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Racing Minister accepts board’s decision

Hon Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman
Minister for Racing

11 September 2003 Media Statement

Racing Minister accepts board’s decision

Racing Minister Damien O’Connor says the resignation of the Auckland Racing Club board last night was good for the industry.

Mr O’Connor said he agreed that the board had been unable to function properly for more than a year

“Everyone in the industry knew this; it’s a surprise, really, with the trenchant factional positions, that it lasted this long.

ARC board chairman Colin Devine called Mr O’Connor’s office Wednesday evening to explain why the board had resigned.

“Mr Devine said they just couldn’t go on being at loggerheads all the time; it was disastrous for racing in Auckland, and for the industry as a whole.

“Auckland Racing Club is New Zealand’s most prestigious club; it’s pivotal not only because of its illustrious history, but also because it’s in the heart of the country’s largest population.

Mr O’Connor said ARC members now needed to get on and choose a new board with the right balance of commercial and industry skills, a fresh mandate and a shared vision to take advantage of the combination of the recently passed Racing Act and new gambling laws.

“Since the start of August the industry has had a strong and confident new head in New Zealand Racing Board set up under the new Racing Act; it has a great future ahead of it, with plenty of space for growth and innovation, and a new commercial and legislative environment.

“There’ll be even more opportunities for sustainable growth once the Gambling Bill gets through its final stages in Parliament and gains Royal assent.”

ENDS

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