New CEO for Karting in New Zealand

Accomplished motorsport administrator James Hadley has returned to New Zealand to take up the role of Chief Operating Officer for KartSport New Zealand.

KartSport New Zealand is responsible for all karting nationwide that is sanctioned by the global body CIK-FIA (Commission Internationale de Karting – Federation Internationale de l’Automobile). It incorporates around 5,000 stakeholders including 1200 Licence holders from six to 70 years across more than 200 events annually in this country.

KartSport NZ vice-president Brent Melhop (left) and new KartSport NZ Chief Operating Officer, James Hadley

Hadley was a three-time junior sportsman of the year for KartSport Wellington and South Island Cadet class Sprint Champion growing up. With a passion for motorsport, he took up the role as event promotions manager for Wellington Family Speedway at Te Marua, in Upper Hutt for two years, including event management, marketing and sponsorships as well as website management.

It led to the opportunity to move to Australia as sport development officer and later youth development officer for Speedway Australia for six years. He also took over the day-to-day financial management of the organisation.

Hadley and his family had already planned to return to their native Wellington, when he became aware of the role at KartSport New Zealand.

He believes much of what he has learned and put into practice with Speedway Australia has relevance to his role with KartSport New Zealand.

“It is a genuine honour for me and really coming full circle after taking up karting as a kid. It is a sport that you are in for life,” said Hadley. “It was being in karting that led me to speedway and now back to karting. I learned so much in that experience in Australia that I can share in this role.


“It is a wonderful wholesome sport, family-based in every level. It is fantastic fun for all and extremely competitive for all ages, as well as a proven nursery for some who move on to bigger and brighter things like we see with the likes of KartSport New Zealand Patron Scott McLaughlin and more recently Liam Lawson.”

KartSport New Zealand President, Graeme Moore said he and the leadership and management team are delighted to welcome James and his young family back to his home town of Wellington to serve KartSport New Zealand members and clubs nationwide.

“With a wealth of knowledge and experience especially in regards to promotion, youth development and systems optimisation, the timing couldn’t be better to build on the recent restructuring and digital systems upgrades.

“We believe that James has the ability to lead what is effectively a multi-million-dollar asset sport, staffed almost entirely by around 350 volunteers, to drive the doubling of membership over the next few years.

“The emphasis going forward is on building membership and increasing participation through closer partnerships with clubs and suppliers, enhanced marketing coupled with strong strategic leadership and club committee mentoring.”

Hadley takes up his role in the New Year.