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I went to a state school in Christchurch, New Zealand, and then straight on to the University of Canterbury. But I worked part-time all the way through high school: first with a paper round, then at a fast-food outlet, a video store and a hardware store.
As I flew back from New Zealand to bury my mother, it occurred to me that no matter how harrowing her loss was and how keenly it will always be felt, there was, nevertheless, a sense of relief that my father, sisters and I could say a final goodbye after the longest goodbye and relief that my mum had finally been released.
I grew up on the South Island of New Zealand, in a city chosen and beloved by my parents for its proximity to the mountains - Christchurch is two hours distant from the worn saddle of Arthur's Pass, the mountain village that was and is my father's spiritual touchstone, his chapel and cathedral in the wild.
I think it's inevitable that New Zealand will become a republic and that would reflect the reality that New Zealand is a totally sovereign-independent 21st century nation 12,000 miles from the United Kingdom.
I think it would be impossible not to be an Internet kid, coming from New Zealand, because culturally it's a little barren.
I'm a Kiwi. I'm from a beach suburb called Takapuna, which is on the north shore of Auckland in New Zealand.
New Zealand's taken some very significant decisions in relation to defence in the last two years.
I think for the most part people are proud of the bicultural foundation New Zealand is built on and the fact that we are a multicultural society.
New Zealand as a whole needs to save more, spend less and reduce our reliance on foreign debt.
In terms of having views and being prepared to express them, yes, I think New Zealand's had a leadership role in a lot of things.
New Zealand's been pretty quiet on human rights issues, which we will be taking rather more interest in, and in international labor issues.
New Zealand is the only country I know well enough to write about. It can sometimes lead to complications.
Unlike New Zealand, which has nothing especially predatory, Australia is full of spiders and crocodiles and all kinds of animals that will eat you and sting you.
It was always something I knew I was capable of and from an early age my mother was involved in the film industry. She used to work at a production company. So I was exposed to a renaissance period of films in New Zealand back in the early 80's.
I would have thought there's no greater country to watch rugby than New Zealand.
I always like to look for adventure when I go away. I have gone on several horse adventures with my wife - from Guangxi we went up to the High Tibetan region. We also went along the Hurunui River on horseback in the South Island of New Zealand.
I moved from New Zealand to Melbourne when I was 17. I'd planned to go to university to study French, but I was offered a contract to write and record an album that was too good to pass up. Looking back now I think that was pretty young but, at the time, I was ready to have an adventure.
As a kid in New Zealand, you play cricket in summer and rugby in winter. I played cricket and hockey. Not rugby. I wasn't brawny enough for it. Or silly enough, perhaps.
It's a great challenge to come from little New Zealand and beat the odds in Hollywood.
Actually, parts of New Zealand remind me of Suffolk. There's not many flat bits, but just the atmosphere there. There's a kind of a core tranquility about it, a kind of assuredness that this is fairly close to approaching the perfect way to be.
I moved out to New Zealand to live as I thought the warmth and peace and quiet would help me. I went away and changed my whole life routine.
This is the difficulty about talking about it without sounding big-headed, but you cannot speak of New Zealand now without my involvement in what it has become.
I moved to New Zealand from Winnipeg when I was almost five. I hated it. It was to a city in the south of New Zealand called Invercargill and there was constant rain. There was a depressing sensation in the air.
The fact is Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore, Garuda, all of the three Chinese airlines, Air New Zealand - the fact is that international aviation relies very much upon agreements between nation-states, and it is not an area in which you have free market operations.
Living in New Zealand, that's something that you'd like to do as an actor, but very rarely do you get an opportunity to get such a good springboard as 'The Hobbit' to help you get international work.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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