Manawatu cyclist shot, abused and bumped off his bike says they have become 'targets'

Manawatu man Wayne Butcher is calling for motorists and cyclists to be more patient and respectful on Kiwi roads.
MURRAY WILSON / FAIRFAX NZ

Manawatu man Wayne Butcher is calling for motorists and cyclists to be more patient and respectful on Kiwi roads.

Manawatu man and cycle enthusiast Wayne Butcher has endured a lot on the Central District roads.

In the past six years, Butcher says he has been hit by cars on three separate occasions, has been hospitalised, verbally abused by motorists, and shot in the buttocks with an air rifle. 

On Wednesday Butcher was clipped by a car's wing mirror while cycling with eight others near Taonui Airport, in Manawatu. 

What's it like to be a cyclist in NZ?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

READ MORE: 'Cyclists need more protection'

"We were biking along by Taonui Airport and this car had to slow up, it just about hit the back rider and when it pulled in, it hit me.

"It was a straight road and there were no cars coming - it could have gone way over the white line."

Butcher said there was a thirteen-year-old and fourteen-year-old cycling with the group on Wednesday and it was lucky nobody else was hurt. 

He said the negative attitudes towards cyclists in New Zealand drastically needed to change.

Butcher recently returned from a cycling trip around France and said the behaviour of motorists towards cyclists there was "outstanding".

But in New Zealand he believed it was "a straight out attitude thing". 

Ad Feedback

"The mentality of people out there is unbelievable - I just don't know what we can do to alleviate this problem of people just thinking we are targets basically. It happens far too often to be comfortable." 

Four cyclists have died as a result of crashes on New Zealand's roads so far this year, Ministry of Transport figures show. This figure has doubled in comparison to August 2015. 

ACC statistics show incidents resulting in cycling claims increased in the Manawatu District, from 7 in 2014 to 11 in 2015. .

In Palmerston North City however, cycling claims decreased from 70 in 2014 to 50 in 2015.  

More than $15 million was paid out nationally by ACC in cycling claims in 2015. 

Butcher said he cycled because it was fun, kept him fit and was a social sport. But he believed the behaviour of some motorists was scaring people away from cycling.

"I think some people do it to scare you and a lot of people give up cycling on the road because they have so many near misses. They're just too frightened to ride on the roads."

 Another Manawatu cyclist, Dan Mackay, said he had been abused by motorists multiple times.

He said there were also some cyclists who did not obey the road rules and were at fault.

But the intimidation shown by some motorists was "a total disregard for human life".

"I don't know how many times we've been yelled or screamed at, and you'll find the person drive past you in a big huff and 100 metres up the road they'll pull into a driveway. That's all they were going to do. It's an arrogant attitude," Mackay said.

"I don't know whether they feel macho or tough, but they're obviously going to come off better than we are. I don't think they look at the big picture. If they actually killed one of us, they'd spend a long time in jail." 

Palmerston North City Council safe city co-ordinator Alane Nilsen​ said worked with many cyclists and many of them, if not all, had stories of being knocked off their bikes or near misses.

"I do often get complaints about aggressive drivers who appear to deliberately cut off or drive in unsafe ways."

She believed cyclists had a higher risk of injury and drivers has a higher duty of care. But both parties needed to be more considerate and aware, she said. 

Cycling Action Network (CAN) spokesperson Patrick Morgan said there was a small percentage of "idiots", both cyclists and motorists, who caused trouble on New Zealand roads. 

He said there had been a "boom" of people taking up cycling recently, rather than an increase in aggressive behaviour towards cyclists. 

 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Puhoi Valley ice cream wins video

Who has the best gelato ice cream in the country?

Move over chocolate, raspberry ripple and goody goody gumdrops, there are new ice cream flavours in town.

Truck leaves trail of destruction video

The truck came to a rest inside the store.

Runaway truck crosses four lanes, sends container into cars before crashing through store.

Akl luxury Metro Suites sells for $11m

Auckland's Metro Suites has been sold to Thai-owned hotel branded Avani Hotels and Resorts.

Metro Suites bought by Thai-owned Minor Hotels, as it expands its Avani brand.

Paralysed after farm accident

Kiranjit Singh and wife Beant. Kiranjit was left tetraplegic in a workplace accident after he was struck in the back of ...

Kiranjit Singh was always "hard-working and sporty". Now he's paralysed from the neck down. 

Wellington

Cyclists battling cones in their road

Chairman of Cycle Aware Wellington, Ron Beernink.

Road cones and work signs are appearing in bike lanes, putting cyclists in danger.

Asbestos washing case

Elva Halliday, now 84 and suffering from mesothelioma, is taking building products supplier James Hardie to court for ...

Widow says her cancer comes from washing husband's asbestos-riddled clothes.

New housing set to 'warp' Kapiti

The Ngarara subdivision beside Te Moana Rd, Waikanae Beach. The first stage, comprising 55 homes, could be finished by ...

Massive 850-lot development in Waikanae could be just the start, says mayor.

Measles case in Wellington

The measles virus is highly contagious and easily spread from one person to another through the air via sneezing or coughing.

Health officials say sick person may have spread illness before being diagnosed.

Canterbury

Ute hits van, car, building

A resident said the ute was traveling at speed before it hit a parked van before eventually ending up in the shrubbery.

The driver shunted a parked van into a car before ploughing through bushes and into an office.

Stadium monorail? video

A multi-use arena will include facilities such as exhibition and conference spaces, cafes, bars and a transport hub.

Christchurch has its first glimpse of what its new stadium could look like, complete with a monorail dream.

