Raglan Auto, Tyres & Marine keep Whāingaroa moving

Owned and operated by Bucko and Goldy, there’s a colourful crew of characters at Raglan Auto, Tyres & Marine.

Mechanic by day, musician and singer by night, Steve Fitter is the man keeping local vehicles roadworthy, capably assisted by automotive apprentice Lucca Page, who is a high-performing understudy to Steve.

Fanny Mobe is in the office keeping the crew in line and making sure everything runs smoothly.

And currently, Sam Christie is doing his work placement in the tyre shop.

“We’ve got a good bunch working here,” Bucko says.

Bucko – Peter Buckley, and Goldy – Peter Goldsworthy bought the mechanical workshop, tyre business and Repco shop off Raglan Engineering’s owner Pete Williams three years ago.

It might be a little out of sight compared to the other local operators but they pack a big punch with what they offer.

From marine and auto parts and accessories, tyre repairs and wheel alignments to vehicle rentals, WOFs and vehicle repairs and maintenance, they’ve got it covered.

And if you need to buy a car from a trusted local, they’ve recently added car sales to their business portfolio. 

“We have just become a licensed motor dealership, as we were often getting asked to locate vehicles for customers,” Bucko says.

Car sales was Bucko’s first job out of school, so he knows what he’s talking about and he’s not afraid to make fun of the stereotypical car salesman.

“I grew up selling cars and had my own car yard. I could do the whole wide ties, bad plaid or safari suits and inflatable guy with waving arms thing,” he laughs.

Timing, of course, is everything and despite the difficulties of running a business in the midst of COVID lockdowns, Bucko and Goldy haven’t looked back.

Community is at the heart of what they do; supporting Whāingaroa youth with work placements, free Repco deliveries, and they are looking at running free vehicle maintenance workshops in the near future for people wanting to learn the basics.

“We’ve always hired young people to give them work experience and the schools send their work experience students as well,” Bucko says.

They’re the only business in town with a wheel alignment machine, so not only can you get a large range of new and used tyres but they are fitted and balanced on site. If your ride on mower or tractor tyre gets a puncture, they offer a repair service to get you back to work faster.

Bucko and Goldy are old friends having met through their love of sailing. They have spent many years as captains on the super yachts.

“I met Goldy in Australia 25 years ago and we’ve both sailed all over the world. When COVID happened and we couldn’t do any more sailing deliveries of the super yachts, we bought the business off Pete.”

The team are super-friendly and helpful; a trip over the divvy was averted when this journalist discovered a headlight could be replaced at no extra charge for the fitting.

Some free advice was thrown in about the vehicle in question and its appeal to car thieves.

“You know your car is one of the most stolen car types in New Zealand,” Bucko says.

“Car break-ins have been a real problem in town. We’ve got steering locks in stock; they sell out pretty quick.” 

It’s the small things that make a big difference and Raglan Auto, Tyres & Marine is a local business that really does care.

Raglan Auto, Tyres & Marine, open Monday to Friday 8-5 Saturday 8-12 at 2 Park Drive – 07 825 8480.

by Janine Jackson

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