Tag Archive for: Savage & Savage Chartered Accountants

Someday Somewhere

I have huge respect for people who are prepared to put everything on the line to follow their dreams, and I come across a number of these people when I’m writing this column. One such person is Kimberley Eagle who recently took over Jaks Island in Bridge St, opposite the courthouse, and rebranded it as Someday Somewhere.

I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the name reflects the desire Kimberley had to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere and it’s an assumption you are correct to make.

Eagle says when she saw Jaks Island cafe was on the market, she knew she had to take the plunge

Someday Somewhere is a few doors along the road from my office and it didn’t take both me and our staff long to find this little gem of a café that serves delicious food and great coffee from 8am until 2pm five days a week.

Kimberley makes everything in-house, including the focaccia bread she uses for her fantastic, and generously sized, sandwiches.

Having sampled her food reasonably regularly and observing this very determined woman doing everything; from making bread, sweet treats, coffee and even serving each person who comes in, I wanted to know what motivates her to work so hard in a very competitive hospitality market.

Someday Somewhere cafe owner Kimberley Eagle at the premises formerly known as Jaks Island cafe in Nelson

“I’m not from Nelson, I grew up at Mangawhai north of Auckland before I headed overseas for about 10 years where I worked in a number of places to learn as much as I could about the industry.”

The first café she worked in was in Mangawhai when she was just 14 years old. This early love of food and first part-time job led her to London and then Australia where she worked in the five star resort realm, managing resort restaurants all over Australia. From the Qualia Resort in the Whitsunday Islands; to Uluṟu; to an Eco resort close to Broome, Western Australia and to Tasmania, Kimberley absorbed as much knowledge from a range of chefs as she could.

“In Australia working in the places I worked meant I was able to work alongside people who were passionate about the industry, it wasn’t just a part-time job to pay their way through university, they were making a career of it. Working in fine dining restaurants at premium resorts attracted like-minded people.”

Kimberley was able to work alongside great chefs like Frank Comora from MoVida (one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne), Shannon Bennet from Vue du Mond in Melbourne and Matt Moran. “I learned a huge amount from these chefs, often when they visited as guest chefs for the showcase Great Barrier Feast degustation dinners we hosted at the Qualia Resort.  It was a privilege to work alongside these hugely talented chefs.”

The cafe’s name reflects the desire Eagle always had; to open her own foodie place someday, somewhere

After ten years overseas she felt a pull to come back to New Zealand so returned prior to covid and managed the Mt Beautiful Wines tasting room and restaurant north of Waipara until it was closed during Covid.

Kimberley took a break from the hospitality sector when the entire industry went into turmoil during and after covid. She moved to Nelson in 2021 and worked for law firm Glasgow Harley in an admin role where she learned another set of skills that would help her in this venture.

She told me because the love for food is in her blood she was drawn back to the hospitality sector when the opportunity arose to go to Tasmania and the Piermont Retreat on the east coast between Hobart and Launceston. “It was an awesome experience and while I was there, we were nominated as an Australian Gourmet Traveller Destination Restaurant finalist, that’s a big deal in Australia, and Calvin King is an exceptional chef.”

Then it was back to Nelson where she saw Jaks was for sale, “I remember driving past the building and thought what a fantastic building, I saw there was a café and thought it was the sort of place I would like to have a business. When I noticed it was for sale I just had to take on the challenge. I just love the building and location. I almost feel like I’m in the city, there’s a buzzy vibe with the other tenants in the building and customers who come in.”

When it comes to the food, I can assure you it is very good. Kimberley told me she wanted to do something where things just aren’t the same every day, “I know I need to have the staples, but I like to change things up a bit, I want people to be excited about what I have to offer, something new each time they come.”

The focaccia recipe Eagle uses in her sandwiches was a gift from a former colleague in Australia

One of the things that has made her famous among those in the know is the focaccia bread she makes fresh each day. “Calvin from Piermont gave me the focaccia recipe as his gift to me when I left because I couldn’t stop eating it when I worked with him. Now I need his green olive tapenade recipe to use in my sandwiches too.”

