Rachel Glucina 's Opinion

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen and author of The Diary.

The Diary: NZ 'dog-bird' goes viral

The dog-bird on Opotiki Beach
The dog-bird on Opotiki Beach

Hamilton biomedical student Megan Whiteley, 22, snapped what looked to be an animal with the body of a dog and huge wings frolicking on Opotiki beach.

The image went viral around the world yesterday, with a British newspaper saying the "sight would render even Sir David Attenborough speechless".

It was all a trick of perspective. "The dog was obsessed with chasing seagulls and I zoomed in as it ran up to a sitting bird and managed to get a perfectly timed photo just as the bird took off, making it look like a flying dog!"

David Hisco guides students to financial literacy in his spare time.
David Hisco guides students to financial literacy in his spare time.

Bank boss already feels like a true-blue Kiwi

David Hisco is calling New Zealand home - for good. The 50-year-old Australian boss of the ANZ Bank re-signed his contract this week with no fixed end date, and says he wants to make his commitment here more permanent by becoming a Kiwi citizen.

"We love it here. My wife Deb and our boys just love the lifestyle. We can't ever see us not being in New Zealand," he told The Diary.

"We are looking into becoming New Zealand citizens. We have so much invested here, in the job and our family life, we feel we should fully commit to the country."

Most banking bosses fly in from an international post, sign on for a two- or three-year secondment, and jet back out. Hisco's here to stay. It's his second stint here. He was in New Zealand from 1998 to 2000 when he headed up ANZ subsidiary UDC.

He says he's proud of the work the bank's done in dropping the National brand and merging the two banks' core technology systems, but says there's more work to do in taking ANZ to the next level. And he's confident in the economic future here.

"New Zealand is growing, it's clearly open for business. Australia, to a large extent, has petered out. There is great economic momentum occurring here. We've steered through some really tough times, like Christchurch, and we're moving again. Kiwis just get on with it. That's what we like about it here."

The ANZ boss, who grew up in Adelaide on a diet of Aussie Rules, is now a true blue All Black supporter and keen fisherman. He says he gets the Kiwi psyche - even the long, black cloud that falls when the ABs lose. "Which they've never done while I've been here," he laughs. He likes the feeling of patriotic commitment. Australia, he says, doesn't get behind national teams.

His two sons - James, 16, and Tom, 14, who was born here - are enrolled at King's College, and financial literacy in high schools is Hisco's new passion. Every few weeks he visits a school and talks to teens about saving in a bid to "demystify money and teach them what to be careful of".

That's not his only passion. At a recent black-tie ANZ gala dinner at an inner-city hotel, Hisco hopped on stage with Dragon to sing an impromptu version of April Sun in Cuba. It helped raise more than $120,000 for the Cancer Society.

Last week, his zeal turned to the Roast Busters and John Tamihere and Willie Jackson's interview on RadioLive. Hisco said he personally ordered ANZ's advertising to be taken off.

"That behaviour disgusted me. It was inappropriate and insensitive. It was a clear, easy decision for me to make - we're out of here. I ordered our advertising to be pulled.

"Big companies are all under watch. We are asked what does your brand mean? What do you stand for? And I thought: when will the message get through? You don't treat women like that.

"Hopefully people will learn from this so we don't go through that sort of ignorance again. We, as a company, needed to make a point. We do a lot of good stuff with MediaWorks but this was an unfortunate situation."

Soap star love fest

Home and Away actors Ray Meagher (Alf), Lynne McGranger (Irene) and Lincoln Younes (Casey) made the trip across the ditch for the TVNZ new season launch on Wednesday where they presented a segment of the show alongside Shortland Street stars Michael Galvin (Chris), Sally Martin (Nicole) and Chris Tempest (Josh). The Kiwis presented the Aussies with gifts: a pounamu, a stuffed kiwi and some local beer. Word is, it was a bit of a soapie love fest, with stalwarts Ray and Michael propping up the deck talking and comparing notes.

The invitation promised "a night with Dynamo". However, the international conjurer (real name Steve Frayne) only managed an appearance via pre-recorded video. Good trick, TVNZ.

Cunliffe channels James Bond

More than 500 salubrious guests gathered at the Auckland Art Gallery on Wednesday night to honour the Herald's 150th birthday.

Prime Minister John Key, at a Mass for the people of the Philippines at St Patrick's Cathedral, sent his birthday wishes via pre-recorded video message, as did All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. Mayor Len Brown was conspicuously absent.

Labour leader David Cunliffe looked debonair in a tuxedo, with one high-profile businesswoman likening him to Sean Connery as James Bond.

He certainly exuded charm, working the room and working his charisma on everyone - even The Diary.

TV titan Phil Smith, a former Herald cadet reporter, arrived at the party wearing a $14 suit jacket and tie he'd bought at a nearby op shop. Based between Sydney and Queenstown, he paid a flying visit to Auckland this week and forgot to pack formal attire.

Herald and Listener columnist Toby Manhire, also at the party, was the subject of speculation - as frontrunner to succeed Radio NZ broadcaster Chris Laidlaw who said this week he's stepping down.

- NZ Herald

Rachel Glucina

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen and author of The Diary.

Rachel Glucina is New Zealand’s reigning gossip queen, notorious for breaking celebrity scoops and dishing dirt on the country’s best known personalities. She’s feared. She’s loathed. She’s courted by anyone with skeletons in their closet. Rachel knows where the bodies are buried. Mick Jagger wined and dined her. Mike McRoberts devoted a chapter to her in his memoirs. And John Key has her on speed dial.

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