Danny's death haunts drink-driver

Danny Mathew Hendriks, 18, of Rakaia, died at the scene after the car hit him in Acton Rd on April 5, 2014.

They didn't know each other, but on a dark country road their fates tragically intersected. 

David Bain's new name, life

David Bain at his home in Christchurch after the Government's compensation announcement.

The 45-year-old, acquitted of his family's murder, is now William Davies and is moving overseas.

Waikato

Hard times after the flood

Ian Eggleton and the glamping site.

A couple's dream job is over in the aftermath of the Coromandel flooding.

Schools' vetting costs

Schools will be forced to sell sausages to raise the average fee of $600 to be paid to police for vetting staff.

Some schools say they're considering selling sausages just to raise enough money to keep their pupils safe from predators.

Med school progress

Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said the Waikato med school bid is focused on improving ...

High-level talks continue on Waikato's bold med school bid.

Trump lacks mana video

President Donald Trump muscled himself to the front of the Nato pack during a photo opportunity in Brussels on Thursday, ...

People with real mana don't have to shove to the front - the crowd automatically parts for them.

Taranaki

A scene of destruction

26052017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ.   Moturoa School has been vandalised, damaging a fence, pool cover, toilet ...

Vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage and left a huge swastika in a primary school's playing field.

Easy ride for sheep video

A sheep leaps over the mud after her first ride along a portable sheep conveyor belt at Te Wera on Friday.

A sheep-shape conveyor saves ewe time and stress.

Ready for Wizards

Taranaki Thunder point guard Iritana Hohaia makes a pass.

The Taranaki Thunder are looking forward to a better level of competition this weekend.

The war on myrtle rust

Myrtle rust fungal spores found on plants such as pohutukawa, rata and manuka.

The battle against myrtle rust gets harder every day, but those in the thick of it remain confident of victory.

Manawatu

Pupils dazzle at Stage Challenge

Rangitikei College pupils perform at Stage Challenge in Palmerston North.

Hundreds of young performers dazzled at the Manawatu Stage Challenge.

Calls for change video

Manhar Patel, the owner of Summerhays Corner Superette, wants to see harsher penalties for robbers.

They fear retribution from robbers, but dairy owners say it's important to speak out.

More work in Manawatu Gorge

Higgins contractors work on a fallen section of road at the Manawatu Gorge.

A reopening date is unknown as contractors work hard to clear the road of debris.

Saying no to bullying

26052017 news photo DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
Newbury School take part in Pink Shirt Day an anti bullying campaign. Lachlan ...

Children donned pink striped socks and coloured hairspray to deliver an anti-bullying message.

Nelson

Seven years in the backpackers

Thomas Lay is being evicted from  Bridge Street Backpackers and is looking for a new place to live.

Thomas Lay has just a few weeks to move out after a Nelson hostel was forced to sell up.

Muscle mum's big win

Hollie Pluck won the Bodybuilding Championships in Christchurch in her category as well as best in show.

Toned, tanned and ripped, one Nelson woman proves the fairer sex can multi-task.

NMIT boss resigns

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology CEO Tony Gray has resigned.

The chief executive of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology is leaving after 11 years in the role.

Boost for families

Low income families in Mapua eligible for the accommodation supplement could get an extra $145 a week following Budget ...

Low income households in Mapua among big Budget winners.

Marlborough

Mac is the man

Richard McNamara will be responsible for Tasman, Marlborough-Kaikoura, the West Coast, North Canterbury, Christchurch ...

Marlborough's rural fire boss Richard McNamara has landed one of the top jobs in the new amalgamated fire service.

Two suspicious fires

Blenheim Volunteer Fire Brigade crews responded to two suspicious fires on Thursday night.

Months on from a spate of suspicious fires in Blenheim, fire crews responded to two suspicious fires in one night.

Help for renters

Finance Minister Steven Joyce holds up a copy of Budget 2017, which includes the Family Incomes Package.

Budget reacts to "crazy" city rents in Blenheim, but will landlords follow suit?

Board that kicked the hornet's nest

The board is reconsidering moving district nurses to the health hub on Queen St, in the former FloorPride Civic Theatre ...

Angry mob warns health boss he'll get stung if he shifts district nurses away from hospital.

South Canterbury

Rural location no barrier video

Kate Ivey juggles her expanding business with caring for her three children and helping run the family farm.

Mother of three says living in the 'middle of nowhere' is no barrier to business success.

Guilty of manslaughter

Timaru Court.

Kooly Managki Te Tomo found guilty of the manslaughter of Arran Gairns.

Accommodation boost

Finance Minister Steven Joyce announced his first Budget on Thursday.

The Government has recognised parts of SC have become more expensive.

Pink promotes positive message

Timaru Christian School pupils dressed in pink to promote the anti-bullying message.

Timaru youths take stand against bullying and don colourful and creative clothing.

Southland

Your chance to cast a vote

Cyclist Eddie Dawkins.

Your chance to have your say for the 2016/2017 Southland Sports Awards.

Busman's holiday gets beached video

Jeff Leeden got his 1964 VAL Bedford bus, Chubby Cheeks, stuck in the sand on Oreti Beach.

Aussies thought they'd take their housebus for a jaunt on the sands. This was nearly its final stop.

Health professionals unhappy

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Ian Powell.

A medical union has accused the Government of "continued neglect" with its annual health budget announcement on Thursday.

Council's 'Gypsy Day' u-turn

Cows are moved, near Rakaia.

It's deemed too offensive so a new name for sharemilkers moving cows to farms is needed.

Ad Feedback