Hydroplanes cancelled over costs

Hydroplanes are giving Tauranga the swerve this year. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

A blow out in the cost of moving the moorings has forced organisers of the Tauranga Hydro Thunder racing to cancel the March event.

When the Grand Prix Hydroplanes held the world championships in harbour opposite The Strand in 2010, they had to pay $8000 to have the moorings moved for the event.

This year organisers are being asked to pay $24,500.

The event is now being moved to Auckland.

“Every year it went up and up and up,” says promoter Denise Preece.

“The last time we paid it was $11,000 or something. Now its $21,000 to move the moorings and you are looking at another $3500 to store them in the marina.

“We had no issue with that, we knew the process, no problem. But unfortunately the process has got bigger and bigger. And this is a free community event.”

They cannot absorb increased costs by charging more for tickets.

“But seriously, it's just got crazy,” says Denise.

“I don't understand. We have the same amount of boats – the same boats and the same moorings. It's all the same.

“We haven't done this lightly, this has been pretty hard to do, but we really have to look at the whole thing. Why would you put all that money in and it's not just that, we have got cranes and then we have got all our $7000 worth of safety people on the water. You have got to have all that stuff.”

The Grand Prix drivers had a meeting last week and voted to cancel because it's getting out of hand.

“It's a perfect venue. We're not happy about it. We are taking the event to Auckland this year anyway, which is a shame.

“Other than Karapiro that (Tauranga) would have to be one of the best venues we've been to because it's such a great place for people to be able to watch it.

“We want to come back. We are not sour about this, but we just want to make it happen. Not just for our event, but for other people to have events there. They're doing all that work on the waterfront it's a natural place to have events people can just come along.”

It would be great if they moved all the moorings away from the Town Reach, leaving the water open for anyone who wanted to use it, says Denise.

Tauranga City Council acting strategic and city events manager Jenna Quay says the Acceleration On Water Festival of Speed, which was held on the Tauranga waterfront in 2011 and 2013, and was scheduled to be held again on 4 and 5 March 2017 – will now be held in Auckland on April 29 and 30, 2017.

“NZGP Hydroplanes Drivers Club INC contacted Council last week, to advise that they wished to cancel their event in March,” says Jenna in a prepared statement.

“Tauranga City Council worked with the event organisers in regards to the activities to be held on land. They had been working with Bay Of Plenty Regional Council to move the moorings along the waterfront and store these boats at the Marina. The costs associated with this were more than they had originally anticipated. Unfortunately, it was not financially viable for them to hold the event this year.

“Tauranga City Council will work with the event organisers to look to assist them with sourcing additional funding or sponsorship to host their event in Tauranga in the future, and look forward to the opportunity of welcoming them back to the city. It would be a great event to stage on the Tauranga waterfront.”


think outside the square

Posted on 26-02-2017 15:26 | By CC8

Move it up the harbour..off Memorial Park..or Ferguson Park...more space and parking for spectators, the opportunity to take a reasonable fee , sell some vending spaces, and a bit of shade and alternative fun for those in the family who are easily bored and distracted from the event. There should be enough water three hours either side of high tide to make it work....the only negative would be the NIMBY moaners who live nearby.

Read the article

Posted on 16-02-2017 08:55 | By Taurangalocal

The costs are what the contractors charge to move the moorings. Nothing to do with either Council.


Posted on 15-02-2017 21:17 | By GreertonBoy

The publicity for Tauranga would have been priceless? I have never met anyone overseas who has heard of Tauranga... what a lost opportunity.... Surely the council could have sold one of its $50,000 bollards to pay for it... the revenue and exposure for Tauranga and the Mount would have probably meant they could have bought an extra bollard so you cant drive a mini between them. Tauranga needs MORE events like this, not loose one over a measly $24K? The council prolly spends that on lunch every day... they are usually great at spending our money? What a shame.... The council could have used the opportunity to make really easy quick release moorings and said to the racing mob, come back any time you wish....

What the ....

Posted on 15-02-2017 15:04 | By Sandy Fordyce

Having been to this event in the past and having others accompany us, it is such a shame that the decision has been made by the Event Organisers to have to move the event due to the "inflated" costs of moving the moorings. Surely if the Council can find $4 million for a new Isite with a $1 million dollar roof, $25,000.00 would be a small price to pay for the extra tourism dollars this event brings in to the area and the retailers. Shame on the Council for not helping out the organisers of this world class event!!!!!!

Another one bites the dust

Posted on 15-02-2017 13:12 | By begesch

Shame, really really shame. No, I'm not biased, I've never seen the event. But ANY event of that scale, specially after talking about world championships, should be encouraged to stay in Tauranga, not to be moved up to Auckland because of pure greed. Sometimes I wonder if Tauranga Council and Regional council are really interested in events and having people stay here over night, or only in Cruise ships and drive throughs.

Simple Arithmetic for Dummies

Posted on 15-02-2017 12:50 | By xenasdad

"Tourism spending in Tauranga is estimated to be $713 million for the year ending December 2016," - See more at: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/147358-4m-approved-new-isite.html#sthash.r6mVuCwf.dpufAnd we lose this great event for a suspiciously sounding inflated $25000

Not Fair!

Posted on 15-02-2017 12:49 | By Mackka

The councils give out our money to some pretty minority groups and their dubious events but the one thing that the majority can enjoy and look forward to they don't want a bar of!! How can the rise in costs be justified? Such meanness is unspeakable!!

hang on a minute

Posted on 15-02-2017 12:20 | By old trucker

Golly gosh who makes these rules up in Regional Council the GREED from $11,000 to $24,000 is STUPID, this brings money in and now going to Auckland,who ever did this needs their head red,VERY VERY SELFISH, i think,why not name the people that do this,they hide behind the COUNCIL WALLS and never see them, they always have EXCUSES,about things, CANNOT believe how CRAZY this is,my thoughts only,Thanks for the News Sunlive 10-4 out.


Posted on 15-02-2017 12:18 | By Dino

really really disappointed to hear that this awesome event has been moved to Auckland all because our council is too greedy....i though you were trying to attract people to the area and attract business to the CBD...well you sure as heck aren't going the right way about it.....come on council be real about things, this is our money, and you are not doing the best with it...pity we haven't a choice about paying our rates....... give us locals a fair crack of the whip!

Just Greedy

Posted on 15-02-2017 10:37 | By Tassie

And they wonder why all the cruise ships come in here and head for out of town. There's nothing to do but shop and the sea.

Well Ain't that typical

Posted on 15-02-2017 09:51 | By chatter

Just another awesome event that brings tourism / income to benefit the local businesses & community, scrapped because of hidden agendas & greed.Understandable that there are some costs & inconveniences involved - but to reuse a movie quote "the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few".What is with all the bureaucratic Bull.... in the world today

Tight a...s

Posted on 15-02-2017 09:49 | By peecee09

Come on Regional Council you make many millions of dollars from your shareholding in the Port of Tauranga. Surely you can afford the cost associated with this very spectacular event as a PR gesture . I can't believe how mean you are with OUR money, just do it, it will make you feel nice and warm and fuzzy.

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