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The television presenter was left in the lurch when he lost his laptop, and the 72,000-word book he had spent months writing on it, after accidentally leaving it on the roof of his car when he left Queenstown Airport yesterday.
He did not realise until he was an hour away at his farm in Chatto Creek.
"I swore about 20 times," he said, when he realised.
But after a public appeal he was reunited with his laptop, which contains the only full draft of the autobiography he has been writing for the past two months, late last night.
A man from Cromwell found it, and Mr Chisholm picked up from his place at 11.15pm yesterday.
"Turns out he's a big Survivor fan, but thought it could never have been mine,'' he said.
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 hard drive, but the rest could have been gone for good.