Pepeha and Whakapapa

I am a third generation Pakeha New Zealander whose forebears came from Scotland and Ireland and settled in the Waikato and Coromandel. I was born in Morrinsville, have one older brother, and my childhood was spent in Northland (mainly Wellsford) and South Auckland (Papatoetoe). When I was 15, I joined the New Zealand Army as a Regular Force Cadet (Parkinson Class) and spent the next three years based in Waiouru on the North Island's Volcanic Plateau.


I am married and have two children and five grandchildren (all boys).


The awa and maunga I feel most connected to are the Waikato River and Ruapehu.

Schooling and Learning

The schools I attended were Wellsford Primary, Papatoetoe West Primary, Papatoetoe Intermediate (now Kedgley Intermediate), Papatoetoe High School, and the Regular Force Cadet School (Waiouru), where I sat and passed School Certificate and University Entrance.


I attended Canterbury University on a NZ Army sponsored public service study award and gained a B.Sc in Geography. I also attended Christchurch Teachers College (secondary division) and was awarded a Diploma in Teaching. I completed a postgraduate Diploma in Education at Massey University and a Master of Letters in Creative Writing in 2009 through Central Queensland University, Australia.

The mahi I do for money

My working life has centered on teaching and adult education through learning and development in the workplace. After leaving the NZ Army, where I held positions as a Teacher, Education Officer, Chief Instructor, and Training Manager, I spent 18 months at the State Services Commission in the Training and Development Branch. Following this, I was a self-employed learning and development consultant.  For seven years, following the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, I worked as a Training Manager for the Earthquake Commission. I am currently a Product Manager for Careerforce, an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for New Zealand's health and wellbeing sectors.


After hours

As well as writing, I enjoy watching cricket and rugby (and chastising referees), partaking of good food and wine in the company of friends, gardening, and travelling to new and familiar places. More recently, I have developed an interest in digital art and composing digital paintings that interpret poetic imagery. 

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