Inside Branson's big night out with Kiwi stars

Section
Spy News,
Publish Date
Sunday, 26 March 2017, 2:19PM

Sir Richard Branson is in New Zealand and he's wasted no time in catching up with some famous Kiwi pals.

The 66-year-old billionaire jetted into Auckland on Friday for his event "An Evening with Sir Richard Branson" at Vector Arena on Sunday night.

But on Saturday night, he let loose partying with some of New Zealand's finest at Seafarers Members' Club at Britomart in Auckland.

A post shared by Jake Millar (@_jakemillar) on Mar 25, 2017 at 11:45am PDT

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Among the guests were former super model Rachel Hunter, Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie, TV presenter Samantha Hayes, model Casey Radley, Paralympian Liam Malone, Olympian Eliza McCartney, TV personality Brooke Howard-Smith and All Black Beauden Barrett.

Barrett’s partner Hannah Laity posted a series of videos to Instagram showing the group partying together, including Sir Richard taking this candid shot with Liam Malone.

A post shared by Liam Malone (@liammmalone) on Mar 25, 2017 at 4:06am PDT

Malone captioned the picture saying: “Four years I turned my life around after drink driving (sic). I gave up my Saturday nights out in pursuit of dreams. One Saturday, four years later and I have the privilege of dining with @richardbranson.

“I started at rock bottom now we're here. I encourage you all to start going after your dreams and celebrate where ever you're starting from. Richard believes in making the most of every moment in life - even when stuck in crutches.”

But it wasn’t just a chance meeting. Brooke Howard-Smith revealed that Branson and his friend, Kiwi entrepreneur Derek Handley had gathered the stars for a private dinner to teach them how to “use their platforms for purpose”.

“This journey…constantly provides epic moments, but Richard surfing the dinner table is right up there,” Howard-Smith wrote.

The VIPs and many of their peers are set to join Sir Richard at his show this evening, including Sir Michael Fay, Sir Graham Henry, and Sir Peter Leitch; renowned chefs Michael Meredith and Ben Bayly; and Olympians Eliza McCartney, Blair Tuke and Peter Burling.

Newshub’s Samantha Hayes will MC the event and former PM John Key will carry out his first public appearance as a speaker, albeit in the role of facilitator of the Q&A section.

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