Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 8 June 2023 – Alysha Waretini

ID: RIB22753

Alysha Waretini - Other (Licensed Person)

Simon Irving (RIB)

Mr B Nettleton (Chairman), Mr G Hall

Persons Present:
Mr N Grimstone - for the Informant

Information Number:
A16908, A16909, A16911

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge

Misconduct - 3 charges

156(f)(ii) - Misconduct

Not Admitted

Animal Name:


Race Date:

Race Club:
Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club

Race Location:
Addington Raceway - 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch, 8024

Hearing Date:

Hearing Location:
Addington Raceway, Christchurch

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Penalty pending - awaiting submissions

1. This matter was set down for hearing on Wednesday 31 May 2023, commencing at 12pm in the Greyhound Stewards Room at Addington Racecourse, Christchurch.


2. Ms Waretini indicated at a teleconference convened on 21 April 2023 that she intended to defend the charges and call witnesses.

3. On the day of the hearing, attempts were made through the Racing Integrity Board Officials to make contact with her but with no success.

4. Contact was eventually made through the Racing Integrity Board Executive Officer after the hearing had commenced. Ms Waretini advised that she had moved to Wellington the night before, provided no other explanation for her lack of appearance, and terminated the phone call.

5. The Adjudicative Committee considered whether an adjournment in the circumstances was warranted. The Adjudicative Committee noted that Rule 24, Sch 3 of the New Zealand Greyhound Rules of Racing (“the Rules”) provides:

24. No appearance at hearing

24.1 If, at the hearing of an information, the defendant does not appear and the Adjudicative Committee is satisfied the information has been served and the defendant is aware of the date of hearing, the hearing may proceed in the absence of the defendant.

6. Given Ms Waretini has provided no proper explanation for her lack of attendance, nor indeed requested any postponement or adjournment, the Adjudicative Committee determined that it is just and reasonable in all the circumstances that the hearing proceed.


7. Ms Alysha Waretini (the Respondent in this matter), is the holder of a Handler Licence issued in accordance with the Rules of Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ).

8. Ms Waretini faces three charges under Rule 156 of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing (the Rules) laid on 6 March 2023:

a. That on 28 February 2023 at Addington Raceway she did act improperly by throwing the Greyhound “LITTLE HERO” into the swabbing kennel with unnecessary force, causing the dog to hit its head on the back of the kennel.

b. That on 28 February 2023 at Addington Raceway she did, in the catching area at completion of Race 12, act improperly by picking up the Greyhound “DOUBLE THUNDER” by the neck and throwing it away from the lure.

c. That on 28 February 2023 at Addington Raceway she did misconduct herself assaulting Trainer Malcolm Grant by shoulder barging him when walking the Greyhounds down the alleyway beside the kennel block following the running of Race 12.

9. The Respondent contested the charges, and a hearing fixture was set down.

10. The hearing fixture was convened at Addington Raceway on 31 May 2023. The Respondent did not appear and RIB Racing Investigator Mr Neil Grimstone appeared on behalf of the Informant.

11. The written authority to prosecute was provided by Mr Mike Clement, Chief Executive of the Racing Integrity Board on 6 March 2023.


12. Rule 156 provides:

156 General offences

An offence is committed if a person (including an official):
(f) has, in relation to a greyhound or greyhound racing, done something, or omitted to do something, which, in the opinion of GRNZ or the Racing Integrity Board:

(i) is corrupt, fraudulent, or dishonest;

(ii) constitutes misconduct or is negligent or improper;

13. Given the absence of the Respondent, the Adjudicative Committee determined to admit the statements of witnesses pursuant to Rule 24.2 of Sch 3 of the Rules which provides:

24.2 Where rule 24.1 of this Schedule applies:

(a) evidence of a fact or opinion which could have been given orally may be given by way of affidavit; and

(b) the Adjudicative Committee shall have the same power to deal with the defendant as if the defendant had appeared before it.


14. The Informant called evidence from Ms Susan Elizabeth Morrish, a Swabbing Official employed by the Racing Integrity Board.

15. Ms Morrish’s role is to obtain urine samples from Greyhounds and horses chosen by Stewards for swabbing.

16. Ms Morrish gave evidence confirming she was engaged as the Swabbing Official at the Christchurch Greyhounds Racing Club Meeting on 28 February 2023 at Addington Raceway.

17. At the conclusion of Race 1, the winning Greyhound “LITTLE HERO”, trained by Lisa Waretini was selected for a swab. The Respondent was handling the dog, Ms Morrish attended to the post-race process and kennelled the dog in the swab bay.

