The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

So, we asked some questions. And we hoped that candidates would get in touch with us. In previous years, we’d obtained a spreadsheet of every single candidate and emailed them, and frankly, working as a group, it was a bloody lot of work getting their answers back, trying to hunt them down, trying to make sure we didn’t miss out anyone. Last election we decided that we’d just advertise our questions through our channels and let those who were clued in to the Wellingtonista have an advantage, so we did that again this year. Maybe we could have done better, but we didn’t.

There was also talk within the ‘ista about our 25 word limit on candidates’ answers and whether or not we should still have that rule. Unhelpfully, that came after we’d asked the questions. So, as we did notoriously did to Kerry in 2010, we have upheld the limit that we specified (disclaimer – there may have been slight miscounting due to cats trying to climb on laps etc).

We also do not have any coverage of anything related to District Health Boards, because honestly, we don’t know much about it. If you do, we’d love to hear from you – maybe a guest post?

All that aside, we got three sets of answers, and they are all useful for the upcoming decision-making we need to do. We may editorialise, probably mostly over on Twitter, but for now, these answers are published straight up in alphabetical order.

Please vote. It’s important.


Review: Vanilla Miraka

by librarykris on September 30, 2016 in Theatre

Performer Hayley Sproull tells her story of a “white wahine’s deeply disengaged bicultural heritage”. Recognising that her Nana’s death meant a loss of connection to her Māori heritage this is a “comedic exploration of her embarrassed ignorance.” (Quotes from the programme.)
An elegant set in white pegboard – on one side a whare shape, on the other swiveling panels – with a few props is all Sproull needs to show us the awkwardness of looking white, having Maori whakapapa and having little idea of how to connect with Māori culture. For those of us with a similar background there are many, many moments of recognition. Sproull is in fine voice with the songs a key element of what makes this show work for me. She also judges her physicality and stance very well with tiny gestures conveying so much.
An energetic lighting design by Nick Zwart (also set designer) is ably controlled by technical operator Michael Trigg and supported by nice sound design by Matt Eller. Jo Randerson is the script mentor and director which shows in the tight script structure and nifty use of the stage.


Review: The grass is meaner

by librarykris on September 22, 2016 in Theatre

Alec and Mary McPherson run a little cafe in scenic New Zealand called House of Mince. Mary is a little tired of the monotony of their life but she’s happy enough. Then a man known as Donkey Boy visits London-based crime lord Vic Snow, and Alec and Mary’s lives won’t be the same.

Written by Edward Campbell, who plays Alec, and directed by Geraldine Brophy, this is an entertaining show. Campbell is partnered by Julie Edwards as Mary McPherson. Campbell uses his physicality and vocal skills to embody the many facets of his character while Edwards is enjoyably pragmatic. (Hat tip to Costume designer Hanna McKenzie Doornebosch for Mary’s costumes in particular.)  Hamish Boyle plays Donkey Boy as a cocky opportunist with an almost gleeful disregard for other people. Phil Grieve is Vic Snow. He spends most of his time sitting still but it’s possible to feel the waves of menace rolling off him when it’s needed. Scott Ransom is Pom. He has a good sense of the character with shifts in mood that feel genuine. Stage manager Brian Hotter has a quick turn on stage for a small but crucial role.

Brophy’s direction ensures that the pace is kept up as the story bounces from scene to scene.  The set by Ross Joblin and lighting by Tony Black cleverly support the action while sound by Geoffrey Hern rounds out the picture.

For all your crime story needs.


A night at the Bolton Hotel

by Alan on September 21, 2016 in Miscellaneous, Weather

Back in August, our editor Jo attended the Bolton Hotel‘s Wellington on a Plate event and enjoyed it mightily. In the ensuing interplay on Twitter, the Hotel invited one of us to stay the night so that we could experience their hospitality more fully. I quickly took up the offer on the behalf of the Wellingtonista… and so it was that R. and I found ourselves dropping the kids off for the night and checking in to the Bolton Hotel on an incredibly miserable and wet Saturday evening.

The Bolton is, as you might expect, just off the Terrace in Bolton Street. It’s a funny area of town – very public servantish – that is becoming more interesting at nights and weekends as new bars and restaurants open.

But given the weather, there’d be no romantic evening walks in the Botanic Gardens or in Bolton Street cemetery for us. We had no inclination to wander over to Tinakori Road to the cluster of pubs and restaurants there, or up the Terrace to find those new spots the other Wellingtonistæ talk about, nor even to go for a pub meal somewhere like the Backbencher or the Thistle Inn. And certainly not a flicker of interest in trekking uptown to Courtenay Place. No, it had been a long week and we wanted quiet. So how could the Bolton make a Saturday night indoors even better?

A lot, as it turned out.

Keep reading →


More posts…

Candidates, we want to hear from you – Election 2016

by Guest September 5, 2016

Hey, did y’all know there’s an election coming up? Yes, there is! And once again, we want to provide you with some decent coverage of the issues we care about. Local body politics is IMPORTANT. Once again, we’re asking candidates to contact us with the answers to the questions below. We’re doing things a little […]

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À la carless – The progressive dinner by e-bike

by Herbertimo August 25, 2016

Wellington on a Plate is nearing it’s end for 2016 but there’s still a good weekend’s worth of time to get out and about and try the things you’ve been meaning to, but haven’t got around to yet. I was lucky enough to be able to do that on an electric bicycle and it’s one […]

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Two shows on now in Wellington

by librarykris August 25, 2016

First up, a brilliant interpretation of a Shakespeare’s Richard II. Richard II is a few years into his kingship and is starting to flex his power. After some dubious decisions regarding his empire he takes the chance to seize land after the death of John of Gaunt  thus setting Gaunt’s child, Bolingbroke, against him. Richard […]

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So much on our plates!

by Tom August 25, 2016

There’s only three days left of Wellington on a Plate, but there’s still a vast array of festival dishes and burgers to choose from, so if you can face the combined WOAP and rugby crowds this weekend, here are some of our highlights. Five & Dime hide a surprisingly sophisticated kitchen behind their tiny bar, and their Dine […]

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Books, Books & more Books

by Sue Tyler August 24, 2016

It’s only 3 days till DCM‘s very delightful & very Large annual bookfair. Over 75,000 have been sorted and packed ready for sale starting 8am this Saturday at Shed 6, Queen’s Wharf. This year it’s a one day event running for 12 hours from 8am till 8pm. At the bookfair you’ll find classics, cook books, […]

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WOAP: Burger, burger, bugger!

by Joanna August 22, 2016

TL:DR: we ate two pretty decent burgers and will never return to Foxglove. Pig Mac at the Featherston On Friday at lunchtime I knew I had to eat something WOAPy in order to keep up the reviews, but was craving freshness. I thought I might be able to get into Annam without a booking, because […]

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