This week’s City of Auckland Rally and Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge will be the first ever motorsport events in New Zealand that have FIA Environmental Accreditation.
Rally New Zealand, who are running both events, have been working on a number of sustainability projects including a native tree-planting exercise at the Whitford property where Jacks Ridge is located while WRC winner Hayden Paddon’s electric rally car will be on display and will do some demos as the sport moves toward a more sustainable future.
The tree-planting idea is to offset emissions from the event with students of the local Brookby School and scouts group assisting in the tree-planting. Competitors will also pay a sustainability levy as part of their entry fee and have the option to donate more native trees to the project.
Chair of Franklin-Clevedon Local board
– Andy Baker will be in attendance when the tree-planting ceremony takes place at 4pm on Friday.
In addition to the tree-planting, Rally New Zealand has worked to reduce waste on the events and are working with companies such as Clean Events to collect compost and recyclables. They will also use compostable serving dishes from food vendors, use water bottle refill stations, reduce paper usage and printing and organisers will capture vehicle mileage and emissions data from officials and competitors.
Paddon, who launched his EV Hyundai last week, has spent the past 18 months developing an electric rally car that he predicts will be the future of the sport as manufacturers continue to develop electric vehicles worldwide.
The City of Auckland Rally sees competitors head north up towards the Kaipara and Puhoi areas as well as a return to the famous Riverhead Forest for six special stages before moving south to Jacks Ridge.
Sunday’s Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge will see cars tackle a 2km-section of the purpose-built rally stage in an elimination format that will be televised live on Sky Sport.