The Unofficial Bio!
I was part of a fishing family growing up in Riverton, which is now known as ‘The Riviera of the South’, a picturesque village on the bottom of the South Island.
My Dad, Colin was a skipper (un-ticketed in those days) of the FV Da Vinci, his brother Ron also had his own boat so fishing very much was ‘in the family’. I have many memories of being in Foveaux Strait with Dad, getting the thumbs up as I stood in the bow with waves crashing around me, not something I would allow my kids to do these days, life jackets are a must.
Whilst I wasn’t particularly well behaved at school, I did work out that I needed to get an education if I wanted to aspire to something.
We had a long drop or bucket rather than a flushing indoor toilet till I was 12 and a couple of weeks ago I was just reminiscing with my Mum and Uncle about the good old days when my brother and I had to dig a hole somewhere on our property to bury the contents of the bucket, needless to say I don’t buy any veggies when I’m home from the guy that now owns that property.
Getting to where I am today was a mixture of hard work, perseverance, and an amount of good luck. I had the aspiration for as long as I can remember to run a significant New Zealand business and I set my mind to doing that. I had to find a way to get further education with no money (Royal NZ Airforce), build a career with a corporate to get broad business experience (Lion Breweries), get experience as a CEO in a smaller business (Hubbard’s Cereals), before joining New Zealand’s largest deep-sea fishing company Sealord, where I worked for 8 years before becoming CEO.
What you may not know about me is that I was adopted along with my three brothers and sisters and what at the time was unusual in Southland, we were all Māori and our adoptive parents were Pakeha, which led to all sorts of questions by other kids at school. I was lucky that my birth parents decided to find me when the adoption laws changed and I ended up with a good relationship with them, plus I got to find out my whakapapa, which I am grateful to know. I now have a massive whanau, which is tino pai (excellent).