The sandwiches are very generous and come in flavours like a Reuben (she makes her own pastrami so it only appears occasionally); Porchetta, classic egg salad, rare roast beef with horseradish cream and sometimes an Italian Deli style with mortadella among others.

She makes all her sauces and dressings, her own pickles for most things and her own fresh mayonnaise. “There’s nothing better than homemade mayo.”

As we move into summer we can look forward to sandwiches with fresher summer ingredients to go alongside the slices, cookies, wedges of Spanish Basque cheese cake (there’s no base so gets its flavour from the baked and burnt outside), Key Lime pies (single serve size individual pies) and classic cheese scones.

There’s always gluten free options, “the savoury gluten free bacon and egg muffin with a whole egg inside is so popular I can’t take it off the menu.” She says she has lots of ideas and recipes for other products, but she just needs time to make them.

Kimberley says it’s very early days, “I’ve only been open two months but going really well, I sell out of food a lot of the time and have a lot of repeat customers. People ask about buying the bread, but at the moment I don’t have time to make it for sale. I’m just one person with help from my big brother to do the dishes on the odd Friday, but I will be doing more when I am able to employ someone to help me.”

If you haven’t discovered Someday Somewhere yet it is time you did. My top tip is to buy your sandwich mid-morning because if you wait until lunchtime you may miss out!

Published in the Nelson Mail 15.11.2023 

Scutt wines

Scutt Wines is a tiny producer you may not have heard of before because owners Johnson Scutt and Georgie Hoby Scutt only recently made their wines available for you and me to buy after adding winemaking to their business interests. In Johnson’s case it is turning the clock back to being a hands-on winemaker once again while artist Georgie produces the exceptional artworks for each label.

A couple of years ago the couple leased a winemaking facility in Orinoco, Upper Moutere and harvest fruit from vineyard the winery is located on.

They recently released just 90 cases of 2022 vintage Pinot Meunier Rosé 90 cases of Chardonnay and 150 cases of Pinot noir, the first wines made on Johnson’s home soil in Nelson after twenty years travelling the world as a ‘flying winemaker’, winemakers who travel the world working vintages in both the northern and southern hemisphere winemaking countries.

Johnson made wine in eleven different countries with Scutt Wines being the culmination of 25 years of study, travel, winemaking and passion.

When I met with him a couple of weeks ago Johnson told me he decided he wanted to be a winemaker when he was 14 years old. His mother was a shareholder at the original Cellier Le Brun in the 1980’s and 90’s so he grew up hanging out at the winery and working there in the school holidays.

“Working with Daniel and mixing with several French winemakers over the years lit a fire in me for making great wines. The stories the visiting winemakers told me made me want to learn as much about the world of wine as I could.”

After leaving Nelson College he went to New South Wales to study wine at Charles Sturt University and, after finishing his degree in Wine Science he initially worked at Miranda Wines in Australia before landing a job as a flying winemaker for an English company that makes and supplies wines to English supermarkets.

“This job meant I got to make wine all around the world, wines made to specifications the supermarkets wanted. I spent several years travelling to and working in Italy, France, Spain and Argentina.

“Then I was overseeing winemaking projects for a large English importer for a couple of years before a friend asked if I wanted to join an American firm sourcing wine from around the world for them rather than making it.”

We want to create a product that is more than what’s in the bottle,” said Scutt

That move saw him move from hands-on winemaking to travelling the world sourcing wines to satisfy the demand from supermarkets, on-line retailers and various specialty outlets in America.

He met Georgie in London where she was working in the private equity sector and because he was sourcing a lot of wine from Europe the couple moved to Barcelona where they lived for six years before moving back to Nelson in 2009.

