Welcome back to Who is IT NZ – our weekly spotlight on great people in the NZ tech scene. It works by meeting us for coffee, we ask you a version of the Proust Questionnaire and just hang out and have a nice time. Afterwards you introduce us to someone else so the chain keeps going. Want to be featured here? Pitch us your credentials and we’ll be in touch.
What do you want to do now you’re back in NZ?
Business mentoring and change. In a way that’s focused on people and learning and collaboration, rather than just the tech or just the process. Getting to a values based way of doing things. My intended business is to support our great NZ leaders and businesses grow better and stronger through being more innovative – this means growing smarter and using the resources available to get even more. So they can take on their markets better, reach out internationally or making sure their people are empowered so they’re more agile and resilient.
What’s your favourite virtue?
I have two. Honesty – being honest and true to yourself. Not lying to others and being really aware of oneself. A lot of learning and growth comes from that. And the other is empathy. To be able to really listen and understand someone else’s position brings down barriers and stops judgement, and judgement is the mother of all cock-ups in any relationship.
What do you look for in a friend?
A deep sense of mischief. Just to be a little bit wicked, on the edge. Life as we know it is fairly routine, so if you can create sparks, be playful and go a way that’s unknown whilst having fun along the way that’s great. Most of my friends put a smile on my face and have mischief deeply embedded in them. I think as a society we need to do more just for the benefit of comedy.
What’s your dominant characteristic?
I guess being a deep listener. I like to really listen to somebody and make it about them. I have an inquisitive mind so I want to understand and discover things. And that can only come by not making it about you. I like being part of the story, but I’m happy to leave the storytelling up to others.
What’s your biggest flaw?
I think not reacting or changing when things are obviously not happening. I dream big and I think change can be achievable, so I’ll constantly keep trying when others have given up. This can waste quite a bit of time and effort though.
(I said that this was not a flaw. Because it is quite clearly not a flaw).
OK, getting stuff done at the last minute. I accept that things will happen when they happen and do other creative stuff in the meantime… but then that can end up with some last minute scrambling.
What’s your favourite occupation?
I’d love to be a travel writer and photographer. Just exploring new things every day, meeting amazing people, doing amazing things.
What’s your idea of happiness?
Walking on the beach with my dog. Or travelling and exploring a dusty road. This could be exploring New Zealand. Anywhere really. That spark of freshness. And music. Music is the soundtrack to happiness.
What’s your idea of misery?
Boredom. Boredom sends me into a spiral of more boredom and inactivity.
If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?
A travel photographer, or a less smug Richard Branson – somebody to really empower others and bring about a positive change. Oh I can’t believe I said Richard Branson…
Where do you wish you could live?
I’ve tried quite a few places and I’m really enjoying being home back in New Zealand. If I could have a lovely campervan travelling around New Zealand I’d be pretty happy. East Africa …actually yeah….Zanzibar. Screw the campervan. I’m living in a tent in Zanzibar.
What’s your favourite colour and your favourite flower?
Colour would be blue, and a navy one as you can probably tell (Justin was wearing a lot of blue). Favourite flower? I love a good single sunflower to always brightens up the room. But I also like a good solid daisy. Common, a salt of the earth flower. Coming up through a crack in the pavement.
Who is your favourite character in fiction?
I’d go with Edmund Dantes from the Count of Monte Cristo. His redemption through all of the rage. Or any anti-character out of an Iain Banks book.
What is your favourite swear word?
I think fuck-knuckle is quite a good one.