New Windsor, Auckland

14 days ago

Last chance to be in to win!

The Team from NZ House & Garden House Tours

Escape to the Bay of Islands on a weekend getaway with us! 🌞

We're giving away x4 NZ House & Garden House Tours - Bay of Islands tickets and two nights accommodation at Driftwood Seaside Escapes - one of the amazing Tour houses!

View the beautiful property on the tour, then be the … View more
Escape to the Bay of Islands on a weekend getaway with us! 🌞

We're giving away x4 NZ House & Garden House Tours - Bay of Islands tickets and two nights accommodation at Driftwood Seaside Escapes - one of the amazing Tour houses!

View the beautiful property on the tour, then be the envy of all tour-goers by spending two nights.

To be in the draw all you need to do is enter the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ raffle below. Give to an important cause this and be in to win! 💕

Find out more and enter here.

Raffle closes on 6th January.

15 days ago

A special offer from Cooper's Pet Kitchen

Cooper's Pet Kitchen

Use code NEIGHBOURLY and get 50% off your first order.

Try our premium New Zealand made dog food risk free with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s made with the natural goodness of grass-fed lamb and free of fillers & nasties. If your dog’s not wolfing it down after completing the … View more
Use code NEIGHBOURLY and get 50% off your first order.

Try our premium New Zealand made dog food risk free with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. It’s made with the natural goodness of grass-fed lamb and free of fillers & nasties. If your dog’s not wolfing it down after completing the transition period, we’ll refund you in full. Even the fussiest dogs are begging for more!

Available now on convenient personalised subscription – each order includes your dog’s own feeding recommendation & measuring cup.
Use code now

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15 days ago

Foul-smelling corpse flower blooms at Auckland Wintergardens

Caroline Williams Reporter from Central Leader

One of the world's rarest flowers, with a scent that has been compared to the smell of a rotting corpse, has bloomed at the Auckland Domain Wintergardens.
The amorphophallus titanum, better known as the corpse flower, is native to Sumatra, Indonesia, and blooms at notoriously unpredictable … View more
One of the world's rarest flowers, with a scent that has been compared to the smell of a rotting corpse, has bloomed at the Auckland Domain Wintergardens.
The amorphophallus titanum, better known as the corpse flower, is native to Sumatra, Indonesia, and blooms at notoriously unpredictable intervals.
During this time, the flower omits a foul-smelling stench which is so bad, people have been known to faint in its presence.
Thousands of people went to view the flower when it last bloomed in 2015.
The Wintergardens had extended their hours for those wanting to smell the corpse flower, who had until 9pm on Saturday and 7.30pm on Sunday. This time could be extended if there was demand.
Are you game enough to have a smell?

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15 days ago

13 of your most pressing questions on modern etiquette

Baptist from Avondale

Need advice on the newest etiquette rules? We’d like to cordially offer you answers.
By Steven Petrow

Modern etiquette

Are you unsure about what constitutes good manners these days? I don’t blame you – the times, they are a bit fraught, no? If you’re a man and you hold the door for a … View more
Need advice on the newest etiquette rules? We’d like to cordially offer you answers.
By Steven Petrow

Modern etiquette

Are you unsure about what constitutes good manners these days? I don’t blame you – the times, they are a bit fraught, no? If you’re a man and you hold the door for a woman, will you be thanked or called patronising? Will someone shut you down if you use a phrase that has suddenly become offensive? And don’t get me started about when it’s OK to use mobile phones.

Good manners used to mean simple courtesy and being kind. Today it seems we are haunted by the fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, and for good reason. Given the power of the Internet, a faux pas can mean losing a friend – or your job.

Covering the ins and outs of civil behaviour for the past 20-plus years, I have learned that, fortunately, good intentions never go out of style. Even better, science tells us that acts of kindness are contagious: If I treat you right, you’re more likely to treat the next person better. And from there, the ripples flow.

The dreaded office holiday party

Q: Do I really have to go to my office holiday party? I hate pretending I’m friends with people I wouldn’t invite to my own house.

A: Ugh. I used to hate office parties too. Forced frivolity. Frozen smiles. Too much bubbly. But now that I’ve mellowed with age, I try to “make every moment matter,” as any minister or meditation teacher urges. So yes, go. You might even enjoy yourself.

The main rule is to keep it professional, which will guide you in many ways: when to arrive (on time); what to wear (festive but still appropriate); how much to drink (minimal); how to behave (engage with others, get away from your clique, don’t look bored, don’t flirt); and when to leave (don’t be a hanger-on).

To hold or not to hold – the door

Q: My husband always opens doors for women (he’s 80). But the younger women cast him a look of pure contempt and brusquely rush past him without a thank-you. So sad. Why has such a basic kindness gone out of style?

