Reforms which relate to the racing industry and sports funding will not result in losses for sporting organisations in the country, Grant Robertson, Sport and Recreation Minister, has claimed. On the other hand, Racing Minister Winston Peters has also defended the shortened public consultation process at a time when Transparency International NZ has strongly criticised it after claiming that the period of five days available for public submissions is not long enough.
Back in April, New Zealand’s competent authorities unveiled the Racing Reform Bill which is currently before the select committee. The proposed piece of legislation has been recognised as the first fragment of the local racing industry’s reform package, which brought NZ$1.6-billion contributions to the country’s economy in 2016/17 but has lately been declining.
The Racing Reform Bill comes as the first reaction to the Messara Review on the local gambling industry and advice given by the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Racing. Under the piece of legislation, a special governance arrangement is set to be established. In addition, the funding model will see certain changes, including the contribution to sporting codes, including racing.
New Racing Reform Bill Faces Criticism from Industry Organisations
The bill also faced some criticism. Nikki Kaye, a spokeswoman at the National Party, commented that sporting organisations could not be sure about the funding they would get under the provisions of the bill. Ms Kaye explained that major funding for organisations such as NZ Football, NZ Cricket, NZ Rugby and Netball New Zealand.
She further shared that the National Party backed the first reading of the bill because it was willing to make sure that the local racing industry would remain viable. Still, the party members believe that more time should have been spent on considering public submissions.
The process is also being criticised by Transparency International NZ, which has called for an extension in the interest of transparency and public trust.
Back in December 2018, a 5-member Ministerial Advisory Committee was appointed by the Racing Minister Peters to unveil the following actions on the Messara Review of the country’s racing sector. At the time, Mr Peters explained that the New Zealand Government remains committed to reforming the sector, so a plan was needed to make sure that better governance and economic results would be delivered under the Messara Report.
The Chairman position was taken by Dean McKenzie at the time, while the other four members of the Commission included Liz Dawson, Sir Peter Vela, Bill Birnie and McDonald. Collectively, the five of them were entitled with the responsibility to provide the Minister with an interim report by the end of February.
At the time when the first reading of the bill was held last week, Minister Peters justified the selected committee process. He further explained that a second piece of legislation aimed at bringing more reforms to the industry would be unveiled later in 2019.