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!



Grant McGregor

He taught me to be wary of high voltage power lines – (A lesson he learned at a young age by “trial and error” when he chopped the perfect Xmas tree down across the main feeder line to Kumeu ) – in that light his teaching was that knowledge was made to be shared and he continues to share that knowledge /wisdom with the generations of boys/ men who refer to him as “My other Dad”


My Dad taught me the value of integrity, being kind and trying to do the right thing. As a kid I remember he’d sold my grandad’s old car to a young Mum. A week later when it broke down he’d got it towed, paid for the repair and got it back to her. I remember her calling and being really grateful. It’s the kind of man he was.


My dad taught me about fun. He lived every day as if it was his last – committed to enjoying every moment of it. He really engaged with people – was fully present when you were with him. You got all of him and felt really loved.


My dad taught a lot about performing, about having the confidence to talk in front of people, how to be with an audience. Mostly he showed me imagination is everything. He would make up amazing stories for myself and my brothers. I do the same with my kids and grand kids.


Be kind to people, do your best and look for the fun in life.


My dad taught me at an early age that the decisions I make will have effect – whether good or bad. So whatever I decide to do with my time –  I  ought to think and decide wisely.

Ben G

A love of fresh air and the open hillsides of the countryside. Our strongest moments together were spent hiking to remote mountain huts to spend a few days in the wilderness.

Ben C

Measure twice, cut once.