CV in brief.

I am considered to be a tech-savvy and professional collaborator, and have demonstrated an enduring passion for journalism and media-related pursuits across more than 30 years of a varied and highly productive working life. 

But wait, there’s more!

My prevailing career focus is on helping to co-lead enterprising new journalism ventures that best employ my extensive knowledge base, and an adept skill-set that ranges across online publishing in all its facets, photography and a good grasp of design with experience using software tools such as Indesign.

My highest tertiary qualifications are a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in politics (graduating from Victoria University  in 1997), and a Master of New Zealand Studies, with merit (graduated in 2006). Both degrees were completed through part-time study, alongside which I have also completed papers in creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters, study of the Maori language and tikanga, and adult teaching.

Journalism and the Internet

In line with my entrepreneurial instincts I set up my first information broking business, named Fingertips, when training as a librarian in the 1980s. In the 1990s I partnered with the New Zealand Journalists Training Organisation (NZJTO) to run the first-ever Internet training workshops for working journalists in the cities of Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. My work with the NZJTO included producing workshop handbooks and a supporting website. This also led me to contributing content to a textbook on investigative reporting techniques titled Digging Deeper.

Also in the late 1990s I undertook a case study into library use and research practice of newspaper journalists under the Information Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington with a strong focus on the emerging field of computer-assisted reporting and data journalism.

Re-strengthening my connections to journalism – past, present and future

In the mid-2000s I revisited my connection to the journalism vocation through becoming a regular guest speaker at the annual conferences of the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand (JEANZ). I delivered papers to three consecutive conferences between 2005 and 2007, titled: A content review of NZ Listener covers – a case of “we are what we see?”; An Aussie chapter in the print culture of New Zealand – the life of journalist Pat Lawlor; Journalism and literature – crossing the lines with Robin Hyde.

In 2010 I was a presenter at the AUT Media, Investigative Journalism and Technology Conference as a workshop speaker on advocacy journalism, and in recent years played a part in two initiatives taken by independent news provider Scoop: one as a facilitator of a channel for NGOs (Community Scoop), the other as a member of a steering group to promote public interest journalism in New Zealand.

My recent continuing education and development as a journalist has included attending two consecutive conferences in Australia on innovations in journalism (see The Walkley Foundation) and the first two conferences held by the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Wellington, New Zealand in 2014 and 2015.

  • 2014 onwards – I am currently the general manager and lead journalist at NewsRoom, a Sublime Group company. NewsRoom was founded in 1997 as New Zealand’s first online news agency and clearinghouse for media releases from Parliament, and was sold in 2007 to the NZ Stock Exchange. In my time with NewsRoom I have been working to diversify its subscription-based revenue model and broaden its business operations towards being a ‘news you can use’ resource hub. Its operations include a small production team in Suva in Fiji who are focused on the core day-to-day function of keeping NewsRoom up-to-date as an accessible media release archive of filtered and filterable content. We have also outsourced services to an Australian media company that used the combined team as a supplementary research and writing capacity. Examples of the direction/s NewsRoom has been shifting towards include:

    • Creating a WordPress site at NewsRoom_Plus to position an offer of support services that provide research and writing capability for subscribers and non-subscribers. Under this, and maintaining strict independence, we have, for example been a supplier of newsworthy articles to publications in the horticulture industry which we are paid for. In another example we provided a dedicated media presence for an Identity Conference for one of our subscribers, the Privacy Commission. NewsRoom_Plus is also a platform for our ‘Journal’ news-blog which is used to facilitate learning with students and other people new to journalism, who we mentor at NewsRoom. Journal content is also syndicated, generally at no cost or on a reciprocal basis, with more public-facing news sites – for example
    • Introducing added extras such as a simple daily NewsRoom_Digest that is published on Tumblr, and that acts as a research resource by featuring sets of links to source documents such as newly released reports that surface in that day’s news cycle. We are developing other niche ‘spin-offs’ from this type of activity, including more in-house analysis and investigative work, as well as experimenting with content for podcasts.

CONTRACTING - 2005 to 2013 (not including Freelance Writing)
  • 20012-2013 – part-time communications manager at the NZ Union of Students’ Associations
  • 2012 – acting account director at PR firm Sweeney Vesty Ltd
  • 2008-2011 – communications and projects manager at several non-government organisations, including  Aotearoa NZ Association of Social Workers, NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Community Housing Aotearoa
  • 2007 – communications manager for the NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations
  • 2006-2007 – communications manager at the Social Workers Registration Board
  • 2006 – acting communications manager at the Ministry of Justice (Collections Unit)
  • 2005-2006 – senior communications adviser at the Tertiary Education Commission
  • 2005 – project manager in the marketing section of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise
  • 2003-2005 – account manager at the PR firm of Sweeney Vesty Ltd, primarily working on the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO account
  • 2002-2003 – senior communications adviser, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
  • 2001 – communications adviser at the Department of Corrections
  • 2000 – assistant public affairs officer at the Australian High Commission in Wellington, during Sydney Olympics / Centenary of Federation
  • 1994-1999 – executive assistant/ executive officer on administrative staff at Victoria University (Centre for Strategic Studies), Wellington Polytechnic (Academic Board) and Reserve Bank (Overseas Investment Commission)
  • 1994 – contract publications editor at law firm Buddle Findlay
  • 1990-1993 – publications editor and research unit manager at Australasian PR firm Network Communications
  • 1987-1989 – on-the-job training as a librarian at the Department for Scientific & Industrial Research, Parliamentary Library and National/ Alexander Turnbull Library (1990 – qualified with a Certificate in NZ Library Studies)
  • 1986 – employed as a journalist on production of NZ Post Office News, a national staff publication
  • 1985 – worked as a reporter at the Upper Hutt Leader, a community newspaper in greater Wellington
  • 1983-84 – worked as a ‘cub reporter’ at the Evening Standard, Palmerston North
  • 1982 – completed a one-year Certificate in Journalism at Wellington Polytechnic (equivalent to a Diploma)
  • 1980-81 – an undergraduate university student at Victoria University of Wellington
  • 1979 – Rotary Exchange student to Pella, Iowa, USA
  • 1978 – completed secondary education to 6th Form at Kapiti College, Raumati Beach
  • 1967-72 – attended Parklands Primary School in Motueka
  • 1961 – Born in Petone, Wellington – New Zealand