MARCH, 2009

The Newsletter of the Omnibus Society Inc., PO Box 9801, Wellington, NZ

Editor: Mike Secker – Contact details at the foot of the last page.


            DRIVERS… The Society often needs the volunteer services of any member with a “P” licence who can offer to help drive some of the Society’s charters, which are a source of vital revenue to help fund the maintenance and restoration of our vehicles. If you wish to gain a licence, the Society can help you do this. Please phone Henry Brittain, Ph. 476 7278, or Peter Rendall, Ph. 970 1405.          


            OUR SOCIETY, DEPOT AND FLEET… thanks to Morris Moller

Ominbus Society 20 at Eadtbourne Bus Co depot

Our newly re-fettled (courtesy of the Morgans’ generosity) Eastbourne Borough Council No.20 at its spiritual home, the now safe (I trust !) ex-EBC art deco bus barn. (Photo: Morris Moller)


          RECENT EVENTS… thanks to Michael Berry


            The Wally No.8 Tour  Wednesday 12 November, 2008, was a beautiful evening on which to run this trip using the Society’s recently acquired Bedford VAS ex-Wally Hammond.  This 20 seat vehicle is powered by gas. Seven members enjoyed a ride that saw Wellington at its best: the eastern seaside suburbs bathed in the evening sunshine and views from the western hill suburbs in the twilight as the city lights twinkled.  A stop was made to inspect buses at Wayne Little’s yard that included Routemaster RM1670, AEC Regent RT4189 and halfcab WCT 251.  Fish & chips were devoured at Seatoun.


            Eastbourne 20 Dinner Trip Our Christmas Dinner trip on Wednesday 10 December had about 12 members on the bus whilst several others met us at the venue.  Eastbourne 20 looked fine in its former Eastbourne cream and red striped livery.  It was like a time warp as it visited its old home depot at Eastbourne, although the resident buses are now purple and orange.  The Hutt City Council has just earmarked the decaying building for renovation.  At the Lifeboat Tavern we enjoyed a good meal at a reasonable cost.  Like the previous trip, Wellington’s scenery and harbour added to the enjoyment of the journey being in the sunshine on the outward trip and in the twilight on the return.

For both of these trips I wish to thank the Society’s Bus Operating Group for providing the buses and Morris Moller for driving them.


            Kapiti Rover Unlike the previous two trips, the weather was uncooperative on Saturday 28 February.  This may have put off members as nobody turned up at the set time.  However, members can do the trip whenever they like as it featured scheduled services.  I went ahead with the trip and had the bonus of addition bus rides on the train replacement between Wellington and Tawa in both directions (Newlands 74 and 52).

Mike Secker greeted me at the Mana Coach Services’ Paraparaumu Depot and gave me a guided tour of the buses that were in the yard.  Light rain was falling but it never got any worse than that during the day.  We then boarded bus 83 driven by Mike’s colleague, Dave, who drove to the railway station to work the 1100 departure of route 71.  This service changes to route 74P at Paraparaumu Beach and continues on via Raumati to the station.  Mike left me here and I continued on with the schedule using 86 on route72 to Paraparaumu Beach and  85 on route 77 to Waikanae.  The buses that Mana use for the weekend services are Mercedes 0305 with Designline bodies.  As all the Kapiti bus services are scheduled to meet themselves and the trains at the railway station at half hourly intervals, this tour is easy to do at will.  My thanks to Mike Secker for arranging the depot visit and for the interesting commentary that he gave on the rover.



            *Wednesday 1 April (to be confirmed) – evening trolleybus tour using new trolleybus – no joke!

            *May (date to be advised) – Slide show of Peter Rendall’s European trip, at his house.

           *….and be alert for further news about a Trolleybus Festival later in the year. After all, sixty years ago, in 1949, the current Wellington trolleybus system was inaugurated.


            OBSERVATIONS…Thanks to Graeme Inwood,  Peter King,  Nick Stoneman , 


            CHRISTCHURCHNick records that Christchurch has just opened another new lounge in the Bus Exchange. He observes that it is nothing exciting – it is simply that the authorities have decided that it was time that Platform D passengers had better facilities. They have also re-organised the platform D and E layouts and buses now depart from an extended bus stop.

Redbus 622

Is this a contender for a “classic NZ bus” title?  With its German VoV Citibus style body, Redbus 622, a MAN SL202, looks handsome as it passes through Cathedral Square recently. Similar buses, some 3-axle, have served, or are still serving, in Auckland, New Plymouth and Wellington. (Photo: Nick Stoneman) 


            DUNEDINNick notes that, on the 13 March, tenders closed for 2009. Changes this year will see some improvements to the off-peak timetable for the Portobello and Port Chalmers routes. Tenders this year were mostly for what has been Dunedin Passenger Transport’s work. Further changes will be that the Maori Hill  services will be divided into two routes – instead of being a 40 minute timetable with two buses, it will be a 30 minute timetable with four buses. Ocean Grove/ Garden Village is also up for tender. Nick has also sent me the list of route numbers for Dunedin routes and I will publish it in a future issue.     


            HAWKES  BAY – Nimons – this august NZ transport company operated its last urban bus services in the Bay at the end of January this year. As Peter notes, the company has had a proud history of providing a transport service to its community for 104 years. Go Bus of Hamilton have taken over all the local urban services. Peter is understandably bitter about the process that has brought about this state of affairs (and he’s not alone in his reaction). Later published items in the national press on the subject have mentioned an enquiry being set up to look at the process of tendering, but this will have no effect on the results that have impacted so much on the operations of companies like Nimons, Waipawa Buses, Dempsey Buses and so on. It is hard to discern what the rationale is, behind such a process.                     

Nimon 117

30 January, 2009 “And yes, I got an ex-Wellington Leyland in on the act. 117 (ex- 463) waits at Flaxmere terminus at 7.50 am to return to Hastings and then to Havelock Depot on its last ever service working,”says Peter King, the photographer and the driver of 117. He notes that 107 worked the last run..


            WELLINGTON  Go Wellington New friends arrive, old friends continue to depart….

Volvo Trolleybus 251 Designline Trolleybus 369

Top: Pictured on 11 March, 2009, Volvo trolley 251, shorn of poles and much more, about to go for the chop the next day. Note new trolley 341 apparently hustling at the rear! Bottom: Brand new trolley 369, not yet showing any rego, pictured on the same day. (Photos: Graeme Inwood)  




                                    Mana Coach Services                                              

                                    Kapiti –  143/NCS43, Hino/Designline 34-seat coach has been reported gone from Kapiti. Some body rectification was to have been done and it was to be sold. Since this note was made, 143 has appeared on a charter for Newlands during March, ironically out at Paraparaumu!! Toyota 131 is on loan to Porirua Depot as I write. At present ex-Ritchies 458, an Ansair-bodied Mercedes O305, is being dismantled for spares for SLFs, 77 – 88. New arrivals at Kapiti, from Newlands Depot, are 148/ YN6136 and 149/ YN6151, both Volvo B10Ms. They have Designline bodies with fronts similar in appearance to Merc’s 77-88 but, of course, they are high-floor, though the front step will kneel. They are to replace Hino RKs 30 and 42, both now with Howick and Eastern and still in green. The B10Ms each have “spotting” differences, too, in the front roofline shape and rear door treatment.                                



Editor:  Mike Secker, 63 Glen Road, Raumati South, Kapiti  5032.  Ph: (04) 902 1173   Fax: (04) 902 1174 

Mob: 027 426 7901.  Email:

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