Subaru's Kiwi ambassadors celebrate International Women Drivers' Day

Written by : Team Subaru


Subaru is celebrating International Women Drivers' Day and the freedom driving gives to every New Zealander regardless of gender.

Driving allows Kiwis to get out and do what they love, whether that’s taking the kids to school, heading to the beach for a paddleboard, or getting them back and forth to work each day.  

International Women Drivers' Day was inspired by Saudi Arabia, as only three years ago on June 24th the ban on women driving was lifted, removing one of the last remaining walls in the automotive world.

In many countries around the globe today, women are influential in the car buying process, and this is certainly true of our Kiwi Subaru drivers.


Subaru celebrates International Women Driver's Day


Throughout the years, Subaru has proudly supported many lifestyle and sporting ambassadors. International Women Drivers' Day prompted the Subaru New Zealand team to chat with some of our current female ambassadors to learn about the importance of driving for them and the independence it enables.

Our lifestyle ambassador Matilda Green shares her mum-life experiences; professional triathlete Hannah Wells talks about how she often manages her swim/bike/run training sessions out of her Subaru XV’s boot; and Highlands Motorsport Park (home of the Subaru WRX Experience), Hampton Downs and Game Over Group CEO Josie Spillane explains how she truly treasures the daily drive to drop her daughter at school.


Matilda Green lives in Warkworth with her husband and fellow Subaru ambassador Art, their son Milo, new-born daughter Autumn, and dog Buster.

Matilda Green celebrating International Women Driver's Day.

Subaru: What does International Women Drivers' Day mean to you?

Matilda: I feel incredibly lucky that we live in a country where women are valued as equals, and we have the same freedoms as men. International Women Drivers' Day is a celebration of women feeling free to love cars without feeling like it's not ‘our turf’.

Subaru: How much of a role does driving play in your everyday life?

Matilda:  I LOVE driving. I always prefer to drive, because it's fun, and I like feeling in control. Also being a parent, there's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing from day care, Wriggle & Rhyme events (toddler parents will understand ha ha), so I spend a lot of time in the car.

Subaru: How does driving a Subaru enable your lifestyle?

Matilda: Driving a Subaru is so helpful when you are an active family with little kids. We can get off the beaten track really easily with All-Wheel Drive. And there's so much room in the car for all the adventure and child items!

Subaru: Do you have any fond memories, or moments, in your Subaru that you could please share?

Matilda: When Milo was around six weeks old, Art had to go away for work, so I decided to drive down to Lake Rotoiti in my Subaru Forester for a while to stay with my mother-in-law. It was quite a big deal doing my first big road trip by myself with a new baby, and it was hilarious! By the time I dropped our cats at the cattery, got everything packed and in the car, stopped a bunch of times to breastfeed, the four-hour trip took around seven hours. But it was just so much fun. Milo and I played music, stopped and got out to look at some cows – even went through a car wash. It was such an adventure, and I'll never forget it!


Subaru: If you were buying a car with your husband, how much influence would you have in that decision?

Matilda: We would have equal influence over that decision. We both drive a lot, and the car would need to fit everyone's needs, not just the husband’s.

Find out more about the Subaru Forester Matilda drives here.


Highlands Motorsport Park has been home to the Subaru WRX Experience since 2016. Cromwell-based Group CEO Josie Spillane has business roles spanning the country which involves lots of travelling day-to-day.

Josie keeps tabs on Highlands (in her hometown), the north Waikato-based Hampton Downs world class motorsport and entertainment facility, and indoor entertainment centres Game Over (Queenstown and Auckland), as the Group CEO.


Josie Spillane is celebrating International Women Driver's Day with Subaru's WRX Experience.

Subaru: What does International Women Drivers' Day mean to you?

Josie:  Progress.
I was completely ignorant to the fact that in other countries, women weren’t allowed to drive because they were women. I’m proud to be in a country that is really progressive and ridiculous rules and stereotypes around gender amongst many other things are no longer the norm or status quo.  


Subaru: How much of a role does driving play in your everyday life?

Josie: It’s huge! The businesses that I run all have a driving element. We get to turn driving into a something that’s intoxicating and exciting at our Highlands’ and Hampton Downs’ venues where people can step out of their comfort zones, through to offering life-saving skills via our winter driving courses. We also use driving as a way to bring families together on our go-kart tracks.  And it means I don’t have to walk to work in the freezing cold Central Otago winter!


Subaru:  Obviously, your roles at Highlands and Hampton Downs circuits ensure you come into contact with female drivers. How important is it that women are represented in motorsport?

Josie: Our private membership GT club at the circuits has really opened up opportunities for women to get out there and give it a go. They get so much personal enjoyment, and confidence out of it and it’s been a great way for them to dip their toe in the water to see if they’d like to do more! 


Subaru:  Do you have any fond driving memories you could share with us?

Josie: One of my favourite times of day is driving my daughter Georgia to school.  Even though it’s just five minutes in the car, it’s when I normally get to find out what’s on her mind, or what she’s really excited about.  I enjoy the calm before the storm of her day and mine!


Subaru: If you were buying a car to share with your husband, how much influence would you have in that decision?

Josie: He LOVES cars.  I’d have an opinion and I know what I like, but at the end of the day cars are a passion of his. While I’m sure pleasing his wife would be a key factor in his decision, I suspect we wouldn’t end up with a car that I liked, and he didn’t! Ironically, I’m not renowned for my expertise with cars, so I’d be looking to him for advice and we’d make a decision from there that we were both excited about.  

Read more about the Highlands’-based Subaru WRX Experience here.


Professional triathlete Hannah Wells can be seen out and about around Tauranga in her Subaru XV as she clocks up the training kilometres her career demands.

Hannah Wells celebrates International Women Driver's Day with Subaru.

Subaru: What does International Women Drivers' Day mean to you?

Hannah: To firstly appreciate all the incredible women who have been involved in the automotive industry, both in history and today. And to encourage more women to get involved in what is a typically male-dominated industry. 


Subaru: How much of a role does driving play in your everyday life?

Hannah: Driving brings me freedom, independence and happiness. Without driving I would not be able to achieve my goals as an athlete. Driving not only gets me to and from training every day, but it also provides a moment before and after my training to unwind from a session or prepare for a tough session ahead. 


Subaru: How does driving a Subaru enable your lifestyle?

Hannah: Driving a Subaru allows me to get to and from my training in complete comfort, safety, convenience and style. My Subaru XV not only has enough space for all my gear, but I can get through any terrain comfortably and safely thanks to the All-Wheel Drive and EyeSight technology. An added bonus is the great sound system provides good tunes to get me amped up before a training session!


Subaru: Do you have any fond memories, or moments, in your Subaru that you could please share?

Hannah: Packing up my Subaru XV full of all my swimming, biking and running gear for big key training sessions ahead of races, which are usually done at either at the Blue Lake in Rotorua, or from Mount Maunganui Beach. I base my big sessions out of the boot of my car, using it as a transition and change station from the swim to bike and bike to run. 


Subaru: If you were buying a car with your fiancé, how much influence would you have in that decision?

Hannah: It would be a 50/50 decision; I'd certainly have my share of the decision making! ;-) 

Read more about the Subaru XV Hannah drives here.


Subaru are proud to support our brand ambassadors who are fortunate to get out and about in New Zealand to do what they love, whether that is work or play, regardless of gender. Join us in celebrating International Women Drivers' Day and make plans to get out and explore what New Zealand has to offer.

To check out our Subaru range that can take you to a place you'd rather be, check out

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