Ant Blundell doesn’t mince his words when it comes to road safety.

He hates the carnage he has seen on Kaipara roads in his 25 years in the Ruawai Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Not only is Ant an ambassador for the Northland Rescue Helicopter Service, he was also named by Northland Road Safety Trust as a Northland Road Safety Champion in 2024 for his ongoing efforts to protect the community throughout his 25 years as a volunteer in the Ruawai Fire Brigade.

Attending fatalities involving staff and young locals is devastating, as is the upset of seeing children hurt, says Ant.

Like other first responders, Ant cannot comprehend why people keep hurting and killing themselves, and others, through poor driver behaviour and inattention.

“I get that accidents happen but there are clearly far too many people making dumb and careless decisions which have a ripple effect throughout close-knit communities like Ruawai and others.

“I am so thankful for the professionalism, dedication and efforts of all emergency services, first responders and volunteers in the North. We would be stuffed without them being there to pick up the pieces and support our friends, families and work colleagues in their time of need, plus tourists who travel to the region.

When it comes to passion, Ant is clearly a very proud Northlander and proud Ruawai community member with an obvious bias for the north-west of Kaipara region. That’s why he wants people to take more care on our roads.

Apart from his role as Managing Director of Kaipara Kumara, he has been a Ruawai College Board member since 2012 and Chair since 2020, while also helping out on the executive committees of the Ruawai Boating Club for the past 26 years and the Ruawai Community Sports Club Inc for 16 years. Ant is also on the executive committee of United Fresh NZ and has been a trustee of the 5+ADAY Charitable Trust for the last 10 years.

Throughout 2024 Road Safety Week, Ant encouraged Northlanders to get behind the first ever Road Safety Heroes relay by entering a team and taking part in a walk/run of the Hātea Loop at the Whangārei Town Basin – an event backed by Northland Road Safety Trust, Northland Transportation Alliance, Plunket and NZ Police.

Ant agrees with Northland Road Safety Trust’s call for motorists to pay more attention to the concept of RIDS (Restraints, Impairment, Distraction, Speed).

He says people should always wear seatbelts and ensure children are properly restrained at all times, don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, don’t be distracted by phones, drive to the conditions and do not speed.


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