Tyson Young is the new fulltime reporter at the Oamaru Mail.
To help him settle in, editor Hayden Meiklefires a few questions at him.
Q: Tyson, it appears you have drastically lowered the average age of the Allied Press newsroom in Oamaru. How old are you?
I am 19.
Q: So you were born the year I started working for the Daily Times. Does that mean I am old, or you are young?
Oh, I wouldn’t say you’re old. I’m certainly young.
Q: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Timaru, and I lived there for a wee while. We shifted to Waimate for a few years, then we went up to Geraldine for a while. I also lived in Temuka. And then I shifted to Christchurch for a year.
Q What do your parents do?
They were originally dairy farmers. Now they run their own car restoration business in Waimate. Valiants, Dodges, all sorts of muscle cars. I’m not personally into that sort of stuff. I’ll look at a car and I will go, ‘There’s the motor and there are the wheels’, whereas they can tell you basically everything about it.
Q: Brothers? Sisters?
I’ve got a younger brother called Legion, who turns 8 this year, and a younger sister, Angel, who is 7 this year. And I’ve got a new wee brother called Creed, who was born a bit over a week ago. So I’m the wise old sibling, ha ha.
Q: Where did you go to school?
I went to all sorts of different schools. Waimataitai in Timaru, and St Patrick’s in Timaru, just to name a couple. Then I did my high school years at Roncalli College. I loved it. I met a lot of friends there, and got taught by a lot of great teachers who passed on a heap of knowledge. Some of them really inspired me to get into journalism, so I went up to Christchurch to study media and communications at Ara.
Q: Had you always dreamed of being a journalist?
I just always wanted to be an author. I’ve always loved writing, from when I was about 6. But becoming an author isn’t always the fame and glory it’s made out to be. My mum always encouraged me to get into writing books if I wanted to, but also to have something to pay my way. I had a teacher in year 12 who also talked about how an author could make millions of dollars or they could make less than someone working at a supermarket. So that inspired me to look beyond the horizon a bit.
Q: What excites you about the job?
I get to meet people every day. I like meeting new people, and I think everyone has got a story to tell.
Q: Any interests or hobbies?
I love playing paintball. And I love watching UFC and boxing. Other than that, just hanging out with mates, and I also like stargazing. I’m into a bit of astronomy. And reading. I’m a big Stephen King fan.
Q: Please don’t tell me you support the hated South Canterbury rugby team?
Oh, I don’t support them, but I’m not against them either. I’m a neutral fan.
Q: Best holiday you’ve had?
Hanmer Springs. Loved it.
Q: Best Christmas present you’ve received?
Just one from this last Christmas, actually. My stepfather made me this massive mirror. It’s special, not just because it’s a really good mirror but because of the thought that went into it.
Q: What are three things on your bucket list?
Work for National Geographic magazine by the time I’m 25. Own my own house by the age of 30. And travel to Germany and Hong Kong. I’ve always been fascinated by both.