging our environment. Huge amounts of land and water are required to farm animals, and this can cause deforestation and water pollution if effluent seeps into the waterways. Beef farming produces greenhouse gases which also contribute to climate change.

Suzy Amis Cameron. Credit: One Meal a Day

Suzy Amis Cameron believes she has a solution. The former actress and wife of director James Cameron changed her diet to a plant-based one overnight, but knows such a drastic change is not for everyone.

So, Cameron is spearheading the One Meal a Day movement.

She is convinced that changing one meal a day to a plant-based one can make a positive difference for our health and the environment. She points out on her website that, “every time you put something on your plate, you’re making an impact. Just one person eating one plant-based meal per day for a year saves 200,000 gallons of water and the carbon equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York. If enough people did it we could help shift the needle on climate change”. Her aim is to drive home the message that each individual can make a difference.

By 2050 it is predicted that there will be 10 billion people on the planet and 50% more food needed. Greenhouse gases, however, will have to fall by two-thirds according to a recent report by the World Resources Institute. This means reducing meat is essential not only for the planet right now but for our future selves.

It won’t mean missing out on deliciousness, promises Michael Kemp. “You can still satisfy your cravings through treats and getting plant-based food has become easier than ever in supermarkets and restaurants. I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. In fact, you might end up realising, like me, there is a lot of good plant-based stuff to eat”.

Easy DIY Beauty

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How to make your own beauty and skincare products by using all-natural ingredients.

Instead of just completely overwhelming you with an abundance of facts and information on why making your own beauty and skincare products is a lot better for not only you, but the environment, here are four super easy recipes that you can make right at home by using these two natural products: Coconut oil and organic beeswax.

COCONUT OIL

It’s commonly known that coconut oil has many health benefits, ranging from the treatment of skin and hair problems to being used as an alternative in cooking. But what you possibly didn’t know is that it can kill harmful microorganisms which can be found in many skin issues, “as many types of skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete’s foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi” according to Healthline. It can also reduce inflammation, be used as a moisturiser and can even treat some wounds.

Here are just a couple of DIY makeup and skincare recipes that use coconut oil, both found on wellnessmama.com.

Recipe One: Natural Lipstick

Recipe Two: Sugar Scrub

ORGANIC BEESWAX

Beeswax has been widely used for over a number of centuries, and for a range of different reasons. For example, it can be a healthier candle option, due to helping neutralize pollutants in the air and not producing toxic by-products or heavy soot. This is because “it is a non-toxic, natural ingredient that contains non-allergenic properties which protects the skin from airborne allergies” according to uniorganics.com. Additionally, 100% beeswax provides a protective layer to the skin, holding in moisture and reducing dryness. It also contains vitamin A, soothes temporary itching and has a natural delicious fragrance.

Here are just a couple of DIY makeup and skincare recipes to make using beeswax, the first one was found on realfoodrn.com and the second one on saynotsweetanne.com.

Recipe Three: Mascara

Recipe Four: Green Tea Face Cream

Where to Buy Ingredients 

Image Sources:
Bee: http://www.beeswaxrubberstamps.com/products/flying-bee-170b?variant=13850135043
Body: http://www.pinterest.nz/pin/369154500702502889/?lp=true
Coconuts: http://airfreshener.club/quotes/oil-essential-clipart.html

Ben Stroud – Cantabrian-come College Soccer Standout

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SCROLL’s first weekly college profile looks at Ben Stroud, one of many young athletes from Canterbury carving himself a path in the world of American College Soccer.

Stroud for the Missouri State Bears in 2017 © 2019 Missouri State University Athletics

Ben Stroud’s journey from Christchurch high school soccer to Missouri State University’s first team is one defined by his own hard work and the help of those around him.

In early 2015, a fresh-faced Stroud would say goodbye to his mates at St Bede’s College in Christchurch and take the first steps towards what he describes as being the best four years of his life.

After a season playing for Scots College and Wellington United (a feeder team for the Wellington Phoenix), Stroud was picked up by Missouri State University Soccer after he impressed at a recruitment camp at Notre Dame University.

From there, Stroud was thrown into a life that is “as professional as possible”, with early mornings, rigorous training and extremely high standards all being part of the parcel.

A normal day for Stroud and his Missouri State Bears teammates starts at 6:00 AM, followed by a weights session at 7:00. Breakfast comes next and then it is off to class for the middle portion of the day. A trip to the physio to treat any niggles or issues affecting the players and then an afternoon training session is held. Dinner precedes a team meeting and film session to analyse their own play or their opponents that week, then, if there is time, study and bed.

Despite his hectic schedule, Stroud has flourished under the pressures of college soccer. He states that the scale of his soccer improvement “just wouldn’t have happened” had he stayed in New Zealand. He believes his time at Missouri State will set him in great stead for his sporting and professional future.

He credits his smooth adjustment to his coaches and his teammates, many of whom were in his shoes in years gone by. “A lot of the guys in the team have had to leave home as well so everyone can relate to one another and help each other out.”

Stroud has had to learn to adjust to the American tertiary system as well. With his year of study starting halfway through the calendar year, he reveals that the system allows students to ease into their degree as they are not expected to start university knowing what major they want to pursue.

“I started my degree as ‘undeclared’ which basically meant I could take some time to see what I really wanted to focus on.”

Appearing in every match in his first season for the Bears and becoming a key starter by his second season, Stroud sees his personal success as a result of the people around him. He credits his father Alan (former All White) and his mother Helen (former Black Fern, district netball player and district netball coach) for instilling a fierce sense of determination and diligence in him.

Stroud is setting out to repay his parents for their unconditional support of his sporting and professional dreams.

As he comes to the end of his time at Missouri State, Stroud is looking to finish his degree strong, pass all of his exams and hopefully get noticed by the right people in his final season as a Bear.

With Stroud recently being contacted by the New Zealand Olympic Team, the fruits of his labour and the benefits of his time at MSU are already making themselves clear.

The Finest Somersault – Pablo Dylan’s Debut Folk Album

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Pablo Dylan. Slaven Vlasic on Getty Images

After releasing his debut hip-hop mixtape 7 years ago, Pablo Dylan has released a folk-rock album. Being the grandson of the folk-music legend Bob Dylan, and the nephew of Grammy award winning Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers fame, Pablo definitely has big boots to fill. But the release of The Finest Somersault is a hopeful sign that grandfather Bob’s musical genes may have been passed down to yet another generation.

Pablo describes the album as an “introspective luminous rock/alternative sound inspired by his infamous lineage” which includes “lyrics about personal experiences”. When listening to the album, the inspiration from his ‘infamous lineage’ is very clearly there, with the opening track Eye of the Storm bearing similarities to a young Bob Dylan with a cold. It is however, set apart by the obviously more modern recording equipment.

Fans of Bob Dylan have given the album mixed reviews, with some excited about Pablo’s transition from hip-hop into Folk-Rock, while others feeling that Pablo lacks the musical talent of both his grandfather and uncle. One commenter on the music video for the album’s title track described the track as “a bad rapper[‘s] parody of the Highway 61 album.”  Personally, I think that the album is worth a listen, as there are many memorable tracks that contain elements that any Bob Dylan fan, or folk-rock fan, can enjoy.

Eye of the Storm is one of the highlights of the album with its raw guitar sounds and mellow organ playing driven by Pablo’s raunchy vocals. The lyrics are very poetic, like most songs on the album. Sometimes so poetic that it’s very hard to understand the ‘personal experiences’ that he claimed to have written about, but that can be given a pass. Like the poets of the beat generation, of whom he seems to pull his lyrical inspiration from, Pablo’s lyrics are packed full of metaphors and imagery, often to the point where you have no idea what he’s singing about. However, they still sound nice to the ears.

