News

 

Breaking News!!                        7th November 2013

 My Book:

$50.00 – now reduced to:            $40.00 including GST,    plus $6.00 for P&P.

For us who grew up in a different age when we took risks and learning from the consequences the benefits of being more responsible, I am one who is glad I lived through that time.

In my book: A Farmer’s Affair – The Legend of the Land Rover Icon, I tell that story. I am glad I had those opportunities and glad that I have put pen to paper and recorded it to share with others.

 

Pukerau 4WD Ltd:

I am putting into place the winding up of Pukerau 4WD Ltd.

I started the company to carry me to retirement age (65) and hopefully tick over some extra income after that. I have reached 65; I have enjoyed many aspects of this ride, with many challenges and learnt heaps around the business and training sides.

It was also to bring more income to my land.

There are a number of other small reasons that have been hovering around for some time but a big one has been a large cloud for the last few years.

 

Adventure Activities Operator legalisation:

The government has been under pressure to get the cowboys out of the adventure scene for some time because of quite a few bad accidents resulting in deaths.

If one looks at some of these cases it isn’t cowboys necessarily at fault but like many tragedies a number of factors all line up and the combination turns everything to custard and brings the fatalities.

The system is hell bent on finding one person to blame!

However the government is under pressure to be seen to ‘take all practical steps to ensure safety’. 

All operators like me now have to go through a time consuming and, for a one-man-band, an expensive audit process, that I am not prepared to do.

I could string out to 20th June 2014 at the latest. After that I would be operating illegally.

But morally I should pull the pug by the 20th December, so this is the date that I am working to stop operating and trading by.

For people that I have built a good respectful and trusting relationship I will still look to assist them if and when I can. There maybe ways that my land can still be used that I am happy to allow activities on that fits outside the legalisation but I will need some time to consider where those boundaries are.

 

Is Drug and Alcohol testing coming?

In 65 years, having smoked only three cigarettes, no marijuana, no heroin or ‘P’ or any other illegal drug, minimum booze down now to only one glass of wine occasionally and take the minimum legal drugs – where are the hoops going to stop.

My only advice to people is, if you wish to participate in an activity with risks, you are taking a risk. If you don’t wish to take risks wrap up in cotton wool and lock yourself away in a padded room. Your death will still occur and will be predictable; it will be slow starvation.

This comment may be seen by same to indicate I am a cowboy and have and will subject people to un-necessary risks; I have done my best over the years to ensure peoples safety but any risky challenge bring risks and, I believe, there is a point that participants take a responsibility for themselves if they wish to engage in adventure activities.

 

How we got to this – a couple of thoughts I shared with John Reid, 4x4 Action magazine:

ACC - before ACC the government had no idea of what accidents big or small cost.

Now they can easily get that figure and with the mathematicians and statisticians working their figures it makes wrapping us all in cotton wool look sensible.

 

Procedures - Government departments work very much with 'procedures'.

The army officer leads his men into battle as per orders and operating procedures - the men die.

The officer is not at fault, the procedure is faulty and the 'procedures' need to change to reflect the hard lesson.

The surgeon operates per training and operating procedures - the patience dies.

The surgeon is not at fault, the procedure is faulty and the 'procedures' need to change to reflect the hard lessons.

Very great up to a point but it stifles innovation and quicker improvements outside the box to protect our butt.

 

In the past bad accidents on farms (like boating accidents still) no one was held responsible with driving legalisation only covering on-road.

Make driving anywhere 'on-road' and all driving legalisation kicks in.

Old driving accidents causing death was a bit 'too bad - now sad', clear the mess up so we can all get on, and let the insurance argue the cost.

Now it becomes a crime scene, we wait hours and someone becomes charged.

 

But with adventure activities there has to be some acceptance of a greater risk to injure. But even if ‘little Johnny’ accepts that, now the news reports mummy and daddy, partner etc wants ‘ little Johnny’ absolved from any responsibility for his decision to participate and someone else held to account.

