Truck driver Phil Newton was driving his usual route when he saw something unusual - a young woman sitting at the top of a cliff.

What he did next has now been lauded for the second time.

In May last year, the Broadlands Fonterra driver was driving his regular 400km route when he saw the woman sitting on a cliff edge at the Arapuni Dam in the Waikato.

"As I drove over the dam, I looked around and saw a young woman sitting at the top of a cliff."


Jumping into rescue mode, he called Fonterra dispatch and asked them to call the police.

"I climbed through the hole in the fence and sat down a few metres from her. I didn't really want to get too close to the edge myself. I just sat there and chatted to her, asked her what was wrong and said she could talk to me, tell me what was going on and what was going through her head. That kind of thing.

Phil Newton from Broadlands recently won Fonterra's Value in Action Award. Photo / Supplied
Phil Newton from Broadlands recently won Fonterra's Value in Action Award. Photo / Supplied

"I wanted to keep her talking, chatting with me."

Newton said the woman had been through a tough time but he used his own life experiences to calm her before the police arrived.

When the police arrived they were able to get her to back away from the edge, back through the fence and to safety.

He said he was just in the right place at the right time.

''I'd like to think that I have done what anyone else would have done.''

After his actions, Newton won the prestigious Truck Driver Hero Award from the Road Transport Forum. Now he's been awarded Fonterra's Value in Action Award.


A Fonterra spokeswoman said the company liked to celebrate those who consistently lived its values: ''Make it happen, do what's right, challenge boundaries and show our co-operative spirit''.

She said it received about 300 nominations from around the world and from 10 finalists Newton pooled 40 per cent of the votes.

''It was pretty clear who people wanted to see win.''

Newtown, a father of five, said he loved his job and the awards were humbling.

''I am absolutely stoked but these awards are just a bonus. Saving that woman on the day was enough for me.''

Fonterra judges comments
■ Phil went over and above by saving someone's life. His nomination was definitely a standout.
■ Phil's brave and selfless act that day will have a lasting impact on this woman's life. He is a true role model and the type of person you want in our co-op.

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