In 2003 »This is the Trekka« was presented as the second only ever New
Zealand pavilion at the Biennale of Venice. With this in mind the pavilion
became a contemporary reflection on an unusual cold war story. The project
itself takes as its central motif, the Trekka - the only New Zealand mass-produced
automobile - and teases out the eccentricities of the partnership that
brought this vehicle into being.
Produced between 1966 and 1972 by NZ private enterprise and the state run Czech manufacturer Motokov this adventurous partnership becomes a precursor to the more globalised situations we see today. At the time however both these nations were still economically tied to their respective motherlands. Automobile manufacturing was, during the cold war, considered a nation building exercise: a national car equated to a working national economy. Local producers were therefore guided in the hope that this benchmark of industrialisation would further consolidate their nation’s first world status.