Wilif Bearman-Riedel

Wilif Bearman-Riedel, NZ Outdoors Party, Hutt South, tells us about some of his favourite childhood stories and glories.


Hutt South electorate candidate – NZ Outdoors Party

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Upper Hutt where my family was some of the first farming pioneers in the Akatarawa Valley. Cederholm grove in Upper Hutt is named after my family on my Grandmothers side. It was rural to the semi-rural environment in the 60-70S. I remember picking up the grass which was mowed by my Aunty pushing a push mower and feeding the cows through the fence. This was a period of mass development, houses were going up everywhere, the farms were disappearing and being turned into subdivisions. Anyone who was lucky enough to have a black and white TV was often invaded by unwelcome guests. Sorry about that.’

Tell us about a favourite childhood memory…

‘Swimming down at the Maori Bank hole and jumping off the old swing bridge.  Hanging out with all locals and generally causing trouble with all the other kids.  You could actually drink the water from the river then. The community was great all the locals had your back and if you looked like you were going to drown, someone would drag you out. Lunch was usually a potato in a fire cooked on the river bank. Once you gnawed your way through the charcoal the potato didn’t taste too bad.’

When did you know you’d work in politics? Was it in childhood? Later?

‘I heard Alan Simmons talking about the Outdoors Party on Radio Live and thought these guys have similar values to myself. They care about the environment and realise that the bush and sea are one big food basket, which is rapidly being destroyed by the environment being poisoned and mismanaged by overzealous government bodies.’

What is your greatest glory? (This could be in adulthood.)

‘One of the greatest experiences of my life was night diving at the Poor Nights Marine Reserve. I lived opposite there for some time at a place called Mimiwhangata in the Whangaruru. At the time I worked for the Maritime Parks Board which eventually turned into DOC. I spent most of my days hunting fishing and diving and got paid for it. I couldn’t believe some would pay me for something I loved doing, thinking back I would have paid them to do those things.’

Go back to Issue 1. Sept 2017. Read all electorate candidates stories and glories.

W: NZ Outdoors