1. What did you want to be growing up?
I thought I was going to be a lawyer when I was at high school. But I started law at Canterbury and bailed out, did English and political science. Left again. I just didn't like [university]. I found it an impersonal, detached environment. I wasn't lonely - I'd gone thinking, "Geez, I'm getting out of Gisborne, I'm going to see some things," then got there and thought, "Is this it?" So I went home, got a job, saved some money and went to the States to travel.
2.On your own?
Yeah. I was 20. I wombled around a few of the places I'd studied in political science. I remember I wasn't legal to go into the pubs in America, not that I was going to booze. Was I fearless? I don't know. I find it hard to compare myself to other people. I think that's a fruitless exercise. I don't get too tied up in navel-gazing. I was just, "yeah, let's go". Had five months away and came back to broadcasting school. That was much better [than uni]. It wasn't just people going "yackety yak". You're out doing stuff.
3. Does work dominate your life?
Work's really important to me. There's no denying that and I like what I do, and if you like what you do you tend to put some energy and hours into it. But it's not my whole life. There's my friends. They're really important. I'm loyal to my friends and see them frequently, talk to them on the phone. Yes, I have a partner. I don't like to talk about my partner because it's personal business. I'm a very private person. No, I don't think my friends would say I'm guarded. It's just very strange for me to do an interview.
4.Do you work long hours?
Well, I'm an early to bed person. It's 9.30pm bed. You work funny hours so I think I'd rather go to bed early and be a nerd and enjoy my day. I get up early - 5.30am to 6am. I go to the gym or go running before work. I have always run. I used to run with my dad. It's gym on Friday, boxing thing on Tuesday and then a run three days a week, about 10km. It's my drug. I don't drink alcohol, don't smoke, I run.
5. Why don't you drink?
I drank at university but I didn't really like it so I stopped. I can't stand the taste of wine or beer. I obviously have an unrefined palate. Oysters are like globules of snot to me. My father and my brother don't drink either.
6.You've covered a number of stories over the years that involved your colleagues - have you ever pulled your punches on a boss' order?
Hell no. Why would you? Integrity is your currency as a journo. I did the "cheeky darkie" story with Paul Holmes when I worked on [One News at 6pm] and he was doing The Holmes Show [which followed the news]. I did the Tony Veitch story and we worked together. I don't think of these stories as anything different. The question is, is it newsworthy and if yes, then it's like any other story. If it was my father I was chasing down the street, well, you know, it's degrees of separation. But I've never been placed in a situation where I think, no, I can't do that. It's more uncomfortable when some poor mother has lost their child in an horrendous accident and you're on their door. That's more awkward.
7.Do you get nervous before big political interviews?
You are on your toes because it can be like entering the ring with someone who is ready for everything you have got. We all get quite excited because getting them on the show [The Nation] is half the battle. Getting some answers is the second half of that.
8.What answer do you most dislike from a politician?
You don't want bullshit, a walk up the garden path, an answer that doesn't answer your question. You ask the Prime Minister, "When were you told that there was an issue with Mike Sabin?" And he says, "I can't talk about that," and you think, "No, you can, you choose not to talk about that." I don't like that - I want a direct answer - but sometimes the answer is in what you are not getting. I think the interplay is a big part of it, their facial expressions, the pause before answering. The viewer can make up their own minds about that.
9.Was it a big deal you leaving TVNZ for TV3?
No. People assumed it was a big deal for me. It wasn't. I was offered a career opportunity and I took it. I had a great time at TVNZ and made heaps of really wonderful friends who are still my friends, many of whom work in management.
10. When have you been at your lowest and how did you pull yourself out?
I badly injured my Achilles in 2011 and couldn't run at all, [and] went to physio for nine months. That's a very, very small thing compared to many people's lives but running is something I love to do, it takes me to my happy place. I'd signed up for a half marathon in Paris and was told I couldn't do it. Well, I don't like to be told I can't do things so for five months I went to the gym then ran it with a strapped-up leg and a wedge in my shoe. Worst race in terms of time, best race in terms of doing it.
11.What are you reading right now?
I recently read Paula Radcliffe's book, she's the marathon runner who pulled to the side of the London Marathon and did number twos. If you talk to runners, we all talk about poo. This is very unlady-like but if you go out to run a long race, the toilet becomes important. I did it on the side of the road in that Paris half marathon. There was this grass curb to the side of the line and huge queues for the toilet and I thought if I don't go there I'll miss the start. Everyone carries toilet paper and once I did it, a whole bunch of people joined me. No, I wasn't embarrassed. A lot of embarrassment is around social norms and I wasn't alone in what I did.
12. When were you last embarrassed?
I was on a frigate to the Kermadecs a few years ago and had had a shower and when I went to get changed I couldn't find my underwear. I was sure I'd brought them with me [to the shower] but thought I must have forgotten. Later that day on the bridge of the ship the captain handed them to me. Someone had found them on the floor. He'd had to stop them running them up the flagpole.