 

One auditing firm saw this legalisation the demise of the little operators like me.

The big companies fill the forms out, get a top operator to be assessed, the cost spread over many employees, the system ticks the boxes.

I don't think it improves safety necessarily but it looks good. I don't know the answers but we have to personally learn to take some risks and accept the consequences and individually learn.

 

The sooner we get back to kids learning to take sensible risks the better! Them learn the cost of mistakes and them taking responsibility for themselves and the others involved.

 

Regards

Duncan Munro.

 

www.pukerau.co.nz

 

News Update:    28th August 2012

ATV accident

A small party of three ATVs visited yesterday. During the trip there was an injury to one of the riders near the top of the farm in fairly wet ground conditions.

The party called 111 and activated their Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). On arrival of both an ambulance and helicoptor the injury was seen as Code 3 (not serious but!) but taking no chances the rider was helicoptered to hospital to double check as the injury did involve the back.

This stresses the importance of visitors having the right gear and supervision for these trips.

Especially the PLB. I recommend each group to have one of these. It is well whole the expense.

The accident was handled well by the party accept I was home and wasn't aware until near the end. If similiar happens I would prefer to be notified as soon as possible.

The Book

There are still copies to sell.

The Papakura Sporting Pistol Club

The final hurdle is complete with the Police approval coming after their site inspection.

Once the finer weather comes we trust that their regular monthly visits on each 3rd Sunday, get up and running. Now that we have approval the sites can be developed for their 3-gun shoots. If you are interested in their activities ring Neville Tapp Ph: 09 2948 589.

The Hunua School Fundraiser  -  The Repeat

The first one was so successful in October 2011 that a repeat was organised for April 2012. This also proved very successful. The first one had 80 and the second one 70 participants and over $12,000.00 was raised for the school.

Another one:  is just starting to be organised, probably March 2013. It is to raise money for the school and some to go to the protection of the Kokako bird population in the Hunua Ranges. Two trips are being planned, one on the Saturday and the second on the Sunday.

It will start at the southern entrance at the Mangatangi Dam, drive through the parkland and cross three farms to exit at our front gate in the north. A 'South to North Traverse of the Hunuas'. Weather and ground conditions permitting this should prove to be a very good and unique 4WD scenic safari. Same grade (1) as the others and could possibly be a regular alternative event to the other popular ones.

News Update:  24th October 2011

The Papakura Sporting Pistol Club

is in the process of registering a gun range here. Actual four ranges here.

These will operate on a limited basis to start with and we will see how it will develop, probably starting at one Sunday per-month. Because their days will involve pistol shooting, them and the ranges have to comply with stringent police regulations. They do not just shoot pistols but will run 'three gun events' shooting rifle, shotgun and pistol competitions. Normal rifle ranges do not have to comply to these very high standards.

Myself, their representatives and the organisation's range safety officer have completed all the necessary paperwork. It is now being checked by the pistol clubs association and then will proceed to the Police for their approval. It has been a long, slow road but dealing with very respectful club representatives has been a pleasure.

A pre-Christmas social BBQ and shoot is being looked at. This can proceed without the use of the pistols. All other range standards will apply.

As you visit the property you will see the areas marked out and only very limited use by others on their days can take place. This is all part of blending a range of outdoor recreations to benefit the farm and the public. Should one recreation dominate? Only if their need, usage and benefit outweighs the advantage of others visiting.

This again is a learning curve.

The Hunua School Fundraising 4WD safari

I have been helping them to organise this event for the 30th October. They have been inundated with interest, fully booked out with the maximum entries of 80 vehicles, with an email list of another 85 who would like to go on another one. This may happen in the autumn, but with forestry fire restrictions and farming stock needs, some discussions will need to take place first.

While it is on the easier scale than some 4WD fundraisers, the Hunua School is one of only a handful of organisations that can get access into the Hunua Ranges. The scenic and off-road sections are very weather and ground conditions dependent. So this opportunity becomes unique in it's own right. The convoy groups are run by the Manukau 4WD Club.

