Controversy and Motorsport New Zealand (MSNZ) appear to go hand-in-hand if the past few years are anything to go by.

The latest saga, involving the sale of Motorsport House in Wellington, has moved up a notch to a full-on schism, with long-serving members resigning and MSNZ chief executive Simon Baker remarkably revealing he had "no confidence" in MSNZ president Wayne Christie.

The breakdown in relations culminated in Baker's resignation late last night. A two-sentence statement on the MSNZ website said Baker and Christie "have agreed that there are irreconcilable differences and will go their separate ways".

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There have been rumblings about the Motorsport House sale for months and it came to a head when motor racing stalwart and long-time MSNZ member Tony Roberts resigned, citing frustrations over the sale.

Those questions and frustrations led to Baker attacking Christie in an open letter and claiming the matter needed urgent investigation.

"Recent stories in the media have raised questions around the building sale [Motorsport House] which I sought to and recommended we answer publicly. I was explicitly instructed by Wayne Christie not to respond for requests to comment on the matter despite the team's and my view that the communication sent out by Wayne Christie and the board was confusing at best. I feel valid questions from our member clubs should be answered.

"The president has not spoken to me about this in some time now, and as recently as this morning, board members have been individually asking the team for information relating to the building sale, which I find highly unusual.

"Given my recent experiences, I now have no confidence in Wayne Christie as the president of MotorSport New Zealand Inc and agree with the 27 member clubs that this matter needs urgent further investigation."

Christie told the Weekend Herald: "We have a number of things under way in respect to what's going on. I'm really not at liberty, sorry, to talk on either subject [sale of Motorsport House or Baker's comments].

"I appreciate the opportunity to comment, and I'm hoping that by early next week, we'll be able to issue something to address these issues."

Roberts raised many of the issues surrounding MSNZ in his resignation letter. He wrote he had "become increasingly dissatisfied with the management of MSNZ and the new CEO. I believe the board should be ashamed of itself for trying to bypass the constitution in the sale of Motorsport House and then trying to justify the sale process."


When spoken to by the Weekend Herald, Roberts said: "I questioned the sale [of Motorsport House] back in February. I received a bit of flak from people at MSNZ, which seemed odd, as the price of the sale was under the rateable value [$1.53 million].

"I tackled the chairman of the board Wayne Christie on it and who had given the direction that they would take $1.3m, and not necessarily getting an equitable outcome for the clubs who own Motorsport House."