Citroën D-models in New Zealand, by le docteur Danche

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1- Why New Zealand is not Australia

As seen from the distant and proud France, Australia and New Zealand are two more or less similar countries (one bigger than the other), located near New Caledonia, haunted by people better than us at rugby, dancing strange choregraphies at the beginning of matches.

To make the confusion even bigger, those two countries have two very alike flags, mentioning, on a blue support, the Union Jack and some symbolic stars.

Here is the NZ one, with again "la croix du sud" (like the Australian one), but with only 4 stars this time, as you can only see those 4 if you are observing the constellation from New Zealand. Also, the stars are red, as a mention of this important colour in the maori culture.

However, Australia and New Zealand are in fact two quite separate countries with their own national interests and sensitivities: read Chris Longston's rant here, and you will judge by yourself (read also the comments by readers)

Here below are the data i could collect about Citroën D-models (DS, ID ..) that lived, or still live, in such a weird RHD country.


2- D-Models in New Zealand

  • Where did D models came from? How many D models were sold?

    • Australian people claim on forums that there are probably more Slough-made D models in Australia than in England, and they might be right.
      But visiting the internet, my perception is that there are even more Slough cars in New Zealand, than in Australia! And many early cars seem to have started their life in NZ, before moving in Australia during the last years.

      Here is a brief summary by Roger Simpson on how Citroen Ds came into NZ during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s:

      1. Imported directly from England (Slough assembled - see the possible colours for Slough models on this page) up to 1965 and then directly from the factory in Paris. Citroen Distributors were the importers and they operated from Palmerston North, a city 90 minutes north of our capital Wellington. The cars were then sent to the chain of retailers across NZ. The distributors in Gisborne were called “Sheep Farmers”.

      2. The NZ new car market was directly controlled by the Government up to 1974. To purchase a new car you had to have ‘overseas funds’. This meant that only wealthy business people and farmers could afford to purchase a new car. As well cars from the British market were favoured (that is where NZ sold most of her butter and frozen meat). British cars had a 10% import duty applied. French and German cars 66% duty. This made D’s a very expensive car. Thus low mileage second hand cars were in high demand. At times second hand cars could be sold for more than a new car!

      3. A lot of Ds came into NZ through ‘service import’. This was a special arrangement that enabled our service personnel who were serving overseas (mainly in Singapore) to import new cars on their return to NZ with no import duty. They had to own these for 18 months here before they could sell. These cars were often sold for more than a new car enabling the seller to buy a new house with a very large deposit!

      4. Tourist Delivery was another way Ds came into NZ. Tourists could order these directly from the factory in Paris and could import them back to NZ at a much lower rate of import duty if they had been out of the country over 6 months.

    • the crazy history of Waimate Garage and Max Mc Kay

      Max Mc Kay was one of these surprising people who imported D models in New Zealand. By clicking this picture below, you will find again this text and also some more pictures (i copied this remarkable stuff just in case the direct link could become inactive in some future)

    • two striking pictures of the importation of the DS in New Zealand

      picture of a local dealer, Anglo motors, Wellington

      A brand new DS, dropped while being unloaded...

3- Surviving D-Models: registration and web references

    • Registration

      There is a comprehensive registration of D-models that is made in New Zealand (including destroyed models), but it doesn't seem to be a public issue. A good point is that you have the possibility of knowing all the details of a running car, through the licence plate. Here an example with the licence plate BZ 5126

    • References on the web

      For NZ, i found as a reference the website from Roger Simpson and one of his friends (i can't find back his name):

4- Gallery

All these visits and help allowed me to make some beautiful pages with pictures of some interesting models of deep South (mixing both Australia and New Zealand, because it would have no sense to separate them, as many cars made the travel form NZ to Oz).

Please click on this dash picture to see the car gallery.

You might also wish to visit the complete page about the DS in Australia