Full life provides fuel for humour

Arrowtown writer John Lapsley with his third book before its launch yesterday. Photo by Christina McDonald.
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 series.

He has also written columns in Australia, on a daily basis for The Australian and weekly for Sydney's Sun Herald.

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 Brewing.

''It was exciting stuff - hardly the background for a humorist.''

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''.