When Paul Adams was in high school, he and a mate snuck into a Rolling Stones concert at Wellington Town Hall. It was the end of sixth form and they did not have enough money to pay for tickets, but managed to get in backstage.
Adams got closer than most to the band, spending the second half of the concert standing next to the drummer and waving out to everyone he knew in the crowd.
I was purer than the driven snow, I wasn't naughty.
After the show ended, he got the autographs of every Rolling Stone, signing his name next to theirs on the programme, and posed in a photograph with Mick Jagger.
The band also gave him a maraca and a shirt with giant lapels - a thing so hip in 1960s New Zealand, it sent all the girls into fits of hysteria.
Adams, now 66, laughs at the memory and despite the brazenness of the act, denies he was a rebel.
"I was purer than the driven snow," he says. "I wasn't naughty."
While Adams embraced his turn on the stage that night, the Tauranga property magnate and philanthropist is less enthusiastic about being in the limelight now.
He calls himself "a backroom boy" - one who operates behind the scenes - and says he wrestles with a growing public profile, desperately worrying that anything he says will be viewed as arrogant.
In recent months, he has been a regular feature in the news, particularly as his involvement in not-for-profit and community work escalates, and he has spoken publicly about a range of topics from social housing to the announcement of a university campus for Tauranga's CBD.
He says he is getting hassles from his friends that he will want to stand for mayor soon, but he tells 48 Hours, in the bluntest of terms, that he has no desire to enter politics.
Rather, Adams' passion lies in philanthropy, and at an age when he could be contemplating retirement, he is instead dedicating seven days a week to charitable and community causes.
I'd never want to retire but I'd love to get to a stage where I can have a better balance in life.
Adams grew up in a state house in the working class Wellington suburb of Naenae and says he has always felt a drive to help others. He has difficulty explaining the motivation but says it is not bred of religion.
"Maybe this explains it," he says. "I literally can't kill a fly ... I hate seeing anyone hurt animals. I could never go shooting. "I hate catching fish. The odd time I've caught a trout down at Lake Rotoiti I throw it back. I'm just there to have a beer and a ride in the boat."
His parents were blue-collar workers and split up when he was in his early teens, but despite a childhood without any extras, he says it was not one of deprivation. "There was generally enough to put food on the table."
He was not a high achiever at school, "just middle of the road", but was always keen to succeed. His mother, a tailoress, could not afford to pay for his university so he put himself through studies in civil engineering, management and arbitration over an eight-year period.
Adams and his family moved to Tauranga in 1981 and after almost three decades of working for himself, he made a conscious decision to dedicate a third of his time to not-for-profit work when he turned 60. It was a noble gesture, but serving on the boards of multiple organisations, including the Waipuna Hospice, the IHC, the University of Waikato Council and Te Kura (The Correspondence School), has taken over his life.
In March, he told the Bay of Plenty Times he was spending 70 per cent of his time on not-for-profit work; now, he says, "It's more like 100 per cent."
Sitting down with 48 Hours at his home in Bethlehem on Thursday, Adams says he loves the work, but hints it could be quieter. "I'd never want to retire but I'd love to get to a stage where I can have a better balance in life."
We do our interview on the back of three days of meetings for Adams in Wellington with Treasury, Te Kura and the Mayor of Porirua.
He is poised and happy to talk despite the demands on his time, which include serving as chairman of an IHC company that is the country's largest non-government organisation in social housing, outstripping the Salvation Army.
The company is looking to buy a significant chunk of Housing New Zealand's social housing portfolio sell-down, including 1200 houses in Tauranga.
Adams was up working until 2.30am on Tuesday reviewing the social housing discussions with Treasury, and got home to Tauranga late on Wednesday. He was back at work on his laptop at the kitchen table on Thursday morning and says he starts most days at 6.30am.
If you short change someone on a deal, you're unlikely to have repeat business.
He works every day of the week, saying Sunday is often the day he achieves most. He has always worked long hours, gaining a strong work ethic from his boss in his first job as a civil engineer.
These days, he applies to not-for-profit work the philosophies he used to build his Carrus Group into the largest property development company in Bay of Plenty.
He has three golden rules: Be firm but fair, always consider a business deal from the other party's perspective, and always leave something in the deal for the other party.
"If you short change someone on a deal, you're unlikely to have repeat business," Adams says.
His words are not to be taken lightly when one considers his achievements.
He was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy in this year's New Year's Honours, and was named Westpac Business Leader of the Year for the Bay of Plenty in 2013.
He calls it luck, but it seems more like an uncanny ability to spot opportunity that has helped him succeed, first through kiwifruit management and then property.
He is responsible for suburban developments across the four corners of the Bay and other locations in the North Island, and says he is proud of the quality of Carrus suburbs.
Adams has earned plenty along the way and is on the National Business Review's list of the country's wealthiest people. But he hates mention of his money and will not entertain questions on the subject, saying he is not wealthy in international terms and has never lost sight of his working-class origins.
"I still feel like I have to go to work to put food on the table."
His house is palatial but seems more testament to his love of engineering as he shows us the plans and explains the lengths he went to achieve an authentic turn-of-the-century look. He visited historic buildings and measured gables, copied original sash windows and wood panelling, and had fireplaces carved overseas.
He admits to a "failing" for nice cars, and there is a Porsche parked outside the front door.
"I went out for a sprint to get the milk this morning. I haven't got super yachts and helicopters and all those other things. I like having nice material things around me but once again, it's a balance between that and trying to do other things in the community."
While he has a social conscience, he knows not all wealthy people choose to share their time or money with others.
He says it is disappointing because the need in communities is great, pointing to Tauranga as an example.
I've had my share of bad deals in life but fortunately the good ones have outweighed the bad ones.
"In our own community, there is lots of deprivation that most residents don't see or maybe don't even realise exists. "Daily, there are mothers who have been abandoned or beaten up and left with nowhere to stay or enough money to put food on the table."
In contrast, he says, he knows people who are happy to splash $1000 on lunch but are reluctant to give to those in need.
"More buggers should be putting their hands in their pockets in this town," he says.
Although Adams has never suffered crippling loss, his life has not been without hard times, including being defrauded to the tune of six figures by someone he trusted.
"I've had my share of bad deals in life but fortunately the good ones have outweighed the bad ones."
He says family is key and son Scott, 41, has taken the reins at Carrus Group, while life has changed dramatically with the arrival of six grandchildren.
Adams and his wife Cheryl, who he met at Naenae College and has been married to since 1971, also have a daughter, Sarah, and her and Scott have three children each.
Adams is missing the Super Rugby final in Wellington this weekend to take two of the grandkids to Australia for the first week of the school holidays and says the kids' mothers (his daughter and daughter-in-law) are fretting about his ability to get the pair across the Tasman.
The grandkids call him Griff and he says there will be "an hour's maths every morning" for the 7-year-old and 8-year-old before visits to Dreamworld, Movie World and the other attractions on the Gold Coast.
Asked how he reckons the little people view him, he says: "I hope they love me."
He has also given his time to young people outside the family who have approached him for career advice, and has been interviewed by university students doing dissertations.
Adams is enthusiastic about the city's planned university campus, and passionate about Tauranga in general.
"We live in potentially the greatest city in New Zealand," he says.
He is looking forward to the next Carrus Open golf tournament in September, saying Sir Bob Charles is lined up to play this year.
Even if he prefers being a backroom boy to taking centre stage, he is energetic and full of ideas about how to make the city a better place, saying he feels 40 rather than 66.
His mother is still going strong at 91 and when I suggest that some say people of his generation will likely live to be 105, he pats the table firmly and says, "Touch wood."