A survey on the future of New Plymouth's Raceway attracted more than 2850 responses, of which 51 per cent said they wanted the lease to end.

Last year, Taranaki Racing Incorporated asked the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) for a "forever" or perpetual lease for the site after a legal issue meant it was in question.

While horse racing has taken place at the 38ha central-city site for more than a century, the council says the previous lease was voided about 20 years ago after the leaseholder, the Taranaki Jockey Club, changed its name to Taranaki Racing Incorporated.

The council says because Taranaki Racing Incorporated changed its name and structure, the original lease - which gave the group a perpetual, rent-free lease in 1959 - was no longer valid. The original lease included control of the buildings, the track itself and the majority of the land.


Taranaki Racing has a legal opinion which disputes the view that the lease is no longer valid.

To help inform their decision-making on the lease issue, the mayor and councillors voted last year to go out to the public to get their views on the various lease options.

Of the more than 2800 people to respond to the survey, 51 per cent said they wanted the lease to end, while 25 per cent said they wanted a perpetual lease to be given. A further 15 per cent were in favour of the option of a three- to five-year lease being granted, while 9 per cent favoured a lease of up to 30 years.

With the survey results now in, the next step will involve the mayor and councillors analysing the results of this survey and the Government's racing reforms in the coming months.