Category Archives: Issue 1

Angie Farrow

A bit like playing God

“I love writing plays because you get to invent just about everything within the world of drama. Theatre works in three dimensions, so when you see your play in action, you are watching a living, breathing experience that you have created. It is a bit like playing God.”

Author, playwright and teacher, Dr Angie Farrow has been involved with theatre since she was a student when she became addicted to the process. “I think theatre chose me. It is addictive because it is such a total, all-consuming process. Nothing short of dedication will do. It grabs you by the throat and won’t let go until the work is over. Then you think you will never do it again. A few weeks later, you find yourself searching for the next theatre ‘fix’,” says Angie.

After becoming involved in the process of theatre-making when she was a student, teaching was a natural progression for her. “Writing develops my curiosity and my creative instinct. Teaching lets me share what I know with others.”

After completing her teaching degree in Britain, Angie moved to Manawatū, where she focuses on theatre and creativity at Massey University in Palmerston North. She has won several awards that recognise Angie’s enthusiasm and dedication to her students and the arts. These awards include the National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, and she was voted Lecturer of the Year in 2011 by Massey University students.

The arts help us to know each other more deeply.

“Teaching is a great privilege. I feel very lucky to be at Massey and to be able to teach the things I love. At best, teaching is an art form because you have to be instinctive as well as have a strong knowledge base.”

Angie has won numerous national and international awards for her theatre and radio plays. Some of these awards include first prize in the Canadian international playwriting competition. Her theatre works have been performed in Canada, Singapore, Australia and India.

She has been an advocate for the arts both at Massey University and in the community for many years. Her creative interests led to the development of the Festival of New Arts, which gives artists in Manawatū a forum for presenting their work. Angie is also the driving force behind Summer Shakespeare, a production that gives people in Manawatū a chance to perform on stage.

“The arts help us to know each other more deeply,” she says. “They can be a gateway to new knowledge, new directions; they give us an anchor into the world or the imagination; they help us to dream and make some of the dreams happen.”

Tim working his magic

Malt of the Earth

A local farmer at Hiwinui Country Estate, Tim Stewart is the only commercial craft beer brewer in Manawatū. He developed an interest in beer brewing after spending time in Turriff, the whisky region of Scotland, and began producing his own craft beer when he returned home.

At 16 years old Tim left school and began working on the family farm, where he became interested in cropping. He left the family farm at age 18 to work as an agricultural contractor in north-east Scotland during their summer months, where he learnt a lot about the whisky distillation process, which is very similar to brewing unhopped beer. “We grew barley at home and I could see that I could easily make beer and get more value from the grain,” Tim says.

The team - Tim and SimoneTim began brewing 15 years ago while working on the family farm, and designed a nano brewing system that enabled him to make and test different flavours. Success at the Central Districts Field Days in March this year marked the beginning of the family-owned Stewart Brewing Co.

Tim and his wife Simone, who is in charge of marketing and sales, met through mutual friends as teenagers. After a long-distance relationship for two years, Simone moved to Palmerston North to complete her marketing degree at Massey University. They have been together for 15 years and have four children.

 It’s all about timing. Being patient and letting the beer do its own thing in its own time is so important. Timing is everything.

Currently Tim brews his beer out of Massey University’s Microbrewery, at the food science and technology unit, where he is able to produce commercial quantities.

While guests at Hiwinui Country Estate have been enjoying Stewart Brewing Co.’s craft beer for some time now, the increasing popularity and demand has meant that the beer is becoming more widely available.

Top of the HopsTim has so far brewed two different types of beer. A German/New Zealand-styled pilsner, called ‘Top of the Hops’ was Tim’s first commercially brewed beer and he enjoyed success at the Central Districts Field Days, where it sold out.

The brewing process requires “a lot of time and a lot of waiting”, Tim says. The beer needs to ferment for 10-14 days while the brewing process takes about five to eight weeks depending on the type of beer. Once the brewing process is complete the beer needs to be bottled and labelled.

