Calven Bonney has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year’s Honours list.
The award recognises the larger than life Bonney’s 40-plus years of voluntary service to the trucking industry and his involvement in motorsport.
Bonney has been a National Road Carriers board member since 1974 and was its president between 1997 and 2000.
He also played a key role in the formation of the Road Transport Forum in 1997. He has served on the RTF’s board since its inception and was its chairman from 2000 to 2002.
Bonney’s work with the NRC has focused on the development of the organisation to provide all members, whether they have one truck or a fleet of hundreds, with the support, expertise and scale to run their businesses effectively and successfully.
He is well known for providing counsel, advice and a sounding board for all road transport operators and has helped the NRC negotiate the many supplier agreements and discounts for services provided to the organisation’s members.
Through his work with the RTF Bonney has worked with both national and local government to ensure the road transport industry has a voice to usher through regulatory changes and to make roads safer and easier to use for trucking.
Bonney has also championed improvements in the overall professionalism of the industry and fostered strong working relationships for the industry with the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST), the Ministry of Transport and other local and regional authorities.
Passionate about motorsport, he started out crewing for other drivers, including Denny Hulme, and then raced at the speedway in most classes before getting involved in Super GTs, endurance events and Formula 5000.
Bonney is perhaps best known for his involvement in the establishment of truck racing in New Zealand, helping to negotiate rights from international promoters to start the sport here and then building his own truck for the first season to make sure the sport got off the ground with as many trucks racing as possible.
As a long-time sponsor of the annual Festival of Motorsport, Bonney has made sure that millions of dollars of historic cars make it off the ships, through customs, and are ready to race.
Bonney has also been a keen supporter of the Variety Club and was a regular participant in its events for more than 15 years, raising significant funds for the charity.
On a personal level, after selling his first three trucks in 1981, he went on to buy his father and uncle’s business in 1984 at a time when it had just three trucks. Today L. W. Bonney & Sons Ltd has more than 100 trucks on the road, servicing a variety of customers in different industries.