The first race meeting at Addington was held on Monday 6 November 1899.  The racecourse was then approximately 36 acres and was leased from the Charitable Aid Board.  It wasn’t until 1980 that the lease was purchased by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc. (NZMTC) and since then land area has grown to what is now 65 acres (26.44 hectares) owned by the Club.

The NZMTC is a membership based organisation which operates the premier venue for Harness Racing in New Zealand.  It is governed by a member elected board consisting of a Chair, Deputy Chair and six other directors.  The CEO reports to the board.

The Club has an annual turnover of over $20M and an asset base of $90M, employs nearly 800 staff (at its peak during Cup Week in November) and the business focuses and concentrates on Harness Racing, Events, Function and Venue Management and Property Development.  They have an on-site bar and bistro “Spectators” that is open during the week, on race nights, for the rugby and special events, and a mobile kitchen for off-site events “Spectators Pop-Up Kitchen”.

The Clubs principal race, the IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup was introduced in 1904 when it was won by Monte Carlo in a time of 4.44.4 for the two miles.  The current race, New Zealand and world record is held by Lazarus who won the Cup in 2016 in a time of 3.53.1 for the 3200 metres (formerly two miles).  From 2011 to 2013 the Cup was won by champion Canterbury pacer Terror To Love who joined Indianapolis (1934-36) and False Step (1958-60) as the only three time winners of the race.  Champion Mid Canterbury reinsman Ricky May has won the Cup a record seven times.

These days the NZMTC conducts approximately 62 race meetings a season at Addington with additional meetings held by guest clubs.

Core Purpose

To support and nurture a sustainable harness racing industry in Canterbury & New Zealand.


To be New Zealand’s Premier Multipurpose Racing & Events Venue.

Our Beliefs


  • will maintain a safe environment
  • support best practice animal welfare
  • do what we say we are going to do
  • are flexible and make things easy
  • act with integrity
  • embrace diversity
  • actively engage with our stakeholders
  • respect our heritage
  • are a good corporate citizen
  • think and act sustainably

Our Values

  • we, not I
  • aim for excellence
  • we listen
  • be resourceful
  • we care