Medicine Mondiale's fashion and charity evening on Thursday raised $75,000 as guests dug deep to donate to a good cause.

EY's Britomart offices served as the venue with Auckland city and the waterfront visible from its level-nine balcony.

The evening kicked off with canapes, wine and cocktails before models for Kathryn Wilson and Barkers strutted their stuff through the building, causing a stir amongst the guests.

Fashion designer Trelise Cooper closed out the runway show with her latest collection, before the business end of the evening began.


Sir Ray Avery has been widely commended for his work over the years but wife Lady Anna Avery deserved a lot of the credit for Thursday's event - something Sir Ray made mention of several times throughout the evening.

Early risers

For the non-early risers amongst us, Nespresso's enliven your mornings breakfast would have been insightful. The 100-odd guests were seated based on what sort of morning person they were. Needless to say, I was relegated to the snoozer table with the other people who tend to be less than friendly before their morning coffee.

After a coffee-inspired breakfast from Ostro's Josh Emett, a panel of different morning people took to the stage to - mostly it seemed - make the snoozer table re-evaluate their life decisions.

Aside from hearing that far too many people get up before 7am in the morning, one of the more interesting panellists was Vaughan Rowsell of Vend, who managed to promote working at Vend as one of the best companies in New Zealand.

Rowsell's work edict is as long as work gets done, there are no set hours with staff able to work when best suits them. He said they had looked into getting hammocks in the office but for now, Vend's bean bag room would suffice.

The well-known face of Vend, Rowsell has stepped aside as chief executive to focus on the creative side, handing the reins over to Alex Fala.

Emirates Team New Zealand launch the first of their America's Cup test boats at their new base in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
Emirates Team New Zealand launch the first of their America's Cup test boats at their new base in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Road to redemption

Putting the San Francisco woes behind them, Team New Zealand put their best foot forward last week, launching the first test boat, a year out from the America's Cup.

In a closely guarded compound in Wynyard Quarter and behind a hefty security fence, (presumably to keep out spies and traitors) the team and crew gathered with a select group of friends, sponsors (including newest addition ASB bank) and media to officially launch the boat.

A crane lifted the 45-foot catamaran into the air - not something you see every day - leaving it to hover above the water while the ceremony took place.

Team NZ boss Grant Dalton welcomed guests and commended the crew on their stamina and effort before handing the reins to Ngati Whatua to bless the boat. During the karakia the wind picked up, humming through the sails and making it appear as though the boat was singing back to the team.

In a more modern tradition, Margaret Tindall smashed the ceremonial champagne against the skate on the boat to cheers and applause as the vessel was finally lowered into the water for the first time.

Mustang delivers for kids

Whoever said car salesmen have no heart?

Recently John Andrew Ford and Mazda hosted its seventh annual black-tie dinner and auction for Camp Quality. On the night 270 people attended and a record $250,000 was raised, helped by John Andrew and Ford donating a brand new Ford Mustang with all the extra specs for auction.

Camp Quality is a volunteer, non-profit charitable trust, providing annual summer camps and year-round support at no cost to help children and their families overcome the challenges of living with cancer.

Although John Andrew Ford and Mazda and Camp Quality seem an unlikely pairing, the relationship is delivering with Camp Quality regional manager Geoff Barnett blown away with the ongoing generosity of sponsors which enables the camps to keep going.

John Andrew's Paul Brown says what appeals to his company is the fact that "Camp Quality provides children with the opportunity to just be children and do what children do".

A big heart indeed.