Kirsten Maclaurin

Kirsten Maclaurin, Tour Guide at Zealong Tea Estate

What was your first job?

My first job was working as a kitchen hand in a conference and wedding venue outside of Huntly. I would help the chef with food prep, dishes and also waitressing now and then. 

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to write poems and stories. This creative outlet allows me to write anything into existence, and putting my own thoughts onto paper creatively is very satisfying. 

What are you most grateful for in your life?

I am grateful for the freedoms and expressions that we have in New Zealand. Compared to a lot of places around the world, I feel that New Zealand is one step ahead in a lot of ways. This is particularly true being an immigrant. For this reason, I am proud to call myself a Kiwi.

Have you got a favourite aphorism / motto?

My favourite motto would have to be 'Whatever you do, do to the best of your ability.' I find this motto applicable and inspiring in so many ways. If you do something and it doesn't quite work out the way you expected, I don't believe there is truly any failure in that. If you know in yourself that you tried to the best of your ability, then that still counts for a lot.

What is your favourite spot in the Waikato?

The Hakarimatas definitely come out on top as my favourite spot in the Waikato. The Kauri loop track is always so peaceful and alive with native birds. I could sit for hours on the little bench near the top and look out at the view of Hamilton far ahead. Feeling so much bigger than the small buildings that protrude from the landscape, it really puts things into perspective. I always come out of that walk feeling refreshed and recharged.