Association of New Zealand Car Clubs Incorporated
On 18 October 1947 eight representatives of car clubs met in Wellington for the purpose of forming an Association of the car clubs then existing in New Zealand. Clubs represented at this meeting were:
The New Zealand Motor Racing Drivers Association Auckland
The Manawatu Car Club, Palmerston North
The New Zealand Sports Car Club, Wellington
The Canterbury Car Club, Christchurch
The Otago Sports Car Club, Dunedin
The Vintage Vehicles New Zealand, Christchurch
Hawkes Bay Sports Car Club, Hastings
Nelson Car Club, Nelson
The first chairman of the newly formed Association of New Zealand Car Clubs was Mr P M Orr of Christchurch and the acting Secretary for the first nine months was Mr T Wickham who was followed in this office by the late Mr W J Cope.
At the first annual conference held in 1948, actions were put in train for the incorporation of the Association and this was finally achieved on 6 November 1950.
The early part of the operations of the Association was spent in gaining uniformity of rules for competitions and accordingly general competition rules were formulated to adjunct on to the Constitution.
In addition, a system of graded competition drivers was instituted and the issue of competition licences was put into effect. Other matters receiving the attention of early conferences of the Association were:
- The establishment of New Zealand championships for road races, beach races, trials, sprints and hillclimbs with the provision of suitable challenge trophies for the major annual awards.
- The introduction of a monthly magazine.
- The necessity for very strict controls of events conducted by member clubs and particularly regarding spectator control where speed was the determining factor.
- The desirability of affiliating with the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) for the purpose of the control of motorsport in New Zealand.
Venue For Events
With the natural growth of the Association and its member clubs, difficulty was experienced in obtaining suitable venues, especially for road races and sprints.
As a result of representations made to the then Minister of Transport, statutory regulations were gazetted in 1949, known as 'The Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1949'.
The introduction of these regulations, which are still in force today, assisted in the matter of obtaining venues for motorsport on public roads and highways.
In the period from 1947 to 1961, the Associations growth rose to 56 clubs. During this period, only three clubs severed their connections, and in all cases this was due to the dissolution of those clubs. It was estimated that in 1961 the Association, in its wider sense, had a membership of 10,000.
Recognition and Representation
After several years of negotiation, in 1956 the RAC, the controlling body for motorsport in the British Commonwealth, saw fit to grant to the Association of New Zealand Car Clubs the sole authority to control all of the automobile sport in New Zealand on their behalf. This rise in status proved to be of inestimable advantage during that time in so far as the Association was perceived.
As a consequence, it enabled it to take its place with the other sporting bodies of the world with representation (albeit through the parent body) to the FIA in Paris. As a part of this sub-delegation of control from the RAC, (the Royal Automobile Club London), appointed three stewards of the RAC resident in New Zealand who had the power to hear and determine on behalf of the RAC any disputes connected with the sport which had failed to be resolved during normal protest hearings.
It was pleasing to record that during that period of the Association's history, it was never necessary for this board of RAC stewards to convene.
MotorSport Association of New Zealand Inc
The Motorsport Association grew out of the old Association of New Zealand Car Clubs in 1967 when the then 58 affiliate clubs agreed at the Annual Council Meeting to a name change. In the ensuing period, the club membership grew to 105 clubs with a more modest increase in overall membership.
After the formation of the Motorsport Association, individual members tended to move away from the large clubs to form more specialist clubs better representing their interests in the sport, hence the rapid growth pattern of the number of clubs as against the more modest growth of overall members.
MotorSport New Zealand Inc
The 49th Annual General Council Meeting voted unanimously in favour of a new Constitution and By-Laws, which heralded the name change to MotorSport New Zealand Inc.
This major Constitutional change bought clarity to the legal framework of where MotorSport New Zealand operates. It clarified the powers and accountability of all the committees’ action and put into plain English the rules and administration structures.
Since its formation, MotorSport NZ has strived to gain international recognition for New Zealand and its members at all levels, both competitive and organisational. Its success or otherwise will be gauged on the fact that it has delegates serving on the FIA Council, FIA Rally Commission, and the FIA Circuit Commission.
New Zealanders in competition have been fortunate to achieve international recognition, the most notable being in 1967 when the late Dennis Hulme won the Formula One World Championship title. Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren became household names throughout the world for their exploits in Europe and in the United States along with Denny Hulme in both Formula One and the CanAm Sports Car Championship in America.
In the 90's we have been fortunate enough to record further success on the world scene with Paul Radisich winning the 1993 and 1994 World Touring Car Cup for Super Touring Cars and Possum Bourne winning the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in 1993.
As we move into the new millennium, we have a number of very talented young drivers who are already making a strong New Zealand presence in Australia and USA. We also have developed and are proud to call "our own", Motorsport New Zealand Officials who do an excellent job stewarding at FIA International events. New Zealand is also represented at the highest level of our sport internationally; with Morrie Chandler (NZOM) Vice-President of the FIA, Steven Kennedy on the World Touring Car Commission and Pat Higgins, FIA Circuit Safety Commission.
MotorSport New Zealand was fortunate enough to attract world championship events in touring cars in the late 80's and for a considerable period of time, has been the host of a round of the World Rally Championship.
Since the formation of the Motorsport Association, the Administration has been housed in the sports own properties.
Firstly in a floor of Westbrook House in Willis Street, Wellington, then in a stately home in Tinakori Road in Wellington.
In 1994, the Association moved into a two story commercial building in Torrens Terrace, the ground floor being leased out and the top story retained for the Administration services.
In 2005, Motorsport New Zealand built new, state of the art premises at 69 Hutt Road, Wellington, to house itself and its commercial entity, "Motorsport Promotions Limited".