“It’s all about timing. Being patient and letting the beer do its own thing in its own time is so important. Timing is everything.”

RKA Founders


A group of pupils at Palmerston North Boys’ High School were finding it a challenge to afford the brands they wanted without being allowed
after-school jobs. It was during an online shopping trip that George Smith and friends decided they’d make their own label – and Rapt Kid Apparel (RKA) was born.

“We were pretty rapt with the idea,” George says, hinting at the origin of the RKA’s name. “From there we just started designing our own things, making our own clothes and it all just came together.”

RAPT-2The year 13 students all met in the College House hostel as boarders, play for the school’s first XV rugby team and have been friends ever since. They are also now partners in an endeavour that’s gaining momentum.

The RKA range includes printed tees, hoodies, sweatshirts and caps, with dress-shirts and chinos recently added to the mix. The group pride themselves on sourcing New Zealand-made goods and having the apparel printed locally.

At the moment the boys sell through the school and the label’s Facebook page. They’re currently in discussions with outlet stores and surf and snow shops that are interested in stocking the range.

“We’ve made quite a few sales through school and we see those boys wearing them around, so hopefully it will catch on at other schools,” George says. “We’ve sold to a few boys at Rathkeale; they’re trying to get sales going down there.”

He says the school has been very supportive of the venture, with the commerce department guiding them along the way. “Our mentor Sean Kenzie has a vast knowledge of commerce and is definitely our secret weapon.

Our point of difference is that these are designs by us for people like us.

“When we had the designs done and printed up, we put them on Facebook and people seemed pretty interested in them. We’ve had really good support the whole way, and our business teacher approached us to ask if we wanted to enter the Young Enterprise Scheme and get ourselves some university credits. We took that on with open arms and here we are now.”

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is a year-long experiential business programme for years 12 and 13 pupils. Teams have the opportunity to put theory into practice by creating their own businesses, developing real products or services and making real profits or losses.

Assisted by a teacher, a regional coordinator and a business mentor, pupils experience all the challenges and triumphs associated with business ownership.

As part of RKA’s involvement in the scheme, coordinated locally through economic development agency Vision Manawatu with the Young Enterprise Trust, the boys had to front up to a
“Dragon’s Den” and pitch their idea to a panel of judges for a share of $1500 sponsorship money.

“We had to present to the judges who we were and what we were trying to do, and show them our products and stuff like that,” George says. “We had to show that we’re different from other groups – that we are different from all the other brands out there, and that we have a point of difference.”

RAPT-3The “Dragons” Lyn McCurdy, director of business agency Third Bearing, Manawatu Standard Editor Michael Cummings and UCOL Chief Financial Officer Darryl Purdy heard from each team for five minutes and each had $500 to award to the one that impressed them the most.

They awarded George’s presentation the Dragons’ share of $1000, with the remaining $500 going to a team from Wanganui Collegiate who had developed support services for people needing computer and technology advice.

“Our point of difference is that these are designs by us for people like us,” George says. “We’re trying to have more affordable prices than all the other branded gear out there and it’s something we want to stick to.

“To have people believe in our vision and buy into what we’re trying to achieve is a big motivator for us,” he says.

To have people believe in our vision and buy into what we’re trying to achieve is a big motivator for us.

And motivated they are. Turning up bright and early for their first professional photo-shoot with a full kit of gear, the boys enthusiasm took over both in front of, and behind, the camera. Keeping their loyal fans in the loop, a behind-the-scenes snapshot was uploaded to the brand’s Facebook page in no time.

The boys embrace their different walks of life, and while they’ll be venturing out into various fields such as forestry, teaching, aviation and business when they finish school, they’re committed to keeping RKA alive.

“We’re serious about this. Our goal is to establish the RKA brand as a leader in the New Zealand fashion market among some of the greats such as Federation, Huffer, RPM and Lower.”