New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) Chair, Glenda Hughes, welcomed today’s announcement by Rt Hon Winston Peters to introduce critical legislation intended to benefit racing in New Zealand.
“The Minister should be congratulated for his announcement today of a package of support for the racing industry, including details of the new Racing Industry Transitional Agency,” says Ms Hughes.
“The Racing Board has always championed the need for racefields legislation in New Zealand, and so it is great to see a new Bill being introduced through Parliament. Racefields is more than just revenue for the racing industry, it goes to the heart of the structure of our gambling regulation.
“Achieving Racefields and the estimated $1m a month it will deliver for racing has been a priority under the current Board of Directors over the past six years and it is positive news for the industry that an outcome is now within sight.
“While the term of the majority of the current Board, including myself, expired in July last year, we were happy to continue in our roles until the arrangements of the Racing Industry Transitional Agency were finalised. We welcome clarity on the future governance arrangements of the Board and while I will continue chairing the Racing Board until the Members of the new Agency are appointed, I look forward to handing over the reins to the new body.
“Balancing the competing interests of three different Racing Codes is difficult, and it hasn’t been without its challenges during my term. However, relative to other times in New Zealand racing history, the last few years have seen collaboration between the three Codes and the Racing Board at an all-time high, despite a challenging environment for the industry.
“The Board is in a far better situation than the organisation I came into. The Board has an exceptional CEO and very capable management team who, over the period, have delivered critical investments in High Definition broadcasting facilities, technology improvements and the new Fixed Odds Betting Platform. These investments have helped future-proof the industry’s main revenue earner.
“I’m also proud of the fact that I was the first female Chair of the New Zealand Racing Board.
Racing is one of the few sports where females athletes compete on the same playing field as men, although there is still much more work to do to ensure women are better represented in racing administration.
“I want to pay special thanks to all the staff at the Racing Board, from our Trackside camera operators to our TAB retail staff. The initial withdrawal of the Racing Amendment Bill last year and the Messara review process has created some uncertainty for staff over the last year or so, yet they have turned up everyday and continued working tirelessly for the industry.
“I look forward to my last few months Chairing the Racing Board, and ensuring there is a seamless transition to the new Agency.