Your Chair - Diana Ayling

Over the next few months we are profiling our committee, so that you know them a little better.  

The first cab of the rank is our Chair, Diana Ayling.


  1. What are you reading currently?
    The Open Organisation by Jim Whitehurst of the Red Hat organisation. It is all about working in an open and transparent business and the edge it gives business in innovation and performance. Love it!

  2. What’s the first concert you attended?
    Easy, Elton John, 28 February 1974 at Western Springs. He came out dressed as a rooster and played Funeral for a Friend. I was estatic.
  3. Where do you most hope to visit?
    I would love to spend some time in the Middle East. I have had a strong connection with Saudia Arabia, but there is a lot more to see and learn.
  4. What’s your favorite book?
    I mostly read non fiction. If I do read fiction it's likely to be something by John Fowles.
  5. What's your favorite 90’s show?
    Seinfeld! I still watch it on DVD. It is so funny and relevant to modern life. 
  6. What's your favorite word?
    Kindness. We need lots more of it. To be kind to others, you need to first be kind to yourself. 
  7. What was your first job?
    Working as a waitress, table clearer and dishwasher at Becky Thatcher Kitchen in KRd at 14. I loved the independence it gave me. I spent my university years waitressing and working in kitchens. I learnt to cook!

  8. What was the worst job you've ever had? 
    Working in a pancake restaurant in North Sydney. The food was terrible and the customers regularly told me so! I didn't prepare the food, just collected the money at the end.

  9. What is your most-used emoji?
    Thanks - I am always grateful for what people do for me and others. 

  10. If you could win an Olympic medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be?
    Women's 10,000 metres. I loved running. 

  11. What was your favorite subject in school?

  12. If you had to eat one thing for every meal going forward, what would you eat?
    Vegetables. And I am not a vegetarian.

  13. If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
    Right now, I would like to be the New Zealand Minister of Health. This is a sector that needs to embrace and prepare for change.

  14. What's one thing your mother/father taught you that completely changed your life?
    The value of a dollar. How when you save it it becomes another earner, and you should not buy if you cannot pay cash. 

  15. What's one of your favorite memories?
    I love the beach and the water. Some of my best memories are beach combing with my children.
  16. What's one thing about you that surprises people?
    I studied Italian language and art history. In 1980 they did not offer a viable career so I studied law and became a commercial lawyer, with a special interest in corporate governance.

  17. Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?
    I have had some great mentors all through my life. From them I learnt knowledge, skills and the values I hold dear. One of my early bosses in law told me one simple rule, Don't Lie in Law, that way you can sleep at night. I took it seriously.

  18. What was something you've done that made you feel extreme happiness?
    Raising my children,Laura and James, to be a benefit to their communities is my greatest joy. They are both great contributors in their family lives, at work and in the community. They have brought to our family wonderful additions, son in law, Stephen and a daughter in law to be, Charlotte.  I am very proud.

  19. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
    Spend way less time comparing yourself to others. And, give it a go, you might fail but you will learn from that. 

  20. If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
    Qualitative Data Analyis. I am still learning  the complex discipline. It would be great to have a short cut.
  21. What does success mean to you?
    I like taking "good" to "great". Success means supporting a team of people to acheive their very best. 

  22. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
    My husband and I opened our first business in 1984. It was very successful. We felt overwhelmed by the success. Our accountant, sensing we were a bit lost said, "Surround yourself with quality people and you will have a happy and content life." He was right. 

  23. Where is your happy place?
    At the beach in Russell, more specifically on the back of the boat fishing with my dearly beloved, Barry.

  24. If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be, and why?
    President Obama, (I have just read The Bridge - about his early life), Queen Elizabeth I, (just how did she hold it all together), my Mother's father, Charles Tuohy, (I did not meet). 

  25. What energizes you and brings you excitement?
    The day, and what you can do with it. 

  26. What qualities do you value in the people with whom you spend time?
    Kindness and wisdom. I have read a great deal about Buddahism due to my work, and have found value in the teachings. 

  27. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
    Write and sew.

  28. What’s your guilty pleasure?
    An Earl Grey tea and something sweet for afternoon tea. 

  29. At what job would you be terrible?
    Politics! I would never be able to stick to the script.

  30. If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose?
    Useful (my neighbour in his late nineties watched me back the boat trailer up the drive, unhook it and move it to a safe park. He said "You are useful, aren't you? I took it as a great compliment), determined (sometimes called stubborn) and kind.
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Diana Ayling

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