Me and My Car: Ute rises to the challenge
Inia Raumati, emergency doctor at Auckland City Hospital, is a speaker for the Men's Health Trust breakfast on June 1.
What do you drive?
A Ford Ranger 2014, silver with blacked-out sports bar, nudge bar and running boards, and roof racks for the surfboards. It’s a manual and I brought it new in 2014 from John Andrew Ford as a Fieldays run-out special when I traded in my old ute. I like that I can throw all my dirty sports gear in the tray after I've been out running or surfing out west. I will probably always have a ute or 4-wheel-drive of some sort. I don't like sitting in cars that much as you feel so low to the ground and can't see what's going on.
Who else is allowed to drive your ute?
Occasionally I let my flatmate Sam drive it. And I can't stop my brother.
What do you always have in your car?
Running shoes and clothes — you never know when you can sneak in a run. I also have some basic emergency medical equipment (it's the ED doctor in me), as you never know when you may be first on the scene of an accident.
A 1974 Ford Falcon XY sedan I brought as a student at Otago Uni. I worked all holidays in the forestry after leaving school to save up enough money to pay for it. I was 18 and it was bright orange with a black vinyl interior and bench seats. Once we had it lowered and put some tyres on (that cost more than the car), it looked awesome. Unfortunately it was stolen a couple of years later and run into a lamp post. I couldn't afford to get it fixed so I was forced to sell it. I keep looking for a replacement but they are a bit of a collector’s item.
I've always had a few bogan tendencies and I like the look of the new F-150 Ford Raptor that is due later this year. It's a ute on steroids traditionally with a V8, it's now supposedly going to be even faster with a new eco-boost engine, but I don't really care, it just looks mean.
Most memorable road trip?
I was running for Men's Health Trust in Namibia and I did a road trip with a local guide that was awesome. There's not too many places around where a traffic jam is caused by a big bull elephant that mock charged us when we got too close. The road signs were hilarious, with warning signs for elephants, warthogs and springboks crossing. We travelled from Swakopmund to Etosha National Park and saw everything from rhino and elephants to lions, cheetahs and leopards, sometimes within 10 metres.
What would be your dream road trip overseas?
Most likely it would be off-road in something like a Ford Raptor with a tray full of gear to sleep rough. With the opportunity to learn some driving skills and possibly do some hunting. I've always been an outdoors person and someone like Bear Grylls or ultra-runner Anton Krupicka would be good to have a chat to.
Favourite car TV scene?
Dean's car from the TV series Supernatural, a 4-door black 1967 Chevrolet Impala with a boot load of extras and an awesome sound. Great day trip out of Auckland? I like to get up early on my days off and head to the Waitakere Ranges, usually to Muriwai. There are some good running trails like the Te Henga walkway or Goldie Bush loop. The bonus is I can also get a surf in after my run.
If you could change one road rule?
Possibly a zero alcohol level for driving.
And Auckland’s congestion?
A uni mate came up with the idea of having a “surfing lane”, for any car with surfboards on it so we could get out of town quicker. But I think the best way to combat congestion is to make it more attractive to run or cycle to work. Decent, well-lit and safe cycleways and running tracks ... and to encourage employers to have change and shower facilities at work. That way we can combine an increase in public health with a decrease in traffic congestion.
-As told to Donna McIntyre
More info: The nib Inspiring Stories Breakfast on June 1 at Auckland Museum marks the launch of Men’s Health Month menshealthnz.org.nz/fundraising-breakfast-mens-health/