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New Controlling Body Recommended

New Controlling Body Recommended By Racing Industry

The replacement of the New Zealand Racing Industry Board (NZRIB) and the TAB with a New Zealand Racing Board is the feature of new racing legislation being recommended to Racing Minister Annette King, the NZRIB confirmed today.

NZRIB Chair, Rick Bettle, said the proposed Racing Board would absorb the functions of the TAB although the TAB’s retail presence and branding will remain in place.

The prime function of the new organisation would be to maximise profits for the long term benefit of New Zealand racing. It is intended that the new Board will determine race dates and the number of betting licences to be allocated.

It is recommended that the three racing Codes will receive the profits from the new organisation and be responsible for allocating funds to racing clubs.

“In effect, this is a form of bulk funding,” Mr Bettle said.

“The draft Bill that we have prepared represents months of consultation between the NZRIB, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand, the TAB and the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association.

“I am confident that the industry has reached the degree of consensus required by the Minister on the best means to tackle racing’s problems. The Bill is now being considered by the Minister and her advisers.

“We accept that there may be some further changes but it is our earnest wish that the Bill be introduced as soon as possible.”

Mr Bettle said the draft Bill also incorporates much of the work done earlier in the year by the Racing Industry Task Forces established by the Minister.

“Essentially what we have done is adopt a ‘Code-driven model’. This puts the Codes at the forefront of the industry and gives them a great deal of responsibility for the way in which racing is allowed to develop in the future.”

He said the new Racing Board would comprise an independent Chair, chosen by the three racing Code Chairs. The appointment must be agreed to by the Minister. Each Code would also be responsible for the appointment of one board member.

The industry’s draft Bill also provides for three additional members to be appointed by an Appointments Committee comprising the Chairs of the racing Codes and the independent Chair.

Nominations for these additional members would be called for and skill requirements specified.

The proposed legislation is available on the racing websites, www.racenz.co.nz or www.racenz.com to racing clubs, industry organisations and others interested in the industry. Mr Bettle said he hoped people interested in the future of racing would take the time to read it.

Ends

For further information please contact:
Rick Bettle
Telephone: 0-4-479 9364
025 230 8115

November 2000

Key Features of the new Racing Bill
Introduction

The New Zealand Racing Industry Board (NZRIB) has recommended a new Racing Bill to Minister for Racing, Hon Annette King, after months of consultation with the Codes and the TAB, and through the Racing Industry Task Forces established by the Minister.

The NZRIB has asked the Minister to introduce the Bill into the House as soon as possible. Once passed, it will be known as the Racing Act 2000 and will replace the Racing Act 1971.

The Bill is available on the Internet at www.racenz.co.nz or www.racenz.com to all interested parties.
Key features

 The new Bill is expected to be passed into law in time for the start of the new racing year 2001.

 The purpose of the new legislation is to provide effective, new governance arrangements for racing, giving the new Board the flexibility it needs to act commercially. The new legislation also facilitates racing and sports betting. Profits from betting provide substantial funds for the racing industry.
Recognised industry organisations

The Bill lists the following groups as recognised industry organisations:

 All racing clubs registered with a Code
 NZ Thoroughbred Racing Inc
 Harness Racing NZ
 NZ Greyhound Racing Association (Inc)
 The NZ Racehorse Owners Federation (Inc)
 The NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Association (Inc)
 The NZ Trainers Association
 The NZ Jockeys Association
 The NZ Standard Breeders Association (Inc)
 The NZ Trotting Owners Association (Inc)
 The NZ Harness Racing Trainers and Drivers Association (Inc)

The New Zealand Racing Board

The NZRIB and the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) will be abolished and replaced by the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB). However, the TAB’s branding in high streets and other venues around New Zealand will remain in place.

The objectives of the NZRB are to:
- promote racing.
- facilitate and promote betting on racing and sports.
- maximise profits for the long-term benefit of New Zealand racing.

The NZRB’s key functions are to:
- Establish the racing calendar each year and issue betting licences.
- Make rules for betting.
- Conduct betting.
- Distribute funds from betting to the Codes.
- Administer racing’s judicial system.
- Develop or implement programmes to reduce problem gambling and minimise its effects.

The NZRB’s Governing Body will have seven members:
- An independent Chair chosen by at least two of the three Code Chairs and agreed to by the Minister.
- Three members, each one selected by a Code.
- Three additional members appointed by the Appointments Committee, made up of the three Code Chairs and the NZRB Chair.

Note: Code Chairs cannot be appointed Governing Body members by the Codes. No members of governing bodies of Codes, clubs or recognised industry organisations can be appointed to the NZRB Governing Body by the Appointments Committee.

The NZRB must give a statement of intent to the Minister before the start of each racing year. The statement of intent covers the year ahead and the two following years.

The statement of intent covers:
- the NZRB’s objectives
- nature and scope of activities to be undertaken
- performance targets, allowing judgment of its performance
- accounting policies.

The NZRB will give the Minister and the three Codes an Annual Report, as soon as practicable after the end of each racing year. Annual Reports must cover:
- financial statements and an audit report
- information on programmes relating to problem gambling.
Funding

The funding policy will be abolished.

In future, unless otherwise agreed with each of the Codes in writing, the NZRB will distribute all of its surplus funds to Codes each year, minus any sums put into reserves. The amount each Code receives will be based on its contribution to the NZRB’s New Zealand turnover that year. New Zealand turnover means the total amount the NZRB receives from bets placed in New Zealand on New Zealand races.

The NZRB may pay out some funds to Codes early, before final amounts have been set.

If instructed by a Code, the NZRB may make direct payments to clubs.
The Codes

Each Code is responsible for distributing funds from the NZRB to its registered clubs. Codes can retain some of these funds.

Each Code must make and maintain in force rules covering the conduct of races by the clubs registered with it.

Each Code must consult with the NZRB and the Judicial Control Authority (JCA) before amending the rules.

All racing rules of the Codes are subject to the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 and can be reviewed by Parliament.

The racing calendar and licences

The NZRB must establish and maintain a dates committee. This committee must consult with the Codes, and the Codes must consult with their clubs, on the following proposals:
- All dates in the following racing period when betting races will be run.
- The allocation of these dates to clubs.
- Any conditions attached to the allocation.

The NZRB must make final decisions on these before the end of each racing period. The Board determines the length of each racing period, which may be less than one year.

The dates committee can add to, alter, or revoke a date or allocation or condition at any time before the race is run, provided it has consulted with the Codes first.

After dates, allocation and conditions have been finalised, the NZRB will issue betting licences to relevant clubs.

There will continue to be no races on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or before 1pm on Anzac Day.

Betting

The NZRB will inherit all the existing betting functions of the TAB. These include totalisator betting, equalisator betting and fixed odds betting on races, and totalisator betting and fixed odds betting on sports.

Any new betting rules or any changes to betting rules must be sent to the Minister and are subject to the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 so they can be reviewed by Parliament.

Duty paid to the Crown for racing and sports betting remains at 20% of betting profits. [This will be reviewed as part of the Government’s Gaming Review and Tax Review.]

NZRIB and TAB staff

All employees of the NZRIB and TAB will transfer to the NZRB on existing terms and conditions.


Sections in the Bill on racing’s judicial system, inspectors, and the details of racing and sports betting are virtually unchanged from the existing Act.

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