Me & My Car: Bold in an understated way
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What are you driving?
A purple automatic Mitsubishi Colt 2006, I bought it second hand.
What do you like about it?
It is cheap to run and a nice colour. It’s dead easy to park, and it runs smoothly.
How does it suit your personality?
It is low-key yet flamboyant because it’s not a big super-flash car with all the bells and whistles but, because of the colour, it does tend to stand out. It is easy to go supermarket shopping and find your car afterwards.
Who else is allowed to drive your car?
Anybody. We pool cars in our family, we have several cars and basically people take the key off the hooks and take whatever is available.
When did you start driving?
I have driven since I was a 15-year-old. My grandfather’s green Consul was the first car I drove. I got my licence first pop after one lesson. The most interesting thing about my early driving is that on the day I got my licence I had an accident an hour later.
A driver ran up the rear of my brother’s Hillman Imp at the traffic lights and pushed the rear engine into the passenger seat. It was a little bit frightening at the time but it didn’t put me off driving. It was actually a great story to tell. My brother was a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t bring the car home; it had to be towed.
BMWs because of the engineering and fit-out
What do you always have in your car?
A plastic bag for coffee rubbish. And I always have supermarket bags in the back of the car so we don’t have to use plastic bags at the supermarket.
Favourite day drive out of Auckland?
Absolutely up to the Far North, it is terrific, up to Ninety Mile beach, which you can also express as Te Oneroa-a-Tohe, the Maori name. I enjoy going on long trips like that.
Most memorable road trips?
The most memorable trips have been to the South Island going right down to Bluff from the top of the South Island and through the Catlins, down the west side and up the east.
Would you rather drive or be a passenger?
Easy either way.
New tech and cars … can you see yourself travelling in a driverless car?
I am old-school but I have already been in a driverless car in Silicon Valley. Part of the work I do at the Manaiakalani education trust, which I am chair of, included being invited to speak at a third world education conference in Silicon Valley, and they had the driverless cars on display.
One of the great promotional videos they had was of the car navigating its way through heavy traffic and then parking i e driver coming out of the car, with a white stick and dark glasses, was clearly blind and the car did all the work. It was a terrific video and it gave a spectacular view of what is possible with the technology. However I wouldn’t get a driverless car — I would get an electric car.
Other road users … what irritates you?
Lack of courtesy. I think what makes driving difficult in New Zealand is that we are not as patient with each other as we might be. Often people from other countries would say the inclinations of New Zealanders to push in and put their own aspirations and timeframe in front of everyone else shows in our driving.