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V8 car race on track

2 March 2005

V8 car race on track

A V8 supercar street race in Wellington would generate $23 million a year in new spending and would be televised in 70 countries with a potential viewership of 400 million people, Wellington City councillors were told today.

The car race is one of three big ticket items on which Councillors were briefed today . They will all require a large financial commitment from the Council should they be approved. The other two are major developments of the Wellington Marine Education Centre on the South Coast and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.

“There are some big decisions to be made this year on which items the Council is willing and able to support,” Mayor Kerry Prendergast says.

“One of obvious public interest at present is the V8 Supercar race and while there is still a lot of work to be done on this proposal, Councillors were today presented with an Economic Impact Report, a Resident Support Report, a Technical Feasibility and Cost Assessment Report and details of the track configuration.”

“The proposal is for Wellington to host the race for between five and seven years. It would add 1.6 percent a year to rates. Promoters IMG would be responsible for running the event.”

Councillors will be asked to vote next week on whether the council should bring forward the mandatory consultation process on whether Wellington should host the race, so that an early decision can be made.

“The consultation process would ensure that all Wellingtonians get to have their say on whether Wellington should host this race and I urge everyone to take part in this process. It’s up to Wellingtonians to decide whether Wellington should cash in on the opportunity that has been presented to the city and you can do that through the consultation process.”

Should the Council agree to the Special Consultative Process, the consultation would start in the next three weeks, hearings would be held at the end of April and a decision made in early May.

The track configuration was also presented to Councillors today. The track runs between the Railway Station and Taranaki Street taking in Waterloo, Customhouse and Jervois Quays and Cable, Taranaki, Willeston, Victoria, Hunter, Featherston and Bunny Streets.

“Track engineers have described the track as spectacular and said it is likely to be approved by the FIA – the international motorsport governing body. We’ve had car races in Wellington in the past, so we know exactly how spectacular it can be.” The council’s Resident Support Survey and a survey undertaken by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce show that the race is supported by most Wellingtonians. The Chamber of Commerce survey showed that 96 percent of businesses supported the race. Some of the findings from the Residents Support Survey include:

Almost three quarters (72 percent) support the race, 14 percent oppose it and 14 percent are neutral. 83 percent agreed that the race would be of economic benefit to the city. 78 percent agreed the race would enhance the profile of Wellington as a leading events destination in New Zelaand. 68 percent of residents agreed the race would help extend the range and scale of events held in the city and region. 53 percent agreed the raced reflects the city’s image. 50 percent considered it appropriate for the council to subsidise the event using rate-payer funds. 65 percent would accept a rates increase if it was less than 1 percent.

The survey also revealed residents had concerns about noise, pollution and potential road damage.

“This is an exciting opportunity and once again I urge all Wellingtonians to have their say on it,” Mayor Prendergast says.

Aquarium of New Zealand – Te Moana Tamariki

Councillors received a briefing on the plan by the Wellington Marine Conservation Trust to develop the Aquarium of New Zealand – Te Moana Tamariki at Raekaihau Point between Lyall Bay and Houghton Bay.

Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

Councillors were also briefed on a proposal to redevelop the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary Trust is proposing to redevelop and rebrand the sanctuary so that it becomes a national icon and benchmark attraction for Wellington and New Zealand.

Papers on these two proposals will go to the Strategy and Policy Committee tomorrow.

ENDS

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