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I UNDERSTAND

Ambassadors

Hear it from the legends themselves

Fat Freddy's Drop

"I love it. It sounds great and sounds futuristic."

We hear that you guys formed in 1999, but how did you all meet exactly?

Wellington in the 90’s had a village vibe. Walking up & down Cuba St all day trying to look like you were up to important shit but we were all unemployed djs or musicians. We met each other by just been a part of Cuba St and the music scene...

How did the crew meet MC Slave?

MC OJ & Rhythm Slave came down to Wellington to shoot their music video for their song “Money Worries”. My neighbour Mat Palmer was the video director & asked me to do sound playback for the shoot.

What’s the band’s favourite festival in New Zealand?

Womad is always good. I really enjoyed Northern Bass this year...

While you guys do it for the love of music, it’s also well known that the crew has some fine chefs in the mix. What’s the best place to dine out in Welly Town?

I like my small asian joints. Those small lo fi no fuss but incredibly tasty food houses. I eat often at the “Mekong Cafe” & I’ve been going there for 20 years. Great Pho & other Vietnamese treats.

With Lyall Bay being HQ for the team, were you just as devastated as we were to hear that Ekim Burger moved to Cuba street?

It is great shame for us. Great burgers but every time I drive past their new spot in town they’re always busy, so good for them...

What pre-performance rituals does the crew like to run through before gigs?

No pre gig rituals for me. I just like to be calm & have a couple of shots of Cuban Rum to settle the nerves.

Will the crew be heading on a big European tour this year?

We usually go to Europe 2 tours a year; a festival run in June/July & then back in October/November to headline our own shows but this year we’ve decided to flag the June/July run. We want to stay in the studio & finish our new album.

What would be Fat Freddy’s three biggest musical influences?

1. Buying & listening to records 2. Many tours to great cities like Berlin & London 3. A healthy interest in old school analogue synthesisers.

Mu, What would be your favourite musical piece of equipment you own?

This week its my new Moogerfooger 12 Stage Phaser I picked up in Tokyo recently.

How has our Spaced360 been treating you?

I love it. It sounds great & looks futuristic.

Favourite Wellington venue to perform in?

Bays… our lovely studio in Kilbirnie.

Live from the Matterhorn & Live from the Roundhouse are two impeccable live recordings! Does Freddy’s have any other live releases that fans can discover?

We’ve just released the “iTunes Sessions” a live studio recording at the Roundhead Studios in Auckland.

Are there any noticeable tunes that receive much greater praise when performing live in Europe?

The Europeans just love a well performed set & enjoy whatever is played as long as it’s good.

Mu do you Record, mix and master all the music the band makes yourself?

I record & mix. We’re all involved in producing but I always send the final mixes to Berlin to get mastered.

Which band member is the biggest party animal?

What happens on the road stays on the road sorry...

How often does the team get together jam?

At the moment 3 nights a week.

With over 50 sold out shows in Europe in 2013, what European city is always a highlight perform in?

Berlin is our home away from home. We have many music connections & many great friends there.

When did Fat Freddy’s become the crews main focus? Did many members have to leave other bands to commit to FFD?

I suppose it was around 2002 ish. Initially we were definitely a jam band but I knew there was something special developing. We were starting to get lots of bookings & offers to play local festivals. Eventually it became obvious that Freddy’s was the horse to back & the focus was to make our first studio album. No one really had to drop their other projects. We all managed to juggle what other music biz we had on the side. But … a couple of years on , the success of “Based on a True Story” forced us to prioritise Freddy’s. Unfortunately Warren Maxwell our Sax player had to leave to focus on “Trinity” his own band.

When can we expect the next Fat Freddy’s Drop album?

We are currently working hard at our studio in Kilbirnie, Wellington. We have decided to not tour or gig until our new album is finished. It should be done by the end of July & released late September / early October.

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Al Brown

"I love great design that incorporates creativity and practicality."

2014 has been another big year for you Al, especially with the release of your new book Depot: Biography of a Restaurant. What’s on the horizon for 2015?