The title track The Finest Somersault is upbeat and sounds like it could have been a rejected track for Bob Dylan’s own Highway 61: Revisited. Although it does not quite achieve the same legendary sound that made Highway 61: Revisited a great work of art, it still manages to capture the fast-paced chaos that made songs like “Tombstone Blues” stand out.

Towards the middle of the album is the song Bells which is a departure from the rest of the album as it has a more garage rock feel to it. It feels less like Bob Dylan, and more like something that may have come from The Sonics, or Lou Reed. In this song Pablo’s vocal limitations become apparent, and his voice begins to sound more monotonous than stylistic, although this does not detract from the song too much, as Bells is still a really groovy tune.

Although the album may not be to the standards of Grandad Bob, it is still a nice listening experience filled with many noticeable highlights. It is exciting to see yet another member of the Dylan family delve into the musical scape, and it will be really interesting to see how Pablo’s Folk-Rock sound will progress if he continues down this path.

Banks Peninsula – Exploring Lyttelton

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A 15 minute drive from Christchurch’s CBD, Lyttelton leads you to a world away from the buzzing city. Driving through the tunnel transports you to a unique little village along the hills of the sea side. Its calm and peaceful vibes radiate from the village, while the quirky shops on the main street mirror those of our capital, Wellington. The historical port is visible from almost any street on the main hill due to its unique layout.

If you want a quick escape, Lyttelton is the place to go.

History/Culture

Banks Peninsula is a volcanic island, built of lava from two large craters situated in the Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. Historically, Lyttelton was inhabited by Maori for around 700 years. On the 16th of February 1770, during the Endeavour’s first voyage to New Zealand, early European settlers discovered Lyttelton Harbour and occupied the land. Since this discovery, Lyttelton has been historically regarded as the “Gateway to Canterbury” for colonial settlers.

Formerly called Port Cooper, Port Lyttelton was named in honour of George William Lyttelton who led the colonisation of the area. Lyttelton was chosen by the Church of England as a suitable port to inhabit. This was due to the availability of large flat land on the other side of the port hills, which we now know as Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains. Its history is rich and holds much significance to the city of Christchurch.

 

Food

Photo Credit: Taylor Curtis

Lyttelton offers a range of food that’s sure to fit you and your friends needs. Usually it’s a mare to find top notch vegetarian and vegan eateries, but not when you stumble across the Shroom Room. They have a menu that satisfies everyone’s taste buds, matched with a chill alternative vibe that offers you an oasis away from Christchurch.

Another outstanding place to find something to eat is the SUPER restaurant. It’s a great place to grab lunch and share a plate of Asian fusion inspired food with family and friends. Offering tofu burgers that are to die for, you can eat this perched out in the sun or cozy up inside while watching the hum of the harbour.

Corsair Bay little boats. Shot by Kendra Van de Geest.

Things to do

If you’re ever looking for a Saturday morning activity, then try out Lyttelton’s Bridle path walk. Starting off near the Gondola, make your way up the hill. It’s sure to get your lungs and legs feeling the burn, but can easily be settled by the breath-taking view of land meeting sea. Going down is a lot easier, especially when you’re heading back to a cold brew or freshly made smoothie as a reward. If your heart rate won’t thank you, your taste buds and endorphins sure will.

Lyttelton also offers a humming market every Saturday morning, bringing the locals to the streets with their individual style and homemade treats. If you’re looking for organic, raw ingredients to colour your pantry, then the boutique Harbour Co-op is where you will find them.

When it hits warmer weather, Lyttelton has its own hidden swimming spots scattered around the coastline. You can jump off the wharf in Magazine Bay, or kayak around Corsair and Governors Bay. If you’re looking to do something different, then join the Naval Point Club where they offer water activities including paddle boarding, jet skiing, boating and the chance to hit the water in a Waka.

Lyttelton is a world away, yet right by your doorstep. It’s a unique village filled with history and culture, providing a great escape for when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the city buzz. This versatile destination will be sure to provide some form of pleasure for everyone.

A Brief Guide to Christchurch Surf

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From remote Magnet Bay on the Banks Peninsula, learning to surf at Sumner Bar, possible barrels at Taylor’s Mistake and a world class right point break just three hours north of Christchurch; the Canterbury region is a surprisingly great place to be a surfer. This is a brief guide to some convenient and quality waves that every Christchurch surfer should make time to conquer.

  1. Sumner Bar
Sumner Bar: Sumner is great beach for learners, but the often small waves mean you’ll probably need a longboard. Photo Credit – Sam Brett.

If you want to learn to surf then Sumner Bar, a beach that is just a 45 minute bus ride or a 10-15 minute drive from Christchurch, is about as good as it gets. This statement may seem bold, but the requirements for a good beginner wave are this; a sand bottom, a slow breaking wave that doesn’t break too far in or too far out, and weak currents. Sumner has all of these things with only one down side, cold water.

There are two places that rent surfboards and are close by; Learn To Surf (which will also give you a lesson) and Stoked Surf, Skate & Snow. Learn To Surf is located out of a van in the parking lot at Sumner beach. You can get more information about them on their website. Stoked is located at 10 Wakefield Ave, Sumner, with more info on their Facebook page.

If you’re not a beginner, you can still surf at Sumner but I would recommend using a Longboard as the waves, even on bigger days, have very little power.

 

  1. Taylor’s Mistake
Taylor’s Mistake: Looking down the picturesque beach at Taylor’s Mistake. Photo credit – Sam Brett.
Taylors Mistake 2: In the right conditions, Taylor’s Mistake can produce powerful waves for a more advanced surfer. Photo credit – Sam Brett.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced surfer with a Shortboard, Taylor’s Mistake is the place to go and it’s only a five minute drive from Sumner. On a good day, you might find yourself in the right spot to make it out of a right or left handed barrel (expect close-outs).

A popular local spot, the hazards are the crowds, and ironically the lifeguard boats that tend to train in the evening, zooming through the surf and back to the beach over and over.

 

  1. Magnet Bay

Magnet Bay: Looking across the rocky break at Magnet Bay. Photo credit – Sam Brett.

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Magnet Bay 2: Popping up on a wave at Magnet Bay. Photo credit – Sam Brett.

A regional classic, Magnet Bay is about an hour and a half south of Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula, and offers a nicely formed left handed point break.  Recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers, the wave holds a fair bit of size and offers a lot of room for turns, especially at low tide.

Don’t expect to get barrelled at Magnet, but you might find it a great place to practice cutbacks or nose riding. It breaks over nice pumpkin sized rocks, which are probably the biggest hazard, and at times can be a bit crowded.

Bring a solid leash and your favourite Shortboard, Longboard or Funboard to have a great time. Oh yeah… The road to Magnet is not particularly user-friendly, sporting steep cliffs, no guard rails and one-lane dirt roads with two-way traffic. Enjoy!

 

  1. Mangamaunu (Mangas)
Mangamaunu: The iconic Mangamaunu, a world class point break. Photo credit – Banks Ireland.

This is a world-class wave, and I really mean that! Mangamaunu, also known as Mangas, is about three hours north of Christchurch, but when it’s good the drive is well worth it.

Sporting a wave so long that your legs might just be burning by the end of it, this right point with its minimal crowds and extraordinary scenery may indeed be my favorite place to surf in the world. As an American who has surfed in the US, Puerto Rico, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts of Australia and Cloudbreak in Fiji, that’s impressive!

