Age: 24

Job: Multimedia reporter

Location: Auckland

Number of years as a journalist: Three


The best story I've worked on, and why:

I think that story is yet to be written.

The one that got away:

While I was reporting in South Canterbury the first case of Mycoplasma bovis broke at a farm just north of my hometown of Oamaru.

Farming is a huge industry in South Canterbury and North Otago, so the confirmed case floored the community.

Mycoplasma bovis is a nasty thing: it causes illness in cattle, including udder infection (mastitis), pneumonia and arthritis.

The disease had put the South Island into a tailspin; confidence among stock traders was down and farmers were reluctant to rotate livestock with other farmers for fear of their herds catching the bacteria.

People were rightly worried, scared, angry and wanting solutions from the Government.

We quickly managed to find out the outbreak was at a pretty sophisticated dairy farm owned by the van Leeuwen group.

We knew the van Leeuwens by reputation and we wanted to chat to the family to hear how they were coping.

Unfortunately MPI only named the van Leeuwen farm as a first confirmed case, and all subsequent cases were private.

They bore the brunt of the confusion and fear from farmers and flew to Australia while the whole thing cooled down.

I still wish to this day I could have sat down for a coffee with them to discuss the ordeal.

Career highlight:

Accepting a job offer at the New Zealand Herald. It was a big step up for me to move from a regional newsroom to a national one.

The expertise and quality of writers and staff at the Herald are second to none. There is no place in journalism that I'd rather be.

I love journalism because:

Every day I learn something new, every day I engage in enthralling conversations and every day I feel a great sense of privilege that I get to share the stories of New Zealanders.

Also time goes by in a flash when you are working hard.

But if I couldn't be a journalist

I'd possibly be slinging pizzas for Domino's or chasing a trade apprenticeship in sheet metal or carpentry.