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New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide Events -

First Sun­day of ev­ery month: Break­fast with the Cars Vil­lage Green, Marsden Rd, Pai­hia, 8.30am to 10am. If it’s got wheels and it’s a bit dif­fer­ent, we want to see it. En­quiries to Tracy on 0274 983 557, or email Bay of Is­lands Wine Tours at info@to­tal­tours.co.nz. Last Thurs­day of ev­ery month: Hamil­ton Cock and Bull Clas­sic Car Cruise-in Held from 5pm on­wards. Spon­sored prizes, dis­counted drinks, plat­ters. All wel­come, car go­ing or not. Come and meet like-minded peo­ple. To make an en­quiry, phone Archie on 07 855 1071, or email clas­s­ic­cars13@xtra.co.nz. Last Sun­day of ev­ery month: Caf­feine and Clas­sics Pro­tecta In­sur­ance brings you Caf­feine and Clas­sics — a monthly brunch open to all ve­hi­cles and held on the last Sun­day of each month at Smales Farm, just 5km north of the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge, 9am–12pm. Au­gust 27: Alfa Romeo Own­ers Club Driver Ex­pe­ri­ence 2016 To be held at Bruce Mclaren Mo­tor­sport Park, Taupo. Come and en­joy this non- com­pet­i­tive event de­signed to ap­peal to ev­ery­one want­ing or need­ing track time, from new­com­ers to ex­pe­ri­enced rac­ers. Seize this op­por­tu­nity to see how you and your car will per­form at a safe and low-cost event. Driv­ers will be sep­a­rated into groups with sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence and sim­i­larly paced cars. Track craft and driver train­ing are avail­able from ex­pe­ri­enced race driv­ers. Safety equip­ment re­quired, in­clud­ing hel­mets, pure cot­ton over­alls (no poly blends), and closed footwear. All road cars must have cur­rent WOF and race cars, a log­book. All cars will be scru­ti­neered. Lunch-time pa­rade laps be­hind pace car (free, by in­vi­ta­tion). BYO food and drink, or pur­chase from cart at the track. En­try fee $100 per driver, or $80 if you bring another per­son willing to help mar­shal (no ex­pe­ri­ence nec­es­sary). So­cial wind down: af­ter the track closes, relive the day at The Plough­mans Restau­rant, 45 Charles Cres­cent, Taupo. Cash bar/food. No need to book. All en­tries must be in by Satur­day, Au­gust 20. For more info, go to arocnz.org.nz or phone 07 576 6737. Septem­ber 24–25: Can­ter­bury Clas­sic Car Show and In­ter-mar­que Con­cours d’ele­gance Held in­doors at Pioneer Re­cre­ation and Sports Cen­tre, Lyt­tel­ton Street, Christchurch. Club en­tries opened Mon­day, May 9. Email Colin Hey at cardis­plays@gmail.com. Oc­to­ber 1: Aroha Cruise In We are very ex­cited to once again close off our streets in Te Aroha and in­vite clas­sic car, bike, and hot rod own­ers to show off their pride and joy at our event. Of course, there is al­ways so much more to see, in­clud­ing vin­tage trac­tors and fire en­gines, along with some fan­tas­tic cars and car­a­vans on dis­play, too. Run by the Te Aroha Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion since 2013, this event brings to­gether lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and ser­vices. Check out our Face­book page, Aroha Cruise In, and web­site cruisein.co.nz for more in­for­ma­tion lead­ing up to the day. Oc­to­ber 2: Spring into Ox­ford Car dis­play 10am–2pm. Cost: $5 per dis­play car; public en­try by gold-coin do­na­tion. All makes of clas­sic ve­hi­cle wel­come. A great fam­ily day out. Pro­ceeds to Ox­ford Menz Shed, which will be open for in­spec­tion. Venue: Pear­son Park (off Dohrmans Road, which is off Bay Road be­side the Fa­mous Sh­effield Pie Shop, Main Street (pies highly rec­om­mended). Oc­to­ber 7–9: Vin­tage Car Club Can­ter­bury Swap Meet Fri­day, Satur­day, and Sun­day, Mcleans Is­land Road. Car clubs will be able to set up their dis­plays on Fri­day — there will be no public park­ing in the dis­play ar­eas this year. Oc­to­ber 30: Can­ter­bury All Bri­tish Day On Sun­day, ar­rive at Can­ter­bury Vin­tage Car Club Clu­b­rooms, Cut­ler Park, Mclean’s Is­land Road, Christchurch, be­tween 9.30am and 10.30am. Run will de­part at 10.30am to a coun­try do­main (TBA). Novem­ber 6: Can­ter­bury USA Day Glad­stone Park, Wood­end, North Can­ter­bury, 10am–3pm. The event is for Amer­i­can-ori­gin ve­hi­cles. Con­tact Ann Moore, Sec­re­tary, Amer­i­can Clas­sic Car Club via email, ac­c­canty@gmail.com. Novem­ber 20: Hawkswood Clas­sic Hill­climb Or­ga­nized by the Coun­try Gen­tle­man’s His­toric Rac­ing and Sports Car Club, this an­nual event uses part of old SH1 — off SH1, Che­viot, North Can­ter­bury. En­quiries to John Bain on 027 274 5279 or the­bains@xtra.co.nz. Spec­ta­tors most wel­come.

