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60 Minis in Pork Pie charity run

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Geoff Murphy’s wife Diane Kearns wearing the Blondini nose and glasses, in the original Mini Minor from the film

by Roy Murphy
A charity run of dozens of vintage Mini Minors from Kaitaia to Invercargill has raised more than $1million for charity over the last 10 years. The run follows the route taken by the famous yellow Mini Minor which was the star of the iconic New Zealand film Goodbye Pork Pie directed by the late Geoff Murphy and released in 1981.

A troop of 60 Mini Minors passed through Wellington over Easter weekend on the sixth biennial charity run.

The idea of the run was born in 2007 after Murray and Annie Hemsley bought a Bruce McLaren racing Mini in Invercargill, coincidentally on the 25th anniversary of the making of the film. In honour of the date, they made the Pork Pie Mini trip in reverse, up to Kaitaia.

Then they met kiwi Rod Harris who had taken part in a similar successful charity run in Europe based on the road-chase film Italian Job. After planning for two years, the first run was made in 2009.

This year there are 60 teams including entrants from Australia, Canada, the Isle of Wight and the United States. Some Australian teams shipped their Minis across the Tasman to take part.

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The original Mini next to a better preserved model

The New Zealand committee organises the run, books the accommodation and the inter-island ferry, and the teams themselves undertake to raise at least $1,000 each.

So far the current run has raised more than $230,000 for the KidsCan Charitable Trust.