The 4th Annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games will be a massive weekend of rural New
Zealand Sports and events aimed at getting young and old active and involved.
Held in The Square, Palmerston North, the Games are New Zealand’s premier celebration of
rural sports attracting more than 200 athletes from a diverse range of disciplines from both
sides of the Tasman.
Andrew Davis, General Manager of Marketing at Toyota New Zealand says the event helps
to bring kiwis together to celebrate our rural heritage.
“New Zealand has a strong, vibrant rural history and the games are a showcase of our
connection to the land and the cultural elements of rural life that helped build this nation,”
says Mr Davis.
“The iconic Toyota Hilux has been a big part of this over the years so it’s a natural fit and we
are very proud to back the Games. It’s a fun way to bring people together and lifts the bar for
our rural athletes in both wellknown and some lesserknown rural sports,” says Mr Davis.
The 2018 Hilux New Zealand Rural Games boasts some additional extras, including:
- Nicky WardAllen, the New Zealand Arboriculture Association’s New Zealand
Women’s Champion will attempt a world record
- The winning New Zealand Egg Throw & Catch Championship duo will be flown to
the 2019 World Championships in the UK thanks to Williment Travel
- Russian Egg Roulette – Have A Go Championships
- A real working digger challenge – Kids n’ Country.
The events and championships are spread throughout both days of the Hilux Rural Games.
New Zealand Rural Games Founder and Trust Board Member Steve Hollander says the aim
is to celebrate rural sports and to provide athletes with a national platform on which to
perform and aim for.
“It is a free fun event for families and there is always something to watch or do.”
“The 2018 Games will include the old crowd favourites the ANZAXE, Speed Shear, Highland
Heavies and Sheep Dog Trials,” says Mr Hollander.
“Kiwis have led the world in a multiple of rural sporting disciplines and the Games are a
unique opportunity to see champions from many disciplines as they face off local and
Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says the Games celebrate all that is good about New
“March in Palmerston North and Manawatū is a monthlong celebration of all things rural,” he
says. “As well as the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games there is the Norwood New Zealand
Rural Sports Awards, the Property Brokers Running of the Wools and a huge array of events
through the New Zealand Agrifood Investment Week.”
During the games, multiple New Zealand championships will be held. Including:
- New Zealand Speed Shear Champs
- New Zealand Rural Highland Games Heavies
- New Zealand Speed Fencing Championships
- New Zealand Coal Shoveling Championships
- New Zealand Harness Racing Gearing Up Championships
- New Zealand Olive Stone Spitting Championships
- New Zealand Gumboot Throwing Championships
Alongside this, several regional final events will also be held.
Mr Hollander says while the Games are not just for rural athletes. “We want city and country
folk alike to get in there, get dirty and give it a go.”
Opportunities to give it a go are divided into two events that run both days of the Games –
- Kids ‘n Country – Under 12’s have a multitude of events available for them to take
part in including Cow Pat Throw; 3Legged Race; Sack Race; Egg Throw and Catch;
Wine Barrel Racing; Digger Challenge; Gumbiputt; Tugo War and plenty more.
- Have a Go – this is where you, your friends, family or workmates get to challenge
each other across a whole range of events throughout both days including Cow Pat
Throw; Kids Tree Climbing; Gumboot Throw; Olive Stone Spitting; Hay stacking,
Harness Racing Gearing Up, Coal Shoveling; Wine Barrel Racing; Egg Throw &
Catch and Russian Roulette.
The Games attract an array of food trucks, music, and for those wanting to wine and dine
throughout the day, there is a VIP Marquee.
The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games kicks off on the 9th of March in Feilding with the
Property Brokers Running of the Wools, then that evening the Norwood New Zealand Rural
Sports Awards is held at Awapuni. The games are held in The Square Palmerston North on
10 and 11 March. View the full list of events.
For more information:
Founder – New Zealand Rural Games
+64 21 973 207
Toyota New Zealand Public Relations
+64 27 511 8622