Changes sought to racing reforms

The New Zealand National Party

The latest tranche of racing industry reforms have the potential to allocate too much power to the Minister and National will be pushing for changes, National’s Racing spokesperson Ian McKelvie says.

“National supported the Racing Industry Bill at first reading to ensure the debate at Select Committee was open, resolute and able to challenge some of the assumptions the Bill makes.

“However National has considerable concerns that need to be addressed at the Select Committee stage.

“National is concerned the Bill will give future Ministers of Racing carte blanche to make significant changes to the industry at will. This is a big concern as there should be extensive consultation made before any major changes.

“We are also concerned with changes to the definitions of club property, and will be looking to make amendments to protect what is effectively the property of local communities built up over generations in many cases.

“National recognises the industry needs revitalisation and supported the passing of the Racing Reform Act in 2019 which implemented offshore betting charges, created the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) and repealed the racing betting levy.

“While we agree with the Bill’s intention to move the industry forward and minimise the harm of gambling, there is also plenty that needs to be addressed before it is passed into law. National will work hard to ensure the racing industry continues to have a strong future.”

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