As soon as the borders open he is off. In the meantime, fashion designer Cruze Kapa from Gisborne is 'stuck' at his aunty's house in Taupō, getting creative with pheasant feathers.
Kirstine MacIntosh got a call from a mutual friend, asking if she would take Cruze in. He had given up his home in New Zealand and a container load of his things had left for Brisbane, but Cruze was in New Zealand without a home to go to and unable to travel to Australia.
Of course she said yes, and Cruze, 26, and his sewing machine arrived for Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown.
At work most days as a Taupō Funeral Services Ltd director, Kirstine says she had big plans to do heaps of things during lockdown.
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"But of course I did nothing! Apart from helping Cruze to make a kākahu (cloak) and a wreath."
Kirstine already had a collection of pheasant feathers, as her daughter Shannon Reynolds would bring them home from her previous job at a Taupō game bird hunting property.
"The chef would cook the breast, and Shannon would bring home the parson's nose, the tail piece. She would shake baking soda on the feathers to dry them out and then feed the rest to the pigs," said Kirstine.
She said the making of the kākahu was a team effort, with Cruz stitching the tail feathers on to a tape then putting the whole thing together with a lining. Kristine's daughter Briar Proud, 14, helped position the feathers and modelled the finished kākahu. Under instruction from Shannon, Kirstine boiled some flax with an onion, to keep the colour, and then made flax ties for the kākahu.
"I am not artistic, I can draw stick people! I did all the glueing. The project kind of took over the whole house."
Hailing from Gisborne, Cruze is of Ngāti Porou descent and his hapu is Rongowhakaata. Kirstine is of Ngāpuhi descent, Northland and Cruze also affiliates to Ngāphui.
This was his first time making a cloak, however he said his last paper for his bachelor's degree had inspired him to create a contemporary Māori catwalk collection. The move to Brisbane will further his career and boost his own brand, Cruze.
"The kākahu has design influences from my whakapapa. It is not a korowai as there are no tassels and a korowai is a whole lot more work."
Cruze said he first became curious about sewing while spending time with his nana on his mum's side, Hinemahi Paenga, who was always mending her family's clothes.
"My nana would sit her sewing machine on the dining table and repair clothes. She had five kids."
This sparked his own creativity, fuelled by spending hours shopping with his mother and sister.
"I wanted to be creative on my own and design clothes. It was so unfair, there was not much choice in men's clothing."
Profoundly deaf at birth, Cruze had a cochlear implant into one ear when he was 6 years old. His first language is New Zealand Sign Language and English is his second language. He says not many deaf people get to study at university because their education levels are so low.
"Lack of opportunity for deaf people is something I want to address through my sewing. Everyone is equal. The reality is deaf people are equally talented."
Looking forward to progressing down through the alert levels, Kirstine said alert level 4 was very hard on families because they were not able to have funerals.
"Now we are at level 3, 10 people are allowed at a funeral. Covid-19 has really taken the grieving process of a funeral away."