Martin | Orewa

Well, we backed onto bush in Birkenhead. So we had a lot of freedom as kids to sort of do the Tom Sawyer type thing, and we’d spend hours and hours down in the bush running around with my mates.

We’re close to the sea as well, so we spent a lot of time going down Birkenhead wharf, and jumping off the wharf, and swimming and all that type of thing, and then later on, fortunately my father had enough money that we owned a farm, so it was a little bit of privilege there, I guess, and I spent a fair bit of time on farms as well.

I was born in, on the Shore in Auckland, in North Shore Hospital, and then later on we had a family home in Birkenhead, in Hinemoa Street, and we had a fairly staunch upbringing, in the sense that our parents were fairly religious, and they brought us up with pretty strict rules, regulations and all the rest of it. That helped me later on in life to have a good core base, in terms of values and that type of thing. I kept off the drugs and yeah they, they were good sensible parents. Good solid parents, I think. That was sort of the core of me growing up. I had six kids in the family, too. So, I was the last of that lot, so I guess I got what was left, although they tended to say that I was spoiled.

Fortunately whilst I had fairly strict parents on the one side, I had my neighbours whose mother was fairly liberal. So I ended up with a bit of balance on that side of things, and so they showed me how to be a little streetwise. I guess whilst I said I had a strict upbringing, at the same time, I think also we were given enough skills to survive in life and get on with things. I think probably I was a little shy at times when I was younger, and although some people would say what are you talking about. I think that probably came from being the last in the family, and my brothers probably dominated the situation at that stage, and I guess I had to bow down to them a little bit. So, maybe I should have stood up to them a little bit more at a younger age.

We had a launch, and we used to go out to Great Barrier. We had 11 acres out in Nagle Cover in Great Barrier. I think the most treasured (memory) I can remember is of one particular day that we were in Catherine Bay, and we went up a mountain or a headland there, which had a cave going through it, and I can remember throwing rocks off the top, and it was making big thunderous noises like cannons going off. It seems to have just stuck in my mind all the way through over the years. It’s one of those repeated memories. Sort of my happy place, I guess.”

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