Paralympic champion Dame Sophie Pascoe on what winning really means to her

New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian, Sophie Pascoe, is a world-class athlete who has accumulated accolades both in and outside of the pool. But it was in the ebbs and flow of living through a pandemic — in the lead up to the postponed Tokyo Paralympics — that the swimmer found her purpose.

Pascoe took home four medals in Japan, the most notable of which was winning gold after pushing herself to the limit for the 200m SM9 individual medley. The real world-first was that the sports star finally felt satisfied as she stood on the champions’ podium. Here, the newly minted Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit shares the importance of personal pride, and overcoming prejudice.

I grew up on a lifestyle block in Halswell in Christchurch, with a very close and loving family. At the age of two-and-a-half, I was involved in a lawnmower accident. My left leg, below the knee, needed to be amputated, and then my right leg has severe scarring due to loss of muscle and nerve damage. 

My family didn’t let my disability hold me back,with my parents treating me no different to my older sister. If I couldn’t do something my able-bodied peers could, they challenged me to find my own way. I think that’s really shown through my life. 

Being outgoing and adventurous, I entered what was then known as the Crippled Children’s Society Games at the age of eight. I did all of them, but my talent showed through in the pool. Down the other end was Roly Crichton, who told us that I could potentially represent New Zealand. We signed up the next day, and here I am — 20 years later — with the same coach, and 19 Paralympic medals.

Athletes are used to being completely prepared. I had very ambitious goals leading into Tokyo 2020, but then those expectations went out the window. I wasn’t in a pool for three months due to lockdown.

I’ve learned the implications of mental health, especially over this past year when the Games were postponed. Coming out of lockdown, our country got back to normality quickly, however, it didn’t feel that way for me. I worked a lot on my mental wellbeing with a crucial support team around me. It’s been an absolute journey of strength and resilience and courage. I learned that who you are as a person has to come first. When you are confident as a person, and you’re confident as an athlete — then you’re unbeatable.

The biggest pressure I deal with is my own expectations. During previous games, I was never fully satisfied, even though I won gold medals. This time, it really had to be a journey experience to the point where the biggest goal I achieved was getting on the plane to Tokyo. Then, I treated every race like it was the last race. 

People aren’t going to remember how many medals I won. They’re going to remember how I made them feel. And that is more powerful than what I did physically. 

I hope to get into the fashion business. I have always wanted to and now with the help of my life advisor and my support network (who encouraged me to apply as a mentee as part of the Ernst & Young’s Women and Business Network), I’ve become this confident person who wants to excel in the business world. It’s a hard industry, but I know how to persevere through challenges and adversity. I hope that everyone will see me around, outside of the pool in a Sophie Pascoe capacity.

I believe one of the best things about racing is the adrenaline and what comes with that rush. Some people pay money to have that, through a bungee jump or jumping out of a plane, but I get to do that for a living. 

There’s a general time to psych people out, prior to getting in the pool. I’ve always been really good at being able to play my opponents out, almost to a pre-race. I think my competitors would describe me as respected, yet intimidating. 

I’m an absolute advocate for equality for people living with disabilities. I’d love to see that slowly build into equality over all areas in the world.

I’m very humbled to be in a position that comes with being a household name and being able to use my voice. I’ve always been a person of honesty and integrity and I try and share as much of that as possible. 

The biggest lessonI’ve taken on board over the past year is to be kind to myself, and that it’s okay to be vulnerable. Life throws really big curveballs, but it’s knowing that you’ll come out the other side of it proud. 

There’s a deeper meaning of why people watch the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games; it’s the stories of those people. That’s the inspiring part. 

In the pool, I’m very much on autopilot — but in that last 10 metres, I do have to mentally kick in and tell myself what I’ve got to do to get to that wall. When you execute on point, it’s a phenomenal feeling. That’s what I love — and then turning around and seeing the outcome.