18. In accordance with procedure, the Respondent returned to the swab room 40 minutes after “LITTLE HERO” had been kennelled and “LITTLE HERO” was then taken outside for a swab, led by the Respondent.

19. Ms Morrish gave evidence that the Respondent became more and more aggressive with the dog, the longer Ms Morrish tried to obtain the sample.

20. Ms Morrish described the Respondent as yanking on the lead, swearing at the dog and telling the dog it “had been a major f…..g pain in the a.. all day”.

21. Ms Morrish described the actions of the Respondent as intimidating and also causing the dog distress.

22. After 15 minutes of attempting to obtain a sample, Ms Morrish advised the Respondent that the dog would have to go back to the swab kennel, and a further attempt at obtaining a swab taken later.

23. The Respondent indicated she wished to get bloods taken instead. Ms Morrish indicated she was unable to do bloods straight away and would have to put “LITTLE HERO” back in the kennel and obtain confirmation from RIB Steward Rick Quirk, that bloods could be obtained per standard swabbing protocol.

24. Upon returning to the kennels, Ms Morrish describes the Respondent walking past the kennels which lead to the swab area and into the vet’s room, and then refusing to put the dog back in the swab kennel. The Respondent then returned outside still with “LITTLE HERO” under her control, and raised matters with Raceday Vet Ms Emma Reddy, who was near the doors. The Respondent was provided the same advice that Ms Morrish provided, and advised that the dog needed to return to the swab kennel to try again in 20 minutes.

25. Instead, the Respondent walked across the trotting track, still with “LITTLE HERO” in her possession, to speak to Raceday Steward Mr Quirk.

26. Ms Morrish described keeping the Respondent in observation, as she was required to visually monitor dogs subject to swabs at all times.

27. Ms Morrish described seeing the Respondent and Mr Quirk talking, and the Respondent returning to the kennel block extremely angry that she had to re-kennel the dog.

28. Upon returning to the swab kennel, Ms Morrish describes witnessing the Respondent grabbing “LITTLE HERO” with one arm around its neck and the other around its rear, and throwing it into the swab kennel with enough force that it hit its head on the back wall of the kennel.

29. Ms Morrish further observed that the Respondent had not taken the lead off which is standard procedure for dog safety. The Respondent then slammed the kennel door shut, Ms Morrish describes intervening at that point, telling the Respondent “Alysha, that’s enough”.

30. The Respondent replied to Ms Morrish “Everyone’s pissing me off today” and stormed out of the room.

31. Ms Morrish reported these events to the Head Steward on the day, Mr Scott Wallis, and requested a Steward be present for the second attempt at swabbing.

32. A further attempt at a swab was undertaken in the presence of Ms Morrish and Mr Quirk. Ms Morrish describes a sample being obtained and the process completed without further issue.

33. Mr Wallis gives evidence of Ms Morrish attending the Stewards Room at 1pm on 28 February 2023, reporting issues with the Respondent’s behaviour while attempting to swab “LITTLE HERO” and arranging for a Steward to be present during the second attempt to obtain a sample.

34. Mr Simon Irving, a Senior Race Investigator with the RIB, gave evidence of being advised of the events of Tuesday 28 February 2023 and attending the Respondent’s home address on 1 March 2023, during which he conducted a recorded interview with the Respondent in the presence of her mother. The interview was transcribed and produced at the hearing.

35. The Respondent, by way of explanation in the interview, stated that she did not believe that “LITTLE HERO” would drink anything before or after the race, nor in the kennel block, which prompted her request of the vet to do bloods.

36. In relation to her handling of “LITTLE HERO” in the swabbing kennel, the Respondent’s explanation was that the dog was “real pussified” which prompted the Respondent to grab the dog by the collar to pull him in as he wasn’t going in and started yelping, and as soon as she got her arm behind the dog and pushed him in, the dog was, in her view, fine.

37. In response to the allegation that enough force was used to cause the dog to hit its head on the back of the swabbing kennel, the Respondent denied that, suggesting that “LITTLE HERO’s” head didn’t even touch the back of the kennel or anything, because in her recollection, he had tried to get out again.

38. The Respondent’s explanation for the dog still having its lead and collar on, was because he was being difficult. The Respondent also confirmed that she was angry at the time and annoyed, following an exchange with Trainer Malcolm Grant and was angry that “LITTLE HERO” was being difficult.