One of the most amazing parts about this wave is that you can ride any type of board here, and assuming there is enough size to begin with, you can choose the size of wave you want to surf. At the peak of the point you’ll get the biggest waves, but by the time you get to the end of the point the wave size might be a ¼ of that.

The downsides include cold water, rocks and currents.

For the adventurous surfer, there are plenty of waves to be had. Photo credit – Sam Brett.

Being a surfer in Christchurch is truly rewarding for those committed enough to brave the cold, and the potentially long drives. If you’re willing to look past those minor hurdles, you should be able to find sufficient waves almost every day of the week.

How to Host a Successful Game of Thrones Banquet

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Hint: Don’t call it the Red Wedding

Unfortunately, just like winter, the end of Game of Thrones is coming. In preparation for the finale I am going to give you some tips on how to throw the ultimate viewing party. Mostly what to snack on throughout the 80 minute finale.

Now, there are two ways that you can feed your guests when watching Game of Thrones. The first would be a full medieval feast with turkey legs and bucket loads of ale. The second would be ever so slightly kids birthday themed with many snacks. I opted for the latter and put my baking hat on for the day.

Here’s what I came up with.

After many hours and one breakdown here’s the final product!

First up were the savoury options. Personally, I think every platter needs bread and hummus, Game of Thrones themed or not. If we cast our minds back to Season 3, they do actually eat bread at the Red Wedding (pre-massacre), so technically we are on theme here.

The other savoury option is an ode to Petyr Baelish, in the form of fish fingers. Baelish is commonly referred to as Littlefinger throughout the series, so in honour of that I included fish fingers as a snack.

Onto the more exciting options – the sweets! Firstly, I decided to tackle the cake pop and create Ned Stark’s head on a stick. I used icing pens for the details and threw some red food colouring on the stick to recreate his death back in Season 1. I warn you now, cake pops are not for the faint hearted so be prepared to spend a lot of time on these! Hence why some of mine are not on sticks and look like squares, rather than a human head!

Some Neds didn’t want to stay on the stick as you can see

Now, there cannot be a Game of Thrones party without some kind of dragon egg baked good. I went with shortbread, not only because it is super easy to make but also to symbolise Tyrion Lannister. This is definitely a good idea if you don’t have a lot of time, as shortbread only requires three ingredients! You can also get icing ready made in a pen, which is great if you’re creating something last minute.

These biscuits didn’t last long that’s for sure!

To represent the White Walkers and dragon glass, a.k.a. the future of Season 8, I threw together some jelly cubes as something a bit fun. Also, a great excuse to relive your childhood and eat jelly! The trick to keeping these in shape is adding extra gelatine and a silicone muffin/ice tray. If you’re wanting to make your party a boozy one, you could also add vodka to these to make a White Walker jelly shot!

Finally, I popped bunches of grapes around the outside as a palate cleanser/snack for those who are #health.

As it is finally starting to get colder here, I decided to provide mulled wine as the drink of the night. Everyone makes theirs a bit differently, but I just had a cheeky Google and threw everything in the slow cooker (who doesn’t love a slow cooker?!) for the day. Don’t forget the cinnamon and some citrus fruit. Personally, I used the Mulled Wine Magic loose tea from T2 to save buying lots of ingredients.

Goblets are essential for the GoT vibe

In terms of actually watching, you could have a bit of fun and make your party a dress up. I might do this for the finale, but for now I bought a four dollar costume from K-Mart and dressed my cat up as a dragon (yes, it is a dinosaur costume but this is the closest I could get!!).

Many treats were required for this shot!

Costumed or not, snacks are an essential to get your group through this final season and the shit storm that is going to hit over the next few episodes. So sit back with your snacks and enjoy! We can then decide what to do with our Monday nights once it’s all over.

Haka: The Dance of Tāne Rore

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Maori Battalion performing a Haka, Egypt. National Library of New Zealand.
Maori Battalion performing a Haka, Egypt. National Library of New Zealand.

“Tāne Rore is the son of the Sun god, Tama Nui Te Rā, and Hine Raumati, goddess of summer.

The rising of the heat waves, the trembling air as seen on a hot day, and the shimmering of Tama Nui Te Rā reflecting from Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) is the dance of Tāne Rore, the deity of Haka.

“Mai i ngā atua, heke iho ki a tātou tīpuna.”

From the gods, to our ancestors.

“Stories from my ancestors” retells a history of the first people to perform the Haka; a story about a group of wāhine toa (female leaders) and two chiefs, Tinirau and Kae.

A group of women led by Hineteiwaiwa, wife of Tinirau, embarked on a journey to capture Kae. They did not know what he looked like, but knew of his sharp teeth. Therefore, in order to capture him they had to find a way for Kae to show his teeth. The dance of Tāne Rōre was used by Hineteiwaiwa and her group to entertain the village of Kae, so that he may be entertained and bare his teeth.

Since the first Haka was performed, it has been adopted and adapted over time by many tribes throughout Aotearoa. It’s a major part our country and history because of how much it has grown over the years, and how it enables us to express ourselves when words are not enough.

Over the years, Haka was made popular by the All Blacks, through their first performance of the Haka “Ka Mate” in 1888, to the recently composed “Kapa o Pango”. Since then it has become a global phenomenon because of its uniqueness.

Haka received international recognition from sporting events. Photo by Mark Weakley

Growing up in Aotearoa meant that in most homes, watching the All Blacks play a match against overseas competition was a cultural norm for us. Before every game there would be a Haka performed by the All Blacks, and the Haka “Ka Mate” is one of their most iconic throughout the years.

Behind every Haka is a history that dates back to our ancestors. The most well-known origin story in relation to the composition of “Ka Mate” is of Te Rauparaha and the kumara pit.

Te Rauparaha was a chief of the tribe known as Ngāti Toa, and while people celebrate what he achieved for his iwi, there were tribes that suffered and lost a lot of their own people from the blood that was spilt. In particular, the battle between Ngāti Toa and the local iwi of Canterbury, Ngāi Tahu.

Because of the loss of so many Ngāi Tahu chiefs and tribe members as a result of their battle with Ngāti Toa, the Haka “Ka Mate” brings forth memories of the past that Ngāi Tahu descendants may never forget. Therefore, the Haka “Ka Mate” should not be performed in Canterbury as it disrespects the mana of Ngāi Tahu and his descendants.

Understanding what and where a Haka comes from is important, because it may cause offense to an iwi you perform it to.

There are two definitions of the Haka. The first comes from the name itself, Hā and Kā.

Hā – ‘The breath of life’ that we share between each other is represented in the words and different noises made throughout Haka.

Kā – Being to ignite, and the energy that is shown through the actions, the facial expressions we use, and also the “wiri” which represents Tāne Rore.

The second comes from He Pātaka Kupu: Haka is expressing an individual or groups’ thought on a topic through hand movements, the widening of the eyes, the extension of the tongue, and the stomping of the feet, to embody the words that are spoken.

However, there is a third meaning that comes from an outsider point of view. To many, the term “war dance” is the best way to describe what the Haka is in two words, because of how it is performed.

The Haka has been used in the past by war parties to intimidate, to scare away opponents, and also to challenge one another.

While Haka can be called a “war dance”, this term narrows down this tāonga to something that is less than what it really is.

Haka is a celebration of culture and of people.

It is expressing oneself in a way where actions and facial expressions give deeper meaning to the words that are spoken.

Haka is a tāonga unique to Aotearoa and its people.

