The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Hello Katherine – our New Zealand curator — July 28, 2013

Hello Katherine – our New Zealand curator


I think New Zealanders like to take a chance in both life and business… Adventure is in our blood. Both Auckland and Wellington are full of creative, driven people who also really value work-life balance.

After the great Kim Lesch kicked things off with our first Fetch in NZ last November, we’re now excited to hand the reins over to Katherine Field. Part of the curator’s code within The Fetch community is for the outgoing person to recommend a replacement [we also take applications for new cities] and I couldn’t be happier with Kim’s suggestion. Katherine is simply incredible and we’re looking forward to all the great happenings she uncovers! You may already recognise her from her role in building community at The Biz Dojo coworking spaces.

Why did you want to get involved in The Fetch’?

I see a real need for this community to be able to easily discover awesome events and opportunities, so I’m really excited to be part of a solution. It’s also a really great excuse to meet kiwis at the top of their game, and sit them down for a chat. The Fetchers are a real welcoming bunch and I feel like I’ve immediately extended my global family!

What things excite you about your community right now?

I think people are really starting to harness the hyper-connectedness (must be a word) of this city and use it to create super-charged projects. Every new initiative and event that involves this community seems to be the product of some serious collaboration. The power of doing things together – working smarter not harder – seems to be amping up – and really paying off.

How did you end up where you are today?

I grew up in Christchurch, and then moved to Wellington to go to University, and studied Art History and Criminology. Although a Da Vinci Code-inspired lifestyle was tempting, I ended up managing Toi Poneke Arts Centre – a City Council-run gallery and studio facility for emerging artists. I was part of a great team and it was really inspiring to be surrounded by over 100 talented creatives every day!


Two years ago, I jumped on board at The Biz Dojo – a coworking network for innovative tech and creative businesses – to be the community manager for the newly established Wellington space. We’ve had a lot of really amazing people and businesses join our Dojo family over this time. Not only do I get to watch their businesses grow, but I’m also able to get out and meet a lot the people creating interesting work, products and businesses throughout Wellington – and Auckland too. Dream job!

What makes you tick?

Nailing a new recipe, filling out forms and poking my tongue out at small children.

What makes you ick?

Mushrooms and rude people.

What events can we find you at?

I’m often gate-crashing tech events that go way over my head, but the people are awesome and I learn something new each time. Through The Biz Dojo and my involvement in Startup Weekend, I’m also often seen dishing out the pizza and opening beer bottles at a lot of events for the local startup community.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

My favourite thing about Wellington is the walkability! Having shops, restaurants, work, museums, theatres, waterfront, bike tracks and lookouts all within 20mins walk from home is pure luxury! Also, the fact that you will see someone you know around every corner!

What’s unique about Auckland and Wellington?

Both AKL and WLG are in the weird situation of being plonked at the bottom of the world..

The country is full of the descendants of crazy people who took a chance to emigrate to a tiny island at the bottom of the world. Adventure is in our blood.

I think New Zealanders like to take a chance in both life and business.

Both Auckland and Wellington are full of creative, driven people who also really value work-life balance.

Where can we find you in New Zealand?

You can normally find me in Wellington, on a coffee-date of some description! There’s no better way to get to know a new friend of business connection than over a delicious cup of local brew. 😉 I also love to get up to Auckland, hang out with the Dojo crew on K Rd, and get to know the great businesses and creatives up there. I’ve also started to find the hidden foodie gems!

How can we connect with you?

On Twitter at @kathfromwelly, @thefetchAKL, on LinkedIn or at

Live in Auckland or Wellington? Sign up to our weekly event-packed email digests now!

Interview: Auckland Locals, Jade Tang and Eddy Helm — January 21, 2013

Interview: Auckland Locals, Jade Tang and Eddy Helm

This week, The Fetch Auckland’s Curator, Kim Lesch, had a chat with Eddy Helm and Jade Tang, social entrepreneurs. Infamous for helping build Auckland into a creative, community driven hub, Jade and Eddy spoke with Kim about all the projects they run, including CreativeMornings Auckland, their agency Curative, and the Kitchen, a socially responsible co-working space.

Jade Tang and Eddy Helm
Jade Tang and Eddy Helm

Why does community factor so heavily in your work?

After voluntarily running yMedia, an initiative that matched tertiary students, community organisations and the creative industries for mutual benefit, we could see that the area of greatest need was in empowering community organisations to have a voice and ensuring that their causes are acknowledged and supported.

