Who are your heroes? Some of my favourite Kiwis are those people who get out of bed on a cold, wet Saturday morning and go down and coach some kids in a sport - even when their own kids aren't on that team.
Frances Coventry chats with this popular broadcaster and Kiwi dad …
1. A great night out for you would go like …?
DANNY: A nice restaurant, a good show, family and friends. I’ll eat anything … I’ve eaten dog, snake and even crocodile. I really enjoy Japanese food. But, if we want to spoil ourselves, we usually end up at Antoine’s in Parnell – where they have the best service in the world.
2. Who do you most admire, and why?
DANNY: If I had to pick someone, probably Te Whiti o Rongamai – because he was a pacifist. He believed that you can change things by sitting down in the middle of the road, rather than going to war. Apparently, Mahatma Gandhi read everything he could about him.
3. If you could do anything in the world and not fail, what would that be?
DANNY: I’d make sure everybody got three square meals a day. I’ve just been to China, and it’s so interesting. Under Mao, people were chasing a bowl of rice a day. Subsequently, they ended up with two, then three – and now they’ve gotten to a place where most of them have a surplus. The Chinese impress me because they can build stuff. They don’t have a Resource Management Act – they just get on with it. They need a motorway, they build it. If it falls down, someone gets the chop. They don’t muck around with crime either. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but ultimately, if you’re being fed, then that’s a good start. 4. What’s the key to a great marriage?
DANNY: This may sound weird, but you need to be who you are. What happens in a lot of relationships is, people try to live up to what they think are their partner’s expectations. But, in reality, we fall in love with someone because they are who they are.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’d give a young dad?
DANNY: Be aware that, when the relationship-of-two suddenly becomes three, it may seem like your partner doesn’t have time for you. But she has a very important job to do – so make sure you’re there, being supportive, and doing the parenting together. Children can push us apart, if we allow them to.
6. Who are your heroes?
DANNY: I’ve got a list. Happy Bradman … Jim Burns … Renzie Hanham … Kevin Barry Snr … my Uncle Lou … my Uncle Des … Dad … old Graham – these were all people who put time into me. My dad was half Irish, half drunk. (You can quote that!) He was a good man, into his family, and believed that everybody should get a fair chance at life.My other favourite Kiwis are those people who get out of bed on a cold, wet Saturday morning and go down and coach some kids in a sport – even when their own kids aren’t on that team.
7. What’s the hardest thing about being a dad?
DANNY: We have four kids. The oldest is 28 and the youngest is 19. The hardest thing is accepting that ultimately you are going to play a major role in the shape of that person’s life. Fathering is a privilege and a gift. You can’t run their lives but you can give them a roadmap. And the payback is the cuddles you get – at any age!
8. If you could be stuck on a desert island with one person, who would that be and why?
DANNY: It would have to be my wife – because she’s put up with me for the past 30 years.
9. If you weren’t a broadcaster, what else would you love to be doing?
DANNY: I’d probably be farming. A bit of stock, some crops and trees. Or maybe driving a big conservation project – that would be fun!
10. What’s the first thing you’d change about NZ if you could?
DANNY: Our negative attitudes. We look at youth as a problem, but we forget to celebrate the good things young people do. We see businessmen who make money as villains, and we think they should be distributing it, but we don’t celebrate the fact that they’ve been successful, plus they create jobs. And we should be celebrating much more the fact that we live in the best part of the world.
Issue 3 2010 Take 10 (379 KB)