Brad Pogson: A Romantic Christmas Welcome Home

Chapter 8 Hamilton Christmas Vignettes: The Hamiltonian Expat

“My partner had been home to the UK for three weeks in November and was returning on December 1st. Like most Brits, he’s obsessed with Christmas – think festive grotto – so I knew I had to do something Christmassy to welcome him back to non-snowy, allegedly less charming, Auckland.

I recruited my flatmate to help me put up this fake (but rather attractive) tree in his apartment the night before he arrived, switching the lights on, and leaving the star for him to place.

He was amazed, I was impressed with myself, and it was the perfect way to get into spirit of Christmas!”

We know you as a young Hamiltonian working in the Supercity. How would you best describe what you do?

I work in Vodafone’s PR team as an external comms advisor. Day-to-day my job is to enhance and protect Vodafone’s reputation – primarily through media relations – by telling our story.

I also handle media enquiries about Vodafone, and act as a spokesperson for the company as required.

To do this I work alongside our consumer and enterprise teams, government relations, public policy and the Vodafone Foundation.

No day is the same. It’s fast, fun and there’s no place I’d rather be.

What is your Hamilton citizenship status?

Expat and Tron trumpeter.
I arrived in Hamilton in 2007 – that was before the first iPhone had launched and most people were still clicking away on a Nokia 1200. I think I wore my high school leavers’ jersey most of that year actually. I didn’t really venture further off campus than the bars on Victoria, BJ’s Emporium Save Mart, and the Liquor King at Hillcrest, which says to me I had a pretty good time.

When I realised there was more to discover, and brunch became a regular Sunday activity, I became a fan of the Tron.

I left mid 2010 with my ticket, a tonne of memories, and a city to experience again as a visitor.

Where do you currently call home?

Home is a small rural community called Mangatangi which sits nicely between Auckland and Hamilton. It’s where I grew up, it’s where my parents live, and it’s where I’ll be spending Christmas.

Will you be in Hamilton for Christmas?

Christmas is always at my parent’s house. It starts at the dining table and ends with a food baby on the couch, while passively watching sport – every time.

In 10 years’ time, you will look on 2013 as the year that you…

Anything I’ve done this year is outweighed by what Labour List MP, Louisa Wall, accomplished to make New Zealand more equal. But if I had to pick something delightfully trivial, then discovering Spotify has changed my life this year, no doubt. I also accidentally became a star in the Pump ‘Grab Life by the Bottle’ ad which was quite hilarious.

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

At the risk of breaking the PR rule of thumb here with “no comment”, I’ll say a bit of both. I’ve been good to others and to myself, which at times has meant being a little bit naughty!

What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

I need some new running socks so I’m hoping Santa reads this blog. If Santa’s also granting wishes, then I I’d quite like to win the competition I entered to watch the Heineken Open from the ultimate pad above court in January. That would be nice, thanks Santa.

The best thing about Hamilton during Christmas is…

I’ve never been in Hamilton around Christmas so I’ll take your advice on this one! But I reckon the Gardens would be pretty lovely, right?

Hamilton’s best-kept Christmas secret is…

It’s no secret, but easily forgotten if you’re too busy enjoying the city. Lake Karapiro in the summer is perfect. Bombs, picnics, wake boarding, beers – you name it.

Given that I work for Vodafone I should also mention that by March 2014, more than two thirds of the Hamilton population will have access to 4G coverage – that’s a pretty well-kept secret, and one you’ll be hearing more about!


Brad Pogson is a young Hamiltonian working in the Supercity, who makes the occasional visit back to enjoy the Tron . Follow his life and adventures on Twitter @bradpogson.

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