Racing Industry Bill Passes Third Reading

Date: 25 Jun 2020

Racing Industry Bill Passes Third Reading

As released by the office of the Minister for Racing, Rt Hon Winston Peters MP:

Racing Minister Winston Peters has today
welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the
legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the
need for future government intervention.

“For too long our domestic racing
industry has been left to fade into obscurity at the expense of jobs and the
passionate people and communities that support it,” said Mr Peters.

“The Coalition Government has now
delivered on its promise to create a framework that enables the industry to
take the reins and move itself forward. With this Bill, responsibility for the
future growth of the industry sits with the people who know it best,” said Mr

The Racing Act 2003 will be repealed and
replaced by the new Racing Industry Act 2019.

With the passing of the Bill the Racing
Industry Transition Agency (RITA) will be dissolved. TAB NZ will be established
as the commercial betting operator, while administrative functions will be
devolved to the three racing codes.

An updated integrity system will be
implemented by the new Racing Integrity Board (RIB) with appropriate
independence from the industry. This will include responsibility for ensuring
industry compliance with high standards of animal welfare.

The refurbishment and modernisation of
racing venues is required for the revitalisation of the racing industry. The
Bill supports this by helping the industry to release capital from venues no
longer required for racing while ensuring appropriate considerations are made
to other community interests in the property.

The Bill underwent several
changes during the Select Committee process in which the voices of clubs,
jockeys, breeders, owners, trainers, pundits and many others were heard.

“Listening carefully to the wide range of
submissions from industry made the Bill less prescriptive, and gave greater
autonomy to the codes to enter agreements and resolve disputes without
Ministerial intervention. The changes were welcomed, and are consistent with
the overall intent of the reforms, namely to give the industry the tools to
better manage itself,” said Mr Peters.

The Committee also recommended Racing
New Zealand be established to enable collaboration between the codes and other
industry entities for the betterment of the industry.

Changes were also made in response to
COVID-19. This included naming the current Board of RITA as the interim Board
of TAB NZ until a time when new appointments can be made under the new
legislative process.

“We must thank the Committee and RITA
for their tireless work on this Bill. The gratitude of the whole industry must
also be given to John Messara whose report set us on the path that has led us
to this moment,” said Mr Peters.

The Racing Industry Bill will come into force on 1 August. 


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