Motivational speaker Tony Christiansen

Motivational speaker Tony Christiansen

He's a motivational speaker who clambers up a scaffolding like an orangutan to deliver his talks and he's in Palmerston North tonight. 

Tony Christiansen, pictured, who lost his legs in a train accident when he was nine years old, is a businessman and sportsman who doesn't let his limitations get in the way.

"Before I had the accident, I could have done 10,000 things - been an All Black, played soccer at the World Cup, been a world-class cyclist or a downhill skier. But after the accident, I could only do 8,000 of those things." 

"It would have been easy for me to give up and accept my misfortune, but I figured it was up to me to do the best with what I had, and I did. And I've only just started." 

Mr Christiansen is the managing director of a leading New Zealand signwriting company employing 20 people, a qualified lifeguard with over 30 rescues to his name, has achieved a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, is a champion speedway driver, won medals at six world games, and is a licenced pilot. 

He can also count climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as one of his achievements. 

"It's your attitude that determines your altitude in life." 

He has spoken in Palmerston North before at corporate functions but this was his first time talking in a public forum. 

"I'll be talking about my life story. It seems to go down pretty well with people. It will be about setting personal goals. I know a few things about challenges." 

He has been in demand as a motivational speaker in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Asia, South Africa and the South Pacific. He has been speaking full-time for four years and has also written two books and has another one at the publishers.