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Early days.
Cockle Bay school
 

 

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Paul Henry

Paul Henry was born in 1960 in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1971 he moved with his mother to Bristol, England, where he finished his education, winning a drama school scholarship.
During his time in England he worked for BBC Radio & Television, and with Sir David Attenborough on the 'World Around Us' series.

Paul at work for the BBC

After returning to New Zealand, Paul Henry worked as a producer on National Radio. During these years in broadcasting Paul hosted shows on TVNZ, was a breakfast host, a network newsreader, producer, and senior manager for New Zealand public radio.

Outside of broadcasting he has worked in the corporate sector in marketing and management. He has owned his own commercial investment business and developed investment properties both in the urban and rural sectors.
He established a
commercial radio station and after a year of successful operation sold to a large radio network.

Photo of Paul HenryIn recent years he has received considerable attention for his work as a foreign correspondent, travelling throughout the world. He has reported extensively on conflicts, famines, wars and world events.

Two of the more challenging assignments (even for a seasoned journalist) were the funerals of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

Princes Diana & Mother Teresa.

 

Paul Henry working for World Vision.Paul Henry travelled into the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo to search for New Zealand hostage Douglas Kear.
He has worked for a number of aid agencies worldwide, including World Vision.

Paul lives just north of Auckland (New Zealand) on a bush clad property. He and his wife Rachael have three daughters, Lucy 18, Sophie 16, and Bella 14. Paul enjoys spending time with his children, boating and gardening.  He is a keen watcher of world events, and has worked with many well known national and international personalities. Paul travels extensively around the world when he has the chance. In 2004 he travelled to Tibet (Mt Everest) & Nepal to film an 'Intrepid Journey' for Television New Zealand. 2006 saw him travel the world filming a four part documentary for TVNZ… ‘Ends of the Earth’.

Paul with Rachael and three daughters.

 

Paul Henry has hosted many nationwide talk radio shows. From breakfast on the (former) radio Pacific Network to drive on Radio Live. He was a regular panellist on NZ television's 'How's Life' program.  He is co host of the TVNZ Breakfast Show (TV One) Monday to Friday, (6am - 9am) first with Alison Mau and now with Kay Gregory and is permanent Backup Host for TV One Current Affairs Programme Close Up. His Net Work talk radio show runs from Monday to Friday between 4 and 6 pm on RadioLIVE. He is also involved in business, marketing, is available as a corporate and group speaker & produces independent TV & Radio productions.


Alison Mau & Paul Henry - 'Breakfast' TV One.


 
 

Paul Henry's Diary

Tibet

Paul Henry in Tibet for TVNZ's 'Intrepid Journey's' 2004.
 

In the Capital of Tibet - Lhasa.
 

Paul in the town of Nylam.
 

Day 0

Dear diary, I think it only fair to tell you from the outset that I have an intense dislike for you. This is not to be taken personally, any form of "log" is anathema to me. Lets face it, if its worth saying and putting pen to paper then publish and be damned if not, die with your mindless thoughts. It was however an obligation placed upon me to keep a written record of what purported to be a "break away" and as I always meet my obligations, (albeit on this occasion barely), here we go. (It should also be said here that I have pre-spent the income from my trip prior to departing and have no intention of refunding it - so I am obligated on several fronts).

In order to expedite the scribing of my daily mytherings I have created, and intend to patent a very clever and never before thought of scale. On my scale of 1 to 10, 1 is always shit and 10 is always marvellous, thus 5 becomes the average state of mind for a very dull but painfully satisfied human being. (Please God never let me be a 5).

 
Day One

Mind = 9

Body = 9

Experience = 8

I‚m in Kathmandu, 24 degrees, not too humid, quite pleasant in the temperature department. 36 hours to get here, wont bore you with the details, flew business class, treated like a minor member of the royal family, (sorry I‚m boring you with the details), I have and always will dislike both plane travel and airports.

Kathmandu smells. Its noisy, colourful in a foreign kind of way and needs a great deal of money spent on it to bring it up to scratch, lets just say hosting the 2012 Olympics in this city is completely out of the question. My accommodation is unpleasant in every way, although there are annoying indications that at some stage in the very distant past there was an element of splendour about the establishment.
 
