News & Updates

21 September 2022 • Road

New Zealand Road Relay Championships venue update

The 2022 New Zealand Road Relay Championships, scheduled as part of the 82nd edition of the annual Takahe to Akaroa on Saturday 1 October, will regrettably no longer take place on the iconic 76km route.

Reacting decisively to a rapidly evolving scenario an alternative venue at Bottle Lake Forest Park in Christchurch has been secured by Athletics Canterbury – the joint partners with Athletics NZ in staging the 2022 edition – which will allow the New Zealand Road Relay Championships to proceed on the original date.

For the Takahe to Akaroa event Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency deemed the traffic management plan did not meet the legal requirements and on the back of this, a decision was made to seek an alternative venue.

Athletics Canterbury was first notified that the traffic management plan did not meet the requirements of the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency late on Friday (Sept 16). We worked on a solution over the weekend and into Monday evening, but we still did not satisfy regulatory requirements.

Athletics NZ Competitions Manager Jason Cameron said: “We share the disappointment of both the organisers and the athletes that the Takahe to Akaroa road relay cannot take place on the original course this year. However, we thank Athletics Canterbury for securing a new course at such short notice and for their ongoing efforts in helping prepare for what I’m sure will prove an attractive and memorable NZ Road Relay Championships for all competing teams and spectators.”

Annette Campbell, the Chair of the Athletics Canterbury Cross Country and Road Committee, said: “Like most events in our sport, the Takahe to Akaroa road relay is organised by a group of dedicated volunteers focused on delivering the best outcome for all participants. Our group was therefore very saddened to find out last Friday night, despite all our work, interactions with authorities and consultants no workable solution for running the Takahe to Akaroa on the state highway was available. This was confirmed on Monday night.

“We know people will be disappointed, however we have shown we can adapt and together we have come up with a viable alternative.”

Discussions will take place post-event with a range of stakeholders as to whether the historic Takahe to Akaroa relay can take place in future years.

The 2022 New Zealand Road Relay Championships – including both eight-lap and six-lap relays – will now be staged on the eastern fringes of Christchurch at Waitakiri/Bottle Lake Forest Park on a concentric course. The six-lap relay comprising two laps of 8km followed by four laps of 5km take place on a flat 36km course with the eight-lap race run on a predominantly flat with one hill 64km course.

The surface is approximately 50 per cent tar sealed and 50 per cent compacted shingle. An impressive total of 197 teams have entered to compete in either the New Zealand Road Relay Championships or community races.

“We cannot wait to welcome all the teams to Bottle Lake Forest Park and watch the action unfold in the battle for honours,” said race director Daniel Reese. ”We anticipate a wonderful atmosphere with supporters able to access numerous points around the course, which will enable them to passionately follow their team.”

For race and course information on the new venue go here