Dear Reader

Why do people read magazines? That might sound like the semi-delirious philosophising of an editor as publication deadline nears, which it almost certainly is. But it also seems like an important question to ask in a year when New Zealand lost 18 of its most beloved publications during a 10-minute company-wide Zoom call. 

There are many answers, of course: people read magazines to be informed, to relax on a weekend afternoon or ease the tedium of a commute, to decorate their coffee tables. But there are plenty of ways to do all of the above. What makes magazines like this one truly special is that they help you see the world from a perspective other than your own. 

Which brings me to North & South. For more than 30 years, this magazine has chronicled life in every corner of this country. There is nothing else like it in New Zealand journalism, which is why we are so thrilled and proud to bring it back to Kiwi readers, under the independent ownership of journalists Konstantin Richter and Verena Friederike Hasel. We owe an enormous thanks to the subscribers who stuck with the magazine during months of uncertainty — the return of North & South is only possible because of you.

A writer spends weeks or months with the subject of a story, bringing a person to life on the page so the reader sees them as a human being, not a caricature or a statistic. An investigative journalist reveals the systemic causes of events in the news — not just what happened, but why. You might pick up a magazine intending to read a piece about the election, and instead lose yourself in the one about snooker, a subject you had no prior known interest in. This year, we’ve seen what happens when entire countries splinter into factions that essentially occupy different realities. Simply taking the time to understand another person’s life is a small but powerful way to prevent that from happening here.

 Over the past two months we’ve been working hard to return the magazine to you as quickly as possible —putting it back together from the ground up.  I won’t say too much about the contents of this issue, so that you can explore it for yourself. The magazine’s commitment to in-depth reporting and engaging writing hasn’t changed, and you’ll find stories here from North & South stalwarts like Donna Chisholm and Mike White. You’ll also see changes: a fresh look, fewer columns, new voices. And — since we want to secure a readership for North & South for years to come — we’ll continue to evolve. We hope you’ll help us do that, by telling us what you think (info@northandsouth.co.nz) or joining in the occasional conversations we’ll be having with existing and potential readers. 

 Most of all, we plan to capture New Zealand in its full complexity. We think that what happens in Blackball is as important as what happens in the Beehive; that ordinary people are just as interesting to read about as public figures (although we’ll be writing about them too). We’ll be examining the powerful and the vulnerable, business and pop culture and the environment and the arts and all the ways in which this country and its people are changing. We want this magazine to be as varied and as fascinating as New Zealand itself.

This year, we’ve seen what happens when entire countries splinter into factions that essentially occupy different realities.

Rachel Morris

Editor

Rachel, a journalist raised in Hastings, has made a name for herself in the United States. She is one of the founding editors of HuffPost Highline, a digital magazine that takes the best of print-magazine journalism online: the depth of reporting, the beautiful writing and the visual appeal. Since its inception in 2015, Highline has won numerous awards including the National Magazine Award. Its most popular stories have drawn upward of a million readers. Throughout her career overseas, Rachel has kept in touch with New Zealand, coming home several times a year and working remotely to spend time with her family. Rachel cherishes the opportunity to bring a magazine back to life she has known for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother used to read North & South from cover to cover.

Rachel’s first full-time job was with a theatre company that toured the country in an ambulance. There’s hardly a town in New Zealand that she hasn’t been to.

Tess Nichol

Deputy Editor

Tess spent the first years of her journalism career as a reporter at the New Zealand Herald, after which she worked for Metro magazine as a feature writer and digital editor until Bauer closed in April 2020.

She has a deep love of journalism and its potential to do good in the world, and a particular fondness for print. She now counts herself as an Aucklander after spending most of her life as a Wellingtonian, but don’t hold that against her.

Madeleine Chapman

Senior Editor

Madeleine is a writer of Sāmoan, Chinese and Tuvaluan descent. She was previously a senior writer at The Spinoff, specialising in politics, social issues, memes and obnoxiously long food rankings. Madeleine is the co-author of Steven Adams’ autobiography My Life, My Fight, and the author of Jacinda Ardern: A New Kind of Leader. She lives in Auckland with six adults.

Bevan Rapson

Subeditor

Bevan Rapson has subedited for North & South for five years and been an editorial contributor since 2012. His journalism career began at the Ashburton Guardian and continued at the Christchurch Star and New Zealand Herald before he found his way into magazines, initially as a writer, then in editing roles. He remains a Crusaders-supporting ‘Mainlander’, despite living in Auckland for many years, and relishes in particular the North & South content that keeps him abreast of southern matters – though it sometimes sets him pining for the fiords, among other places.

Imogen Greenfield

Art director

Imogen spent years in London and Munich, working for tech companies and boutique design agencies. After returning to New Zealand, she took a job as the senior designer for the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. She moved sideways to work for a short stint at NZIA (New Zealand Institute of Architects). Both positions offered great opportunities to design for publishing. She is also a keen illustrator who never leaves the house without her sketch book. The renderings of the team members are hers. You will see a lot of her drawings in the magazine.

Verena Friederike Hasel

Verena Friederike Hasel

Publisher

Verena was born in Berlin. She studied forensic psychology and screenwriting and worked as a reporter and feature-story writer for the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel and for the highly respected weekly Die Zeit. She has won several journalism awards and taught media literacy to high school students in Germany. Verena has written four books and is working on her fifth. She feels that North & South is like a book, too, something to keep and hold onto.

Verena first came to New Zealand as a student when she won a round-the-world trip and wanted the journey to end right then and there. She cannot dive, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters.

Konstantin Richter

Konstantin Richter

Publisher

Konstantin was born in Berlin, too. He studied at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York and worked as an editor and reporter for the Columbia Journalism Review, the Cambodia Daily and the Wall Street Journal. He has published three novels (all in German) and writes regularly for numerous German and English-language publications.

For ten years, Konstantin was a regular for the German writers’ football team that plays matches against the poets and novelists of other countries. In the final of the European Writers Cup in 2010, he scored the winning penalty against Turkey, a seminal event that he keeps replaying in his head.

Martine Skinner

Martine Skinner

General manager

Martine was with Bauer Media Group when the company suspended its New Zealand operations in early April. As head of marketing, she led marketing strategies across all platforms for 15 brands and their extensions. Thanks to working in publishing for many years, Martine has an extensive range of magazine experience, spanning across management, marketing, retail, operations and logistics.

When Martine was ten years old, she met Diana, Princess of Wales, at Parnell’s Holy Trinity cathedral. They had a meaningful conversation. But Martine wants the content to remain confidential.

Kelsi Hamilton

Kelsi Hamilton

Account manager

Kelsi grew up on a farm in Te Kohanga where she used to help her parents milk the cows. Kelsi studied journalism. During her time at university, she wrote and read the morning news for a radio station. But she soon found out that getting up before sunrise is not her thing. She started working in advertising, lived in London for two years and travelled to 51 countries. All the while, she kept a keen interest in journalism. In her last job she was a senior account manager for the BBC in Australia. She is greatly looking forward to selling advertising for a magazine that she loves to read. She found Mike White’s investigation into the Lundy murders so fascinating that she read it several times.

Kelsi knows everything about farm animals but is terribly frightened of seagulls.

Simone Momberg

Communications & Social Media Executive

Simone was born in South Africa, and moved across the Indian Ocean when she was nine. After living in Auckland for 15 years she embarked on her OE, travelling solo around Europe and the U.K. before heading back to New Zealand a few years ago. She has always been interested in writing, and still considers winning her high school creative writing competition as her moment of glory. She has worked in advertising and publishing, is the youngest child, and is a massive foodie.

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