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Author Peter Blakeborough was born on a dairy farm at Pirongia near Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1937 and was the eighth of eleven children. The family later moved to a farm at Papakura and then to Pukapuka near Warkworth.
He left the farm in 1954 to be closer to the old Mangere aerodrome where he was learning to fly with the Auckland Aero Club. He found work in factories in South Auckland and later worked as a linesman for the Thames Valley Electric Power Board at Morrinsville and Matamata. He left to manage a fund-raising project for the Piako Gliding Club which enabled the club to purchase a second sailplane for £2,000, at the time equivalent in value to an expensive house.
After a stint as a furniture salesman the author worked as an aerial topdressing loader-driver in the Waikato, Northland, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay before going to Australia where he became a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman and sales manager in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland.
Back in Auckland in 1964 he continued his driving career with buses, trucks and taxis. At that time he became interested in coins, stamps and medals and started a business dealing in coins and associated books, importing and exporting for collectors.
His first non-fiction book, The Coinage of New Zealand, 1840-1967, was published in 1966 by Minerva. He was the founding editor of The New Zealand Coin Journal from 1966-1967, distributed nationally and internationally.
The author joined the National Party in 1970 and was the party candidate for Onehunga in the 1972 general election. The next year he left National to form the New Zealand Liberal Party and was its leader and a candidate in the 1975 general election. The party advocated adoption of a written constitution, proportional representation and economic reforms similar to those later taken up by Bob Jones’s New Zealand Party and the third Labour Government. Peter Blakeborough joined the New Zealand Party and was a candidate again in Onehunga in 1984.
Meanwhile the author operated a taxi business in South Auckland where he is remembered as the person responsible for launching the first taxi-van service in New Zealand in spite of determined official opposition.
Some overseas travel followed the sale of the taxi business and the author turned to tour driving. That led to the establishment of Panorama Tours and a unique city circuit tour with pick-ups and drop-offs at hotels every hour. He also escorted tours to Australia, Malaysia and along the Silk Road from China to Pakistan.
In 2001 and again in 2003 he went to America and drove long-distance trucks through forty states. From that experience he later wrote and published Highway America - the adventures of a Kiwi truck driver.
Peter Blakeborough continued flying until 1982. He flew more than fifty types of aircraft and was also a gliding instructor. He is currently a flight simulator enthusiast, has been a yachtsman and has completed numerous walks in remote areas of New Zealand.
In 2009 he launched Gypsy Books and published the Asker Trilogy of Australian and New Zealand historical fiction; Nathaniel’s Bloodline, Murder at Wairere and A Twist of Fate. The trilogy was the result of twelve years of research and writing. That was followed by Highway America – the adventures of a Kiwi truck driver – which was launched in March 2010.
Peter Blakeborough now travels the highways of New Zealand in his motorhome Wandering Wheels selling his books at motorhome rallies, markets, bookshops and libraries. He is the chairman of the Hamilton Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors.
Peter Blakeborough's Blog comments on issues of the day and includes posts about authors and publishing, aviation, transport, country music, crime, politics and news from around New Zealand and the world. For Peter's Blog go to: http://peterblakeboroughsblog.blogspot.com/