A glimpse into the fascinating depths of Hawke's Bay talent was revealed on Friday, with three locals telling extraordinary stories at the 2017 Reboot Your Business event at Napier Conference Centre.

Acting Hastings mayor Sandra Hazelhurst said she came from a "humble Raureka Background but was blessed with hardworking parents".

She said her introduction to business was when she opened a fruit shop aged 19 with her sister in 1986, when thousands in Hawke's Bay lost their jobs when freezing works closed.

Following a burglary they were asked to mentor the teenage burglars.


"I believe we gave them some hope, that they could change the direction of their ways."
Fifteen years later "a fine young man with a beautiful little girl" introduced himself to her at a supermarket as one of the burglars and was now a community leader.

"Leadership is not only found at the top of society but right through the community," she said.

"It can come from very humble beginnings and sometimes the most unlikely people step up to surprise and delight you."

Havelock North's Cam McLeay started adventuring as a part-time rafting guide while a student, an expertise that took him around the world. He fell in love with Uganda where he owned and ran a rafting, bungy jumping, jet boating and tourism operation and led an ascent of the Nile.

The first attempt ended in tragedy. Their microlight flying their inflatable boats over rapids crashed and a man that came to their aid was killed.

He owned and operated Wildwaters Lodge, a high-end facility perched on islands on the Nile, listed in Lonely Planet as a top destination.

Academy Award winner Paul Pattison outlined his career from being forced to leave school in England aged 12 to being a Hollywood "gun for hire".

He apologised in advance for name dropping, having worked with talent such as Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Patrick Dempsey, Jon Voight, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Gregory Peck and Anne Margaret.

He has a home in Greece but his Wellington wife expressed a desire to live in Hawke's Bay and on a visit decided to make it home for their family, for His next project is in Prague and starts in three months.

He shared the 1995 Oscar for Best Makeup with Lois Burwell and Peter Frampton for the film Braveheart, despite first lacking confidence in their design decision of blue war face paint because it "looked like Ziggy Stardust".

Reboot Your Business is organised by Napier businessman Gary Hemming.