A: Let me uncomplicate things: If I’m first to the door, I’m going to pull it open and let you go first, whether you’re a man or a woman. A push door can be awkward, but I’ll usually go through first (with my most charming “Allow me!”) and then hold it for you. I give the same advice to my sister (and all women): First one there opens the door and holds it. No racing to be the door opener, no lingering in hopes of finding a knight in shining armour. How hard is that?

The one time to break the rule: If the person ahead of you needs assistance or is much older, step up and open the door. And for those of us on the receiving end of a door kindness, I hope we all say “Thank you” as we glide by.

As for your husband, what can I say? He’s a charmer – and a keeper.

Not all handicaps are obvious

Q: I often hear people disparage those who use handicapped-only parking spots, as if they are cheating. My mother injured her neck in a car accident and has permanent damage in her feet, legs, knees and hips that makes walking difficult. To a stranger, she looks fine, but parking at a distance is a challenge. Does she need to carry a doctor’s note to show busybodies?

A: No! It can’t be said often enough: Not all disabilities are visible. I recently read about a college student who was undergoing radiation for cancer, entitling her to use the placard for handicapped parking. She returned to her car to find multiple notes that read “SHAME ON YOU” and “NOT REALLY HANDICAPPED JUST LAZY.” She posted them on Twitter, adding, “Reminder that you have no idea what’s going on in people’s lives.” If your mum has a disability that entitles her to a placard, she has a right to use it, no doctor’s note required.

If you’re a wannabe enforcer who suspects a fake, please leave the job to parking officials and go about your business without shaming anyone – which is my advice for most situations.

Elevator etiquette

Q: What is the protocol on elevators? Do you exit and hold the doors for others, or just exit and leave? Do you let women get off first, even if they’re in the back?

A: My first rule: Hurry up! Your fellow riders must not be held captive while we debate who leaves first. Second rule: The one closest to the doors gets off first, regardless of gender. Third: You know how on planes they allow “those needing extra assistance” to board first? Ditto for elevators. If you see anyone with packages, kids in tow, or a visible injury, make sure those folks get off safely ahead of you and hold the “doors open” button so they don’t close.

Don’t call me “honey” or “young’un”

Q: At doctors’ offices or local restaurants, the clerk or cashier – always younger than me – often calls me “honey” or “sweetheart.” This burns me up! I don’t think it’s acceptable for someone younger to speak to me in this manner. What can I say to these people that won’t make them feel bad?

A: Hello, generation gap! Believe me, I wasn’t happy when millennials started calling me “sir” as soon as the salt exceeded the pepper in my hair, but I didn’t take umbrage. I figured it was better than, “Hey, you! Old man!” Yes, try to give a young person a break.

But I do get my knickers in a twist when I hear someone use a term of endearment to a client or guest, such as when my own doctor repeatedly called me “muffin” (which was not only unprofessional but also a little bit creepy). I finally got a different doctor, although I wish I’d just said, “Please, call me Steven.” And that’s my advice to you: Introduce yourself and ask people to call you by your name (first or last). Learn theirs too. We all need to feel more connected.

No thank-you notes = no more gifts?

Q: How can I teach my young grandchildren manners without coming off as meddling? It especially bothers me when I give a child a gift and there is no acknowledgment from the parent or the child. What are my options?

A: I’m the quick-witted uncle to three nieces, which means I rely on humour and sarcasm to make a point. One time, several weeks after the holidays had gone by, I emailed one of the girls: “I can’t thank you enough for your thank-you note.” That prompted a quick, and guilty, thank-you from her. Then there was the year I boycotted them: no gifts. You bet they noticed, and they did a fine job with their thank-you emails once I resumed gift giving. (Yes, email is just fine, especially when compared with the alternative – no response.)

But I learned a lesson, too: I try my best to thank those who express kindness to me, whether it’s a flight attendant helping me with a bag or these same nieces – now young adults – who recently made an amazing dinner for our family. There’s a theory that gratitude begets gratitude, that it’s actually contagious. I believe that now.

Can I confiscate guests’ phones before dinner?

Q: It bugs me when people use their phones in social situations when they should be paying attention to those by their sides. For instance, guests often have their phones at the table when they are dining in my home. I now have a basket by the door, and I ask guests to leave their phones in it during dinner. Am I overstepping?

A: My parents had a mantra about guests: “My house, my rules.” I learned well, and now I ask my own guests to use coasters, clear their places after dinner, and strip their beds before departure. My whole family is like this. Before one recent get-together, I received an email declaring the dinner table “a politics-free zone.” Break the rule and you’re doing the dishes, it warned.

