Colin Dale Park in South Auckland is set to become the home of a new international standard KartSport track.
The park, located in Wiri, has been given the go-ahead to be developed, creating more financial opportunities for the available land.
Part of the new developments include leasing out a section of land to the Colin Dale Kartsport Development Charitable Trust for a brand-new karting facility.
Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events (PACE) committee agreed to the lease last week.
It is positive news for the karting community in Auckland. In 2018, the Mt Wellington facility was closed when landowners requested to have the site back.
The Mt Wellington club and its president Brent Robb then established the Colin Dale Kartsport Development Charitable Trust.
He says the new facility will be a reward after a lengthy process, and he hopes that will be the new breeding ground for future Kiwi motorsport stars.
“We’ve been waiting a while for this. We had to close our Mt Wellington premises a couple of years ago and we set up the charitable trust to lease a chunk of land out there,” he told The Spinoff.
“We’re going to build a new track that will be the only international standard kart racing track in New Zealand. It’ll be a world-class facility with clubrooms that can benefit the whole park.
“New Zealand is riding a bit of a motorsport wave with Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin, and these big names all raced in kart sports. The great thing about it being run by a charitable trust is that we can also give back to the local community, whether it be through scholarship programmes or have-a-go days for locals.
“It will definitely make motorsport stronger in New Zealand. There are lots of large international meetings in Australia and these events never come to New Zealand because we’ve never had a track to a good standard.”
The mooted 1.2km circuit is set to be completed in five years and will cost an estimated $6 million.
PACE committee chair Alf Filipaina shared her support for the decision, suggesting the new circuit will benefit the wider Auckland region.
“The local board came to us and said please take over [the park] as it’s too big for us,” Filipaina said.
“We believe this is a destination park with wider regional value and, because there’s support for it from the local board, we were happy to take over.
“This will ensure it’s available for our wider motorsport community, whether it’s kart racing, jetsprints, off-roading, dirt bikes or just remote-controlled cars, and there’s definitely potential for more.”
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli added that leasing a section of the park to the Colin Dale Kartsport Development Charitable Trust will free up a significant part of the park’s budget.
They were previously forking out $280,000 per year to maintain the site.
“This will free up extra expense in our budget every year for our local reserves, sports fields and even community facilities, like the old Papatoetoe council chambers, as well as for much-needed work on our libraries and our swimming pool.
“If they truly want to develop this into an amazing destination for the whole of New Zealand motorsport, then only the governing body and the CCOs [council-controlled organisations] have the budget to do that.”