Sport funding at risk from rushed Racing Bill

The New Zealand National Party

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson needs to give assurances there will be no net loss to sporting organisations as a result of the Government’s Racing Reform Bill, National’s Sport and Recreation spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“National has serious concerns around the potential impact on sport funding of the Racing bill and the lack of certainty around funding as a result of this Bill. We support changes to ensure the viability of the racing industry, but believe this could have consequences for other sports funding.

“Last week the Government pushed through a truncated Select Committee process that will see the Bill return to Parliament by the 11th of June. Stakeholders, including National Sporting Organisations (NSO), only had from late last week to consider the Bill and put in submissions by close of play today.

“Since this policy was proposed in 2017, people have raised concerns about the risk of certainty of funding to NSOs. They have argued for much greater certainty of funding. The loss of control around the collection and distribution of funds to NSOs is potentially detrimental to our sporting codes. Many NSOs rely on a large share of income from betting on their sports.

“The Bill also allows a relevant body, like the TAB, to offer betting products on sports not represented by a qualifying domestic NSO, provided an agreement is in place with Sport New Zealand.

“There are serious issues to be considered around the fairness of proposed distribution models, like the cost to New Zealand sports who carry the production of events, but are not recognised against offshore products that enter the market at no cost.

“We need to consider the potential for an increased pool of funding being available to organisations, rather than a decrease via a redistribution of the current pool. National will also be looking for clarity on the potential future role of Sport New Zealand in the collection and distribution of the levy.

“In my view there is a real case to look at whether all proceeds generated by a sport should be allocated back to that sport. We are talking about significant core funding for organisations such as Netball New Zealand, NZ Rugby, NZ Cricket and NZ Football.

“National values these organisations and the contribution they make to New Zealand and is deeply concerned about the potential impact and certainty for Sport in our country if changes are not made to this Bill.”

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