An investigation by Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town into serious allegations of harassment during negotiations to relocate speedway from Western Springs has found the matter was dealt with appropriately.

Town also found there were no further incidents after being asked by Mayor Phil Goff to investigate the claims in a letter.

"Having made confidential inquiries that I was able to complete, I confirm there was an incident some time ago and it was dealt with appropriately by RFA(Regional Facilities Auckland) at the time(March 2018).

"There is no new evidence of further incidents of inappropriate communications and behaviour," Town said in a short letter to Goff, which the mayor released to the Herald.


Goff asked Town to investigate the contents of the letter, which he received from councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker.

The letter, leaked to the Herald, shows speedway promoter Greg Mosen being accused by a senior council officer of making defamatory comments designed to target and harass people.

It is also defamatory to suggest that I or anyone else at RFA, is involved in any way with some sort of alleged unjust gain.


Mosen told the Herald he refuted any allegations of defamation or harassment.

The allegations were made by Paul Nisbet, the venue development strategy director at council's regional facilities body.

The allegations against Mosen follow unsubstantiated allegations at a council finance committee last month by a sports public relations consultant, Steve Deane, that speedway people opposed to moving from Western Springs had been intimidated over speaking out.

Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) is struggling to get council support to move speedway to Colin Dale Park, near Auckland Airport.

Plans for $10 million of unbudgeted spending to help Speedways Promotions Ltd move to Colin Dale Park were voted down by councillors last month for a political debate on the future of Auckland's stadiums and the need for a downtown stadium.

The latest allegations stem from an informal lunch meeting between Nisbet, a speedway driver and a third person in March this year.

Following the meeting, Mosen sent an email to a Springs Promotions Ltd address and other recipients, prompting Nisbet to write a letter to the promoter.

In the letter dated March 29, Nisbet said it was "grossly defamatory" to suggest the third person at the meeting (whose name is redacted in the Herald copy) had "broken ranks in order to make a personal gain".

"It is also defamatory to suggest that I or anyone else at RFA, is involved in any way with some sort of alleged unjust gain," wrote Nisbet, saying Auckland Stadiums appreciated the importance of the future speedway venue to members of the motorsport community and did not object to a fair and robust debate.

"Auckland Stadiums does however object to the publication of misleading and defamatory statements, and communications that are designed to target and harass any given individual," Nisbet said in the letter, which also asked Mosen to refrain from sending threatening messages.

Mosen told the Herald there had been several meetings with RFA about relocating open wheel speedway to Waikaraka Park at Onehunga.

"It was established early this year that was not suitable. I was perturbed to hear that RFA had continued to have discussions about this option with an alternate promoter.

"This individual called a meeting with a select group of drivers and car owners to discuss moving open wheel speedway to the Waikaraka Park venue.

"After this meeting a senior driver contacted me and told me what had happened and he was concerned. It was important I share this in an email through our competitor group advising them of the situation," Mosen said.

He declined to provide a copy of the email.

In a statement, RFA said the letter obtained by the Herald, plus another letter, were sent to Speedway Promotions Ltd on March 29 this year in relation to issues of concern raised by RFA at that time.

"As far as we are aware, these issues did not involve RFA staff, rather a member of the public.

"Both of these letters were marked NOT FOR PUBLICATION and PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL. As a result we are not able to make any additional comment other than to add that we believe the matter was dealt with appropriately at the time," the statement said.

Councillor John Watson said the Nisbet letter and allegations by Deane raised serious concerns that should be of concern to the council in its negotiations with Springs Promotions Ltd, which included a lease to control the sport for 30 years.

Watson and fellow councillor Wayne Walker have written to Goff asking him to set up a safe process for people to provide information free of any fear of reprisal.


March 28, 2018:

Nisbet, a speedway driver and a third person meet to discuss relocating speedway from Western Springs.

March 29: Mosen sends an email to a Springs Promotion Ltd address and other undisclosed recipients.

March 29: Nisbet writes two letters to Springs Promotion Ltd, one of which has been leaked to the Herald.

November 20: Auckland councillors vote to defer moving speedway from Western Springs to Colin Dale Park pending a review of the city's wider stadium strategy.

December 5: Goff announces an investigation is under way into the contents of the letter obtained by the Herald.