NZ Silver Fern Rally 2020 April Update
Photo credit: Jason Byrne

NZ Silver Fern April 2020 Update

Below is an update from Ultimate Rally Group’s Managing Director on this years NZ Silver Fern:

Hello Silver Fern Rally Enthusiast,

As we move into the ANZAC Weekend here in New Zealand, we are all looking forward to reduced COVID-19 travel restrictions in the coming weeks and months.
I’m sure that many of you are still planning how you move forward with the ‘new rules of business’ and how this will affect your daily routines.

I have been keeping busy with my involvement in Rotary providing support to frontline organisations that are feeding the community, to ensure they are staying safe, while helping those vulnerable particularly elderly living alone in rural areas.
This has given me the opportunity to connect with many social services, government agencies and local MP’s to gain an understanding of how we as a country are tracking towards the management of this pandemic.

We all need to be proud of what we as a country have achieved, but also mindful of the huge cost to our economy, which may see many businesses not survive.

For many life will resume with only a few changes to the way we conduct our activities, but for some their lives will never be the same, in particular those who have lost family and friends to COVID-19 complications and our thoughts are with them.
At this stage the staff are still all working from home and so it is just me here at the office, but we are now fully conversant with morning and afternoon Zoom meetings to keep us all connected.
New Zealand is lucky to be an Island nation which is quite remote with low population density. Community transmission is now virtually non-existent, and we should recover with few human casualties.
However we are led by a socialist government that will be very conservative in opening our boarders to bulk travellers again.
Only time will tell when these measures will ease, but we anticipate this will be before November.

The very good news is that we are still planning to run the 2020 NZ Silver Fern Rally in November. All the lead work and planning continues across the North Island.
There will need to be a few changes to the running of the event. These include maintaining personal distances so the introduction of hand sanitisers and personal hygiene measures. Reducing the potential for mass gathering by written drivers briefings, staggered scrutineering and documentation and possibly running cars at 2 minute intervals(which will also reduce the risk of standing dust on stages), none of these are insurmountable.

For those of you who are on the payment plan, we have extended the payment plan dates out by a month to give you all some breathing space, for those who have not entered yet here are our thoughts.
New Zealand is a relatively safe environment and always has been. We have good infrastructure to cope with life’s uncertainties. There will be little other motorsport activity around the world over the coming months, so shift your focus to joining us at the end of the year for a whole season of motorsport in 7 days. Remember, motorsport is a calculated risk and that is one of the reasons why we do it, but it is also part of who we are!

I have said for many years, ‘Life is short and we need to do what we enjoy while we still can because you never know what’s around the corner’, so come and join us for the best Marathon Gravel Rally in the World, you deserve it!

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.

Peter Martin
Managing Director.

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