A rider competes at TussockBuster in Waiouru, April 2012
19 April 2011
For two years in a row, TUSSOCKBUSTER has proved to be the biggest motorcycling event of its kind in New Zealand. OFFLIMITS is a registered charitable trust and its purpose is to raise funds for the promotion of NZDF sporting activities and to assist with soldier welfare.
The local Waiouru community received a cash injection of more than $150,000 from event attendees; the local community groups benefited by providing meals and other supporting activities and the OFFLIMITS trust raised a considerable sum via entry fees.
A number of soldiers took leave to attend TUSSOCK BUSTER and help on the days leading up to the event, and 65 Defence Force personnel attended the event as riding participants. The weather was favourable for the event with fine weather on the Friday and Saturday and some light rain Saturday night and early Sunday.
For some, this made the tracks slippery but for the majority, it just increased the fun they had on the wide open flowing tracks for which Waiouru is renowned.
Mike Ross, the event manager was particularly pleased with the high number of family groups in attendance. "This bodes well for the future and confirms that OFFLIMITS is providing a fun yet safe event for people of all ages regardless of whether they ride motorbikes or quads," he said.
OFFLIMITS is beginning to develop scale and will be able to offer significant long term benefit to soldiers and the wider NZDF said the OFFLIMITS chairman, Dave Greenslade.
"The trust is currently working with Commander TRADOC, Commander 1(NZ)Bde and their staff to develop a joint plan to ensure that a portion of the funds raised is used to rejuvenate tracks within the Waiouru training area so that there is better access for wheeled military vehicles for exercise purposes and for utilisation at OFFLIMITS sporting events.
"Work is starting with ensuring the tracks are more robust so they can be used by LAV, Pinzgauers, motorbikes and mountain bikes. Discussions are underway to see how other pieces of defence land can be used for safe community sporting activities."
OFFLIMITS has a guided quad bike and 4x4 tour organised for Waiouru in coming weeks. According to Dave Greenslade, these are pilot schemes prior to cranking up the marketing machine in 2013 to grow the numbers and revenue generating capability of these events. OFFLIMITS' success is timely in light of the defence funding cuts and the trust will work within the terms of its trust deed to find innovative ways to raise funds for soldier activities and welfare, he added.
"There is lots to do and the trustees and their supporters are focussed on long term success."