Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meet the People - 10

Melanie Smith April 2009. Ajr
Another in the Series Meet the People – Contemporary Maori Doing Ordinary and Extraordinary Things – Kaikoura’s Melanie Smith (Tainui) is big on all things New Zealand and that passion is obvious in her cute Kaikoura store, Little Rock. Located right in the main street, it’s full to overflowing with an assortment of contemporary Maori product and some quirky reminders of the past, like those great little red plastic tomato sauce bottles that hark back to the fifties. Believe it or not, they’re her biggest seller and she buys them in lots of 200 to keep up with the demand. Coming a close second are the paua shells that Melanie and her partner, Matt Campbell buy off local divers and process in their own Kaikoura factory. As well as supplying Little Rock, they also wholesale the shells to a number of other local retailers, plus several further afield.

At Little Rock, Kaikoura. April 2009 Ajr
Melanie has lived in Kaikoura for twenty years. She shifted there to be with her grandmother - always been a big influence on her life – and she stayed. Prior to Little Rock she had her own interiors store across the street. But now she’s in her element promoting the best of New Zealand-made. “Kaikoura is a great place to be and I’ve seen a lot of changes here in twenty years – all for the better. I’m all for progress,” she says, as she wraps yet another red tomato sauce bottle for a happy customer.

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