Regrettably Auckland Council is closing the Mt Wellington bucket and Kart track in order to seek a commercial tenant who will pay a higher rent for the land the track is on. A key factor in keeping the costs down for participants has been the concessionary lease rate on the Mt Wellington track. The concessionary lease was an acknowledgement by the council of a duty to help support and provide sports facilities for the rate payers of Auckland.
Our club is now without a venue in Auckland at the strongest moment in our 40 year history. Until such time as a new track can be established at Colin Dale Park in 2-3 years time we have no facility to continue the sport.
Currently we have a community of 792 people at Mt Wellington and this does not include those in clubs in other towns and cities in NZ with whom we interact or the Karting community.
Importantly riders of all ages get involved. Some start at 14. others start at 53. Our oldest rider is 74 and still going strong at every event. Some have been riding or involved in the sport at Mt Wellington for more than 30 years. Family often race together. We actively encourage new riders with club bikes and other forms of support.
Stars are born at places like this - ask 5 times Indy champ Scott Dixon who started racing here. There are those who enjoy the riding challenge and those who enjoy the mechanical aspects of developing the best bikes and sidecars. Unsurprisingly, it is in communities like this that innovation and the number 8 wire mentality for which Kiwis are internationally renowned are fostered.
As the largest city in NZ, it is difficult to understand how we are also the only city that will soon no longer have any facility at which this takes place when small councils in small towns like Edgecumbe, Tokoroa, Whangarei etc are able to offer non commercial leases to bucket and kart racing clubs.