NZTR Implements Revised Code of Conduct

17 March 2023

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has announced its revised Code of Conduct, setting expectations towards appropriate behaviour of all industry participants.

The purpose of the documentation is to provide a set of standards aimed at protecting the values of thoroughbred racing, by ensuring all industry participants enjoy a safe, supportive, and respectful environment.

NZTR’s Chief Operating Officer, Darin Balcombe, believes the revised Code of Conduct will benefit the industry in its entirety.

“As the governing body of the thoroughbred code in New Zealand, NZTR is always looking to improve its policy standards maintained within the sport.”

“The basis of the renewal of the Code of Conduct document came about due to the review in NZTR’s licencing and suitability policies.

“It was recognised that the Code of Conduct had not been revised for some period of time and needed to be freshened up.

“NZTR wanted to create a formalised document that recognised the ever-changing landscapes and environments of racing behaviour upheld by industry participants.

“If people are acting in a way that is not conducive to the sport, we see this document as a good reference for industry regulators to uphold standards of behaviour.

“It also provides a source of guidelines for licence holders if they are unsure of the behaviour that is expected of them,” he said.

A key change made in NZTR’s Code of Conduct is the standard set around social media usage, an issue which has become more prevalent in recent years due to popularity in industry uptake and participation.

“The reference to social media itself is quite broad in order to encompass the widespread usage of platforms,” Balcombe said.  

“We recognise the positive impacts social media can have towards the promotion of racing as a sport and the involvement of its avid participants, however, there is also a dire side to these platforms whereby people use them to insult, humiliate or hurt others.

“This particular guideline was revised as a way of encouraging better behaviour on social media and will be used as a reference of best practice.”

Other updates include policies around dignity and respect, bullying and harassment, sexual misconduct, abuse of power and discrimination.

“At NZTR, it is our goal to make the thoroughbred code a more desirable industry to pursue a career and if you want to make the industry an attractive place, you need to ensure it is safe and inclusive,” Balcombe said.

The revised Code of Conduct is supported by the Racing Integrity Board, with the entity’s Chief Executive, Mike Clement, commenting on the documentation.

“The RIB welcomes the introduction of a Code of Conduct that sets high standards of behaviour in the industry.”

“Since 1 August 2021 over 30% of the investigations undertaken by the RIB have related to the behaviour and conduct of licenced people in the industry.

“Racing needs to be an environment which is safe, supportive and respectful – both face-to-face and online – to maintain the integrity of the industry.

“This new Code will provide clarity on what is and is not acceptable and will work to lift the racing experience for all,” Clement said.

The full NZTR Code of Conduct is available to view here.

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