“The tree’s become a symbol of hope during lockdown, and it's also a celebration of success.
“After we were named Club of the Year in 2019, some of our members commissioned local Auckland artist Chris van Doren to create a sculpture that represented the club in some way, so the trunk of this diseased tree seemed like the perfect canvas. Work had to stop during the lockdown, but it’s now become the shape of the seagull in flight, which you can see in our club’s logo.
“People have sent us messages of support and it’s become a real talking point. We know locals have loved walking on the course during lockdown and we want them to know that it’s there for everyone to enjoy.”
– David Herbert, General Manager, Waitemata Golf Course
“I love being a florist as no one day is ever the same. One day I could be out on location styling a lavish event, and the next day I’m in the shop making posies. I love meeting people, and a florist shop is the perfect place to do that. You get to see the generations and stages of your customers’ lives – you might have done their Valentine’s flowers and then you’re doing flowers for their new arrivals. It’s really special. Flowers bring a real sense of wellbeing – a simple bunch can say so much.
“I bought the business ten years ago, and I can safely say I’ve never had a bad day in that time. We’re so fortunate to have been busy when we can trade over lockdown, but I’m very mindful that it’s been horrific for many business owners in Devonport.
“Being part of the local community has been amazing. The Santa Parade, sponsoring local events and making ANZAC wreaths -- there’s a real sense of camaraderie amongst the local retailers and I’ve loved being part of that. Of course I’ll miss it, but retirement beckons.There are plenty more adventures to be had out there.”
– Morag Burden, former owner, Devonport Flowers.
Devonport Flowers has been bought by a local family who are delighted to be carrying on the tradition of offering flowers to Devonport.
"I couldn’t do what I do without my staff - they’re with me 10 hours a day, no matter the alert level, and all juggling their own home and family lives to come to work. We've all been struggling, but they’re a pretty special group of people. I'm lucky to have them.
“Animals always need attention, and that doesn’t change just because of alert levels. We've just treated a dog who was choking -- we sedated him and successfully removed a large chunk of food from his throat.
"We're still seeing much of the usual sort of thing, the dog bites to stitch up, cat abscesses to drain, broken claws to fix, ear and eye infections to treat. It all helps relieve pain and suffering, and in many cases prolongs an animal's life. And the part of the job that no-one likes to think about -- well, yes, I've still had to do that too.
“The bond that owners have with their animals has intensified over the past few months as we’re all seeing more of each other in closer confines. Pets have a huge part to play in our mental well-being; they provide unconditional companionship, a reason to get out for a walk, and can often be a calming influence when there's a lot of stress around."
- Neil Waddell, principal vet, Shore Vets, Devonport
Festive Food Finds - Off the high street
For those wanting to shop local from the comfort of their home, look no further than Devonport’s back streets to find a delicious array of Christmas gift ideas.
Some of our favourite holiday hamper finds include the following:
Custom Devonport baker Jayne Williams of Mintys slow bakes a mini but mighty Amaretto-soaked fruitcake with figs, sultanas and raisins. It’s rich, dark and moist -- what more could you ask for in a Christmas cake? Also on offer are her Christmas-themed fondant covered sugar cookies.
Secret Kiwi Kitchen is a producer of artisan baking mixes owned by local duo Clare Gallagher and Lulu Taylor, and its products make a delightful addition to any hamper. They’re so delicious you might just squirrel them away for yourself! Their jars of edible dried flowers make a great stocking stuffer and the Buttermilk Pancake mix is a welcome addition to the perfect Christmas Day breakfast.
Local couple Blair Hilditch and Jacqui Hooper produce 'a taste of Greece' with their Koroneiki olives that give a buttery and smooth extra virgin oil, the award-winning Two Acre Plot. Grown in Mangawhai and stored in stainless steel Italian vats in Devonport, Two Acre Plot offers free local delivery and bottle collection. It’s super tasty as it hasn’t been filtered and is a real treat for the food aficionados in your life.
Add a touch of festive green by scooping up a pouch of Matcha Matcha, 100% pure organic Japanese Matcha green tea. Imported by local food producer Kate Moffat, it can be enjoyed as a tea and also added to lattes, smoothies and baking as the perfect pick-me-up for pre Christmas partying.
Di and Will Miller of Ecology & Co, producers of distilled alcohol-free spirits, create a wonderful alternative for those who prefer healthier imbibing. Exquisitely bottled, their range includes London Dry and Asian Spice botanical blends, plus a range of enticing prepared drinks and cocktail ideas for Christmas parties.
There’s a host of artisanal food and beverage producers right here in Devonport -- Christmas shopping couldn’t be easier, AND you’re supporting local!
Details for ordering
Mintys: To order, contact Jayne on firstname.lastname@example.org or
@mintysjayne on Facebook.. Free delivery of Christmas cakes in Devonport.
Secret Kiwi Kitchen: Order at secretkiwikitchen.com. Free delivery in Devonport and orders over $40 within New Zealand. Co-founder Lulu Taylor is a co-contributor to Foodie Finds.
Two Acre Plot: Check out www.mangawhaiolives.co.nz for this season’s oil and the swap-a-bottle options with a free drop off service on the Devonport Peninsula
MatchaMatcha: Order at www.matchamatcha.co.nz. Free Shipping for orders in Devonport and for those over $50 within New Zealand. Enter the code 'Devonport'. Gift-wrapping service available
Ecology & Co: Order at www.ecologyandco.com. Free delivery anywhere in New Zealand