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Rural racing stifled by ACT's vested interests

Rural racing stifled by ACT's vested interests

Green MP Sue Bradford said the racing industry in rural New Zealand will continue to struggle under the weight of the rich and privileged clubs thanks to the ACT Party.

The Racing spokesperson is disappointed the ACT Party sided with the Government to shut down an amendment aimed at making the industry transparent and fair for all stakeholders.

Ms Bradford's amendment called for the establishment of a review and appeal procedure to review decisions of the Racing Board. It was supported by United Future, New Zealand First and the National Party, but was shut down by Labour, with ACT and Progressive Coalition support.

"To get consensus across these parties shows how important people know this Green Party amendment was to the racing community, and most importantly, the rural people and small clubs who form the backbone of the industry," said Ms Bradford.

The Racing Bill has now completed its passage through the select committee stage, and the opportunity to make further amendments has now been lost.

"I am very disappointed the ACT Party has chosen to undermine all the hard work from people in the racing business.

"This amendment would have provided the industry with a review process to guard against prejudice and protect the interests of smaller clubs who lack the financial clout of the larger organisations.

"The racing industry is plagued by vested interests, mistrust, warring factions and fears for the future.

"Common sense tells me - and I believe, many others in the racing fraternity - that unless we introduce an acceptable legislative review process, then many of the current problems may continue under the new system.

"The ACT Party, with the Labour Government, has clearly demonstrated where its interests lie: with Queen St farmers and not the lifeblood of the racing industry."

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