 

News Update: 7th July 2011


Finally  -  The Book:

We brought the books home on the 13th January and we are very pleased with the quality of the books; I am mailing them out now.I am very grateful to those who purchased in advance. Purchases are in full swing.

They are going to a very wide body of interest.

Comments from my first overseas sale, from Karl Harris, Falkland Islands (mistakes his):

Hi Guys My old man came up to mine the other day and gave your book to my son, he like me is a right land rover nut. We are haveing a right giggle reading it. Its all very interesting. We live in the Falkland Islands and it is mostly farm land. [sheep & cattle] The old man has a s mall place about 40miles from the town, only 14 acres but is surrounded by about 400,000 acres of sheep farm grazing land. We can come and go as we like on all of it. Anyway its always about land rovers, I have three … . The old man has …(three) … . My brother has a … (two) …. I have a shed full of others like 230g wagons, Iltis jeep & 416 Unimog truck.[All Ex Argentine from the 1982 war. oh and a tank] My wife and I pluss our two boys and little lady were last in NZ in 2006 from early july till end october. We love the place, the pace and way of life. You guys have it all. A great book Thanks Karl

Note:     A new purchasing arrangement is in place, so some fine-tuning may be required. Any concerns please contact me asap, thanks.

International (and New Zealand) purchases can do so from  -  The Book  -  page. New Zealand purchases can still use my system in the  -  Contact  -  page for now.

 A Farmer’s Affair

The Legend of the Land Rover Icon

Duncan Munro

 This basic Land Rover history is told through the eyes of a farmer and covers three other strands that are intrinsically intertwined with each part important in its own right.

  • The love and company of family and friends.
  • The love and appreciation of the basic Land Rovers  -  covering its 60 year history.
  • The love of exploring and driving off-road.
  • The love of the great outdoors of New Zealand.

A story covering life’s challenges, dangers, humour and lessons learnt portrayed in words, pictures and cartoons written by a farmer who loves and appreciates all the strands that have been an integral part of his life and the 46 years driving a range of basic Land Rovers.

It should be of interest to anyone not just Land Rover buffs!


Some early reviews of:    A Farmer's Affair  -  The Legend of the Land Rover Icon

John Reid  -  4x4 Action magazine  -  December 2010 issue for the full review.

'... it would make an awesome present, not just for Land Rover enthusiasts, but anyone who is interested in four wheel drive history, especially New Zealand... The book covers all sorts of things from Military experiences, Farm History, Land Rover Models... some wonderful cartoons, and sections from advertising brochures... there is just so much in here. I was fortunate to get hold of a pre-release proof copy, and count myself privileged to have seen the book before it has been released. I can't recommend strongly enough you go and check it out... just so worth it... Not to be missed.'

Crispin Caldicott  -  Rural Living  -  November 2010 issue for the full review.

'... This book is tremendous fun and charts the history of the Land Rover in New Zealand as an iconic cocky's ute through anecdote and tale. The technical bits are there for the purists, but like a lot of stories that are not text books there is a lot of useful material to be picked up on the way... A very nice appraisement of the first major mechanical workhorse on NZ farms richly illustrated with good photographs, and around 50 of the Jock cartoons by noted Land Rover enthusiast David Henshaw.'

John Oxley  -  NZ 4WD Magazine  -  December 2010 issue for the full review.

'... Duncan doesn't just stick to storytelling - that wouldn't be true to the man himself. So he intersperses many tips and truisms about four-wheel-driving, tips to help you progress better and keep you safe - so much so that the book is worth buying for these alone, especially if you are new to driving off-road... There are also lots of interesting stories on Duncan's army service in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam - usually with a Land Rover slant. Duncan even manages to make army life amusing! ...'

Neil van Duyn  -  Valley Voice  -  December 2010 issue for the full review.

