Te Waipounamu is the Maori (native) word for the South Island and literally means greenstone water. Greenstone was a highly valued possession of early Maori because of it’s beauty and hardness.
We began business in 1987 and steady expansion has led to us now having a fleet of 100 motorcycles, (over half are the latest model BMW’s). We have a solid core of experienced staff with a wide spread of interests with a common thread of motorcycling, knowledge of New Zealand, relaxed Kiwi attitude to life and a real wish to help visitors enjoy this country.
John and Alison
Founded the company in 1987 and has since found out the only prerequisites needed for the job were mechanical skills, marketing skills, people skills, employer skills, a sense of humour, the occasional ‘ blind eye ‘ and the ability to fix punctures in the rain. Widely travelled in Europe, Asia and North America on motorcycles, John enjoys meeting people and riding motorcycles. Favourite country is Japan because they have beer vending machines on the street. Personal motorcycles are a 2014 Triumph Speed Triple for touring & commuting, and a Triumph Street Triple as a racebike. A Laverda SFC1000 is currently in the process of restoration. Happily married to Alison.
Gordon has been in the motorcycle industry most of his working life, as a Dealer Principle, Motorcycle tour guide and Winner of the New Zealand Tourism Awards in 2001 - Gordon owned and managed the most outstanding tourism company specialising in transportation (Motorcycles). Gordon has now teamed up with John, both were founders of the motorcycle rental and tour industry of New Zealand and contribute a wealth of experience to make Te Waipounamu a world class rental company.
Gordon’s favourite bikes are the new liquid cooled BMW R1200RT and R1200GS, he is always happy to answer any questions or help plan your holiday in New Zealand.
Alison works from home and takes care of promotions. She knows everything about anything when it comes to touring, and travelling around New Zealand. Widely travelled, her favourite country is the USA ( where the grandkids live) otherwise Japan where the food and culture are truly memorable. Though it could also be Malaysia where she made some elephant friends (see photo). Happiest on the back of a horse, Alison rides around the Banks Peninsula hills in her spare time.
Carolyn is the owner of a Yamaha VMax (the second one she has owned). she also is the newsletter editor for the Canterbury Branch of Ulysses, a post she has held for several years now....Carolyn reckons only because no one else seems to want to take it on ! She is a longtime partner of Carsten (who rides on the front of the VMax) and a grandmother of five grandchildren. They both live in a house run by three self opinionated cats who make sure there is never a dull moment. Carolyn enjoys her job working with us in the office, it is Carolyn you will talk to when you call, and she likes the interaction with the clients and the satisfaction from ensuring our clients have the most enjoyable experience of their lifetime riding in New Zealand and wish to return again.
Peter is our longest running tour guide, he has been guiding motorcycle tours in New Zealand with us for 30 years. He now guides the larger Mountain Kings tours as a second guide along with Fred Rau. His sensible approach and sense of humour and experience has made him a favourite with our long-term customers. Peter's journalistic skill have seen his articles published in Australian and USA motorcycle magazines. Widely travelled on motorcycles in Europe and North and South America. Currently Peter and his wife Kate ride a BMW R1200GS.
Perry is another of the all rounders which are essential in this type of business. An organised mind and a tenacious grip on details are vital with so many different things on the go. Some people call it multi-tasking, we just call it another day at work.
A long history of motorcycles means he can turn a hand to helping out in the workshop and his former position of CEO at Britten Motorcycle Company means he is well travelled and comfortable with the needs of overseas clients. Perry spends his spare time fishing and out and about on his Triumph Speed Triple.
Paul is the man at the heart of the workshop with years of experience servicing and repairing motorcycles. Paul has a calm unflustered demeanor, managing to keep the fleet in tip top condition and copes well when the pressure is on which is a valuable skill in this business... Paul rides a 2008 Buel 1125R and his wife Rhonda rides a 2016 Triumph Street Triple. Paul’s interests outside of work are family, motorcycle rally’s, motorsport, movies, music, and travel.
Andrew is a motorcycle mechanic bringing a lifetime of motorcycle service and rebuilding experience. He is key to ensure our bikes roll out on hire so well prepared that they will travel around the country and return to base with nothing more than fuel needing to be added. We are very pleased to have Andrew on board not only for his excellent abilities, he also makes a damn good coffee!