Kiwi Racing Industry Facing Backlash

kiwi racing industry
Grant Robertson, Sport and Recreation Minister of New Zealand, has made a bold statement. He declared that new reforms relating to the sporting industry in the country, including racing, would not result in losses for organisations. The statement is being met with questions from the national community, even as Racing Minister Winston Peters is being pressured by Transparency International NZ, after he shortened the public consultation process to just five days.

This all comes after April saw authorities bring forward a Racing Reform Bill. The fragment of legislation is being presented as part of a broader reform package, which aims to transform the racing industry on a grand scale. The industry is recognised to have brought in around NZ$1.6-billion in the period of 2016 – 2017, but that contribution has been rapidly declining, due to a number of factors.

Reaction To Messara Review

The primary reason for the reform package is the Messara Review. The review was put forward after a thorough analyses of the gambling industry in the country, and the problems it faced. More importantly, the review was accompanied by advice given from the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Racing, which resulted in the Racing Reform Bill.

But part of the bill includes changes in funding models, as well as new sporting codes, including for racing. It this this section of the changes that are receiving the most criticism, with many declaring that the Reform Bill will do more harm than good, resulting only in further declines.

Reform Criticism And Backlash

In a time when the gambling industry in the country as a whole is under pressure, tensions have been escalating as multiple industries face uncertainty. Nikki Kaye, spokeswoman at the National Party made a comment that seems to reflect those feeling. She stated changes made to funding models were most concerning, given that organisations such as Rugby, Football, Cricket and Netball were left unsure about their future, creating enormous national anxiety. But she concluded that the National Party had backed the bill for good reason, given that it had been created under the stated intention of ensuring that the industry at large would still be viable.

Her biggest concern was, she concluded, the reduction of the time period allowed for public submission on the matter. A sentiment strongly echoed by Transparency International NZ.

A second piece of legislation is due later in 2019, so the matter is yet to further unfold, and the policies themselves yet to be implemented.