In June this year, me­dia re­ported that “Po­lice were gagged over for­eign driv­ers in­volved in crashes”. Seem­ingly, South Is­land po­lice had been told to keep their mouths shut about for­eign driv­ers in crashes. They had been told not to re­port on the na­tion­al­ity or eth­nic­ity of driv­ers in­volved in crashes. It is dif­fi­cult to ra­tio­nal­ize the rea­son for this. At first glance, it would seem that it is sim­ply an at­tempt to ei­ther hide the fact that tourists are be­com­ing in­volved in an alarm­ingly in­creas­ing num­ber of traf­fic crashes or to limit the fall­out for the tourism in­dus­try — rental com­pa­nies in par­tic­u­lar. There is an old adage that goes, ‘Never let the facts get in the way of an oth­er­wise good story!’ I have of­ten lamented the demise of the in­ves­tiga­tive reporters of old — the ones who would fully in­ves­ti­gate a story and re­port on it fac­tu­ally for the ben­e­fit of the read­er­ship. At some point, sen­sa­tion­al­iz­ing a story be­came the norm, es­pe­cially if it gen­er­ated more at­ten­tion in its em­bel­lished form than it oth­er­wise might have done. How­ever, this is not ac­tu­ally a new phenomenon.

I can re­call back in the early 1980s, when I was the sec­re­tary of a car club, we were be­moan­ing the fact that reporters tended to iden­tify only spe­cific types of cars when re­port­ing traf­fic ac­ci­dents. If a Ford Ze­phyr (or Chrysler Valiant) was in­volved, one could al­most guar­an­tee that it would war­rant a spe­cific men­tion, while any other ve­hi­cles in­volved would re­main uniden­ti­fied. It was so preva­lent that a gag ‘ap­pli­ca­tion for em­ploy­ment’ form de­vel­oped at the time by an anony­mous public ser­vant in­cluded a ques­tion as to the type of ve­hi­cle owned — one of the op­tions be­ing a Ford Ze­phyr and the other a Chrysler Valiant! On more than one oc­ca­sion, I penned an irate let­ter to the ap­pro­pri­ate ed­i­tor of the of­fend­ing news­pa­per ob­ject­ing to such bi­ased re­port­ing, es­pe­cially when the make of car was not a fac­tor in the crash. One par­tic­u­lar reporter had ear­lier writ­ten a quite scathing ar­ti­cle on Ze­phyrs for another publi­ca­tion, so there was some ev­i­dence of a bias.

Tar­gets

Sub­se­quent to that, in the 1990s, hot rod­ders be­came the tar­get for any traf­fic crashes or speed­ing in­ci­dents in which older types of ve­hi­cle were in­volved. Hot rod­ding scribes also took the var­i­ous publi­ca­tions to task over such one-sided re­port­ing, mak­ing the point that hot rod­ders as such did not gen­er­ally do il­le­gal drag races in the con­fines of the city. Auck­land’s Queen Street on a Fri­day or Satur­day night at­tracted lots of hot rods and other clas­sic cars of the V8 va­ri­ety, mainly to sim­ply cruise, but, need­less to say, some neg­a­tive press in­evitably fol­lowed.

In more re­cent times, ‘ boy rac­ers’ have be­come the sub­sti­tute for hot rod­ders — with some reporters be­ing un­able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween ve­hi­cles of Amer­i­can or Ja­panese ori­gin. Just a week or so ago, boy rac­ers fea­tured in one North Is­land story, so it is seem­ingly still OK to con­tinue to la­bel or oth­er­wise iden­tify these in­di­vid­u­als when they are in­volved in a traf­fic mishap.

