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My own Mission Impossible

Rating: 2 votes, 4.00 average.
Ok...lets sort this out once and for all.
MSL, how I got involved, and what it is, what it means.

In light of recent events and in the interest of setting a few records straight, I decided to blog the course of history that lead me to be on the ACC MSL Safety Council.

You all know I was involved with BIKEOI, and thats effectively where my involvment began.
BRONZ Wellington opened, and grew, and started to get attention from TPTB

Foxzee called meone day, VIC were asked (Victoria Motorcycler Club) to provide bikes and models for an ACC Photo shoot, to upgrade the Ride Forever website.
Racing bikes and road safety? Dee called me and passed the gig off to BRONZ. See for the results, all models are a member of THIS website, I think even Jim from LTSA is too.

Anna Long, the Injury Prevention Manager at ACC attended this photo shoot, and she knew of my involvment with BIKEOI.
Anna asked us to provide input on the website revamp, as well as Jim from NZTA/Ulysses, and we happily assisted.
Our attitudes and actions on the day, got Anna's attention (we told the photographer we were not going to die for his photo shoot in a force 8 gale force wind and to move location or F*** off) and this impressed Anna immensly that we were so safety conscious.

So, I was personally invited to partake in the Steering Committee that set up the rules and governance of the MSL and its immediate and future use.
There were a number of others involved, which is all on public record if you search ACC's website for MSL announcements so wont name them here, suffice to say all groups ACTIVE in Motorcycle representation (mostly those who participated in BIKEOI) at the time were involved in consultation.

Meantime, the ACC minister created another group, some of which were involved in the same steering committee I was in, and others were not, it included Les Mason and some senior Ulyssians as well as MNZ to go to Australia to see what the Victoria model had done, what worked, what they decided was not working etc etc.

Please remember at this point, a new organisation had recently opened shop, and was sort of getting its feet under itself and I had a semi-official approach made to me in regards support of thier mission here in Aotearoa, which I have no problem with at all.
The more the merrirer I say!
I was asked about MSL at this time by the new organisation, and I explained at length that I had NO authority to invite in any new players, excplained to e-mail the minister direct, and also that I cannot get any organisation (even BRONZ) access to the funds.

So last September, we had our final meeting and made submissions to the Minister in regards who should be on the council.
By the end of September the MSL situation was thouroughly sorted, council nominee's were already suggested, and research already done, only the actual Ministerial Appointee's were yet to be announced.
These appointments are for 2 years, my nomonees were Dr Charles Lamb, Les Mason from BRONZ Auckland, and Big Dave from right here on KB (who is also a BRONZ member)
Les also made similar nominations to the minister in his role as a Vic Study group member, this included me.

I honestly believe I was chosen as to keep travel expenses for MSL attendance down, a logical choice. I am no smarter, or more connected than any of the other nominee's.
Most council members are in Wellington, a sensible idea, with nelson and Hawkes Bay being the furthest to travel, wise use of taxpayers money IMHO.

Like the MSL fund or not, the people on this council all ride every day pretty much.

The Chair, Gareth Morgan is a well known Motorcycle Tourist, I am disgusted to read derisory comments in Kiwibiker about Gareth, he's as genuine as they come. Also very humble for a man of his accomlishments and wealth.

Paul Searancke from MNZ is also a man I have come to respect, and he has not taken one backward step during the steering committee meetings, as well as having his own Motorcycle shop and being commisioner of rercreation stuff for MNZ he is a typical Biker type character. Straight talking, no punches pulled with Paul, a very staunch ally for Motorcycling public and a fine addition to this 'watchdog' group.

Peter Macintosh from Ulysses, its no secret there has been tension between Peter and myself, however we put those issue's aside to work on this for the betterment of the riding public.
Personal agenda's are never present at these meetings, although much persoinal opinion is of course.

Yvonne Forest, also no ones fool and the WIMA rep for NZ. She wore her leathers into the ministers office! I was in a suit...and somehow felt underdressed compared to Yvonnes well worn race kit!

Jess Corbett from Scooters NZ (hope I got your rog right Jess) doesnt say much, but when she does trust me its relevant so listen and absorb. Very passionate about getting shit quality scooters off our roads and riders licensed and trained properly.

Have not known Bill Grice long enough to make comment but he seems very smart and was not shy to take Nick to taslk over detail on Friday, great start!

