Novice Māori cheesemaker wins major award with smelly camembert

A novice Māori cheesemaker has won a major award in one of the world's most prestigious cheese competitions.

Zev Kaka-Holtz works for Whangārei artisan company Grinning Gecko and his kau piro cheese has taken the bronze medal at the Nantwich international cheese show in the United Kingdom.

Kau Piro ('smelly cow' in te reo) is a camembert-style cheese that is washed in a bacteria solution giving it its characteristic aroma.

Mr Kaka-Holtz said at first he was disappointed he didn't win gold in his section for novice cheesemakers.

The Kau piro cheese has taken out the bronze medal at the Nantwich international cheese show in the United Kingdom. Source: Supplied

But his boss Catherine McNamara said it was a huge achievement as he was up against the best in the business.

"It's the biggest and best cheese show in the world, you can compare it to the Olympics," Ms McNamara said.

The gold and silver medal winners worked for old established European firms with, in one case, 100 years of mentoring behind them.

Mr Kaka-Holtz started working at Grinning Gecko in 2015 simply to feed his young family.

"It's basic, I just go to jobs to feed my children and if they're proud of me then I'm happy," he said.

He didn't start out being passionate about cheese and what he was used to was the sort you get in a Big Mac.

"At the start, I just used to wash the dishes but Catherine saw something in me and let me take over the cheese making process and now it's become a passion."

According to the 30-year-old, the secret to making a good smelly cheese is aroha.

"The biggest thing I would say is to make it with love, I make the cheese like I'd be happy to feed it to my children.

"I suppose that's what makes me realise that in the whole world, if you just make something with love it can get you almost to the top," Mr Kaka-Holtz said.

Next time, Grinning Gecko's youngest cheesemaker said he would be going for gold.

- by Eden More

Novice cheesemaker Zev Kaka-Holtz. Source: Supplied



Families and employers prepare for teachers' strike, as thousands set to walk off the job

On Wednesday more than 30,000 primary teachers and principals will strike, meaning about half a million children will have a day off school. 

Protests and meetings are scheduled throughout the country, with the day expected to impact employers.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch the video above for more as TVNZ1's Q+A reporter Whena Owen spoke to parents and children about the the strike will effect their day.  

Read more: 'We've reached a crisis point' - teachers ready to 'stand up and be heard' as strike nears

About half a million children are expected to have the day off school. Source: Q+A

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Simon Bridges says unchanged OCR shows Reserve Bank Governor's shaken faith in the economy

National Party leader Simon Bridges has continued his attack on the Government's handling of the economy, saying the Reserve Bank's reluctance to raise the Official Cash Rate speaks more than words.

The unchanged OCR was not expected by the market, and the New Zealand dollar has fallen from about US$67.50c to about US$65.75c, as of this morning, since the Reserve Bank made its announcement on Thursday.

Mr Bridges, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast, said Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr's decision to keep the OCR at its current historic low of 1.75 per cent shows he is not confident in the economy.

A graph showing business confidence in New Zealand for the past five years, up until June 2018.
A graph showing business confidence in New Zealand for the past five years, up until June 2018. Source: ANZ Bank New Zealand/Tradingeconomics.com

"The reality is he has kept interest rates lower for longer than other places around the rest of world," Mr Bridges said.

"That is the biggest vote of no confidence in the economy ... that he's got."

Mr Bridges said falling business confidence and rising unemployment are symptoms of the Labour Government's policies, including the recent increase of industrial action and working groups.

New Zealand unemployment statistics to June 2018.
New Zealand unemployment statistics to June 2018. Source: Statistics New Zealand/Tradingeconomics.com

"New Zealand should be booming - it should be 3.5, 4 per cent," Mr Bridges said.

"I don't think we're heading for a recession - but I do think, right at the moment ... her [Jacinda Ardern's] focus should be on plummeting business confidence and the economic downturn."

Mr Orr yesterday told TVNZ 1's Q+A that he assesses business confidence based on business' actions, rather than how they respond anecdotally to surveys.

Mr Bridges says Adrian Orr would have raised the rate if he was confident in New Zealand’s economy. Source: Breakfast