“We had our first daughter so it was time to move home. While Georgie and I met in London she is originally from Nelson so it was a simple decision to make Nelson our home in New Zealand. The nature of my work means I can live anywhere so I’m still sourcing wines from around the world for the global wine market as well as their own brands and private labels.

“The company I work for, WX Brands, is one of the top ten wine companies in the world and as well as sourcing and distributing wines they also own the number one winery in Argentina, Grupo Penaflor.”

Johnson’s main job is buying lots of wine to satisfy every sector of the international market, from cheap to premium but he was also keen to “get my hands dirty again” and make small volumes of quality wine for himself.

With a focus on wines handcrafted with care and passion all fruit is hand-harvested from their boutique vineyard in Upper Moutere he also wants to make serious wines for fun people.

“We want to create a product that is more than what’s in the bottle. Each bottle reflects our family values. My 75 year old mother, Carol Scutt helps in the winery and the kids (Ivy 14, Willoughby 12, and Lilly 10) get involved at every opportunity too.

With Johnson Scutt’s rich upbringing, it would be fair to say he has always had wine in his blood

“Then I thought what am I calling this, who am I and how am I going to sell it?  Georgie is a contemporary artist so started an art series of wines, each year we will use one of her art works on each wine, a different label each year.

Johnson and Georgie have started a new wine brand from nothing, they have developed a unique identity for their delicious wines that will be limited to a total production of just 5000 bottles, with each bottle featuring a fantastic artwork, is hand numbered and signed by the winemaker.

As a special promotion to launch the brand Scutt Wines are on special on their website (www.scuttwines.co.nz) and in selected retail outlets. While the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are available now the Scutt Wines 2023 Rose and 2022 Riesling are due for release in a week or two. Here are my thoughts on a couple of these delicious wines.

Scutt Wines 2023 Pinot Meunier Rose

Rose made from Pinot Meunier grapes that are usually used as one of the grapes to make Champagne tends to have a drier flavour profile than those made from Pinot Noir. This particular version has lovely summer berry characters with off-dry powdery acidity that leaves you wanting ‘just one more glass please’. Perfect for summer drinking around the barbeque. 4 stars.

Scutt Wines 2022 Chardonnay

Made from fruit grown on the Waimea Plains the delicious stonefruit aromas follow through in a flavour profile that is rounded on the palate with those same stone fruit/delicate peach flavours and an added twist of fresh lime. Made without the use of new oak or malolactic fermentation. This is a pure expression of chardonnay fruit and vineyard location. 4 stars.

Published in the Nelson Mail 20-09-2023

Sari Hodgson 2011 - Savage and Savage

A Way Forward

It is now seven months since we lost Sari, time has just flown by but at the same time her loss seems so fresh. And not just for me, many clients worked with Sari as their financial and business advisor for more than 30 years so we know you all miss her guidance and friendly face as much as we do in the office.

While we can never replace Sari’s personality and client knowledge we can replace her skills. That is something I have had a real focus on when looking for the right buyer for the business.

I was determined not to sell the business to the highest bidder, I wanted to find someone with the same ethos as Sari and me when it comes to putting clients and staff first. Some of you will have already met Susan Cooper who has been working from our offices for the last six weeks or so; I have decided that Susan is the right person for us to work with. I say ‘us’ because it is a decision I have made with advice and guidance from the staff at Savage & Savage.

Susan is a Chartered Accountant with her own sole-practitioner business – Susan Cooper Chartered Accountants. Susan’s business has a very similar client profile to ours and it has grown to the stage she needs some office support, something we can help her with. Susan and I have agreed on the terms of sale and we expect her to take over the business on  the 31st January 2024 with a new brand to be launched a month or so later. There are many details she needs to take care of, things like new branding, new website, new signage etc so she is going to take her time rather than rushing things at this time of the year.

Susan has also asked me to remain with the business to help her manage the process of combining the two  businesses, so I will still be hanging around the office every day. You are all very welcome to contact me if you have any queries about the sale process, but it is our intention to make everything as seamless as possible for clients, both ours and Susan’s.

