Ratepayers expected to fund costly Pukekohe V8s
"Is there no end to the idiocy of councils getting involved in such ventures. No wonder ratepayers have had a gutsful."Featured comment
Pukekohe businesses want to cash in on V8 Supercar racing, even if it will cost Auckland ratepayers $10.6 million over five years.
Auckland Council's strategy and finance committee meets on Thursday to approve spending to support a V8 Supercars Australia bid to start racing again at Pukekohe.
An annual round of the supercar competition was held at the raceway between 2001 and 2007, when it was relocated to a street circuit in Hamilton.
Late last year, Prime Minister John Key was approached about an alternative to the Hamilton event which held its last race earlier this year.
Last year, Audit New Zealand's report into the Hamilton event was scathing, also laying blame on the Hamilton City Council, identifying:
The absence of a comprehensive and integrated approach to the entire event, ranging from the absence of a business case and due diligence on the original event promoter, to
The absence of whole of event project management disciplines, risk management and reporting, and financial management reporting, to
Challenges with governance and reporting which was through a sub-committee rather than a committee of the whole, to
Challenges with contract negotiation, execution and variance reporting.
The Auckland Council committee will look at approving a one off $2.4 million capital grant towards park upgrades, another $2.75 million levy to be retained by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)and a $5 million sponsorship fee over the five years to be paid to V8 Supercars.
Pukekohe Business Association manager Kendyl Gibson told NBR ONLINE businesses are likely to see a huge increase in visitor numbers.
"Businesses don't see an increase in activity while the racing is on but people are going to need food and accommodation," Ms Gibson said.
"The Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and Lions at Pukekohe in May saw local restaurants and businesses rushed off their feet."
"Pukekohe may once again become known as the home of motorsport."
Auckland Council's agenda, released today – well after a release from Mayor Len Brown, states the council's "never previously invested in capital upgrades for the purpose of events, with the exception of Rugby World Cup".
It believes "this could set a precedent for future events".
Keen to push the positives, Auckland Council believes it would produce a return on investment of more than $7 million and that it would bring in an extra 50,000 visitor nights.
ATEED is confident it won't repeat those mistakes, saying throughout last year's Rugby World Cup, it demonstrated its ability to manage, complex, multi-year, multi-project events.