It is a tāonga that I hope will remain for Aotearoa’s future generations.

 

Unity through Rivalry

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https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/league/christchurch-emergency-services-honoured-warriors-sea-eagles-clash
Dailytelegraph.com.au

Despite being the darkest of times, AMI Stadium was filled with just as many people as emotions when the Warriors paid a visit to the South Island in a moment of need.

Ever since the NRL board announced that the Manly Sea Eagles would host the Warriors at AMI Stadium, Canterbury rugby league fans had been preparing to welcome their favourite team and were ready to enjoy this uncommon visit to the fullest.

Excitement turned into shock when the March 15th attacks took place and the event quickly became the last thing on people’s minds. Aware of this, both teams refused to consider postponing the game and decided to make the most of their trip by bringing support and solidarity to the Christchurch community.

Unexpectedly, sport managed to bring a glimmer of hope back into the heart of the city. Both players and viewers were given a chance to reunite under AMI Stadium’s emotion-charged lights and support each other through a tough time.

Once again, hate failed to break spirits and all people came together in healing by doing the one thing that the region of Canterbury loves and is famous for: uniting under the same roof to watch a game of footy. This event proved that sports, even though competitive and rivalrous, have the ability to eradicate hate while enabling personal growth and instilling positive values.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/league/christchurch-emergency-services-honoured-warriors-sea-eagles-clash

Despite many still struggling to come to terms with what had occurred on March 15th, the reactions from the community regained positivity after Canterbury Rugby League’s (CRL) media release on the 21stof March titled

“Sea Eagles and Warriors Unite for Christchurch”.

The opening sentence of CRL’s release read: “The Vodafone Warriors and Manly Sea Eagles are based on either side of the Tasman Sea, battle each other courageously on the field, but in support of Christchurch and her people, they are united” and discusses ways in which the teams planned to support the community. This gesture, combined with the hard-core nature of the fan’s passion for the sport, led to a magical night that brought people back together in taking the first step towards a new hope.

This special night is one that many will remember for years to come and one that many others around the world can relate to. By having a quick look back at our history, not long will pass until you run into a story of a historical sportingevent that impacted the lives of thousands, if not millions.

This night brought back memories of the iconic Super Rugby game between the Crusaders and the Sharks, which took place at Twickenham Stadium in the UK after Jade Stadium in Christchurch had been damaged by the 2011 earthquakes. That match also had no shortage of emotions, as Londoners and many others came together in support of the community of Christchurch and plastered the stadium with “Kia Kaha CHCH” posters and messages of solidarity. The event was made even more special for the Christchurch audience due to  the Crusaders coming out victorious, with a score of 44 to 28.Once again, the pains of tragedy were briefly forgotten and all that mattered was what was happening on the field.

There have been many other iconic instances throughout history in which an athlete or a team have turned a performance into a symbolic act that would be remembered by future generations forever. Only a few of the many examples that come to mind include the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, when Nelson Mandela’s belief that the underdog Springbok squad had the ability to bring the people of the country together proved to be rightly placed when the Bokke defeated the dominant All Black side in the final.

Another infamous sport moment that caused a lot of controversy in a moment of instability occurred during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, when African-American sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals. At those same Berlin Olympics, Jewish wrestler Karoly Karpati won gold by beating the German favorite Wolfgang Ehrl. These triumphs were accomplished by two whom the Nazis considered to be of “inferior races” and resulted in the humiliation of the whole Aryan ideology itself.

Since their Christchurch game, the Warriors went on to win three of their next seven games. Maybe this sounds like a bad record, but when considering the four-win, six-loss overall record they have so far, hopes to make the finals are still very much alive.

Although history suggests that the Warriors are most likely to be in for another average season, the game they played in Christchurch will definitely be remembered for other, more special reasons.

I Tried Nadia Lim’s Recipes for a Week and Here’s How It Went

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Nadia’s perfect plate l Source: nadialim.com

What happens when an amateur foodie tries to take on recipes from a professional chef?

Well, I decided to give it a go and try out Nadia Lim’s dinner recipes from her website. 

Currently, Nadia is dancing her heart out on TV 3’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’, but she became known after winning MasterChef NZ in 2011. She is known for being an advocate of natural, unprocessed foods and creating nutritious recipes with a health-based focus behind them.

So, I jumped onto her website, chose some recipes, and headed down to the local grocers to get started on a week full of nourishing, delicious food.

To be honest, it was pretty hard to decide on what to make but I settled on the following:

  1. Coriander and Lime Grilled Chicken
  2. Beef Nachos
  3. Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous Salad and Spiced Sour Cream
  4. Vegetarian Pad Thai
  5. Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

First up: Coriander and Lime Grilled Chicken

My sad attempt of Coriander and Lime Grilled Chicken l Source: writers photo
Nadia’s perfect plate l Source: nadialim.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love coriander and I love grilled chicken, so I was really excited about making this. This only took me 45 minutes to make and would have been a lot shorter if I had figured out how to grill chicken properly.

I was a little surprised at first by how many ingredients went into the marinade, but once I tasted the chicken, it made sense.

I know mine looks sad in comparison, but I really liked how the chicken tasted. It was zesty, fresh, and lime and coriander is such a winning combination. This tasted like happy, summer time goodness and clean eating perfection.

For the record, my flatmates were super impressed with me so thank you Nadia.

Next it was time for the Beef Nachos

My mince mixture / Source: Writers photo

When I saw how much went into these nachos I was pretty intimidated, I imagined it taking me hours to prep. Thankfully, it only ended up taking 30 minutes, though the majority of that was dedicated to cutting up veggies. I stuck this baby in the oven and when it was all said and done, I must admit I was pretty pleased with the end result.

My version of the nachos l Sources: Writers photo
Nadia’s beef nachos l Source: nadialim.com

 

Even though mine looks like canned soup compared to Nadia’s, the meal tasted heavenly and seemed pretty healthy, minus all the cheese piled on top. The mince/soup portion of the dish was actually alright despite its appearance, my flatmates lapped it up and even had it for lunch the next day.

This one was definitely a winner in my book and it ticked all the right boxes.

We continue this journey with the Moroccan Meatballs:

My pan full of couscous salad / Source: Writers photo

This only took me 15 minutes to prep and it was incredibly delicious. I was a bit sceptical when I added the red wine vinegar but oh my goodness it really elevated the flavour, and made the veggies so tasty.

Once again mine does not look anywhere near as pretty, but I promise it tasted like a dream.

Morocco on a plate l Source: writers photo
Nadia’s delectable moroccan meatballs l Source: nadialim.com

 

I’m from Auckland, where the closest I’ve had to Mediterranean food was once on a trip to Europe. So, to see that Nadia had a recipe for Moroccan meatballs, I knew that I wanted to try it immediately.

The hardest part of this recipe was figuring out if my couscous was cooked properly because it was hard to make out whether it was any different from when it was in the box.

What I also found difficult was grating the carrot because my hand got really tired, really fast.

But once I accomplished the recipe, it was damn delicious. I mean, seriously hands down the best dish of the week.

I would recommend this dish to all of my family and my friends, and all their friends and families.

Then it was time for Vegetarian Pad Thai:

My rendition of Pad Thai l Source: Writers
Pad Thai ala Nadia l Source: nadialim.com

 

 

Supposedly, this dish takes 20 minutes to make but somehow only took me around 10. It was so simple that I literally forgot to take photos of the process and went straight to dishing it up.