Susan and I will be hosting some client functions in the new year so you will have the chance to meet her, and her clients can be introduced to our office and staff.

Sari’s passing was the end of an era for the Savage family as we move forward with a new owner for the business. I have established a small annual prize in her name for the top accounting student at Waimea College where her father and founder of Savage & Savage, Noel Savage, was the chairman of the board back in the 1960’s and where Sari and her brothers went to school. Supporting students is something Sari has done for many years and it is a privilege for me to be able to continue this support in a small way.

Thank you all for your kind words about Sari and your support over the last seven months, I appreciate so much.

Kind regards


Sari Hodgson FCA 1960-2023

Firstly, thank you to the many, many people who have sent cards, emails and texts to me and our staff acknowledging Sari’s sudden and unexpected passing in April and the contribution she made to so many businesses and community organisations over a lot of years.

As a Chartered Accountant Sari’s focus was always on her clients first, she always had a smile for them and always made sure they got the best advice possible. While I knew this, I have been humbled by the many emails I have received expressing how Sari changed people’s businesses and lives, how important she was to her clients and how much they trusted her wisdom and judgement.

It goes without saying we all miss Sari a lot. Her guidance as a mentor to many staff over the last 35+ years, her advice to clients (many of whom thought of Sari as a friend as well as a trusted adviser), her tax knowledge and her bright, welcoming personality will never be able to be replaced. However, as a business we do have plans for a future without her.

But before I talk about that many people will be wondering what happened to Sari.

She never hid the fact she was a type 1 diabetic, but she also never let it rule her life. She would often say ‘it lives in my house, I don’t live in its house’. Because she was diagnosed with diabetes when she was just three years old she didn’t know any different and she just got on with life.

Her health issues in the last eight years stemmed from being prescribed methotrexate to help with the RSI pain in her hands. Unfortunately, this particular drug has a side effect she wasn’t aware of, Methotrexate Pneumonitis (pneumonia brought on by the drug) compromised her lung function. The result was she had only about 50% lung function since 2015 and this compromised her quality of life far more than her diabetes did.

Because of her compromised lung function we kept Sari at home to be safe from Covid, she was feeling as well as she had for some time and was getting ready to come back to the office at the end of May.

Sadly, as a result of the compromised lung function she had developed a clot in her lung that broke free and caused cardiac arrest.

Now and the future

To make sure we can provide the very best advice to our clients while also meeting the requirements of CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand) we have put a caretaker Chartered Accountant (Barry Signal CA) in place to check everything we do and sign off accounts etc. We have engaged the services of Geoff Falloon, a tax expert, to provide tax advice to our staff and clients. Both are people we have worked with before and who Sari had a lot of respect for.

Moving forward I intend to take care of our clients and staff in the same way Sari would have. While I have inherited this business I can’t own the firm and it remain a Chartered Accountancy business, something that was important to Sari.

I will need to sell it in due course but rather than selling a client and fee base to a larger firm, as we are seeing a lot of at the moment, I am looking for someone with the right experience and personality to buy the business over time. I will retain a small shareholding and the new person can just buy the business over a few years. I will also stay involved in the business, I’m not going to just sell it and walk away.

My hope is that this will give a younger person the opportunity to own an established business. Creating an opportunity for someone is something Sari would have wanted to do.

Another option is to merge with another small, client focused, Chartered Accountancy business that shares a similar sense of supporting our community.

First and foremost, I intend to make a decision with the help of our staff, sometime in the next few months, that is in the very best interests of our clients.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I am in the office every day from about 8am until about 1.30pm or later as needed and can be contacted by email anytime.

Neil Hodgson



Cable Bay Café

Annette Meyer may be a familiar face to people who go to the Isel Twilight Market or Kirby Lane. She’s the lady who sold delicious, homemade cheesecakes, bagels and treats from her tiny Just Be Food & Drinks caravan.