39. The Respondent acknowledged that the second attempt at testing was more successful and the environment calmer.

40. Mr Irving also produced two photographs of the kennelling area, the surface of which onto “LITTLE HERO” was thrown.

41. The Adjudicative Committee has considered the evidence of Ms Morrish and Mr Wallis in relation to the first charge.

42. Mr Wallis further confirmed his evidence under oath at hearing.

43. The nature of Ms Morrish’s role, as she notes in her evidence, meant she had a requirement to pay close attention to the dog “LITTLE HERO” who had been selected for a swabbing. In discharge of her duties, she was paying careful attention to its handling at all times and observed the behaviour of the Respondent towards it.

44. Ms Morrish provided Mr Wallis with a recorded statement at the conclusion of her swabbing shift on 28 February 2023.

45. In the circumstances and having regard to the evidence, the Adjudicative Committee finds the charge proved in respect of the allegation that the Respondent acted improperly, throwing Greyhound “LITTLE HERO” into the swabbing kennel with unnecessary force, causing the dog to hit its head on the back of the kennel.


46. The second charge relates to the allegation that the Respondent acted improperly following the completion of Race 12 on 28 February 2023 at Addington Raceway where the Respondent, at the conclusion of the race, picked up Greyhound “DOUBLE THUNDER”, trained by another Trainer, and in picking “DOUBLE THUNDER” up, the Respondent is alleged to have grabbed it by the neck and thrown it away from the lure.

47. The Informant called evidence from Track Assistant, David McMillan, who confirmed he was employed at Addington Raceway by Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club on 28 February 2023. One of Mr McMillan’s duties was to hold the lure arm when it stops at the end of the race and to protect it as the dogs bit into the lure.

48. Mr McMillan recalled seeing the Respondent throw a dog through the air, almost a metre towards him. Mr McMillan describes only being around 2 metres from the Respondent at the time, and describing the Respondent almost throwing the dog, “DOUBLE THUNDER” at him. Mr McMillan describes the Respondent moving straight in to get “DOUBLE THUNDER”, being the number 2 dog, and hearing her saying words along the lines of “Your f…..g dog”.

49. Mr McMillan describes no indication that “DOUBLE THUNDER” was attacking any other dogs, and describes the activity of the conclusion of Race 12, a normal activity of dogs trying to catch the lure at a race conclusion.

50. Evidence was also received from Melanie Brown, a Licenced Greyhound Handler, working for Greyhound Trainers Malcolm and Lisa Grant’s kennels since April 2022.

51. Ms Brown was the handler for “DOUBLE THUNDER”, the number 2 dog in the black and white rug in Race 12, the last race of the day. Ms Brown describes at the conclusion of the race, seeing the Respondent run in and grab “DOUBLE THUNDER” around the neck and throw him behind her. Ms Brown states she was only a couple of metres behind the Respondent, walking in to get “DOUBLE THUNDER” at the time.

52. Ms Brown stated that there was nobody else at the lure and there appeared to be plenty of room for the Respondent to get her own dog from the lure. Ms Brown said to the Respondent “That was unnecessary” and the Respondent replied with a barrage of “f and c words along with sentences I could not clearly understand”.

53. Ms Brown recalls part of what was said to be something to the effect of “you can tell your f…..g Trainer”; Ms Brown states that she replied to the Respondent This isn’t my fight Alysha at which point the Respondent ceased.

54. Ms Brown described being in a state of physical shaking and disbelief at what had just happened to “DOUBLE THUNDER” and described it as unexpected. Ms Brown relayed the events to Trainer Malcolm Grant, who advised her to report it to the Stipes Room, which Ms Brown did, advising Steward Scott Wallis, and providing a written account the following day.

55. Mr Wallis gave evidence of being advised of the incident at the conclusion of Race 12 and opening an investigation into the matter.

56. At the hearing, Mr Wallis played video clips of the conclusion of Race 12 for the Adjudicative Committee from all available cameras. The video footage shows the Respondent moving quickly and directly toward “DOUBLE THUNDER”, rather than her own dog.

57. A close-up camera angle shows the Respondent grabbing “DOUBLE THUNDER” by the neck and throwing him behind her to her left side. The dog is then secured by Ms Brown. The footage also shows engagement between the Respondent and Ms Brown following the incident.

58. Mr Wallis, in his capacity as Chief Greyhound Steward, gave further evidence of the expectation that each Handler is responsible for securing their own dog at the lure, and that there is also an expectation that a Handler should not interfere with any other Handler’s dog, unless this has previously been brought to the attention of the Stewards.

