Where was the first track in New Zealand?
History of bmx in New Zealand
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After much research, I have found that the first two tracks in NZ were in fact the downhill farm track, built on Whitemans farm in Kapiti by Rex Harris and the peddle cross club in Dunedin by Stewart Williams, both in 1979.
below is the original kapiti track in 1979 and the new track in 1981
The first kiwi made Bmx was the Pantha in 1979
Followed by the hmx in 1980
tracks are being built and clubs formed all over the country as the bmx craze had begun
wellington / pauahatnui track
wainuiomata holds the first new zealand nationals
palmerston north kicked of its track around 1981
Gilbert Wortman was the first sponsored rider by Rex Harris (from jdc) aboard one of the first mongooses in the country. He won the first ever race in Paraparaumu and went on to win the first super class event at the 1981 nationals.
gilbert at wainuiomata
prince charles pays a visit to nz and test rides an hmx
By 1982,there were over 70 tracks in new zealand.
hastings highland games / windsor park
waipawa bmx club
masterton bmx club / central wairapa
the old way of packing bikes. wanganui
some of the early te awamutu riders
prize giving in rotorua / geyserland bmx club
Levin bmx club holds it opening day.
Many other clubs around the country also opened and
have recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.
the nationals were held in nelson
nelson bmx track 2008
johnsonville bmx club gets a track after being nzbmx registered since 1979
unsure of this track
1984 (the boom)
In 1984 bmxnz had over 5000 licensed members.
That year ,1400 riders turned up for the nationals in Wanganui
A team of kiwis attended the 3rd bmx world championships in japan.
Gaye Mcmanus won the 6/7 girls world title becoming new zealands first ever world champion
new zealands team at the japan worlds. gaye mcmanus pictured in the white coke shirt
neil patterson from hamilton lines up in a race in lane #4. nz1
albany/auckland hosts the first north island champs ? (correct me if im wrong)
hamilton holds the first of its long running indoor meetings. im not sure if it was the first indoor?
porirua held a meet around the same time in the tux dog building and clairville /wairapa held indoor meetings on dirt around the same time....
kaiapoi holds a summer international meeting
The late Errol Nelson from Cambridge becomes the oldest kiwi world champion winning the 40+ cruiser class in vancouver
The nationals moved to the south island for the 2nd time
heres the 18/24 cruiser final in christchurch
from left to right are
jim kinita craig pearce brent harris david may doug matheson nick lambert
20" race christchurch nationals 1985
Wellington holds the nationals for the second time
The remains of the wellington track. this photo was taken nov 2007. rumour has it the council is keen to rebuild it but is waiting for a club to be formed. this first straight is still fun to ride.its longer than most tracks and has a 12 metre step up table top
the nationals were held in blenhiem
bmx racing in new zealand starts to slow down
freestyle bmx had kicked in by now and had become popular for ex racers.
in wellington,many kids flocked to the onslow college skate bowl and the avalon half pipe (built by local kids) to show their skills
phillip wilkinson at the avalon half pipe
john smith at onslow college skate bowl
crystal mcdonald of taupo wins the world champs in brisbane in the 9 yr girls class
not long after,the mighty elevens were created, in memory of the death of a young bmxer. trans tasman clashes began between australia and new zealand 11 year olds
for more info on the history of the mighty 11s......click here...
Mighty 11s at the 2000 Tauranga nationals
new zealand bmx world champions
1984 japan : gaye mcmanus 6/7 yr girls
1985 canada : errol nelson 40 + cruiser
1989 brisbane : crystal mcdonald 9yr girls
1998 melbourne : tony walker 12 yr boys
1998 melbourne : gemma smedley junior women
2007 canada : hannah sarten 11 yr girls
2007 canada : sarah walker womens elite cruiser
thanks largely to neil patterson for keeping all his old photos !!
Bmx has been going in New Zealand for 27 years. I feel it is only getting stronger.
This page is under construction so if you have anything to add, please do .Or email me your stories so i can add more content.
Everything here is as i have researched. If you find anything to be incorrect, please notify me. oldschoolbmx