Off-roader gets Chris back in seat

20:58, Jan 15 2014
Chris Waretini
Chris Waretini all belted-in, his niece Amerra in the passenger's seat while little sister Richi looks on.

Chris Waretini these days is confined to a wheelchair after a car collided with his motorbike 10 years ago.

Chris, who lives in New Plymouth, still loves driving and has had two cars specially converted for him to drive - but he wanted to feel the wind in his hair. So he has done the next best thing and brought a modified off-road toy - a Polaris Ranger RZR.

Tasman Toyota in Hawera did the modifications for him including hand controls for speed, and the brakes.

Just before Christmas, Chris took possession of his new toy which is registered for both on and off-road use and will come in handy for him to drive to and from the local beaches.

"I used to do a bit of surfing in my younger days, and this vehicle will give me the freedom to drive on the beach," said Chris.

"One of the first things I also want to do is take my Mum for a drive."

His sister Richi and her two-year-old daughter Amerra were with him when he was "fitted into his new machine" at Tasman Toyota.

"We had to make sure that all the hand controls were in the right position and the seat belts fitted to Chris' specifications," said Tasman Toyota Group service manager Richard Wagstaff.