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New drink driving campaign tells story of horrific accident

Media Release
Release date: 23 October 2019

New drink driving campaign tells story of horrific Tolaga Bay accident

One moment in time, Gisborne District Council’s anti-drink-driving campaign, is calling for the community to make the right decision about drinking and driving.

The campaign tells the story of Tolaga Bay’s Hyrum Paea, who has suffered from severe brain damage since he was run over by a friend’s car after falling from the back of a ute after a party.

Hyrum, now 25, had returned home to Tolaga Bay to celebrate getting his first pay from his new forestry job. His new outlook on life was clear, he had a purpose, a career.

The tragic events of that night in 2012 have led to seven years of painful recovery for Hyrum and his family.

After being told he would never walk or talk again, Hyrum has overcome these major challenges to share his story in the hope of helping others see the bigger picture.

Council Journeys road safety educator Dianne Akurangi says Hyrum’s accident is an example of the tragic outcomes of Tairāwhiti’s drinking and driving culture.

“One moment in time is a campaign which aims to share stories of local people affected by our harmful drinking culture.

“In partnership with our community partners such as Police, St John, Hauora Tairāwhiti, Fire and Emergency and ACC, our aim is for people to understand that the decisions they make when drinking not only affect them, but also the people who love them.

“There are too many families that have been ripped apart by drinking and driving. It’s up to us to change this situation. It’s time to end the pain,” said Ms Akurangi.

For more information about the campaign, visit


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