Oh Nadia. I absolutely love a good Pad Thai but this one just fell flat. Not only was it hella bland but it had such a strong coconut taste which I found was very unpleasant. I was also surprised by how little veggies there were and it just didn’t seem that nutritious compared to her other meals.

Bring back the meatballs I say!

And lastly, the grand finale, Nadia’s Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes with Whipped Milk-Chocolate Ganache.

I must admit, I don’t really like chocolate-flavoured things, unless it’s actual chocolate. So, diving into this one I wasn’t so sure, considering I had to spend a good 55 minutes making a chocolate cupcake that actually had more chocolate on the top. However, I powered through and turns out it was pretty damn good. I really wanted to try this recipe because I was intrigued by the combination of beetroot and chocolate.

My humble cupcake / Source: Writers photo
Divine chocolate and beetroot goodness l Source: nadialim.com

 

Nadia’s cupcakes looked divine and while I definitely did not do it justice, the flavours were still out of this world. The richness of the dark chocolate combined with the sweetness of beetroot hit all the right notes.

If there were a beetroot and chocolate Olympics, this would definitely win a gold medal.

The Takeaway…

Trying out Nadia Lim’s recipes for a week taught me that cooking and creating dishes can actually be quite fun and easy. I love the variety of recipes she offers (including baking) and the simple methods she uses.

Whilst four out of the five creations were hits (sorry Pad Thai!), I would definitely recommend to any amateur foodie they jump on her website and try out a few meals as not only will they find them to be delicious, but also nutritious.

If you want to try out any of Nadia’s recipes and see what they taste like for yourself, visit https://nadialim.com or check out Nadiamagazine for more seasonal recipes.

Happy cooking!

The Reality of New Zealand Women and Art

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In light of Alabama’s controversial abortion bill, women across the globe are re-evaluating what it means to live in a modern and free society. Dystopian texts ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (1985) and ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ (1949) have become a strange reality in America’s state of Alabama.

 

Twenty-five white Republican men have stripped Alabama women of a basic human right: their right of choice. People have turned to social media to express their disgrace with the new law and in doing so have been sharing around various quotes: “If men could get pregnant, abortions would be available at the gas station” and “What surprised me most about becoming a parent was that I was forced to by the government”. These two quotes personally stuck with me. Why does the importance of women continue to be underestimated and undermined?

 

Alabama is a long way from New Zealand, but this doesn’t mean their situation can’t be related to. In times like these, a reflection on women’s historical standing in Western society helps us to understand the significance of what seems to be a step in the wrong direction. Many of the themes around women’s inequality and societal expectations carry through many aspects in a woman’s life. In this instance, I am looking at things from an art perspective.

 

Throughout New Zealand history women have had to fight to establish their presence as artists. Some of the country’s most celebrated female artists were operating during a time where their profession wasn’t socially accepted. This article focuses on how New Zealand woman have used art to express and highlight the negative constructs of society.

 

Throughout history a woman’s place in society has been constantly structured and restructured. Issues with inequality, social class and expectation have been created through a certain mechanical culture generated predominantly by men.

 

Twentieth century New Zealand saw a woman’s social and cultural identity centralise around her domestic duties and her family life. A professional career, cultural interests and education beyond this role had minor importance. This idea is crucial when understanding the implications and outcomes of early New Zealand female art and the reoccurring socio-economic factors that made the process different from male artists.

 

Kura Te Waru Rewiri is an important figure in New Zealand art and is greatly celebrated for her contribution to contemporary Māori art. Born in 1950, Rewiri began her career and love for art right in our in own backyard at the University of Canterbury, Ilam School of Fine Arts. She saw art as an opportunity to not only define her role as a woman but to explore her identity as a Maori woman. She was operating during a time where Māori women lacked societal sovereignty and presence.

 

In order to address this, she used art to directly acknowledge these issues, producing works that explored her social and artistic identity. Rewiri used weaving, Kōwhaiwhai and Tā moko patterns in her abstract paintings in order to represent her Māori heritage. Her use of technique is a representation of the intertwining nature of society and the significance of a Māori woman living in a European, contemporary environment.

 

Whenua/Wahine/Whenua is an artwork by Rewiri that uses simplified forms of traditional Māori art in conjunction with more contemporary and abstract forms. The dominant shapes in the work represent her Tupuna Wahine (female ancestors) and their relationship to the land. Rewiri is highlighting the strong nature of her female ancestors and the significant impact these women had on their people, and surroundings.

 

Kura Te Waru Rewiri, Whenua/Wahine/Whenua (Land/Women/Land), 1989, acrylic and kanuka on hardboard, Auckland Art Gallery.

 

Another important New Zealand female artist is Rita Angus. Like Rewiri, her artistic roots go back to the University of Canterbury where she studied from 1927 to 1933. She is widely considered to be a pioneer of New Zealand art and her paintings express the country’s unique national identity by focusing on the beauty of our landscape.

 

Living in a time where women had to choose between a profession or a family, Angus spent a large majority of her adult life solo, without children or a spouse. Choosing her artistic career over what was expected of her was a significant and extremely bold choice.

 

Angus was living in a society that didn’t necessarily accommodate socially or financially for self-employed, career-driven women. Her retaliation against these discriminative social constructs led to the creation of incredible artworks that are very significant to our nation’s cultural and individual distinctiveness.

 

An example of this is her painting Rutu. This work is a self-portrait that represents Angus’s own personal and national identity. The work dissolves the boundaries, expectations and appearance of the traditional New Zealand woman. Rutu is a representation of an ideal figure in an ideal society, she is a goddess with blonde European hair and dark Polynesian skin – a proud female that embodies two important New Zealand cultures. Rutu expresses themes of equality, peace and freedom, all of which are key ideas for a female artist attempting to establish her presence and position within an imbalanced society.

 

Rita Angus, Rutu, 1951, oil on canvas, 548 x 707 mm, Te Papa.

 

In many ways, New Zealand as a country is a pioneer – we pride ourselves as a nation on our ability to accept, challenge and adapt to change. It is a privilege to live in a country that practices this, but it is important not to disregard the past.

 

The treatment of women in Alabama is an example of a horrific societal construct, one that may seem so remote from anything in New Zealand. But the harsh reality of these events is that it really isn’t so distant from us. In fact, the passing of this law is a mere extension of pre-existing conventional, western issues that regard gender equality.

 

In order to improve the future, we must learn from the past. New Zealand’s previous treatment of women resulted in many strong and talented female artists being left unacknowledged and not represented.

 

Rita Angus and Kura Te Waru Rewiri’s artistic expression and self-worth was challenged by their social disadvantage. The extent of their work was limited due to their circumstance and to this day the New Zealand art world is at a loss.

 

Modern day society has since then fully accepted and celebrated Kiwi woman like Angus and Rewiri, yet at what cost? Many female artists during the same time period were never given the opportunity to explore the practice in a wider field. Their passion was not supported nor academically accepted by a male-led society, therefore unachievable for most.

 

Throughout history and throughout every country, women are faced with different limitations, regulations and laws. Equality and inequality are universal concepts and present in every society.

 

8 Food Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Now

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If you’re looking to indulge in some seriously impressive food pornography that’s sure to get your digestive juices flowing, or perhaps craving some culinary inspiration so you can do your own experimenting in the kitchen, then feast your eyes on these eight stunning Instagram food accounts that’ll leave you feeling insatiable!

 

1. @halfbakedharvest

This foodies’ Instagram feels homely and bucolic, with stunning, rustic-style presentation and mouth-watering homestyle recipes. She emphasises good homemade food, real ingredients and fresh, organic produce to create gourmet savoury dishes, beautiful cakes and fruity cocktails! Recipes include her ‘Artichoke Pesto and Burrata Pizza’, ‘Strawberry Hibiscus Margarita’ and ‘Blackberry Lavender Naked Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream’. She has a cookbook available as well as recipes sourced on her website.

