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Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, British Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague and an entourage of British-manufactured cars will be on hand to launch the 2013 Great British Car Rally tomorrow (Wednesday 16 January).
Mayor Parker will welcome Rt Hon William Hague (FRSL, MP Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) as he reaches the Christchurch leg of his New Zealand tour.
The launch – a prelude to the 2013 Great British Car Rally taking place across New Zealand from Sunday 17 – Friday 22 February – is organised by the British High Commission and is taking place at 1.20pm Wednesday 16 January on the forecourt of the Christchurch Art Gallery (Te Puna O Waiwhetu).
“We’re honoured to welcome the Rt Hon William Hague to our city, and to be able to celebrate the strong relationship between New Zealand and Britain against the backdrop of a resurgent British car industry,” Mayor Parker says.
"The launch is just the beginning of what will be a fantastic event. The Great British Car Rally raises funds for four outstanding charities including Save the Children NZ and Starship Foundation, alongside the city’s very own Christchurch City Mission and Stepping Stone Trust.”
The launch will showcase three Mini Coopers, a Bentley convertible, an MGB Roadster, a Jaguar E type, a Rover P6, an Austin Healey BJ7, a Jaguar XJ and a Range Rover. The Mayor and the Foreign Secretary will then go for a short jaunt in Mayor Parker’s own MG RV8.
The ensuing Great British Car Rally will see British car enthusiasts and rally supporters travel from Auckland to the South Island in a convoy of vintage, classic and new British cars, finishing in Christchurch. In addition to raising money for charity, the rally provides an opportunity for all fans of the British car to enjoy their vehicles in a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere.
The rally will be capped off by a chance for the public to get up close and personal with 200–300 British-made cars on Saturday 23 February. The event, hosted by Christchurch City Council, will begin with a procession from Riccarton Racecourse to North Hagley Park followed by a display and closing event for the rally.
To join the rally, or for more information please visit ukinnewzealand.fco.gov.uk