A Diary of Fieldays:
Tuesday 1pm: Depart Dunedin for Auckland with NZME Head of Rural Elgan O'Donnell, National Sales Manager Nick Fisher and newly-anointed Country Ambassador Andrew Hore.
4-30pm: Arrive Auckland. Immediately get stuck in traffic. Realize the Chiefs v Wales game kicks off at 6-30 rather than 7-30pm. Horey asks whose bright idea it was to fly into Auckland? I blame Fish.
6-10pm: After crawling in rush hour traffic we eventually make it to Huntly. Horey declares himself thirsty and demands a Speight's stop.
6-45pm: Finally make it to the game, only 10 minutes late, to witness a performance for the ages by the ageless Stephen "Beaver" Donald.
9pm: Horey introduces us to Tony Woodcock at the Arran Pene's Speight's Alehouse. Woody proves to be a man of very few words. Legend has it, only the Franks brothers say less. I suggest a midnight curfew for the team. Horey says he doesn't do curfews. I have a new sympathy for Mark Hammett.
Wednesday 7-30am: Hit the road early to avoid the rush hour traffic to Mystery Creek.
9am: Film an introductory video with the new chief executive of Fieldays, Peter Nation. He has provided us with a magnificent glass cube from which to broadcast for the next three days. We're next to the Chiefs' site. I hope we get to meet Beaver!
10am - 1pm: Prepping, pre-recording and live radio interviews with Winston Peters, Steve Maharey, Horey and his great mate Ian Kirkpatrick, Cameron Bagrie, Lain Jager, Steven Joyce, Fran O'Sullivan, Tom Ruddenklau and Peter Nation.
1pm-4pm: Client videos with Volkswagen, SealesWinslow, Blue Wing Honda, LIC and Kubota. Radio is such an easier and more forgiving medium. Videos are hard work.
7-30pm: We are lucky enough to be invited to the annual Crowe Horwath dinner. Horey goes head-to-head with MIE's (Meat Industry Excellence) Ross Hyland over the Silver Fern Farms deal and more than holds his own, proving he has the earthy native cunning and business nous of a successful farmer. Once again he ignores the curfew.
Thursday 6am: Out of the sack at sparrow's fart to find All Blacks legend Ian Kirkpatrick sleeping on our sofa. Our Hamilton house host Graeme Smith is most excited. While we head out the door to host a Rabobank client breakfast with Hayley Moynihan, Smithy bores poor old Kirky rigid with inflated tales of his own rugby career. When asked at the client breakfast, when will dairy farming recover, Hayley says it's like Rachel Hunter's hair. "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen".
10am - 1pm: Prepping, pre-recording and live radio interviews with Richard Loe, Miles Hurrell, Te Radar, Hayley Moynihan, Mike Petersen, Norm Hewitt, Dr Tim Mackle, Nathan Guy and Chelsea Millar.
1pm-4pm: Client videos with Vodafone, Zero, Power Farming, Husqvarna and J Swap Contractors Ltd.
4-15pm: Get to meet Beaver! A nicer bloke you could not meet.
5-30pm: Due to a lack of time and enthusiasm the annual run around Hamilton Lake is swapped for a quick gallop around the streets of the Tron. Elgan proves the quickest. Horey claims he threw his running shoes away in 2013 when he retired from the All Blacks. He stays in the house to guard the valuables.
7-30pm: Another hardy annual on the Fieldays calendar is the UDC / CB Norwood dealers' function. Horey follows in the footsteps of Sir Colin Meads and Richard Loe as a thoroughly entertaining guest speaker. Once again he ignores the curfew.
Friday 8-30am: We make an amateur mistake! The tour is taking its toll. We're slow out of the blocks, have one cup of tea too many and get stuck in Fieldays traffic. It takes one hour and 10 minutes to get to Mystery Creek.
10am - 1pm: Prepping, pre-recording and live radio interviews with John Key, Sir David Fagan, Dr William Rolleston, Andrew Little, David Seymour, Hayden Dillon, Tim Myers, Rodney Gillard, Craig Wiggins and drought-affected North Canterbury farmers Dan Hodgen and Nick Hamilton.
2-30pm: Four hectic days at Fieldays come to an end. There's a plane to catch. Thank you Peter Nation. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I'll be back.