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A new world
Well, in-between Spiels, what a different world we now live in! With Spiel being the official record of PCNZ, I wish to record for posterity that with the advent of COVID-19, the following notice was sent on 17 March 2020 to all Club members.
“We are now in uncertain times. The impact of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) is significant with the implementation of travel restrictions, banning of public gatherings and events of any significant size, and most professional and amateur sporting events being cancelled for the foreseeable future. In the interests of the safety of our Club members, we think it is wise for PCNZ to adopt the same approach and we are regrettably cancelling all Club social events for the foreseeable future. We note a significant percentage of our members are in the ‘high-risk’ age group of 60 years plus and it’s simply not worth the risk”.
On 25 March 2020, the country moved to Alert Level 4, and New Zealand has been placed into bubbled isolation with no physical PCNZ events until such time as the government deems it safe for people to gather socially.
Whilst these technologies have existed for some time, we now live in a world of virtual meetings being common place for work, family and social group assembly. We live in ‘bubbles’ with our immediate family and keep two metre isolation gaps from other people when out in public.
On a more formal note, we all have well maintained hedges, freshly painted fences, very clean cars and have caught-up on all the odd-jobs and de-cluttered the house. Our Porsches have provided invaluable support transportation for the two minute drive for essential goods at the supermarket. I see videos on the Club Facebook page of our members using their Porsches to drive a whole 50metres to the letterbox to collect the mail.
Despite the seriousness of Coviid-19, my observations are that people are generally in a positive mindset, the world is noticeably quieter, and the pace of life a little slower.
The impact of COVID-19 on PCNZ
During this time, the Club has kept in regular contact with members, sharing tips on maintaining cars in storage during lockdown and government notices on WoF’s and regos’ being extended, sharing photos and even a quiz. I have enjoyed the online Facebook banter and many photos shared by members of their first Porsche, old photos, pet car projects and an overseas Porsche experience (with my overseas photo contribution used above).
The Club is in a strong financial position, and strangely, will likely run a better than planned surplus this year due to not running events typically subsidised (i.e. the AGM and the Awards Dinner at a physical venue).
Key events that have been cancelled to date including the Trevor Hudson run, WOTY and Awards Dinner. for 2020. The AGM is a constitutional requirement and Steff and Ash are working on a virtual AGM. Which will likely be held on a date to be confirmed.
The Race Committee are working with Motorsport New Zealand to establish if we can run the final PCNZ Pirelli Series round – to be confirmed.
I returned to the Melbourne F1 for the first time in four years and as Porsche do not have a team, I can freely support the ‘red team’ with no conflicts of interest!
This year’s F1 collided with the escalation of COVID-19 and with the race cancelled on Saturday morning (it seemed just surreal at the time), we were then continuously bumping into what felt like half of PCNZ, including the Neville family and the Wellington crew (Tania and Ian Porter, Jim and Margot Collier, Jim and Caroline McKernan and Todd and Katrina Wearne), with everyone criss-crossing town and filling their days going to the car dealerships and independent workshops.
The weekend became more surreal with the travel-ban and risk of a two week quarantine if not back in NZ by Sunday midnight. With 50,000-ish holidaying Kiwi’s all calling Air New Zealand and wanting to get back to NZ in 48hrs it was nigh on impossible to get through – with the F1 cancelled.
I thought I had been clever changing my flight earlier to come home on Sunday (landing 1.00am Monday) and was now fretting about missing the curfew by an hour, then Air New Zealand move the flight forward two hours (YES – home by 11.00pm – I was smarting!), then the government changed the curfew to 1.00am (smart move and a nice bit of time contingency!), on Sunday evening the government said all recent arrivals into NZ are to self-quarantine (Noooo!), so I have had two weeks of extra AL3! Looking back, it all made for an eventful weekend!
On the eve of the lockdown, we managed to squeeze in our last physical Club event at Protect Paint Protection hosted by long time Club member Mark Dundas-Heppleston. The tech night focused on the history of protective paint film and was supported by Gordon from Final Touch. I also note that Final Touch are now Protect Agents and can install this film from their Albany and Manukau sites. A great evening and I think we will look to reschedule another in 12 months’ time.
