What was your first job?

I was brought up on a farm, so I had many holiday and paid summer jobs including working at a local wool scourers washing wool and then having to put methylated spirits on my hands to harden them up every night (to counteract the lanolin) because I was rowing at the time. My first permanent job was as an assistant accountant at Fletcher Steel in Hamilton after studying at Waikato Institute of Technology.

What did you learn from it?

An appreciation of good reporting practices and working with high quality people. It also made me realise how little I really knew about the real world of business at the time, despite studying all of those high-powered business case studies.

What was the best advice you got from your parents?

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The importance of good manners, and giving everything a go.

What are the big challenges ahead for 2016 for CBL?

Developing and agreeing goals and objectives through to 2020; harnessing technology to make it even easier for our customers to do business with us, and gain even greater efficiencies and productivity. Also building on and aligning our recent acquisitions and exceeding our IPO prospectus projections.

And for the wider economy?

Seeing greater leadership in Auckland on issues including infrastructure, housing and transport; keeping confidence in the rural sector; doing more to support mental and family health issues around desperate, debt-laden farmers. We should stop talking about the housing bubble, and do more and act faster to enable greater supply of houses until supply gets closer to demand.

Eco-terrorism is another potential challenge.

How will you relax over the summer break?

With family at Langs Beach.