My Story So Far

The following is a brief outline of some of the interesting things that I have got up to in my life.


  • Born at Kew Hospital in Invercargill
  • My dad was a Dairy Farmer in partnership with my Grandpa running the family farm in Mataura Island.
  • Mum stayed at home and looked after my older sister Katrina, who was 18 months old at the time and myself.


  • My parents took over the family farm and my grandparents enjoy a semi-retired life.

Me at 2 years old
Me at 2 years old


  • My younger sister Neroli was born


  • Started school at Mataura Island Primary School

Me at Age 5
Jumping on the trampoline at the camping grounds in TeAnau when I was 5 years old. Taken by my Grandpa.


  • Spent six weeks at Roxburgh Health Camp because I wouldn't eat my vegies. While I was at the camp I learnt how to ride a bike and was in the parade at the Alexandra Blossom Festival, dressed up as a playing card.

Me at 9 years old
When I was 9 years old.

Me at 10 years old
This is me with my cat James he was about 18 months old when this photo was taken. Our neighbours let us take James home just for an afernoon in October 1987 when he was a kitten we still had him up to 2003 when he died.


  • Grandpa passed away in January at the age of 66 years and then my Granddad on my mothers side passed away in May after a 3 year battle with cancer.


  • Started Form 1 (Year 7) at Menzies College

Me at age 12
Feeding a giraffe a Orana Park when I was 12.

1992 - 1993:

A painting I did in Form 2 (Year 8) Art was exhibited in a Primary School Art Exhibition in Wellington. My teacher chose 3 students paintings (the students that finished last so the teacher would not have to remove any of the other students paintings from the wall) to be in the exhibition. My painting was then printed onto postcards after the exhibition and then displayed in other exhibitions in Tahiti and France. I never had the original painting returned to me.

Ensign Photo
Ensign Article
The article and photo published in the Gore Ensign in September 1992.

Newslink Article
The article published in the Wyndham Newslink on Tuesday 2nd March 1993.

The Postcard that went around the world
The painting that went all around the world. This is a scan of one of the postcards the image was printed onto, I have no idea where the original image is today.
I actually saw my postcard being sold in a gift shop at the musuem in Wellington during 1993.


  • Got my Learner Drivers Licence and learnt how to drive. My parents taught me how to drive in a 1982 Toyota Hilux, 4 speed manual with column change. The comment from dad was if I could learn how to drive the farm ute I could drive anything and that I had it easy because my dad had to learn how to drive in a Bedford truck where you had to double clutch.


  • Left New Zealand for the first time in my life, I went to Los Angeles with the family and spent two weeks visiting theme parks such as Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios, Sea World and Magic Mountain.

Me with Winnie the Pooh
Thats me with Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland

  • My Auntie Lois died in October at the young age of 45. Auntie Lois had been doing a very long OE like for 17 years, she spent most of the eighties based in the UK and everytime she had saved up a bit of money she would travel the world and came home to New Zealand twice in that time. In August of 1996 Auntie Lois was living in Taiwan when she ended up in hospital with liver problems, Mum and Nana flew over as soon as they could and managed to get auntie Lois back to New Zealand and days later was flown to Sydney once it was revealed she would not survive without a transplant. The transplant was sucessful but other complications meant Lois only survived a month after the surgery.
  • Mum and Dad sold the family farm since neither myself nor my sisters were interested in carrying on the farm and my parents decided it was time for a change.

The Family Home
This is the house that not only I grew up in but also my father and two sisters grew up in. This was taken at Christmas 1996, 5 months before we left

The Family Farm
The family farm taken from the neighbours hill.

Me at Age 17
Driving the farm tractor


  • Mum and dad bought a garden business in Invercargill and our family moved to Invercargill.
  • My parents bought me my first car a 1985 Honda Civic and I got my Full Licence.
  • I continued my 7th Form year (Year 13) at Menzies College driving between Invercargill and Wyndham every day.
  • I travelled to Canada and the USA as part of a student exchange when I left school for 7 weeks, this was organised by the Lions Club. I spent my first week in Washington State USA where I cruised around the Canadian Islands and spent a day in Seattle where I saw the Space Needle, Microsoft Campus and I would have gone to the Boeing Factory had it been open. I then spent 5 weeks in Ontario Canada where I saw Niagara and would have gone up the CN Tower if the weather had of been better. The final week I spent in Los Angeles where I visited Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knottsberry Farm and SeaWorld for the second time in my life.

Next to Mounties
I actually had the oportunity to be photographed next to two Royal Canadian Mountain Police.

Shoveling Snow
It snowed heaps in Canada so I had the pleasure of shoveling the snow off the driveway.

Universal Studios
Some of the group from New Zealand I travelled with at Universal Studios.


  • After returning from my trip to Canada I started studying for a Certificate in Business Computing at Southland Polytechnic.


  • I took on a part time job at BP as a forecourt attendant while continuing with my studies.
  • I completed the Certificate in Business Computing and started studying towards a Diploma in Business Computing.

Graduation from SIT
My Graduation from SIT, thats me at home with Mum and Dad.


  • I travelled overseas again this time to Surfers Paradise in Australia and visited the theme parks.
  • My Nana died after a 7 year battle with cancer. A service was held in Invercargill, Nana was then buried in Christchurch her home town.


  • Finally moved out of home and moved into a flat with a couple of friends I have studied with.
  • Continued to work at BP now full time while I looked for work in the IT industry


  • Left BP and began working at the Alliance Meat Works as a labourer. Returned to BP part time in the off season in 2004.


  • I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, on December 23rd.

Me with Mike and Matt
This is me (left) with my friends Mike (center) and Matt (center). During 2004 I lived and worked with these guys.


  • I spent the entire year having treatment for cancer. 14 cycles of chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumour attached to my colar bone. Wrote a diary of my cancer treatment and this diary can be read here on this website
  • Moved back in with parents while having cancer treatment and bought my first house later in 2005. I rented the house out until the middle of 2006 as I was uncapable of living in my own place while having cancer treatment.

My 26th Birthday
My 26th Birthday now minus my hair, 2 months into my cancer treatment.


  • Returned to work at the Freezing Works in January 2006 having been off work for 13 months. I was able to return to work full time and full duties right away and never missed a days work, something many fit and healthy people I worked with were unable to do.
  • Moved into my house in July.

Me at Christmas 2008
At my parents place Christmas 2008


  • After nearly 8 years since I completed my Diploma in Business Computing I returned to Polytech to do the Bachelor of Information Technology.
  • Became a member of Southern Pride Invercargill New Century Lions Club, a Lions Club for members aged between 18 and 35.


  • Started my first IT job working at Gen-i Southland as a Service Desk Engineer, promoted to Level 2 Service Desk in 2013 and Service Engineer in 2016.

On Howden Street in TeAnau
Me on Howden Street in Te Anau.


  • I met Abi and we started going out in May, we were together for just over 4 years.

Abi and I together at her place.
Abi and I together in 2015.


  • Abi and I found out in we will be having a baby girl together. For the past ten years I believed I would never be able to have children due to the cancer treatment I had in 2005.
  • Samantha-Hazel Howden (Hazel) was born in September 2016, 6lbs 6oz and 49cm. We chose the name Hazel in memory of my nana who was also like an auntie to Abi when she was child.

Myself with my daughter Hazel
Myself with Hazel just days after she was born.


  • Began working at Focus as a Systems Engineer


  • Grandma passed away just weeks before her 91st birthday
  • Began working at H & J Smith Department Store as a Computer Technician