Future Venue Plan

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) are leading the development of a plan to help shape the future for New Zealand racing.

Why we need change

  • New Zealand has a rich and successful racing history that is to be cherished - champion animals, quality bloodstock, top class trainers, drivers and jockeys, and an industry full of people passionately devoted to racing. Our racing industry is a part of local communities, providing jobs, facilities, and social events, the benefits of which extend beyond simply racing.

  • But the pace of change and the challenges affecting racing have been rapid over recent decades and show no signs of slowing down.
  • Many racing venues have significant infrastructure challenges, including unreliable racing surfaces and deteriorating oncourse facilities for both racegoers and our customers and communities.

  • The spate of recent abandonments, in addition to several other challenges facing the industry will be considered in the development of a plan for the future of racing in New Zealand.

What we need to do

  • Invest in the right racing, trialling and training infrastructure that will drive greater efficiency and sustained growth over the next 5, 10 plus years, while creating the safest possible environment for our animals and modern facilities for racing participants, customers and communities.

What will the benefits be

  • New Zealand racing will generate maximum benefit for racing’s stakeholders, participants and investors by delivering increased financial returns, strategic investment in fit-for-purpose infrastructure and a long-term sustainable future for the industry.

All of industry approach - we need your input

The CEOs of NZRB, NZTR, HRNZ and GRNZ are key members of a Joint Working Group (JWG) to investigate, develop and provide recommendations on the long-term racing and training infrastructure footprint.

We recognise that clubs/venues are the decision makers regarding their race tracks; however, the scale of investment required is not an issue that can be solved by the NZRB, one code, club or region.

The recent commitment from Racing Minister Winston Peters and the New Zealand Government for an all-weather track is fantastic news, and while the work we do on the Future Venue Plan will support this initiative, it will be a separate process undertaken in partnership with the Minister and will not be dependant on the outcome of this feedback process.

The work the Minister is doing is an important step in addressing some of the current infrastructure issues, however we are seeking the views of clubs/venues and Recognised Industry Organisations (RIOs) on the the wider challenges facing the industry. We want to encourage ideas on what we can do to address them for the future of racing for decades to come.

We asked the industry for their feedback, encouraging clubs and RIOs to collaborate with key participants to provide a full range of views. We asked to see thinking and discussions at a regional level. Nothing has been predetermined, and the industry's input is critical to the plan’s development and success. We provided an open forum where all issues could be raised, and where fresh ideas could be shared and considered - no idea is a bad idea.

Feedback process

The Joint Working Group (JWG) sought feedback from the racing industry through an online survey. It took them through a series of questions as well as providing an opportunity to submit additional thoughts and ideas.

Feedback closed at 5pm on 13 April 2018.

Next steps

A future venue plan was developed and consultation with the racing industry was planned for October 2018. However, with the Messara Report included a recommendation on venues that should remain and those that should close, this is now part of a wider consultation the DIA is carrying out on behalf of the Racing Minister.

All enquiries from media regarding the FVP should be directed to NZRB’s Communications team.

  • Kate Gourdie, Manager - Media and Corporate Communications, [email protected], 021 994 151.

Any requests from other stakeholders or the public for detailed information should be directed to Head of Public Affairs, Ian Long, at [email protected].