Q & A with Anne Batley Burton


The Champagne Lady is not only a star in the reality show “Real Housewives of Auckland” but has her own successful importing business – “Importing the best Champagne” Verve asked Anne some questions about her journey with the Real Housewives of Auckland.


What have you liked best about being on RHOAKL?

Being on RHOAKL has really broadened my horizons and opened up so many opportunities for me. My Champagne Jacquart sales have rocketed ! Very importantly the exposure has given me a voice for my Charity, The NZ Cat Foundation, giving me an opportunity to educate the community about responsible pet/cat ownership. I’ve also done a few things I wouldn’t normally have done and been pushed out of my comfort zone.


What have you liked the least?

I wasn’t keen on being seen on National TV in the spray tan cabinet!


Tell us about your cats? How many?

All of our cats are rescues and I just adore them. We have four in Parnell and of course at Goose Creek I have set up my sanctuary for cats that are unable to be homed for various reasons – eg health/personality issues. I also look after a number of colonies of community cats with a group of volunteers. Under the care of my charity The NZ Cat Foundation we have around 200 cats.


What do you like about Champagne?

Everything! I love its elegance, its sparkle, its effervesence. I love the way it kicks every party off with a bang. And Its a drink for every occasion. As Napoleon once said” In victory we deserve it and in defeat we need it!”


To what extent is the show scripted?

We are put into situations that have been engineered but what we say is not scripted. It is really up to us to behave as we see fit under the circumstances.


Is it heavily edited?

The show is edited in that there is a huge amount of footage that is not used for various reasons. Obviously there is the opportunity to present situations differently giving certain impressions but at the end of the day if personally feel each of the Housewives has shown their true character throughout the show.


Do you choose your own clothing?

I wore my own clothing throughout the show. Some of the other women did borrow clothes to fit into a certain theme but it is difficult for me to borrow clothes from a designer since I am much smaller than the standard. Apart from that I was pretty clear I have a certain style and wanted to stick to it. I want to appear as I am.


Describe your working day on the set of Real Housewives of Auckland?

It depends on what we were involved in and the timing but it was often a VERY early start with hair and makeup arriving at the crack of dawn. If filming was in the house as for master interviews the crew would arrive at a similar time to get set up. Master interviews take a long time and can be quite tiring but the crew were all fabulous and did the absolute best they could. If out on location there is often a lot of waiting around and since we filmed during winter it was very cold. There was a lot of camaraderie on set between all the Housewives and the crew. A wonderful experience all round.


How long have you been importing Champagne Anne and what got you into this? Was it because you love drinking it?

I’ve been importing Champagne for around 24 years and originally started importing literally to get it at the right price for my own consumption. Then I started selling it to friends and one thing led to another! I also import good value for money French wines as well as wine barrels and capsules which I sell to the NZ winemakers.


Is there a second season?

We hope so! I understand there is a lot of pressure to do a second season but it will depend on the budget no doubt!


What is the fondest memory that you have taken away from the show?

Louise and I unexpectedly had to share a villa together in Port Douglas. Originally I didn’t want to share but it was such fun. I think the producers thought we would clash but as it turned out we got on like a house on fire, laughed and laughed so much and became firm friends!


What are you doing for Christmas? Anything planned?

As usual I’ll be doing a perfect Christmas lunch for all the family and for a few close friends who join us every year ! I love to do it in style with my very special dad being as always the guest of honour. We will have it at our country property, Goose Creek and I’ll be on duty feeding all the sanctuary cats as well so I’ll be very busy! We don’t have turkey – we have crayfish , king prawns and salmon! We don’t do much as I like to be around for dad but will go away on a few short jaunts on the boat or to a lodge for a few days just to have a break. Our holiday is usually off to our house in France to escape the winter although I missed out this year because of the show.