21 Dec Roast Busters Charged

On Wednesday 16 December 2020, we heard that charges have been laid against three men allegedly involved in the horrific “Roast Busters” series of events from 2013 and the years earlier. I wrote this piece about it at the time which I hoped would keep the women at the centre of the story. I remember tucking away the thought then that, in New Zealand, we have no statute of limitations on rape or sexual assault. The women involved were very young when these things happened to them. We know that women and other survivors of assault can feel better able to go through the legal process later, and it seems that day has come. Here is my original story from November 2013. A Tough Week To Be A Woman – Sunday Star Times

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20 Nov NZ Television Awards 2020

Nominees for Best Presenter: Entertainment – Alex Casey, Leonie Hayden & Michele A’Court

This is the team that brought you the award-nominated “On The Rag” in 2020. We didn’t take home the prize (some dude called Paddy Gower won Best Presenter: Entertainment) but we still feel like winners! Here we are on the red carpet at the NZTV Awards on Wednesday 18 November: Natalie Wilson, Gayle Hogan, Amber Easby, Alex Casey and Leonie Hayden. We did good.

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22 Oct Finalists! Best Presenter: Entertainment – NZTV Awards 2020

Today, the list of finalists was published for this year’s television awards and I am delighted to say that Alex Casey, Leonie Hayden and I are ON THAT LIST for our hosting of “On The Rag”. (Other Best Presenter: Entertainment finalists are Paddy Gower for his Weed doco, and the fabulous Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells for “Seven Sharp” so that is a helluva list to be on.) I plan to put on a posh frock and behave badly at the awards dinner on 18 November.

Slip over to my “Dates” page to watch our latest “On The Rag” episode which is all about Imposter Syndrome… which feels wildly appropriate today. Also other days. But working on it. (Bugger off, Madame Sneer.) (That will make sense if you watch it.)

Full list of NZTV Awards finalists here: https://www.nztvawards.co.nz/finalists


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23 Sep NZ Woman’s Weekly – New Column

This week marks the return of the NZ Woman’s Weekly, rising phoenix-like from the ashes after it was shut down during Lockdown back in March. I am delighted to have a page of my own in a magazine that has been part of our lives for 88 years. Each week after the magazine hits the shelves I will be republishing my little part of it here. Hit the “Writing” tab to have a read.

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31 Jul Last Day of #DryJuly

So here we are – Dry July, done and dusted. What did I learn?


I sleep better. I genuinely thought I needed a glass of something to relax and get off to sleep. Turns out I would lie there thinking, “I will never get to sleep, now. Look at me, all wide awake. This is going to take forev… Snore”. Plus I’d sleep the whole night through like a dead log. So long as I didn’t overdo the chamomile tea, sure. But dead-weight deep sleep. None of that donut-hole in the middle as my body processed the sugar in the alcohol and woke up for a dance at 4am and my mind got busy. Better sleep, then.


I eat less. They’ve done some experiments on mice (is it wrong that I would quite like to see a drunk mouse?) that shows that alcohol increases their appetite. Inconclusive if that works the same way on humans, but I am definitely someone who gets greedy after a glass of wine. Maybe I’m just relaxed enough to want to shovel all the food in my gob, or maybe there really is something that gets triggered in my brain by alcohol to set off “starvation mode”. But certainly, one lamb chop seems enough now and my pants aren’t quite so tight.


I spend less. The supermarket bill has dropped markedly, which is a bonus in these post-Covid times. I am living on a tighter budget these days, but it feels less tight than it otherwise might. A bit like my pants.


I am just as forgetful. I blamed my inability to remember what I did on Tuesday on Monday and Wednesday’s wine. Turns out, I still can’t quite remember Tuesday. So maybe that’s just me. Though person woman man camera tv. You know what? Maybe Tuesday just wasn’t that memorable. I am also capable of sending out wonky late night tweets and the second prosecco can’t be blamed for that either. It might be the darkness, or the tiredness, or maybe I’m just a wonky tweeter. Good to know. I will bear that in mind.


Also good to know is that largely no one notices when I am not drinking. It doesn’t ruin their dinner if I am having a soda water. I kind of knew that because of my pre-show rule about not drinking, and yet people who have known me for years still offer me a drink before I’ve finished work – my years-old rule hasn’t been noted. And I like it that I can choose not to drink any old time without anyone making a song and dance about it. That will be handy.


Long term goal? I am going for the 5 & 2 – I want my week to have at least five non-drinking days in it. Make drinking a special occasion, not a daily habit. Because of the sleep and the chops and the dollars. And because I would like to be in charge.


Thank you to everyone who has supported this reset – with dollars and with encouragement. I am thrilled about raising this money to support friends with cancer, and about learning a couple of things along the way. Ngā mihi nui.


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01 Jul End of Life Choice Referendum – Yes For Compassion

In September when we vote in the elections, we will also have a couple of referendums to vote on. (And yes, I am assured the plural is not referenda – shush, now.)


I will be voting “Yes” for the End of Life Choice referendum. I have written a personal piece about that here:



There are some moving stories and videos on the YesForCompassion website here:



And you can sign up to be part of the discussion on Facebook here:



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23 Jun Dry July 2020

After the madness of lockdown, I’ve decided to throw myself into Dry July – partly as a way to hit “pause” on the drinking, mostly to raise some money for a good cause. Follow this link to donate (the target is $1,000) and to keep a track of my sober diaries. Pre-season training went well, the real thing is now underway. It involves chocolate, and may also involve non-gin gin.


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