Monday, 24 September 2012


Telstra Pacific Events Centre at Manukau in Auckland, New Zealand was the perfect venue for the Rotary Club of Papakura’s inaugural National Classic Motorcycle Show of bikes from vintage to 1992.  On August 4-5 over 250 bikes, 12 motorcycle clubs and 27 trade exhibitors were exposed to 3,200 visitors.

Planning for the show started two years before.  The project started formally when the principle gold sponsor, Star Motorcycle Insurance, was secured. The next steps involved: obtaining secondary and tertiary sponsorship; securing support commitments from various motorcycle clubs; securing a joint venture partner for NZ Classic Bike of the Year; securing the venue; defining logistics for the show weekend; and judging. 

Businesses that could offer support in kind (but not financially) were targeted as secondary silver sponsors. These included a printer to produce all necessary point of sale material and signs, and Fairfax media promotion through community newspapers. There were seven such sponsors in total.

Bronze sponsors were companies that wanted to be involved at the show.  These ranged from Honda NZ to a leather repair machinist.

Being the first Classic Show to be held in Auckland for many years, potential trade and motorcycle exhibitors were sceptical and held back until the last minute. Very difficult trading conditions forced several trade exhibitors to withdraw in the last month, and this placed real pressure on prizes and prize money.

In total there were 27 sponsors contributing some $42,000 towards the show. This allowed the show to open to the public, needing only $9,000 to break even. This equated to only 600 people at $15 through the gate, and this was met by midday on Saturday.

NZ Classic Bike of the Year was a joint venture with Bikerider Magazine in an attempt to leverage their commitment and marketing to promote the show. 12 finalists were selected by Bikerider Magazine, and these finalists were voted for by spectators following gold coin donations.  This raised a further $1,000 for the National Burns Unit. 

Two Rotary International Youth Exchange students also collected for the Burns Unit and raised another $800 by simply asking for donations!

A professional photographic studio was on site.  One Rotarian’s family of eight ran this stand over the weekend, primarily to take photos of the winning bikes, plus they sold their services to other bike owners and raised a further $400. 

There were 20 categories and 3 prize winners for each category, so 60 prizes were awarded. Each winner received a goody bag with various prizes and a framed photo of their bike sporting its winning rosette. First place winners also received an individually printed acrylic trophy.

The general consensus was that the show was very well put together and well run by the Papakura Rotary which had virtually a 100% turnout of its members and partners. In-house catering was done by many of the partners and appreciated by all concerned. 

Since the show, the organisers have received offers of commitment for trade stands and more very special bikes for next year.

Any Rotary club interested in replicating this show outside of Auckland can contact Papakura President Graham Viall via