Deepest Darkest All Black territory

Home, a land of mystery, not my birth place but still a heart place. I was born in England, but having spent 25 years of my life growing up in New Zealand through those ‘formative’ years it really is home. I’m currently catching up with the friends and colleagues at Rhema Broadcasting Group in Auckland. From Sept Dec 1994 to March 1998 I learned and grew during my time as Administration and Personnel Manager while also doing the occasional on-air stint. Hard to believe that 10 years have passed in Australia and no time off for good behaviour 😉

image The Rhema team has grown and changed over the last 10 years but there is so much that hasn’t. It is always good to come back to this ‘birthplace’ and remember. I think that’s why God encourages us to put in place the milestones, those markers along the road that remind us of our growth and His faithfulness. I realised to day that they will be celebrating 10 years this year for their broadcast arms Southern Star (19th October 1997) and Life FM (26th October 1997), WOW!!

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Southern Star is a easy listening station that caters for an older age demographic with as the station’s catchphrase reiterates; ‘Great Music, Good Company and a Message of Hope’. When it comes to Life FM, its all about a radical youth culture believing in a radical relevant God. Their liner sums up the heart of the station – ‘Live it’.

The Rhema station (New Zealand’s Rhema) still forms the hub of the broadcast suite, but now there is also a television arm called Shine TV for those broadcasters with a reasonable facial persona to share the good news of life in Jesus. ShineTV is going from strength to strength with a live evening news slot starting this week called NZone. The channel is available via the subscription satellite television services of SKY, New Zealand’s leading pay TV provider.


Listen or View online at each of the broadcast links above.

Great & Awesome Kids

I’ve got two great teenage kids, Corey & Abbey. They both go to high school together and are finding their way through life. Tonight I heard about a challenge they were facing and it was good to hear that they were watching each other’s back. They make me so proud. I remember as I grew up I was more interested in my own plans and challenges that I didn’t think of my two younger brothers as much as I should have. That been said I’m proud of both my brothers and love catching up with them. Nigel is managing a firm that supplies materials to the kitchen cabinet making industry and Michael is managing a farm on the Hauraki Plains of New Zealand. Nigel is married to Donna with two great kids, Matthew and Mark. Michael is married to Sharlene with the lovely daughters, Melanie and Kristina. I love seeing the awesome way my kids are growing up into their own personality. Each of them demonstrate great skills and enthusiasm in the things they do. My love for my kids means I want them to grown just like me as long as they don’t grow up anything like me 😉 Its true! You want them to have your strengths without any of your weaknesses. You pray they will share in your interests and loves so that you can talk into the night. The trick is sharing ideas and sharing desires but letting them be their own person. I don’t want my kids to think the way I think, I just want to know they do think, contemplate, pray and wait for answers. I can’t way to see what my kids do as they grow into adult hood. They will be amazing!

Engin Customer Feedback Ideas

Here is some feedback I gave engin. Great company but like
all of us, dealing with growing pains :-)This email is in response to a couple of problems I have experienced and my wish that an enterprise like yours succeeds in taking care of these areas as you grow. Congrats on the initiative with Nokia on the N80 internet mobile. Now there are some ideas and a couple of grumps in here so be brave and see it through to the end 😎

Equipment Upgrades
Last night I was informed that by upgrading my Engin connection from an Engin2 box to an Engin3 box (which I did due to changing from Optus Cable to an ADSL supplier) would cost me a change of number as my numbercouldn’t change with my MAC address. This policy will put people off and irritate them when they replace a broken unit or upgrade.
Change of MAC address
Then I was told I could have a change of MAC address and then swap numbers of $30. Hmm, there is a solution for the customer who is improving their relationship with the supplier but I have to pay for the privilege. Note out of this process Engin was about to get another customer as I was giving the Engin2 box to a colleague to sign up.

BTW – this CSO was casual, had to refer to a supervisor on no less than 6 occasions and according to the lady I spoke to this morning, hadn’t put any notes in the system and the change of MAC address job actually hadn’t been done. Note: he was really stumped when he couldn’t put my new ISP into the system as it wasn’t in Engin’s database. FYI – I’ve gone with

Sign up Advertising

I was really disappointed in my sign up to Engin. I bought the Engin2 box from Harvey Norman under the following explanation from the salesperson.

$99 is the cost for the Engin2 unit but you get $33/month credit back so in fact the unit is free. What we found out was that only the National and Local calls were free and so we still had to pay for the plan and the International. I got next to know value out of the $99 local and national calls and felt ‘diddled’.

I think that for people like myself who travel around Australia and New Zealand 10-15 times a year with our laptops, that enabling the use of the Softphone service ‘attached’ to the user’s standard home account so they can make outbound calls on a per use basis would be very attractive for a number of users. Having to sign up to another ‘account’ to use softphone when you may or may not use it doesn’t seem a good idea. Plus I would use it on my laptop via wireless around home or from my laptop at work for personal calls.

Call centre Scripts
Today I resolved the changeover of my MAC address which really was just a information change but the young lady I spoke to had to take me through a complete ‘New Account – terms and conditions’ script asking me questions and telling me about billing information I already knew about. The script also told me my billing would start today when it is already active (and clarified with the CSO) would continue to bill as per my original sign up

BTW – This CSO was excellent, great empathy, sounded confident and knew how to find and impart the information I needed. Please congratulate her.

Second phone number
Again a value add service. I’ve upgraded to the new Netgear Engin3 router unit. It has the potential for two engine VoIP services but I am told I have to sign up for a complete new account. To me and I suspect most users this would be a deterrent similar to point 4. If I had the ability to use this service by paying an extra $3 to $5 a month then it might be attractive to have two lines attached to my Home Plus Plan.

You’ve made it. Thanks for hearing me out. I wish Engin every success and hope you will at least consider these ideas for implementation.

Land Ahoy

Good News, the land we hope to build on is looking more like our ‘front yard’ 🙂 See below when we visited the land to have a dinner and prayer time as a family. It was amazing to sit down with some KFC and start thinking about where this journey might take us. Walking on ‘the land’ is a powerful thing. To be able to pray over it was a privilege.

From Kookaburra Place

This is where we plan to build a home just at the end of Constellation Drive;