End of the road for street bat­tle

Waihi Leader - - News -

It’s the end of the road for Paeroa’s ma­jor Bat­tle of The Streets.

Paeroa Pro­mo­tions Trust, which or­gan­ises the event, said it will be dis­con­tin­ued.

“Af­ter much con­sid­er­a­tion, Paeroa Pro­mo­tions Trust has made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to dis­con­tinue the Bat­tle of the Streets event.

“Ris­ing costs and de­creas­ing spec­ta­tor numbers have brought about this de­ci­sion,” the trust said.

“The Trust wishes to of­fer its heart­felt thanks to Hau­raki Dis­trict Coun­cil, Auck­land Mo­tor­cy­cle Club, Mo­tor­cy­cling New Zealand, event spon­sors and the com­mu­nity of Paeroa for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of this iconic event over the last 27 years.

“Also, a very spe­cial thank you to all com­peti­tors who have risen to the chal­lenge of The Hack­saw, pro­vid­ing sim­ply breath-tak­ing spec­ta­tor view­ing along the way.

“Lastly, thank you to our in­valu­able vol­un­teer groups of Paeroa and Hau­raki for giv­ing so gen­er­ously of their time and ex­per­tise. With­out them this event sim­ply wouldn’t have ex­isted.”

Hau­raki Dis­trict Mayor John Tregidga says the event’s enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion to the town will not be for­got­ten.

“The com­mu­nity has gained so much from this event, not just eco­nom­i­cally, but in less tan­gi­ble ways as well. It quite lit­er­ally set the wheels in mo­tion to re­ju­ve­nate the town and turn it into the vi­brant ru­ral com­mu­nity it is to­day. It re­ally was the cat­a­lyst that put Paeroa on the map,” he said.

He said Coun­cil sup­ported the event in a num­ber of ways for many years, but feels the Trust has made the right de­ci­sion.

“Of course I’m sad to see this iconic event reach the fin­ish line, but I whole­heart­edly sup­port the Trust in mak­ing this dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion. They’ve done the right thing,” Mr Tregidga said. Over 27 years, the Bat­tle of the Streets has pro­vided more than $700,000 in grants to lo­cal com­mu­nity groups, honour­ing the founders of the Bat­tle of the Streets and their mis­sion to raise funds for char­i­ta­ble pur­poses for the ben­e­fit of the Paeroa com­mu­nity.

While the Trust says while it is sad­dened to have to call time on ‘the Bat­tle’, it is proud of what has been achieved over the life­time of the event.

“It’s a true cel­e­bra­tion of com­mu­nity at its best. From three blokes shar­ing a few beers and an idea… it’s been a hell of a ride,” the Trust said.

PHOTO / ME­LANIE CAMOIN.

Paeroa streets trans­formed in to a cir­cuit for the an­nual Bat­tle of the Streets.

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