10 Jul 2012

Auckland's involvement with V8s up to council - PM

9:48 pm on 10 July 2012

Prime Minister John Key says Auckland's involvement in hosting the Super V8 series from next year is a matter entirely up to its council.

The Auckland Council voted last week in favour of the city hosting the V8s at the Pukekohe track for five years and spending $10 million of ratepayer money on the event.

The Government will contribute $2.2 million to help upgrade the track.

Mr Key says it is up to the council to prove to ratepayers it is the right thing to be involved in.

He says the spending of any money presents some risk - but it is a smaller risk than faced by Hamilton, which lost an estimated $37 million on the race over three years.

Mr Key says the risk will also be reduced because Auckland will use a track circuit and has a bigger population base.

The Government's contribution is a one-off infrastructure payment, he says.

Former Hamilton mayor wants answers

Former Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite says city councillors who were involved in the V8 series need to be called to account for ruining the city's reputation.

Mr Braithwaite has asked Auditor-General Lyn Provost to investigate the conduct of 10 councillors.

He says the $37 million loss has crippled Hamilton and wants several matters investigated, including the council's decision to stop trying to recover losses.

Deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman says the complaint is absurd, and trying to recover costs would have meant ratepayers paying more money and might well have been fruitless.