Of the future: MotorSport NZ needs to govern and not promote

| Photographer Credit: Euan Cameron Photography

Talkmotorsport continues its series of articles on the future of motorsport (post Covid-19 lockdown). AASA NZ representative Gordon Legge gives us his point of view….

When you have had the ship being steered by a gentle Labrador and you replace it with a Pitbull, there is every chance that it is going to eventually turn and you are going to get bitten in the arse.

Sadly, in this case eventually turned out to be a very short time.

Regardless of who was right or wrong over the the sale of MotorSport House, given its history, the board of MotorSport New Zealand should have always taken the safe course and had the sale approved by its membership.

I know it had been discussed twice at AGM’s but how hard would it have been to send out a one page with the facts, organise a Zoom meeting and had the whole thing signed off by members. It would have been the safe common-sense thing to do. As custodians of the members funds safe is always the best approach, taking the crowd with you on the journey.

Twice at AGM’s, members have told the board in no uncertain terms to just stick to admin, stay out of promotion. On the back of the member clear instructions, what does this board do, it hires a new CEO, starts public arguments with its contracted promoter and makes all the signs that it was getting back into promotion in a big way. Hiring more heads, picking championship dates, taking on marketing and sponsorship roles.

After recent attempts to do this with both Formula Ford and TCR, I would have thought more caution could have been exercised. Promotion is best left to promoters, managing classes is best left to classes.

While on the subject of promotion it might seem radical but the idea of having a promoter is that you give them something to promote, something that will attract a crowd, help grow the sport.

While every other sport in the country is desperately looking at ways to cut costs, ours was going into mad expansion mode. When you are the only one marching to a different tune you are most likely to be the one out of step.

That door is now closed so where to from here.

Listening and doing what your member clubs request is a good place to start.

What if we looked at changing the name of Head Office to the National Support Centre. It may change the perception of its function and create an understanding that it is there to help its members.

Recognise that function is to support the clubs, not to tell them how to run their businesses.

Support should be provided in four key functions: licensing, training, technical and permits.

This is a small business so let us go back to a GM. There is no need for the expensive of a CEO when this is just an administrative role.

One major change I would suggest, is the issuing of permits be taken back to the support centre, so we have national consistency and avoid personal liability for a volunteer steward.

Because of the looming Health and Safety element of our sport, there should be a national training manager. Courses could then be developed and run on a cost recovery basis.

Licensing and logbooks need to be moved to an online service.

Technical, one manager and class technical people used on a contract basis to supplement.

Accounts could well be tendered out or be a part time function

So there you are, a blueprint for the future.

Will any of this happen? I somewhat doubt it, as to do so will be to admit that the previous way may have been wrong and that there might be a better way of taking the sport forward.

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