So along with your next invitation, send a note such as this: “Let’s talk to each other at the dinner table next week. Please silence your phone and keep it off the table.” Humour can help here, too: “Think your mobile phone goes to the right of the knife? It actually doesn’t. It goes in your pocket. Or in my pretty little basket by the front door. Break the rule, and it’s kitchen duty for you!”

Texting and driving is unsafe at any speed

Q: How do you get across to people that they’re not driving safely when they are preoccupied with mobile phones? Texting, talking – it doesn’t matter. Your attention is diverted, and you’re putting people – me – in danger.

A: This should be easy: Multiple studies have concluded that drivers using phones to talk or text (even hands-free) are more likely to crash than those who drink and drive. Would you get in a friend’s car if you knew he or she had been drinking? No – you’d take away the keys or call for a taxi. But I’ll admit this is hard, and I have a range of responses of what to say or do.

Nonconfrontational: “Hey, how about if I text for you? Just tell me what you want to say.”

Cautionary: Deliver a warning, such as “I think I just saw a police car behind us. I know you don’t want to get a ticket.”

More assertive: “You’re making me nervous when you text and drive. Can you wait until we get there?”

The nuclear option: “I can’t ride with you anymore, because you text and drive.” You can even blame it on someone else: “My dad/girlfriend/daughter/husband says I’m not to be in the car with you until you promise not to text while driving.”

Ladies and gentlemen, stop saying “ladies and gentlemen”

Q: Can you still address a group as “ladies and gentlemen”? It seems like that might be misconstrued nowadays.

A: I read that announcements on the London Tube now begin with “Hello, everyone.” Management says that this new language is more welcoming than “ladies and gentlemen,” which they say “belongs to yesterday.” These days, “ladies” are more apt to prefer being called women and “gentlemen,” men. The beauty of “Hello, everyone” is that it speaks to all of us, including men, women and those who identify as gender-fluid or nonbinary. We must all mind the gap, so it’s kind to include all of us – regardless of our pronouns – in the warning.

Ouch! Cramped knees on a plane

Q: On a recent flight, the person in front of me reclined his seat, hurting my knees. I was afraid to ask him to inch it forward. What can I do next time? Must I suffer?

A: Not long ago, I was on a flight when the fellow in front of me lurched his seat back. He didn’t look. He didn’t think. And he knocked my wine all over the seat tray (and me). I wasn’t on my best behaviour when I gave his seat a kick and shouted, “Pay attention. You’re not the only one cramped on this flight.” (To his credit, he apologised profusely.) If I had been given a do-over, I would have tapped him on the shoulder and said nicely, “You probably don’t realise it, but you knocked over my wineglass when you reclined. Could you move your seat forward?”

But part of my upset was spot-on. Pay attention! Before you recline, take notice of who’s behind you. Is it someone with an injury or who is really tall or perhaps overweight? Is it a parent with a lap baby? If so, don’t recline. (And don’t recline during meals.) If the extra few centimetres you get by reclining is really worth bothering the person behind you, at least give fair warning that you’re about to crush her knees or spill his drink.

Regifting rules

Q: Over the years, I’ve been given a lot of useless stuff: a clunky mug, a peace-sign cookie mould, an expensive photography book still wrapped in plastic. Can I regift?

A: Yes, but be careful. Last Christmas, I regifted a holiday bouquet decked out with a unique, festive ribbon. Hours later, it appeared on Facebook, with a public thanks to me. That was a new faux pas! As a power regifter – with a “regifting” shelf in a closet – I start by removing the tags and unwrapping the gift to make sure there’s no hidden card or inscription. Then I label each with a sticky note as a reminder of who gave it to me. I also try to be thoughtful; I’m not going to give a wool scarf to a relative in Florida. But I would give that cookie mould to a baker friend.

Am I being cheap?

Q: I don’t drink, and I’m tired of paying for my friends’ cocktails. When we split the check equally, I’m left having to chip in more than my share. I don’t want to offend anyone – or appear cheap – but I don’t want to pay for their drinks. How do I do that?

A: Nobody should have to pay for expensive manhattans or martinis they didn’t drink. That’s not being cheap; it’s being fair. Because some of my dining companions don’t drink, I’ll take the bill as soon as it’s placed on the table and calculate my own tab (including any manhattans I drank, plus a healthy tip). I really appreciate friends who take care of their friends and say something like, “So-and-so didn’t drink any of the wine, so let’s exclude that from his share.” Nice!

You could also ask your server for a separate check before you order (if that’s the restaurant’s policy). If you’re feeling tech-savvy, you can use one of the many new tab-splitting apps, such as Splitwise and Settle Up. I especially like Splitwise because it’s so easy. Download it to your phone, then add your friends. When you get the bill, enter each item and note whether it’s to be “paid by you” or “split equally.” The app does the rest, including tax and tip. Tech in the service of manners – I love it!

