Father Stories

We asked Kiwi men, including a few you'll recognise, and boys to share the life lessons from their fathers that have positively shaped their lives.

What’s the most important thing your father taught you?


My dad always told me, in one way or another, “You can do it. Just go for it. If someone else did it, you can do too.”


my father left me so i couldnt tell you what my father taught me.

Katie Hensman

My had has always told be the only constant in life is change. Its something that has helped me get through a lot of challenges in my life and is also one of the most accurate things I’ve ever heard.


That I am valuable and that I have worth. He always treated me that way. He made time for me. He also taught me to take risks and try again if I failed.

Graham Tantau

My step dad taught me fishing hunting and how to respect women as I got to see him treat my mother like a queen there is much more to being a dad/role model then blood.

Peter Hallett

“Never a borrower but a lender be”. That was drummed into me from an early age, along with “want not, need not”.

Carolyn Mathieson

My dad always told us kids, “You have to work hard to play hard.” What he meant was that in order to enjoy the fun things in life, you need to be sure you work hard on the foundation of life. Family, respect, work hard and reward yourself later – as an incentive, not an entitlement.

Harry wang

Never see my dad from when I am 3 years old. So I feel that’s very bad and sad!




A liar is always a thief


Don’t take yourself too seriously


My dad taught me about having the most fun humanly possible by using the wondrous, endlessly creative (totally free of charge) and often surprising skill of IMAGINATION and play. And also the importance of adventuring. My dad taught us about good adventures and how to get goosebumps and feel a bit wild and crazy but still be safe (ok maybe not always that safe).


Our father was always young, even in his older age. I recall him saying to me “I never had a problem with change”


My dad taught me that I can be who ever I want to be and that I’m special. He said I was unique and had a lot to give the world. He taught me to have a big open heart to everyone and keep my imagination flowing with poetry and stories.


You can never win against a cheat. Be concise.

Te Wano

If you want to be the man in the evening (i.e. Mr PartyParty) you gotta be a man in the morning. “Get to work”


Hold the drill straight – or the hole will be crooked.