Arrowtown writer John Lapsley with his third book before
its launch yesterday. Photo by Christina McDonald.
A colourful life split across journalism and business has
given Arrowtown writer John Lapsley ample anecdotes to mould
into a column that is now part of a book.
At My Wit's End, the book, was launched yesterday at
Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown.
Mr Lapsley's fortnightly column, Wit's End, in the
Otago Daily Times is his fifth newspaper column
He has also written columns in Australia, on a daily basis
for The Australian and weekly for Sydney's Sun
He left journalism aged 35 and founded The Levita Group, a
Sydney marketing services company that owned call centre,
market research and manpower businesses and that he later
sold to a United States multinational.
The business was best known in the media for research and
marketing work associated with company takeovers.
There were more than 200 of them, including some of
Australia's most hotly contested: BHP, Coles Myer and Fosters
''It was exciting stuff - hardly the background for a
He was raised in small North Island towns and first worked in
journalism for the Auckland Star.
He fell in love with Central Otago when he used to come to
Millbrook from Sydney for skiing and golf holidays.
He bought a holiday home in Arrowtown in 2000 and has lived
there permanently since 2008.
Despite his movements, At My Wit's End ''is very much
a South Island book''.
It is his third book and about half of it consists of columns
that appeared in the ODT.
There is also a collection of memories and a short story.
In 2013, Wit's End was one of the three finalists in
the columnist category of the national Canon Media Awards.
A recent Wit's End column was centred on ''fashionable
dancing'', namely a dance made famous by pop singer Miley
Cyrus, with Mr Lapsley stating outright that he was ''yet to
dance the Twerk''.