FROM THE EDITOR
I worry about my son Andrew’s best mate, who, to protect the innocent here, we will call Bob!
Bob’s a good kid, brought up in a loving, caring family environment, and has the world, literally, at his feet.
So why do I worry? Simple. Because after dallying with high performance road cars, he has ‘discovered’ the wonderful world of 4WDs and 4WDing.
Truth is, if we lived somewhere like Hawke’s Bay, or Canterbury, I don’t think I would be so concerned. Because, from what I see and hear, there are enough quasi-legal spots along each province’s braided rivers for a young fella with a pumped up ‘ Tuff Truck’ to ‘have a hack’ of an evening after work or weekend afternoon without raising the ire of radio talkback callers or newspaper lettersto-the-editor writers (aka pain-in-arse locals with nothing better to do) everywhere.
Here in Auckland, unfortunately, there is nothing; zip, nada, nowhere he can legally go if he has a spare half an hour and doesn’t want to head too far from home.
Sure like every other 17 – 35-year-old with a jacked-up Surf, Safari, Patrol, etc, Bob and my son can check the tide tables, fill in a beach user’s form (via their smartphones of course) and head out the 20 or so kms from their West Auckland homes to Muriwai.
They can also log on to www. polaris4wdpark.co.nz and check out when ‘the 4WD park’ at Woodhill is open. At the moment though, that is only two weekends per month, and it costs $ 60 per vehicle per day.
Not a lot when you factor in how much Bob has already spent on, let’s see... a lift kit, snorkel, wide 15-inch steelies and Maxxis mudders, etc. But way too much hassle, drama and having to plan for a kid who just wants to have a bit of fun.
He’s not alone either. As readers of this mag, I’m sure you all know someone just like Bob. Someone who loves the look, the feel and the adrenaline rush of having a hack off-road, but who is at that awkward age (between boy and manhood) where needs must be fulfilled immediately with little to no thought of consequence.
Which is why I worry. And why I raise the issue here. As adults, who – somehow, not quite sure in my case – managed to navigate those difficult years ourselves, I think we owe young blokes like Bob at the very least, the time of day.
If we can’t provide them with a suitable place to go – and all I can say to councils from one end of the country to another, shame on you – then we can at least talk with them (and please, not down to them) about their newfound interest and passion for 4WDs and 4WDing. And as part of what hopefully is a developing dialogue, try and encourage them to enjoy their Tuff Truck responsibly.
In my case I’ve already filled a box of NZ4WD mags and chucked them in the back of Bob’s SWB ‘Saf. I also asked my son the other night to Snapchat a link to old mate Richie’s NZ Offroader Facebook page to introduce Bob to some (over 50,000 and counting!) of his peers.
Te be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure, hence why I am raising the subject here. If he continues to hoon around the roads and building sites near where he lives he’s going to piss a lot of locals off, and sooner rather than later attract the attention of the cops.
Times are very different when that happens now, too.
When I was doing the exact same thing 30-something years ago on my trail bike the local cop (who was married to the daughter of... etc) simply had a quiet word to my Mum (my Dad having died when I was nine) when I, er, exceeded the limit of his patience.
Today there appears to be no grey area as far as the cops ( the ‘proper’ police, too, rather than the traffic-only cops of my day) are concerned. If you’re a young bloke with a nice car or 4x4 and you get caught doing something silly, you are either guilty or guilty.
Hi ho Silver!
It is with pleasure that I note that NZ4WD magazine’s publisher, Adrenalin Publishing, turned 25 (years old) on 16th July. Adrenalin was formed by Publisher Cathy Parker with the purchase of NZWindsurfer and New Zealand Company Vehicle magazine in July 1993. Adrenalin now publishes seven regular titles and three annual publications along with a full suite of associated digital properties.