I couldn’t believe my eyes, as this blur of gorgeous green whipped past me on the street. I had to follow. Now, I’ve never heard of a Mini Moke before, but owner Kitty Roberts is an expert.

Her earliest memories include sitting in her Dad’s Mini Moke on the family farm in Scotland, and learning to drive in it, at around age five. “We lost count of the number of kids who learned to drive in that machine,” she grins.

Kitty spotted her Mk1 Mini Moke on TradeMe.  It was a real find. The Christchurch owner had originally purchased it from Gisborne to restore it, but ran out of funds to pay for the work. Luckily, she won the auction, and very happily drove it home to Geraldine.

Having been unregistered “for eons,” Kitty began delving into its history to simply the re-registration process, finding out that her Mini Moke was built in the UK in November 1964 and shipped to NZ in February 1965. She also discovered a chap in Gisborne who had owned it in the 1980’s and 90’s. He was, he said, happily still alive, and he had actually sold it back then for $200 for scrap!

“The Mk1 is pretty rare. It was the original ute, and sometimes beach buggy, with 10inch wheels and 850cc engine. It only weighs 500kg.  This one has had a 1300cc engine fitted, so it’s got a bit more beef than the original. It’s surprisingly sound, mechanically. Apart from fitting new brakes and new stainless bumpers, I’ve had to do very little to it. It’s a lot of fun to drive”

She’s very proud of the heritage certificate confirming numbers/build date etc. “It took a bit of effort, but it was worth it.”

This eye-catching green machine is Kitty’s daily driver, year-round, despite the fact that she has yet to have new roof hoops and soft top fitted, “I’m working on it, but until then I just rug up and enjoy the drive.”


Previous articlePatagonia – three Aussies and a Kiwi
Next articleThe CakeLady’s Cottage
Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.