This month marks the bicentenary of the arrival of the first Pakeha to settle permanently in New Zealand, in the Bay of Islands in Northland. Charmian Smith talks to Dr Angela Middleton about her new book, Pewhairangi: Bay of Islands Missions and Maori 1814-1845.
While Frances Hodgkins may be the best known of Dunedin's painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, her contemporary Grace Joel also had a distinguished career in London and Paris. Charmian Smith talks to Joel Schiff, author of Grace Joel: An impressionist portrait.
A simple, fruity red with lots of flavour is ideal for barbecues. Try some of these.
Fans of 2012 Masterchef winner Chelsea Winter will want to check out her new cookbook, Everyday delicious (Random House).
Essential for wine lovers, Michael Cooper's annual Buyer's Guide New Zealand Wines 2015 (Upstart Press), now in its 23rd edition, is more upbeat than in recent years.
Our kitchens have changed remarkably over the past century, from three-room complexes with scullery, pantry and kitchen where a housewife might spend all day cooking, through small single-room kitchens to large modern open-plan ones, which look professional but may seldom be used. Charmian Smith talks to Prof Helen Leach about her new book Kitchens.
This year's Burns Fellow at Otago University came to writing by a circuitous route. Charmian Smith talks to Irish-born writer Majella Cullinane.
This tasting includes several unusual but exciting white varieties that show great promise and are worth exploring. Look out for them in good restaurants and wine shops or browse online.
When Tranja Fry of Fossil Ridge Wines in Nelson produced some of her own freshly roasted macadamia nuts and a flowering stalk from one of the trees behind the vineyard restaurant, it struck me that Tasman Bay has a remarkably mild climate for the South Island.
Dunedin Public Art Gallery's visiting artist, Erica van Zon, spent eight weeks here in July and August but her exhibition ''Dogwood Days'' opens this weekend. She tells Charmian Smith about her love for the futile and fake on fake.
Pinot gris is better than it used to be, thank goodness. In the past year or so I've noticed many have interesting textures and are better balanced than they once were.
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's last concert for the year, ''In the Hall of the Mountain King'', will be conducted by Ben Northey. Charmian Smith talks to the Australian conductor.
Pinot noir usually needs a year or two to show its best, so it's no wonder many of the 2013s in this tasting tasted better a day or two after they were opened when they'd mellowed and integrated a little.
Many small to medium-sized family-owned vineyards make fine wine and two I visited recently - Rippon in Central Otago and Dog Point in Marlborough - were celebrating milestones.
Ladies Night hasn't been seen at the Fortune Theatre for 20 years so it's time for a revisit, says Lara Macgregor, artistic director of the Fortune Theatre. Charmian Smith reports.
Most of the better 2014 sauvignon blancs will benefit from another few months or a year's bottle age, but some deliciously potent ones turned up in this group.
Every Labour weekend for the past six years the Alexandra basin winegrowers have held a new-release tasting in Clyde.
A gorgeously illustrated coffee-table book, Movida Solera (Penguin) explores the food of Andalusia.
Putting on a full ballet production is always a big job but A Christmas Carol is bigger than most, ballet master Daniel de Andrade tells Charmian Smith.
A friend recently told me he was enjoying Hawkes Bay syrah as a change from pinot noir. It can be exciting to explore other varieties. Here are some syrah/shiraz, merlot and cabernet blends.