A classic Kiwi road trip inspired by a classic Kiwi film – and all for a good cause.

The sixth edition of the Pork Pie Charity Run, which raises money for KidsCan, begins on Friday.

The event will see 60 Minis from all around New Zealand converge on Kaitaia and drive more than 2500km from there to Invercargill, over six days.

There are five Tauranga teams involved, including Maungatapu couple Tim and Rowena Sinclair - Team Mini 6.


"It's a charity run, we can't call it a race, okay, otherwise the police will be on us," Tim, 62, told the Bay of Plenty Times with a big laugh.

He is the driver. Rowena, 53, his wife, is the accountant, head navigator, and – according to Tim – "the handbrake".

Tim says he always wants to travel at a reasonable speed, but Rowena will keep pulling the handbrake, which sits between their seats, "holding me back". They agree she just wants them there safely.

Tim has always had a love of Minis. His first car, in 1977, was a yellow 1974 Mini 1000.

He has owned seven since then. For this year's charity run the Sinclairs will travel in a 1998 Rover Mini Cooper.

Tim says getting a spot in the event isn't easy. There is a waiting list and the 60 positions always get snapped up quickly.

"What gets us in is sitting on the laptop, waiting for 12pm to hit and pressing go, go, go, go ... it's first in first served."

The 60 Minis will leave Kaitaia on Good Friday (April 19) and will arrive in Invercargill on April 24 – with nights in Taupo, Wellington, Christchurch, Franz Josef and Alexandra.

The convoy will also makes stops in Warkworth, Auckland, Hamilton, Horopito (Smash Palace), Whanganui, Christchurch, Greymouth, Cromwell and Dunedin.

"When we're travelling through the country, we're going back to all the places that Pork Pie went to," Tim says.

He is, of course, talking about the 1981 cult hit film Goodbye Pork Pie, a movie Tim has watched about 15 times.

The charity run finishes with a black tie event in Invercargill, where Tim will swap his shirt, shorts and jandals for a suit and tie, and fellow Tim (Sir Shadbolt, mayor) has been known to make an appearance.

All in all, it's not a cheap adventure – $2700 to enter (that includes accommodation and breakfast every morning) and about $900 in petrol – but it's money well spent.

The 60 aim to raise about $250,000 for KidsCan. Of that, $190,000 has already been raised through sponsorship on their cars.

Tim and Rowena leave Tauranga today to make their way to the start line in time for Friday.

Then they'll take their bloody car to Invercargill.