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2016 National Conference Update

Twenty affiliated Clubs and four affiliated promoters were represented at the 56th KartSport New Zealand National Conference held in Auckland on the weekend of 27/28 August. Widely acclaimed as heralding a new era of competition and cooperation, many Club delegates have since commented that 2016 was the best and most positive Conference for many, many years. The following is a brief update, in Agenda order, on the highlights and subsequent decisions taken by the Executive immediately after the Conference concluded.

National President’s Report

National President Graeme Moore presented his report for the year. Highlights included: a 3% year on year growth in Senior Competition Licences, (first positive result for ten years), the successful launch of Operation Grassroots with 95 Briggs LO206 engines sold since January16 and a recent record month for new members in July16.

The National President’s Report can be viewed HERE.

Annual Accounts and Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Brent Melhop presented his report and audited accounts for the financial year ended 30 June 2016. KartSport New Zealand recorded a turnover of $381,934 and a surplus (after depreciation) of $9,109. 

The Treasurer’s Report can be viewed HERE.

Elections and Key Appointments

Robert Cunningham was again elected as Patron (one year term)G Moore 2web.jpg

The following were elected for two year terms:

National President Graeme Moore
National Vice President Brent Melhop
North Island Executive Member Wayne Keats
Either Island Executive Member Richard Moore

The following was appointed for a one-year term:
Executive Member Warrick Parkes

Note: Brian Lotter has a further year of his current term as South Island Executive member to run.

Officer appointments for a one-year term:
National Secretary Robert Hutton
Treasurer Brent Melhop
National Steward Colin Harris
National Technical Officer Warrick Parkes
National Track & Safety Manager Lance Hickey
Acting Competitions Manager Graeme Moore
Permits Manager Graham Wildgoose
Competition Licence Secretary Carolyne Hughes

Caption: National President Graeme Moore

Key Note Speakers

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Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs NI and David Parker, Manager Community Sport, Aktive Auckland then launched into the Conference theme “UBER GROWTH: Fresh, Disruptive, Innovate and Fun” with two excellent addresses which set the scene for the co-operation in the business sessions which followed.
Caption: Chris Quin addressing Conference.

Event Excellence

Executive Member Wayne Keats introduced the new “Fastrack Clubs” Club Day format which Clubs can look to introduce from January17. This shorter day format has been on trial at KartSport Wellington for the last 18 months and will offer Club Day competitors a more user friendly experience (shorter) while still maintaining the essential H&S requirements. “Fastrack Clubs” will need to upskill a few key positions for this to become a reality for their members to enjoy.

Operations Grassroots


With close to 100 engines sold since January16 Development Manager Robert Hutton provided a progress report on the introduction of the new grassroots karting engine, the Briggs LO206 and the marketing activity to date and planned. A panel including: Steve Melhuish (National Sales Manager Briggs & Stratton NZ), Stuart Park Sparkarts Wellington, Brendon Gridley, Gridley Kart Supplies Nelson, Jeremy Cox, Mainland Karting Canterbury and Danny Gelb, KartSport Mt Wellington Auckland then shared their experiences with the project to date and the success they have had commercially, running Arrive & Drive programmes and with new Club member growth respectively.

Pole Position – Clubs Winning Ways

All Clubs had the opportunity to present their Burning Platform issues and to share their successes recruiting new members plus what they have done to retain/support existing members and to recruit/retain and support volunteers. Many Clubs had excellent case studies to share and robust discussion followed on all topical items.

Club of the Year

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By closing date four Clubs had submitted formal entries for Club of the Year which is decided by secret vote of the Clubs present at Conference.
KartSport Wellington came out on top and the trophy was presented by Wayne Christie, President MSNZ, to a very happy crew from Wellington!
Captions: (from left) KartSport Wellington members Wayne Keats, Brent Melhop, Simon Burling-Claridge and Stuart Park with Wayne Christie.

KartSport Legend Jamie Aislabie – Life Member

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The Awards dinner saw Jamie Aislabie presented with Life Membership of KartSport New Zealand for services to the sport. Jamie is best known all around the country as a Technical Officer but was also very closely involved with the establishment of KartSport Rotorua’s international track.

Volunteer of the Year

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A large number of very deserving people were nominated by Clubs for Volunteer of the Year. This year two Awards were presented. To the husband and wife team, Maylene (Race Official) and Dave (Technical Officer) Robbie from Whangarei, who spend most weekends officiating at an event somewhere around the country.
Caption: Dave Robbie, Terry Sage KartSport Whangarei President, Maylene Robbie and Graeme Moore.

John Lennox

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John has retired from the Executive and the role of Competitions Manager/Permits Manager after very many years serving at all levels of the sport. Already a Life Member (appointed in 2000), John was presented with a travel voucher so that he and wife Debbie can enjoy a well-earned break.