We have a bunch projects up in the air at the moment… looking for a site for another Best Ugly Bagel to open in Melbourne, developing a menu for an international airline, and there is a TV show concept we are working hard to get over the line.

What does it mean to be a chef to you?

Yes technically I am a trained chef, however these days I don’t spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen anymore. I’m more in a supporting role for my head chefs, talking ideas, finding exciting and unusual products to get to them, and developing recipes for all manner of projects. I do still garner a great deal of pleasure being a chef, it’s just my roles have changed as I’ve got older.

How do you enjoy spending time outside the kitchen?

Family comes first, as they are the ones that miss out the most with my schedule. I don’t go out a hell of a lot. Love being at home just mooching with my girls. We have just recently purchased a beautiful 50 year old wooden Kauri boat that I intend to spend a shit load of time on if this summer allows.

Why did you decide to pursue food and hospitality as a career?

Learnt from a very early age that when there was the smell of burning Manuka wafting about and ‘the adults’ were consuming glasses of cold liquid with plates of food being passed about, that good times where just around the corner. If it was called hospitality and you could make a living out of it, I wanted in!

Living in the big smoke now what do you miss most about your home town Wellington?

A bunch of great friends, the South coast, and the terrific eateries dotted about the city.

Where are you feeling in terms of spots to dine at right now in NZ & Australia?

I’m actually answering these questions while dining alone in a great little Spanish gaff in Melbourne. I just had chargrilled octopus, and are now working my way through a piece of skirt steak covered in a delicious Chimichurri. Simple, humble, fresh ingredients, cooked with intelligence and a heart. It’s what my style of cooking and eating is all about and these days you can get it in spades on both sides of the Tasman.

Sweet or savory what would you pick?

Shit it’s a bit like asking who’s your favourite daughter? Look I’d always go savoury, but most know I have a devilish sweet tooth!

Tell us your definition of a good time.

Small group of good friends over for a boozy mid winter lunch on a Sunday arvo, wrapped up with blankets by the outdoor fire, with my favourite selection of crystal clear tunes blaring out of my Spaced 360!

Favorite chill out location ?

Home.

No.1 summer BBQ anthem?

Solitary Man - Johnny Cash

Why is music important to you?

Great music can quickly transport you away from the mundane routine of day to day.

What sort of music do you enjoy cooking to?

Pretty mellow to be honest….huge Dylan, Neil Young, old Stones, Bowie, a bit of J Cash, that sort of thing.

If you had to pick your favorite era of music what would that be and why?

70s - it just seemed so much more pure back then… vocals, real instruments and raw talent.

Best live act you have seen?

Neil Young and Crazy Horse live at the former Athletic Park, back in the early 80s.

Why do you like our Spaced360?

I love great design that incorporates creativity and practicality. The sound is so so sweet, the portability for the amount of output is epic and the charge time and battery life 'off the dial’!

Please name three people you admire and why.

Geoff Ross (42 below and Ecoya), Jeremy Moon (Ice Breaker) and the 'Trilogy’ girls Sarah and Cath. All examples of kiwi genius and entrepreneur savvy, made it, or making it on the international stage.

What are your top three tips for success?

Surround yourself with talented people that are brilliant at their chosen thing. Embrace and feed off the buzz that risk offers. Work hard, play hard.

Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs out there?

Never stop asking questions, never stop listening.

Favorite quote?

'We treat our customers like friends and our staff like family'

One song to finish up on what’s it going to be?

Boots Of Spanish Leather - Bob Dylan

HIDE

Beauden Barrett

"I'm looking forward to travelling with it... perfect for around hotels."

How old were you when you started playing rugby?

Six

We know you’re from a big rugby loving family. Was it competitive growing up with all your brothers?

I’m from a family of 8 kids (5 boys and 3 girls). Playing rugby and cricket in the backyard got very heated at times. Sometimes we had to get our little sisters to play to make up the numbers. Mum wasn’t too keen on the idea.

Your father (Smiley) had a good few games for the Hurricanes back in the day. He must have been a great mentor for you growing up?

