19 August 2019
To discover more about our Executive Director, we put the infamous Proust Questionnaire to her to reveal her personality, tastes and aspirations.
What is your greatest fear?
Letting people down.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Talking when I should be listening.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
Victoria Beckham – she is more funny, more intelligent and more savvy than anyone ever gave her credit for. And I admire my Mum.
What is your greatest extravagance?
This question makes me realise I need to be more extravagant.
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I think consideration is the most underrated virtue.
On what occasion do you lie?
Generally to prevent hurt feelings but I’m learning that clear is kind.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Being too short to see the stage at concerts.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
The same I like in a man.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘I had an idea...’ and just at the same moment ‘and what does that mean for the budget?’
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My daughter and my husband.
When or where were you happiest?
I love it when it’s light really late in summer; or the moment you’ve been up all night and the birds start to sing with the dawn.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to play the cello.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I’d learnt to play the cello.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting this job.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
Wellington suits us just right.
What is your most treasured possession?
Letters from my husband.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
We nearly lost our daughter from a sudden illness at six months old and I had a glimpse of what parents with very unwell children experience. Their resilience is unfathomable.
What is your favourite occupation?
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
Being able to pick up where we left off, even after months.
Who are your favourite writers?
Too many. But re-reading Toni Morrison and listening to her interviews. Extraordinary.
Who is your hero of fiction?
CJ Cregg from The West Wing.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Annie Edson Taylor (first woman to go down Niagara Falls in a barrel).
Who are your heroes in real life?
Activists for social justice and climate change.
What are your favourite names?
I like alliterative names. For example, I have a sister named Wairemana Williams, I went to university with a Timothy Tattle and a friend has a son called Felix Fazakerley. All great names. Our daughter is Bessie Bisson.
What is it that you most dislike?
That we don’t change things when they need changing.
What is your greatest regret?
How would you like to die?