In Tokyo, I wanted to leave it all out there. I wanted those races to be part of my legacy. I’m a fighter and I know what I want and I’ll go out and get it. When it gets really tough, you’ve got to kick in for survival. And that’s what it felt like, especially in that last 10m of the 200m. Whether I needed oxygen and medical support for a good hour afterwards — that’s worth it. You see some negative feedback on that, but then for the majority, it’s positive. I want the next generation coming through to know that not everything is simple, easy or given to you. Those are races I’m going to remember for a lifetime. I didn’t get handed it, I worked bloody hard for that.

The Tokyo medals, in particular, are really special. I really got to embrace the podium, listen to the national anthem and be proud of myself. I walk away so satisfied looking at these medals because they are precious. If I could break them up into little pieces and give them to everybody, I would. It’s nice to be able to have something to show my support network — because they are a part of that.

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From Balenciaga’s figurative Hourglass to Louis Vuitton’s curvaceous Loop, these instant It-bags are made to move with the female form. Cutting unique shapes that add sculpture and a cult of personality, such shape-shifting bags are best worn hugged close to the body.

Givenchy Cut Out bag from Faradays.

Clockwise: Padded nappa handbag from Prada, Hourglass Top Handle bag from Balenciaga, Structure bag from Bottega Veneta, Loop Monogram Canvas bag from Louis Vuitton.

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Faradays opens its flagship bar, a sumptuous oasis of delicious bites and delectable pours

Having graced us with its presence in Parnell since November last year, luxury emporium and gallery Faradays has now added another enticing facet to its offering, with the opening of Faraday’s Bar. 

Should you have worked up an appetite or a thirst while perusing the likes of Givenchy and Alaïa, Christian Louboutin, Loewe and more from throughout Faradays’ stunning retail space, the in-house bar is the ultimate destination for delicious relaxation. 

Designed, like the rest of the store has been, by Cheshire Architects, all-natural materials make for tactile comfort. Sit back on custom Italian Henge leather seating, and be surrounded by silk, wool and canvas cloth textures, brass fixtures, tables made of Patagonian and Norwegian marble, and Te Kuiti limestone.

As befitting the emporium’s selection of fashion, homewares, beauty and art, the menu at Faraday’s Bar is suitably high calibre. The drinks selection champions French wines from Maison Vauron, such as the heady Château Margaux (Premier Grand Cru Classé) — voted among the top one percent of wines in the world — and the buttery, complex Etienne Sauzet Les Combettes. 

From Italy and New Zealand, there are outstanding pours from Tenuta San Guido and Craggy Range. The Champagne list is a marvel — no surprise, given Faraday’s Bar is the Southern Hemisphere’s flagship for Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame. Find offerings from the Maisons of Ruinart, Krug and Dom Pérignon, including limited-edition pours found at no other bar in the country.

Food-wise, Barulho head chef Sarah Ginella has created a menu of delicious snacks like wood-fired bread with smoked tomato butter, market fish crudo, marinated octopus, chicken liver parfait and French fries with truffle crème. There are also larger plates like tuna Niçoise and a Wagyu cheeseburger — all served on custom Ginori 1735 plateware.

Whether sought out to rest and refresh, for a light lunch or a few glasses of the good stuff to ring in the weekend, Faraday’s Bar is a destination to delight in.

Walk-ins are welcome, or bookings can be made at faradays.store, by calling 09 217 1017, or by emailing [email protected]

Opening hours:
Tuesday & Wednesday: Midday — 6pm

Thursday & Friday: Midday — 8pm
Saturday: Midday — 5pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

Faraday's Bar

8 Faraday Street,
Parnell

faradays.store

Gastronomy


This inner-city eatery has been given a new look and a new lease on life by hospitality maestro David Lee

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This inner-city eatery has been given a new look and a new lease on life by hospitality maestro David Lee

There’s no doubt that the restaurant business can be a frenetic one — and David Lee has got to be one of the busiest hospitality entrepreneurs in Auckland. The Co-Founder, Owner and Managing Director of Camper Coffee & Roasters, Gochu, The Candyshop, Good Dog Bad Dog and Green Door Pizza has a stellar reputation for tapping into exactly what people want to be eating and how they want to be eating it. 

