MZ: You're now living in Taupo, what drew you there and what keeps you busy these days?
After living overseas for about 6 years I decided that I wanted to come back and settle in NZ. My house was still in Hamilton but my parents were building in Taupo and shifting a house off their site to relocate to another section. As I had done some repairs and maintenance work on my own properties I was able to help them with the shift and live in the house as we were doing it. I also helped out with Kiwi cricket in the schools over the summer and by the end of summer was convinced Taupo was a great place to live, especially for lifestyle. I just had to figure out something to do here for a job!
I was asked by a property maintenance contractor to help him out for a few weeks as he was recovering from an operation and that lead on to buying the business which I have owned for 12 years. We have a varied schedule and do everything from lawn mowing and gardening to section clearing, tree and hedge work, landscaping, painting, repairs and maintenance and small project management. With a lot of holiday homes in Taupo we offer full maintenance plans that keep the properties in a specific condition all year ensuring security as well as we have access to many off these and keep an eye out for any nasty surprises that may occur as an absentee owner. I also have a small residential property business with rentals in Taupo, Tauranga, Te Puke and Hamilton.
MZ: How do you manage juggling a business, family and what I assume is a pretty busy life?
Lifestyle is very important to me and prioritising theses 3 things is crucial for me. Family is the first priority and to be honest and I pretty much drop everything else if needed. The two big kids are in London now so they're on their way now, but we still have a nine year old at home so plenty to still do. Going to sports events, school stuff and family time together is number one.
Secondly, I know that for me to be effective at work and have a clear mind, keeping fit is crucial. It's a trigger for relaxation, discipline and enjoyment so is a high priority for me. If I can’t get to exercise I get grumpy and tend to procrastinate. I'm in the gym 3 or 4 days a week with varying styles of working out and play tennis 3-4 times per week, as well as trying to enjoy a bit of the scenery around Taupo on foot. Winter also involve skiing, which I have discovered is bloody hard to learn in your mid to late forties!
Lastly, work fits around all this and although when I started I was a one man band it meant for some pretty long days. I have a few guys working for me now and although that means I’m paying for it in one way, I get the choice to create some kind of balance in life.
MZ: We saw you down at the CPA Masters Weekend in Queenstown this year, tell us about your enjoyment in catching up with old mates
Having reached that age where some of the people you have known over the years aren’t around anymore, it makes you realise how important it is to keep in touch. Cricket was such a big part of my life and have had many friendships through it, so it’s a pretty easy decision to jump on a plane and catch up with a few of them and the Queenstown Masters is the perfect opportunity.
The eyes aren’t what they used to be so playing is a bit of a nuisance and I have found myself getting hit a bit too much in the last couple of years, which has curtailed the on field antics somewhat but catching up for a coffee or a beer, over a meal, is my kind of weekend away! So I will be making every endeavour to get down as often as possible
MZ: The modern cricket world probably would have suited your style of play quite nicely. Do you like the way the game is played these days and are you involved with cricket at all?
It’s a tough question. Certainly the financial rewards would have been nice and as a batsman and bowler I guess I would have been fairly involved in the match (might have even bowled a few more seamers!!) but I always only ever played for enjoyment and I think the schedules and time away from family that they have would have taken a lot of that out of it for me, so I think I was lucky playing in the era that I did.
I’m still a fan of test cricket first and foremost, but understand the need to have different formats to appeal to different sectors. So I’m all for the evolving modern game as long as we never lose the importance of the longer game.
I’m not involved with cricket in Taupo these days apart from the odd charity event but weekends are taken up with my young guy's soccer, music and tennis in the summer which I lend a hand with - as a lot of the introductory hand eye co-ordination skill games are similar to kiwi cricket.