Taranaki

The Isuzu D-Max Maverick 13 travels to Goatistan

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Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

Queens Birthday weekend saw us take an Isuzu D-Max LS Maverick 13 from Southern Autos down to Goatistan in Taranaki for some chaos and mayhem.

This was a similar trip with a similar amount of kit to cart down as the last trip I did in a VW Amarok. I was keen to compare the two vehicles.

We had three burly men, 10 firearms (3 x Tikka .22-250, a Tikka .308, 2 x 6.5×55 Mauser, Remington Versamax 12ga, Savage B110 .338 Lapua Magnum, .22 Magnum, and an SKS). We also carried around 300 rounds of .22-250, plus reloading gear in case we run out of ammo. (There are a lot of goats, and Sunday night we did reload 200 rounds). We also had two 4×4 4 wheelers, 40 litres of diesel in jerry cans and 40 litres of petrol in cans as well. Plus personal gear, food and refreshments. It is a lot of gear.

Surprisingly we managed to get more in the back of the ute than in the Amarok and the hard top tray cover was brilliant. We could have tied down some gear on that if necessary, and with the deck tread aluminium and side rails would make carrying home animals a breeze without getting blood and guts inside the vehicle. The tray cover also can take 200kg of weight and so gives you true shoot-off-the-back capability.

We left late on Friday night, firstly to avoid the traffic and secondly because we had other commitments.

We drove down with all our gear in a surprisingly good time, the truck effortlessly pulling all our gear. We even gave it a nasty test by taking the turn off to Ohura off State Highway 3, along Okau Road and then up the nasty and narrow part of Kiwi Road in Taranaki. It was 1am by the time we started up Kiwi Road… and bloody freezing.

We went this way because it cuts about 20 minutes off the time to the hut if we go that way, despite the challenges, and saves going over Mt Messenger. Though it has to be said that driving Kiwi Road in the dark is a real challenge. It is narrow with nasty switch backs and sheer drops down the side. If you stuff up it will hurt, and towing a large and heavy tandem trailer makes it even more challenging.

But the Maverick 13 just ate up the road, never once getting into trouble.

The entire drive down was pleasant, and we even supplemented the radio with direct play from my iPad. For three burly men the cabin appointments were good, even for the back seat passenger.

Comparing the tow with the Amarok I have to say I believe the Isuzu was superior in both handling, set up and towing ability. It just never blinked and the engine never went over 2500 rpm the whole trip down.

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The view down one of the valleys. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

On the farm it just went from strength to strength. It is steep goat territory, and typical Taranaki mountain land.

On all the farm tracks the truck just never stopped, through deep mud, steep papa tracks, muddy farm races and slippery grass… all eaten up by the sure-footed Isuzu D-Max.

I only slipped into low-range once, when through my own mistake I approached a slippery papa track with inadequate momentum. It was the only time I spun the wheels, progress was halted, so I back back down a bit, quickly flicked the dial into low-range and powered up no trouble at all.

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At 204yds the effectiveness of the .22-250 is apparent. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

There are plenty of goats on this farm, all its boundaries are forest and so they just keep coming back. The Billy above was a good size and succumbed to my 40gr V-max bullet on the .22-250 with a good lung shot. At a muzzle velocity of 4100 fps this is a devastating round on small game like goats. Now before anyone gets upset at the location of the splatter, that is the exit wound and that is frothy lung blood. The actual entry wound was precisely where it was intended to go, at the base of the neck. The goat was facing front quarter on and the bullet entered and travelled through the lungs and exited out the side in a spray of red mist. We were shooting up hill hence the angle of bullet travel. This goat dropped instantly.

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Another head for the collection at the hut. Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

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204yds with a Tikka .22-250 Photo/ Whaleoil Media, Cam Slater

We have perfected our load for the .22-250 now, and it is effective with devastating effect inside 300yds. We do take shots over that, and I dropped 5 goats at around 400-415yds. The best shot for the weekend was 455yds on a Billy that I tipped up.

The more you shoot with a rifle the better you get, and goat shooting is a great way to get familiar with your firearm simply because of the huge number of rounds you put away down range. We tipped up over 200 goats this weekend.

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We packed up on Monday afternoon, following a bomb up in a gully not far from the hut. We caught a good herd sheltering from the wind on a face with little bush cover and cleaned them out.

We left the hut at 1640 to drive home. This time we head down the other part of Kiwi Road and then out onto State Highway 3 at Uruti. We were going to put the Isuzu through its paces over Mt Messenger going home.

Well, it coped superbly well up the wet and slippery Mt Messenger part of the drive, and again I believe it handled the tow much smoother and better than the Amarok. We were back and unpacking at 215 after being only troubled with a couple of slow pokes on the drive back.

The truck was perfect, even with road profile 20inch tyres. The set up by the boys at Southern Autos was flawless. I really like this truck. I’m not sure they will be able to get it back off me.

Sure it doesn’t have all the fancy fruit like an Amarok, but it is very, very capable and is a real truck not some fancy town tractor pretending to be one.

Go and see my mates at Southern Autos, they will look after you for a test drive and a good deal. If you want a real truck then this is the one for you.

Southern Autos

 

 

All photos and video taken with Spark Samsung S6 Edge, Isuzu D-Max LS Maverick 13 vehicle supplied by Southern Autos.

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Little Angry Andy PR crusade continues

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The Taranaki Daily Times has joined in on the Little Angry Andy PR crusade.

Or have they?

The image used in the article above makes look cartoonish, with the body of a half sucked throatie and a face of a loon.

But the article goes on to try and turn around he image he has crafted for himself of being an angry, hard, union boss.