 

Caption: Instagram Feed of @halfbakedharvest / Source: Instagram @halfbakedharvest

 

  1. @new_fork_city
    This account credits big-time NYC foodie Instagram accounts, featuring HD photos of New York’s best street eats, take-outs and delicious cuisine meals and treats from top restaurants and eateries. It captures the vibrant and exciting essence of New York’s food scene. In a melting-pot city, @new_fork_city showcases the traditionally American and globally-inspired food in NYC which promises something for everyone.
Caption: Instagram Feed of @new_fork_city / Source: Instagram @new_fork_city

 

  1. @jshealth
    Jessica Sepel is a holistic nutrition expert and founder of the ‘JSHealth’ app and program. Focusing on healthy recipes made super simple, this user promotes a positive relationship with food, balance over restriction and the benefits of intuitive eating. She discredits food extremes, fads or diets, and instead proposes sustainable healthy eating behaviours where your diet is nutrient-rich, whilst still allowing you to treat yourself with indulgent foods mindfully. A lot of recipes are her take on delicious comfort foods like slices, cookies or brownies, but made with healthier alternatives.

 

Caption: Instagram Feed of @new_fork_city / Source: Instagram @new_fork_city

 

4.@thehungrygentleman
This user is a chef and self-proclaimed “shoe fanatic”. He reviews delicious food from his travel destinations and uses annotations on his posts to break down the dish. Each of his posts also features a fancy pair of shoes, from his impressive collection of top fashion labels such as Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. With amazing photos and a peek of some cool shoes in every post, this account is definitely a must-follow.

 

Caption: Instagram Feed of @thehungrygentleman / Source: Instagram @thehungrygentleman

 

  1. @sugarandsaltcookies

An Instagram account for Australian-based dessert shop Sugar & Salt, this feed offers a gorgeous photographic assortment of baked confectionary treats in pastel hues of pink, blue and lilac. This dessert shop specialises in cakes, doughnuts, macarons and ‘cake pops’, providing a colourful array of beautifully-crafted desserts ideal for those with a sweet-tooth.

 

 

Caption: Instagram Feed of @sugarandsaltcookies / Source: Instagram @sugarandsaltcookies

 

  1. @biancazapatka

An account with exquisite food presentation and excellent photography skills, this foodie specialises in plant-based desserts. She posts delicious vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free recipes for baked cakes, pies, tarts, pancakes, waffles, as well as pasta dishes and quesadilla recipes. She is both a stunning food stylist and recipe creator, and each of her posts are so visually superb they’re almost too good to believe. This impressive feed is impossible to disappoint any discerning foodie or foodie-to-be.

 

Caption: Instagram Feed of @biancazapatka / Source: Instagram @biancazapatka

 

  1. @forkandtruffle
    An account for the seriously brave and endearing meat-eater, this meat loving foodie posts snaps of the ultimate American cheat meals. Not for the faint-hearted, simply looking at this feed will raise your cholesterol. Primarily it features loaded burgers and fried chicken, and quite often a monster mash of both! Sure to leave you drooling, this feed is a shrine to New York’s best gourmet burger and fried chicken outlets.
Caption: Instagram Feed of @forkandtruffle / Source: Instagram @forkandtruffle

 

  1. @thehungrywarrior
    For all the plant-based foodies out there, the expert food stylist who runs this account creates delicious vegan recipes and posts beautiful images. This foodie makes veganism look both easy and appetising. Some of her recipes include ‘Carrot Cake Pancakes’, ‘Creamy Miso Soba Noodles’ and ‘Freshly Baked Cinnamon Braids with Orange Maple Glaze’. For an aspiring vegan this account is sure to provide some great inspiration.
Caption: Instagram Feed of @thehungrywarrior / Source: Instagram @thehungrywarrior

 

Why you should check out Pure Hair and Body

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When you’re wanting to get your hair done, it’s important to take into consideration the reasons why you’re picking a particular salon. Aside from price, choosing a salon that uses sustainable products is not only benefiting your hair’s health, but also the environment, which in turn benefits your overall mental and physical wellbeing.

The UCLA Sustainability committee defined sustainability as “the physical development and institutional operating practices that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, particularly with regard to use and waste of natural resources. Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality. Sustainability presumes that resources are finite and should be used conservatively and wisely with a view to long-term priorities and consequences of the ways in which resources are used”.

“ Pure Hair and Body is Christchurch’s leading 91% natural, sustainable organic hair salon. Natural. Organic. Love it!”

Pure Hair and Body is a 91% sustainable, organic and natural hair salon and beauty parlour based in Christchurch. Not only do they create and maintain a strong connection with customers, but they also proudly use and sell sustainable, organic and natural products.

 

In terms of connecting with customers, Pure Hair and Body do this through a number of ways including:

 

  1. Informing the public on their sustainable, organic and natural practice

The well-educated staff are more than happy to enlighten you about their products and treatments. They also promote reusability by encouraging clients to come back and refill their bottles and containers with more product.

 

The Pure Hair and Body website and Instagram page are informative and offer more in-depth information about their products and clients’ options for different kinds of treatments and services. You’ll also find useful information such as the reasonably allocated prices and of course the frequently asked questions, which include “How can I be sustainable, natural, organic?” and “Do our products work?”.

 

 

2. Posting appreciation pictures on their Instagram account of clients who have recently had their hair done at the salon.

It’s great to see a hair salon so active across several social media platforms, as it gives the public a chance to check out their work. Pure Hair and Body showcase a range of different styles, cuts and colours across a variety of different people’s hair. This demonstrates that they can treat a bunch of different types of hair, but also gives you the opportunity to have a look at what you could get done for yourself! Additionally, they also post more pictures on their Instagram highlights and stories, so there’s heaps of options for you to use for inspiration!

 

 

3. They promote other sustainable, organic and natural products on their Instagram highlights.

This an absolute plus, as it allows the public to explore other brands that take sustainability seriously. It’s also pretty cool to be able to discover healthier and more eco-friendly alternatives to everyday stuff like makeup and clothing, in addition to better hair products and treatment. It not only takes us beyond an ordinary hair appointment, but makes us more consciously aware of the things that we’re investing our money and health into.

 

 

“Here at Pure Hair and Body, we believe that in this day and age there is no excuse whatsoever for animal testing. Absolutely none of our products are tested on animals!”

In terms of products that Pure Hair and Body use and sell, it’s important for them to constantly encourage clients to choose the healthier and more sustainable option when taking care of their hair.

 

  1. How does Pure Hair and Body encourage clients to choose more sustainable and organic products?

“In a nutshell, we encourage clients to choose more sustainable and organic products as they cause so much less harm to the hair, scalp and overall well-being”.

 

2. What does Pure Hair and Body do that’s sustainable, natural and organic?

“We try to make all of our practices sustainable, natural and organic. In a nutshell:

  • We use paper not foil as an alternative to tinfoil
  • We use sustainable natural organic products
  • We focus on educating staff about sustainable practices”

 

3. Do you have any advice for those on a budget who are after an affordable yet effective way of taking care of their hair and skin?

 “Investment. Hair care is so important and using good quality products can mean using      less styling products. Most good quality shampoo and conditioners last a long time when used correctly so they are worth it.”