At our formal meeting last Friday Nick Smith explained we had ALL been chosen for the work we have done recently, and in the past in some cases.
He promised, ON RECORD, should we achieve the reductions the Australians in Vic achieved wiuth our safety levy, issues such as one levy for multiple owners and a reduction of the current 460$ leavy would be issues for future consideration.

Now any group that thinks they have been 'left out' needs to have a think about thier history, thier mission, and what thye would have done different.
If YOU wre asked by the ACC Minister ti help watch over the funds taken from your fellow motorcyclists pockets, would you say no?
Would you boycott involvment oin a principle? Or put your personal distaste for the ACC situation aside and do what YOU can do to see its used as intended??

Becuas ethats what I have done
I hate paying 500$+ for each of my bikes every year
I too beleive the data behind the increase is spurious, and I have an axe to grind just like all of us here.
BUT...I am now in a position to make a difference, at least to ensure this money does not just vanish into some new road bypass at Otaki or Hamner Springs etc......

There has been veiled allegations of various groups splitting the MSL fund between them as some sort of persoanl fund for those willing to kiss the ACC Ministers backside, well I say to hos idiots writing such tragic bullshit to walk a mile in my shoes

I never volunteered for this role, I was appointed
I never asked to be the watchdog, but once I understood the gains possible against the risks of the likes of the AA managing it, I stepped up, out of MY comfort zone, and took it on with full intention of making sure WE dont get shafted any further than we have

And reality check time!

Victoria's levy system has reduced its Motorcycle casualty rates by over 30%, by using their own DEDICATED safety levy (granted its much more moneyu than ours is)
We cant ignore that,and maybe its time we actually looked at ourselves (Katman Premise?) and started trying to stay alive as opposed to just screaming 'its all the cars fault'

I do not get any financial compensation for my time
I do not get anything for this effort except the staisfaction of knowing I am one of the watchdogs assigned to make sure YOUR money gets spent on YOU

This is my own personal blog on how I became involved, how I have my own doubts, my own reservations, and my own issue’s with this system.
BUT…I will give it my two years, and then I will measure our successes and failures.
Give it a chance before trying to tear it down, after all it’s YOUR money and we are acutely aware of this fact


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  1. admenk's Avatar
    Thanks for the explanation and for all your hard work. Everyone of us has different opinions on methods and tactics etc, but I am 100% sure that you are doing what you are because you think it's right, and for the best of reasons.
    Once again, well done, and thank you

    Adam (admenk)
  2. jafar's Avatar
    Brent, you have my 100% support for what thats worth, that you have taken your own time to get involved in this @ the level you have & committed to a 2 year term is great. That you are doing this for ALL of our benefits & without financial compensation is to be applauded.
    My own opinion is that the MSL is a fantastic idea and with actual motorcyclists involved in the decision making it has the capability to do wonders. The next year or two will show how much they can acheive, I hope it is as much as the victorian system has.
  3. Clivoris's Avatar
    Well done man.
  4. Hawk's Avatar
    Stoney some observations if I may, and not a personal attack on you as from experience I know want you give up when you choose to represent people

    firstly thank you for the explanation and I commend you for your dedication to motorcycling, I wish you personally all the best of luck with your venture.

    That being said I wish to submit the following for consideration

    How can motorcyclist be confident that they a represented fairly by group that is mainly from Wellington, for instance are you aware of how the earth quake down here has effected roads therefore riding conditions or want the roads are like in the far north. I know the examples I have chosen are narrow in focus but then again you could say the focus of a group of people from one region representing themselves as being able represent all motorcyclist in all regions of New Zealand and being aware of each regions unique problems is also narrow.

    I believe all regions should be represented if this group ( I believe that this group is reinvention the wheel) must exist and yes regardless of cost. After all if cost is a factor here teleconferencing would nullify that so therefore I see that as a nonissue.

    One last comment about want seems the reason for the formation of this MSL, quote Garth Morgan TV1 Breakfast show "there is on average one motorcyclist killed every week" unquote. If this is the only reason for the formation of MSL then why have car drivers not got they own group

    Are we still the target

    I wish you personally all the best of luck with your venture
  5. shrub's Avatar
    you have a big job ahead of you, and your biggest challenge will come from motorcyclists. I was stoked to hear of the group as I had discussed the formation of something very similar with Charley Lamb early last year, and I can see a huge need for it.

    Motorcycle safety is the single biggest issue facing us, and it needs to be addressed by motorcyclists. We are ultimately responsible for our own safety (my middle name is now katman), and if we can be seen to be proactively looking at ways to cut the crash rate we may be saved from the very real threats of being legislated and taxed off the roads.