V8 spending will leave legacy, critics told

TREVOR QUINN
Last updated 14:30 12/07/2012

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The council-controlled organisation bringing the V8s to Pukekohe has hit back at suggestions the raceway isn't up to scratch.

Auckland councillor George Wood has criticised the condition of the Pukekohe track and has suggested Hampden Downs would have been a better venue for the event Auckland Council is spending more than $10 million on.

Wood believes it will cost far more than the predicted $6.6m to revamp the rundown track and its facilities.

But Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Brett O'Riley said Pukekohe raceway was the best option.

O'Reily said in April Pukekohe, where the V8s raced from 2001 to 2007, was assessed as the preferred venue "by all parties".

He said its proven track record and good rail and public transport options added to its appeal.

Hampton Downs was discounted because it couldn't host as many spectators.

O'Riley said when the race was previously held in Hamilton the council's investment was only beneficial for the race's six days, where as the investment in the Pukekohe track would leave a lasting legacy.

"Remember V8 is only using Pukekohe for six days a year which leaves 350 days a year for us to host other events. This investment creates the infrastructure which will have a long term economic impact."

ATEED will invest an annual $2.1m over five years in to the event, while a designated capital grant of approximately $2.2m and a $1m annual sponsorship fee will also be received.

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