Givealittle — or give a bit more


By Pete McNae

If the Nelson Speedway Association had a dollar for every view and each share, well … there would be a bit more in their fighting fund than there is right now.

While club president Wayne Martin wants to make it clear there is no pressure, he’s hoping a gentle nudge in the right direction might see more of the support shown for the association’s bid to ensure its future turned into actual donations.

An outdated document governing the club’s operating conditions at the Lansdowne Road speedway has been contested by a couple of track neighbours and the speedway faces an expensive and longwinded process to continue to race through its 50th season this summer — and beyond. A Givealittle page has been created for everyone with an interest in seeing that future preserved but, despite 17,000 views and hundreds of shares through social media, the actual sum pledged has barely made it past $1200.

Martin said that, while the show of support from all quarters — not just in Nelson and not just from the speedway public — was appreciated, money talks.

“It sounds greedy to ask people for money and it is not something we have done lightly. We know everyone’s circumstances are different but, if those 17,000 views were worth two bucks each, we would be well on the way to reaching the goal. Five dollars each and we would have what we need to go through this process.”

Club members agreed at the AGM to a $100 one-off levy and, like donations to the Givealittle page and to the club’s bank account, that money is in a separate account, ringfenced specifically for the purpose of getting an up-to-date and fit for purpose resource consent document. That requires the club to gather evidence and documentation in support of its case, work with a lawyer and other related professionals (possibly planners, noise and traffic engineers etc) to prepare a case and then for the court to schedule and hear both the club’s evidence and that of the other side.

That is unlikely to happen within the coming season although the association is still exploring options to deliver the summer’s calendar as planned.

“We aren’t just sitting back at all,” Martin said. “We are having meetings and looking at what can be done — we aren’t in a position to be specific about any of that yet. We have a lot of info we need to gather, we won’t rush in and hope for the best on this.”

One obvious hurdle is the New Zealand Superstock Grand Prix, scheduled for consecutive nights in early January. Legally, that two-day meeting falls outside the club’s operating conditions and is at the top of issues they are attempting to resolve. A one-night format could be drafted up but everyone, apart from those opposing the club, would prefer a two-night show. “We will go public with details as soon as we can,” Martin said. “It’s at the top of the list.”

Not for the first time, he’s having to reinforce the message that the club wants to go about this process in the right way and through the correct channels. Someone who is not connected with the club published incorrect information about the address of a person on the other side of the fence from the club. The incorrectly named family, who are motorsport and speedway friendly, took unnecessary heat from ill-informed “supporters”.

“Please, just don’t … luckily we were able to speak to the people concerned but it’s a black mark against the club and exactly what we don’t need,” Martin said. “It was nothing to do with the club and people got their facts wrong. I understand the passion and that emotions are up a bit, let us deal with this in the right way and, please, if you want to show your support, then chipping in will allow us to do it once and do it right. It’s not an overnight process but it’s the path we have chosen and we hope people can get onboard with that.”

Here’s the link to the Givealittle page for the fighting fund to pursue a modern and enduring resource consent for speedway in Nelson

Alternatively, the bank account where donations are being accepted is

Westpac 03 – 0751 – 0274619 – 01

Please make sure that you leave your name as a reference and please let us know if you require a receipt so we can get one to you.

Thank you and let’s do it in the dirt for another 50!

Ian Burson photo, Tom Laney,