Hi my name is Ray Newland I am 57 years old, myself and my lovely wife Kaye and 18 year old twin boys Grayson and Ben live in Taradale. My son Pete 30 and daughter Abbey 27 live on farms in the Wairarapa with their partners and two children each.
I have lived and worked on farms all my life, mostly in a small village community in north Wairarapa and a 5yr stint shepherding up in the hills in Gisborne. I have always been keen on hunting which I found also kept me reasonably fit for rugby, another favorite pastime, having been playing since I was about 5 yrs old. I mostly played in the local area (typical grass roots rugby) and had 1 season for Ngatapa, in Gisborne and one season for Nuhaka. One of the highlights has being going back to play in the Nuhaka centenary match.
It all came to an abrupt end on the 14th of July 1984 when I was caught in an awkward position in a tackle/maul situation, couldn't right myself and landed on the back of my head and broke my neck at C 5/6. I was taken by rescue helicopter to Burwood Spinal Unit where I spent the next 5 months, then back to the farm for the next 24 years, using an adapted 4 wheel motorbike so I could get around and do the mustering and bookwork and anything else I could, until health reasons forced a move to town in 2008.
After the Rugby Foundation was set up, a rep came out to the farm and asked how they could help. They kindly decided to fund one of our son’s boarding school fees, which they have continued through to the end of this year, 7th form. For this we are very grateful. Without the Rugby Foundations help we would have found it very difficult financially, to do this ourselves