New & Notable Winter 2024

New openings and Matariki in Tāmaki Makaurau, plus a new home for Underlena in Pōneke.

New & Notable Winter 2024

New openings and Matariki in Tāmaki Makaurau, plus a new home for Underlena in Pōneke.

Creative Creatures: Matariki celebrations encourage tamariki to reach for the stars.

Matariki is officially observed on June 28, but celebrations will continue for some time in Owairoa Howick, Tāmaki Makaurau. Artist Chantel Matthews – working with Arts Out East, Whaea Taini of O Wairoa Marae and Pita Turei – developed concepts which have been transformed into Matariki Kaitiaki by the tamariki of Owairoa and Mellons Bay primary schools. The results will be displayed on flags in the main street of the village until September. “It encourages them to look up and beyond,” says Matthews, “fostering a sense of unity and connection while acknowledging the land, mana whenua and community. These creatures act as guardians from the sky, land and sea. That which we nourish, will nourish us in return.”

Matariki flags

Picton Street, Howick, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Extended Play: Find good food, wine and tunes at Korean joint Nami.

In Auckland, it seems, your choices are to get a good drink and something to eat, or to get a drink and something to listen to, but very rarely can you get something good to eat, find something good to drink and listen to something good at the same time. Enter Nami, which took over the space formerly occupied by the late, great Conch in Ponsonby. From the team who brought us Ockhee – a breezy Korean place down the street – it features a cracking list of wine on tap, excellent and well-priced Korean pub food and a rotation of excellent DJs. Dinner and a show!

Nami Record Bar

115A Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Where There’s Smoke: Parro brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Dominion Road.

We were a little sad when we heard the owners of Omni, John Yip and Jamie Yeon, were closing their elegantly spare yakitori restaurant on Dominion Road – we liked the prawn toast and a glass of orange wine. Then we found out that Brazilian Gleber Chaparro, formerly of Osteria Uno, Lilian and Amano, had taken over the space and we felt much better. Parro is inspired by “Mediterranean influence, fire, embers, smoke, and a little poetry” and promises the restaurant space will get some minor tweaks. “We want to keep it nice, simple and welcoming.”  


359 Dominion Road, Maungawhau Mt Eden, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland



Close for Comfort: Lingerie store Underlena opens a fitting new space for its intimate offering.

Maxine Kelly opened Underlena in 2021, intending to focus on independent lingerie brands that weren’t available in Aotearoa. After opening an appointment-only store off Courtenay Place in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, she’s now established a new store down a lane in Ghuznee Street. “It’s important that it doesn’t feel like a traditional retail experience,” she says. “I want people to feel comfortable to lounge about a bit, and take their time.”

Tell us a bit about Underlena.

I opened it in 2021, homing in on a more modern, nuanced version of sensuality. What was available here in NZ at the time was feeling a bit restricted to me, so it felt like the right time to explore this. A year into the business, I opened an appointment-only showroom space in Courtenay Place, Wellington, which was more of a lounge that you could book yourself into and have a beautiful fitting experience that was full of ease and relaxation.

What does it represent for the brand?

The new space is an important next step – a step away from the shadows that we have been operating in and into a new era that allows us to operate both at an appointment-based and walk-in level. It is perfect for us in the sense that it gives us the sort of accessibility we’ve been searching for, without the intense exposure of a shopfront: we have a glorious courtyard out the front which leads you beautifully into the space, and once you are in there, you don’t feel like you’re on show, browsing lingerie, which is such a personal and intimate thing.

How did you want it to feel? (We love the floor, by the way.)

Lush and exquisite – an exploration of the senses, with a gloss floor and chrome touches sitting up against voluminous curtains, and a den-like changing area that is quite separate from the showroom space. The floor (a true labour of love!) will eventually frame a lush carpet runner… once I find the right match. It’s a space that can be contained: when we’re in appointment, there is a curtain at the door that is drawn so it has a tension of being accessible but also behind the scenes.


57A Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington

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