Photographer of the Year

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Brent Melhop, Vice President and one of the competition judges, presented the inaugural awards to people representing Supreme winner, Graham Hughes and Category winner Emilee Wright. A selection of the photos submitted were on display during Conference as large format posters. These were auctioned at the end of the evening, raising $2800 which will be shared amongst the Photographer of the Year and the Club of the Year (towards an approved Club marketing project). Bidding was lively with bids via Facebook and telephone adding to the in-house action. The auction was also livestreamed on Facebook.
Caption: Brent Melhop with Ross MacKay who was representing Graham Hughes.

2017 Event Calendar

The Event Calendar has been a major issue (too many Group E events, often back to back, Officials burning out, poor event entry numbers and cancelled Club Days due to lack of Officials), especially in the North Island for many years. Following a “face the facts” presentation by Competitions Manager John Lennox, Clubs and promoters took on board the message and embraced compromise for the greater good.
The 2017 Event Calendar will see less Group E events with bigger/combined grids. For the most part the NZRMC and ProKart Series will run together, as they did in 2015. WPKA also contributed to the smarter calendar by dropping one round of the Goldstar series.

CLICK HERE to download the 2017 Event Calendar as at 16-9-16

Social Media Krunched


Social Media expert, Adnan Khan, Head of Digital at Krunch gave a superb insight and update on the power of social media and how Clubs can enhance KartSport New Zealand’s already strongly performing activity in this key marketing environment to build calls to action. Richard Moore presented details on KartSport New Zealand’s outstanding successes and learnings in terms of reach and engagement before a panel of leading Clubs and trade, including Campbell Jamieson (Taranaki), Stuart Park (Sparkarts), Brent Melhop (Wellington), Brendon Gridley (Nelson) and Graeme Moore (for SuperKart Drivers) shared their winning ways using social media.

Risk Management

Robert Hutton updated delegates on the progress we have made with our Risk Management Review Project. A number of Clubs have been slow to lodge their updated Safety Plans and were given a final deadline of 30-9-16. Failure to lodge acceptable Plans by this date will result in these tracks losing their Track Ratings.
Progress is also being made on an updated Track Rating Code, despite little input from Clubs.
Brian Budd, CEO MotorSport New Zealand then provided an overview of MSNZ’s responses to the new Health & Safety legislation, its effect on volunteers, Clubs and governing bodies. The recent spectator death at a motocross event in Cambridge will be a precedent setting case for all sports.

My-laps Upgrade


Maurice Timmermans from My-laps Australia and Lance Hickey provided a detailed presentation on the proposed X2 upgrade, including the benefits for enhanced user/competitor experience and opportunity to link event apps, social media, etc. All Clubs agreed to participate in the programme. KartSport New Zealand has offered Clubs finance options if required. Maurice will return on 1 October to run a one-day training workshop for Club Race Control teams.
The new X2 hardware and Orbits software is fully compatible with the existing transponders currently in use.

Rule Proposals

A few rule proposals from Round 31 had been referred to Conference for further review. Delegates had the opportunity to provide guidance to the Executive and immediately following Conference the Executive decided on the following (all to be confirmed in detailed Rule Updates shortly):

Championship Sprint classes will be limited to a maximum of 10 i.e. For a new class to be added, a class must be removed. (competition day for each class to be reviewed). 

Rotax DD2 becomes a Championship Sprint class effective 1-1-17.

100cc Yamaha Light and 100cc Yamaha Heavy become non Championship Sprint classes effective 1-1-17.

A new 100cc Yamaha class at 155kg MAW will become a Championship Sprint class effective 1-1-17.

All SuperKart classes/structure will be reviewed by a Working Group with a view to any changes being announced by 1-12-16.

Following a strong request from South Island Clubs, the ClubSport Briggs LO206 classes will be permitted to run at rounds of the 2017 Mainland Series (only) on a trial basis (subject to review before 30-11-17).

KartSport Academy

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Academy Director Richard Moore outlined plans for a new structure which will see KartSport New Zealand approved (and Skills Active NZ qualified) Academy Coaches able to run one on one Academy training days and approved to provide rating stamps to competitor Licences where appropriate. This will greatly improve logistics, which has been an issue with the current structure, plus provide competitors with more flexibility as to where and when they receive their coaching. Expect to see this programme rolled out over the next six months.


Positive proactive delegates were in abundance at this year’s Conference and all benefited from enlightening professional presentations from stakeholders as well as making real contributions to the future direction of our great sport.
Congratulations to all those who were awarded or decorated for their efforts and we look forward to sharing the outcomes and initiatives at Club meetings and events around the nation over the next 12 months. 


KartSport New Zealand