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NZ Ambassador In USA To Visit Kiwi Hog Members

MEDIA RELEASE
25 August 2003

NZ Ambassador In USA To Visit Kiwi Hog Members

The New Zealand contingent attending the Harley Davidson centenary celebrations in Wisconsin, are to have a special kiwi reception in Milwaukee this week. It will be hosted by our Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Mr John Wood.

The Ambassador and his wife will travel to Milwaukee from Washington DC on Thursday, where he will meet over one hundred Kiwi HOG members who have arrived in the city. An estimated 400 New Zealanders are in Milwaukee to attend the Harley Davidson Motor Cycle Company's 100th Birthday Bash, the world’s biggest party.

The 130 HOG members have been riding their Harleys across America to Milwaukee from three separate locations in the United States. A leading Palmerston North travel company, Stephen Parsons House of Travel has facilitated the entire travel and logistical arrangements for these personnel. It’s taken eight years planning to realise.

There are 40 from Christchurch, & 30 from Dunedin. So far there have not been any incidents reported among any of the three groups during their travels. Among the largest group of 60, are 23 personnel from Palmerston North. This group left Vancouver Canada on 30 July 2003. The 4,000 miles ride via eight American States has taken 25 days.

The Ambassador and his wife will host the social gathering for the intrepid Kiwis on Thursday evening, and then join them the next day Friday 29 August 2003, at a unique ANZAC luncheon and air show organised by Harley Davidson for all Australian and New Zealand riders and enthusiasts, at Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

A media spokesperson for Harleys Across America, says the visit by the Ambassador is an opportunity for he and his wife to meet as many of the riders and supporters as possible, and to thank them for their superb efforts, in profiling New Zealand in the large cities and towns in many parts of the United States, during their epic travels in the past month.

The visit is also to acknowledge the foresight, initiative, preparation and planning by local Palmerston North residents Peter & Jennifer Thomson, Noel & Margaret Foot, Ivan & Robyn Woods, & Stephen & Julie Parsons, which has resulted in many riders throughout New Zealand achieving their life long dream, to be at the Harley Davidson Centenary celebrations.

The Ambassador's presence further acknowledges the ongoing achievements of Rongotea farmer Roger Clausen's efforts to raise funds for the Palmerston North Arohanui Hospice. Almost $25,000 has been donated so far to the appeal. Mr Clausen will continue his epic coast to coast journey to New York immediately after the celebrations.

Meanwhile within minutes of arriving at their Hotel in Milwaukee, a camera crew from the high profile FOX News Television Network were on hand to get images of the group and their bikes for the local evening newscast televised from Milwaukee to a large State wide audience estimated at over one million people.

US Media interest in the group has given them a high profile in the States, and as well as television, many news radio, and print media interviews, have been carried out by Tour Operations Manager Mr Stephen Parsons, and other members of the group.

Some of the major news talk radio stations, have audiences exceeding 400,000 listeners & are affiliate links to major American radio networks such as CBS radio news, CBS radio Sport, ESPN, Associated Press, and even the Green Bay Packers Radio network, the media spokesman said.

Ends:
Kevin Loughlin [Media Liaison Advisor], Harleys Across America, Telephone [0274]-356-005

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