Safety precautions move race day to Otaki

23:00, Jan 30 2014
NO-GO ZONE: The members' stand at Awapuni Racecourse.

Palmerston North horse racing fans will face a trip for the region's next race meet, as engineers are unable to check in time if a damaged stand at Awapuni Racecourse is safe.

The Ashhurst Pohangina Cup race day was to take place at Awapuni Racecourse on February 8 but organisers have decided to move it to Otaki Racecourse.

Awapuni Racecourse chief executive Alasdair Robertson said the old members' stand at the course had sustained broken windows and superficial cracks in the Wellington Anniversary Day earthquake.

Engineers had been booked to see if the stand was safe but they were not able to get there before the next race day, he said. "There's so much to organise for a race that we just would not have time to make changes if it wasn't safe."

Mr Robertson said he expected the building to get the all-clear and that the next scheduled event - on February 27 - would go ahead.

He has said the function centre next door to the stand was not damaged. "Not one glass fell off a shelf."

Closing the stand was a precautionary measure. Engineers had done a walk-through inspection, with preliminary advice that there was no structural damage.


Manawatu Standard