Local organisers of this year's Ride of Respect New Zealand are blown away at the turnout and support at yesterday's event.

The Ride of Respect began as a single event in Britain.

The Returned and Services Association (RSA) website said Jackie Adams brought the ride to Kiwi shores after hatching the idea "over a couple of beers" with friends.

It has since grown in popularity and Hawke's Bay is now one of 11 places throughout the country that takes part.


Its aim is to raise funds for and community awareness of the RSA, which is why it is held the day before Anzac Day.

The president of Social Cruizers New Zealand, George Sands, said he was "blown away at how well it went".

It was the first year the group had fronted the ride and they were looking to help organise it again next year.

Social Cruizers social club member Theresa Sands, who helped organise this year's event, said about 120 people turned up for the ride, most of them motorcyclists with a couple of cars trailing behind.

The group left Napier's RSA at 10.15am and arrived at Hastings RSA about 12.45pm.

Mrs Sands said about $900 was raised, which was split between the Napier and Hastings RSAs.

Mrs Sands said she strongly believed in the cause because every person was linked in some way to someone who had served for New Zealand.

Whether they were ex-servicemen or part of the service now, she said, "they all deserve some type of recognition".

The highlight of yesterday's ride was the sheer support they had from not only locals but also people who had made the journey from out of town.

She thanked those who braved the wet weather and joined the ride, showing their support for both past and present.

Paul Dixon, who also helped organise the event, thanked the RSA for its hospitality and said he was looking forward to next year's event.