When I wrote about her in 2019 I told you that she came to New Zealand from Switzerland. She came here to “milk cows and experience the Kiwi way of life” for the first time in 2005. She was so entranced with this country she came back a few years later and is still here. Her journey in New Zealand has taken her from the farm life to her food caravan business all the way to a little piece of paradise in Cable Bay at the Cable Bay Café.

Annette told me that about three years ago “I knocked on the previous owner’s door and said if you want to sell let me know because I would be keen to consider buying it. I didn’t hear anything from Mandy until Easter this year when she turned up at my food cart and asked me if I wanted to buy the Café.”

Annette and her partner Ed Briem bought the café business in June but “my mum passed away at the same time, so we went back to Europe for a couple of months to be with family. We got back in September to a closed Cable Bay Road.”

Ed says “When we were in Europe it was 40 degrees every day while Nelson was in flood conditions. We stayed in touch with news reports but didn’t know what we would come home to. The campground beside us had a bit of damage, a slip went through it and there’s still some damage on the road at the entrance to the camp.

“The camp has new owners and we work really well together, while we had just bought the café and had some work to do getting it ready to open they were able to clean up and open for labour weekend.”

The couple set about fully renovating the café. Annette says “we spent a lot of time cleaning and painting, we put in a new coffee machine, a new bar and more seating. We also have some little mementos in the café from my mum’s, this place is my mum’s last gift to me, it’s like it was meant to be.

“My mum being unwell for some time and then passing away reminded us we need to enjoy everything, seize the day and don’t take anything for granted. This is a special place and we are determined to enjoy being here. We could work seven days a week but working harder and being open seven days doesn’t always mean making more money.

“It’s about how we work, we work hard for five days a week and make sure we take time to enjoy life too so we have plenty of energy to make sure we have the passion to provide a great experience. If you’ve had a chance to relax you can put everything into making great food and providing a wonderful experience for customers.

“We decided to close on Monday and Tuesday so we can do the back-office stuff and have some time to refresh. It’s not just how much money is in the bank account, a high turnover doesn’t always translate into success.”

Ed is a co-owner owner of League of Brewers, a homebrew shop in Tahunanui and also works as a IT developer and programmer. “I have a little back office at Cable Bay Café where I can do a lot of my work as well as  training staff and working in the café.” Ed is a coffee geek so is passionate about making and serving excellent coffee, and as you can imagine, because he is into brewing, the café now has a very small bar where they serve local beers.

In fact, they use as many local producers as possible. Annette says “local suppliers have been incredibly supportive. We get all our organic produce from Ferretti growers, all our dairy products come from the Junction (Little River and Thorvald cheeses, yogurts and cream), A2 milk from Oaklands and our gelato comes from Gelato Roma that is also under new ownership.”

I wanted to know why they wanted to take on a café in Cable Bay, “it’s just in a beautiful location, we are really a beachside café and a wonderful place to have a business. It’s not far from town and even though there are a couple of spots on the road that still need repairing it easy to get to.”

Being a beachside café they decided not to take any bookings, cater to large groups or host functions. “We want to build the business as a café so our focus is making sure people can rely on us being open, the last thing diners want is to drive out here and find closed doors.

“If you turn up and we’re full just go for a walk on the beach for half an hour, come back and we’re likely to have a table for you, or maybe sit on a blanket under a tree and treat it like you’re having a picnic, just in our café.

“Our locals are also loving the fact we’re open five days from 9.30am until 3pm Wednesday to Friday and 10am until 4pm at the weekend, they just drop in for coffee, a beer, wine and something freshly homemade to eat.”

At the Cable Bay Café Annette makes everything in-house, including her famous bagels and most of the delicious treats she sold from her caravan are on the extended menu or in the cabinet for instant service. The caravan will also make an appearance over the summer as a place to buy a takeaway coffee and ice cream to enjoy on the beach.

