Gayle and Mike McMaster in their latest KiwiGoa vehicle, built in Masterton at Magoo’s Street Rods. PHOTOS/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
Magoo’s Street Rods in Masterton has played a large part in a Kiwi initiative that is taking flight up north.
Lloyd Wilson and his team are building a unique fleet of vehicles to get tourists from A to B in true New Zealand style.
Mr Wilson said while the vehicles resembled a tuk-tuk, which were common in Asia, they were built to “the strictest standards” of the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association.
The vehicles have been built for Auckland-based business KiwiGoa, which offers low cost, short-distance, transport to tourists.
Magoo’s has manufactured six three-wheeled vehicles to date, from a design inspired by the country’s national bird.
“Another kiwi has hatched in Wairarapa, but this time it’s not at Mt Bruce,” Mr Wilson said.
The Solway business, which specialises in hot rods, has also made a trailer, which when hooked up “looks like a baby kiwi being pulled along by its mum”.
They can reach 100km/h “easy”, and a test drive up Ngaumutawa Rd on Monday showed that getting to 80km/h was no struggle.
KiwiGoa owners Mike and Gayle McMaster said it was their four daughters who had inspired the idea.
“Their skirts were too short, and their heels were too high, and they said, ‘Dad, build something to get us around town’,” Mr McMaster said.
The couple hoped to grow the business from six vehicles to many more, in time.
“We want everyone who comes off a plane to be getting into one,” Mrs McMaster said.
The latest vehicle and trailer is destined to commute between Auckland Airport and the Ibis Hotel, a distance of about one kilometre.
The McMasters said there were more exciting contracts in the pipeline, with high-profile clients.
Taking a KiwiGoa was much than just a ride, it was a unique tourist experience, they said.
People were always asking to have their photographs taken alongside the vehicles, which never failed to turn heads.
They contracted Magoo’s after hearing about the company’s expertise via a third party.
“We couldn’t have done it without Lloyd. He ticked all the boxes, all the guys there are super clever.”
Mr McMaster said the vehicles were “a versatile piece of equipment”, and while they were being used to cover short distances, they would be able to tackle long distances if the market went that way in
Mr Wilson said he had the capacity to build as many as were needed, with the design continually evolving and being improved.