NZ Life & Leisure - - Contributors -

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.

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