The newsroom smells of flowers.

There they are. Lined up by the window. Over near the printer and the stationery cupboard. They're in big vases. Lilies and other white blossoms. The newsroom keeps whirring on. There's always another bulletin. Another deadline.

I've been working at TVNZ for 12 years. In that time there are probably a half dozen days and moments in the newsroom that I will really hold onto and remember. That I will specifically remember being in that space with those people. I remember standing with my colleagues watching Obama win the election in 2008. I remember Pike River, a few days during and after the Christchurch Earthquake. And then the day Greg died.

I know that so much has been said already in the past few days because Greg was such a well-known person - he was sitting in this chair just a couple of weeks ago talking to you through this very microphone. And, as well as completely shaking and discombobulating those of us who worked with him and laughed with him and drank beers with him, I think his death has affected the whole country.


I didn't know what more to say this morning. But honestly it's all I have been thinking about. His family and my mates who were really close to him. The jokes he'd crack when we'd sit next to each other in the TVNZ dressing room and struggle to pull on our boots.

So. A couple of things I want to say:

We've had the message on depression so many times but I will repeat it. Please ask for help. Please talk. Please be there for people who want to talk.

For what it's worth, though I'm fortunate not to have suffered serious long-term mental illness, I've been a few times to see a professional counsellor for help in just the past few months actually. And it's great. It's not onerous or anything - you basically just have a yarn and get shit of your chest. You leave feeling way better. Do it.

The other thing I want to say though is perhaps even broader.

Newstalk ZB host Jack Tame. If you love someone, tell them, Tame says. Photo / File
Newstalk ZB host Jack Tame. If you love someone, tell them, Tame says. Photo / File

I finally sat down last night. I've got a chair by a big window in my apartment and looked down on K Road. Someone got hit by a car. The ambulance was there, police were diverting traffic. And I had a feeling that reminded me of something I first realised years ago after the Christchurch earthquake.

A schoolmate of mine, a really fit, bright guy, captain of our cricket team, 25 years old with his whole life ahead of him, he'd gone to get some lunch and a building fell on him. That was it.

Life can be so fickle. Life can be SO fickle.


And it's just easy to get in a mode where you're grinding away at work and at home and months pass by or years pass by and you fret over stuff that doesn't matter. The noise of modern life is all consuming ... it just drowns everything. You're on the treadmill. It never stops. And it takes an almighty jolt in your life - Greg Boyed dying - to realise that actually so much of that stuff doesn't matter.

If you love someone, tell them. Tell them today. Visit them. Ring them. Send someone a text if you have to. Just out of the blue. "Hey, how are things? I've been thinking and I just want you to know that I love you."

Because none of us really know what's gonna happen in life. None of us really know.
And one minute Greg is sitting on a bench, teasing you for not having polished your shoes.

And then the newsroom smells of flowers.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
The WordDepression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
CASPER Suicide Prevention
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.