About Me

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 fitness and health devote. Hunting and shooting were always a big part of my life along with my dogs.

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 in this regard until 9.15am 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 of us all to rise despite what fate may give us. I am now happily integrated back into society and lead a full and exciting life.


"With no fancy technology or gimmicksm, Rhett holds his audience and delivers a powerful message. The feedback from staff following Rhett's presentation confirmed that his openness and frankness hits home, that by working in unsafe conditions and a seconds inattention or unsafe behaviour can have tragic and life changing consequences. Rhett set te scene during the Health and Safety day to generate effective group participation."

Mary Beaumont - Health and Safety Advisor
Fonterra Kauri / Maungaturoto

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