‘New home’ for car shows

Moving house . . . Arriving at Hancock Park in St Kilda in a 1963 Ford Fairlane (left) and 1964 Ford Galaxy on Tuesday were (from left) Stateside Streeters committee member Lex McNoe, Otago Community Hospice Charity Cruise and Car Show organiser Ken Schumacher and Stateside Streeters founding member and Great USA Day organiser Mike Lea, all of Dunedin. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A “new home” has been found for the car shows evicted from Tahuna Park.

In March this year, the Dunedin City Council forced out two car shows – Stateside Streeters’ Great USA Day and the Otago Community Hospice Charity Cruise and Car Show – from Tahuna Park.

The reasons the council gave for its decision were the car shows impacted on the turf and the ability to use the park as a football venue.

About 900 people signed a petition asking the council to rethink its decision.

“We weren’t just going to lie down and get our tummies tickled – no way in hell,” Charity Cruise and Car Show organiser Ken Schumacher said.

Great USA Day organiser Mike Lea said the bid to stay at Tahuna Park reached “a stalemate” and the council “realised they had to come up with something for us”.

The council offered several alternative venues.

The show organisers accepted an offer to hold their shows in the training grounds at Hancock Park, at the corner of John Wilson Ocean Dr and Victoria Rd in St Kilda, for the next five years.

“We’re reasonably happy – it’s been a mission to get here.”

Hancock Park was selected because its training grounds were dry and bigger than the Tahuna Park site.

Other factors included the Pirates Rugby Football Club offering its facilities for use and the park’s proximity to the playground at Marlow Park.

Mr Schumacher said the council had agreed to provide free temporary fencing for the shows at Hancock Park for the five years.

As a resolution on an alternative location had been uncertain, he had booked Forsyth Barr Stadium for the next hospice show on November 25, Mr Schumacher said.

Subsequent hospice shows would be held at Hancock Park.

Mr Lea said the next Great USA Day would be held at its “new home” of Hancock Park on the first Saturday of March next year.

Council parks and recreation group manager Robert West said the council was happy with the resolution.

The training grounds at Hancock Park were preferred for the car shows because Tahuna Park was a premier football ground used for first-grade games.