Now, for the first time, he’s taken the reins at an existing eatery and relaunched it as an even better version of itself. Pōni, previously known as The Poni Room, is situated in a prime corner spot in Commercial Bay, overlooking the Waitematā Harbour. Since opening initially in 2020, it’s been popular for its Asian fusion fare, self-serve rosé and cheeky nighttime vibe — the latter of which Lee will evolve to be an all-day eatery.

“I didn’t want to change the concept much, as there was nothing wrong with it,” says Lee. “It’s not about the concept — it’s more about the direction.” 

From left: Market Oyster, Ka R Lime Sorbet; Cuttlefish Sliders, teriyaki glaze, lime mayo and apple slaw.

Avoiding Korean cuisine, as he offers that at Gochu (also in Commercial Bay), Lee stuck with the mixture of Japanese and Chinese flavours, taking inspiration from Head Chef Fred Wong’s Cantonese upbringing in Hong Kong, to design the menu. While you’ll find some of the familiar dishes from before, they’re presented in a completely fresh way.

New, quintessentially innovative plates include ‘Hong Kong Vongole’ with Cloudy Bay clams, a crayfish bisque and ‘Fred’s special’ XO sauce, and moreish sliders that see pieces of cuttlefish marinated in a teriyaki glaze and served with lime mayo and apple slaw inside soft white buns. There are also ‘Char Siu Octopus’, a cold ‘Dandan Ramen’ that melds the best of both the Chinese and Japanese noodle dishes, plus bar snacks like oysters, popcorn shrimp and crispy squid tentacles. From the previous menu, the lamb ribs have stayed with a refresh, as have the grilled napa cabbage and the salt and pepper crusted tofu. 

Left: Dandan Ramen.

The rosé-centric concept has been replaced with what Lee believes is “one of the best wine lists” in town, created in collaboration with Wine Diamonds’ Dan Gillet. It features a comprehensive and varied selection of interesting, predominantly natural and organic drops, from Champagne and sparkling to whites and oranges; rosé, chilled and light reds through to full-bodied reds. Find great cocktails, beers, boutique spirits and non-alcoholic options, too.

The interior is now more simple and elegant, with the partitions and shelving removed to reveal the best of the view; the pink and red scheme has been replaced with black and more neutral tones, and the faux maple trees transformed with white foliage by Greenpoint Florist. Managing the restaurant is Laura Foolchand, who was brought on from Gochu to assist with the transformation.

Given Lee’s background in coffee and cafés, it seems only natural that he would bring a brunch offering to Pōni — coming soon, just on weekends at first. While the concept will keep developing, at its core is a simple philosophy: “really good food and good service in a good place”.

Pōni

Commercial Bay,
Level 1
172 Quay Street,
Auckland CBD

www.theponiroom.nz

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Partridge Jewellers’ new in-house jewellery line — Partridge Hallmark — is ready to shine bright

Over the course of six generations, Partridge Jewellers has been committed to the craftsmanship of fine jewellery. Alongside the sparkling cabinets of its coveted international brands, it has carved out a niche for creating its own high-calibre designs.

Whether this unique jewellery has been crafted in-house, or commissioned by one of Partridge’s affiliate jewellery ateliers around the world, established relationships with the world’s finest sources and artisans — including those here in New Zealand — have made their mark.

The Partridge Hallmark line is a tribute to the brand’s 150 years of personal expertise. The various collections include revered specialty diamonds, including from Ashoka, Movàl, De Beers Forevermark and Argyle Pink, with a commitment to excellence and ethical sourcing in all facets.

Not only is each piece designed to be coveted and cherished today — meeting the highest of contemporary international standards — the ever-evolving line is also designed to be held dear from generation to generation.

A gleaming example is the Tourmaline Cluster Ring, which features a cushion-cut green tourmaline in a cluster setting for a cocktail ring that is sure to captivate at any event. The Double Row Ashoka Band, meanwhile, is a unique diamond band design featuring a mesmerising double row of horizontal diamonds.