59. Mr Wallis stated in his recollection, in his time as Steward, two dogs that have shown aggression at the lure, and an arrangement was previously authorised by the Steward that either the Handler collects the dog with urgency, or the other Handlers who are aware of the situation, can secure the dog if necessary.

60. In extreme circumstances, if a dog was attacking another dog, or had got its muzzle caught, the intervention of another Handler could be warranted.

61. Mr Wallis noted one other occasion where a Handler grabbed another Trainer’s dog at the lure. On that occasion, the Handler removed the blinkers and muzzle from the dog and threw the dog on the ground. That Handler was charged with committing an improper act.

62. In the transcript produced by Mr Irving, in response to a question as to why the Respondent intervened in the handling of “DOUBLE THUNDER”, the Respondent suggested everyone is always aware if there is a naughty dog in the race, and they will either say someone try and get that dog or try and be aware of that dog.

63. The Respondent suggested that her dog “ICED MOCHA” was tiny and couldn’t handle things like that and “DOUBLE THUNDER” was straight in trying to attack.

64. The Respondent acknowledged she knew “DOUBLE THUNDER” as her mother was responsible for kennel breaking him when he was a pup.

65. The Respondent acknowledged that there wasn’t any discussion prior to the race with other Handlers.

66. In response to a question as to whether “DOUBLE THUNDER” was actually attacking the Respondent’s dog, the Respondent stated it was right next to her dog but more going for the dog underneath. The Respondent suggested that she was unaware that “DOUBLE THUNDER” was present and in her view, a risk until the dogs were being boxed away.

67. The Adjudicative Committee has considered all evidence before it in relation to the incident at the conclusion of Race 12.

68. The video footage from every angle largely speaks for itself, and indeed it would appear the Respondent does not necessarily dispute the actions she took in grabbing “DOUBLE THUNDER” and throwing the dog approximately a metre.

69. The matter in contention is the Respondent’s reasoning for doing so – she suggests it was due to prior knowledge she had of the particular dog and the apparent risk she considered it may pose to other dogs, in particular, hers.

70. The difficulty with the Respondent’s statements is, nothing in the video footage, nor in the evidence of other witnesses, namely Mr McMillan and Ms Brown, suggest the presence of any risk of the nature the Respondent was suggesting. Indeed, both witnesses at the scene describe it as an ordinary race, and the actions of the Respondent unusual and unnecessary.

71. Additionally, evidence from Mr Wallis in his capacity as Chief Greyhound Steward indicate these actions were a significant departure from standard practice in the handling of Greyhounds at the lure, and in the rare event such actions have been necessary in the past, they are always conducted with the prior engagement and approval of the Stewards.

72. Additionally, the evidence relating to the events at the swabbing kennel and at the end of the day (being an altercation with Mr Grant), indicates a series of erratic and reactionary behaviour by the Respondent.

73. Against that context, the weight of evidence does not support the Respondent’s claims. Rather, a more probable explanation is that the Respondent has acted in a deliberate and unnecessary manner towards a dog which had a connection to Mr Grant, influenced also by her general mood and behaviour on the day.

74. For those reasons, the Adjudicative Committee finds the charge proved and concludes that the Respondent did act improperly in picking up the Greyhound “DOUBLE THUNDER” by the neck and throwing it away from the lure.


75. Malcom Grant, a Licensed Trainer, confirmed his statement and gave further evidence at hearing.

76. Mr Grant acknowledged a background of conflict between the Respondent and himself for around ten years, but that had been limited to the odd verbal altercation at race meetings.

77. Mr Grant stated that, at the beginning of the race day in the carpark on 28 February 2023, the Respondent revved her car next to his car, and spun around and gave him the fingers.

78. Mr Grant noted Ms Brown being visibly upset at the conclusion of Race 12 following the incident with “DOUBLE THUNDER”. Mr Grant advised Ms Brown to go and report the incident to the Stipes, while she was doing this Mr Grant took possession of “DOUBLE THUNDER” and took the dog to the hose-down area.

79. Mr Grant reports that at the same time as speaking to Ms Brown, he heard the Respondent abusing him as she was walking from the track to the kennel block. As Mr Grant took “DOUBLE THUNDER” down to the hose down area, the Respondent started further abusing him, including call him a f…..g c..t and an a……e.

80. Mr Grant states that he told the Respondent to stop the abuse and that Ms Brown was reporting her for what she did to “DOUBLE THUNDER” at the lure.

81. The Respondent, in Mr Grant’s words let fly with more abuse and became increasingly angry.

82. Following the hose down area, both the Respondent and Mr Grant were walking back to the vans with their dogs.

83. Mr Grant acknowledges he was pretty upset following the incident at Race 12, and reacted with bad language and abuse towards the Respondent also, and recalls saying something to the Respondent along the lines of you’re a f…..g a……e for what you f…..g done.

84. As Mr Grant and the Respondent were walking down the alleyway, words were continued to be had between the pair in Mr Grant’s words. Mr Grant doesn’t recall a lot of what was said, but does recall the Respondent saying watch your step bro and he responded by saying I am not your bro, don’t call me your bro.

85. Mr Grant recalls the Respondent catching up with him and the abuse continuing and culminating with the Respondent saying F..k you c..t, and then the Respondent putting her shoulder into him with enough force to shove him into the concrete wall of the stables.

86. Mr Grant recalls having to brace himself with his right arm as he hit the concrete wall. He did not react physically but recalls saying to the Respondent That was absolutely f…..g stupid, and you’ve just f….d yourself.

87. The Respondent replied You had better watch your f…..g self.

88. Both continued back to their vehicles without further incident. Following this, Mr Grant went to the Stipes Room where he reported what had occurred to Chief Steward Mr Wallis.

89. Mr Grant further produced two photographs at hearing, being photographs he took of his arm when he returned home that evening, showing pronounced bruising on his right arm.

90. Mr Wallis, the Chief Greyhound Stipendiary Steward, gave evidence of Mr Grant reporting the incident and noted the Greyhound Stewards had been aware of the conflict between the Respondent and Mr Grant which had been ongoing for some years.

91. Mr Wallis produced at hearing, security footage from the Addington Greyhound Racecourse which was played to the Adjudicative Committee and demonstrated Mr Grant being thrown into the wall by the Respondent with a level of force as a result of a shoulder barge.

92. Mr Irving also gave evidence, noting he spoke to Mr Grant further to seek a written account of what had occurred and took a further photograph of Mr Grant’s right forearm which was also produced at hearing, and also demonstrated pronounced bruising.

93. In the transcript produced by Mr Irving, the Respondent’s version of events is that in the kennelling block by the wash area she had her first interaction with Mr Grant, who she recalls having a go at her for lining up a dog that turned its head, and recalls Mr Grant coming right up to her following this exchange, invading her personal space and stating Touch my dog again and I will bury you.

94. The Respondent recalls shoving him off at that point. In the transcript, when clarity was sought by Mr Irving as to location, the Respondent changes the quote slightly in her second reply, suggesting Mr Grant said Touch any of my dogs again and I will bury you.

95. The Respondent’s explanation for the shoving incident was that Mr Grant approached her and got right into her face, which was when she shoved him, and suggests that was where Mr Grant said Touch my dog again and I will kill you.

96. The Adjudicative Committee has considered all the evidence in relation to this point. There appears to be consistent explanation as to what occurred in physical terms, verified by video footage that shows clearly that the Respondent shoulder barged Mr Grant into the concrete block wall and is in conflict with aspects of what the Respondent suggests.

97. The video footage provided does not indicate that Mr Grant was in the Respondent’s face in the manner she purports.

98. As the footage was video only, it is unclear what was said between the parties, however both parties have acknowledged it was a conversation that was aggressive and abusive in nature.

99. There also appears to be some inconsistencies in the account the Respondent has given the investigating Steward, both as to what exactly what was stated by Mr Grant, and the location where such events took place.

100. It does not appear from the evidence, that the Respondent disputes that she shoved Mr Grant, or that he had bruising as a result of that altercation.

101. Having regard to the totality of the evidence, the Adjudicative Committee finds the charge proved that the Respondent did assault Trainer Malcolm Grant by shoulder barging him while walking their Greyhounds down the alleyway beside the kennel block following the running of Race 12.


102. The Adjudicative Committee, having found three charges proved, must now turn to consider appropriate penalty.

103. In the interests of giving the Respondent a further opportunity to be heard in this proceeding, the Adjudicative Committee has deferred its decision as to penalty and invites written submissions from the parties as to penalty, with the following directions made:

a. The Racing Integrity Board will file its written submissions no later than Friday 23 June 2023.

b. The Respondent will provide any further written submissions no later than 7 July 2023.

104. Leave is reserved to either party to seek an oral hearing as to penalty.

105. If the parties seek this, they are to advise the Executive Officer as soon as possible and a teleconference will be convened to make arrangements for a penalty hearing fixture.

Decision Date: 08/06/2023

Publish Date: 09/06/2023