Yes he played for Taranaki & the Hurricanes. I can still remember in ‘96 when Taranaki won the Ranfurly Shield off Auckland. He’s always known what’s best for me and offers sound advice in small doses.

How do you find living in Wellington and do you manage to find time to head home every now to the Naki?

I love Wellington. Great little city with awesome bars & restaurants. I’m close to the coast living in Island Bay so it reminds me of home.

It’s slowly creeping in and on everyone’s minds. ….Rugby World Cup 2015. Nervous or excited? Is the whole family going over to the UK for it?

My parents haven’t confirmed yet if they’re going or not. But yes it’s very exciting.

Physiologically it must be on the back of your mind. Do you feel the Super 15 competition is being played more intensely with the World Cup at the end of the year?

Yes I think so. There are All Black spots up for grabs and it seems like every home conference match is like a trial - we want to outplay our opposition.

Are there any teams you think will surprise/worth keeping an eye on in the UK?

Certainly Ireland and England. South Africa, Australia, Wales and France are never easy.

Currently you hold record for most amount of consecutive wins since your first test (19). Not bad chat Beaudy! Your thoughts?

That’s just a credit to the great side I’m lucky enough to play for. Everyone’s hard work and belief.

Of the fields you’ve played at on international level is there a particular favourite which stands out? What do you think of Twickenham?

Millennium Stadium is amazing with the roof closed and all the Welsh singing. Twickenham is electric. It’s always freezing cold and the English aren’t bad singers either.

Do you ever listen to music before a match to get you in the zone?

Yes I love listening to upbeat music on the way to the game. It gets me in the zone.

What sort of music do you like/listen to? Any favourite artists you’re tuning into at the moment?

I love Electronic, EDM/ Dance, House, a bit of everything. Shapeshifter, Kygo, Diplo, Major lazer, Six60.

Have you ever learnt a musical instrument?

No, I’ve always wanted to play the guitar.

Is there a favourite live music concert you have been to? If so, why was it so good?

Major Lazer at Big Day Out was unreal! Shapeshifter and Six60 are always good.

We know you’ve got one of our Spaced360 portable speakers with a yellow case. Some people could call it the Hurricanes lucky season charm?

Haha we could but I got injured the week after I received it! I’m looking forward traveling with it - perfect for around hotels.

When you’re not playing rugby, where is your favourite chill out location in NZ?

Oakura Beach in Taranaki- it’s where I go when I head back home. Or cruising on a boat in the Coromandel/Bay of Islands for a few nights.

Any travel plans after the World Cup?

No plans yet. Have to wait for the team announcement first!

Being Wellington boys, what’s your most enjoyable restaurant in the capital?

That’s a tough one, there are so many. A couple of my favourites are Chameleon in the Intercontinental, Cin Cin (Italian) or Grill Meats Beer both on Cuba St.

Any advice for up and coming rugby players here in NZ?

Always be willing to learn, train hard and most importantly - have fun!

Do you have a favourite quote? If so what is it?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” (Don’t be afraid of failure - you’ll never get better)

To end up on one song what’s it going to be?

Chet Faker - 1998

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Dion Nash

"The quality of sound was striking."

Having played professional cricket for many years and making the transition to starting your own business, is there anything you miss from your sporting career in particular?

Not Really, I loved every minute of it but I very much believe in living life forward and right now feels more exciting than ever.

What lessons have you learned from the cricket field that you have adopted in business, especially founding T&D?

Work ethic is important. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes and be your own best coach. You get a lot of advice in life but only you know your game and or business from the core, so you need to listen but filter what applies to you.

Triumph & Disaster. What can followers look forward to in 2015?

We are all about hair in 2015. Ironic since I have lost mine.

What is it about the apothecary and skincare industry that appealed to you the most?

As a cricketer we used these products without thinking about it. We were in the sun everyday so protection was key. So from that I understood the products and knew good from bad. But mostly I love product and packaging design and the growing of a team.

You’re a busy man. How do you best enjoy unwinding?

I read a lot these days and I tinker in the garden shed - OMG I’m becoming my father!

