ALISHA N EI LSON
Past: Growing up on a farm in Central Hawke’s Bay felt like an endless summer for a young Alisha Neilson and her siblings, with outdoor adventures interspersed with lending a hand on the farm. She inherited a love of horse riding, with many weekends spent hunting and, later, in the showjumping arena. When she wasn’t in the saddle, Alisha craved the stage and relished her speech and drama training and won many lead roles in school productions. “Mum’s insistence on watching the news every night must have had a profound impact on me as a kid, as I’d soon figured out what I wanted to be.” Being accepted into broadcasting school in Christchurch was the first step in Alisha’s now diverse career in journalism. Since then she’s worked in many roles, including national newsreader, reporter, chief reporter, sub- editor, breakfast co- host and announcer.
Present: Alisha is back where she is happiest, living the rural life near Havelock North with her husband George and three young children, aged eight, five and two. When she’s not running the “taxi shift”, carting the kids from A to B, she works part- time in marketing and public relations, sits on the board of Hawke’s Bay Racing and loves uncovering great personalities and stories to write about for NZ Life & Leisure. Her contribution in this issue is Common grounds, which is about Havelock North hotspot Hawthorne Coffee. (See page 126.)
Future: Alisha says two clairvoyants instructing her to pen children’s books can’t be wrong. Maybe one day, between nappies, she’ll get there.