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


Family Speak Out: Don’t Ruin Lives By Choosing To Drink, Take Drugs And Drive

The family of a man who was killed by a drunk and drugged driver have spoken out about their ordeal in a bid to stop others from getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Stephen McPherson, 36, died after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his motorcycle home on Helvetia Road, Pukekohe, on May 24 last year.

The vehicle crossed the centreline and its driver was nearly three times over the alcohol limit, and high on methamphetamine at the time.

Tragically, Stephen had been planning to start a family with his partner of 13 years, Rebecca Smidt, and had been to visit an IVF clinic earlier that day to further the process.

In an emotional video released by Police today, Rebecca, along with Stephen’s mum Sue and sisters Jane and Nicola, issue a heartfelt plea for people to think of others before getting into their vehicles.

“That decision the driver made to drive drunk and on drugs has changed my life forever,” Rebecca says.

“There was the before me, and there’s an after me, and it's horrendous….

I wish I died that night instead of Stephen and quite often I think that, because it’s no way to live, without him.

That driver ruined our dream of having a family, alongside many other dreams.”

The driver was so drunk and drugged he had to be told by hospital staff that he had hit and killed Stephen.

Stephen’s mum Sue says the driver was incredibly selfish for not thinking of anyone else but himself before getting in his vehicle.

“You feel cheated, you feel robbed, you feel that nothing will ever be the same anymore,” she says.

The driver was charged with driving dangerously causing death, causing death while driving with excess breath alcohol and causing the death of a person while in control of a vehicle while his blood contained a controlled substance.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years and eight months’ in prison.

But for Stephen’s family, his sister says they were handed a life sentence the day Stephen died.

“He [the driver] gets to have his own life, his own kids, his own family.

We’ve had that taken from us.

It’s just not fair,” Jane says.

“It’s not just your life that you’re risking, it’s someone who is completely innocent, who doesn’t deserve it.”

Stephen’s family hopes by sharing their story, it might deter other people from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“You just destroy a lot of lives, not just the person who you’ve killed, but their families, their friends, the future of all of those people as well, we just want people to think about that,” Stephen’s sister Nicola says.

“We don’t want anyone else to go through this, it’s just beyond words to describe what it’s like.

Everything will never be the same and one really important person in your family is not there anymore and it’s really, really hard,” she says.

Constable Lisa Ross, from the Counties Manukau Serious Crash unit, says drugged and drunk driving makes up an average of 30 per cent of all road deaths.

She says the number of drivers taking unnecessary risks by drinking and taking drugs on the road is extremely disappointing.

Tāmaki Makaurau Road Policing Manager Inspector Scott Webb says he hopes the video will help people realise the consequences of taking that risk.

“The video says it all …the impact of one person’s actions on an entire family is so tragic.

Nothing will ever bring Stephen back, and the family are so incredibly brave in speaking out.

The risks of taking alcohol or drugs before driving are demonstrated in this video and too many people continue to do so.”

“We hope that this reinforces the message not to drink and drive or use drugs before driving.”

The video will be released on the Counties Manukau Police, Auckland City District Police and North Shore, Rodney and West Auckland Police Facebook pages.

Police want to thank Stephen’s family for allowing us to tell his story in bid to help prevent others from going through what they have.

If you see or suspect someone who may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol contact *555 or 111 as soon as it is safe to do – you could just save someone’s life.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Todd Muller Resignation

Given the factions within National’s own caucus, anyone picked as the new leader of the National Party will struggle to unify their own troops, let alone to convince the electorate that National is a coherent government-in-waiting. Even all of that aside, no new leader – Judith Collins? Amy Adams? – seems likely to have the time or the inclination to change the party’s political messaging about Covid-19. That’s really unfortunate. In an alternative political universe, National might have been far better advised to have played the patriotism card during the pandemic, and thrown its bi-partisan support behind the government at this time of national crisis... More>>


Green Party: Unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers. To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will: Establish a Clean ... More>>


National Departures: Press Statement From Michelle Boag

Today I am announcing that I have resigned my membership of the NZ National Party. The last few days have underscored for me the unhealthy relationship I have developed with politics. For 47 years, I have devoted much of my professional and personal ... More>>


Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>

Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>


Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>


Eenrgy & Environment: Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets

First published in Energy and Environment on June 2, 2020. The latest data on the Government’s attempts to reduce the emissions of its transport fleet show no discernible progress. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s data on reducing ... More>>

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


David Seymour: ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020

Introduction Thank you very much. Elections in New Zealand – like everywhere - are a very special tradition, because they are driven by you. They’re an opportunity to change your future. If you think about it, the Government doesn’t do much. It ... More>>

Foreign Affairs: New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment ... More>>


Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>


Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels