Good on ya mate – Rima Matangi

In Good On Ya Mate6 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 21, 2018

Photo: Rima Matangi sprung into action when his mate Rangi Te Anini collapsed, making sure he was all right, making sure his possessions and truck were secured, and notifying Rangi‘s employer. An outstanding bloke and hugely deserving of our March ‘Good On Ya Mate‘ award.

The right man at the right time!

Our Good on Ya Mate recipient this month is Rima Matangi, who went out of his way to help after another truckie suddenly took ill and collapsed.

Rangi Te Anini was on his way to Taupo when things started going wrong. We‘ll let Rangi tell what happened in his own words.

“I got blood poisoning after getting a tooth extracted. I didn‘t listen (typical guy) and never took all my antibiotics. A week later I was driving the truck and felt really cold so I turned the heater to full and rang the Healthline number.”

The nurse told Rangi to stop and grab some Panadol to try and control his temperature.

“I got out of the truck at Caltex Bombay and walked up to the window and asked for water and Panadol, but before the attendant returned I collapsed on the ground.”

Rangi says his truck door was still open and the truck still running, and he had no way of getting back to the truck as the station attendant had called for an ambulance.

“Luckily for me Rima (Matangi) drove past the Caltex, saw my truck and thought ‘oh sweet bro, I‘ll go say hi‘. He pulled up next to my truck and started taking photos of both our units, wondering why I‘m taking so long. Then he walked around to the Caltex window side and saw me, and rushed straight over.”

Rangi calls Rima a ‘legend‘ and no one would argue with that.

“He got into my truck and found the work phone and called my employer (Haz Haulage) and explained what had happened. Rima got my personal gear out of the cab and locked it all up for my employer. Then he stayed with me until the ambulance arrived and helped
me into the ambulance.”

When Rangi arrived at the hospital his temperature was a staggering 39.8 degrees.

“With the heater on in the truck I was slowly heating up. If I had the air con on I may have been okay, but who knows.”

Rima, who works for Daniel and Ross Fitchett at Fitchett Linehaul Ltd, says he would do that for anyone in need of help; that‘s why we think he‘s a very worthy recipient of New Zealand Trucking‘s Good On Ya Mate award.

Rangi says he would also like to say a big thank you to his employer.

“Haz Haulage were mind-blowing in making sure I was looked after. Everything a top employer should be. As for Rima, there are still a lot of good truckers we all call whanau family on the road! I‘m out of hospital and back on the road again thanks to him.”

As we were going to press we were contacted by Tim and Mia Haerewa of Haerewa Contracting Ltd, owner- drivers for Toll in Blenheim. Mia had heard about this nomination, and news that a truck driver in Blenheim had risked his life to move his truck away from fuel pumps prompted her to tell us about another heroic story involving Rima.

Mia says Rima was a driver for them for a few years doing the Christchurch– Picton–Christchurch run.

“Four years ago Rima also risked his life to save our asset, the truck and trailer. It was the middle of the night and the trailer went up in flames while he was on his way to catch the ferry. He jumped out, got between the unit that was fully engulfed, and disconnected the truck from the trailer to save the customer‘s freight and our truck! He sustained burns to his hands, etc. and we have never felt like we‘ve been able to thank him enough.”

When Mia heard Rima was being recognised for helping Rangi she asked if we could also pass on their thanks for his actions four years ago.

“Please can you thank him for this and let him know we will always be eternally grateful. In our opinion truck operators always need to be recognised, as they keep this county moving.”