We are passionate about the principles and practice of social enterprise; essentially that a strong community leads to a strong economy. Hence, our social business and creative agency, Curative was born with the goal of enabling community communication. Through this, we work alongside community groups, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises to help bring clarity and focus to their organisations, align teams of people around a clear purpose and ultimately enable people to work together to achieve extraordinary things.

Our outputs are varied and include everything from websites and social media to design, copy-writing, fundraising and event management. We apply co-design and facilitated creative thinking to all of our work, and involve the community each project serves in the solutions that we prepare. By doing this, we believe that we can produce the most effective outcomes. For us, it’s about teaching and empowering, so that community groups can embrace and own their communication, and build genuine relationships with their supporters.

What is the Kitchen? What makes it different from other co-working spaces?

We work out of The Kitchen, a co-working space for changemakers; which hosts a number of businesses and organisations who work for more than profit.

Each group has a focus on social or environmental growth and development, and the people that we share the space with can all relate to the work that we’re doing. It’s fantastic to share a space with people who have similar dreams and ambitions for the world we live in, but have a completely different set of experience and expertise; we have scientists, urban planners, engineers, teachers, psychologists, and the list goes on.

As a creative agency, we’re spoilt to have this depth of viewpoints so readily available. The conversations we have are amazing, and it helps to make our work so much more richer and considered.


How long have you been working together?

We met in 2009 as part of the yMedia crew, which we both took a leadership role in running. We formed a strong bond pretty immediately, and always had a huge respect for the way we each approached the work we were doing.

However, as a voluntary project that was incredibly demanding on time and energy, we had to acknowledge that it wasn’t sustainable, and took a break in 2011. While we were trying to figure out how to move yMedia forward we realised, over a glass of wine, that we really just wanted to work together, and all we needed to do was determine how. So in the months that followed, we shaped Curative into a workable model, and we’re thrilled to have just celebrated our first birthday.

It’s been so great to take the relationship that started in a voluntary capacity, and test its strength. We’re so lucky to have found complimentary skills and shared values in one another, and our friendship has only grown stronger as our business grows.


What characteristics do you look for in collaborators?

For us, it’s less about skills and more about attitude and values.

We’re currently looking to hire two paid interns, and there is a lot of fresh, young, hungry talent out there, so we’ve had to think really hard about what we’re looking for. We really want to work with people who are ‘yes people’, who believe that anything is possible, will give anything a go, who truly care about others and can see the value in the work that we do. Of course creativity, problem solving, design and writing all come into the mix, but ultimately whoever we work with needs to be a doer.

What’s on the cards for Curative in 2013?

2012 was about proving to ourselves that we could do it, so we took on every project that came our way, no matter how big or small. It allowed us to build a really varied, interesting and worthy portfolio, which we are incredibly proud of and that really showcases our capability.

It also started to show us what works and what doesn’t. So 2013, is about sharpening things up even more; about being more selective in the work we take on, but still being able to offer help, guidance and advice to anybody that asks for it. It will be a year of growth with a few extra bodies joining the Curative team, and ultimately it will be another year of learning. The day we stop learning is the day we’ll stop doing what we’re doing.

CreativeMorningsAKL-team 2012

CreativeMornings Auckland – how and when did it start? Have you been to many overseas?

CreativeMornings is really Jade’s pet project.

When Curative was still just the seed of an idea, Jade was working a number of different contracts, including We Can Create 2011 (a creative art + design conference). This work ignited her passion for supporting and connecting creative professionals, and having watched the work of @SwissMiss in New York, she decided the time was right to bring CreativeMornings to Auckland. So the first event was held in October 2011.

When we started Curative, we both agreed that we needed to continue running and hosting the events. We knew it would be important for us to stay well connected to the creative community to help fuel our own work, and we really believe in practicing what we preach, and nurturing our own community.

Jade was lucky enough to attend a CreativeMornings when in London (for a Curative client project, with British Council NZ), and Kaan has been to one in Melbourne. We love being part of the global network, and we’d love to get to all of the chapters… But perhaps not this year!

Why do you love Auckland? What are your favourite spots

I guess what we love about Auckland is that there is always something happening. Being part of business, community, and the creative industries means that there are always lots of events, conferences, workshops, professional development, and even parties to go to. We love to meet new people and hear new perspectives on things, so living in a multi-cultural city full of diversity is the best place for us to be.

