A day in the life of 1 News Now's political editor Corin Dann

Dann, then aged 22, is pictured holding his guitar, with friends Jonathan Langley (left), Glen Thompson, Andrew Dixon ...
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Dann, then aged 22, is pictured holding his guitar, with friends Jonathan Langley (left), Glen Thompson, Andrew Dixon and Dez Newland, in Christchurch.

In the spring of 1996, shortly after he'd finished university, 1 News' political editor Corin Dann embarked on a surfing roadie around the North Island in a Holden Kingswood. 

CORIN: We pulled together some money somehow, bought the car in Christchurch, stuck the surfboards on the roof, drove it to Wellington, then drove around the North Island, for six, seven weeks. We didn't really have a tent, we slept out of the car.

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Corin Dann is 1 News Nows' political editor. He lives in Wellington with his wife and sons.
SCOTT McAULAY

Corin Dann is 1 News Nows' political editor. He lives in Wellington with his wife and sons.

 
Luckily Dez in a past life has been an auto mechanic, because the car wasn't particularly reliable. The car broke down twice. We were driving the Napier-Gisborne road - I can't remember - and it was hosing with rain and the back axle broke - it was always overladen.

We had to get towed into Opotiki by a mechanic, who felt sorry for us. We were always broke and we couldn't really afford to fix the car properly. We had to wait to get a second-hand axle or a differential sent up from somewhere. We parked the car in the mechanic's yard and we stayed in the yard for four or five days.

There was a long walk of about 45 minutes to an hour to the beach. We'd do that every day with our surfboards. On one particular occasion we got picked up by a local gang member. He pulled over in his ute, and I jumped up the front and rode with the dude who - I have to be honest - I was a bit intimidated by. Spiderweb tattoos round the eyes and things. But he was very friendly and nice, and quite happy to give us a ride down to the beach.

We had nothing to do but get up and surf and chase the waves across the country as best we could, depending on the weather. I'd sorta spent the last four or five years before that bumming around doing a BA in Politics, being in bands, working as a dishwasher and generally arseing around. I was definitely not going to be a scholar.

That year I decided I needed to do something and apply myself. I made a huge effort trying to get into New Zealand Broadcasting school. It was on that trip in the Mahia peninsula I found out I got in. After that trip I did the New Zealand Broadcasting School and ended up in an internship at Radio New Zealand in Wellington, and I've never lived in Christchurch ever since.

I've done a lot of surf trips around the South Island - Kaikoura and down to the Catlins, things like that, and I'd done a couple of road trips with friends to the North Island before - to a Metallica concert in '93 and a Pearl Jam concert a couple of years later. But I'd never been to a lot of these places. It was a bit like another country, really, for a bunch of boys from Christchurch. It was a sense of exploring your own backyard.

In the '90s in that period, another guy, myself and Jonathan played in bands for a number of years around Christchurch - some cover bands, some original bands. I was mostly a vocalist - I wasn't so great on the guitar. (I got good on the guitar in the years after I left Christchurch.) We were all pretty much into what I would call "Christchurch Bogan Rock", which was a mix of grunge, a lot of Metallica, maybe heavier stuff but also a lot of Bob Marley and all that sort of stuff.

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Music was definitely a massive part of the trip, there's no question of that.

 - Your Weekend

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