Day one back at school and the new term kicks off for my 14-year-old daughter with excitement and trepidation about what the new teachers will be like, who is new at the kura (school) and does the old uniform still fit.

At 14, her horizon of life never sets and planning is about as much use to her as her iPhone with a cracked screen. You can't see a damn thing when either of them are in front of you. Her horizon hovers around the 12-month mark with really, really important milestones to be achieved.

That this may be the year she starts to see further into the future has been my optimistic hope, given the current climate of everything in life having to be instantly gratifying. How can we help her to see past the latest post on her Facebook page? Maybe I just need to button off and stop trying to be the careers councillor - and just be her dad.

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Sure there is more to life than being a kapa haka performer and making it on to the Matatini stage, the Super 14 equivalent this year in front of 60,000 spectators over three days in Wellington on February 20.

Not that I would know. I was the world's worst when it came to my one and only ever shot at kapa haka on the Mount College Hui Aranga stage in 2000. To put it mildly I sucked and it was shameless, not just for me but all my whānau in the crowd. Thank God - and Mother Mary and her angelic mates - my daughter hadn't been born and didn't get to witness it or she would have disowned me and gone and joined the priesthood or the female feministic version of it.

The only other goal on her 2020 bucket list was to be able to get into the One Love festival without having to watch it from over the fence and across the road, camped up with her mates on Mackenzie Elvin's porch.

Now there's a gig I can be in the same venue with her - without making a fool of myself, just soaking up the vibe and grooving to the sweet sounds of Uncle Bob.

But not too close though, eh Dad? Perhaps they will have a koro section by then. Just saying ...

True that. Out of the 20,000 strong crowd at One Love (besides UB40 featuring Ali, Mickey and Astro who were much closer to 70 than 40), I would have been the oldest and straightest there.

When I asked her the other night what she wanted to be when she grew up, it was the same answer as last year, "I want to be an air hostess so I can see the world". Fair enough answer really.

Then she threw me a curve-ball and asked me the same question, "what would you want to be if you were my age again Dad".


It was a left-field question that made me look deeply into the right field of my life lived thus far, and what would I have been or could have been if I had stayed at school longer than 15.

I guess I will never know the answer. One thing is for sure, if I had another shot at life, the career path I would have chosen had to give me a degree in bringing the maximum amount of joy to this sometimes - and really now more and more times, sad-ass world.

My doctorate in this field would see me capped as the first ever, qualified Joyologist.

This sounded kind of cool to my 14-year-old girl. She knows and likes a lot about the hippy peace-loving world I lived in during the 70s - and what's there not to like?

Violence and alcohol were uncool as was processed food and pollution. Clothes were bright and beautiful like a summer's sunset across the Kaimai Ranges and my hair was longer than most of my seven sisters. Back then, we had trouble keeping it out of our eyes and now we have trouble keeping it on our heads.

I guess I will just have to crouch and hold for another Matatini to go by and the next One Love festival to come wafting into town.

Chances are the year will come and go quicker than my kapa haka career. A career that will have as much chance of making a comeback as Buck Shelford will of making the team for this year's world cup.

One thing is for sure, my hair won't be any longer and hopefully nor will the political internship of the agent orange-coloured, toupee-touting, hair whisperer and presidential leader of the far from United States will be either over, impeached or impounded, or more likely living in his Putin-paid-for penthouse in downtown Moscow.

Not that a 14-year-old would want to know anything about that boring stuff.