One of New Zealand’s finest journalists in modern times, Simon Collins, has retired from journalism, and has started a part-time role as a budget advisor at the Society of St Vincent de Paul in Otahuhu.
Mr Collins finished work at the New Zealand Herald on March 24, and started at the SVDP a few days later.
In a facebook comment, Mr Collins, 65, said it had been 45 years since he had trained as a journalist, “and it’s time to try something different”.
gIn thanking the dozens of people on facebook who had paid tribute to his journalistic career and had wished him well, Mr Collins said “I’m not planning to keep writing about our problems. I hope I can do something to help people more directly as a budget adviser”.
Vinnies Youth Auckland said, in a facebook comment, “That is amazing. Looking forward to visiting you at the Otahuhu branch. How very, very exciting and moving!! Simon you are a precious taonga!!”
In another facebook comment, senior New Zealand Herald journalist Bernard Orsman also paid tribute to Mr Collins, saying his retirement from the Herald would leave “a huge hole”. “Simon is one of the finest journalists of his generation, with an unparalleled body of work,” Mr Orsman commented.
Veteran journalist Rod Pascoe commented — with a laughing face emoji — “So glad to hear Simon will be now devoting his immeasurable talents to helping the St Vincent de Paul Society. We’ll make a Catholic of you yet, Simon!”
The winner of many awards for his writing over the years, in a New Zealand Herald item in 2019, Mr Collins named his career highlight as “helping to launch and run City Voice, which aimed to give a voice to ordinary people in central Wellington in its brief life 1993-2001”.