Wayne Newdick is a notable top fencer, widely recognised in the industry for his high standards and ingenuity.
Wayne has had a varied career, including farm services, livestock officer for MAF, live deer recovery, and toolmaker prior to, and during, his early fencing career.
Wayne’s competitive career started with the Gallagher Insultimber competitions, which was an invitational competition during the 1980s. However, attempting to qualify in the heats for the fencing competitions finals in the 1980s at Fieldays was a difficult task, with entries exceeding 50 heats.
Wayne recalls his early attempts at entering the fencing at Fieldays. It took three years for him to gain entry, such was the demand. In 1987, Wayne finally made it in.
“That year there were 50 lines and all the lines were already allocated so I couldn’t get a start. I got there at 6am on the morning of the competition to line up outside the gate. If someone didn’t turn up, the first person in the line with an entry form would get a line. One competitor, Frank Price, had a cold and decided ten minutes before the start time that he couldn’t do it. When they said go, I got the fright of my life. Afterwards while I was packing up my gear the guys either side of me asked if I was alright, I said yes but I was shell-shocked. I went home and said to my wife Kathy ‘Gee I don’t know what those fellas had for breakfast, but it must have been rocket fuel’. Let me tell you it looked far easier watching from the sideline.” Wayne Newdick (Extract from the Golden Pliers book).
Wayne’s first attempt saw him finish 26th out of 50. Not to be deterred, he set about training hard, building endurance and three years later qualified for his first final in 1990, going on to win the WIREMARK® Golden Pliers in 1994 and 2002.
In the Silver Staples, Wayne has partnered with Noel Fairlie, Trevor Woolston, John Steedman, and Paul Van Beers, winning nine times with Paul and once with John. Wayne obviously gelled well with Paul, citing his strengths in netting and the development of a confident partnership. Two top fencers working together was a hard combination to beat.
Wayne has a lengthy period of support with competitions. He and wife Kathy have organised the King Country fencing competition at the Taumarunui A&P show for over a decade. This competition is favoured for its organisation, good ground and being the competition where many top fencers team up with younger competitors. Wayne is well thought of by fellow competitors and fencers. The augers he makes are regarded as the ones to use. He enjoys regional competitions for the opportunity to catch up with the large fencing community. Wayne is former chairman of FCANZ (Fencing Contractors Association of NZ), is currently very active on the NZFC (NZ Fencing Competitions) committee, with Kathy being past and current treasurer for both organisations.
It is hard to believe that 2016 marks Wayne’s 60th birthday. This fit and active fencer is seeking retirement from national competition fencing, citing: “It’s time, physically; one could argue that. You know when it’s time to step aside, the void has been filled, the next generation has come of age.”
Next month’s New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays was to be Wayne’s final swansong. However a recent broken wrist may have put a dampener on this.
With his cast due off two weeks prior to the heats, Wayne hasn’t yet hung up his hammer and apron, he’s already musing about the likelihood of being right in time.
Words by: Debbie White