Harcourts real estate company raises over $6000 for local hospice

A business training day in Alexandra supported community needs to the tune of thousands of dollars.

A business training day in Alexandra supported community needs to the tune of thousands of dollars.

The annual Harcourts ‘Highland Gathering’ brought real estate teams from six offices in Alexandra, Cromwell, Queenstown, Dunedin, Wanaka and South Otago together for a day of training, fun and celebration at Alexandra’s The Cellar Door. 

The day was centred around health and wellbeing for the 120 agents attending, but also included a special community fundraising element.

Splitting into ten teams, they were given just one hour to sell as many bottles as possible of The Good Oil products, produced in the South Island and made available for community fundraising.

Using all the ‘tools’ they use daily to sell real estate, they sold a whopping 1832 bottles of The Good Oil and received a number of generous donations. In total they raised $6186 for the Otago Community Hospice Trust which provides care and support for people in the region with life-limiting illness.

Harcourts Highland Group is a long-term supporter of the hospice service but managing director Warwick Osborne said even he was “blown away” by the energy in the room during the fundraising challenge.

“To raise over $6000 in an hour is an excellent amount and an amazing effort by everyone involved,” he said.

“We support our community in any way we can and ‘doing the right thing’ by encouraging our team and our clients to get behind such a worthy cause was the icing on the cake for a day of learning, fun and laughter.”

Alexandra Harcourts manager Andrew Little and his team were thrilled to present the $6186 cheque to Viviann McFadzien of the Alexandra Hospice Shop this week.

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Cookie Time was today named the inaugural winner of the NZ’s Most Trusted Cookies category in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Awards.

Cookie Time was today named the inaugural winner of the NZ’s Most Trusted Cookies category in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Awards.

In celebration, Cookie Time head office and bakery has been transformed into a vibrant drive-through experience, with 10,000 free Original™ Chocolate Chunk Cookies to give away.

On the first day of business, 7 February 1983, some 70 jars of Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie were delivered to 70 Christchurch dairies. More than 38 years later, Cookie Time has finally gained official Trusted Brands recognition as a cookies’ maker.

“Cookie Time is proud to be the inaugural winner of the Trusted Brands Cookies Category,” says Managing Director Guy Pope-Mayell.

“Up to now we’ve been misjudged a biscuit and been highly commended in the biscuits category. We have been loudly protesting for years that cookies and biscuits have very distinct differences – judging cookies in the biscuits category is like judging wine in the beer category.

“For 38 years we’ve been making NZ’s favourite cookies, and we’re delighted to officially now be NZ’s most trusted cookies. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been erroneously called a biscuit company; it’s great for the business to finally be recognised as a cookie company,” he says.

So, what is the difference between cookies and biscuits?

“Cookies generally have a softer texture, more depth and look homemade. The treat element comes from inclusions, like generous chocolate chunks, and they are comforting to take time out and eat, evoking childhood memories,” says Pope-Mayell.

“Biscuits in contrast are generally thin, hard and crunchy and each one looks pretty much identical. The treat element comes from enrobing (enclosing in chocolate) or having a filling sandwiched between two biscuits. They’re more of a quick eat and one is not usually enough.”

The Cookie Time drive through on Main South Road in Templeton, Christchurch is open from 10am – 4pm today. Baking started at 7am, with the 10,000 cookies prepared in batches and baked in traditional rack ovens like all Cookie Time cookies.

“The drive-through is a fantastic way for us to mark this accolade and give back to the local community,” Pope-Mayell says.

The Original Chocolate Chunk Cookie was the first cookie designed and marketed for individual sale in NZ, a category Cookie Time still leads today. In 1983, Cookie Time’s first year of production, 500,000 of the large size Original Chocolate Chunk Cookies were baked. Now it bakes around 30 million large cookies a year.

About Cookie Time

Cookie Time Limited is an iconic, family owned business, founded in Christchurch in 1983. It has a proud New Zealand-made heritage and is passionate about making great tasting quality products with real ingredients. Entrepreneurial and innovation-led, the company has an enviable portfolio of New Zealand’s favourite treat, snack and functional foods. These include Cookie Time cookies, Christmas Cookies, Bumper and the patented OSM brand.


