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The ups and downs of our planned new life to NZ, warts and all!

I did it! I gave the Prime Minister my card!Tue 24 March 2009
This morining saw us 'doing brunch' through the Chamber of Commerce.  As I previously mentioned, I'm not really cut out for this corporate networking lark.  It feels so fake, people are so insincere and ask questions so that they lead into their own ulterior motive.  Steve handles it all beautifully of course, being a real city boy.  Fortunately at this brunch I was sat next to a guy from DOC (department of Conservation) and he had a lot of fascinating stories to tell about the sort of work he was involved in.  There was no sales premise, neither of us had any need for each other's services.  Thus the conversation was fluid and, I might add, interesting.  He eluded to the work with the Maori, in terms of forming agreements between iwi in order to save animals from extinction and protect land, whilst negoitiating terms of the land with the local people.  I certainly don't consider myself an environment type in any way shape or form, but no one can question the hard work of the DOC workers.  Anyhoo, John Key did his thang, where he told us all that there was no recession and anyway, even if there was, we were all wrapped in a cuddly merino blanket here so we'd be just fine.  Just shy of saying, 'don't panic' he reassured the New Zealanders that whilst people would stop buying cars and LCD tvs, there would always be an international need for Kiwi lamb.  God bless ya John - now tell me, can Gordon Brown top that for a bedtime story?  Once he left the stage, Steve and I found ourselves as part of circle, people that Steve knew from around the city, people I recognised from here and there, and some odd bods that wanted in on the 'in' crowd!  I had to excuse myself though, I was headed for the big man himself!  I got blocked by a bodyguard, and although I considered asking that infamous question, would you take a bullet for John Key, I decided to err on the side of caution.  John was doing some soundbites for the media, so I got chatting to the Kevin Coster type as to whether the catering staff were going to keep the leftover orange juice and serve it up at the next function.  Seriously, those buckets were keepers.  We talked about private school costs, nanny rates and then finally I saw my break!  I approached John Key and shook his hand.  I said what I did, and gave him my card.  He politely asked me (while discreetly looking for his wingmen) how business was.  I told him it was slow because I was new, but I was confident I'd ride out this economic cllimate.  I then went on to thank him for his speech and did the most cheesiet two thumbs up sign while wishing him the best with his, and I quote, 'new job.'  Yes, the benefit of hindsight is not kind!  I then skulked back to the group and thus became an inspiration for other directions with the company - which I'll explain later once I've got my head around all the information overload.  So yes, the Prime Minster of New Zealand has my business card!

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