In a shock move, it has been announced that the annual Paeroa Battle of the Streets street race will be discontinued effective immediately.

The decision was made public by the Paeroa Promotions Trust – the group behind the event – on the Battle of the Streets Facebook page this morning.

Here’s what the official release said:

“After much consideration, Paeroa Promotions Trust has made the difficult decision to discontinue the Battle of the Streets event.

Rising costs and decreasing spectator numbers have brought about this decision.

The Trust wishes to offer it’s heartfelt thanks to Hauraki District Council, Auckland Motorcycle Club, Motorcycling New Zealand, event sponsors and the community of Paeroa for their unwavering support of this iconic event over the last 27 years.

Also, a very special thank you to all competitors who have risen to the challenge of ‘The Hacksaw’, providing simply breath-taking spectator viewing along the way.

Lastly, thank you to our invaluable volunteer groups of Paeroa and Hauraki for giving so generously of their time and expertise. Without them, this event simply wouldn’t have existed.

Over the 27 years, the Battle of the Streets has seen more than $700,000 granted to local community groups, honouring the founders of the Battle of the Streets and their mission ‘to raise funds for charitable purposes for the benefit of the Paeroa community’.

While the Trust is saddened to have to call time on ‘the Battle’, it is proud of what has been achieved over the lifetime of the event; it’s a true celebration of community at its best.

From three blokes sharing a few beers and an idea… it’s been a hell of a ride!”

The discontinuation of the Battle of the Streets is another notable loss to the New Zealand motorcycling community, with the recent announcement that the Port Nelson Street Races will be postponed once again due to safety concerns surrounding the operations of the port.

This leaves the annual Boxing Day street races at Whanganui’s infamous Cemetary Circuit – part of the annual Suzuki Series – as the last remaining North Island street race on the calendar.