Check out the bright and friendly refurbished Cable Bay Café, it is such a delightful space with great service and delicious food, you won’t be disappointed.

Published in the Nelson Mail 30-11-2022

Trust Tax Return Rules

The rules have changed for information required when filing a Domestic Trust tax return.

At the time of filing a trust tax return we are now also required to provide detailed information (name, address, IRD number etc.,) to IRD on the following:

  • “Settlors” (people contributing to the Trust assets)
  • “Beneficiaries” only if they have received funds from the trust in the financial year
  • “Power of appointment” persons – Details of the person/s able to appoint trustees
  • Details of the amount and nature of settlements made in the financial year
  • Details of monies put in/taken out through the Beneficiary(ies) Current Account
  • For assets in the trust such as land and buildings, the method of valuation e.g. cost price

This means we need a lot more information from you and if you don’t know these details for the above, we, or you will need to contact your lawyers for the information because we MUST have this information when we are filing tax returns.

Obviously, if you are able to supply this information to us directly, you will save yourself some lawyers’ fees.  If you cannot provide all this information, it may lead to increased fees from us and the lawyers to obtain the information.

Click here to go to IRD’s website

World Class Wine List

The Nelson Hospitality Association held a celebration of all things excellent in the industry every two years before the industry was severely impacted by the Covid pandemic. At the celebratory dinner awards were handed out to the best front-of-house person, the best barperson, best security professional, best young chef, best chef and best restaurant among others and I was invited to judge the best beverage list award for several years.

When it comes to judging anything the process has to be clear, even if the final award winners come down to the personal choice of the judges, I set up a process that ensured the Best Beverage List was able to be won by any hospitality business. I judged the various lists based on suitability for the venue (be it a bar or fine dining restaurant), the selection of non-alcohol drinks as well as alcoholic drinks, the inclusion of local wines, the selection of drinks available by the glass, the design and readability of this list and finally my perception of how much effort was put into crafting the list.

If you print a wine list in black print on a red card then you will go straight to the bottom of my class, and probably will end up wearing a dunce’s cap too. Black on red is one of the hardest colour combinations to read, especially in the dim lighting of a restaurant, and owners need to present something that can be read, not just something that has cool design features.

The last factor is important because many beverage companies offer to prepare the wine lists for venues and these can be very good beverage lists, but it’s the owners and bar managers who put a lot of effort into crafting their own lists that really stand out.

Nelson restaurant and bar Hopgood’s & Co has been shortlisted for the Best Designed Wine List at the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022

One venue that never entered the local beverage list competition is Hopgood’s & Co Restaurant & Bar, owner Kevin Hopgood told me that while they are really proud of the things they do to create a great dining experience when it comes to local awards he doesn’t want to enter everything, and the beverage list is one he chooses not to enter.

That doesn’t mean the Hopgood’s & Co beverage list isn’t very good, in fact, it is world-class. They were recently shortlisted for the Best Designed Wine List at the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022. To put this shortlisting into perspective others on the same shortlist are Mesa in Macau, China; House of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Lazy Bear, California, San Francisco, USA and Astrid & Gaston, Lima, Peru.

One other New Zealand venue has been shortlisted too, Charlie Noble in Wellington is entered in the Most Original Wine List category. The World of Fine Wine Awards have entries from all around the world and include some of the finest bars and restaurants.

So how much effort goes in to designing a world-class wine list? Hopgood’s & Co owner Kevin Hopgood told me they put a lot of focus on getting their beverage list right, not only do they have to offer diners a decent selection, the wines need to be able to pair with dishes they serve as well as being affordable. “If we get it right then the right wine will enhance the food we serve and vice versa, the food you’re eating will affect the flavours of the wine so we try and make sure we offer something that will pair with our food and that people will love.

“We are approached almost daily by wine reps and winery owners who want us to put their products on our wine list, some of the wines are very good and would probably work nicely with the food we serve but we simply can’t put every wine we like on the menu. If we did our wine list would be a 50 page book and we would need huge storage space for the stocks we would need to carry, so it just isn’t practical.”