But not so tourists, par­tic­u­larly in the South Is­land, where their in­volve­ment is sig­nif­i­cantly greater than any na­tional sta­tis­tics in­di­cate. So, why is there now an at­tempt to cover up the fact that tourists may be in­volved in more crashes than the au­thor­i­ties would have us be­lieve? We al­ready know that, while the na­tional sta­tis­tics tell us that, over the five years from 2010 to 2015, 5.7 per cent of fa­tal-in­jury crashes in­volved an over­seas li­cence holder, the South Is­land tourist-area sta­tis­tics fig­ure for the same rises to 25 per cent! That’s one-quar­ter of all crashes! Re­mem­ber, too, that not all crashes in­volv­ing tourists are iden­ti­fied as such — I won­der why?

Queen’s Birth­day week­end’s fa­tal crashes in­cluded a hor­rific ac­ci­dent just north of Dunedin. The me­dia re­ported this thusly: “Hot rod­der dies af­ter crash!” It would seem that there were five cars in­volved, four of which were trav­el­ling south to Dunedin to a rally. Re­ports would sug­gest that a car crossed the cen­tre line (not nec­es­sar­ily one of the hot rod­ders), but it begs the ques­tion, why was it nec­es­sary to la­bel the de­ceased driver a hot rod­der? Per­haps there was a tourist driver in­volved (one of the ve­hi­cles ap­par­ently crossed the cen­tre line), but, be­cause the reporters are now not al­lowed to know if tourists are in­volved, what else can they say to make the story front page? I know! Let’s go back to la­belling the un­for­tu­nate de­ceased a hot rod­der — af­ter all, he was driv­ing a 1937 Ford con­vert­ible!

Crit­i­cism

I have pre­vi­ously crit­i­cized var­i­ous reporters for not­ing that when a mo­tor­cy­clist is in­volved in a fa­tal­ity, the fact that they were a (patched) gang mem­ber was more im­por­tant to men­tion than the fact that the other ve­hi­cle was as at fault and caused the crash. If tourists or for­eign li­cence hold­ers are in­volved in traf­fic crashes any­where in New Zealand, and if one or more of the ve­hi­cles in­volved is a rental, that’s public/ of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion to which we are all en­ti­tled. How­ever, I can un­der­stand why the po­lice may have been told to limit the in­for­ma­tion provided to reporters, if for no other rea­son than to prevent any sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion/pros­e­cu­tion from be­ing com­pro­mised. Af­ter all, his­tory shows us that some reporters (and some edi­tors) will print what­ever is most likely to sell newspapers! But then, if that’s the case, why is there no cor­re­spond­ing limit to the other de­tails of other driv­ers in­volved in crashes? Why was it nec­es­sary to iden­tify the driver of the V8 as a hot rod­der? Why is it nec­es­sary to iden­tify a patched gang mem­ber in a mo­tor­cy­cle crash?

Un­for­tu­nately, I have a gut feel­ing that the pow­ers that be may have ex­erted pres­sure on the po­lice hi­er­ar­chy to limit the in­for­ma­tion flow about any tourists in­volved in ve­hi­cle crashes, be­cause tourism is now the ma­jor ex­port earner for New Zealand and vested in­ter­est groups (read ‘ lobby groups for af­fected in­dus­tries’) are keen to min­i­mize any neg­a­tive press that might sig­nif­i­cantly cur­tail the cur­rent flow of tourist dol­lars into the cof­fers, should the public de­mand more care from, or oth­er­wise want more re­stric­tions on, rental agen­cies in par­tic­u­lar.

The so­lu­tion to this is quite sim­ple. Newspapers al­ready make fre­quent use of the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act. Crash data are of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion, so the quick­est way to nip this lat­est trend in the bud would be for ev­ery­one, not just reporters, to re­quest all the de­tails sur­round­ing a ve­hi­cle crash from the po­lice — un­der ur­gency. Once the re­fusal is re­ceived, a let­ter can be cranked off to the Om­buds­man, who I’m sure will just as quickly ad­mon­ish the po­lice for any re­fusals to sup­ply in­for­ma­tion.

In con­clud­ing, I would like to ex­tend my sym­pa­thies to the fam­ily and friends of the driver of the clas­sic V8 in­volved in the Queen’s Birth­day fa­tal crash. That’s no way for any car-re­lated ac­tiv­ity to be­gin!

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