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RIB guarantees club payments and invests


Media statement 14 July 2000
For immediate release


New Zealand Racing Industry Board guarantees club payments and invests in the industry’s future

The New Zealand Racing Industry Board will maintain next season’s Club Product Payments at last year’s levels, Acting Chief Executive, Jim Leach, announced today at the Annual General Meeting of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Inc.

Mr Leach said the Board would pay 8.225 percent to thoroughbred and harness racing clubs for the new season, starting on 1 August, and 6.592 percent to greyhound clubs. The Club Product Payments determine how much money clubs can pay out in stakes.

“The Racing Industry Board has decided that it will guarantee the payments at last year’s levels, even though we are still negotiating with the TAB on the amount it will contribute. If there is a shortfall in that contribution, the Racing Industry Board will make it up from reserves,” he said.

“It is vitally important that the Racing Industry Board gives codes certainty about how much they have to spend, before going into the new racing season.”

Mr Leach said the Board had also decided to contribute $1.33 million over the next three years to initiatives designed to increase the numbers of race horse owners.

The Board was in discussions with New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing and Harness Racing New Zealand concerning this major ownership project and more details were likely to be announced shortly.

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“The Racing Industry Board is committed to playing a very active role in encouraging more race horse owners in New Zealand. This will be a long-term project and the Board is keen to get started,” he said.

“The decline in the number of owners and the subsequent reduction in the numbers of horses have had, and will continue to have, a severe impact on the racing industry and the Board is in a strong position to play a leading role in reversing that trend.”

The Board was also in discussions with the TAB and the codes on an industry Internet portal.

“The Racing Industry Board is working with other industry members to establish an Internet presence that will benefit everyone involved in New Zealand racing. The Board will make the largest financial contribution - $80,000 – in Phase 1, in which the first version of the racing industry portal will be developed.

“Our primary aims are to drive up interest, both here and overseas, in racing in New Zealand and to enable all the various parts of the industry to work together in a more cost-effective way by sharing technology and the benefits it offers.”

Mr Leach said discussions were still at an early stage, and more details would be available shortly.

Although the Board had allocated funds for the Internet portal and for increasing ownership, no decisions had yet been made on the $11.4 million raised from the TAB’s recent sale of shares in The RadioWorks.

“The Board is very much of the view that this money should be invested wisely for the long-term benefit of the racing industry. It should not be squandered over the next two or three years on short-term projects” Mr Leach said.

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“The sum of $11.4 million is the result of wise and careful investment by earlier administrations. In addition to the capital gain, the investment paid dividends each year, which provided the racing industry with significant additional cash. Since the shares have been sold, these dividends are no longer available.

“The Racing Industry Board is therefore keen now to re-invest a substantial proportion of the $11.4 million in assets which will generate future income for the industry and provide future benefits,” Mr Leach said.


Ends

For further information please contact:
Jim Leach
Acting Chief Executive
New Zealand Racing Industry Board
Telephone: 0-4-576 6931

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