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PM To Meet Fuel Efficiency Couple On NZ Leg

Prime Minister To Meet Record Breaking Couple As They Complete New Zealand Leg Of Fuel Efficiency Challenge

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John and Helen Taylor receive a letter from Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven, proving to Guinness that they have been to one of two antipodal sites on their challenge - the corresponding antipodal city to Wellington is Madrid, Spain.


Expert drivers John and Helen Taylor will complete the New Zealand leg of their world record fuel economy challenge in Auckland this afternoon with congratulations from Prime Minister Helen Clark at Ellerslie Racecourse at 4pm.

The couple are trying to set a Guinness World Record for fuel efficient driving by driving around the world in 40 fill-ups on a new Shell petrol formulation and are hoping to drive from Christchurch to Auckland on just one tank of petrol.

They have found the New Zealand leg of their trip quite challenging due to the northerly head winds and undulating terrain. “Fingers crossed that we will complete the trip in one tank. We need a good southerly to help us on our way,” John says.

“Any difficulty with the driving conditions has been more than compensated with the warm New Zealand hospitality we have received. We love New Zealanders, they’re so embracing,” Helen says.

The world record attempt, which began on January 17, has taken the couple through 20 countries. However, they both agree the Powhiri they received in Christchurch, along with the blessing from the Very Reverend Peter Beck from Christchurch Cathedral, was one of their most moving experiences so far.

“The pounamu (greenstone) pendants we were gifted by Ngai Tahu are a real treasure – we won’t be taking them off for the rest of our journey,” John says.

Meanwhile, Harry Duynhoven, Minister of Transport Safety, met the couple yesterday afternoon at Parliament to congratulate the Taylors on their efforts and hear about the fuel efficiency tips they have been putting into action in order to meet their goal.


If you would like to see daily statistics on mileage and fuel consumption along the Tailors’ journey, will provide the most up-to-date information, as well as daily blogs by the Taylors and crew, photographs, highlights and tips on fuel efficiency.

With this world record attempt the Taylors aim to demonstrate how consumers can be more fuel efficient, no matter where they live or what vehicle they drive.

An innovative new Shell petrol formula designed to give drivers improved fuel economy is fuelling the Taylor’s Guinness World Record attempt. The fuel, still in the development phase, is being put to the ultimate road test on this challenge, and Shell will use the results to develop the formula.

John and Helen Taylor are holders of 34 fuel-economy driving achievements (more than any other couple worldwide). For this challenge, the Taylors approached Shell to be their fuel provider and Shell is using this opportunity to road testing its newest Fuel Economy petrol formulation for the challenge, which it plans to introduce to the public in the future.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 145 countries with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects including wind and solar power. For further information, visit

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