Waikato leaders have asked Auckland Mayor Len Brown why $6.6 million is being spent upgrading Pukekohe Park for the V8 Supercars when the option of Hampton Downs is not on the table.
Considerable savings for Auckland ratepayers could be made by relocating the motoring event a further 15km south to Hampton Downs, Waikato Regional Council chairman Peter Buckley and Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson said in a letter to Mr Brown yesterday.
"We understand Hampton Downs has adequate length to run the V8 Supercar series and does not require $6 million to $7 million spent on it as does Pukekohe," the letter said.
They also questioned if Pukekohe Park could rely on existing resource consent rights for the Supercars series. The letter also raised objections by residents living near the park and expressed unhappiness at the lack of talks between Auckland and Waikato on the "cross boundary" issue.
Mr Brown told the Herald that the decision to go with Pukekohe was made by V8 Supercars Australia, which will own and underwrite the event for five years.
"I understand it was made because Pukekohe is a great place to host the V8s, while other possible venues had capacity and resource consent restrictions. The organisers have been very clear that they did not want to underwrite or deliver an event at Hampton Downs," Mr Brown said.
Last week, the strategy and finance committee voted 9-5 to spend $10.6 million on the event over five years.