TODAY |

Supercars' move from Pukekohe to Hampton Downs a result of apparent council oversight

The Supercars has been forced to move from Pukekohe due to an apparent oversight around a clause in the council's unitary plan.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The event’s move 30 kilometres south to Hampton Downs is not without some controversy.

The event’s move 30 kilometres south to Hampton Downs is not without some controversy.

Under Auckland Council's unitary plan, noise restrictions are in place at Pukekohe Raceway on Anzac Day, the new date for the event.

The plan was last updated in 2016, two years after the round was last staged on Anzac Day.

Auckland Tourism and Events were forced to defend the situation today.

“The situation we were facing once we understood the gravity of the changes that had been made to the unitary plan meant that we were facing the possibility of seeing the event moved out of Auckland in its entirety,” ATEED general manager Steve Armitage said.

“So it was only really late last year that we understood the significance of the changes to the unitary plan. We looked at how we might be able to work around them and sought some independent advice, but ultimately we were up against it and it meant that running a fully notified resource consent process was full of risk that we weren't prepared to entertain,” Armitage said.

ATEED was left to explain after fuming Pukekohe Raceway bosses declined to appear on camera today.

For Kiwi Supercars great Greg Murphy, there is still a future in Pukekohe.

“Is it the end of Pukekohe? I don't think so. I think there are obviously plans in place to make sure there's still some involvement there in the future."

But Hampton Downs officials are happy to gain from Pukekohe's loss.

“The reality is should there not have been another world class international facility just up the road then the likelihood was that Supercars wouldn't have been able to run in New Zealand in 2020,” Hampton Downs chief operating officer Josie Spillane told 1 NEWS.

As for what to expect on the track, Murphy, a five-time winner at Pukekohe, says it'll be different.

“Very technical," he explained. "The 3.8km circuit is tough, very tough. [It] generates a lot of passing opportunities, generates a lot of opportunities for mistakes as well."