Smart entrepreneurship, innovation and ingenuity are driving forces, delivering on the Group’s vision – a taste for every occasion, a smile on every face. The business includes both domestic and international operations, including Cookie Time Cookie Bars in Queenstown and Japan, as well as online store munchtime.co.nz. It also runs the Cookie Time Charitable Trust, founded in 2003 to help New Zealand children discover their gifts.




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New Zealand building pioneer pours heart and soul into Wanaka ‘legacy project’

Bespoke architectural homes in a park-like setting are at the heart of a ‘legacy project’ in Wanaka for someone whose name is synonymous with New Zealand building.

Bespoke architectural homes in a park-like setting are at the heart of a ‘legacy project’ in Wanaka for someone whose name is synonymous with New Zealand building.

Astute businessman and building industry pioneer David Reid founded the business which bore his name in 1993. It grew to be recognised throughout New Zealand and Australia, winning many national awards.

And now those years of experience and entrepreneurship are being poured into The Terrace Wanaka, a boutique lifestyle legacy project that’s been 26 years in the making.

After selling the David Reid Homes NZ business in 2005 then growing an Australian network to 20 branches by 2008, David refocused his energies on meeting the needs of his home city following the devastating Christchurch earthquakes. He formed a construction company aimed at reducing cost and construction timelines while increasing quality.

But stunning Wanaka, with its enviable lake and mountain lifestyle, was always calling.

David first made his mark on a large parcel of land bathed in sunshine between the Cardrona Valley and the Lake Wanaka township in 1995, where he built his family home.

With a long-term vision for how Wanaka could and would grow, The Terrace Wanaka is his legacy project, 26 years in the making and after his family has flown the coop.

Neither a retirement village nor a ‘standard’ subdivision, The Terrace Wanaka is designed for discerning buyers who will appreciate extensive green spaces, interlinking walkways between homes, and the opportunity for visiting family and friends to enjoy this uniquely Southern Lakes lifestyle in safety and comfort.

The initial homes on offer in this small and secluded development are within walking distance to award-winning cafes and restaurants, a state-of-the-art Medical Centre and boutique shops.

The sparkling waters of Lake Wanaka are a short drive (or E-bike) away for summer adventures by boat, kayak or paddleboard. In winter, the base buildings of three world-class skifields are all within a 35-minute drive.

No matter the season, Wanaka and the surrounding district boasts an outstanding array of restaurants, cafes, bars, retail outlets and nearby wineries. 

David is thrilled to bring a lifetime of delivering “outstanding quality without compromise” to The Terrace Wanaka.

“Although I have a lifetime passion for residential construction, particularly new methodology and technology resulting in more efficiency, what drives me now is in developing these principles from the ground up, developing the land first,” he says.

“I live here, Wanaka’s my home, and I’d love others to come and check out our world. Our new home here has enabled us to offer outstanding surroundings and lifestyle to my parents, and we’ve future-proofed with plenty of space for the grandkids.

“The homes are styled for relaxing in the peace and quiet that Wanaka’s renowned for, while being set up for comfortable entertaining all year round.

“We’ve been local to the Wanaka area for quite a while and know a thing or two about the weather, so we orientate to the sun and views to design spaces that work regardless of the season.”

Homes at The Terrace Wanaka, a unique vantage point with panoramic vistas of just about every mountain top visible in the area, are all thoughtfully planned to orientate North to Northwest, making the most of thermal heat gain.

Homes are designed to be thermally efficient for maximum summer and winter comfort and come in a range of sizes and configurations. Homes start at $2.245million NZD and each is on a freehold title which comes with a share of the surrounding parkland.

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Moves by Government agencies to stop accepting cheques are callous, short-sighted and infringe fundamental human rights for more than a million New Zealanders, according to the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand (DFNZ).  

