Roll up to the (Scout) Jamboree

“Roll up, roll up to the jamboree” sang Tim Finn on Jamboree, the closing track on the Split Enz album Dizrythmia (1977).*

For Brendan Waters those lyrics will take on a particularly literal meaning from tomorrow as he rolls up at the 20th New Zealand Scout Jamboree in Fielding on a Segway Personal Transporter (PT).


Brendan will be using a Segway PT for Event Management to get around Manfield Park where 5,000 Scouts will gather between 28 December 2013 and 6 January 2014.

Segway PTs have become an essential tool for efficient operations by staff at large events. Segway New Zealand regularly hires Segway PTs for a wide variety of public safety roles, including traffic management and first aid/first responder duties. Segway PTs are used at large shows with broad appeal such as Big Boys Toys, SpeedShowHome and Garden Shows, Airshows, and Balloons Over Waikato as well as specialist industry events such as EMEX, FoodTech/PackTech and The Tertiary Industry Management Conference. They have also become an important part of running public events such as Santa Parades and The Pink Star Walk. As a rule of thumb, putting someone onto a Segway PT instantly turns that person into three people, in terms of the work they can do. In fact, two people on Segway PTs can cover the same area as nine people on foot, in the same time.

At the Scout Jamboree a Segway PT will empower Brendan to get all around Manfield Park with ease and at speed, as well as into the town of Fielding. Covering the distance between his own tent to where his troop is camped on the diagonally opposite side of the park will be a breeze. Brendan will also use the Segway PT to stand out from the crowd as he swaps badges with others, to whom he is known by the moniker ‘King Louie.’

The first 450 scouts to arrive tomorrow – including Brendan and the Segway PT from Farm Cove Scout Group (Pakuranga, Auckland) – are traveling down overnight from Auckland on a specially chartered train. The carriages will initially be pulled by diesel locomotives. Once they reach Taumarunui a vintage steam locomotive takes over, and in nod to what may well be New Zealand’s longest running television advert of all time – The Great Crunchie Train Robbery – Crunchie Bars will be handed out to all on board.


* Dizrythmia (from circadian disrythmia or jet lag) was the third album by iconic Kiwi band Split Enz (NZ #3, Australia #18). Featuring their first hit single ‘My Mistake’ (NZ #21, Australia #15), the songs ‘Bold As Brass’ and ‘Charlie’ would also become well-known as the band’s popularity grew. Future albums would deliver ever-increasing chart success both locally and in Australia, and then further afield – particularly in UK, Canada and USA with the single I Got You from 1980’s True Colours.

Dizrythmia was the first Split Enz album to feature Tim’s younger brother Neil Finn, who joined following the departure of co-founder Phil Judd. Over the next three decades the brothers would go on to write and record some of New Zealand’s most-loved popular songs. Worldwide fame was achieved by Neil’s next band Crowded House, initially in the USA (the single Don’t Dream Its Over reached #2 in the US charts, from their debut album). Kiwi success to such heights of the US music charts would not be beaten until OMC’s How Bizzare topped reach #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 in 1997, and then this year Lorde achieved a 9 week run at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with her song Royals. Last year, Australian artists Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know featuring a duet vocal by Kiwi singer Kimbra also spent time at #1 on many US charts, as well as many others around the world.

As Crowded House’s star descended in USA, it ascended in UK and Europe when brother Tim joined the band and their popularity soared with third and fourth albums Woodface and Together Alone. Enduring success followed with their respective solo careers and together as The Finn Brothers.

While the Finn’s are yet to feature a Segway PT in any of their music videos, you can see PTs in another Kiwi artist’s music video (Ethical’s On My Throne), and a rocket-launching Segway PT in Avril Lavigne’s Rock N Roll.

When it comes to shooting music videos, live sports, television shows and feature movies the Segway PT offers a fantastic, fast, flexible platform to film from. Beautifully designed Kiwi-developed “hands free” knee-steer options are available via Segway New Zealand, and several Steadicam operators and videographers purchased Segway PTs during 2013. For example, since January 2013, Broadcast Arts Video Unit Steadicam operator Rhys Duncan has regularly been seen in television sports coverage of major rugby games and cricket matches gliding up and down the sideline on a hands-free Segway x2 Turf model.

Avril Lavigne in Rock N Roll with Billy Zane lifting off on a rocket Segway PT
Avril Lavigne in Rock N Roll with Billy Zane lifting off on a rocket Segway PT

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