Sixty minis will line up in Kaitaia this Easter, on Good Friday, at the start of an epic 2,500 km journey to Invercargill. It will take the teams six long days to reach their destination, following the route taken in the classic Kiwi movie “Goodbye Pork Pie.” A fighting spirit, a good dose of Kiwi ingenuity and a comprehensive tool box will be key to going the distance.

Intrepid drivers from all over New Zealand, Australia and the UK will be at the wheel, with some cars dating back to the 1960s. Two Warkworth brothers are driving a “stretch limo” Mini Clubman, and targeting well known Kiwis for selfies in the back.  

Canterbury’s Gavin and Teresa Agnew – ‘The A Team’ – are taking part for a fifth time. Gavin says many teams are ‘repeat offenders’, drawn back by wonderful people and their shared love of the little car.  “The classics are uncomfortable, they’re noisy, they’re not very powerful, but they’re fun to drive,” he says. “They turn corners like they’re on rails, and the character of it just puts a smile on your face.”

The biennial event began in 2009. KidsCan has been chosen as the events charity partner for the third year running. 2017’s run raised more than $220,000, providing children living in hardship with food, raincoats, shoes and health items, so nothing stops them from learning.

The charity’s founder and CEO, Julie Chapman, will be driving the final leg for Team KidsCan. “We’re so proud to be the recipient of this fantastic event again,” she says. “To all the wonderfully passionate drivers and their amazing donors – thank you. Your support means we can give kids the hand up they deserve.”

Gavin Agnew says it’s great to have so much fun while helping kids in hardship. As a teacher, he sees the impact of poverty.  “No raincoat, bare feet. I’ve seen a block of dried noodles for lunch. These kids come to school freezing cold, or they stay home, so they’re missing out on their education. It adds up, and those kids start slipping behind. It’s not the kids’ fault. They’re just the ones who are caught up in the consequences.”

En route, the Minis will visit Hamilton’s Classics Museum, cruise through Horopito Motor Wreckers – Smash Palace, and test their wee engines with laps of Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell. The event takes place from the 19th – 24th April. A full itinerary is attached.

If you can add a link to our website, it has a bit impact on donations:  www.kidscan.org.nz   

For further comment:

Julie Chapman: KidsCan CEO & Founder

027 293 1778 or Julie@KidsCan.org.nz

For more information or to speak to a team from your area:

Sarah Stewart: External Media Specialist

022 175 6364 or Media@KidsCan.org.nz

KidsCan statistics

KidsCan provides food, raincoats, shoes, socks, and basic health and hygiene items in 741 schools nationwide. In 5 years, the number of schools supported has almost doubled.

The charity is feeding 33,000 children a week with baked beans, bread, spreads, yoghurt, fruit, scroggin, supergrain bars, and in winter, hot meals.

In 2018 KidsCan gave out 5.27 million items of food including 245,000 servings of baked beans, more than 130,000 loaves of bread and 1.6 million packs of scroggin. The numbers were up 20% on 2017.

Last year KidsCan clothed 47,350 kids in warm jackets, and distributed 27,886 new pairs of shoes and socks. Girls received 22,000 boxes of tampons, pads and liners.

KidsCan is now expanding into early childhood education, supporting 950 children in 25 centres with hot meals, yoghurt, fruit, raincoats, shoes, and head lice treatment. More than 40 centres are waiting to be brought into the programme when funding allows.