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Kerre McIvor's baby plans

The grandmother-to-be can't wait to get stuck in.

Kerre McIvor’s first New Year’s resolution may seem a simple one but it is something many of us forget to do properly.
“I am going to learn how to breathe,” the Newstalk ZB presenter says over a glass of bubbles in a favourite central Auckland haunt. “Occasionally when I get very busy I forget how to, which sounds so absurd, but actually it is quite common. My breath gets really shallow as well. I want to learn regular sleep patterns, too, and learning how to breathe will help that.
“There are all sorts of courses you can do online, which I will do in in the first instance, and if that doesn’t work, there are specialists.”
The 52-year-old, who spoke to The Australian Women’s Weekly in January 2016 about her year of being fit, 50 and fabulous, is also planning to lose the eight kilos she’s gained since then.
“I threw out all my fat-girl clothes, and I refuse to buy any more,” she says. “So I am just going to have to get back into the new clothes I bought. It was a rookie error – I thought because I’d had such a splendid year of being 50 that I would continue being good. I have never done so previously though – it has always been a flash in the pan – so I don’t know why I suddenly thought it would be different!”
As 2017 kicks off, Kerre is back into gear, reinstating the habits she learnt in 2015.
“I am back with a trainer and I am going to get back into running again.”
And while last time learning Te Reo was on her list of goals for the year, this year it’s maths.
“Te Reo was really hard, and really rewarding, and I want to do that again but I want to reinforce what I have learnt already before I go onto the next stage.
“I would like to think I could nail the language of maths. We had a change of teacher when I was in the fifth form and I went from the 70s and 80s to 50 per cent and just scraped through.”

At the very forefront of Kerre’s mind this year, however, is family. She’s held off being booked for too many MC gigs so that she can spend more time with the people she loves – her husband Tom McIvor, her mother Colleen Woodham and her daughter Kate and husband Ranko, who are having a child this year.
After the baby arrives in March, Kerre will be winging her way to London to be by Kate’s side.
“I asked if she wanted me at the birth and she went ‘Ew, no! Do you want to?’ And I said ‘No! I just thought I had to ask.’ I thought that is what grandparents did!” she says with a laugh.
“I don’t want to be there at the business end – I want to be there telling her what a great mother she is and how beautiful the baby is,” says Kerre, who is visibly delighted at the prospect of becoming a grandmother.
“The aim is to reinforce and support whatever she decides to do, not to interfere, because they have to form their own family unit, and having the overbearing mother-in-law there wouldn’t be conducive to that! So the idea is to just be their slave, tell them what an amazing job they are doing, cook meals, and do the boring stuff.”
And have the cuddles.
“Oh the back of the baby’s neck – do you remember that smell?” she asks, sparkling like her wine. “And when they nuzzle into you!”
She also wants to spend more time with her mother Colleen.
“She will be 80 next birthday and I keep thinking she will go for ever. She may outlive me because she is in rude good health, and her mother lasted until 99, but I don’t want to take it for granted that she will always be around.
“We do all sorts of fun things together, and have so many adventures. The last time she was up we went to the Lindauer exhibition, the movies and then high tea at the Langham.
“It is not a chore for me to spend time with her because she is interested and interesting, but there is a danger in that because I don’t think, ‘Oh God, I have to go and see Mum.’ I count her as one of my friends and catch up with her when I can, but she is too important for that.”

Last year Kerre and Tom spent more time at their home in the Hokianga, and in 2017 she hopes that will continue to increase.
“I love just hanging out with him up there, and I just don’t get enough time to do that in Auckland.”
Her first step to getting more involved in the Hokianga is joining a local pest control group. After recently discovering a stoat looking at her through the window, these pests are high on her hit list.
“Stoats must die!” she says vehemently. “I want to make it rodent free and start restoring the native bush. I will not have Stoaty McStoat-face on my property!
“Stoat traps have been set and we’ve started clearing the pampas. I had an ecological report done on the place to see what we had to do first and we need to get rid of the pampas grass, the ginger and the predators so the plants can flourish.”
Politically, Kerre would like to see a focus on a fairer society in New Zealand.
“Any society where there is a big separation between the haves and the have-nots is an unhappy society and that is where we are getting to. The ones who are doing okay are fine, but the ones who aren’t are really suffering in this country. I want us to be equitable and I want every kid to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
“I grew up in the 1970s when the greater good was more important than the individual good; on talkback I hear a lot of opinions and it just worries me that people think everybody’s destiny is up to the individual – often it’s not.
“Anything bad that has happened to me is because of the choices I’ve made, but for a lot of people it’s not the case – they have accidents, or suffer depression or they just don’t get the start that so many of us used to get.”
And on a charity level, children are Kerre’s focus. She regularly donates to KidsCan and the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family appeal and this year would also like to get involved in Lesley Max’s Hippy Programme.
“It’s really important work she is doing,” she says.
Her number one focus this year, though, is her grandchild’s arrival.
“What I am looking forward to most is seeing what kind of human is going to develop out of Ranko and Kate – I love that this is a natural manifestation of their love and relationship.”
Words: Nicola Russell
For more from The Australian Women's Weekly, see the February issue. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

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