Innovate – Just one of the catch words of this unprecedented COVID 19 lockdown

We have all had to be innovative – for some that means having to cook every day, for others it may be finding ways to keep busy and fulfilled, setting up a workspace at home, or even creating an exercise routine with what we have at hand. It has been amazing to see the creative innovations of New Zealanders with their sport challenges, dance offs, neighbourhood connecting. As they say “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and we are proving that to be true.

My recent innovation was making hot cross buns without yeast. I was feeling somewhat smug when I started reading social media posts about people looking for yeast in the supermarkets. It seemed that yeast had become the new TP, a hot commodity! No problem. I had a full jar of it in my pantry. I would be upholding my annual tradition of baking hot cross buns over Easter!

So Good Friday came – I got up early (well, earlier than usual) to start the process. I grabbed the new jar of yeast and measured it into the warm milk for proving. Then I glanced at the expiry date on the jar. 2017! What?! Obviously, it had sat there in the pantry overlooked while other jars of yeast had come and gone. Of course, there was NO yeast reaction in the warm milk. So, there would be NO hot cross buns either – at least not the ones I was planning to make.

Time to innovate! Having just made Chelsea Winters fabulous no yeast ‘lock down loaf’ a few days earlier, I decided to use that recipe and adapt it. Adding baking spices and currants.

Although the buns were not the best I’ve made, they met the criteria and provided some needed hot cross bun yumminess to our Easter weekend.

Innovate = make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

Why not include a trip to some of the Wellington region’s tourism attractions in your conference agenda

If you are planning a Wellington Conference you may want to consider including a trip to one of the Wellington region’s tourism attractions on the agenda, especially if you have guests from out of town.

Whether it’s a trip to one of the many museums or art galleries, a trip up the Cable Car to the Botanical Gardens, a bus or 4WD tour, or an action packed outdoor adventure. Wellington has something to suit everyone.

If your conference is booked for the summer months you might want to plan a trip to Wellington’s stunning waterfront and Oriental Bay or walk or cycle the picturesque Hutt River Trail. During the winter you could try one of the many exhibitions at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, or Upper Hutt’s superb Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre.

We’ve put together a list of the Wellington region’s attraction we recommend:

Upper Hutt

Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre – Public art gallery, theatre and Silverstream Retreat’s Limelight Café and Bar.
Silverstream Railway – Heritage Railway Museum and Steam Train Rides
Kaitoke Regional Park – Visit the Lord of the Rings film location, Rivendell
Hutt River Trail – 27km walking and cycling track between Upper Hutt to Lower Hutt

Lower Hutt

The Dowse Art Museum – Contemporary art museum with a changing programme of exhibitions
Belmont Regional Parks – For open space walking, running and mountain biking
Petone’s Settlers Museum – The Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial
Eastern Bays – A haven of beaches, bush walks and art galleries


Te Papa – National museum and a world leader in interactive experiences
Parliament‘s Buildings – The four buildings that house the New Zealand Parliament
Cable Car and Botanical Gardens – With spectacular views of the harbour and city
Zealandia – Home to some of New Zealand’s rarest wildlife including kiwi and tuatara