Stables raided throughout New Zealand in police sting on alleged race-fixing in harness racing industry

Police have raided multiple horse stables throughout the country today as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged race-fixing in the harness racing industry.

1 NEWS understands the investigation involves some of the biggest names in harness racing in New Zealand.

Search warrants were executed at eight properties in Christchurch, one in Invercargill and another in Manawatū.

In a statement police say they are "currently speaking to a number of people".

"Today's warrants were the result of a long-running investigation by the National Organised Crime Group into alleged corruption within the harness racing industry," Police say.

"The investigation began with information supplied by the Racing Integrity Unit."

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Properties were cordoned off and there are reports occupants were seen leaving with police.

In a statement today, New Zealand Racing Board Chair Glenda Hughes and Racing Board CEO John Allen both emphsised the cooperation of the Racing Integrity Unit. While the raids are disappointing, they show that the system works, they suggested. 

"Those involved in the industry and the Kiwi punters who support it must have confidence in the integrity of the sport," Mr Allen said.

"I am confident that our integrity systems work and that where breaches of our rules and of criminal law are identified, they are investigated and prosecuted appropriately."

Racing Minister Winston Peters has expressed his disappointment over the allegations.

"This is a sad development. New Zealanders need to have confidence that the racing industry has integrity and is not above the law," Mr Peters said.

"It highlights how important it is that we have a strong, independent authority like the Racing Integrity Unit to ensure offending behaviour is brought to light. We can have confidence that the system is working."

Harness Racing NZ said it was informed of the raids this morning.

"The integrity of harness racing is of paramount importance. These allegations are serious and very concerning," chief executive Edward Rennell said in a statement. 

"The independent Racing Integrity Unit and New Zealand Police have Harness Racing New Zealand’s total support in addressing this and ensuring the industry’s integrity is maintained."

There are allegations of corruption in the $300 million industry, after police carried out 10 raids today. Source: 1 NEWS