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Focus on Future for Racing Forum

Most delegates to next week's Community Racing Forum at Parliament have applied to speak on issues affecting the development of racing, Racing Minister Annette King said today.

"This is both positive and encouraging. Delegates are taking a constructive approach. They want to get community racing right, and this forum gives them an opportunity to come up with ideas to do just that."

About 80 delegates from community racing clubs and organisations around the country will attend the afternoon forum on June 1.

Mrs King said she conceived the idea for the forum because it was clear to her that "community racing clubs want racing overall to be strong, and to play their part in rebuilding that strength.

"It is also clear that the smaller clubs have an important role in their communities, and the smaller communities also play an important role in the wider racing industry. Many of the country's owners and breeders live in the smaller communities. They have been one of the strengths of racing, and yet in recent years their numbers have dwindled badly. This has created a domino effect on the wider industry.

"My hope for this forum is that it helps show the way forward for racing, and creates greater unity among the clubs. There are some difficult issues to tackle, but I am encouraged by the mood of those attending."

For more information, contact John Harvey (04) 471 9305.

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