From Left: Tourmaline Cluster Ring, Suspended Movál diamond pendant, Double Row Ashoka Band.

As shown by celebrated New Zealand model Jess Clarke in a new campaign, each piece captures Patridge’s passion for fine jewellery. Look closely, and you will see a small but significant ‘P’ symbol that marks each dazzling piece to Partridge’s exacting standards — which shine bright in their own right.

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Azabu Mission Bay

Back in the city? Keep that holiday feeling going with Auckland’s best outdoor dining restaurants

While there’s something to be said for getting back to routine in the new year, we’re certainly proponents of easing into things — and judging by these gloriously sunny days, summer is far from over. If you got away for an out-of-town holiday in December and January, why not make up for lost time and schedule in some long lunches “en terrasse” or balmy, al fresco dinners at Auckland’s best restaurants? To help you in your decision making, here are the best outdoor dining spots to book now.

Azabu Mission Bay
Arguably one of the best spots in the Eastern Beaches, take a seat in Azabu Mission Bay’s Roku Gin Garden and savour a long lunch or dinner of the city’s favourite Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.

Akarana Eatery
Renowned chef Nic Watt partnered with Akarana Yacht Club to open this Okahu Bay outpost. With an abundance of outdoor seating, it’s a welcoming spot to take in the sea views.

Andiamo
Settle in street-side and enjoy the Italian-inspired fare of Andiamo on the sociable Jervois Road. These tables fill up fast, so get there early and indulge in an Aperol spritz to start.

Hotel Ponsonby
A rare find in Ponsonby, this light-filled courtyard is an ideal location for inner-city sundowners, followed by fireside socialising when the temperature also drops.

Non Solo Pizza
Hidden behind Parnell Rise, Non Solo Pizza’s verdant courtyard, complete with an antique flowing fountain, will transport you to Italy for lunch or dinner.

Prego
Prego is the place to go for a fun-filled lunch or dinner with family and friends, and both its front and side outdoor courtyards are iconic. Watch the hustle and bustle of Ponsonby go by from some of the best seats on the street.

Saint Alice
With views across Viaduct Harbour, Saint Alice’s elevated position is the ideal spot to watch the world go by. The perfect place for late afternoon and evening revelry thanks to its sensational setting, seafood-centric menu and great music.

Soul Bar & Bistro
Holding prime position, with tables overlooking Viaduct Harbour and festooned with florals from above, there is no better place to celebrate the good life than at Soul. Order a round of delectable cocktails and settle in for an experience to remember.

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The new documentaries to enlighten your world view, and entertain you

From acclaimed LGBTQIA+ community photographer Fiona Clark to esteemed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau and troubled musical genius Rick James, the central characters of these new documentaries captivate in their own unique way. As these deep-dive documentaries show, the spirit of an individual can inspire in multitudes. But what will be their legacy?

Fiona Clark: Unafraid
Her images of the LGBTQIA+ community in 1970s New Zealand are now celebrated, but at the time, Fiona Clark was shunned and censored. This documentary, the first feature film from local artist and filmmaker Lula Cucchiara, tells the story of how Clark overcame numerous obstacles to become one of our most respected social documentarians. Chosen as part of the Cannes Marché du Film documentary selection and having shown at the NZIFF, Fiona Clark: Unafraid is an inspiring watch not just for the queer community but for anyone who strives to live their life openly and without fear. Showing on the 22nd & 28th of January as part of the In The Shade film festival.

The Lost Leonardo
Mystery, intrigue, money and one of history’s most famous artists come together in this highly entertaining documentary following the 2011 discovery and later the $450 million sale of ‘Salvator Mundi’ — a painting that was authenticated as a true Leonardo Da Vinci, then vanished.

Becoming Cousteau
Dive into the life and legacy of one of the world’s best-known explorers in this warmly rendered documentary about Jacques Cousteau. Offering insight into the man behind the underwater adventures, groundbreaking inventions (like the Aqualung), iconic films and trailblazing activism, this is an utterly inspiring watch. Watch on Disney+.

Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James
A complicated man, an undeniable musical genius, Rick James’ turbulent life and career is spotlighted in this frank documentary. No doubt an inimitable talent, James was also the perpetrator of some very dark acts, leading the viewer to ponder the important question of whether art can exist in isolation from the artist and their actions. Watch on Apple TV.

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Don’t miss your chance to be a part of The Reserve, one of Auckland’s most idyllic developments

It’s no secret we’re of the opinion that Auckland truly has it all. World-class restaurants, retail, arts and entertainment; a great climate; vibrant cultures; and breathtaking nature hand-in-hand with cosmopolitan city living.

Thanks to all these desirable attributes, it’s more competitive than ever to secure a spot to call your own, let alone one with all the lifestyle additions that realise the full potential of our biggest city.

Enter The Reserve, a luxury lifestyle development that pledges to help its residents do just that.

The Reserve is located in Okura just up from Long Bay, overlooking the Long Bay-Okura marine reserve to the north and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf in the east. Spread over 130 hectares, there are 29 lots of pristine land, elegantly refurbished by Todd Property Group — and over half of them have already been eagerly snapped up. 

At the very fringe of Auckland, surrounded by nature and yet less than half an hour’s drive to the CBD, this development’s lots are generously sized at around four hectares each. Let your imagination run boundlessly, as The Reserve offers a sensitively rendered, waterfront foundation on which to create your dream home. Work/life balance will be within effortless reach as you make the most of the outdoors, should you wish to head out on activities like cycling on the bike trail, kayaking or paddle-boarding on the estuary or bush walks and beach runs.

In terms of fundamental infrastructure, the development goes further than most rural subdivisions, with urban services available for each lot. New entrances and roads make for ultimate ease of access, while the technology and amenities are world-class – think broadband fibre, reticulated sewer and water, smart street lighting, comprehensive CCTV coverage and gate automation.

There’s no need to choose between restorative scenery and ease of access to amenities. The Reserve is a mere 10-minute drive to Long Bay Village, or an equally-timed drive to State Highway 1. In under half an hour, you would find yourself in the midst of Downtown Auckland with all the liveliness it has to offer.

As mentioned, less than half of these developments are still available, so if a harmonious haven that will guarantee you the best of both worlds appeals, we suggest registering your interest with The Reserve.

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Left to right: Off White, Burberry, Michael Kors, Saint Laurent and Gabriela Hearst all Fall 21.

Forget the grey area and lean into monochrome with these stylish black and white outfits

When it comes to perfect pairings, you can’t surpass the simplistic appeal of black and white combined in one look. A dynamic duo, black and white designs draw attention to graphic lines and ornate details. This season, black is the base colour to build on for an impactful contrast.

Left to right: Book tote from Christian Dior, Isabel Marant Zap Zebra belt from Workshop, Lavallière dress from Balenciaga, Gaby satchel in vintage lambskin from Saint Laurent, Archlight slingback pump from Louis Vuitton.

Left to right: Micro-check knit top from Louis Vuitton, Leather thong sandal from Gucci, Rixo Tracey Mono Square dress from Muse Boutique, Cleo Sequined bag from Prada, 30 Montaigne bucket hat from Christian Dior.

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Want to find out your “real” age? This new at-home DNA test is giving unprecedented insight into healthy ageing

In our collective quest for everlasting youth, it would seem no treatment, product or endeavour is off-limits. Wealthy citizens in Ancient Rome and Greece are said to have bathed in crocodile excrement as they believed it had anti-ageing properties, while in the modern day, many of our experiments could be considered just as outlandish. From smearing our faces with snail mucin, placenta masks and even our own blood, to cryotherapy and stem cell treatments, not to mention the amount of pills and potions we ingest for eternal internal wellbeing, it’s no wonder that, in 2020, the global wellness industry was estimated to be worth US$4.2 trillion.

It’s not all about how we look — many of us simply want to feel our best for as long as possible, and this often results in a more youthful, healthy visage. But how do we know whether all this effort is paying off?

