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NZ Governance "Belongs To A Bygone Era"

Tuesday, 24th November 2009

NZ Thoroughbred Racing said the changes proposed by The Racing Industry Taskforce (set up in May) “will make racing more cost-effective, efficient & successful by eliminating duplication of costs & stream-lining decision-making”. NZTR adds “the end result would be increased returns for industry participants, more stakes money for owners & a more self-sufficient & productive industry capable of making an even greater contribution to NZ’s economy”. Taskforce member & NZTR chairman Guy Sargent emphasised the Taskforce “worked hard to identify solutions to strengthen the racing industry, which is facing increasing challenges from off-shore wagering, competition for the entertainment dollar & a changing economic & social environment”. Sargent noted: “Racing is a resilient industry with a proud heritage, but it needs to be stronger to compete in today's global entertainment market. While racing contributes more than NZ$1.5 billion to the economy each year, our governance structure belongs to a bygone era. It's time for a fresh start.” Taskforce & NZ Racing Board chairman Michael Stiassny added: “Racing needs strong & decisive leadership, a coherent & consistent vision & strategy & the ability to implement that strategy quickly. The report lays out a framework to enable the racing industry to achieve those goals & secure a sustainable future for the more than 18,000 people employed in the industry. The Taskforce Report makes a compelling financial case for change. Savings in the vicinity of NZ$11 million a year should be seized upon by everyone in the industry.” The Board of NZTR (which convened the Taskforce) “has accepted the recommendations & will now consult widely with its members & industry participants. A vote to decide whether to accept the Industry Taskforce recommendations & begin transition to a shared-services model will be held at the NZTR annual general meeting January 22 in Wellington.”

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