• Kate Iremonger.
  • Maeve and Ella.
  • Masoud, Farnaz and their children Melina, Elina and Mahan.
  • Charmaine Braatverdt.
  • Philipp and Sasha Jaser, Devonport Gelato.

Local Life NZ in October


“When Five Loaves cafe closed its doors for lockdown, the owner Kwan cooked up a pile of meals and brought them over to us for the foodbank. She was facing her own hardships, but was totally selfless in what she did that night.
“People’s kindness is infectious. They really want to help others in need -- it’s often a way of healing for them, and we all stand to benefit. I don’t want the church to be an ivory tower.  It’s less about what one particular person or group is doing - it’s a community thing.
“Poverty and hardship isn’t always obvious. This time around we’re giving out more food parcels, there’s no doubt about it.  People are hurting and we’re just happy to be able to help.”
– Charmaine Braatvedt, vicar, Holy Trinity Church, Devonport.

 The church has run a food bank for families in need for the past 14 years. During the lockdowns they’ve had additional donations and support from local groups and organisations, including Devonport Rotary Club, Ryman Healthcare, Ryman’s Duder’s Block residents, New World, Baked at Devonport and Jess’ Underground Kitchen


“During lockdown you have to be really adaptable because you don’t know what you might need to do on any given day – it’s always changing. I’ve done a lot of swabs, that’s for sure.
“I really enjoy talking to people while I’m doing COVID swabs, being isolated is hard so it’s nice to be able to have a quick chat and a laugh of course. I’m lucky to have grown up in Devonport so I know some of the people coming through and it’s nice to see a friendly face. It makes your day when you get a thank-you.
“This lockdown’s been busy and demanding on the frontline but I feel very lucky to be working with such a great team. I feel like I’m doing my part to help keep our community safe. In my bubble at home it’s just me and my boyfriend, and sometimes when I walk through the door at the end of the day it feels like I’ve still got my mask and visor on – the PPE gear becomes a part of you.”
– Kate Iremonger, Registered Nurse, Medplus Medical Centre, and frontline COVID worker

Maeve and Ella

What do you love most about Devonport?

“All the people are so kind. People are nice and friendly to each other and Curtis (the dog) at Vondel’s welcomes all the people who go there.  I love biking into the village and going to the library and on the way back stopping at Narrow Neck Cafe to see Josie and getting a cookies and cream ice cream. That’s my favourite.”
- Maeve (aged 8)

"I love Curtis the dog too and how he greets everyone everyday. I also love stopping at Echo to see Laura when we're in the village because she's nice and unique. My perfect Devonport day is waking up early and watching the sunrise on Cheltenham beach and biking to the Milk Bar for a peppermint milkshake and going to the playground.”
-  Ella (aged 5)

Sweet Celebrations

Let’s face it, we all deserve a sweet treat right now.  After five weeks in Level 4 lockdown, we’re craving barista-made coffees, takeaways, and that extra little shot of sweet goodness that helps you get through the day.
The baklava at Devonport’s Cafe Akdeniz was the restaurant’s saving grace after the last lockdown with restaurant owner Masoud Atashko crediting his wife Farnaz for helping turn the business round after a particularly challenging last year.
“Farnaz introduced baklava and the customers came back,” says Masoud with pride. She’s been perfecting their finely-honed recipe for more than eight years.
The trays of sweet, crispy baklava are homemade daily by Farnaz with honey, finely crushed pistachios and a syrup made of sugar, water, and lemon juice giving the traditional Lebanese dish its distinctive crispness and stickiness. It’s sublime with a thick and syrupy Turkish coffee or a light and fragrant Earl Grey tea.  
Corelli’s impressive double-tiered carrot cake is famous Auckland-wide, packed with nuts and sultanas and smothered with an abundance of cream cheese icing. You get a mix of delicious textures with every single divine bite. It's worthy of its fame.
Vondel’s banana bread is another addictive go-to when you need an instant pick-me-up. Freshly baked on site, this fan-favourite plant-based loaf has just the right mix of banana and chocolate and is topped off by nutty, creamy hazelnut butter.
If something cold is more your thing, the refreshing and tangy raspberry sorbet from Devonport Gelato at The Vic Cinema is to-die-for, while their homemade ice-cream choc-tops will make you realise what you miss most about going to the movies.
And if you want to whip something up for yourself and your loved ones at home, try the fabulous collection of premade baking mixes by local Devonport company Secret Kiwi Kitchen. Their hot favourite over lockdown was the Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle mix, closely followed by Triple Fudge Brownies and the White Chocolate Blondie.
Go on, be kind to yourself - eat sweet.

Cafe Akdeniz, open every day except Wednesday. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday 9:30am to 3pm and Friday, Saturday 9:30 am to 8pm. Call 09 600 2125 to pre-order and arrange for contactless payment and collection.
Vondel - open 9am-1pm Tues to Sat, and 4pm-8pm Friday and Saturday for collection and contactless payment. Call 09 4466 444 or email hello@vondel.co.nz to pre-order
Corelli’s - Open daily from 8am-3pm for contactless collection and payment
Devonport Gelato at The Vic cinema - open from 10am-7pm daily for contactless collection and payment
Secret Kiwi Kitchen - all products available online at Secretkiwikitchen.com and in New World, Farro and other selected stores on the North Shore