For six days this March, Rodney Maiden will be living his personal dream by travelling more than 500 kilometres through part of New Zealand on a tractor that can only do 30 kilometres an hour. Source: Stuff.co.nz
As part of a unique parade of tractors, jeeps and farm vehicles, Mr Maiden will combine his passion for vintage machinery with raising money for a good cause – Hospice Taranaki.
Mr Maiden, of Bell Block, will join about 20 others as part of the Great New Zealand Fundraising Tractor Trek, which begins in Bluff on 22 February.
The group will make the 2600km journey from the bottom of the south to Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island over a period of 26 days.
Money raised through their efforts will be passed on to help the charity, which provides community and inpatient palliative care services across the country.
Mr Maiden’s vehicle of choice for this year’s charity drive is his 1964 Massey Ferguson tractor, which he restored himself.
The tractor is one of seven the Taranaki Vintage Machinery Club member owns.
“I love restoring old tractors,” the 69-year-old said. “I’ve got another four to go, that’s my retirement project.”
He said he only became aware of the fundraiser two months ago so was not able to complete the whole trip due to other commitments. But all the money he is able to raise will be tagged to go to Hospice Taranaki.
Mr Maiden will link up with the group in Foxton on 5 March before making his way back to Taranaki.
The trip will include drive-throughs at various stops around the region, including Hawera, Whangamomona and Mokau.
All up, Mr Maiden will travel about 584kms at a speed of less than 30kmh.
“On an adventure like this you can only go as fast as the slowest vehicle,” he said. But it is the cruisey pace of travel that Mr Maiden enjoys most when he gets behind the wheel of his tractors.
The fresh air and the view he gets from the elevated seat are just two of the joys for him.
“Often on the weekend, I’ll go for a little ride on my tractors in the afternoon,” he said.
For more information about how to sponsor Maiden’s tractor trip visit www.hospicetaranaki.org.nz