Day Two

Mind = 9

Body = 7

Experience = 9

Still in Kathmandu. Need to find oxygen I am told, for my attempt at Everest. Went to Durbar Square in the Old City, semi shonky kiosk personnel charge money to visit these ruins, with all the proceeds going towards reconstruction and maintenance. Lets just say, there is much work to be done. The temples date from the 1500‚s, everyone wants to sell you a grotty little icon for, "best price", or be your guide, or both. Saw a 7 year old living God, the little girl was housed in a filthy temple and comes out twice a day to stare briefly at assembled tourists who are specifically told cameras are forbidden. An American tourist who had clearly consumed 2 camels for breakfast this morning, took a snap and was immediately shat on by one of the myriad of pigeons that hang over this city and encrust its walls with their guano. Try and tell me there‚s no God! The little girl was dressed in a lacy number that could easily have come from the Warehouse, were it not for the tinsel like decorations liberally pasted upon herself, (no, wait, also available from the Warehouse).

Walked 100 steps to the top of a monkey temple, there had just been a monkey cull, lots of blood, not many monkeys, plenty of sick dogs and lots of beggars with children, some horribly deformed. It rained very hard, bought an umbrella, (available at the Warehouse, and at approximately the same price). I had my hair shaved by a half blind barber, this was followed by a massage from the same half blind barber. Unpleasant experience, not to be repeated. It left me looking and I suspect feeling, like Uncle Fester from the Addams family.

Some of the local beer is quite good, drank too much, or was it just enough? Bit tipsy, offered drugs, politely declined, retreated to filthy hotel by way of rickshaw.
 
Day Three

Mind = 10

Body = 8

Experience = 9

6am, bomb exploded in the centre of Kathmandu, 4 dead, 22 wounded. Issues on the domestic front with Maoist rebels. Have seen 3 protests since arriving, big, loud and disruptive to rickshaws. Discussed this with local police, but they said there was very little they could do. Got oxygen after mistakenly calling in on a medical supplies operation that sold jars of embalmed things, lizard with 2 heads, $10, (not available at the Warehouse), but try explaining it to MAF. (If you were Asian you could say it was a headache remedy and import it in a very large guava).

Its raining every day now and I get mud up my trousers and in my toes. Jandals may not be the ideal footwear for this terrain. Already I like my shaved head. It feels like shark skin.
 
Day Four

Mind = 10

Body = 9

Experience = 9

Maoists have called a strike. Everything will shut down tomorrow including all transport so I have to leave for Tibet today by bus. Roads very bad in places, no decent toilets anywhere, but food quite good. I rode on the roof of the bus just because I could. It was very dangerous but there were no OSH inspectors or "think safe" ads cramping my style, (maybe I should live here).

Arrived in darkness at awful border town in a monstrous gorge. Far off in the bushy distance I can see the lights of a small Tibetan town. But for now I sleep in a dirty, cramped, smelly guest house on a cliff overlooking rapids that are festooned in piles of rubbish. I suspect many criminals live in this town. Dear Diary, why do people who have mastered knives and forks not know how to mop or dust? Supplementary question, when will I satisfactorily use a toilet?
 
Day Five

Mind = 9

Body = 6

Experience = 9

Crossed into Tibet over a large dam like concrete causeway, Chinese guards checked everything including the temperature of my eyes. I was optically violated by a little man in a green uniform. Dear Diary, they don‚t all look the same.

I have discovered that the town responsible for the sparkling fairy lights in the bush last night is almost as derelict as the border town. Chinese precision and perfection gives way to Chinese incompetence in these far flung outposts, (the French military equivalent of this town would be Mururoa Attol). The final entry formality was I think, package inspection, which was delayed for what seemed like a month as Mr Wee Chee Wah was on an extended lunch break.

Getting to the town of Nylam where I‚ll stay tonight is a long 4 wheel drive trip over a short distance through magnificent bushed countryside, higher and higher on roads that pass through waterfalls and barely cling to the cliff face. You pass through a Darwinian landscape, as large trees and wet thick bush give way to the dust and boulders of the higher altitudes.

Dear Diary I am now in Nylam and I will need you to help jam the door shut as I sleep tonight. What part of plumbing do these people not understand? How hard can it be? It‚s here, and yet it doesn‚t work.

Nylam, translated from the Tibetan, means Devil‚s sphinctor, It delivers on everything the name would promise, and more.
 
