I was brought up in the rural district of Hunua. My first few jobs were all rural-related holiday jobs. One of the first was for Ray and Judy Costello, pulling out old fences on their farm. They are now unit holders in the trust and I see them most years at the AGM. My other holiday jobs included haymaking and, once, looking after a piggery for two weeks. During that time, two of the pigs died and I felt terrible. My first real job was as a valuer in Rotorua for the Valuation Department, now Quotable Value. We undertook government valuations across the whole Bay of Plenty and Taupo areas.
What did you learn from it?
Physical work is great fun when you are young. John Dakin was never going to be a pig farmer, and the central North Island is a beautiful part of the world.
What was the best advice you got from your parents?
I am not sure if there is a single piece of advice; more the values that my parents encouraged me to follow. Values such as being respectful to all people, being grateful for opportunities you are presented with and leaving things in a better state than you found them were all qualities that were discussed.
How will you relax over the summer break?
I will be enjoying the beach, lots of swimming, reading, mountain biking, barbecues and family time.
What are the big challenges ahead for 2016 for your company?Goodman's focus is very much on improving the overall quality of the assets we own and this will continue into 2016. There is a sales programme we will continue to work through this year and we will be replacing these assets with new high-quality developments on our existing land holdings. The last year saw us sign over $100 million of new developments and we expect a similar run rate in 2016. The challenges will be around the market conditions remaining in their current state.
And for the wider economy?
New Zealand is a really special place and, with the continuation of a sound economy, I think it will become even more popular as a place to live and invest. However, there are still many challenges to improve the quality of life for many and business has some responsibility to support the communities within which it invests. Goodman is supporting a great new food rescue organisation in Auckland - Kiwiharvest. It is a really simple service that rescues fresh food that would otherwise end up in landfills and it redistributes the food to those in need. Sometimes it is what may appear to be small steps that can make a massive difference to the community within which we invest.