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Greener A1 Grand Prix event to boost Taupo and NZ

17 December 2007
Media Statement

Greener A1 Grand Prix event to boost Taupo and NZ, along with $750,000 Govt grant

Taupo and New Zealand will be the international stage for a bold move by the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport championship to switch to a biofuel mix, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today. The Government also announced a major grant to support the holding of the championship in New Zealand.

“The eyes of international motor racing will be fixed on Taupo during the A1GP championship fifth round in January and in particular on its bold switch to a thirty per cent biofuel mix for competitors,” Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark and Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson, and Sport and Recreation Minister Clayton Cosgrove announced the Government grant of $750,000 to the championship. The Government support helps ensure that this prestigious international event is in held in New Zealand, as well as ensuring high visibility of the NZ.Com brand. The grant comes from the Major Events Development Fund administered by the Ministry of Economic Development.

The fifth round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport championship is being held in Taupo from 18-20 January 2008. A1GP is introducing an ambitious series of initiatives to help reduce the motor sport’s impact on the environment, the cornerstone of which is A1GP’s new fuel, an ethanol based product Hiperflo™ E30, sourced from sugar beet in Europe and produced specifically for A1GP.

Helen Clark welcomed the A1GP’s move to a biofuel as a courageous step which shows great leadership for all motor sports. This initiative stands alongside Toyota New Zealand’s use of a New Zealand sourced biofuel mix in the Toyota racing championship this year.

“Last year’s event had already made an impact in easing its impression on the environment. The ground-breaking recycling initiatives implemented then were the largest ever undertaken in Taupo for a one-off event.

“Developed in conjunction with Waikato Waste Advisory Service, actions included capturing all recyclable material, limiting glass bottle use, re-using signage and planting trees to help mitigate carbon emissions.

“It will be the second consecutive year for Taupo to host a round of the World Cup of Motorsport. The 2008 A1GP event will build on the success of hosting last year and, continue to reap benefits for New Zealand and Taupo tourism, adventure, and events markets,” Helen Clark and Pete Hodgson said.

“I commend the A1GP World Cup event for its Environmental Policy Statement which outlines its long term mission to reduce the event’s environmental impact, and a commitment to incorporate environmental considerations in key business decisions,” Helen Clark said.

“The Labour-led Government is proud to support major international events like this to New Zealand because of huge spin off benefits to us. Next month’s Round 5 is expected to benefit New Zealand by about $25 million,” Pete Hodgson said.

“This year’s funding follows a 2006 Government boost of $2 million to supplement upgrade work on the track and facilities at Taupo Motor Sport Park. This is going to be a spectacular event which I know New Zealanders will embrace again,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

ENDS

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