Plan to build greyhound racing track at QEII Park rejected after public outcry

The Coastal-Burwood Community Board has voted against building a greyhound track at QEII Park....
The Coastal-Burwood Community Board has voted against building a greyhound track at QEII Park. Photo:
A public backlash has stopped the planned return of greyhound racing to QE II Park in Christchurch.

Kelly Barber.
Kelly Barber.
Greyhound Racing New Zealand wanted to build an Australian-style, 300m-long straight track racing facility on the site previously occupied by a golf driving range.

But the Coastal-Burwood Community Board has rejected the idea after it received plenty of objections.

Board chairman Kelly Barber said it decided to exclude the GRNZ proposal due to the large amount of community feedback.

"I personally had received about 40 emails on the proposal and others on the board had as well," Barber said.

"We all felt the greyhound racing industry was going to be under greater public scrutiny in coming years."

QEII Park. Photo: File
QEII Park. Photo: File
Greyhound racing has been under the spotlight in recent months.

On Monday, it was revealed prominent trainer Craig Roberts had a dog test positive for a banned substance, while a spate of dog deaths and injuries at tracks in the North Island has resulted in calls for the sport to be investigated.

Coastal-Burwood board member Linda Stewart cited the community’s opposition to greyhound racing.

She also said the Government was considering axing the sport at one stage, so it would not be ideal to include it in the process.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said it is thrilled with the community board’s decision.

“They listened to their constituents," he said.

"This development is an amazing opportunity for east Christchurch to add something of real value for the community."

However, GRNZ racing operations and welfare manager Michael Dore said the organisation was very disappointed with the outcome.

"But as a result of all the publicity about our proposal we have received a lot of positive feedback on straight track racing,” Dore said.

The southwest corner of QE II Park near Travis Rd. Photo: File
The southwest corner of QE II Park near Travis Rd. Photo: File
Since 2019, Christchurch City Council has been seeking proposals for commercial ventures to use the south-west corner of the 36ha QEII Park site, adjacent to the Travis and Frost Rds intersection.

Proposals were also filed by the Christchurch Archery Club, seeking an outdoor archery range, and Five Under Par, which proposed an $11 million amusement/sporting complex.

The board recommended staff seek more detailed proposals from the remaining two applicants.

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