Robinson's run comes to an end

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 12:17 28/11/2013
Radio NZ

Veteran broadcaster Geoff Robinson has resigned from Radio New Zealand's Morning Show after more than 30 years.

Geoff Robinson
Diego Opatowski / Radio NZ
TIME FOR A SLEEP-IN: Geoff Robinson is retiring from Radio New Zealand.

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Broadcaster Geoff Robinson's decision to retire from Radio New Zealand was entirely his own - he had simply come to the end of his run, he says.

The longtime Morning Report presenter announced his resignation on air this morning, to the shock of his co-host Simon Mercep and other colleagues.

Robinson, 70, will leave on April 1 next year after 35 years on the weekday morning airwaves.

"Since I turned 65 I've been giving myself points to get to a deadline, saying, 'how do I feel?"' he said.

"If I've felt OK I've kept going, and if I haven't I've thought 'it's time to stop'. Basically I reached a point where I thought, no, probably time to stop. I'm still enjoying it but within myself I'm noticing I'm not achieving the standards that I want to achieve."
Robinson said Radio New Zealand had asked him to stay on but supported his ultimate decision to leave.

Radio New Zealand chief executive Paul Thompson acknowledged Robinson's outstanding contribution to Radio New Zealand.

"Geoff has been both witness and interrogator during a period of significant change in New Zealand and the world - and has calmly and intelligently helped New Zealanders understand these complex stories and issues.

"He is a broadcaster of the highest calibre and it is a remarkable achievement to have maintained such high standards of thoughtfulness, fairness and insight over such a long period."

Robinson said he intended to have an "absolutely normal retirement" - doing things around the house, reading, maybe a bit of travel - and had no plans to start on any long-neglected projects.

"I'll stop working, but whether I'll stop waking up early I doubt very much, but I will have a few sleep-ins."

Aside from the people he worked with, he would most miss being the first to get the news and then deliver it to an audience.

It was hard to pinpoint the highlights, but he felt very lucky to have interviewed several people, including Jacques Cousteau and David Lange, Robinson said.

He did have an idea of who he would like to replace him, but he was keeping it to himself for now.

"It's not fair [to say], and the company will decide what sort of person it needs and make its choice in due course. It's over to them."

Robinson, who has become the voice of Morning Report, said to some extent he knew that people would react emotionally to the news of his resignation.

"At one level I suppose I did, and at another level I suppose it's very touching and heartwarming and surprising.

"I've tried to keep myself on the level over the years, tried to look at it as just a job, but equally I know that with radio you're right there in people's lives and in their heads even. You obviously have an effect on them."

Robinson joined the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation after emigrating from Britain in 1965, joining Morning Report when it started in 1975. In 2002, he became the first New Zealand broadcaster ito travel to North Korea.

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In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature by Victoria University and in 2007 was given a special award for outstanding contribution to radio at the New Zealand Radio Awards.

- Stuff

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