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New Direction For Racing Industry - PM

1 February 2000

New government to work with racing industry on strategic direction and new legislation

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that the new government will work with the racing industry to develop a fresh strategic direction for the industry as a whole.

Speaking today at the opening of the 74th National Yearling Sales at Karaka, the Prime Minister said that the racing and bloodstock industry was an important contributor to the New Zealand economy, with industry exports of around $100 million a year, roughly the same as those of New Zealand's celebrated wine industry.

"In total GDP contribution, racing ranks alongside the road passenger transport industry and larger than fishing.

"Last year, around 2200 New Zealand thoroughbreds were exported. New Zealand bred horses win around 30 per cent of the Group 1 races in Australia and take about 15 per cent of the overall stake money.

“In recent years, the racing industry has faced tough competition from new forms of gambling such as Lotto, gaming machines and casinos.

“What is different about racing, however, is the significant contribution it makes to the economy, not only from the $100 million a year revenue from exports, but also in employing around 28,000 full-time and part-time workers. Four thousand people are employed in the bloodstock sector.

"The new government is presently reviewing the legislation governing racing and consulting with the industry on the desirability of a merger between the Racing Industry Board and the TAB.

“A review of the tax regime will also occur. Currently racing has only 17.8 per cent of the total gaming turnover in New Zealand but pays around 33 of the total gaming tax. The review will include issues in relation to taxation of all sectors of the racing industry, including breeding, exporting and racing,” Helen Clark said.


Contact: David Lewis 025-409 492, Mark Watts 025-822 734



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