Guess the Car Quiz
To help keep you amused during AL4, we created a guess the car quiz. Congratulations to Nathan Graham and Kevin Jelley who were the joint winners (both scoring 100%), and honourable mention to the Roberts family (Scott, Liam and Oliver), who came in a close second. We appreciate some people had invested serious time into it.
Membership and Club Participation
While we cannot physically meet and run events, we are first and foremost a community of friends who share a common passion. We can still connect via the phone, virtual meetings and use social media platforms like the Club’s Facebook page. I still find myself in daily contact with many of you and make special mention of Glynn Taylor holding a virtual meeting with some of his early 911 friends. I had a giggle with him wearing a 1992 Porsche Parade jacket (I still have mine too!) and we encourage members to keep in contact with each other.
Overall, our membership numbers remain on target to be just under 800 across the country. I am mindful that a few existing and notably long-standing Club members have chosen to not renew at this time, sighting COVID-19 as the reason while physical Club events are in hiatus. We may experience a slight dip in overall membership numbers this year and will endeavour to keep in contact with people who have recently not renewed.
At this time of writing, we have now moved down to L2, businesses like cafes and racetracks can reopen, with bubbles of people capped at 10. As the restrictions ease further, we will look to resume social events. Initial activities will likely be Sunday morning drives throughout all regions to maintain social distancing within our car ‘bubbles’, and a HD track day has been pencil booked for early October.
The southern social committee have organised club SWOTY weekend in Kaikora in early September and club members should have received the flyer by now. There will be no Queens Birthday weekend WOTY this year, but I think we can manage a northern region weekend away in the warmer months, maybe a trip up to the winterless North?
Stay safe everyone.
“The new normal“ is another term that will be used regularly as we all adjust to being safe when we work and relax. I have had a work at home routine for many years so that was not a problem but I know there were positives and negatives for my partner and many of our Club members. The usual promises of technical support did not always meet the reality of being away from the high powered head office technology.
I believe many of us spent some time lovingly cleaning and polishing our beloved Porsche(s). Unfortunately, the next step was to put the dust cover on rather than enjoy an exhilarating drive.
Spiel reports on events from all corners of New Zealand but they were all cancelled so after an initial panic I relaxed and used the telephone.
A number of members had already decided they now had spare time to write their stories and search their photo archives. Thank you for your interesting detailed essays and articles.
The content of Spiel 206 has benefited and there is now a wonderful variety of Porsches both modern and classic models being discussed. Intriguing projects have been revealed. Memories of great Porsche roads driven before lockdown have been shared.
The challenge I have for members is for you to tell us about your Porsche whether it is air cooled or transaxle, mid or rear engined, 356 or GT3 and everything in between.
Maybe it is a project or just a much polished vehicle. Maybe it is a planned drive here in New Zealand or overseas. Let me receive your ideas.
There are more than 700 members so there will be many more tales to be told. Accept my challenge and please flood my inbox.
Stay safe and be kind. Keep enjoying our favourite marque.
SPIEL 206 CONTENTS
|Walter Rohrl – A Drive with a Legend
|Higgin's Split Screen Update
By Paul Higgins
|My RSR Passion Project
By Stewart Neish
|How did I end up here?
By Richard Endean
|The Legendary 911 Turbo S
By Ashley Powell VIEW GALLERY
|My first Porsche Race
By Stuart Owers
|Southern Weekend of the Summer 2020
By April Meredith & Martin Van Den Nieuwelaar
|Oli & Vickie Newbegin Award
By Graeme Lindsay
SWOT's Road Trip Report
|Porsches to Port Waikato By John Nimmo|
|An Introduction to Track Days and
what it maant to John Baker
|South Island Track Tour By John McMillian
|My Porsche Story By Jun Gian|
|The Original Carrera CUPCAR By Tim James|
|What if? By Mark Ford|
|Paint Protection By Mark Dundas-Heppleston|
|Blenheim Hospice Car Show (again)
By Andrew Anderson
|Another Mad South Island Adventure
By Steff Chambers
Committee MembersThe Club’s affairs are managed by a Committee of volunteers elected each year at our annual general meeting. As all Committee Members are volunteers email is our preferred method of communication. Private phone numbers are not listed on this website for privacy reasons. Members are welcome to contact the Committee - a Contact Directory is published in Spiel Magazine.
|Vice President||Ashley Powell|
|Spiel Editor||Peter Stewart|
|Club Administrator||Teresa Conway|