No inter-regional travel for drivers
Racing New Zealand has sought clarification on allowed travel between Alert Level Two and Alert Level Three regions, and what it means for all codes racing this week.
For harness racing the clarification is important because of tonight’s Waikato BOP Meeting at Cambridge and Friday night’s Premier meeting at Alexandra Park in Auckland.
“What we have been told is that everyone, including drivers and trainers, cannot travel between districts while Auckland is at Alert Level Three and the rest of the country is at Level Two,” says HRNZ’s General Manager – Racing Catherine McDonald, "The horses are able to go with someone to look after them and gear them up and the clubs will keep these groups in a segregated area at the meeting. Drivers from the respective regions will only be allowed to drive the horses."
HRNZ knows some drivers have applied for exemptions which have been granted but McDonald says after clarification with the Department of Internal Affairs, who have reviewed these exemptions, racing does not meet the full criteria around animal welfare.
"Therefore, we have been told that travel is not allowed."
HRNZ has informed each region's affected licence holders that they can only drive within their own region.
“We are doing the right thing, “ says McDonald, “and we sympathise with those who can’t drive at such a big night at Auckland but we have to think about the big picture and that’s complying with the rules to ensure people’s safety and to ensure that racing can continue to race under any future lockdown situation."
"We do not want to put this at jeopardy.”