Back to Basics: How to eat seasonally and save money during winter

According to Statistic New Zealand, fruit and vegetable prices rose 4.2 per cent in the month of April. This rise in the price on fresh produce puts pressure on the wallet and families struggling to make ends meet. Our columnist Lydia Harvey has some tips to eating healthy food without bursting the budget this winter.

As autumn comes to an end and winter nips at our heels, we find ourselves eating what we know will be many lasts for the season - corn, tomatoes, strawberries and passion fruit are now a distant memory.

Winter is a time for comfort foods and it's time to rely heavily on what we have stored away for the bulk part of the year, including canned tomatoes, bottled fruits, walnuts, onions and even apples dried and hung to be eaten at a later date.


But for those who are yet to plant a garden or grow herbs on the windowsill there are some small steps you can do to make big changes financially, environmentally and for your health. These tips will also help save money in the winter as the price of healthy food increases.

Shop seasonal
There is still so much goodness to be had even in the depths of winter. Kumara, pumpkin, carrots and brassicas are at their peak in winter and are great for roasts and soups.

Bulk up your meals
Split peas, lentils, brown rice and other pantry staples such as pasta make your meals go a long way and they're relatively cheap to buy.

Use your left overs
Anything from boiling down your raw vegetable scraps, making your own stock, to using part of your meat leftovers for soup are all ways of creating more meals and reducing your food waste.

Last night's dinner can be used for lunch or reinvented with some pastry or fresh vegetables for the next night's dinner.

Invest in a crock pot (even a second hand one)
This wins on all levels. Not only is dinner made when you not at home, but you can actually get away with buying the absolute cheapest cuts of meat and veg and make nourishing meals.

Food still grows in winter so get planting
It's never too late to plant the first seed, plant or tree just check out what types of plants grow in winter.

In just a couple of short weeks I've planted and grown chilies behind my fireplace.

From Lydia's Garden: Silver beet Dal

Source: 1 NEWS

It's wet and cold outside so it’s time for some good winter warming goodness. This week Lydia's shared her favourite dish for winter that only uses one pot to make.

3 tbsp of Olive oil
1 tsp each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds and turmeric
1 finely diced onion
2 crushed chillis
4 large cloves of crushed ginger
¼ tsp of crushed cayenne
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of soaked and rinsed yellow split peas
3 cups of vegetable stock
3 cups of silver beet or spinach leaves

In a cast iron frying pan put in you olive oil, cumin, mustard seeds and turmeric, onion, garlic, ginger and cayenne and cook on a low heat.

Once the onion is transparent add the tomatoes, peas and vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil on a low heat until the peas are cooked through. Stir occasionally and top up with more liquid if needed.

About 20 minutes before serving add the silver beet or spinach.

Serve with garlic naan or basmati rice.

Watch: John Campbell gives emotional farewell to Checkpoint staff on final show as host

John Campbell has given an emotional farewell to Checkpoint staff on his final show as host this evening.

The award winning broadcaster and journalist is moving to TVNZ from Monday next week and made sure to give tribute to his RNZ colleagues before departing.

"I wanted to end by thanking the team in the room around me here who have worked so hard and given such a damn about a programme it’s been my immense good fortune to host.

"I can't thank you enough, God it's been a pleasure and a privilege and I'll miss you all," Campbell said with emotion.

In his new role at TVNZ Campbell will work across 1 NEWS programmes and platforms and will be given a roving brief.

Campbell says he’s looking forward to his new role, which will see him split his time in and out of the studio.

"After 20 years of sitting in a studio five nights a week, I’m really excited by the prospect of spending more time in the field," he says.

"I love getting out, meeting people and sharing their stories. I can’t wait to get to work."

Campbell will file for news and longer pieces for the Sunday programme. He is also likely to step in to present Tonight, Breakfast, Seven Sharp, Sunday, Q+A and 1 NEWS.

"God it’s been a pleasure," Campbell said as his colleagues gathered around. Source:


Furore erupts after young kids wearing temporary moko told they couldn't perform at Christchurch Cultural Festival

A furore has erupted after young children wearing temporary moko were told they couldn't perform in the Christchurch Cultural Festival last week.

The festival decided to ban moko last year, following complaints about incorrect use.

The story got attention when a teacher from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whanau Tahi School made an emotional statement on social media about three children being told to take their moko off at the festival.