It’s Friday evening after a long week. What’s your favourite inner city haunt to knock a few back?

I really enjoy the Elbow Room on Jervois Rd followed by some fish & chips next door and the roll down hill to home.

Where will you be enjoying spending Christmas?

This year in Christchurch with my wife’s family. I’m a Northland boy though so it won’t be long before we head to the beaches up north.

If you had to choose somewhere else to base yourself outside of Auckland where would it be and why?

Los Angeles - it’s warmer there.

T & D is stocked in a number of retailers overseas. Are there any trends in the retail sphere you can see developing here in NZ?

I think NZ is pretty onto it really. Online is blooming of course but there are winners and losers in that space. Ultimately great products and great service will always win the day.

Do you have a business mentor and why do you think it is important to have one?

I have a few but Bruce Plested from Mainfreight is the wisest head I know. It’s important to have people to bounce off and who have been there before. This is no guarantee that you won’t make mistakes however, many times my ears ring with Bruce’s words as I walk into another mistake.

Please name three people you admire and why?

My wife for her patience and calmness

Ritchie McCaw for raising the bar

Jim Morrison for breaking all the rules

We’ve witnessed first hand your passion for the guitar. Any tunes you are trying to nail in time for summer?

Just keeping proper timing would be a nice addition.

What is it about music that is important to you?

You are always learning and improving. Also when I’m practising with mates it’s about camaraderie without the need to speak.

Tell us the song you chose during your career to walk out onto the cricket field.

Blister in the sun - Violent Femmes

If you had to pick your favourite era of music what would it be and why?

Grunge. Simply because of my age at the time. It became me or vice versa.

Favourite live act you’ve seen?

Pearl Jam’s first concert in NZ Circa 1994.

What was it about our bamboo M12 Orbitsound sound bar that made you upscale from your previous system?

The quality of sound was striking and the simple elegance of the design appealed to my aesthetic.

What are your top three tips for success? Along with any advice you would give to young entrepreneurs out there.

Advice - START.

Tips : Work hard, be smart, be honest, survive.

Favourite quote?

“Nothing comes from doing nothing” - William Shakespeare

One song to finish up on.

Love is Blindness by Jack White. U2 , Led Zep , Hendrix and The Who rolled into one.

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Geoff Ross

"The SPACED360 speaker means we can just play our Spotify playlists without any interference or difficulty - very handy!"

You kicked off your working career at Saatchi’s in Wellington. Is it the advertising/marketing side of a business your passion?

Yes, I’ve always been fascinated by a brand’s personality and how it becomes a very valuable part and even asset of the business.

What made you want to start 42 Below? Was a vodka company something you’d been thinking of for some time?

Not at all. I was looking to start my own business of some sort and could see the liquor/cocktail scene emerging as people were on the hunt for the next big thing. I could see vodka as a staple part of that scene and thought it would be great if New Zealand could create its own vodka.

42 Below had much success on the international stage and from reading your book was no easy feat. What made you want to dive into another start-up?

It is very rewarding seeing a brand as it is being built from the ground up, especially taking it to the world stage. 42Below was a journey we didn’t get to quite finish as it was sold earlier than anticipated so this is a chance to give it another go.

It has been a busy year for your company: Moa Brewing Co. Is Moa looking outside of the NZ market?

Yes, we’re currently exporting to Australia, Brazil, and Asia. We’d love to get Moa even further afield.

Craft Beer in New Zealand has grown rapidly over the past 3-5 years. How do you think we as a nation stack up on the international craft beer stage?

Bloody good! But there are also some other fantastic beers from around the world. The move towards craft beer is going to accelerate faster as more and more people are having their own beer epiphanies. This is only helped by the fact that here in NZ, we’re spoiled with access to world renowned hops locally grown.

Are there any other NZ Craft Breweries you particularly enjoy/ think are doing well?

Yes, there’s definitely a good bunch of breweries across New Zealand. I particularly think Garage Project and Panhead are brewing some great beers. But Good George and ParrotDog are also two other goodies.

