Christchurch's Wayne Christie has been voted in as President of New Zealand motorsport's governing body, MotorSport New Zealand Inc.
Mr Christie takes over the voluntary position from Palmerston North's Shayne Harris who held the position for six years.
For the first time in many years, the President's role went to a vote during the MSNZ annual general meeting. Two other candidates - Palmerston North's Raymond 'Crunch' Bennett and Edgecumbe's William Orr - were nominated by an array of MotorSport New Zealand's (MSNZ) 100 member clubs, with Mr Christie getting the nod.
An active competitor in the HQ and Super Six Saloon categories, Mr Christie has more than 25 years' involvement with motor sport in New Zealand as a competitor and an official. He has served on MSNZ's executive and continued as a board member when the organisation adopted a new constitution in May 2015. Most recently he has chaired MSNZ's race advisory commission and is also the category manager for the Saloon Car Racing Association of New Zealand.
"I've been very supportive of Shayne Harris and the hard work he and our executive, then board, has done alongside the team from MotorSport House to continue the governance of our sport in New Zealand," said Mr Christie, a legal practice manager. "I signalled a couple of years ago that I'd be prepared to stand for President and knowing the demands of this role on top of a full-time job, I'm grateful for the support of my family and employer.
"There is much to celebrate about New Zealand motorsport at present with the strength of our national race and rally categories and the many successes of our competitors internationally, as well as challenges for our clubs in terms of membership numbers and volunteers. Together with our CEO Brian Budd and the MSNZ team, we have plenty to work on. I'm looking forward to getting on with the job."
With MSNZ board member Janet Phipps standing down this year, Aucklander Gordon Legge joins Christie, Bennett, Auckland's Deborah Day and Dunedin's Norm Oakley to focus on the overall strategy and direction of the organisation, and planning for the sport's future and its finances.
Among the many topics covered during MSNZ's 69th annual general meeting were statistics which shows New Zealand motorsport is in good heart. CEO Brian Budd's report showed more than 4,800 people hold competition licences, i.e. are active motorsport competitors.
Mr Budd notes: "Over 700 events were granted a MSNZ permit in 2015 - that's an average of more than 13 events per weekend across the year. These events attracted more than 22,400 participants - and that's just the competitors - if you count the hundreds of volunteers, officials and media also involved, obviously the numbers are considerably higher."