Covid-19: Everything you need to know

Return to Racing

Updated 13/5/20 

We can now share what the return to racing will look like at Alexandra Park in Alert Level 2.

Industry bodies have confirmed the revamped racing calendar to take us through until July 2020.  For now we will continue to race without spectators.  Currently the North Island will be hosting 10 harness meetings, which alternate between Cambridge and Alexandra Park. 

We will share updates and developments as they come to hand, but are excited to be back on track from the 4th June.  As we did with our Race Night on the 20th March, which was our first without spectators, we invite you to get involved via Trackside or TAB. 

Race dates at Alexandra Park are, (timings to be confirmed):

  • Thursday 4 June
  • Thursday 18 June
  • Wednesday 1 July
  • Wednesday 15 July
  • Wednesday 29 July

Dates for the new season to commence in August, will be released at a later date. 


Alexandra Park closed for Government issued closure

Updated: 23/3/20 4.30pm

Following the announcement from the New Zealand government today, we want to communicate the changes to Alexandra Park for the next four-weeks. 

New Zealand has immediately moved to an Alert Level 3 for 48 hours in preparation for Alert Level 4.  This means all non-essential businesses need to close effective immediately.  This affects all parts of our business; Function Centre, Race Night, The Alex, Gaming Room, TAB and Franklin Park.  This close down is initially in place for FOUR WEEKS, and will be reviewed as required by the government. 

Our administration team will be doing what they can from home to address any questions you may have about this closure.  Please bear with us during this period whilst we do our best to get the answers you all need and deserve.

We take this government direction seriously for the safety of our staff, family, friends and community.

– Mauro Barsi, CEO


Changes to Race Night Activity

Updated 20/3/20 1.30pm

The racing industry is taking steps to reduce the potential for the spread of the COVID-19 virus among participants and public by closing its meetings to all but essential personnel.

Race meetings for all codes will be conducted as “closed door” events commencing on Wednesday, March 18.

The only people permitted to attend meetings will be those drivers competing at the meeting, trainers with runners engaged at the meeting, stable staff of those trainers as advised to the club, and essential race day personnel.

The Government has announced interim measures around public gatherings and events, limiting them to a maximum of 100 people at any one time indoors and 500 people outdoors. Our industry governing body, HRNZ, – and our concern for the people that make their living from Harness Racing – have decided that we will be racing without spectators for the foreseeable future.  This means there are no dining options open on racenights.

The TAB will continue to broadcast racing on Trackside TV and on, however, it will limit its operations on courses to include minimum broadcast operations and no oncourse bookmakers or Tote services provided.

At this stage the protocols are expected to remain in place until at least Monday April 13.

The key points of the Emergency Coronavirus Regulations are:

  • There will be no general admission to race meetings, workouts, trials or trackwork. The only people that can attend race meetings will be:
    – Licensed drivers engaged to compete at the meeting;
    – Licensed trainers with runners engaged at the meeting and their essential staff;
    – Race night and integrity officials and staff;
    – Broadcasters (Trackside);
    – Limited accredited media (only as approved by ATC & HRNZ);
  • Persons with cold or flu symptoms are under all circumstances prohibited from attending race meetings, workouts, trials or trackwork;
  • All drivers with concerns about their health status must immediately contact HRNZ;

The following will be CLOSED on Friday 20 March and Friday 3 April from 3.00pm:

  • Top of the Park
  • Private dining areas
  • The Alex Bar & Eatery
  • Lyell Creek Members area
  • Owners and Trainers Bar
  • TAB and Gaming Room

Function Centre to remain open

The Function Centre, The Alex, TAB and the gaming room are very much open for business on all days, with the exception of Race Nights, ensuring all protocols are met by the Government Standards under the new mass gathering guidelines.  Additional protocols in place during these extraordinary times extend from the front door to the back door and includes staff handling protocols as well as upweighted food hygiene on an already exceptional standard.

The current operating environment is unlike anything experienced before in New Zealand. As such, we are working to implement an operational and commercial framework around these new, interim measures as well as remaining agile to a fast-moving and constantly changing situation. This fluidity is possibly the most significant challenge in formalising policy and procedures.

We are optimistic about partnering with our clients to achieve the best outcomes for each of our businesses in these challenging times. In doing so for those concerned about holding their event, we would urge consideration to deferment as opposed to cancellation and will be keen to explore ways in making this a preferred option for our clients.

Advice from Ministry of Health for Public Events and Mass Gatherings

If you are an event organiser, you should focus on:

  1. Reminding your staff and guests not to attend if they are feeling unwell
  2. Reminding your staff and guests not to attend if they have been to any country except those listed in Category 2(excluding airport transit) in the past 14 days
  3. Briefing your event staff on how to practice good hygiene and making it easy for staff and attendees to practice good hygiene.  Alexandra Park are committed to this for the benefit of both our staff and guests.


For more information, please visit the following websites:

Click here to visit the COVID-19 website

• Click here to visit the Ministry of Health website on public gatherings

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