Who’s Kate?

Wife of one, mother of two, sister of three… writer by trade, mother by choice.

If there hasn’t been a new blog for a while… that’s good news. It means someone is paying me to write something else!


This year marks my 29th anniversary in Hawke’s Bay. Thomas has been here longer as he went to Lindisfarne College from the third form after growing up in the Gisborne and Whakatane areas. Many people assume I moved here when I met Thomas, when in fact, I moved here and met Thomas a few weeks later (thank you Young Farmers a.k.a. the rural dating agency). The rest, as they say, is history.

Sarah is doing a music degree (Composition, and Music Technology & Sonic Arts) at Victoria University and Lachlan is doing a Bachelor of Science (Genetics) at Otago University). Thomas works for Ravensdown and I am self- employed (and short).

I have been a journalist since I left school, although I started with radio and only moved into print when I returned from my OE in 1996 to work for the-then Hawke’s Bay Herald Tribune. I left what became Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper in 2000 when Sarah was born, and I have been a freelance (or self-employed) journalist, administrator and event manager ever since.



My current contracts include NZ Herefords (editor of their annual magazine) and Stuff Future Farming features.

I have previously also worked for (and sometimes still do….) Ravensdown, Anzco, Smedley, Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Mt Mable Angus, Perendales NZ, Young Farmers, Hawke’s Bay Federated Farmers, Nuffield NZ, Takapau Health Centre, Dominion Post, Young Country, PGG Wrightson Seeds … and others.

Most of the “stuff” I do is rural or rural community-focused.

I spent a couple of years being a road safety coordinator in Central Hawke’s Bay, then did three years working for NZ Farmer (search for Kate Taylor on the Stuff website to see any of those stories; there’s a few!)

In 2019, I won the Rural Champion title at the NZI Rural Women NZ Business Awards, I wrote a book for NZ Young Farmers called “50 Years Young – A History of the Young Farmer of the Year” and was elected to the CHB District Council (now on my second term). Life’s a bit busy!

And… I am a member of the Takapau Volunteer Fire Brigade. I am an active firefighter as well as the education person running the FireWise programme in the local school and playcentre.

Going back a few years… As Kate Rivett, I grew up in the southern farming district of West Otago … the youngest of four girls. (That’s me in front of Dad on the bike).



Here’s us in 2014 – Maree, Tania, Mum, me and Keri. Sadly Dad died in 2002.

If you listen closely to me talk (okay, not so closely) you can pick up that southern heritage (just don’t ask me to talk about the girrrl in the purrrple shirrrt who worrrked in Gorrre!)



  1. PS Kate – you had better add North Island New Zealand to your description of where you live in case any foreigners need to know…. you have gone global with this!!

  2. Changes made – don’t you know Takapau will be world famous one day! We don’t have L&P, carrots or large brown trout, although we used to have plenty of flax…

  3. What clever Mother produced such a clever daughter – Oh that’s me

  4. Good to read what my North Island niece & family are up to.Beverley Rivett

  5. Hi Kate
    Just heard you on the Farming Show, as Jamie said it’s great to have a gender balance on the show. After entertaining two preschoolers, baking, getting lunch ready and trying to get washing dry, it was a welcome relief to listen to your piece on bus safety today. It’s thought provoking now that school’s are back for Term 3. I look forward to many more lunchtime listening over the airwaves.
    Kate Anderson
    Clinton, South Otago

    • Thank you Kate. I had my sister in Tapanui (Keri Young) listening in order to give honest feedback – she said she liked it but I’m hoping she wasn’t just angling for an upcoming-birthday present! Lol. Did you see my confession in comments for the school bus safety one?

  6. hi Kate I too enjoyed listening to you on the farming show as I was driving back from town. It made me think too about the bus safety although I have to drive my kids to the bus stop so they are not crossing roads. However our school have recently got flouro vests for all the kids whether they walk or take the bus which are brilliant. Even the bus driver has one as he often gets out and walks the kids across the road. Will look forward to your next spot on the farming show. cheers penny, Roxburgh, Central Otago

  7. Hi How is the birthday girl Thinking of you today as we celebrate Georges 10th birthday> Where has the time gone. Well I hope you get this message and all the best to you and your family
    love juanita fahey

  8. Did you realize that there was a day when the Aussie football team wouldn’t play the All Whites because they were considered totally inferior……There was also a day when All Whites who played for English clubs didn’t seek a release to turn out for the All Whites….Oh how times have changed……Betcha Ricky Herbert receives the odd big money offer to coach somewhere that’s not the Aussie football league.

    My email address……….. This is home where I do much of my work from now…Except when I am working for a sound and lighting company as on call support and for Inner City marketing on the same basis.

    Hope you are well…next time you are in town call and we could meet for a coffee.

  9. G’day Kate,
    Lovely to meet you at the NZ Young Farmer Contest earlier this month – you Kiwis really know how to run a fantastic event and great comp! I’m one of the Aussie delegation to the NZ YFC and we had a brilliant time, so thanks again. I was just checking out your great photos on Flickr – do you happen to have any from the grand final quiz show?
    Thanks Kate – and a great blog BTW!

