As anyone who has had more than a passing interest in the past two seasons at the Milestone Homes Top of the South Speedway will know, the Nelson Speedway Association has had its hands tangled in red tape.

The council documents allowing the club to stage race meetings were badly out of date, a situation that drew the attention of a couple of the club’s neighbours, who believed the club was not operating under its legal conditions. The first course of action the club could take was to remove two-night meetings from its calendar in the past couple of seasons. That meant big championships either had to be one-day affairs or surrendered to other clubs. Rainout meetings on a Sunday were also not an option.

The club has been actively working to seek a remedy. Part of that process is a resource consent variation that is about to go before the Tasman District Council. It is not a completely new document but a revised one that is fit for purpose now and into the future.

As part of that process, people are invited to make submissions to the council, either in support of the application, or opposing it. This is where Richmond, Nelson, Tasman and anyone further afield interested in securing the future of speedway here can get involved.

This article includes clickable links to a copy of the application so you know what the club is hoping to achieve and, more importantly, a link to the official submission form. On that form, there is the application name, file number, contact addresses and application details. We need to know you are behind us. Click that link, complete the form and return it to the TDC address included before the deadline.

All along, the club has appreciated the passion of its people. But club president Wayne Martin has reinforced a familiar message. If you are making a submission on behalf of the club, BE RESPECTFUL.

“In a lot of ways, the neighbours have probably done us a favour,” Martin said. “This process is something we needed to get on to and now we have the opportunity to do things legally and get a better outcome.

“I have always said there should be no animosity to our neighbours, they are arguing a legal point and so are we. It’s never been personal.”

So, what can you do? If the Nelson speedway has meant something positive to you as a competitor, crew member, follower, sponsor or businessperson, please say so.

If you’re a young driver who came through ministocks and learned car control and enjoyed the opportunity to race in a controlled environment and away from public roads, please say so.

If your motel, eatery, panel shop or retail outlet has a bump in business when speedway comes to town, please say so, especially in these economic times when every dollar in the region is valuable.

If you are a visiting competitor who has ruled out coming to Nelson to race because of its current restrictions, costing the Tasman community income and national profile, please say so. Domestic travel is crucial to our recovery.

If you appreciate an alcohol-free venue to have four hours of fun with your family, please say so. There’s enough stress and social dislocation going on — say how speedway brings people together in a safe situation and builds connections.

This is important. Even better, there is a tick box that asks if you are prepared to speak on your submission at a council committee hearing. Not many of us like to stand up and speak, but if a business owner can give just five minutes to talk about the economic benefits of speedway in this community, or a teenager can honestly say that speedway stops them hooning on the streets, please consider ticking that box.

The council committee is made up of a range of people — some will not like speedway, a couple won’t understand the attraction but try to help them see the value. In your submission, consider points like the social good in the community, the economic benefits. The club has already addressed noise, dust and traffic management as much as it possibly can. Plenty of events in Nelson generate noise and draw a crowd — speedway needs to find its voice and not be cast as second-class citizens.

The links are below — spend 10 minutes to have your say in a thoughtful and careful way. It just might make the difference.

Resource consent application


Submission form (it is application number RM 191306)



Photos, Rebecca Connor Maling, BM Photography

Words, Pete McNae