Wednesday, 24 April 2024 - 3:09pm

Fast cars, no problems

2 min read

News article photos (2 items)

A quick podium photo opportunity for some of the staff.
Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand staff standing next to their go-karts before the race.

Fast cars, 25,000 fans, a full town – the first Supercars event in Taupō is being deemed a success.

With months of planning in the lead-up to the event, our staff were well prepared for all possible eventualities of such a big event, but in the end the only real controversy was who took out the honours during the Police vs FENZ go-kart race.

(For the record, it was Police that crossed the line first, despite FENZ managing to notch up the fastest laps.)

Senior Sergeant Fane Troy says almost 60 Police staff from across the wider Bay of Plenty were involved in policing the event – including a team of 20 working at the racetrack during the day, with a further 20 in town and more staff across the roading networks.

“A key part was preventing any incidents through high-visibility patrols and early intervention. We wanted those attending to be safe and feel safe.”

Planning included everything from policing the roads for those travelling to and from the event to intoxication-fuelled behaviour and significant events. Fane says police knew any actions could attract the eyes of the significant international audience watching on, both at the track and through the televised broadcast.

“It’s the first year Taupō’s hosted the event and we wanted to make sure we got it right from a policing perspective. We were able to base a lot of our planning on the work Pukekohe had previously done, which they kindly shared.

“But it was also a different set up we were dealing with, with the event so close to town, so we were planning for the impact of that too.”

What transpired, according to Fane, was a different demographic that included a lot of mature motoring enthusiasts, as well as a lot of families enjoying the event – potentially due to it falling in the middle weekend of the school holidays.

The Alcohol Harm Prevention Unit carried out compliance checks both at the venue and in town, with only some minor issues identified.

“We had some fantastic feedback from those attending the event, including some of the teams who were blown away by the professionalism and attitude of our staff," says Fane.

"I had some Aussie race teams who said they couldn’t get over the way our people interacted with the crowd, and how friendly our staff were.”