 

A list of the products they use can be found on their website and Instagram page:
Pure Hair

 

Lotus Heart Restaurant Review

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Are you looking for food that is niceand refreshing? Or maybe a meal that gives you a peaceful and transformative experience? If so, you better get to The Lotus Heart, a vegetarian, vegan plant-based restaurant!

At first you might find yourselfa bitfrustrated with how little parking there is, as all the parking is on the street. However, this mood iscompletely eradicated when you step foot in the front door of the restaurant. The Lotus Heart has a very peaceful and spiritual environment. You are greeted by kind, lovely, soft spoken waiters whoguide you to your table – in the main dining room or in either of the front rooms.

The Front Room of the Lotus Heart
The Front Room of the Lotus Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once seated you are provided with an overwhelming menu, full of different ranges of vegetarian and vegan plant-based meals, as well as a comprehensive “Tea Menu” to satisfying any possible tea craving.

I ordered the “Nori Wrap” with a classic pressed orange juice, while my boyfriend ordered the “Student Special – Quesadilla” with the “Cream” flavoured black tea.

The Nori Wrap was a beautiful vegan and gluten free wrap, made with spicy fermented house kimchee, salad, cashew mayo and activated spicy seedsand wrapped in a sheet of toasted Nori seaweed…. but oh boy was that hard to fork up!With the wrap being so delicate, I couldn’t pick it up with my hands without it falling apartand cutting through the seaweed with a knife and fork led to a messy salad disaster.

However, the inside of the wrap was incredible! The cashew mayo mixed through all of the salad made for such a delightful mouthful, and boy did I feel like a health nut after that with all of itsleafy greens and vegetables!Only costing $14.95, I would definitely recommend this if you want a feel good meal.

The Nori Wrap

The Student Special Quesadilla was a wonderful grilled whole wheat tortilla, with an organic refrito bean and cheese filling, and served with salad, salsa, and sour cream. The flavour of organic refrito beans really came through, andoh my were they creamy! Being sandwiched inbetween the soft tortilla, it took you to a warm place of Mexican wonders. Only costing $9.95, you can’t go wrong with this one.

The Cream flavoured black tea was a fine Indian and Ceylon tea flavoured with vanilla and caramel. It was absolutely heavenly!It wasn’t named “Cream” for no reason, this beveragewas so smooth and “creamy”, with perfect hints of vanilla and caramel. It almost didn’t taste like tea at all. I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re after a new tea flavour in your life.

Left:The Student Special Quesadilla                                                         Right: The Cream flavoured black tea

Overall, the experience I had at The Lotus Heart was very enjoyable! However, if you’re not particularly religiously inclined this restaurant may spook you a little and take a bit to get used to. Throughout the restaurant there are little Buddha statuesand the whole vibe of this placefollows suit. If you have no problem with that, I guarantee you will have a lovely,peaceful and satisfyingexperience at the Lotus Heart!

Location: 363 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Central

Images by Breffni Naylor and Joel McKenzie

Growing the game – The Future of Women’s Rugby in NZ

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Action from the Canterbury women's club rugby match between University and Christchurch at Ilam Fields, Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday, 16 July 2016. Photo: Dave Lintott / lintottphoto.co.nz
Action from the Canterbury women’s club rugby match between University and Christchurch at Ilam Fields, Christchurch, New Zealand on Saturday, 16 July 2016. Photo: Dave Lintott / lintottphoto.co.nz

While traditional women’s sports stutter, women’s rugby is stepping up and making itself seen.

It’s no secret that New Zealand is lucky to have some truly great sportswomen and this is displayed best in our nation’s favourite sport.

The Black Ferns are five-time World Champions, four of which were won consecutively. The players have also been involved in the Farah Palmer Cup, which is becoming a hard-fought, even contest, with teams beating each other no matter where they sit on the points table. This success, in addition to the struggles faced by other sports in recent years, has seen interest in women’s rugby explode.

This has enabled women’s rugby in New Zealand to gain a foothold in the world of women’s sport. Canterbury is a prime example of this, with the women’s side of the game growing exponentially.

Evidence of this is seen in the introduction of the new Under 16’s grade, two more teams joining the already strong UC Cup 1st XV competition and the creation of Premiership and Championship grades in local club rugby. While this might be the case locally, it begs the question, why isn’t there development happening in higher levels?

Building a base in which the professional and local game can grow is something that New Zealand, Canterbury and other provincial Rugby Unions need to work on.

One way to do this would be to introduce a women’s Super Rugby.

Using the infrastructure that is already in place throughout the five main regions, there is certainly a way in which this competition could be implemented. This concept is something that is already in place in Australia, with a competition equivalent to Super Rugby recently completing its second season.

Called Super W, the competition uses the names and infrastructure of the four Super Rugby teams in Australia, with Rugby Western Australia taking part in place of the former Western Force. Although a small competition, Super W helps to build the women’s game by moving towards professionalisation. Awareness is built around the competition through televising all of the games and using Australian derbies in Super Rugby as doubleheaders.

By using their current Super Rugby structure, New Zealand Rugby could help continue the growth of women’s rugby seen countrywide, especially here in Canterbury. The five franchises of New Zealand are also home to strong women’s competitions, showing there is depth and interest in creating this new pathway.

Growing on the professionalisation of Black Ferns and Sevens players, the pathways created by having a semi-professional level in the women’s game and supplying women the ability to strive towards a career in Rugby can only help to grow the game further.

The creation or inclusion of New Zealand teams in a Women’s Super Rugby competition would provide those Under 16’s running out on Saturdays something to aim for, which can only be positive for the growth of women’s Rugby and sport.

Adding Foreign Words to Conversation – Is That Showing Off?

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Illustration by Yizhou Wang

If you are a bilingual or multilingual speaker, one thing you might be guilty of is accidentally mixing languages when you speak to others. A simple “thank you” may turn into a merci beaucoup or a “hello” may become a kia ora.  

 If you are even studying a foreign language or consuming media produced by other cultures, you might be doing the same thing. This phenomenon of combining two or more languages is called language mixing and code-switching.  

Illustration by Yizhou Wang

“Oooh that kai looks good, can’t wait to dig in!”

This is an example of language mixing. Language mixing usually happens amongst bilingual or multilingual speakers; they may abruptly (and often accidentally) combine aspects of two or more languages while not primarily deriving words from any single language. 

  A Spanish magician said he could make himself disappear. 

He counted “uno, dos…” and he was gone. 

He disappeared without a tres. 

 This is an example of code-switching. Code-switching, on the other hand, is as simple as switching from one language to another to create a special effect.  This happens quite often with English words as the English language has become so abundant in our day to day lives. As an effect of western imperialism, English is the second most spoken language in the world. In turn, learning and speaking English as a second language has become generally common in most parts of the world. 

In some countries like China, English is used in companies and professional settings as an official language to communicate with international customers. Regardless of whether the pronunciation is standard or not, people in these settings are more likely to mix English words within conversations in their native language. The way they speak does make sense for those who can understand both languages but it might not always be grammatically correct. 

 Code-switching can also be used to communicate concepts that can’t be accurately expressed in a single language. In this case, with proper code conversion, you can quickly and more effectively let the other person know what you want to say.  

 Here’s an example. Imagine you and your friends are going to have some Chinese wontons for dinner. You wouldn’t want to say that dinner will be ’a kind of dumpling filled with minced pork and spices that will be boiled and served with soup’, instead you could just say “wonton” as is would be the easiest way of communicating it. Once you say the word wonton, the person who knows the dish will understand immediately.

 In fact, code-switching words are not only used for foreign foods but can also be applied to other topics and situations too. 