This is the question local nutraceutical company Science Research Wellness (SRW) Laboratories is hoping to help people answer. Founded by Biotechnologist, Cellular Health Expert and Pharmacist Greg Macpherson, SRW Laboratories has just released a groundbreaking new saliva test that tells you where your ‘biological’ age sits in relation to your ‘chronological’ age. This, in turn, indicates how healthy you are and how your lifestyle is affecting how quickly you age. 

“It’s a new level of technology that will help you assess where you’re sitting, and whether what you’re doing is working,” says Macpherson. “For those people who are interested in being as healthy as possible, it gives you a next level of insight.”

Named the DNAage test, it helps us understand what we can do to physically slow the ageing process from the inside out, and be healthier for longer. 

“We have a DNA clock, and what research has identified is that we accumulate things called methyl groups on certain areas of our DNA,” says Macpherson. “You can literally correlate the accumulation of that methylation with our chronological age.” What makes it even more interesting, he says, is there are then outliers who have accelerated methylation — i.e. relatively young people who are stressed and aren’t managing it well, or who aren’t exercising, and generally not prioritising taking good care of themselves.

If you think this includes you, and those already high anxiety levels are going through the roof, don’t worry. You can change it. “That’s really the beauty of this DNA test — you can benchmark yourself and either say ‘I’m happy being 50 and having a biological age of 50’, or ‘I’m 50 and I’ve just found out I’ve got a biological age of 70, and I’ve got time to do something about it’.” 

Even better, in this day and age, someone could have a biological age of 50 and decide they want to try and lower it to 30 — and, luckily, there are pathways to that now. A commonly cited refrain, first uttered by American professor Dr. Judith Stern, is “genes load the gun while the environment pulls the trigger”. In other words, while many of us can be genetically predisposed to certain conditions and ageing rates, it is possible to alter and improve these with lifestyle changes. 

We all know that a good diet helps our health and, according to Macpherson, “plant-based appears to have the best longevity outcomes, which is a double win from the perspective of the planet as well as our health”. An exercise regime is important too, consisting of a mix of resistance for muscle building, and cardiovascular fitness. Stress management is also proving increasingly important. While all of this is nothing new, studies around understanding how we age at a cellular level are at the cutting edge of scientific research. 

Macpherson explains that our bodies contain a key enzyme called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is involved in hundreds of processes including mitochondrial function, the energy generators of our cells. “NAD levels decline precipitously as we head into our forties, fifties and beyond,” he says. “So bumping them back up through supplements is quite rejuvenative.” 

The other function being newly explored is cellular senescence, which describes a cell that stops dividing. It then starts secreting inflammatory molecules to get the attention of the immune system, which recognises these and clears them out. “That all happens beautifully when we’re young, but for some reason from around our forties, the body starts to ignore them and doesn’t clear them up,” explains Macpherson. “This is thought to be the reason we have more inflammatory burden as we get older.”  

A key compound found to help with this is fisetin, present in strawberries. “The Mayo Clinic in America is doing research to see what the health benefits are if we clear these cells out, and in a mouse model they get a 10 percent life extension,” says Macpherson. “I think it’s going to be a mega trend we’ll all be on in five years as a really simple way for us to reduce inflammatory burden.” Fruit salad, anyone?

If you were to do the DNAage test, you’re not just then left to feel around in the dark after getting your results — SRW Laboratories gives users the option to share their data with the company, and it can then help you with a plan of action. The tests are accurate to plus or minus two years, and the algorithms are improving all the time, so eventually it could be possible to narrow that window to six months. 

While living to a grand old age is desirable for many, what’s important is the quality of life, not just the quantity. “It’s not just about radical lifespan extension but radical healthspan extension,” says Macpherson. “With every advance, like the DNAage test, we raise more awareness of the fact that we’re the first generation to have this type of technology — and it means we’re going to be able to age differently.”

The technology’s going so fast that we will have a radical life extension in the next 10-20 years, he says. “You want to arrive at that point, with your body in as good a shape as possible. That’s what I’m working on — how to be as fit and healthy as possible when this all arrives.”

Wellbeing


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