top of page


Seasons Magazine

The Simple Pleasures of Reading

Whenever I visit new friends or go to someone's house when they host an event, I find myself drawn to any room filled with bookcases, or - even better - an entire wall lined with bookshelves crammed with books of all shapes and sizes.

cover july.JPG

Seasons Magazine

Te Aroha - the Mountain of Love

What's not to love? Hot spring pools, Edwardian buildings, a mountain criss-crossed with bush walks, a sculptor who does double life size horses for public art, tucked-away cafes and accommodation - but it's lockdown for the pandemic and I have to interview by phone.

seasons cover june.JPG

Seasons Magazine

Karangahake - A Modern Gold Rush

The huge concrete ruins of the gold mining industry, bikers and walkers on the opposite side of the river that runs through the gorge, bridges and tunnels and trains that curve through the bush convinced me to talk to another writer who has lived in Karangahake for years; what was the attraction that drew her to live in this spectacular but isolated place?

Seasons Magazine

Midwinter in Matamata - Really?

When a friend asked me to house sit for her in Matamata while she swanned off to the Islands, I asked if I could bring my grandson Alex along to experience being on a lifestyle block.

She’s an adventurer with the stickability to do four years’ work achieving a PhD in the obscure subject of ‘Respiration in Giant Cuttlefish Eggs’, Sepia apama, the one that changes colour, all the time wondering whether this topic was likely to get her exciting jobs in amazing places.

Focus Magazine

Emma Cronin – influencer in action

By: Kinsa Hays


Emma's story 2.png

Focus magazine issue 15  

Published on Mar 25, 2019 

emma in action 3.jpg

North & South Magazine - NOTED

Rat-catcher extraordinaire
scott .milly.jpg

Sick of walking the line to find and clear predator traps, Scott Sambell added technology – and a rat-detecting dog Milly – to his arsenal. As Kinsa Hays discovered, the more strategic approach is raising hopes Predator-Free NZ could be a reality earlier than 2050. 

Scott, with Milly at his feet and another Conservation Dog Kosher. Photo / Lois Clayton

A random phone call rekindles memories of a boat –
and a life well-lived – from many years ago.

Did you ever own a yacht called Teal?” the caller asked me over the phone.
Fifty years ago, we did! It was like
contact from the grave. “Yes.”
“I’m Tony Stevenson. I’ve been doing
some detective work to find previous
owners of Teal.”
“You’ve found one,” I said. “My first husband Fred Herbert and I owned her from about 1965 to 1970, but Fred now has dementia.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
I was curious. “Why did you ring?”
“We rescued Teal from the wrecker’s yard,” Tony said. “I paid one dollar for her, and we’ve refurbished her. She’s like a new boat.”

Focus Magazine

Creativity in the Bay of Plenty - Kinsa Hays

Focus magazine issue 13  

Published on Sep 26, 2018  

When asked what her creative preference is, Kinsa explains that she loves the balance between them. "When you've overdone it in one media, doing the other is bliss. Colour attracts me but so do words, stringing them together, making a word picture in poetry or prose, watching people read it, seeing the slow way they respond as they return to reality coming out of the word picture."

Focus Magazine

Helen Mason's Care for the Community
Helen Mason.JPG

Focus magazine issue 14

Published on November 11, 2018  

Helen Mason is the CEO of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. She has a staff of 3300, a budget of $800 million and the health of the community in her tender and compassionate care. Success sits lightly on Helen. She's slender and articulate with the handshake of a truck driver.



North & South Magazine - NOTED

No ordinary sculptor: The man who makes wood come to life

In a small part of the Bay of Plenty works a man who can make satin and lace from wood. 

Walking through Kevin McCardell’s gallery in Tauriko, you’ll be astonished by what appears to be clothing hanging on the walls. Closer inspection reveals these realistic creations are made of wood. 

Carved folds hang loosely. The teeth of zips and the stitching on a sports bag is almost for real. The builder’s bag complete with tools seems ready to wear.


Focus Magazine

Want to Write a Family History?

Focus magazine issue

Published March 2018

gayel capture.JPG

Want to write a family history? This story will inspire you to write yours.

‘The Long Journey from Steam to Cyber’ - from first fiction novel to Amazon best seller, Gracie Stathers – not her real name – has made it a short journey. After telling a story about her family history to amuse passengers on a long-haul bus tour, Stathers realised that the deeds of her ancestors belonged not just to her family, but were a part of the history of the settlement of the New World. The story belonged in the public domain.

Stathers had a head start – a boxful of anecdotes collected from her family 


Check out her website 



bottom of page