I love the 4 More Years Beer you created for the World Cup. Tell us a bit more about this?

Following the All Black’s Rugby World Cup win in 2011, our head brewer David Nicholls was inspired to create a celebratory brew with a twist. It sat in a barrel for four years, only to be unveiled in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Our Four More Years brew was then enjoyed by a select 444 people for the All Black’s 2015 win. Might there be a second edition… you’ll have to wait and see.

Outside the office what do you enjoy doing?

Free diving, hunting and getting onto the ocean or into the mountains with the family.

Do you still spend much time in Wellington?

Not so much now. I still have friends there that I visit but I am primarily based in Auckland now.

We’ve heard you’re a bit of musician?

Yes, I’m one of the guitarists in a band called The Camel Toes. We usually play in front of friends and for low-key gatherings. We do Rock covers like The Foo Fighters and have just recorded our first original song called The Herne Bay Sound.

How long has your band been together? Are there any other instruments you play?

For around five years – thought there has been a few bust ups and reunion tours here and there. We’ve toured to places like Masterton. Have a flamboyant and outrageous lead singer and the other guitarist has a bit of an ego. There is a lot of creative differences which means we spend more time arguing than we do practising.

What’s your favourite genre/ era of music and why?

Rock. Not stuck on one era – just bloody good rock songs!

Do you work with music or prefer to work in silence?

I tend to work with music.

We know Moa have a few of our Spaced360’s lurking around the office. Is there a fight over the music?

Surprisingly no fights over music in the office. There’s suggestions from all over the show on a daily basis but nothing outrageous that gets bad raps. A lot of Pearl Jam! The Spaced360 speaker means we can just play our Spotify playlists without any interference or difficulty – very handy!

What’s your most memorable concert/ live musical act you have seen?

James Taylor at Saint Mark’s in Venice in the pouring rain. My wife and I stumbled across it, bought tickets and sat in a café in the square – just incredible. Otherwise the Foo Fighters was the first concert I took my son to which was an amazing concert and experience to share with him.

Name three people you admire and why?

Dave Grohl, lead singer for Foo Fighters – consistently pumps out great music

William Trubridge, NZ freediver – achieved great results in a sport I have a lot of respect for

Blair Tuke, World Champion 49er sailor – Best in the world and a bloody good bloke. He’s also a freediver!

Favourite quote?

Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like shit.

Top three tips for success?

Surround yourself with good people

Make sure you have a proper goal and aim big

If you don’t love it, don’t do it

Any advice for young entrepreneurs out there?

Just keep going. Just start. My only regret getting into my own business was wishing I had gone harder, faster, sooner. There’s always reasons to delay you, so don’t let them get in the way.

One song to finish up on, what's it going to be?

Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VQ_3sBZEm0

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Peter Cullaine

"It has pride of place at our holiday house."

Before the days of Lewis Road you were an Adman. Was Advertising always of interest? How did you end up there?

I started there. My first proper job was at Ogilvy and Mather. From there to an agency that became Saatchi & Saatchi, the biggest and best agency in New Zealand and the most famous agency in the world.

The ‘Nothing is Impossible’ mentality of the Saatchi & Saatchi culture has bred many successful stories and people. What did you learn from your time there?

That it’s absolutely true.

Who are some of your favourite clients you’ve worked on over the years? Most memorable campaigns?

That’s a minefield! I guess the client who changed our fortunes was Telecom and we created some brilliant work for them including ‘Meerkats’ and ‘Spot the dog’.

What’s more important the product you’re selling or the brand identity it originated from? How do you see the relationship between both?

I passionately believe that the product is more important than the brand. With Lewis Road, we say, ‘the branding has to be perfect but the product has to be better’.

How did the idea of launching Lewis Road Creamery come about?

I love butter and discovered Danish Lurpak butter as vastly superior to the local options. I had a moment of “what’s wrong with this picture? Why shouldn’t New Zealand produce the best dairy products in the world?” So I set out to make them, starting with butter.

The growth of Lewis Road Creamery has been exponential is such a short period, with close to 100k Facebook followers or 'Roadies’ as you call them. What’s been the secret to such a strong loyal following?

I believe we have created genuinely better products that appeal to not only our palettes but our pride.

Do you think such fast success could have been accomplished 10 years ago without social media?

Never. 10 years ago, I doubt we could have got the company going. The cost of entry would have been way too steep and the success too uncertain to justify the risk.

Many believe NZ is a great test market to launch and try new things. Do you agree with this? What have you learned from here in NZ?

New Zealand is a brilliant testing ground. I’m amazed more international companies haven’t seen its potential.

Lewis Road Creamery long term. Do you see the company expanding horizons beyond the NZ market?

Australia and China (Shanghai) are both in our sights. And I have a vision of reaching out for a pack of our butter in a London Waitrose store.

Partnerships have worked well for Lewis Road, Whittaker’s has been a great collaboration for you. How important do you think partnerships are for new brands?

I think partnerships are a terrific way to boost the potential for both partners as long as the ‘fit’ is the right one. And that’s the trick.

We’re excited to be part of the Breast Milk Campaign with the one off Orbitsound cowhide Spaced360 speaker. How did the breast milk campaign originate?

We were approached by Breast Cancer with the idea. We loved it but not without a degree of trepidation. Still that’s usually the sign of a good idea. It’s certainly a worthy cause.

We know you’re a big fan of music, what sort of music do you enjoy listening to?

I’ve got 8,500 odd tracks on my iPod. There’s every genre you can imagine. I’ve started doing things differently now and play my music alphabetically. So that’s over 300 tracks per letter! The best thing about it beyond the share variety is that I’m constantly rediscovering music I’d forgotten.

Have you played a musical instrument?

If not is there one you would love to learn? Piano a long long time ago. And I have a drum kit that’s still awaiting my attention!

If you had to pick your favourite era of music what would that be and why?

It would have to be the late ‘60/early70s’. There has never been an outpouring of original music such as that. The 60’s were the build up but the end of the decade and the beginning of the next were when bands like the Stones were a standout.

Where do you use your Spaced360?

It has pride of place at our holiday house in Hatepe. It’s terrific, go anywhere sound.

Name three people you admire and why?

Winston Churchill, T.E. Lawrence, Napoleon. Each was an awe inspiring individual whose achievements are truly humbling.

What are your top three tips for success for any start up company?

Get going, take some risks, bounce back from the knocks.

Favourite quote?

‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

One song to finish up on what’s it going to be?

Honky Tonk Woman at full volume.

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Shane Hansen

"A small unit with a bite."

Can you tell us what the inspiration around Kapai Kaboom was?

Sure thing! Seeing as I was doing a gloss black M9, Kapai Kaboom is a bit of fun piece. I wanted to move away from the curvy, flora & fauna inspired work I am known for into something more cheeky. ‘Kapai’ is about the object being aesthetically attractive, tech advanced and of high build quality, 'Kaboom’ is about the M9’s sound performance and quality - a small unit with bite! The lines reference the technology side of things, where the open-mouthed goobe is a bit of comic relief. I would love to get my hands on a bamboo M12 and do the flora & fauna thing on that!

You are renowned for the variety of mediums you work with. Is there a particular one or canvas you are currently focusing on or are you busy with a mixture?

I always keep myself busy working and finding new ways of doing things. I’m working on 3-D forms at the moment - sculptural forms - using different substrates and finishes.

Before becoming a full time artist you worked in the fashion and textile industry. Was there a particular event or shift in your career where you decided to make this transition to art or did it come naturally?

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved creating things and drawn for as long as I can remember. I’ve always worked in creative fields but never was an 'artist’ as such. It was getting depression 6 years ago that started my journey as a full-time artist. Best thing that could ever have happened to me.

Do you have any brands in NZ fashion you are particularly fond of nowadays?

Nah, I’m such a fashion nunce. I have my own idea of what I like wearing, which is pretty much faded slim fit jeans with a nice cut black tee matched with sneakers. That’s my uniform as boring as it is. Some of the shoes I wear are 20 years old!

