HUMANS OF ŌTAUTAHI: BLAIR
“We moved out to New Brighton when I was about three years old. When I was young I had asthma, so my parents decided to move out here because there’s a lot less smog by the beach and it was better for my health.
“I used to bike to school and back, it was a race to get home. School finished at 3pm and I’d get home as quick as I could and get straight in the water. I was in the water every day – summer and winter – that was just the thing that kept us out of trouble. We never wanted to do anything else, we just wanted to go surfing. Surfing is a very big part of my life, if I’ve got time to myself, or my wife is okay to look after the kids, then I’m out in the water. It’s a great community; that’s where I’ve made some of my lifelong friends.
“I’m [the] father of two wee girls, four and six. Stella will tell you she is six-and-a-half because it’s a race when you’re young. You just want to get older. Andie-Rose, she’ll probably tell you she’s four-and-a-half. They’re very different.
“I’ve been taking Stella surfing over the summer, she’s come out on the surfboard a few times. The challenge has been knowing how much you can push. Last summer, I took my paddleboard out and we went and caught some waves with her lying on the front of it. The waves were about chest high and she was lying on the front of the board saying, ‘You can do this Stella, you can do this’. It was her talking herself into it, mentally preparing herself for what she was going to deal with. It was a really good attitude. As a parent, you don’t know where you instil these things but somehow it came through. It was a nice surprise.
“Being a dad — yeah, I’m still getting my head around that. You’ve got to change the way you think about things. Include them and encourage them, try to help them learn lessons and make their own mistakes. Today, kids are exposed to far too much screen-time. My view is that there’s plenty of time in the future for them to play with technology. The big thing for us at the moment is living the life we love, being in an environment we love, and being able to share what was important to us with our kids.”