New Plymouth District Council are currently conducting a public survey on the New Plymouth Racecourse.
It is their belief we don't have a current Lease due to all our name changes since 1997. This is their Legal Opinion, and not the opinion of Taranaki Racing, taking into account natural justice and other facets.
Despite name changes we are still the racing club at New Plymouth Raceway and deserve our historical rights.
New Plymouth District Council Officers want us to be under the Reserves Act, not a Local Act. The main difference is in a Local Act we have perpetual rights; in the Reserve Act we only get guaranteed 33 years, and not necessarily rates free. It is our belief that we spend in excess of what our rates would be on repairs and maintenance at New Plymouth Racecourse, for the community.
Minister for Racing, Winston Peters, Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), the Mayor, and Deputy Mayor have all agreed that the best way forward is a new Act that will give future flexibility between the New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Racing Inc to do what’s best for racing, and the district.
The following are key points we believe;
- Taranaki Racing helps bring over $25M into the Taranaki economy per annum, a large portion into the New Plymouth district.
- We are a Community Asset used for school sports including rugby and cricket, the venue is also used for Police Dog Training, Women's Refuge Pop Up Shop, Active In Age and New Plymouth Seniors, along with many other charities and not-for-profit groups.
- WOMAD, the big ticket item it is for New Plymouth, is only possible due to provision of the course by Taranaki Racing.
- New Plymouth Pony Club are also based on-course and use their amenities continuously throughout the year.
- Any non-use of the New Plymouth racecourse for racing would see a massive retrenchment in the racing industry in Taranaki, and ultimately the infrastructure wouldn’t survive. We are currently in the top performing echelon of Racing Clubs in New Zealand, and one of 8 major clubs.
- We have never stood in the way of progress, allowing the TSB Stadium to be built and utilised, and in fact, when New Plymouth District Council made a mistake regarding the building of the TSB Stadium, Taranaki Racing worked alongside them to help rectify their error. We have bent over backwards to support the New Plymouth District Council and New Plymouth community, now New Plymouth District Council Officers are picking on a legal loophole regarding our changed name to try and change what the city and racing forefathers did in 1959 for the benefit of New Plymouth and Racing. This is morally wrong, but the only people that will win out in a protracted legal argument are the lawyers!
You can find the survey on their website, seeking feedback on a number of options. It is critical that all Club members, and our supporters, complete this.
We need, and deserve, a Perpetual Lease, with no rental or rates (other than what we pay now – water rates) for racing to survive in Taranaki.
Chief Executive Officer
Taranaki Racing Inc