Nursing was always Hazel's choice

PHILOSOPHY: South Canterbury Hospice clinical manager Hazel Harrison believes you should "live every moment".
PHILOSOPHY: South Canterbury Hospice clinical manager Hazel Harrison believes you should "live every moment".

This week's community profile is on Hazel Harrison, the new clinical manager for South Canterbury Hospice who lives in Geraldine.

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What charity would you give money to?

I am one of a growing group of Geraldine Lionesses; we hold monthly meetings and fun events along with general fundraising throughout the year.

We support our local community from fruit in schools, the community bus, rest homes, Bellyful, the sports clubs and many more right through to the large organisations, Alzheimer's, Canteen, Cancer society - lots.

We can all do something to give to our communities.

Are you a night owl or a lark?

Dawn or dusk I like to be where the action is at, as I am a social creature.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

Both, I got the cat first which is black so the dog had to match ... it's a black lab. They are just the best. Both came from the SPCA Seadown and are the nicest-natured animals I could have asked for.

They just are there for you at the end of a long day at work ...

What are your thoughts on reality TV?

I choose documentaries and old films so can't converse on reality TV, each to their own ...

What is your occupation?

I am the nurse leader at Hospice South Canterbury. I work with a superb team who enable patient comfort and help with symptom management.

We try to enable patients to achieve what they can within their health limits. Our philosophy is to help "live every moment".

It's a place of laughter, reminiscing and dedication. We also have awesome volunteers who garden, make meals and fundraise to keep this special service for the public of the Timaru region.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?

Well, my family would have said an MP as I always had a political opinion and was a bit of an activist. I would love to say something glamorous but that's just not me. I knew from school I wanted to be a nurse. I have had lots of opportunities and have completed postgraduate nursing, teaching and hold an MBA.

Best advice that you ever got?

From my friend Naval Commander Pattie Preston, don't rush into things ... half the paperwork generated by large organisations is to make someone else feel they have done something ... you do not need to respond to everything ... be selective.

Favourite other country?

I love Italy ... I have had the pleasure of living there and absorbing the passion, culture, art, food, wine and family traditions.

What is your favourite South Canterbury Restaurant?

Well, I am spoilt for choice as we have it all in our region from Latin, Indian, Thai, to New Zealand classics and fine dining.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love catching up with my friends, I might not see them often but when we get together it is as if it was last week ... special people.

I have an old VW combi camper and love getting out and about our region in it.

What do you love about the region?

You can be at the beach in the morning and the mountains in the afternoon, the changes in landscape are dramatic.

I love that we have so many Department of Conservation sites - they are a gem with great spaces for camping and bush walks. As I travel the country when I come to South Canterbury, I know I am in the best place.

What were you like at high school?

Bit of a boffin and a tomboy, I used to play soccer for the boys team ... not the norm in the 70s in my home town. Hockey and competition level fencing.

If you could live in any time in history, when would it be?

Well it's pretty good the time I have lived in since the 60s to today, man on the moon, air travel for the masses, major advances in technology, improvements in education, advances in medicine. I hope to see lots more in my life time.

Favourite quotation/saying?

If at first you don't succeed try, try and try again.


South Canterbury