14 year old business owner's forced to hire driver after police complaint

Ryan Bridge 11/11/2019

Johnny is 14-years old and runs a successful garden maintenance company in Cromwell, he has been forced to consider hiring extra staff in order to transport him from one job to the next after police informed him of a complaint filed against him for driving his ride-on lawnmower between jobs.

Johnny explains to Magic Talk Drive host Ryan Bridge that he became aware of the complaint when, “Mum got a call from the local police station informing her of a complaint.”

The young entrepreneur told Ryan that part of the complaint may relate to the engine size of the ride-on, roughly 700cc, which is far above the 49cc engine size that he would be permitted to drive.

Although Johnny is quick to confirm that the ride-on can barely climb above five to ten kilometers per hour, even going downhill.

Asked if he had attempted to negotiate with the police Johnny concedes, “the law is the law, you can’t really argue with them, at the end of the day, that's how it is.”

Johnny goes on to tell Ryan that as a result he has had to tow the lawnmower and equipment while riding his bicycle, which he believes is in fact less safe and has hired a driver on the weekends.

Describing his work day Johnny tells Ryan that often he begins work at 7:30 before heading to school an hour later, followed by another three or four hours of work after school into the evening.

Ryan tells Johnny that Magic Talk have pursued the matter for him chasing Phil Twyford Transport Minister, Minister for Police Stuart Nash, and finally until we could secure a comment the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded with a comment.

The Prime Minister said, “this is something that sits with the police, I can’t instruct them to behave a certain way.”

Ardern goes on to commend and congratulate Johnny for, “how entrepreneurial he sounds”, quipping that he has just boosted employment figures for the region.

In the face of the challenges he is facing Johnny tells Ryan that he will keep moving forward building his business.

Ryan then asks how might people interested in being a client of Johnny’s might get in touch, he tells Ryan to call him direct on 021 072 1669.

You can watch the full interview above.