"The young boy, who was the original boy that had a moko on his face, he was our leader, it was him that was going to be stood down, told he couldn’t perform, the other two girls were to fix it," the teacher said in a Facebook video.

In 2016 children were allowed to perform with temporary moko, but last year the rules changed and schools signed an agreement that children wouldn't wear the facial tattoos.

Kapa haka leaders have told 1 NEWS the ban followed 30 complaints that the moko weren't authentic, but some are questioning the blanket ban.

"They go with absolute pride in their hearts and on their faces with the intent to showcase their culture and themselves and they potentially got shot down," Mokopapa organiser Huata Martindale told 1 NEWS.

Both the school and the Christchurch Primary Schools Festival Trust didn't want to comment, but said they're working through a process together.

The festival decided to ban moko after complaints about incorrect use, but it has left some in the school community upset. Source: 1 NEWS


Meridian discards 'prompt payment discounts' for fairer treatment of struggling Kiwis

One of New Zealand's major power companies has replaced its so-called prompt payment discounts, saying they simply penalise people who struggle to pay their bills.

This move from Meridian Energy comes just days after a Government investigation into electricity prices, which questioned the fairness of the practice.

Budgeting advisers deal with the fallout from steep energy prices on a daily basis.

"We see many people who are constantly being disconnected who find power to be a very significant part of their spending," says Tim Bennett, chief executive of National Building Financial Capability Charity Trust.

This week, a government investigation found those who can't afford to pay their bills on time are being charged up to 26 per cent more for their power.

That's because power companies offer so-called "prompt payment discounts," which look like savings but are really just penalties for those who pay late.

Meridian Energy has now officially pulled the plug on the practice. 

"We're getting rid of the prompt payment discount because it's fundamentally unfair, especially to customers who struggle to pay their bills," says chief executive Neal Barclay.

The move has been welcomed by Energy Minister Megan Woods.

"I'm absolutely thrilled by the leadership that Meridian's showing today, that they've listened to what I think are really compelling arguments - that essentially we had a penalty for those who struggle to pay their power bills the most."

"It's great, I think really they were misleading and they were late payment penalty fees most impacting low income Kiwis and I urge other retailers to do it as well," says Green MP Gareth Hughes. 

"One company at least has seen sense and is going to treat people fairly regardless of how much income they've got," added Mr Bennett.

The Meridian logo Source: 1 NEWS

Other major power companies were contacted by 1 NEWS to see if they'd follow suit.

While Genesis, Contact and Mercury have no plans to ditch their prompt payment discounts, Trustpower is considering it.

Smaller retailers like Pulse Energy, who have already ditched the practice, call the payments deceptive and want them gone for good.

Meridian is set to replace the discount scheme with credits of equal value for all customers and says no one will be worse off. 

"The total cost to us is $5 million so that's money back into those customers' pockets," says Mr Barclay.

The government is now considering further actions to bring prices down. 

The move comes just days after government investigation into electricity prices questioned the fairness of the practice. Source: 1 NEWS

1 NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford says recent scandals 'not a good look for the Government'

Recent scandals have "not been a good look for the Government" according to 1 NEWS political reporter Katie Bradford.

After news came out today that Derek Handley's offer of chief technology officer position has been retracted by the Government, Bradford says there may be more to come.

"The Government is back to the drawing board and there may still be more to come, as Clare Curran said earlier this week she may still have personal emails on her Gmail account, so this is not necessarily over yet."

It has been the drawn-out nature of the Clare Curran saga which has hurt the Government most, Bradford says.

"This has been going on for weeks now, and every week there has been a new development with this, it's not a good look for the Government."

Coupled with other issues, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had a rough week in politics.

"This week has also seen questions around the stability of the coalition Government and that relationship with NZ First.

"The prime minister goes into this weekend having cancelled her media appearances on some big political TV shows including TVNZ1’s Q+A.

"She says that is because of a diary scheduling era, but on Sunday she is making a big speech on her Government’s first year," Bradford says.

When asked if she was not appearing due to a tough few weeks, Ms Ardern said "absolutely not". Source: 1 NEWS

When asked if she was not appearing due to a tough few weeks, which saw Clare Curran resign from her Ministerial positions and MP Meka Whaitiri stand down while an investigation is pending, Ms Ardern said "absolutely not".

"There's no question I remain very much available for comment on any issue of the day."

From the Clare Curran saga to coalition rifts, the pressure is on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS