Organisers 'fought like hell' to keep car show

Ken Schumacher (left) and Mike Lea. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Ken Schumacher (left) and Mike Lea. Photo: Shawn McAvinue

Car show organisers are admitting defeat in their fight to keep their events at Tahuna Park.

Otago Community Hospice Charity Cruise and Car Show organiser Ken Schumacher said he and Stateside Streeters president Mike Lea met Dunedin City Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West earlier this month and were told car shows would not be held in Tahuna Park.

The decision came after car enthusiasts started a petition to ask the council to do a U-turn and lift its ban.

"We fought like hell but it was never going to happen,'' Mr Schumacher said, speaking to The Star on Monday.

In an email to The Star on Monday, Mr West said car shows could no longer be held in the park, due to the impact the activity had on the turf and the ability to use it as a football venue.

Council staff would work with show organisers to find suitable alternative venues, Mr West said.

Mr Schumacher said the hospice cruise would continue and be held on the concrete at the Otago Daily Times end of Forsyth Barr Stadium and "overflow'' to a fenced section of the stadium car park.

The $10,000 cost for the stadium hire and fencing would be paid for by the council's community grants scheme, he said.

Tahuna Park was a better option than the stadium because Dunedin Venues Management Limited (DVML) had the right to give short notice and cancel the show booked for November 25.

The cancellation clause left show organisers feeling vulnerable, Mr Schumacher said.

When The Star asked Mr West about the clause he replied: "Based on advice from DVML, the DCC has advised Mr Schumacher it is extremely unlikely that the show will not go ahead at the stadium.

"We have assured him that if the show does need to move, the DCC will work with the organisers to find an alternative venue''.

Mr Lea, speaking to The Star on Monday, said his club still had no alternative venue to hold a Great USA Day in March next year.

He was waiting on the council to provide alternative venues for the club to consider.

"USA Day is in limbo.''

He hoped a response would be given soon so he could inform club members at the club's annual meeting next week.

The club had been approached to combine the Corvette Nationals and the USA Day next year or in 2020, which had potential to attract 400 vehicles.

"We've explained this to the DCC and they want the event to continue - just not on any of its grounds with drainage.''



In 30+ years of car shows at Tahuna Park, the ground has **NEVER** been damaged! Bond has been returned Every. Single. Time.

What an absolute joke. If they think the fight is over, they're wrong...

This has nothing to do with perceived damage to the turf it is purely ego based. These overpaid bureaucrats think that their opinion matters more than the public. What a joke they should be ashamed of themselves.