7 Local Faces Usher in the Aotearoa Summer Spirit

— December 3, 2023 —

Pit-stopping for fresh fruit ice cream, beach towels for bottoms, packets of Bluebird chippies in the sand… All true hallmarks of an Aotearoa summer. Of which, alas, has finally arrived. 

It’s been said many times before, but we’ll say it again, it’s our deep-rooted connection with the land and sea that makes Aotearoa summer simply magic. The idea of a perfect summer’s day looks different for everyone, but there’s an encompassing spirit for all. There’s a comfort in the air during our summers, where finally, we stop and relish in not quite knowing what day it is, similar to the haze between Christmas and New Year's. It’s island time, baby. 

This ethos extends from the soul right to the sand, with no greater summer routine than being face-down on the beach, eyes half-open and turning half-heartedly to a friend to ask, “Should we go back in for another dip?” Whether it be the sleepy coast of Ōhope to the mosh-pit of city slickers at Pōneke’s Oriental Bay on a steaming day, our beloved beaches are an intrinsic part of our DNA. 

There’s only one thing fresher than the salt air — our seven local faces. Relish in a moment below with Moana, Tia, Louisa, Thomas, Char, Yuriko and Jillian. Shot in multiple sceneries around Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke, our pals are featured in treasure from CPC favs Wynn Hamlyn, Zambesi, Wixii, accompanied with special pieces from local boutiques (havens) Caughley and Sully’s. Poppy-pink, cobalt-blue, lemon yellow… These are the shades of our summer!

From the contents of their beach bag to their favourite ice cream flavour, relish a moment with these Aotearoa faces below. You’ll leave with only sunshine on the mind.



Moana Matariki

Can you give us the Moana elevator pitch?
Hi! I am Sapai Moana (Moana). I am a 21-year-old island girl hailing from Emae Island, Vanuatu. I am currently a student at  Victoria University of Wellington. I study Law, I LOVE art, and I am somewhat of an introvert, but once you get me out of my shell - good luck shutting me up. My favourite colour is fuschia pink & my favourite thing to do is sit, think about nothing and take in and appreciate scenery - whenever and wherever I can! 

When do you feel most ‘you’? 
I love spending time with my nearest and dearest. I feel I am most me when I am around the people I love! 

Tell us about a book, movie, or song that you always find yourself going back to:
Charles & Eddie - 'Would I lie to you' This, to me, is the epitome of summer and happy memories. I remember jamming out with my dad to this song, amongst many Prince, Lionel Richie & Luther Vandross songs in his playlist—definitely a core memory. 

How would your best friend describe you to a group of strangers? 
According to my friends... I'm a very laid-back, caring, bubbly, kind and generous person. My friends describe me as someone who values community, and so my friendships and relationships are very important to me. 

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time? 
Blue Lagoon, North Efate, Port Vila! 

First word that pops to mind when you think ‘Aotearoa summer’...
Immediately: Fish-and-Chips!

Best beach to unwind at...
Oriental Bay has a special place in my heart; it's gorgeous during the day and serene and quiet at night. I love going for night walks there in the summer. 

What can we find inside your beach bag? 
SPF 50+, my favourite Vanilla Monoi Tiki Tahiti sun tan oil, sunglasses, hairbrush, towel & togs.

Favourite ice cream flavour: 
Anything passionfruit-mango flavoured! 

What are you most looking forward to for 2024? 
I am looking forward to more life. Getting out of my comfort zone and going on more adventures with my friends.


Thomas Oh 

Can you give us the Thomas elevator pitch?
I am 23 years old. I moved from Korea when I was eight and have been living here since. I am currently a Student at UOA studying communications and Media. Outside of this, I also film Korean television shows touring around New Zealand. It is called TalkPaWon, under the broadcasting system of JTBC. Also, I work for an entertainment company and bring many Korean artists to New Zealand and Australia. I am currently in Australia at the moment touring for an artist called 10cm and KARD. 

