Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been forced to defend the move to invest $10.6 million of the city’s money into returning the V8 Supercars to Pukekohe Raceway following a barrage of criticism over the decision process.
Announced last Thursday, the Australian category will race at the Auckland venue for at least the next five years.
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The decision to fund the race was made despite the Auckland’s Tourism, Events and Economic Development department electing to withhold from councillors its due diligence report on the proposal.
The developments saw one councillor, Cameron Brewer, subsequently urge mayor Brown to call “an urgent extraordinary meeting of the full council” in order to “assess the reports with complete transparency”.
Speaking to local media before heading to the Pacific Island on a trade mission, Brown explained that councillors had been given pre-vote briefings on the matter, and maintained his stance that the event will bring up to $10 million per annum to the city.
The negative local media attention that the Pukekohe decision has garnered follows the end of the Hamilton 400 street event, which is estimated to have cost its local council up to $37 million over the course of just three years.
Like the 2011 and 2012 Hamilton 400s, V8 Supercars will take its own financial risk by promoting the Pukekohe races itself.
The news that the championship will return to Pukekohe was greeted with with widespread enthusiasm inthe V8 Supercars paddock last weekend in Townsville, and will mark the category’s 13th consecutive visit to the country.