  10. You should update the ages of your children too – or am I a year out!!

  11. Hi Kate,
    I happened across your blog while looking for my own, since my computer is down, and I am checking email at the library. I am also, Kate Taylor, so it is always kind of fun to visit other “Kates”. Your blog is really nice! I am an American, living on the East coast, originally from the Southwestern United States. Anyway, New Zealand is someplace I have always wanted to visit. Perhaps one of these days…

    Take good care,
    from another Kate Taylor

    • thank you Kate – I was once told to google my own name to see what came up – both about me and about other people with the same name. There is a singer in America who does a cool version of “Crying in the Rain” and also an author in the UK who writes erotic sex books! Slightly different from the rural NZ flavour of rivettingkatetaylor 🙂

  12. Hi Kate

    I noticed your reference to Patrick Ogier in your blog (got there by doing a Google search for him). I met him in the Village in Delhi (I am here with the NZ Team) and it some interesting coincidences emerged. It seems that his mother’s maiden name was Ward and she was brought up in Palmerston North. My mother’s maiden name was Ward and she was brought up in PNth also! – probably a few years earlier.

    I have been looking to catch him in the Village again, but have not managed it so far. I thought I would try and get a contact for him (email/facebook) to follow up the possible link.

    Do you have a contact for him that I might get so I can explore the possible connection a bit further?


    Gary Hermansson

    • Hi Gary, I think you will find his mother was brought up in Palmerston, East Otago, not Palmerston North. I could be wrong, I had in my head they were Oamaru or Timaru. Patrick is on Facebook 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful time over there – we have been watching! Everyone else – catch up with Gary’s blog on http://web.me.com/garyhermansson – I wish I had been reading it earlier!

  13. Hi Kate
    I am Patrick’s first cousin and can fill you in on a few details. Clare and the others started off in Palmerston, but moved to Timaru, then Christchurch. The oldest son, Hugh, was my father. So your Auntie Peg was my grandmother. Who was your grandmother? I’m guessing either Connie Bryant or Marge Wylie.
    I have been pottering on Family history a bit lately, but mainly the Wards at this stage, though I do have a little bit about the Shennans. I think my aunt Ann has more.
    Do look up my blog – it is about a puzzle I invented, that is now an iPhone/iPod app, Rogo.

    • Hi Nicola, nice to “meet” you. Connie was my grandmother, I know Ann, Clare, Roger, Dunstan and Reg well. I also knew Mary, also from when I was overseas in 1996 when she was in Guernsey, and I think at some stage I did met your father back here. At least, I have a family photo Aunty Peg gave me that was taken when Hugh was visiting London, possibly in the early 90s?
      Am on holiday and looking at my site via a mobile internet connection so I will look at your site when we get home 🙂

  14. Hi Kate, just got your details from Sarah Giddings, not sure if you remember me, I was at Saunts with Sarah. Hope you’re well, Sarah says you’re married with wee ones, I’m still married to Phil but my ‘wee ones’ are still of the 4 legged kind, 2 cats and a dog. I still think of you if the song ‘How Bizarre’ comes on as it was in the charts when you were working with me. I’m a ‘docker’ still, the same job I left Saunties for, still see some of the drivers, some have passed, one of them won £101k on the lottery a couple of months ago, how cool is that?. Sarah said you were okay after the earthquake but that some of your family suffered, hope they’re okay, when something like that happens it’s so easy to put it to the back of one’s mind as we never seem to suffer here. Would be nice to hear from you but if you don’t remember me that’s fine. Debbi x

    • Of course I remember you! It was only one harvest season but I loved my time in Roos staying with my Young Farmers friend (who was probably pleased to see me go!) and for Johnson and Saunt. You and Sarah were very welcoming and friendly. I had Skippy (?) and his girlfriend call in to see us about 10 years ago which was cool. It has been 15 years since I was over there 😦 and yes, How Bizarre reminds me of that time too lol

  15. Hi Kate,
    Could you email me please at hello@mumsontop.co.nz – I’m interested in profiling your blog on our Nz Mums site but can’t find an email contact address via which I can make that request – your Council one bounced back.



    • Where did you get the council address from?
      I have not been writing on the blog much lately, but perhaps in the future.

  16. Hi Kate–I’m a photo editor at The New York Times Magazine. I’m trying to get in touch with Danny and Robyn Angland. We’re trying to get in contact with a photographer named Grant who took a beautiful picture of sheep on their station using a drone. I’m on a tight deadline and need to reach them in the next 12 hours. Would you happen to have contact information for Grant or the Anglands? Thank you, Christine Walsh (christine.walsh@nytimes.com/001 347 420 4671) Thank you!

  17. Hi Kate. I would like to talk to you about obtaining a photo of yours of a horse ploughing. We have the NZ Ploughing Finals coming up in Rongotea on 16/17 April. Thanks. Christine

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