As Radio New Zealand's rural guru Kevin Ikin hangs up his headphones after 40 years on air, he reveals the secret to a long, fertile career, and mucking in - boots and all.
What do you remember about your first moment at Radio New Zealand (RNZ)?
Doing my first voice report after joining radio in Dunedin, in 1975. It was about a search and rescue operation involving an airforce Orion and I mispronounced the name of the aircraft.
What story are you most proud of?
No single story stands out, but talking to farmers during serious weather events is high on the list. On one occasion, I interviewed a farmer as he was evacuating his house during a flood. What came through was the resilience and capability of rural people.
What's the most difficult situation you got yourself into while working for RNZ? And, how did you get out of it?
Threats of legal action from time to time, but nothing that stood up to scrutiny.
Well who would've thought? Kevin Ikin joins Twitter on his last day in the job: https://t.co/aA90ey2V4O— Jemma Brackebush (@JemmaBrackebush) August 28, 2015
Who was your most difficult interview?
Possibly Rob Muldoon. He carried such an aura of menace.
Which journalist do you most admire?
Our specialist RNZ reporters and our regional reporters are high on the list. There are some very fine rural journalists too, including Jon Morgan, Nigel Stirling and Andrea Fox, and Rod Oram for his perceptive writing on business and economics.
If you could have done something different with your life, what would it have been?
Maybe working in conservation, saving endangered species or restoring forests and wetlands. I'm a long time Forest and Birder.
If you were to have been a farmer, what would you have farmed?
Bees (nature's pollinators) or worms (nature's little cultivators).
What advice would you give to someone just about to begin their working life as a rural reporter?
Put on the boots and get out on the farm or orchard occasionally.
What do you think RNZ will look like in another 40 years time?
I don't know, but I hope it still has radio.
Said farewell to RNZ rural legend Kevin Ikin before his last day tomorrow.Thanks for a great contribution over 40 yrs pic.twitter.com/Cie5nvtZ6Y— Nathan Guy (@NathanGuyOtaki) August 27, 2015
What's first on your list for retired life?
To take a deep breath, drink some wine, play a tune, then go and whack some gorse.
What's your Twitter handle?
40 years of fine work by rural radio icon Kevin Ikin ends today. Well done on a stellar career in our great sector. https://t.co/uwenhHFwDJ— Mike Petersen (@tepunamike) August 27, 2015