Latest Wairoa Race Club News from NZTR 3/5/24

NZTR received a detailed submission from the Wairoa Racing Club, which was supported by some participants and other parties, to recommence racing at the Wairoa racecourse. After carefully considering the Club’s submission, NZTR remains of the view that we will not race at Wairoa. Importantly, the Club’s submission did not raise any matters that had not previously been considered in relation to the Wairoa Racecourse and its role in the industry when the decision was made to cease racing there. NZTR acknowledges the geographical issues for the Club and local racing supporters of racing at Hastings but, after taking into account the cost to the industry, overall, of racing at Wairoa and the views of the wagering operator (which is required to issue betting licences for race meetings), we remain of the view that the best outcome for the industry overall is for the Wairoa Racing Club to race at Hastings. NZTR also acknowledges, in this regard, that ensuring New Zealanders have access to racing was (and remains) one of its guiding principles for its Venue Plan. However, a balancing act is required when applying the guiding principles, with the result that this principle may be outweighed by other principles in relation to a particular venue. In particular, NZTR remains of the view we need to invest industry funds in improving the quality of our existing racing venues and developing a network of venues across the country that are fit for purpose, rather than returning to venues that we have previously decided do not form part of the industry’s future. We are also of the view that our current network of venues is appropriate for our current racing programme and, with continuing investment, for meeting potential future growth in that programme. Discussions continue about the long-term venue for Hawke’s Bay RI. NZTR will make further announcements in this regard, as and when appropriate.

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