Outside of your Kiwiana inspired work do you delve into any other types of art in your spare time?

My work is all about my life’s journey, experiences and what is happening in my head at the time, so I’m always doing different things. There is always a 'kiwi’ element to it though. I do a lot of more 'loose’ pieces that don’t have polished sharp lines and Maori graphic elements. McRangi, Pull My Finger and the Boy From Zed are ones that spring to mind. I am also working on a series that combines my great grandfather’s, grandfather’s and my art together - a collaboration 100 years in the making!

Can you tell us three people you admire and why?

Number one - Kirsty, my wife. She is my rock, my inspiration and my love goddess! She picks me up when I am down and makes me feel like I can achieve anything! She is a wonderful mother to our children, a very clever, inspiring professional consultant and an even more amazing lover!

I can’t think of anyone else in particular, so have grouped like so; people who:

Against the odds, are living a positive life and making a difference for themselves and those around them

Are doing what they love and enjoying themselves

Love their kids and spend as much time as they can showing that to them

Share their gifts with others

Being true to themselves

Aren’t jerks! (I know a few jerks so appreciate those that aren’t)

Art and music have a lot in common. How has music influenced you as a person and do you have any artists or bands that you are especially fond of?

I don’t have a particular genre of music that I love. I hear a sound and if I like that, I like it. NZ music inspires me as it creates the imagery of home, land & sea. Warren Maxwell would have to be one of my favourite musicians. When I watch him perform he is at one with his music, totally lost in the emotion of the piece. It’s amazing to see. Neil Finn is also someone I admire. His music has shaped my generation - I learnt to play the guitar so I could play and sing his beautiful waita. One of my best moments last year was taking my Madill guitar to his studio and him playing it.

Travel plans for 2015/16 at all?

I’ve been away a bit this year with two trips to China already, one trip to Australia and several around the country. I am hoping to be part of an exhibition in NYC in November this year. That should be me for 2015. The following year I have a possible trip to Guam and then China again. I’m starting to reconnect with my Chinese heritage. One of the best will be a whanau event in Parihaka 2016.

Favourite place to relax and get away?

Tinopai, the Caribbean of the Kaipara. We have a wee bach there which is only two hours from home! Love it! Great rock oysters and an 80’s vibe.

Any exciting projects in the works at the moment or up and coming you can share with us?

Yes! I am doing a special event on 7th August with Ti Kouka Cafe in Wellington. It’s part of Wellington on a Plate, a degustation sensory experience, connecting fine food, fine wine, fine music and fine art. Come along and see what it’s all about.

Best eatery in Auckland?

Man there are so many! I like to go local at the mo, so Woodworks in Avondale is sweet, especially their rosemary hand cut chips and pizza! Another of my favourites is Chinoiserie Bar & Eatery in Owairaka. Great local atmosphere, fab Asian inspired street food menu and brill craft beer!

Favourite quote?

I don’t do the 'quote’ thing. What I am saying a lot at the mo and practicing it is 'Life is too short to spend wasting time with people that don’t make you feel good. Move on and enjoy yourself!’

Any live acts you are looking forward to seeing in the coming future?

My boys doing their dance thing in the lounge to Bebber!

Top three favourite actors and movies?

Shoot! This is a real hard one.

Any art shows you suggest readers check out?

'Waiora’ which is on at Creative Waikato in Hamilton. It’s a group exhibition of Waikato Maori artists. Get down to the Tron and check it out!

Where did you study?

The 'Toy Room’ at my folks whare in Manurewa, South Auckland. I hate study.

Have you always lived in Auckland/where did you grow up?

I grew up in Manurewa, the heart of South Auckland. I’ve lived in Hamilton, Christchurch and Wellington, but always ended up back home in Tamaki Makaurau.

Any advice to young aspiring artists out there wanting to make a career from art?

If you are passionate about what you do, then pursue it! Believe in what you do and surround yourself with people that support that. Put yourself in situations that may be challenging but will inspire and drive you to achieve more. Value your work and price it as such.

What motivates you to paint?

