New Zealand Law Society - High peaks in blood of pure Kiwi outdoorsman with the misleading accent

High peaks in blood of pure Kiwi outdoorsman with the misleading accent

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Andrew Hudson
Andrew Hudson

A grandson of legendary Mt Cook mountain guide Mick Bowie, Timaru-born Takeovers Panel chief executive Andrew Hudson’s American accent catches out the unwary.

The son of an Australian-born doctor who trained in New Zealand, where he met a Kiwi nurse, Andrew’s family lived in Timaru, Invercargill and Auckland before heading to Canada when Andrew was six.

Andrew James (Andrew) Hudson
Entry to law
Graduated BSc from Arizona State University. Graduated LLB from Canterbury University in 2000. Admitted in 2000.
Chief Executive of the Takeovers Panel.
Speciality area
Public and commercial law.

“My father was training in Canada and settled his career in the United States, so I lived in the States for about 18 years – my formative years – and picked up the accent there. I came back in early 90s and have been here ever since, so the accent is not going away,” says Andrew, formerly general counsel with the Takeovers Panel, who was recently appointed Chief Executive after six years with the Panel.

The Takeovers Panel employs a general counsel, four solicitors and the chief executive. “As CEO I don’t have to be a lawyer, but I am.”

Armed with a BSC from Arizona State University – “I was good at science and enjoyed physics and biology” -  but unsure what career he wanted to follow, he returned to New Zealand in the later 1990s, where he did a variety of hospitality jobs and part-owned a business in Christchurch.

Unable to find a career path for his science background, Andrew took up law at Canterbury University.

The first lawyer in his family, he started at Buddle Findlay, was in-house counsel at Westpac, then moved to Morrison Kent in Wellington before joining the Takeovers Panel.

Married to Juanita, who works for the Institute of Directors, the couple’s eldest son is studying computer science at Otago University and their daughter is at Wellington’s Onslow College.

‘Anything outdoors’

“For years I was tall and lanky so I swam and played basketball at high school. I still participate in trail running, ultra-marathons and mountain biking. Anything outdoors attracts me.

“I coached swimming in the past and now coach the Onslow girls’ junior basketball team. I coached my daughter at middle school, but when she gave it up I kept on coaching. I like the process and the giving back element, and they have asked me back next year.

“We didn’t win very many games but they have improved, so that’s ok.”

A member of the school board of trustees for nearly a decade, Andrew has coached, managed and organised various youth sports. “You name it, I’ve given it a go.”

Andrew’s eclectic collection of books includes non-fiction adventure, mountain climbing, running and exploration stories – stories of people’s lives and adventures.

Best of Bowie

His interest in the outdoors goes back to his grandfather, Mick Bowie, who was the chief guide at Mt Cook for about 30 years.

“Mick had retired and was living in Hanmer Springs. When he died I inherited his book collection and have all the old books – classics about Hillary and all the mountaineers including the legendary alpine guides Peter and Alec Graham.

“That’s where the fascination started for me, reading about these amazing pioneers. It’s said that Peter Graham (chief guide at Mt Cook from 1906 to 1922), who lived at Okarito on the West Coast, would walk over the Copland Pass and come down the other side to go to work.

“I’m reading Giles Milton’s White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa’s One Million European Slaves.”

The book is the forgotten story of a million white Europeans, snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the slave markets of North Africa to be sold to the highest bidder. Ignored by their own governments, and forced to endure inhumane conditions, very few survived to tell the tale.

“I’m also reading The Short History of Australia, and Tom Brokaw’s Letters to America.

“We have explored Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, that part of the world. Family holidays tend to be there. Juanita has family that live in Malaysia we can visit. We like the food, culture and energy of Malaysia and go back when we can.”

Rail trail and the great walks

“I’m trying to knock off all the great New Zealand walks and spent the last two summers doing Milford, Keppler and Routeburn.

“We did the 150km Otago rail trail in three days, pretty casually, with my Dad who is in his 70s. If I am going to spend a summer exploring somewhere it would be down in that Central Otago area.

“I enjoy music and tried to learn the saxophone, picking one up when I was 11.

“One of the conditions my father imposed on me for buying me one was I had to practice half an hour every day, except Sunday, which I did for about 7, 8 or 9 years – but only ever became average.

“I played in the school band but have no natural talent and no ear for music.

“I like to explore Kiwi music on Spotify - that’s been a bit of a revelation for me. I like Gin Wigmore and whatever’s coming from talented Kiwi ladies.

“I go to second hand book sales and school fairs, and prowl around and buy whatever comes to notice for $1 each. I found Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange a couple of months ago.

“We watch sport on television, and Stranger Things on Netflix. Juanita and I like to go to the movies and recently saw the latest Blade Runner. The original was in my era as a young man. I would like to see the new Thor movie because Taika Waititi directed it and that Kiwi connection is interesting.

“We really enjoyed Dunkirk. I like reading about the first and second world wars.

“We have a Bichon Shih Tzu cross dog called Max, who is big enough that I can take him on shorter runs for five or six kilometres. I would have liked a bigger dog but had to compromise on the breed for the family.

“I drive a Kia Soul, a small town runabout.

“Dinner guests would be Ed Hillary for his adventures, Taika Waititi for the comedy, and Anna Frost – a Kiwi lady who is one of the top ultra-marathon runners in the world. She spends her entire life travelling the world, running in beautiful places and taking photos of where she is. I’d like to hear stories of her adventures.

“We would have to be a leg of lamb, or Scotch fillet steaks. I’m a meat and three veg kind of guy. Unless someone can make a nice Penang laksa for me. With a Central Otago pinot, and any one of the local craft beers would do me as well.

“If I could choose any other career I’d have a crack at something outdoors like a mountain guide like my grandfather. That sort of thing would interest me.”

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