Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bangers to Bluff: Driving positive change

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Winners of the FUNdraiser was Crash Test Dummies: David Sadgrove, Neal Sagrove, Ian Thomsen and John Mooney. Photo supplied
  • By Farida Master

Sixteen cars, each costing less than $2000 with team names like ‘Crash Test Dummies,’ ‘Double Trouble,’ ‘Pakuranga Pirates’ and ‘Flying Flamingos,’ roared to life at Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, marking the start of the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay’s 8th annual charity road trip from Auckland to Bluff.

Funds raised benefit Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand plus various other Rotary charities.

Organiser Ian Thomsen said that each year the route was different and always via roads less travelled.

The idea behind the annual event is to buy a ‘Banger’ car for under $2000 and drive it 3,000 kms from Half Moon Bay to Bluff over 12 days to raise funds for different charities whilst having fun!

Routes in previous years have included the Catlins; Danseys Pass and the Molesworth station.

This year a highlight was some of the hidden roads on the West Coast with a side trip to the Deniston Incline.

Decked out in sponsor decals, the eclectic convoy garnered cheers from onlookers as it set off towards the southern tip of New Zealand.

Drivers and passengers, embraced the challenge, embodying the event’s community spirit and determination.

Beyond a mere road trip, the drive symbolises a collective effort to make a difference.

Participants had tirelessly fundraised, rallying support from local communities and businesses.

Calling Bluff are locals Steve and Daphne Trevurza.

The departure from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club signified the start of a journey filled with challenges and triumphs.

Yet, amidst the obstacles, it underscored the power of collective action in driving positive change.

As the convoy navigated its way towards Bluff, entrants had to tackle various questions en route as they made their way through the back roads of New Zealand.

The 15 Bangers plus a support vehicle arrived safely 12 days later in Bluff, with only one not making the distance.

The ‘dead’ Banger was replaced in Taupo with a ‘New but Old’ Banger.

It proved so reliable, it was purchased back in Invercargill and driven back home to Auckland.

Donations can be made via

Entries are now open for the 2025 challenge at

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