Top Shows


Sundays at 11am | TV ONE

Season 3 Episode 29 - Thames

This week, architect Shannon Joe takes us on a tour of the cultural stories to be found in his hometown – Thames, gateway to the Coromandel.

We bring in the olive harvest with a man who treasures his Greek heritage and a woman from Japan shares her passion for teaching English language skills – and life experience. A Canadian woman makes art out of found objects that mirror the craft of her Hungarian forebears and a man from Switzerland shows us the antique book that inspired his love of animals as a child – and led him to create a butterfly farm in Thames.

Curator Bio:

Shannon is a Principal at Warren and Mahoney Architects, a leading Australasian practice. Growing up, his was one of the only families of Chinese descent in Thames.

Shannon’s Great Grandfather arrived in New Zealand in the early 1900s from China; his grandparents moved to Thames in the 1940s.

“I have a lot of admiration for my grandparents; they came to Thames speaking so little English. Together they built up a dry cleaning business here through sheer force of will. Their customers would want to chat – and my grand parents would smile and nod and never let on that they hardly understood a word. But they did pride themselves on perfection – pointing out where the stain used to be, then twirling the cleaned and beautifully pressed garment.”


Thames dish recipe

Strat Peters & his family keep connected to centuries of Greek tradition through the production of their delicious olive oil.

Goat and Pine Nut Dolmades

Goat is the traditional meat and always cooked during Greek festivities and special occasions. I love to include meat in my dolmades but the recipe I used for Neighbourhood was the vegetarian version

You can use lamb instead of goat or make the vegetarian version by leaving out the meat altogether. You can also substitute the young vine leaves for silver beet or spinach leaves (not the curly variety).


  • 50 -80 “young” vine leaves (fresh or from a packet)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 800g-1000g of goats cut into very small pieces or minced
  • 1-2 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 6-8 spring onions finely chopped
  • ½ (half) cup of medium grain rice
  • 100-150g pine nuts
  • ½ cup of finely chopped mint
  • 1 cup of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped Dill (use dried if not fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons of currants (optional)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • ½ - ¾ cup of white wine
  • ½ cup of water or chicken stock if available
  • 1 Large potato peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • Juice of 1-2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of honey



  1. If using fresh grape vine leaves place 10-15 vine leaves in salted boiling water for 15-30 seconds, then drain. Repeat with the remaining leaves then place all the vine leaves in a colander to drain well. If using vine leaves from a packet rinse well in cold water to remove excess salt and drain well. If using silverbeet leaves spinach leaves place in boiling water for only 5-10 seconds and drain accordingly
  2. Soak the currents in small quantity white wine for 1-2 hours preferably ( optional)
  3. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in large frying pan or skillet over medium heat and saute the goats or lamb mince, garlic and spring onions. Keep tuning the meat until brown on all sides. Stir in the rice, pine nuts, Herbs, salt, pepper, currents and wine, then add the water and stir gently for about 5-10 minutes until liquid has evaporated. Take the pan of the heat and leave to cool in fridge if not making immediately or to room temperature if making up as you go
  4. Layer the potato slices over the base of a medium sized deep saucepan to ensure Dolmades don’t stick to bottom
  5. Place the vine leaves, vein side up, on a flat surface and spoon 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture on the end where the stem begins. The amount of stuffing will depend on the size of the vine leaves. Fold the bottom of the leaves and 2 sided into the centre and then roll the whole leaf up towards the top of the leaf ( tucking in sides as you go). This should form a neat firm parcel of the mixture.
  6. When finished making all the dolmades carefully place the parcels seam-side down in tightly packed layers in the saucepan on top of layer of thinly sliced potato. Should be enough for 2-3 layers
  7. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, juice of one lemon and honey together with water to a level just below the top of the top layer ( 5mm below the top of the top layer)
  8. Place a plate , face side down on the dolmato press them down so they retain their shape and do not open. Cover and low simmer for about 45-60 minutes until cookede thru…easiest way to tell is to try one after 45 mimutes and rice should be al dente
  9. Remove the plate and pour some more lemon juice over the dolmades. Set aside to cool or refrigerate to cool …serve on a platter with lemon wedges and bowl of herbed yogurt dip ( optional).