Favourite spots… There are so many! The Curative crew spend a lot of time in Ponsonby, and we’d have to say that The Kitchen is one of our favourite places, it’s always busy and full of interesting people. We also love to hang out with our friends at Movers & Shakers in their giant inflatable brain. We’re big fans of Q Theatre, The Basement and The Civic, and try to get to shows and plays when we can.  We love to eat out with friends at the many cafe’s and restaurants and often take recommendations from the lovely ladies at Gather and Hunt. And of course we love all of the great venues and cafes that play host to CreativeMornings Auckland.

Thanks Jade and Eddy! 

Kim Lesch is the Auckland Curator of the Fetch. She loves lunch, The Strand, and the unstoppable doughnuts at Little & Friday. Find and follow her on Twitter: @kim_lesch

Interview: Auckland local, Anna Rose Kerr — November 25, 2012

Interview: Auckland local, Anna Rose Kerr

Auckland Curator Kim Lesch recently had a chat with Auckland local Anna Rose Kerr. Anna is a co-founder of Nerd Soirèe, a monthly meetup created for women who love the internet. She is also an advertising veteran, curious traveller, accomplished dinner party host, and a part of the digital team at Saatchi & Saatchi in Auckland. 

Anna Rose Kerr
Anna Rose Kerr

What are your five favorite things about Auckland? What makes this city a great place to live?

1. The diversity of the landscape, we have farms, beaches, mountains, islands and even a wee bit of metropolitan life in the middle. I grew up in a very clean, green Auckland – we had a vegetable garden and chickens out the back of our Ponsonby villa – and at that time we were seen as one of the cleanest, greenest cities in the world. We need to work at regaining that title.

2. It’s a really small community so most people you meet here are connected to you in some way.

That makes networking events a whole lot less awkward, because everyone just assumes you’re a friend of a friend.

3. We do have some pretty great ads, which makes it a pretty great place to live if that’s your profession.

4.  I’ve always been fascinated by history. While Auckland doesn’t have very much of it I do like that most of our place names are very descriptive of how they came to be. I made an iPhone app a while back, which translates NZ place names for those who don’t speak Te Reo so you can find out the story behind the place you’re in. Auckland also played a huge part in the worldwide women’s suffrage movement. I don’t think we do enough to celebrate the achievements of those women, but every time I visit the Auckland Art Gallery I visit the commemorative fountain across the road, and leave white camellias there if I can.

5. I love Britomart, which is where I live. I remember when this place was absolutely desolate a few years back, and a group of passionate, young Aucklanders have completely turned that around. There are several great restaurants and bars as well as communal working places attracting startups and creative businesses to the area. For me this is an example of how much potential Auckland has, and how that can be fulfilled if we can convince our smart young ones to stick around for bit.

How did you end up in advertising and what do you love about it?

I wanted to work in advertising when I was a very young child. I saw the famous Saatchi & Saatchi geese ad on TV and knew the building in Parnell, I thought they must have a lot of important people working inside. When I was 16 I wrote a very nice letter to them and managed to get work experience there, and now after a few years of advertising I’m back there again.

Brands are realising that instead of telling people to like them, they should just become more likeable. This makes my job really fun.

Essentially we work out what our clients can do to help or entertain people, and do it. I also benefit from working for the best boss in the world.

The Nerd Soirèe Crew, from left: Alex Waskiewicz, Alice Hawke, Anna Rose Kerr, and Jen Flitter. Not pictured: Laura Justice.

Tell me a little bit of background on Nerd Soiree and what goals you gals have.

We like to think of ourselves as a “social network” in real life, it’s an opportunity for women who love all things nerdy to come and meet new friends. And we’re fortunate enough to have some kind sponsors who buy us drinks! Our goal is to create a community of women who can look to each other for support as their careers progress. We have developers, bloggers, tweeters, designers, creatives, marketers and all sorts who come along, and we’re connected by our love for (or in some cases addiction to) the internet.

We’ve been doing this every month since February 2012 and visit different venues every month. If you’d like to come along, we meet on the 15th of every month and you can check our FacebookTwitterTumblr or join our mailing list for updates on where we’ll be. We’d love to meet you!

What led you to the decision to make it only for ladies?

Jen Flitter has always been very passionate about Nerd Soiree being ladies only, and using our community to help more young girls become interested in technology. It’s not about women taking over digital industries it’s just about getting the gender balance a bit closer to 50/50! There are plenty of open technology events which men can go to, and usually end up dominating, so we don’t feel like they’re missing out. One of the major benefits of having a female only environment is people are a lot more comfortable and open, so strangers become friends a lot quicker. It also means that we can do fun girly things like host an event in a lingerie store!

