'I feel as a young Maori male this is an opportunity to speak to others ' - Boy actor James Rolleston speaks about recovery from crash that nearly killed him

I don't recall anything that happened that night, but I believe what happened… I made a decision to get behind the wheel of my car and I drove dangerously.

Now I'm living with the consequence…a brain injury that's affected my speech, movements, memory and emotions, and I must live with the fact I nearly killed my mate.

Most of us never think a car accident will happen to us. I never thought it would happen to me. I was on top of the world…invincible, and on my way to Hollywood.

This experience of being a young man, making choices, having an accident that put my life and future at risk needs to be shared.

Nothing happens without reason, and I feel as a young Maori male this is an opportunity to speak to others about their choices.

When the documentary crew started filming me, I felt worried and embarrassed about the public seeing me in a mess.

But I started to realise my journey could help others. I slowly got over the fear and embarrassment.

I remember waking up from my coma barely able to move or talk and thinking 'this is me for the rest of my life, my recovery has stopped'.

I thought I'd always need support, a wheelchair and a team of people to help me. When I got to ABI Rehabilitation, (a brain rehabilitation centre in West Auckland) I started doing more for myself and began to get hope things would get better.

Making this documentary was so different from any film I had ever done.

It's my life and I am not acting! The big thing was how personal this documentary needed to be.

The Boy star told TVNZ1's Sunday show he was helped through the ordeal by his good friend and fellow actor Cliff Curtis. Source: Sunday

I had to get over the fear of sharing so much and get over the embarrassment of how people would view me.

I also had to push through the fatigue - part and parcel of having a traumatic brain injury. At times I had to battle through and suck it up and at other times the filmmakers had to just let me sleep.

This documentary helped me realize it could have been a lot worse. The process of filming has forced me to think about my life and helped me understand myself better. As hard as it is to be grateful, I am.

I have down days, but I am happy to be alive.

I feel like I'm still improving. My speech is getting better. Physically I'm able to move better. Last month I couldn't run, now I'm beginning to jog.

TVNZ1's Sunday show is featuring the emotional journey of the Boy star, since shooting to fame as a youngster. Source: Sunday

The most important thing for anyone who has suffered a brain injury is having a supportive family and friends who are aware that the person will go through ups and downs and will always need them.

Sometimes I've felt embarrassed about asking for help because I feel like I should be doing a lot on my own. My family and friends have been a massive help in my recovery.

In some ways I feel this accident is positive for my career as an actor. The dark places I've been through and challenges I have had to overcome and am still overcoming has given my acting more depth.

The past year has been the most challenging of my life. The Attitude film crew has been there recording some of my darkest days in the hope young viewers will understand the consequences of reckless driving.

WATCH JAMES' FULL STORY ON SUNDAY on TVNZ 1 at 7.30PM

The Boy actor has spoken candidly with TVNZ 1's Sunday programme about the crash, his recovery, and resulting documentary. Source: Sunday



Man in critical condition after stabbing at property near Opotiki

A man has been hospitalised in a critical condition following a stabbing at a property near Opotiki, in the Bay of Plenty, this morning.

The man has been transported to Whakatāne Hospital after he was stabbed at an address on Waiotahe Valley Road, in Waiotahi, at 7.25am.

The people involved in the incident are known to each other, police say.

Police know the identity of the suspect and are working to locate him.

A scene examination is currently being carried out at the address.

Source: 1 NEWS


Live stream: Major water policy speech to give glimpse at Government’s approach to water regulation

Nanaia Mahuta will discuss storm water, drinking water and bottling. Source: 1 NEWS

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Person in critical condition after being hit by bus in Christchurch

One person’s been hospitalised in a critical condition after being hit by a bus in Christchurch this morning.

Emergency services were called to Main North Road in Redwood around 8am.

A police spokesperson says the road has been closed and motorists are being asked to follow the direction of emergency services.

A bus driver at the wheel.


'We were really excited' - hear the voices of some of the first New Zealand women to vote 125 years ago

Today marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, which made our small island the first self-governing nation to grant women the right to vote.

It wasn’t a smooth road, however, and although not as long or violent as other campaigns for the vote in the UK and US years later, Kiwi women faced their share of opposition.

A strong push for the vote began in the late 1870s when electoral bills were being put forward to Parliament which had clauses saying it gave women the right to vote, not just men.

But it was much earlier that a handful of women began advocating for voting rights for women.

“It was just a few maverick voices at that point, but it was being discussed,” says Victoria University's Professor Charlotte Macdonald.

The movement picked up steam when the Women’s Christian Temperance formed nationwide in New Zealand.

That’s when women started saying, “we want to change the politics in the places that we live”, says Professor Macdonald.

It wasn’t just for political equality, but for moral reform to protect women, she says.

“They were saying ‘we need to organise to get the vote because without that no matter what we do we’re just going to get cast aside’.”

From there, women began a much larger campaign which involved petitioning, public meetings, writing letters to the editor and working with sympathetic MPs.

A lot of their efforts failed, but the women tirelessly continued to work for equality in voting rights.

From 1886 to 1892, a series of petitions were presented to Parliament.

“Petitioning was the only way in which women, and people outside Parliament, could have their voice heard and the British suffrage campaign was petitioning at the same time so it’s a well-known technique,” says Otago University's Professor Barbara Brookes.

“It was also a really important educationally technique because if you’re going to sign a petition people usually explain to you what it’s about.”

Nearly 32,000 signatures were obtained from women across the country including many Māori women.

It was on September 19, 1893, following another petition and electoral bill passed in the House when Governor Lord Glasgow signed the bill into law and women granted the right to vote.

When election day finally comes in November 28, 1893, 82 per cent of women over the age of 21 turn out to vote.

This changed the course of women’s lives in New Zealand leading to many policy changes for women, female MP being elected to Parliament 40 years later and eventually three female prime ministers.

And take a brief look at the journey Kiwi women took to be granted the right to vote in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS