Introducing Our Newest Champions


What is a #LeadingTheCharge Champion

The EV community in NZ is a passionate collection of people who want to share their EV enthusiasm with the rest of the world. 

They live with the benefits and enjoyment that comes from owning an EV and as good Evangelists want to let other people experience that enjoyment too! These people often join #LeadingTheCharge as volunteer members, as a way of cohesively promoting EV in a big way, rather than lots of individuals doing their own thing.

The “Better NZ Trust” has members living up and down the country, but in each region there is a stand-out local Champion (or two) who either regularly puts their hand up to organise EV events in their area under the Trust umbrella, or supports the Better NZ Trust in some other substantial way. Our Champions are early adopters of EV (many were pioneers) and give a huge amount of their time and care to Champion the Cause of EV through education, displays, events, etc.

And by using the Better NZ Trust umbrella, they can access our collateral, financial support, advice and wider audience. The Trust, in turn, receives its support under its EECA mandate and from its generous sponsors. The Trust was set up by the original EV Champions in NZ, and the current Trustees continue to volunteer their time.  



Will Hunter - New EV Champion for Christchurch

Will first got involved with electric cars from an interest in SpaceX and then Tesla.

He has worked with Blue Cars and Yoogo Share and currently owns a blue Nissan 24kWh LEAF which he often uses to explore our beautiful country, pushing the range to extremes.

Will has lived in Riccarton, Christchurch for over ten years. He is one of the event managers for the Christchurch EV Group, and currently an admin on NZEVO Facebook group

Christchurch City already has two champions, Mark Nixon and Megan Reynolds, who have worked hard over the past three years. They will continue to organise events, but are pleased Will has joined them to help in this busy region where events are being held year-round.

Will says he “looks forward to a future where all our transport is electric and is keen to share the benefits of driving electric to further that goal.”

The Christchurch EV Group accepts all interested, owners and wanna-be owners in the region. Anyone interested can join our facebook page  or [email protected] to sign up to the mailing list.

We are always looking for EV owners who are keen to volunteer their time to come along to our pop-up EV events and help with EV outreach and test drives.

And that last sentiment goes for all the regional EV groups. If you'd like to know who your local representative is, check the list below. These people can be reached on Facebook or via their local EV Owners Clubs.


And Our Latest EV Champions are: Colin McCrae, Vanessa and Robert Nicholls in Waikato

Vanessa and Robert Nicholls

With Champion Justin Boyd finding his time more and more limited these days with his EVAA work, he has recruited three new EV Champs to the Waikato area to help him. Colin McCrae from Huntly/Te Kauwhata area and, Vanessa and Robert Nicholls in Hamilton.

Vanessa and Robert have been relatively early adopters of any kind of technology as it has become available. They both enjoy what the new and exciting world of electronics and computers offers, and the constant changes.

They have long been supporters of Hyundai and have found Hyundai vehicles to be very reliable. "The service we get from our local dealer Ingham Hyundai has been superb," says Robert. But when they saw their first Ioniq in 2017, they felt that it might not meet their needs enough to warrant the sticker price.

Roll on into 2018 and one of their close friends, Caroline, announced she was purchasing a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. They subsequently heard that she loved it, especially the cheap travel it affords her.

Caroline then added Vanessa onto the NZ EV Owners Facebook page and the rest, as they say, is history.

"All I hear during January and February is stories from the Facebook posts," says Robert, "and then Vanessa adds me in too."

The couple had a brief trip to Christchurch in March to visit family. They decided they wanted to do more travel around the South Island but the cost of fossil fuel made this impracticable and an electric vehicle seemed a good choice to be able to do this.

"From there," Robert says, "it was a short but very steep learning curve and we took the plunge into EV life buying our Ioniq at the end of April. When we picked up the vehicle we sort of knew there were charging stations about the country but had no idea of the amazing ChargeNet story that we now know."

They hosted Solene and Heloise - the 2 French students who travelled New Zealand in the Jucy campervan. Since then they have been getting more and more involved in EV Events by helping Justin Boyd. "Everyone seems so welcoming and willing to share their knowledge and stories."


Who are the other #LeadingTheCharge Champions?

Invercargill Jordan Wyatt
Greater Otago, incl Dunedin Pam McKinlay
Queenstown/Wanaka Morgan Knoesen, Trent Yeo
South Canterbury, incl Oamaru, Ashburton Martin Kane (current EV Champion of the Year 2018)
Christchurch/North to Kaikoura Will Hunter, Megan Reynolds, Mark Nixon (former EV Champion 2017)
Blenheim Liza Herkt
Wellington Sigurd Magnusson (Trustee)
Wellington Region Donald Love
Palmerston North/Manawatu Sue Pugmire
Taranaki Catherine Cheung, Leith Robertson
Hawke's Bay Nigel Purdy
Rotorua/Taupo Nigel Purdy, Steve Greenwood
Tauranga Steve Greenwood
Greater Waikato/Coromandel Pen. John Leenman
Hamilton Justin Boyd, Robert Nicholls, Vanessa Nicholls
Huntly/Te Kauwhata Colin McCrae
Pukekohe/Franklin Fiona Landon, Muz Porter
Auckland South Sean Dick (Trustee), Darryl Naidoo
Aukland East Geoff Bold
Auckland Central Steve Withers
Auckland West Dee West, Steve West (Trustee)
Auckland North Shore Kathryn Trounson (Trustee), Greg Trounson, David Lees
Auckland Hibiscus Coast James Cozens
Auckland Waiheke Island Carl Barlev (Trustee)
Kaipara Margaret Baker
Whangarei Joe Camuso
Northland Craig Salmon


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