Outside of modelling, how do you like to spend your time?
I like to meet friends, create new connections, and most importantly, just stay home and relax.

How do you think your upbringing has shaped your worldview?
Moving into a whole different country, I have always thought about having two different identities. Sometimes, I can feel left out, but sometimes, it's great because I can experience both cultures and look at things from different perspectives.

First thing you thought of this morning…
Sleep more and go home...

Describe your style in three words.
Chill, Vibe, Clean.

Tell us about the most special Aotearoa summer you’ve had and why.
I have been going back to Korea every year during Aotearoa summer, but during COVID, I couldn't for the first time. I know I was stuck at home due to a lockdown, but I still had an amazing experience of looking out the window and being boiled to death in my room. 

What’s your soundtrack for this summer?
Can't forget the KPOP; you gotta listen to all those amazing-looking girls singing cheerful music. 

Current song on rotation…

'Macaroni cheese' and 'Posse up' by Young Posse (a girl group we worked with during KWAVE in Auckland). Their two songs, and they have also only debuted for three weeks. 

Best spot for a golden-hour drink…
Rooftop bar in a hotel. Every hotel I go to for work, I gotta try out their bar and see the view of different cities high above. 

What are you most looking forward to for 2024?
Relaxing and working with more different Korean artists. And also hopefully land more modelling jobs. 


Char Moffat

Can you give us the Char elevator pitch?
I’m Char. I’m 23, and I am about to graduate a BSc in Psychology and Japanese. This year, I have been in Tokyo modelling and finishing my studies. I love language, neuroscience, fashion, classical music, arts and film. They give me vitality! Alongside modelling and my studies, I have been working in policy, research and international relations. 

Outside of modelling, how do you like to spend your time?
In my downtime, I love watching kdramas with my Mum, cat and dog after a long day, lol.

A piece of wisdom you always pass on to others?
Comparison is the thief of joy!!!

Tell us how you’d spend a perfect day in Pōneke…
Jump off the wharf in Hataitai.
Coffee with friends.
Give or receive flowers.
Personal project time.
Warm, comfy drinks and dinner with friends. This would be my dream day!

How would your best friend describe you to a group of strangers?
I didn’t know, so I asked her: “Charlotte is multitudinous. She is both shy and bombastic (if you’re lucky), elegant and in warehouse sweatpants, intelligent and accessible.”
Thanks Henrietta ;) ;) 

What do you think makes an Aotearoa summer special?
What I love about Aotearoa summer is sharing food on the beach, eating with your hands and trekking sand all over the city in bare feet. Messy, chill and relaxed is the best!

Best beach to unwind at…
Oriental Bay beach - a classic. 

What can we find inside your beach bag? Moisturiser, strawberries, summer salad, coral-friendly sunscreen, sparkling water, my homemade kawakawa balm.

Book of the summer?
Leave Society, Tao Lin.

What are you most looking forward to for 2024?
Now that I have finished my degree, I am really looking forward to working on my creative projects and proposals as a more serious focus. You will likely find me developing my practice over the next few years! I am also hoping to move to Australia to pursue modelling.


Lousia Tan

Can you give us the Louisa elevator pitch?
Hey, I’m Louisa. I’m of Indonesian descent, born and raised in Kirikiriroa. However, I’m currently living in Tāmaki Makaurau, studying towards a Bachelor of Construction and pursuing modelling with Super Management.

How do you think your upbringing has shaped your worldview?
My family is a big part of my life. I was raised in a supportive household by two loving parents who taught me and my siblings to be independent and hard-working from a young age. Despite being born in New Zealand, my Indonesian heritage was a major part of my childhood. Growing up with both Indonesian and Kiwi culture helped me develop a multi-cultural worldview, that allowed me to establish my own morals and values. The different aspects of my upbringing and personal experiences have shaped how I interact with myself and others.