Moves by Government agencies to stop accepting cheques are callous, short-sighted and infringe fundamental human rights for more than a million New Zealanders, according to the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand (DFNZ).  

DFNZ addressed the Parliamentary Finance & Expenditure Select Committee this morning (April 7) supporting a petition by Port Waikato MP Andrew Bayley challenging moves by Government agencies such as the IRD, ACC and Kiwibank to stop accepting cheques. It is calling for an inquiry to assess whether such agencies have and will put in place adequate provisions for people who cannot safely access or afford to access government services electronically.

Guy Pope-Mayell, DFNZ Chair of Trustees, says DFNZ estimates more than 1 million people with dyslexia or other neurodiversities* may be negatively impacted by having the ability to pay by cheque removed. On top of that there is a large cohort of people with disabilities, the older population and people who are sight-impaired who are similarly impacted.

“With Covid-19 and lockdowns, some moves by IRD, ACC and other businesses to ditch cheques last year have slipped a little under the radar. The reality is that denying people the ability to make payments by cheque removes a fundamental human right to equitably access goods and services,” Pope-Mayell says.

Issues of financial independence, privacy, convenience and mental wellbeing arise with this denial. Other groups which have submitted concerns to the Select Committee include Blind Low Vision NZ (formerly the Blind Foundation), St John, Federated Farmers, Grey Power and Rural Women New Zealand.

“There is a callous irony in removing cheques as a payment option at the same time as inclusion is high on the political agenda. Society generally is moving at light speed towards inclusion and taking measures to ensure that barriers are identified and removed,” Pope-Mayell says.

“In fact, the Accessible Aotearoa Act, championed by the Access Alliance, is a cross-party supported piece of legislation due to go before Cabinet next month that aims to identify and remove barriers for New Zealanders with temporary or permanent impairments. Creating a barrier by eliminating cheques is completely at odds with this.”

In a nutshell, individuals with dyslexia and other neuro-disabilities tend to find internet banking highly stressful, with fear of inputting wrong information or pushing the wrong button leading to financial loss. The older population and people who are sight-impaired also face these stressors.

“Failing to navigate the internet banking process successfully then impacts mental wellbeing, adding to feelings of vulnerability, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Privacy issues arise if people have to ask others to help, and in the process have to disclose personal financial information, and the risk of scams is also ever present,” Pope-Mayell says.

Another disadvantaged group is those without easy access to internet banking services, and those who cannot afford digital devices.

“While this issue may seem of little consequence to those who are ‘digital natives’ it is of deep concern to a wide cross-section of society,” Pope-Mayell says.

*Based on international occurrence, DFNZ conservatively estimates at least 10% of the New Zealand population have dyslexia, and at least 20% of the population collectively have some form of neuro-difference, such as Aspergers, Autism, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.



DFNZ’s mission is to increase the awareness, recognition, understanding and acceptance of dyslexia as an alternative way of thinking. DFNZ is focused on action-oriented activities to champion change for dyslexic individuals, and on providing information, tools and resources to inspire others to do the same.


Since inception in November 2006, DFNZ has built its reputation on successful advocacy and action and has become the foremost lobby group in this area. From lobbying the Government for dyslexia to be officially recognised, achieved in 2007, through to working closely with the Government on the inclusive education agenda and raising the Youth Court age, the landscape has been fundamentally changed.


In advocating for dyslexia, DFNZ has noted that experiences and issues for those dyslexia are often similar to those for other neurodiversities. And that getting it right for dyslexics means getting it right for all. For a number of years, therefore, DFNZ has included other neurodiversities within the scope of its work. DFNZ has successfully run a number of dyslexiaadvocacy/action weeks between 2007 and 2015. In 2016, DFNZ convened a landmark Neurodisabilities Forum to explore vulnerability in the justice system. In October 2020, it hosted the Neurodiversity Leadership Workplace Forum focused on recognising the strengths of diverse brains in the workplace, and earlier this year it hosted a Belief Change Family Forum to foster paradigm change (mindshift) in understanding and harnessing the strengths of dyslexia and neurodiversity.

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