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Then the television host remembered placing the computer on the roof of his car at Queenstown Airport this afternoon.
That was not much help to him an hour away at his farm in Chatto Creek.
"I swore about 20 times," he said, when he realised.
He is now appealing for help for the return of his laptop, which contains the only full draft of the autobiography he has been writing for the past two months.
Mr Chisholm had arrived at Queenstown Airport after a hard weekend away in Taranaki’s Whangamomona Republic Day, where he took part in activities such as possum skinning and swimming in a pool with eels.
Once back in the South, he put the black satchel containing his Macbook on the roof of his car while he dug his keys out of his suitcase and put the suitcase inside.
He then drove off.
Once he realised what had happened, he called Queenstown Airport and their CCTV confirmed the laptop was still on his car until he reached a nearby roundabout.
He drove back to Queenstown tonight, retracing his steps, but had so far failed to find it.
The book is due in mid-March, but he was hoping to finish it this coming week.
He had half of the draft saved on a hardrive, but the rest could be gone for good.
Now he is hoping someone had found the laptop and would be able to return it. He was also planning to offer some kind of reward.
"It means a whole lot more to me than just a laptop."
Anyone with information could contact him at email@example.com