Why are we called PiwiWiwi?
Q. What do you call a Pommy (Kiwi slang for English person) that moves to New Zealand
A. A Piwi.
Q. What do you call a Welsh man that moves to New Zealand
A. A Wiwi?
So when an English girl and a Welsh man move to New Zealand, it makes perfect sense for them to start up a company calling themselves PiwiWiwi… right?
PiwiWiwi is Anna (a Piwi) and Niall (a Wiwi).
Niall is a keen surfer, mountain biker, climber and general outdoors kinda guy. He is a professional Mechanical Engineer but gets claustrophobic if stored in offices for extended periods. Niall has been messing about with vehicles for as long as he can remember. It used to be fast cars but all that changed when he borrowed a friend’s campervan 10 years ago!
Anna enjoys surfing, biking, climbing and hiking… but preferably on warm, sunny days. She also likes to cook, garden, do yoga, hug trees and generally make the world a prettier and happier place. She is the one behind the customer-facing side of the business (and making the vans look good and be full of useful stuff). In a previous life Anna was in environmental consultancy..
Why we set up PiwiWiwi Surf Campervans
In 2009, we got fed up with living and working in the UK and decided to travel around the world, checking out as many beautiful surfing and hiking destinations as we could find. We visited Bali, Sydney, New Zealand, the Cook Islands (scary surf there!), California, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia (no surf there!). Of all these amazing places, we found that New Zealand caught our hearts and we decided that one day we would like to call it home.
When we were in New Zealand we bought a campervan which was our home and wheels for the duration of our stay. Like many people before us, we discovered that a campervan is the perfect vehicle to explore the country. We arrived with one surf board and bought a longboard shortly after arriving for Anna to learn on. Niall (ever the engineer) fitted some handy straps to the roof and the walls of the van to keep our boards out of the way when they weren’t being used.
We met a lot of fellow campervanners along the way, often at surf breaks, and we realised that those travelling with surf boards had a very difficult time with their boards when they weren’t in use. They either took up all the room in the van or had to be stored outside the van, which is not the most secure place for them to be.
We realised that, despite the huge campervan rental market in New Zealand, no one was catering to the surf tourist population. With our experiences, ideas & knowledge we decided we would try to fill that gap and try to do it pretty darn well.