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About the book
  • Published: 3 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869799304
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Serious Fun

The Life and Times of Alan Gibbs


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Biography of Alan Gibbs, one of New Zealand's most influential and controversial businessmen and Aquada amphibious car developer.

Biography of Alan Gibbs, one of New Zealand's most influential and controversial businessmen and Aquada amphibious car developer.

When Sir Richard Branson drove the Aquada high speed amphibious car across the English Channel it was a watershed moment. At last, had the holy grail of amphibious transport been achieved?
The developer of the car, New Zealander Alan Gibbs, has since gone on to unveil a range of amphibious vehicles, including the Quadski, Humdinga and Phibian.

Businessman, inventor, merchant banker, philanthropist, art collector, adventurer and inveterate traveller, Gibbs’ life has been far from ordinary. The one-time socialist became a very active participant and free-market champion when New Zealand’s economy was transformed in the mid to late 1980s.
These days he is also focussed on developing Gibbs Farm, his remarkable sculpture park on the Kaipara Harbour, in New Zealand.

The Farm, which has works by Richard Serra, Bernar Venet, Anish Kapoor, Tony Oursler and Andy Goldsworthy, among others, is of international stature.

Gibbs lives in London and has factories in the UK, Detroit and New Zealand. It’s a life, as biographer Paul Goldsmith engagingly conveys, that’s been a lot of serious fun.

  • Pub date: 3 August 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869799304
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the Author

Paul Goldsmith

Paul Goldsmith has written extensively about the lives of leading New Zealand businessmen and political figures, as well as about aspects of Maori history and politics. In November 2011 he was elected as a Member of Parliament in New Zealand. He lives in Auckland with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. His previous books are: John Banks — a biography; TN Gibbs; Gibbs — New Zealand roots; The Rise and Fall of Te Hemara Tauhia; Brash — the biography; The Myers (with Michael Bassett); We Won, You Lost, Eat That! A political history of tax in New Zealand since 1840; Stress and Enterprise —the career of Richard Izard; Puketutu and its People (with Michael Bassett); Fletchers — a centennial history of Fletcher Building; Serious Fun — the life and times of Alan Gibbs; and Legend — the Sir William Gallagher story. See www.paulgoldsmith.co.nz.

Reviewing Serious Fun, the biography of outspoken free-marketeer business reformer, Aquada inventor, and owner of famous contemporary sculpture park The Farm, Alan Gibbs, the Daily Post praised Goldsmith for seeing ‘through the bluff and bluster of Gibb’s public persona to reveal a true Kiwi individualist’. New Zealand Business declared it ‘entertaining and thought-provoking’.

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