Wellington dad buys MP's famous red ute

Abbey Wakefield
Source: 1News

A father of two teenage boys, Simon Barber, paid $3400 to become the new owner of Labour MP Kieran McAnulty’s famous red ute.

New owner Simon Barber with his teenage boys.

McAnulty won the Wairarapa seat last election and his Labour-branded ute gained attention when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hopped in for a spin.

The Wairarapa MP decided to sell his diesel ute, after purchasing a new hybrid electric station wagon .

"So long, old mate. It’s been a blast," McAnulty said while farewelling his ute.

The 1997 Mazda Bounty ute, now owned by Barber, will be used to teach his twin teenage sons how to drive manual on their family farm near Wellington.

"The boys are really excited, it’s a pretty novel piece of history," Barber said.

McAnulty had the ute for 15 years and it had driven 463,000 kilometres.

"I told Kieran I wanted to keep the stickers on, and he said I could, but only if I don’t drive it on the road," Barber told 1News.

The ute has a warrant and a registration, but the vehicle’s top speed is 80km/h, the radio sometimes falls out, and the heater doesn’t work.

"I’m mostly doing it for charity, it’s a really good cause," Barber said.

The $3400 has been donated to the Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and Tararua Rural Support trusts.