Rally New Zealand organisers will have to fight to keep the event as part of the world championship.
If they fail, Rally New Zealand, starting from Auckland on Friday, will be the last time we see world championship rallying in New Zealand.
The international drivers love this event but the teams have told the world controlling body, the FIA, that they do not want to go to New Zealand because of the extra expense and because it is such a small car market.
The teams want all the rallies to be in Europe and the Americas. There is also increasing competition for places in the championship, as more countries want to stage these events.
"We're up against the likes of Australia, where the Queensland state government put in A$5 million (NZ$6.3m) worth of funding," rally chairman Peter Johnston said. "And we're up against other countries like Jordan, Brazil and South Africa getting a lot of funding from their governments.
"So we've got to fight for it. We do have the best rally roads in the world, we have got the best organisation in the world.
"What we're finding is it's all very well some countries might have the will to run a rally but organising and running it is a different task."
New Zealand is not on the recently published schedule for next year, but Johnston takes heart from the fact that Australia is.
He would be happy enough if New Zealand and Australia alternated year by year.
Ford factory driver Petter Solberg wants the Kiwi rally retained. "First of all I think it's a lot of bullshit about the cost because they are adding a lot of kilometres to the rallies, and adding days to the rallies [which increases costs]," he said. "I think the history of the New Zealand rally, everybody loves it, it's definitely a rally that should be in the championship.
"It's so flowing, good rhythm, and it's a driver's rally. It's not like Greece, which is rough and you really have to be careful."
Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen said: "If you ask me, I would definitely like to see Rally New Zealand come again as well.
"For the drivers, it is one of the most enjoyable rallies to drive. But for the manufacturers maybe it's a small market and it's quite expensive to get there as well. Really I think it's good for the world championship to come over there and see the scenery and everything. I really enjoy it."
- © Fairfax NZ News