New Zealand

I went through the Kiwi flagging and recovery school while living on a working holiday scheme in Auckland, New Zealand in 2012. The training I received there has served me well for the past few years while volunteering internationally, and I am very grateful to the people that helped me there. I didn’t have much luck finding an actual job in NZ so the only true occupation I had over my five month stay there was my weekly marshaling trips to Hampton Downs, Pukekohe, Taupo and Manfeild. For such a small country (the north island where I lived) they sure are spoiled for choice when it comes to motorsports. With two tracks less than an hour’s drive from Auckland CBD including Pukekohe and Hampton Downs, it is very convenient to volunteer in NZ.

Of course while I was being a tourist and going broke from not working even getting a ride to the track was not easy. But the good folks at the Motor Sport Club did all they could to get me trackside. Some events I relied on the ultra cheap InterCity bus service to get me there, and others I used the stand-by fares with Air New Zealand to fly down to an event.

Volunteering in New Zealand is super easy. As I mentioned you are spoiled for choice of events. You also have a number of clubs you can marshal with. In the Auckland area the Motor Sport Club is fantastic, they provide flag & comms volunteers. As well as recovery and fire crew that works on a separate team. However for some events a different organization: RSQKRU offers their own rescue people. So to get involved you should narrow down what role you want to volunteer as and then approach the appropriate club to get started. The beauty of joining the club in NZ, there is no membership fees. And they still use log books. So for each event you participate in you collect a signature from your post chief or the chief flag person.

There is an incredible camaraderie among the volunteers, many of them have been doing this forever while there is a healthy mix of young marshals which is a great site to see. Everybody knows everybody so it really feels like a family affair. I highly recommend it, even if just for a visit. The Kiwi V8 Supertourers have some of the flare of the Aussie V8 Supercars but without the heavy celebrity clout. To join visit: http://themotorsportclub.com/

nz v8 supertourers

PS. my favorite aspect of volunteering in the Pacific is having meat pies for lunch at the track. And a great way to work off the calories is to do a debris run on the main straight during the inaugural V8 Supertourers race at Hampton Downs.