Labour leader Andrew Little serves up some tasty ham at the New Plymouth Community Christmas Charitable Trust’s lunch yesterday.

Andrew Little may be the leader of the Opposition in Parliament but it didn’t stop him rolling up his sleeves and helping out at New Plymouth’s community Christmas lunch yesterday.   Read more »

Now here’s something you didn’t know about Little Andy

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Mr Little said yesterday he was of the left. But the policy changes he promoted during the leadership campaign – dropping the capital gains tax and the policy to increase the pension age – have been aimed at regaining the centre.

In one of Labour’s biggest divisions, economic development versus environmentalism, Mr Little is firmly in the development camp.

As leader of an engineering union, he defended the much derided Think Big policies of the Muldoon Government because of the the pride in heavy engineering they brought to Taranaki.

[His] parents arrived in New Zealand in 1962. His father was in the British military and retrained as a teacher, and his mother was a secretary. Both were National Party stalwarts.

Little will make a large leap to the right. Read more »

Vote with your head

Yesterday, Metiria Turei released Green Policy which is nothing short of economic treason.  Going for a mixture of scare tactics, disinformation and the ever useful ‘cute dolphin’ factor, they hope to generate the usual hysteria.

Nick Smith is repeating what he keeps telling the Greens in parliament:  (over and over and over again)

There has not been a single incident involving Maui’s dolphin and Taranaki’s $3 billion oil and gas industry in over 40 years. 

That’s kind of critical.  The Green Party want to protect an animal that has not been in any practical or real danger of oil related activities for over 40 years.

The prohibition on any new oil and gas exploration in this large area will come at a huge economic cost long-term not just to Taranaki but more widely to New Zealand. The Government introduced compulsory regulations for protecting marine mammals from exploration activities in 2010 that ensures no harm to Maui’s,

I think we can rest assured that this policy will never see the light of day.  Even if there is going to a Labour/Green led coalition, the Labour Party isn’t going to allow the Greens to strangle one of New Zealand’s most profitable industries and risk regional destruction and job losses to protect dolphins that have not been recorded as having any kind of adverse problem.

You just have to see the size of the sea area involved, how small an oil platform is compared to that, and the actual physical impact on the habitat of the dolphins, if they even choose to be present, is probably less than 0.00001% or thereabouts.      Read more »

Crisis in the regions? Yeah, Nah

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This sounds like jobs to me… in the regions … where there’s a crisis… according to Labour… and an activity the Green Taliban want to stop.

Taranaki is now the biggest producer of methanol for the world’s single largest supplier, as global demand soars.

Canadian company Methanex can make up to 2.4 million tonnes of methanol each year at its Motunui and Waitara Valley plants.

In terms of production potential this puts it way ahead of any of the company’s five other facilities in Trinidad, Egypt, Canada, Chile and the USA.

Methanex’s Canada-based chief executive John Floren said yesterday it was an important part of the company’s global business.   Read more »

Cunliffe’s Taranaki claims last year put to shame by facts

Just a few months ago Labour was claiming the provinces were neglected. David Cunliffe even made some specific claims about Taranaki.

Taranakians are leaving the province in droves because they’re being forgotten by the National Government, Labour leader David Cunliffe says.

Mr Cunliffe said Census data released today would show a widespread exodus from the regions as provincial New Zealanders flee forgotten small towns.

He said these towns had been gutted by the hands off approach of the National Government.

“Job losses, factory closures, government cutbacks and the shutting of branch offices have left people in the regions with no choice but to leave in droves.

“Manufacturing is stagnating, economic development has been limited to glossy brochures and a few roads, mortgage restrictions are being unfairly applied to the provinces and tax biases are driving money from the regions into the Auckland property market.”

Except it turns out the opposite is trueRead more »

Map of the Day

Taranaki Oil and Gas Fields

 

Taranaki remains New Zealand’s only commercially-producing oil and gas area and an area of continuing exploration activity.

Clever stuff by John Key

John Key is a master politician.

Check this out from Waitangi:

Before the fish protest Key had attempted to convince local iwi leaders that fossil fuel exploration was in Maori interests. He invited the leaders of the hikoi to Wellington to spend a week with his ministers going over the facts around environmental risks and job creation.

“If I am wrong and you are right, I will walk out and join that protest,” he said.  Read more »

They breed ’em tough in Taranaki

Stories like this are just great, as Kirsty McMurray reports from stuff.co.nz:

 

A boy who nearly had his toes bitten off by an eel got the last laugh yesterday when he ate the creature for lunch.

Theo Chadfield, 8, was meant to be helping his granddad Allan Davies fence the riparian planting on their Mangorei Rd, New Plymouth, farm on Saturday.

Instead, when he got hot, he stripped down to his undies and went for a swim in the Te Henui Stream.

“I asked Granddad if there were eels in the stream and he said no.”

Davies said he had gone to check on Theo, who was only shin deep in the water, when he saw him try and fail to take a step backward.

“He couldn’t move.” When Davies pulled Theo from the water they discovered a large eel dangling from his foot.

Theo said the eel had clamped on tight but let go when he was lifted out.

“It was still clinging on but then it plopped onto the ground and Granddad kicked it back into the water.” Read more »

What I was doing last weekend

On my Facebook wall there is a lively debate going about whether or not I should have a) posted this and b) shot the goat int he first place.

Last weekend in the midst of all the Len Brown fall out I was also shooting goats…lots of them…about 80 for the weekend.

Here is one…I called him Leonard…a randy old goat with a big ball sack, but not able to withstand a 150gr ballistic tip .308.

He was one of two standing guard on a mob…we knocked them both over then got stuck into the mob.

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Leonard the Goat at rest beside the Tikka T3 Lite with suppressor

Read more »

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