Tourism role for Hayden Paddon at Rally NZ

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 21/06/2012

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Geraldine's Hayden Paddon is taking on a new role as an ambassador for Auckland.

The 2011 production world rally champion is in Auckland this week ready to compete in the Rally New Zealand and has been asked to help highlight Auckland as a key tourism and event destination.

The 25-year-old said it was an honour to help promote New Zealand's largest and most visited city overseas.

"This doesn't mean I'm giving up my Geraldine roots.

"I am delighted that our New Zealand World Rally Team has this opportunity to work with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which plays a key role in developing Auckland and New Zealand's international profile.

"I'm proud to represent New Zealand wherever I compete around the world and now I have the opportunity to highlight Auckland, which is an exciting and beautiful city, and New Zealand's most popular destination for both domestic and international visitors."

Initially, Paddon's ambassadorial role for Auckland runs for the remainder of this season taking in three high profile European rallies.

With Paddon's Skoda rally car being run by Spanish team ASM Motorsport, the talented Kiwi's profile is particularly strong in that part of Europe.

ATEED manager of major events Jennah Wootten said Paddon's remarkable success on the world rally stage provided a unique marketing opportunity for Auckland.

"We're all about supporting everything that's great about New Zealand. We're not just along for the ride and understand Hayden will be spending more time in Auckland, and who better to tell our story than a world champion."

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard are competing in the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship in a Skoda Fabia S2000 car.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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