Day Six

Mind = 8

Body = 5

Experience = 8

Nylam is almost 3,000 metres above sea level, I have the beginnings of altitude sickness, manifesting in nausea and a constant headache. I am slightly out of breath as... I... scribble... these words... Dear Diary.

Today I tried yak butter tea, a local delicacy. It‚s awful. My feet are now cold in my jandals. Yaks stroll down the street next to people playing billiards and selling the feet of birds for god only knows what purpose. I cannot go to the toilet, my body has seized up in disgust, I don‚t think there is any oxygen in my room. I had a shower in a shower shop that was also a laundry and theatre. I visited a cave in the middle of nowhere where a mystic man spent many years, I think I should have found it much more interesting than I actually did.
 
Day Seven

Mind = 8

Body = 4

Experience = 9

Today I travelled in a 4 wheel drive over the highest mountain pass in the world, at times well over 5,000 meters above sea level. I have a very bad headache but I have arrived in Tingri to traditional accommodation. The mud walls of my room are covered in tablecloths, It‚s bitterly cold when the wind blows and it‚s lights out at 10 to give the diesel generator a break. In the distance I can see Mt Everest. I like Tingri. Dear Diary, will I ever go to the toilet again? Not in a toilet in Tingri, that‚s for sure!
 
Day Eight

Mind = 8

Body = 3

Experience = 10

After a long dusty drive to the foot of Mt Everast I died a thousand times, stumbling the 8.5 kilometres to base camp. The tent I‚m staying in at base camp is run as a hotel for climbers by a sherpa called Tenzing, (he‚s aged well). I feel like shit but this I‚m sure will be the experience of the trip. It‚s fantastic!
 
Day Nine

Mind = 8

Body = 2

Experience = 9

Look at this dear Diary, I‚m shaking you about out in the cold morning air, the rising orange sun is bouncing rays from the mighty slopes of Mt Everest and touching your fingered pages. Now I‚m going to chuck you in the back of another bloody 4x4 and drive you for 4 lifetimes to the old capital of Tibet. Sakya.
 
Day Ten

Mind = 10

Body = 8

Experience = 8

This morning I visited the Sakya monastery before driving to Shigatse. Home to the Panchen Lama and another huge monastery. To be honest, I have a "seen one seen them all" attitude to monasteries, there are monasteries for Africa in Tibet and every one is either the oldest, the biggest, the most dilapidated or just the most, this is a country of the absolutely very most religious superlatives. Diary, make a note, instruction not to be used in Tibet... send more monasteries.
 
Day Eleven

Mind = 9

Body = 6

Experience = 8

Drove 12 and a half hours to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, I‚ll tell you about it tomorrow, I am completely buggered.
 
Day Twelve

Mind = 10

Body = 7

Experience = 7

Yesterday I drove past lakes infested with mosquitos the size of Howitzers. I haggled for a large lump of glass masquerading as a chrystal next to a glacier and I went to the toilet! In fact, I have only just stopped, no I haven‚t, I‚ll tell you about it tomorrow, I‚m completely buggered.
 
Day Thirteen

Mind = 10

Body = 7

Experience = 7

Still in Lhasa, the Chinese influence is very strong. In fact, Tibetans seem like second rate citizens and are outnumbered by the dominant Chinese. The old part of the city reeks of religion, magnificent architecture and a very strong Tibetan culture, It also reeks. The entire city is presided over by the magnificent Potala palace, the one time home of the Dalai Lama and the seat of government. A thousand Chinese eyes watch you through surveillance cameras as you walk around the palace, now standing as a mausoleum to old Tibet.
 
Day Fourteen

Mind = 10

Body = 8

Experience = time to go home.

My last day in the capital and my last day in Tibet. I spoke with a number of monks who have confirmed my understanding that beneath the surface there is considerable repression. I have purchased my last consignment of knick knacks for the myriad of acquaintances that will expect something when I return home, I turned down the offer of a set of baby skulls for use as drinking bowls but did purchase a Chinese military uniform to break the ice at parties. Tomorrow I‚ll start the long flight home, I will be glad to leave and reluctant to return. I have seen a great deal of the world and this is not one of the many spots I want to see again! I am though, glad of the experience which has been at times striking and historic. Tibet, (like you dear Diary), is being snuffed out, if you want to see it, make it quick.

 

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