Getting up in the morning and remembering how good I have it.

Is art something you can teach to somebody or is it natural?

Having a bit of natural talent helps, but other factors play a more important role - being surrounded by it, being encouraged and supported by those around you and being passionate and driven by it. No matter what it is, if you love it, you are going to spend more time doing it, thus you get better at doing it. I love creating my own world and as a child at times was I was totally obsessed with the art of creation.

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Don Braid

"The sound is amazing and the twelve hours of use makes for a long party!"

2014 was another big year for Mainfreight. What’s on the horizon for 2015?

Every year Mainfreight has its opportunities and 2015 will be no different. We will be expecting to find more growth as we continue to look for continued expansion and to satisfy more customers with great logistic services across the world.

Mainfreight seems to be continuously expanding, not just here in NZ but especially offshore. Do you spend much of your time travelling internationally?

We have always tried to travel to every branch no matter where they are. As we have expanded, now in twenty countries with 245 branches, that same philosophy applies. Yes it means travel, but there is no substitute for feet on the ground.

Many people pay tribute to Mainfreight’s level of service. We have felt this first hand. What’s the secret for employing such passionate team members?

Thank you for the compliment, we try hard every day to provide high quality service. There are times when we get this wrong and as long as we learn from those mistakes we will continue to get better. Employing good people who start on the floor and work their way through the business (we promote from within only) then we have a chance to be better and differentiate ourselves from our competitors. The more responsibility we can give to our team to make decisions, the better we will be.Thank you for your business, our team love dealing with you guys.

The “100 year vision’’ has been mentioned as a corner stone for Mainfreight’s growth, particularly off shore. How does one even begin to write/ picture such a plan?

We don’t think you write a plan for a hundred years. It is a belief and part of the culture. Therefore you make decisions as if you are going to be here for another hundred years. It is amazing how that takes destructive, value decreasing, short term decisions away.

You have spent many a good year in the logistics industry. Thinking back to the early days has the industry always been of interest to you?

It is an industry that captivates. When you begin to think how, why, where our everyday consumables come from it is an industry that is dynamic, exciting and interesting. It is a heap of fun every day.

You must have seen an immense change in the industry over the past 10 years? Are there any revolutionary changes you foresee happening in the next 10 years?

There is no doubt in our minds that the logistics sector will be very different from what we had and have today. The challenge will be to keep abreast of change and market expectations.

Tell us your definition of a good time?

Family, friends, great food, good wine, great music and plenty of boisterous conversation. Add the odd physical challenge or some sport and time flies.

Favourite chill out location?

Waiheke.

Is music important to you and if so why?

Yes, it helps the occasion or the run, the ride or to relax.

What sort of music do you enjoy listening to?

Eagles, Rolling Stones, Foreigner, a bit of Robbie Williams and anything my daughters subject me to!

Have you played a musical instrument? If not is there one you would love to learn?

I tried through high school but sport took over. I wished I had learnt to play the guitar.

If you had to pick your favourite era of music what would that be and why?

Seventies for some of the best rock around and now music for some great lyrics and style of music.

Best live act you have seen?

Rolling Stones. We were lucky enough to be back stage with the band. They epitomise why you should never give up when you have something that is a success.

Why do you like our portable speaker?

The sound is amazing and the twelve hours of use makes for a long party!!! And by the way, don’t forget its good looks.

Please name three people you admire and why.

Bruce Plested because he gets Quality, Dion Nash because he gets competition, Al Brown because he gets food, Eddie Von Dadelszen because he gets style and Michelle because she gets me!

What are your top three tips for success?

Passion, Energy and Determination and if you get the chance destroy the bureaucracy.

Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs out there?

Don’t give up, think global (the market is bigger) and don’t sell the business for the Boat, the Bach or the BMW.

Favourite quote?

Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out shouting “holy shit…what a ride”

Any predictions for the cricket world cup here at home?

What a competition. The three Southern Hemisphere sides look odds on, a final where New Zealand will play Australia.

One song to finish up on what’s it going to be?

Rolling Stones “Start me up”

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