I was born and raised in Whangarei leaving school in 1968 after the 6th form. I worked locally for a while I joined the Forestry Service in 1970 working as a hunter on animal control in the Kaimai Ranges and on Raoul Island. In 1973 I joined the NZ Police and served 20 years, being invalided out with an injury sustained while arresting a violent offender.
Having also been an antique furniture restorer for many years, my then wife and I ran our own antique shop for eight years. During this time we also managed time to buy and renovate eight houses, develop and run a small farmlet.
All my life I had been a keen runner and health and fitness devotee. Hunting and shooting with my dogs, was always a big part of my life.
In 1998 semi retirement beckoned and we moved to Warkworth to buy, renovate and sell property. I had a job working as a builders labourer-come hammer-hand. We were on track to meet our goals until 9.15am on the 30th July 2004.
MY WORLD STOPPED. I took an innocuous little 2.2 meter fall at work, broke my neck and became a C6/C7 complete tetraplegic within a few seconds.
My life was turned upside-down but with perseverance and will power, I have adapted, meeting challenges head first. My story is not all about safety. I show the ability in all of us, to rise despite what fate may give us. Even now, after 14 years, I'm finding that rehabilitation is still ongoing. I'm currently able to manage small woodwork tasks in my workshop and have the confidence to travel overseas with my caregivers. I am happily integrated back into society and lead a full and exciting life.
Despite all of this, I'm constantly reminded that my condition was caused by an accident at work that I didn't want or ask for and that could have been avoided.