Tell us about a book, movie, or song that you always find yourself going back to. 
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. An intense, emotional read which I could never get tired of.

Dream wardrobe to raid?
Julia Ma's wardrobe, I love how dreamy and hyper-feminine her style is.

First word that pops to mind when you think ‘Aotearoa summer’...

Best beach to unwind at…
Definitely Cooks Beach!!

Favourite ice-cream flavour…
Duck Island’s Coffee Chocolate Rubble.

Best spot for a golden-hour drink… 
Gothenburg, a restaurant which overlooks the Waikato River.
Ultimate people-watching spot in Tāmaki Makaurau…
Probably Britomart or Viaduct Harbour.

What are you most looking forward to for 2024?
I’m looking forward to any new opportunities next year, whether in my modelling or quantity surveying career. Potentially working with new brands and getting experience in the construction industry is very exciting to me! 



Yuriko Shiratori

Can you give us the Yuriko elevator pitch?
I am Yuriko, 25 and work full-time in the CBD right now. I love going to concerts, watching horror movies with friends and attempting to learn fun dances.  

Outside of modelling, how do you like to spend your time? 
I love going down a Tiktok/YouTube rabbit hole after a long day.

Describe to us your perfect day in Pōneke. 
Wake up at a reasonable time, go shopping to find something cute at an op shop and, make dinner and watch a horror movie with friends. 

What’s a piece of wisdom that you always pass on to others? 
Not a piece of wisdom, but I do like the proverb, ‘even a broken clock is right twice a day.’ 

Song currently on repeat… 
My favourite song of all time "Cinema" by Benny Benassi and Skrillex 

A meal you could eat forever? 

Most treasured piece of vintage you've ever found? 
I love my mum’s cashmere black turtleneck from the 80s, it’s falling apart but I still love to wear it every day. 

What’s your go-to uniform for a simmering hot day?  
My new fave embellished shorts, one of the besties made me.

Favourite summer cocktail…  
Redbull and Vodka.

What are you most looking forward to for 2024?  
I am (trying) to move up to Auckland next year, so super excited for that! Looking forward to a different scenery and meeting new people and hopefully doing more creative stuff up there! 

Tia Harris

Can you give us the Tia elevator pitch?
Kia Ora! Ko Tia ahau. Ko Ngāti Awa te Iwi. I am from the Bay of Plenty but have lived in Tāmaki Makaurau for a while now. I am a model and a model booker, best of both worlds! I like reading, walking and hanging out with my pals. 

How did you get into modelling? Can you tell us the story of how you came to be signed to your agency?
I started modelling when I was 14, but obviously was young and still in high school, so study and sport were my main focuses for a while.
I was signed to a different agency at the start which was an awesome introduction into the industry. My sister was the one who really made it become a thing. I was encouraged by her to start, so… I did.

I’d say I only started taking modelling more seriously in the past two years since getting signed to 62 Management, though. One day, I realised that I wanted to take it a bit more seriously and reached out to 62. Andi, my agent, and it is crazy how much has changed in two years. Modelling went from being a fun side hustle to now being fully immersed in the fashion industry.

Describe your style in three words… 
This question is so hard for me because I feel like I have a different style every day. I have two main styles I go for, so I’m going to be cheeky and give you three words for each of them. Hehe:

1) Cute, Preppy and flattering
2) Boyish, simple and MOD (Model off-duty)

How do you think your upbringing helped to shape your worldview?
There are a lot of things that happened during my upbringing that I believe have shaped me and my world-view, but a lot of them have to do with situations involving my family, which I think is not my story alone to tell, so I’ll leave a lot of it out… but I think one of the main things that shaped me was the amount I moved around when I was younger, I have lived in Tauranga, Christchurch, England, and Auckland and also went to lots and lots of schools. Another would be the occasional identity crisis that I’m sure a lot of mixed-ethnicity kids also experience. I am Māori and English, so growing up and trying to fit in is one thing, but adding different cultures into the mix is a whole other thing. 
I have met a lot of different people throughout my life because of this, which I think has opened my eyes and made me a lot more aware about how lots of people think because of their own upbringings. I guess I’d say it’s made me very open-minded.