 For example, komorebi (木漏れ日) in Japanese refers to “sunlight that shines through the gaps in the woods.” Gökotta in Swedish is “the first bird twitter in the morning.” While the German word kummerspeck is the “weight gain from emotional overeating.” It is more complicated to use an entire sentence to explain these concepts when there is no direct word in English, it is much simpler to replace them with the foreign translation equivalent.

If someone ever asks you why you are gaining weight so fast, you don’t have to explain it with all your might. Just touch your stomach and say, “this is my kummerspeck“. 

Language mixing and code-switching can either improve or hinder communication. Photo by Mimi Thian.

 Code-switching has a special social pragmatic consequence while language mixing does not. People who are speaking a mixed language mostly grew up in a bilingual or multilingual environment. For them, mixing the language is not done on purpose, it’s just something that comes naturally. 

  

However, there are those who tend to criticize people who mix up languages. For example, in the Philippines language mixing can be perceived in a negative light as it often comes from a place of privilege. The ability to speak English in Philippine society has been elevated to become an identifier of one’s education, wealth, and social standing. To mix languages in this case is a way to deliberately show off their privilege and can be unfavourably viewed by bilinguals themselves.  

In Bentahila’s research on language, he found that among Arabic-French bilinguals in Morocco, multilingual speakers also strongly disapprove of language mixing and their comments suggest that they associate it with lack of education, carelessness, affectation and a lack of identity. You could say that there exists a group of language purists who wish nothing than to keep the sanctity of a nation’s language intact, without influence from the outside world. But with the world becoming increasingly connected, this seems like an impossible task.   

In many cases, the occurrence of code-switching is affected by the language environment you’re in. In Christchurch for instance, a multilingual language environment exists due to the diverse groups of people that reside here. Language mixing and code-switching does occur with the latter being more common within the wider society. If you were to hear language mixing, it would usually be within close social spheres of people that share a native language that isn’t English. Often you’ll hear groups of friends talking in their native tongues with English words or phrases peppered in between. Other times, it’d be a conversation in English but a foreign word will be inserted if it can’t be fully expressed in the English language.

So does anyone really say foreign words to sound more intelligent in conversations? Of course, the existence of such a group of people can’t be ruled out. However, not everyone is like this. Sometimes, it’s just more suitable using certain expressions in a different language. Furthermore, it can also reinforce a speaker’s sense of identity as they express themselves in ways where one language just wouldn’t be enough. While perceptions of this may vary, what’s most important is that we are able to voice our thoughts in whichever way will bring us closer to understanding one another. That’s what really matters in the end.

Exploring Akaroa

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Banks Peninsula is scattered with hidden gems. Small villages concealed in the crevasses of each bay around the peninsula. Barren beaches with rocky cliffs hanging above your head. Water as clear as glass, smooth and calm.

 

A one and a half hour drive through the scenic landscapes of Canterbury, the drive to Akaroa takes you through numerous sceneries, from the everlasting flatness of the plains to the winding hills before approaching the bay. A breathtaking view from the peak of the hill, Akaroa lays below as you begin to descend into the valley where you are whisked a world away.

 

Driving into Akaroa is like transporting yourself to a little village on the southern coast of France. The town sits on the eastern side of the harbour, settling itself on the coast of the peninsula. Its unique nature makes it the only French settlement in New Zealand and its rustic vibe certainly makes you feel like you’re walking the streets of a different country.

 

 

History

Akaroa is Canterbury’s oldest town; The name Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for “Long Harbour”, which would be spelled “Whangaroa” in standard Māori. It was founded in August 1840 by Captain Jean François Langlois, a coloniser from France.

 

It has been suggested that the French interest in New Zealand sped up the initial British decision to annex the country. There were worries of French colonisation after Captain Langlois signed the deed for Akaroa, so by the time the French settlers arrived, the Treaty of Waitangi had already been signed by the Crown and Maori Chiefs earlier that year. This in turn made it the only French settlement in New Zealand.

 

Dolphin sightseeing

Speaking to local Hayley, from Akaroa Dolphins, gave us much insight regarding the unique nature of Akaroa as a township and community. She spoke about the Hector’s dolphin, informing us that Akaroa holds the largest concentrated population in the world. Hector’s dolphins are unique to the South Island and they only swim in up to 100m of water, so they are coastal marine mammals.

 

However, what we found most interesting was the unusual use of dogs on the dolphin spotting boats. Akaroa Dolphins employ four dogs that go out on the boats and spot the dolphins for the tour guides. This unique approach to dolphin spotting makes Akaroa appear even more quirky than it already is. Hayley proudly showed us Jed the Kelpie dog and told us how he’s had more than 180 puppies in his 3 years around the planet (busy boy).

Hayley also spoke about how Akaroa lies inside a volcanic crater rim, which makes Niko palms grow easily there due to the warmer climate.

 

 

Things to do:

If you’re planning a trip away, whether that’s a day trip or a date with a friend, then Akaroa would be a memorable location to explore, even if you have stumbled across it before.
First stop would be the beautiful Hilltop Café just on the peak of the hill, looking down into the bay. Its breathtaking view is so incredibly picturesque that it’s hard to look at, as it seems surreal. When looking down, the bay hums a song of a busy harmonised community just waiting to be explored.

 


The Hilltop Café offers warmth from the brisk outside, and serves authentic wood-fire pizza that fills the hard wooden rustic building up as well as your inner foodie. Once you’ve made your way down the hill you are greeted by Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory. It would be one of the quirky authentic places to stop by in Akaroa, having a wide display room showcasing the workers creating the cheese we all proudly indulge in. Taste testing is also strongly encouraged before buying and off cuts are incredibly cheap.


Once you’ve filled your boots up with cheese, make your way past the colourful boat sheds and grab a pic for the gram – they scream insta-worthy!

 


If you’re looking for another insta-worthy picture, then I’d strongly suggest visiting the lighthouse. It’s a historic landmark that was moved in three parts from its original location, as it was nearly toppled over into the sea. Its unique white exterior and red painted trimmings are nothing short of French inspired, making for a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a takeaway coffee.

 

 

Moving into the hub of the French inspired spot, it’s painted with the traditional blue, red and white flags, porches and hanging plants, taking you away to a quaint village. Every Saturday between the months October through till April, 9.30am- 1pm, they have a farmer’s market. Offering an abundance of home-grown produce, from lavender, fudge, jams, olives, and nuts – all the ingredients you need to go with your Barry’s Bay cheese!

 

As Akaroa produces a lot of their own produce, they even source their fish locally. A lot of their restaurants and cafes serve seafood inspired dishes, even their fish and chip store hits the spot! This is due to having salmon and mussel farms nearby, and a prime location for fishing as they head out and test the water PH levels every two weeks. Making sure it’s the cleanest and most well looked after bay is important! After all it is one of their main resources.

 

The prime spots to to eat lunch would be any one of the cafes and restaurants along the esplanade, as they not only offer great food, but an atmosphere that’s lit up by the sun and met by the view of the sea. If you’re looking for treats to take home from your short but sweet visit, I would suggest stopping at the famous fudge store, offering flavours like no other. From crème brulee, chocolate belgian to lavender, there’s a flavour that suits everyone!

 

Akaroa provides a great day trip or a place to stay over the weekend. Its rustic French vibes will surely bring a relaxing ambience to your trip, and if that doesn’t, the warmer weather and the beautiful scenery will. It’s a place to relax and let go. It’s a place to explore and have fun! And it’s a place to immerse yourself in that feels a world away.  

 

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