The design of the wine list is also important, as evidenced by the fact there is an award for this at the World of Fine Wines Wine List Awards, “people need to be able to find the style or variety of wine they’re looking for easily, but also be tempted by things they may not have tried before, by getting the design right we should be able to make it difficult for diners to choose from an enticing selection” and that’s one of the things Hopgood’s puts a focus on, enticing diners to try something new.

“We want to have interesting and rare wines on our list, we are incredibly lucky to have a few wineries who are prepared to sell us library stocks of aged wines, having a properly aged wine can really enhance the dining experience.”

Because Hopgood’s & Co is also a bar they have an excellent selection of spirits, beers and cocktails too. Kevin says “We have a cocktail specialist working behind the bar so people can drop in for a lovely, freshly crafted cocktail or craft beer and have some food from our bar snacks menu if they don’t feel like a full meal. People often come in early for a drink before they have dinner so we try and make the whole dining experience one people can really enjoy.

“We want people to relax and have a great time while they enjoy the food that comes out of the kitchen, our chefs love making tasty and innovative small plates to go with drinks at the bar.”

The winners of the World of Fine Wine World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022 will be announced at a ceremony to be held in London on the 12th of September and if Hopgood’s & Co win, or not, just being shortlisted for the prestigious awards is something to be incredibly proud of and to celebrate. https://worldoffinewine.com/

Published in the Nelson Mail 2022-08-31 


Support your local hospitality businesses

We all know a lot can happen in a very short time and things have changed significantly for people I wrote about in the last two weeks; firstly I spoke to a number of winery owners to find out what was happening with this year’s vintage and they were all very happy but said they didn’t need too much rain!

It just shows that when you a working in the horticulture sector and relying on Mother Nature to play nicely, she doesn’t always get the message. Ex-cyclone Dovi has delivered a huge amount of rain and warm air that will have an impact on the grape harvest this year, the quality of which is going to be determined by how much bright sunshine and drying wind we get in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

Water played a big part on the day my article about The General Grocery Store in St Vincent St was published too, this time it was a burst waterpipe that saw thousands of litres of water flood the premises stopping them from trading for a few days just as I told you to go and check them out.

Things are back to normal this week so make sure you stop in support this fantastic local store.

In recent weeks I have also stayed in touch with a few restaurants, café’s and retail stores in the region to see how they are fairing now summer holiday visitors have returned home, the answer from everyone has been the same; things are very quiet and because of concern about the appearance of Omicron locals are just staying home.

I certainly don’t want to minimise the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid, it does have the potential to put a huge amount of pressure on our health systems, but I firmly believe we need to get on with our normal lives as much as possible.

It is still safe to go out for a meal or a drink, it’s safe to visit retail stores and you can certainly buy your lunch from one of the many food outlets in the region. You just need to be sensible and go to places that have good Covid practices in place.

We have some fantastic restaurants, bars and cafes in this region and if we don’t support them some, if not many, will be laying off staff, reducing opening hours or simply close permanently and that would be a huge loss for the region.

There are a few hospitality venues that I’m sure will get through these tough times, simply because they are outstanding at what they do, but it won’t be easy. That was reinforced last week when the Cuisine Good Food Awards were announced.

In this region three businesses were highlighted as outstanding examples, Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar, Hawker House & Bar, and Hopgood’s & Co made the exclusive Chefs Hats list. The Chefs Hats are New Zealand’s version of Michelin Stars, they shine a light on businesses that deliver a high quality hospitality experience consistently, that means these are places you can rely on to be great every time you visit.

You can read about the Cuisine Good Food Awards at www.cuisine.co.nz/awards and when you do you will see that Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar and Hawker House & Bar earned One Chefs Hat once again while Hopgood’s & Co not only retained their Two Hat status but also won a category award, the Pead. sponsored Food Legend/Long-Term Player Award.

