We took our cars to Invercargill

    Marg Hawthorne enters into the Easter spirit, giving away chocolates for the children, including Invercargill resident Alison Tweedie (10). Photo: Luisa Girao
    Jarrod and Maddie (17) Frazer, of Wanaka, celebrate their arrival in Invercargill following six days of driving across the country. Photo: Luisa Girao
    Team Kelly-Herron, which completed the Pork Pie Run in the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman, stops in Te Anau on Wednesday: from left, Irene Benfell-Herron, of Te Anau, and Julie and Josh Kelly, of Dunedin. Photo: Julie Walls

    A PASSION for Minis and the movie Goodbye Pork Pie, and a desire to help children in need, led to about 100 people embarking on a six-day journey across the country.

    After 2350km, the convoy of 48 Minis arrived in Invercargill last week as part of the Pork Pie Charity Run.

    The biennial event, aimed at raising funds for KidsCan, started in Paihia and recreated the route taken by the Blondini Gang in the 1981 Kiwi classic movie.

    Organiser Tracey Brake said for this year’s event, they added tourist towns hit by the lack of international travel.

    The group had added pit stops in Franz Josef and Te Anau during the trip.

    “We wanted to help as best as we could. So, we decided to stop in some of those businesses to buy some coffee and bring some joy and cheer,” Ms Brake said.

    Invercargill residents watched as the convoy drove through the city.

    Alison Tweedie (10) said the cars were “very cool”.

    “I just watched the movie – the  remake – with my  father, so it is awesome to see all those Minis here.”

    About 20 minis had a brief stop-off in Te Anau for lunch before heading to the finish line in Invercargill.

    Te Anau businesswoman Irene Benfell-Herron, of Team Kelly-Herron, was taking part in her third event.

    At the black tie dinner held to celebrate the end of the run at Ascot Park on Wednesday night, her team received the most creative fundraiser award for its location guide booklet .

    The booklet illustrated the locations of the original Goodbye Pork Pie movie and was compiled by Josh Kelly, of Team Kelly-Herron, including illustrations.

    “We had to ask permission from the current movie director, Paul Kearns, of Wellington, who directed the second movie and is the stepson of the late Geoff Murphy, director of the original Pork Pie movie,” Ms Benfell-Herron said.

    The Murphy Family sponsored printing of 150 copies with all money raised going to KidsCan.

    She was thrilled that the run had raised $311,286.35 for KidsCan.