Campbell Live, Steve Gurney, Southern Response, and a Sled Dog Team

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Watch Campbell Live: likely to air tonight, Monday 21 Oct, 2013

Cambell Live's Southern Response article on Monday Oct 21, 2013

I’ve instigated a Campbell Live investigation into Southern Response (the insurance body set up by the Gov’t after AMI’s collapse to pay out Earthquake claims).

Personally I have found Southern Response to be ridiculously tardy, unethical, and unprofessional. I’ve still not been paid for my smashed house and property, they’ve had my life savings tied up since Feb 2011.

But that's not the half of it - I’m going to bat for a group of over 130 households who are being treated abysmally by Southern Response.
The underlying problem seems to be that Southern Response is a “sunset” entity, ceasing to exist after they’ve paid out the claims from the earthquake. Thus, they have no interest in maintaining their brand or image; they have no clients to retain or impress.

Trouble is they’ve gone too far, they simply don’t give a damn for the people they were set up to support!

 We'd just like to be paid out so we can move on - how many more years are we expected to live in limbo?

Next adventure: Alaska with Sled dogs

Travelling to the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod!

It all started when I was backcountry skiing to a remote hut atop the Pisa Range in Central Otago. What a surprise! I’d expected the hut to be empty, cold and uninviting.
Three rather technical looking sleds were parked up outside and adjacent, the dogs were pegged out... laying curled in the snow, seemingly contented… even enjoying the wind that was brutally biting at my bones!

Slipping inside the hut, I was welcomed by an enthusiastic Husky named Merlin, and the delightful musher Curt who was educating (and entertaining!) two clients on an overnight sled-dog adventure.
Originally planning to stop for a short five-minute breather, I found myself still sitting there, spell-bound, 90 minutes later…… and then eagerly offering to be their support crew for the up-coming gruelling Iditarod race in Alaska. What a turn of events!
Curt and his dog sled team had previously raced two Iditarod challenges and were training for the 2014 season in the Northern Hemisphere. He was regaling his clients with stories of the detailed planning he did for his team in training, preparation, and for the race itself. Then the extraordinary lengths he goes to in bonding with his dogs. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses, their personalities, and what things make them work to their passionate best.
I was immediately struck by the similarities to my sport of adventure racing.  The detailed planning I did for my races, and also the way that we as a team in Adventure racing worked to create a champion team.
Curt’s passion for his quest was contagious and resonated with my own. I could see he was overwhelmed with opportunity and I offered to share my own incorrigible and innovative enthusiasm to be his support crew. I had a lot to offer in terms of adaptability and experience at these types of adventures. 

I also knew without doubt that my partner Jackie would jump at this opportunity too. Jackie works at Remarkable Vets, has a passion for dog training, and had going to Alaska on her bucket list. Jackie’s mum, Pam, has since also joined the crew. She’s the hardest working woman I have ever met and as an ICU nurse, her skills will round the team out to something formidable!  What a team!

I’m studying a new angle on making champion teams, and then developing this into a brand new product for my speaking and seminars on building great teams in the work place. Collaborating with the kiwi mushers Curt and Fleur, we’ll have an exciting new business product!

Tips on winning and resilience

What comes from from losses, challenges and crises? Suffering or Growth - It’s our choice:

Losing the America’s Cup yachting after such a huge leading margin was a massive disappointment!

…. but then again, I never learnt much from winning. My best learning and growth came from my mistakes and losses.

This learning and growth only comes to those who are gracious enough to be open to the learning with an attitude of non-judgmental curiosity.

My first step to growth; I acknowledge the pain with something like “Yes, ouch, that hurt and was disappointing, and it possibly wasn’t even fair, but then, life’s not always fair, just move on. Look at the big picture now Steve.” 

Then I ask myself non-judgmental questions like:

  • “What positives can I learn from that?”
  • “What other possible learning is there?”
  • “If it were someone else in my shoes, what might they learn from that?”
  • “How can I use that to increase my motivation toward other really worthwhile goals?”

Summer’s here, set some fun, audacious and powerful goals.

Steve Gurney

“Life truly begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”


  • Steve Gurney
  • Karen Ross' Resilience is an inside job interview with Steve Gurney