Hopgood’s & Co chefs Aaron Ballantyne, left, and Kevin Hopgood

The judges said “Familiarity breeds contentment in the long-term partnership of owner Kevin Hopgood and head chef Aaron Ballantyne. They’ve been working together for 15 years and the harmony is reflected in what they produce. Consider the finish, for starters: a dessert of 70% chocolate mousse with cherry, amaretto and caramelised milk gelato. Flavour and texture explode from each component and with all the colours of a Chardin painting it’s an illustration of something particularly fabulous. The predecessors are equally impressive, such as our fish of the day – hake – which Kevin had brined on arrival to help it keep its form. Sautéed artichoke and crisp cauliflower made a great counterpoint. Everything is taken into account, from the sparkling glassware to the gracious oversight of the dining room. Hopgood’s has that magic capacity to make you feel that dining out is something to delight in.”

The Food Legend/Long-Term Player Award recognises the commitment they have made to the food and hospitality industry over many years, they lead by example. Kevin Hopgood, Head Chef, Aaron Ballantyne, and all their staff go to work every day to create dining magic and this award is something they can be immensely proud of.

The same can be said about the owners and staff at Urban Eatery Restaurant & Bar, Hawker House & Bar and every other hospitality business in the region. These are people who go to work every day to make tasty food for you and me to enjoy. Many hospitality and retail operators I have spoken with in the last couple of weeks tell me it has been the quietest weeks since they have been in business, some for 20 years plus.

As I said earlier, we need to support every business in the region or many will close. All you need to get on with your life is a vaccine pass (I note 95% of Nelsonians are eligible for it) and take sensible precautions. You don’t need to hide away, but if you’re not comfortable going out for any reason then make sure you do your on-line shopping with Nelson businesses. Also keep an eye out for click & collect offerings from food retailers, restaurants and cafes.

Shopping local has never been more important.

Published in the Nelson Mail 16.02.22

Do you need to update your RWT deduction rate?

From 1 April 2021 a new top tax rate of 39% was introduced for individuals who earn over $180,000 a year.

If you may earn over $180,000 in the 2021 – 2022 year, it is recommended that you update your RWT rate with your bank (you should be able to do this in online banking) and also, if applicable, contact your Investment Portfolio Manager and update the RWT rate for your investments (not the PIR which should remain at 28%)

For any dividends declared by your Company that we do the calculations for, we will apply the higher rate for DWT.

Even though the new rate applies from 1 April 2021 the option to increase it with banks and IRD has only recently been made available. Tax on some income may therefore have been under-deducted for part of the year which may create a terminal tax liability.

Covid-19 protocols in our office

The new Covid-19 traffic light system introduced by the Government has caused much confusion, however, despite that and now that Covid-19 has emerged in the Nelson region it is important we all take sensible precautions to avoid spreading the virus.

We have decided we will be open for anyone to visit our office without a Vaccine Passport, however if you are unwell or have any cold-like symptoms or other illness please refrain from coming to the office.

We are able to meet with you via a Zoom meeting if required and are always available to be contacted by phone and email.

If you are not double-vaccinated please advise us on arrival and ensure you wear a mask, if you are double-vaccinated we do not require you to wear a mask if you are just dropping something off but would prefer everyone wears a mask in meetings.

Either way, when you visit our office please sign in or scan the Covid-19 QR Tracing Code displayed in the office, even if you are only dropping something off.

We are required by law to ensure we record the details and time of visit for everyone who enters our office.


We have always offered visitors to our office a freshly brewed tea or proper coffee, however, the new Covid-19 protocols means we are unable to offer these refreshments at this time.

We do have a water cooler with disposable cups visitors are welcome to use and, of course, you can always bring your ow hot drink.

If you don’t like these protocols please remember our staff are just doing what is required by law.

The most important thing to remember is to be sensible, be safe and be kind.