When they invented the catch-phrase "experience counts", they were probably thinking of John Hudson.

In 2003, John Hudson joined the Sunday team after stints on 60 Minutes and Assignment.

He takes pride in being one of the "old-style" journalists; starting as a newspaper cadet on the New Zealand Herald in 1975, and later working in "steam-radio" (Hauraki and 89FM).

The big O.E. beckoned so John took off to London. Freedom called but the usual rules of economics prevailed. What was meant to be a three-year vacation became some serious work experience in television news, and reporting and subbing for BBC radio.

Back in godzone John joined TVNZ's Top-Half programme in 1984 before working on Eyewitness, Holmes and Frontline.

John Hudson has his share of media awards but the thing that most impresses those who seek to judge journalistic excellence is the integrity that he brings to the job.

Those who work with John admire the way he spends the necessary time it takes "to get it right". He has the knack of taking pretty complex subjects and arguments and turning them into human stories that are at once moving and insightful.

Most weekends you'll find John somewhere out in the Hauraki gulf. He has a bach on Waiheke Island, a wave-skimming tinnie and enough outboard power to get himself out to some snapper hotspots.