In 1954 after eight years' service in the Royal New Zealand Navy I went to Ardmore Teachers' Training College and completed the three-year course.
In 1961 I was appointed to a position in the Art and Crafts Department at Selwyn College in Auckland. I also taught English, social studies and mathematics and coached cricket.
At the time there was the perennial shortage of teachers. The government decided to recruit teachers overseas. They offered university graduates in Britain a two-year contract to come to New Zealand, with accommodation assistance and the right of permanent residence afterwards.
As the graduates had had no teacher training or experience they were sent to classrooms and instructed by the class teachers.
I had four or five in my room whom I was required to teach the principles and practices of teaching. Their salaries were £1000 per year while I was on £615.
I wrote a letter that was published in the Auckland Star suggesting that if the government increased the salaries and conditions for teachers in New Zealand it might be cheaper with a more satisfactory outcome.
But politicians, then as now, appeared to lack the cognisance, initiative and industry to try.
Meat at every meal no longer the norm
There is a concern among farmers that the school climate change curriculum encourages children to eat less meat.
Farmers feel unfairly singled out as in New Zealand stock numbers and the emissions from stock are static.
I'm a beef farmer but am not concerned and won't sign the petition to have the meat reference removed from the curriculum.
I already eat meat less than three times a week whereas 30 years ago families regularly ate meat three times a day; bacon or sausages for breakfast, meat sandwiches for lunch and meat casseroles, rissoles, chops, roasts or steak at night.
Our diets have changed, low-income families can no longer afford meat, and ethnic and meatless meals are common.
If children decide to consume less meat it will enable New Zealand farmers to feed more of the world's population, which is increasing by 80 million people each year.
It will give scientists more time to devise a diet plan that can feed 10 billion people by 2050.
It could save forests around the world from being destroyed to make way for agriculture and save threatened wildlife from extinction. It is easy to eat less meat.
I hope the climate change curriculum also talks about tourism, air travel and vehicles which are set to increase four-fold the world's CO2 emissions by 2050.
If we are really serious about the climate crisis we need to do a lot more than reduce our meat intakes.