What groups would you suggest to others to enable them to be part of their local communities? International as well as NZ based would be great.

Obviously if you’re a woman you should come along to Nerd Soiree! Girl Geek Dinners has recently rebooted in Auckland and they are running events with interesting female speakers. We love what they’re doing, and in 2013 we hope to join forces on a couple of projects to help females get ahead in their careers. Watch this space!

Internationally, I think SheSays is really valuable. Only 3% of advertising creative directors are women, so their focus is making that number a lot higher by giving women the skills they need to get ahead in advertising, as well as changing perceptions in the industry.

As you can tell I’m really passionate about creating more opportunities for skilled women, but there are plenty of other inspirational events in Auckland that I enjoy going to; Gather, TEDX and Semi Permanent are among those. Just be friendly when you see someone standing on their own and you’re bound to make new friends!

Thanks for chatting to The Fetch, Anna Rose! 

For upcoming events, subscribe to and check the latest The Fetch in Auckland.

Hello Kim – our Auckland Curator — November 9, 2012

Hello Kim – our Auckland Curator

I’m so thrilled to share we’re launching in New Zealand and adding a fantastic individual as our Auckland curator in Kim Lesch. I’ve been ‘ambiently’ aware of Kim  in the online social sphere for some time and was so pleased when she recently reached out about taking The Fetch there. We then had the pleasure of meeting up IRL in Sydney.

This city’s colour is a fresh bright green – staying true to the stunning natural beauty of the NZ landscape. We’ll be focusing on Auckland to begin with but also including some of the best events happening from Invercargill to Kaitaia! So, without ado: Kia ora!

Kim Lesch, Auckland curator

How did you end up where you are today?

I grew up in the States in a snoozy college town, reading a lot, accidentally breaking nearly every piece of machinery in our house, and thinking about what it would be like to get the heck out of Pennsylvania and see the world. While pursuing a humanities/creative writing degree I watched too many seasons of Northern Exposure and decided a move to Alaska would be a fantastic idea. I popped up there for a long summer in a truly misery inducing job before moving to Australia to do a year abroad at a film school in Queensland. While in film school I found out that I was utterly crap at editing, which is ironic since I ended up making it my profession for five years, but a solid producer. After finishing my undergrad I figured that I’d continue my film studies and do my MA in New Zealand. As you do.

I worked in sports TV for five years (editing) after finishing my masters and slowly came to the realization that all that time I spent online could actually be a career. Since coming to that realization I’ve worked on a couple NZ travel websites, rewrote a New Zealand travel book, and now produce online content with the New Zealand government to help spread the good word on how fantastic and innovative Kiwi companies are. I’ve also done some show development for an American production company and do some consulting work every so often which keeps me en pointe most days.

What makes you tick? What makes you ick?

Tick: Delicious food, Aretha Franklin records, my rockin’ partner, New York pizza, and working creatively with others who are on the same page. I just love connecting people to create opportunities and help make stuff happen. What makes me ick is egotistical behavior and that pesky tall poppy syndrome.

Why do you love ‘fetchin?

I love promoting communities and bringing people together, it’s been a treat to be able to do that for a start up I believe in. I’ve always been extremely curious about people and what makes them tick so the chance to interact with so many folks with such great stories is like catnip for me.

What things excite you about our community right now?

The generosity. I love how open people are and how eager they are to listen as well as share their own stories.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

It’s changed so much in the last five years, especially the inner city. We’re finally getting world class food/bars/urban spaces/cookie boutiques.

What’s unique about Auckland and NZ?

I think there’s an overall level of fun and laid back lifestyle which is very unique to New Zealand. I miss it like crazy when I leave, but not as much as I miss pies that contain fruit and not meat.

Where can we find you in Auckland?

Either at my desk plonking away, at Snapdragon bar down by the Waterfront, or at any and all interesting meetups where people talk about the internet – I’m usually the one who ordered the chips.

How can we connect with you?

I’m a twitter-holic! Find me at @kim_lesch or on my goofy blog ‘Scoot!’ where I try to write reviews of stuff I’m currently watching/reading/listening to. Unfortunately I usually end up gushing about how much I love really unhelpful aspects of whatever media I’m writing about and utilizing the vocabulary that my overpriced degrees have bestowed upon me. Example: “Yes, this film has it all: scandal, unease with urbanization, love, and drunk farm animals.”

You can also connect with Kim via The Fetch Auckland on Twitter and Facebook or via email on

And don’t forget to sign up to our inaugural Auckland go-to email digest via!

%d bloggers like this: