Bernard's Blog - 10 January
With Christmas and New Year now behind us, the business of getting on with the transformation of the racing industry lies ahead.
Prior to Christmas the NZTR Board met to discuss the Racing Industry Bill and provided an initial overview of key areas of focus. That document, along with the RITA response, can be seen here.
The road to this Bill began with the release of the Messara Report on 30 August 2018 at which the Minister for Racing the Rt Hon Winston Peters reminded the industry of the dire situation in which it found itself.
“Some of your code distributions and activities are being funded from cash reserves and borrowing,” he stated.
“Does that sound promising? Or is that ominous? But to be honest you all know that alarm bells have been ringing for industry for years now.”
We have already seen the first changes to legislation with the Racing Amendment Bill 2018, addressing offshore betting operators paying an information use charge and a consumption charge. This second bill was intended to provide the legislative changes flagged by the Messara Report which would see the codes empowered to take responsibility for their own governance and the TAB’s focus return to wagering, gaming and broadcasting.
This week we will be engaging in conference calls with stakeholders to discuss key clauses of the proposed legislation, with the aim of developing cohesive industry-wide submissions to select committee. These submissions are due on Tuesday 11 February. Given the high-level racing between now and then, and the fact that we also have the breeding industry’s focal point of the year, the Karaka sales commencing on 26 January, stakeholders will be tested to keep across all developments.
Following our stakeholder calls and further discussion, we will be continuing to develop our thoughts around those areas of the Bill which we consider key, bearing in mind the blueprint the industry was provided by the Messara Report.
I recommend all those with an interest in the racing industry read both the explanatory note and the proposed Bill (that can be found here) and then make themselves familiar with our initial view. Over the coming weeks I welcome your feedback and am happy to address any of your concerns.