29th National Morris Minor Convention
Tauranga – 20th – 22nd October 2023
A large number of Morris Minors from around the country converged in Tauranga for Labour Weekend. Everyone arrived between 4pm and 6pm at the Tauranga Citizens Club for a meet-and-greet before dinner, with last minute sign-off of scrutineer forms and collection of name tags and programs before dinner and the official opening.
Saturday morning began with some last-minute cleaning and shining, then a rendezvous back at the Citizens club (after the rugby!) and a convoy out to the port at Mt Maunganui, where the cars were all lined up in a warehouse for judging.
While the judging was underway, some took the option of a bus trip while others wandered into Mt Maunganui for shopping and cafes. The weather was excellent. The bus tour visited the port of Tauranga on both sides of the harbour, which is quite epic in scale (acres of logs on one side, acres of containers in huge stacks on the other). We also went to a small museum which contained a large and well-presented collection of artifacts documenting the history of the Rhodesian Army, which was an unexpected and interesting find!
Once the judging was completed, the convention cars drove through Mt Maunganui in a procession, making a great spectacle of sight and sound, then dispersed to freshen up for the evening.
Saturday Night dinner was back at the Citizens Club, with fancy dress, trophies for the winning cars, and the cutting of a beautifully made (and tasty) cake in the shape of a Morris Minor Traveler. We were also entertained by an energetic one-man circus act.
On Sunday morning, everyone met up for a drive out to Minden Lookout, which offered a great view out over Tauranga. Despite a forecast for showers, the weather was beautiful, although there were showers later that evening. After Minden Lookout, the convoy also stopped at Poriporu water holes – a pretty and popular swimming spot – then headed back into town to the Vintage Car Club.
The cars were lined up for a photo shoot and public display, while convention-goers enjoyed an excellent BBQ lunch and some rocker-cover racing.
The Sunday evening dinner was back at the Citizens Club, where more awards were announced and the convention was officially closed.
It was great to see so many Morris Minors together and to see a great selection of models, both original and with interesting modifications. A huge thank-you goes to the Rotorua club for organising a fun and successful convention.