'... You would definitely call it a blokes book, it does not follow the usual book formula and tends to wander around covering a lot of historical info on the Landrover vehicle and the history of the farming families in the Clevedon area... it intertwines with many other local characters and gives a slice of how life has changed over the last 40 years... Duncan does not claim to be the next Robert Ludlum but has produced an honest, down to earth Kiwi book that would be of interest to any down to earth Kiwi bloke and especially those that have a hands on approach to life or a connection with the Clevedon area.'

Graeme Beals  -  Publisher, Zenith Publishing Group Ltd, 2010.

A Farmer’s Affair is a laconic recounting of tales from a 60-year love affair with a wide range of Land Rovers. Used for farming, fighting, tourism, emergency work, sport and leisure, the trusty Land Rover has produced a solution for Duncan Munro every time. His life-long respect for the vehicles, his technical knowledge, and his life-wisdom gleaned from their use in hard times and good – in diverse circumstances – makes for a fascinating and educated read for all lovers of this iconic brand.

 

General:

Small private groups - 4WDs / trail-bikes & quads:

More interest is coming for the property to be used by groups with trail-bikes / quads. Once I am happy from the OSH point of view, I have no problem. I have trail information to the trails and the conditions of use. It makes it easier if someone with the relevant unit standards supervises the groups. OSH requirement - 'Has all practical steps been taken to ensure safety'. Having the relevant unit standards goes a long way. I haven’t promoted to the trail-bike/quad bike groups yet, I am just starting to understand the implications, but may shortly do so.

Sunday 3rd April, 2011:

The Kawakawa Bay Fire Brigade run another 'Trail Bike & Quad Bike' fundraiser here in Townson Road - approx. 630 registered. This followed the first and also very successful one in May last year - over 400 registered. Started on the first property, crossed mine, entered into the Orere Valley, crossed mine, entered a fourth property, crossed mine and then back to the start - to be repeated etc.

There were families here with children who should not be mixing with experienced 'A riders' or 'B riders'. They should have time learning in a safe and not crowded venue. My property is ideal for those people to learn the necessary skills to reach 'B level' or 'B riders' needing to practice the higher skills to mix comfortably with the 'A riders'.

Attending here would be cheaper and I am looking at the whole family situation. To make it family friendly.

A repeat fundraiser is being discussed for next year.

Track Development continues:           

Tougher and more technical tracks have continued to be developed with me cutting some firewood along those lines. Some have yet to be driven.

ARC & local Councils Plans - Off Road Vehicle Recreation continues:       

I have read a lot of paper but I am not sure that anything brilliant has come out of this study yet!

Information is being produced as to 'where to go'.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission:           

It was tasked with sorting out the public access issues around the country, not just for walkers. While looking at the access issue they now have a ‘Code’ produced that informs on ‘expected conduct’ etc. This commission is the best chance of getting some of these issues sorted for the future. While I doubt that we will get all we want, I hope, that we all might still benefit considerably from it.

I know some have their doubts as to this process, I can only hope wisdom and sense will prevail!

From what I have seen they are proceeding well with sorting out the general ownership of land, reserves and access strips.

Northern case:     Shipwreck Bay, Ahipara,  Northland.

To access the bay people need to cross private (in this case Maori) land. The private owners allow public free access through their land and people should appreciate and be grateful to the owners. I support the local private owners (in this case Maori) charging commercial operators using the access for the privilege and to help maintain the access.

The section owners purchased isolated titles that have 'no access rights' for road, power or phone. Access can not be demanded but can be negotiated in good faith. In this case, I think, Council has come on board and the issue is being worked out.

Higham Road, Northland:

This is a case in point. The outcome of this case could set a baseline for other cases and there is concern about Acts of Parliament coming up that may make it easier for Councils doing similiar deals to close other roads. 

 

The future:           

I will continue to monitor the situation, like everyone else, keeping my options open! The book will remain my main focus. Consider putting a small group together and come out.

 

Regards,

Duncan Munro.

Duncan Munro - Pukerau Farm - Ph 09 292 2825