Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Kiwi Brothers on Intrepid Ride in Vietnam


Kiwi Brothers on Intrepid Ride in Vietnam

Four New Zealand brothers are among a group of intrepid riders about to undertake an epic journey through the back roads of Vietnam on 45-year-old motorcycles.

Riding the entire length of Vietnam on The Great Honda 67 Ride, the Seton brothers from Auckland will be raising eyebrows, lots of dust and, they hope, plenty of cash to fund women’s and children’s healthcare in rural, central Vietnam.


“It’s a cause we feel strongly about and it’s going to be a great adventure, and anyone who supports us will be helping make a difference to folks that could use the help,” said David Seton, the man behind the ride. Seton is executive chairman of the mining group Besra and has been in Vietnam business a long time during which he became aware of the circumstances of village people, particularly near Besra’s operational sites in Quang Nam province.

“Women’s and children’s healthcare is an area where we can have major impact.” Seton says donated funds will go to a project in conjunction with a health organisation ‘East Meets West’ that has the expertise and networks to deliver exactly what’s required.

The three-year project has two main goals:
- To decrease the maternal mortality rate through improved emergency obstetric care in district hospitals and training for traditional birth attendants.
- To decrease the level of infant mortality and morbidity across two districts through improved newborn care services at district level and communal health centres.
Normally a Harley Davidson rider in New Zealand, where Besra is headquartered, Seton fell in love with the relatively small Honda 67 that for many Vietnamese is the only motorcycle they know.

“For many Vietnamese it was the first motorbike they ever saw, rode or owned. Honda designed it as a stylish little commuter motorcycle for city people and could never have imagined that these little bikes would become a nation’s workhorse both in cities and far beyond in mountain villages.

“They carry all manner of people and goods on their backs, fording streams like a fish takes to water.”

“When we came to Vietnam in the early 1990’s as entrepreneurs looking for adventure and opportunity in this colourful country slowly opening up to the outside world we started a 25-year long relationship with its people. We’ve become the leading gold mine operator in Vietnam, which has not been without its trials and tribulations. We work today with thousands of people in central Vietnam.”

Seton said his interest in the role of the Honda 67 was sparked by a conversation in Da Nang with a Vietnamese business owner who told him her father had used a Honda 67 to take her mother from their village to a medical centre in time for her to give birth to their daughter. Nguyen Diem drove his bike across country to take every person from their village needing to get to the medical centre.

At 6ft 2in tall Seton, 57, thinks he should know better than to attempt such a mission. The moral support comes from his older brothers Richard, joining the Ride from London, and Paul, Besra’s chief commercial officer, and younger brother John, Besra’s chief executive officer. Another family member teaming up for the Ride is Alexandra Seton, from the company’s public relations team.

Besra director Kevin Tomlinson, an Australian citizen living in England, Jim Hamilton, Besra’s V-P investor relations from Toronto, and other Besra staff are on the Ride. They’re joined by Phuong Huu Viet, chairman of VietABank and a member of the National Assembly Economic Committee and other Vietnamese, including a guide from Explore Indochina who claims to know every pothole and twist in the road.

The riders will travel more than 2,000kms through mountains, lush jungle, past great beaches, busy cities and remote villages. Seton does not expect the journey to be all fun and photo ops. “Some of the roads are going to be extremely difficult and the weather can be very unpredictable. Add to that, mosquitoes, the inevitable upset stomachs and some very sore posteriors.”

“We’ve got ten Honda 67s, a support van, a cameraman, Google map, a medical kit and a sense of adventure. Thankfully, there isn’t one village in Vietnam where someone doesn’t know how to repair a 67!”

http://honda67ride.tumblr.com/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news