Who pays for a broken phone?

Q: My son was roughhousing near a pool with a friend who had left her phone near the edge. During their horseplay, the girl’s phone got kicked into the water and ruined, and her parents are asking me to pay for the replacement ($700!). If the kid left her phone at the edge of the pool, I don’t feel my son is responsible for it. Do I have to pay for this? – Anonymous

A: Yes – but the misbehaviour by both kids contributed to the phone’s demise, so both should pay for it. Agree to pay $350, with a note explaining why, and then set up a repayment program with your son, who needs to learn the consequences of horseplay.

16 days ago

Win 1 of 25 Meloyelo E-Bikes

Reporter Stuff

This summer we’re giving away 25 Meloyelo E-Bikes worth over $70,000.

To be in to win, simply purchase a Stuff newspaper, find the daily code and enter it at stuff.co.nz/meloyelo

You’ll find the daily codes in the Sunday Star Times, Sunday News, The Dominion Post, The Press, Waikato … View more
This summer we’re giving away 25 Meloyelo E-Bikes worth over $70,000.

To be in to win, simply purchase a Stuff newspaper, find the daily code and enter it at stuff.co.nz/meloyelo

You’ll find the daily codes in the Sunday Star Times, Sunday News, The Dominion Post, The Press, Waikato Times, Southland Times, Taranaki Daily News, Manawatu Standard, Nelson Mail, Timaru Herald and the Marlborough Express.

Competition ends 19th January 2020.
Learn more

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16 days ago

Recipe: Crepe Batter (Lemon & Sugar)

New Zealand School of Food & Wine

Crepes are quick to make and easy to prepare. They can be made in advance, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a few days or frozen for use in the future. They can be used for both savoury and sweet courses and crepes are one of those classic recipes that teach young people to cook … View moreCrepes are quick to make and easy to prepare. They can be made in advance, covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a few days or frozen for use in the future. They can be used for both savoury and sweet courses and crepes are one of those classic recipes that teach young people to cook something straight-forward for themselves at home.
Ingredients
2 Eggs

1 pinch Salt

120 g Plain flour

300 ml Milk

1 Tbsp Vegetable oil, (canola, rice bran) plus extra for cooking

¼ cup Caster sugar

1 Lemon


Check out the full recipe on the link below.

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16 days ago

Free fairy hunting garden adventure!

Rendell McIntosh from Alberton

Grab your pixie ears, pop on your fairy wings and come along to experience the magic of The Enchanted Walk at historic Alberton!

Fairies, gnomes and elves have taken up residence in the garden with over 30 secret doors and hidden homes tucked under plants and in tree trunks, waiting to be … View more
Grab your pixie ears, pop on your fairy wings and come along to experience the magic of The Enchanted Walk at historic Alberton!

Fairies, gnomes and elves have taken up residence in the garden with over 30 secret doors and hidden homes tucked under plants and in tree trunks, waiting to be discovered. Enter the colouring competition and bring a painted pebble to add or swap in the Magical Stone Garden.

Bring along a picnic and enjoy the peaceful setting of the grounds.

This free community art project by Dizzie Pixie Designs and Rohan Sauvage has been made possible with the support of the Albert-Eden Local Board.

Alberton, 100 Mt Albert Road, Mt Albert. 846 7367. www.alberton.co.nz...
Sunday 1 December 2019- Sunday 1 March 2020, Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30-4:30. Please note that Alberton is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Enchanted Walk is free entry. Normal admission to view the house applies ( $10 adults, Children & Heritage New Zealand members free).

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17 days ago

Moving clearout

Tracey from Lynfield

Everything has to go

Negotiable

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17 days ago

50c CDS

Tracey from Lynfield

2 for $1 CDs

Price: $1

20 days ago

GIFTED ** L Shape sofa ** GIFTED

Kim Neighbourly Lead from Mount Roskill

Has been GIFTED to a deserving family.

We are upgrading so we are selling our current sofa. Good condition. No structural damage. Few marks here and there with wear and tear. Grey cushioning and dark brown leather. Quite large. We have the separated in two pieces. Both big enough to use for … View more
Has been GIFTED to a deserving family.

We are upgrading so we are selling our current sofa. Good condition. No structural damage. Few marks here and there with wear and tear. Grey cushioning and dark brown leather. Quite large. We have the separated in two pieces. Both big enough to use for sleepovers and have been used well. Paid $1,200 for it. Selling $150 to make room. Firm. Not negotiable. Grab yourself a bargain. My lack of storage space can be your gain!

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17 days ago

Driveway repair

Shekhar from New Windsor

I am planning to repair my driveway and walkway in my property. Please suggest me good, reliable and economical builder who can fix my driveway and walkway. Thanks

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