Car show brings out Kai’s best

Careful owner . . . Louise Mclaren with a 1968 Mark II Cortina in her backyard in Kaitangata on November 5, 2013, getting ready for the third Kaitangata Car Show and Run. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES
Family vehicle . . . Kai Car Show organisers (from left) Rachel Harrison, Keith Harrison, Pete Christie,
Louise Mclaren, Aaron Murdoch and Brad Hosking. PHOTO: NICK BROOK

Show-car aficionado and reporter/ photographer for New Zealand Petrolhead magazine Graeme Oliver says the standards on show at the Kaitangata Car Show and Run are ‘‘as high as anywhere’’ — and he has been every year.

Mr Oliver also has inside understanding of the collector’s spirit, having traded a T-bucket for a 1952 Morris-pickup project, featuring a supercharged Lexus V8.

‘‘Kai’s right up there. With hotrods, muscle cars, vintage and bikes there’s something for everyone. It’s one of the best and it’s a success because of the Kai Car Show committee. They do a brilliant job and it’s great to see the community focus, with local people pitching in and the money raised going to local causes.’’

A well as a major transport event, the Kai Car Show is an annual fundraiser, with 2022’s take earmarked for the Kaitangata community swimming pool and the Kai Crescent Rugby Club.

‘‘We’re extremely lucky and pleased to be on board,’’ Judy Maguire said on behalf of Kai community pool.

‘‘Replacing the electrics needs about $35,000 and we’re trying to upgrade the chemical system with a future view to heating for the pool and fixing the roof. The help from the car show will be a huge factor in all that plus we’re just looking forward to the show. It’s always a great day out,’’ Mrs Maguire said.

Kai Crescent Rugby Rugby Club was founded back in 1877 and has been a continual hub for the sport in the district, catering for two regional and four junior teams.

‘‘We’re only a little club without access to big sponsorship so we’re really grateful for generous funding like the Kai Car Show. The grounds always benefit from attention and our clubrooms are from the 1970s. We have a kitchen and chiller unit which are in need of repairs and maintenance,’’ Kai rugby coordinator Debbie Ferguson said.

‘‘ We’ll be down there at the show on the day with a crew of 10 to 15 from the club to help set up, run the gate, sell raffles and take care of the clean-up after the cars and visitors leave.’’

The Kai Car Show chose different recipients each year, committee organiser Louise Mclaren said.

‘‘They are generally put forward to us by the community or we might have caught wind of a need that lies within their organisation. It’s not easy to choose from so many organisations with such value, but the aim of our event is really to raise funds for local youth and community-based groups. We have raised over $75,000 over the 10 years since we started with $10,000 as our record year so far but with recent changes and enthusiasm we have reason to believe 2022 could be our biggest yet.’’