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Leadfoot Festival Statement

The Leadfoot Festival is a private invitation only event where the owner and organiser Rod Millen invites selected drivers and vehicles to participate.  The event, normally held in February, is well supported and enjoys global following. Spectator entry fees are charged.

Karters may enter this event in a private capacity but their entry is not sanctioned or condoned by KartSport New Zealand. Given the safety considerations, participation, as a KartSport New Zealand competitor is not recommended. See below.


·         The event as of recent years has been run under the auspices of Motorsport New Zealand (MSNZ). KartSport New Zealand enjoys a positive relationship with MSNZ who delegate responsibility and control of karting in NZ to us.

·         MSNZ have a policy of ensuring KartSport New Zealand permit any karting activity at MSNZ events that operate on MSNZ certified tracks/venues and that KartSport New Zealand provide the appropriate officials for all such events: eg SuperKarts on motor racing circuits and other events including the Leadfoot Festival.

·         The Leadfoot venue is a well-formed driveway that provides a hill climb competition. Enroute are a number of crests, a bridge and numerous significant trees, banks and drops adjacent to the tarmac. Numerous trees and obstacles line the route and many are protected by hay bales.

·         The MSNZ permit for Leadfoot covers cars and drivers competing with Motorsport New Zealand licences. KartSport New Zealand has received inquiry from members regarding participation as far back as October 2014.

·         Prior to the 2015 event KartSport New Zealand undertook due diligence regarding the venue and, more importantly, sought input from MSNZ as to suitability for karts given their prior and ongoing official sanctioning of the event.

·         The MSNZ Clerk of Course for the prior year event advised us that, in his considered opinion, the top section of the course was not safe for karts.

·         Having received this advice from MSNZ and having viewed video and photographs of the course, KartSport New Zealand communicated with organiser Rod Millen and potential competitors as to our inability to issue a permit due to safety, insurance and officers liability responsibilities.

·         At the 2015 event two karts participated despite the above. However for 2016 it appears the organiser choose not to accept the liability and did not invite karts to compete.


·         Having considered all the inputs KartSport New Zealand does not consider the hill climb venue suitable for a kart for reasons of safety and therefore KartSport New Zealand will not take the responsibility associated with issuing a permit for this event at this stage.  Those competitors that have inquired as to this matter have been communicated with both verbally and in writing.

·         If the event promoter wishes to accept entries from individuals he is of course is perfectly entitled to.  Karters currently enter non KartSport New Zealand events both in New Zealand and overseas without KartSport New Zealand sanction/international licences knowing full well that they enter at their own risk and/or the promoters'.

·         If a driver wishes to compete they may do so in their own right and not as KartSport New Zealand member.

·         While we understand Karters may be dissapointed and can fully appreciate how there may be some positive aspects to the involvement of one or more invited karters, KartSport New Zealand however is not in a position to have its officers issue a permit and or take liability for the venue/event at this point.

KartSport New Zealand will continue to encourage and support all KartSport New Zealand sanctioned activities and members in every way possible for KartSport events both in New Zealand and Internationally.


Graeme Moore
National President
KartSport New Zealand

8 February 2016








KartSport New Zealand