An album that always boosts your mood… 
You can’t ask me this question and expect me to come up with one answer!! Haha, I’m going to say anything by Crowded House, Anything but mainly CTRL and Z by SZA, Again… anything but mainly After Hours by the Weeknd, The Divine Feminine by Mac Miller, and so many more…. Honestly, I’m more of a Singles/random deep cuts kinda gal than a whole album gal.

Tell us about the most special Aotearoa summer you’ve had and why. 
I LOVE Aotearoa, and I Love summer, so it’s hard to pick one… But I think my favourite summer was a couple of years ago; I think it was the 2021/2022 Summer where my boyfriend and I first got together. It was just so fun, and the weather was amazing, and we went on so many little road trips with different friends of ours. I love being out of Auckland for Summer, and we were out of Auckland pretty much the entire time. That was a special one for me.  

Best beach to unwind at… 
Either Ohope, Omaha or anywhere in the Coromandel.

What can we find inside your beach bag?
A book, a water bottle, a towel, sunscreen, sunnies and a hat… I’m a simple creature.

Favourite summer cocktail… 
A classic Margarita. Hands down.

What are you most looking forward to for 2024? 
I have some travel on the horizon, which I am super excited for. Euro Summer, here we come!



Jillian Allen

Can you give us the Jillian elevator pitch?
My name is Jillian Allen. I am a 21-year-old Model and Fine Arts student from Pōneke. I’m currently in my third year at Toi Rauwhārangi, Massey University, exploring a painting and drawing practice. <3 

Describe your perfect day in Pōneke…
My perfect day in Pōneke starts with a coffee and doughnut from Customs. Followed by a dawdle to O Bay to soak up the sun with my friends, then kicking back and watching the sun set over Brooklyn from Mt Vic. 

How would your best friend describe you to a group of strangers?
My best friend would describe me as colourful and chaotic. I have a bold sense of style, but socially, I am quite timid around new people. They’d probably say something like, “Don’t mind Jill, she’s more scared of you than you are of her”, like a bumblebee.

When do you feel most ‘you’?
I feel most me when I’m dancing to pop music. The Wellington scene is very techno based which honestly has always gone straight over my head. I love alternative culture, but can we please just put some Lady Gaga on??

Tell us about the most special Aotearoa summer you’ve had and why.
My best Aotearoa summers have been spent under the neon orange plastic of a sweltering tent at a music festival or playing DJ in the passenger seat on a roadie with my besties. 

What’s your go-to uniform for a simmering hot day?
My go-to uniform for a simmering hot day is a Teeny-tiny skirt and an absolutely massive pair of sunglasses. They should be roughly the same size.

Most treasured piece of vintage you've ever found?
My most treasured piece of vintage at the moment are my sparkly pink Diesel sneakers. My flatmate Hayley has a great eye and spotted them on Trade Me. They are like if I was magically transformed into a pair of shoes. 

Favourite summer cocktail…
I would go to the ends of the earth for a spicy marg. 

Best beach to unwind at…
Best beach to unwind at has to be Princess Bay (when there isn’t a southerly). On a clear day, you can see the South Island across the cook straight. 

What are you most looking forward to for 2024? 
In 2024 I’m most looking forward to finishing my degree. Not sure what the world has in store for me beyond that, but I’m excited to find out :D


Features Editor: Yawynne Yem      Photos & Fashion: Chloe Hill      Film: RDYSTDY      Makeup: Anna Guo       Hair: Ansel Xu   Editorial Assistant: Isabella Kopae

Louisa & Char are represented by Super
Tia & Thomas are represented by 62 Management
Jillian, Moana and Yuriko are represented by KBM


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