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Chief Executive’s Blog - March 2016

Werther (NZ) defeats Victory Magic (NZ) in the Hong Kong Derby
Werther (NZ) defeats Victory Magic (NZ) in the Hong Kong Derby

I write this after watching Kiwi-breds Werther & Victory Magic quinella the Hong Kong Derby on Sunday evening, a tremendous performance that showcased, yet again, the immense quality of the horses we breed in New Zealand.

It's timely encouragement as we wean the 2015 crop of foals this autumn. We know we can meet the challenge of top-class competition in any part of the world, we have done it for decades, and we can be confident that our 2015 crop includes plenty of future stars. The biggest challenge we face is right here at home, as we struggle to re-invest and prosper in a contracting domestic marketplace.

This challenge is no smaller for the NZTBA as we work to maintain our income streams with reduced membership numbers and fewer mares going to stud.

Our Association is fortunate to have very supportive commercial partners in Dunstan Feeds, Fertco Ltd, Magnum Industries Ltd, Goldpine, NZForex, Braithwaite & Pearks Accountants and the BNZ. Their backing has never been more important to the Association than now, so I trust that in turn members support our partners whenever possible.

We are always looking for new membership initiatives and after discussions with Matthew Francis of Professional Printing Services, which produces the annual Stallion Register in partnership with us, we've come up with some new ideas for this year.

It is proposed to discontinue the full page Members' Diary and replace it with the Directory section of the diary which will be sent to members in late July as usual. In addition to the Directory and the Stallion Register (mailed in mid-June), we intend to send members a copy of the Racing Annual, including a comprehensive review of the previous season, and published in late October.

Along with members of the Council, I'm currently working on a number of important issues that affect all sectors of the thoroughbred industry, all members and every breeder & owner:

BLOODSTOCK TAXATION

Many of you will have followed the NZTBA's work on Bloodstock Taxation issues over the years. Our latest effort is directed at clarifying tax rules, principally for new investors. The New Zealand Racing Board's CEO John Allen fully understands the importance of this and has added considerable professional legal assistance to our submissions to the IRD. I also acknowledge the professional input and expertise of NZTBA President John Fokerd and the Association's tax adviser Rob Braithwaite.

I highly recommend John Aubrey's latest edition of his famous tax book "Bloodstock Taxation in New Zealand" which is available for purchase through the NZTBA's website by downloading this: Application Form.

It may well be the best $85 you ever spend.

ACC LEVIES

ACC Levies are another ongoing area of concern following the Government's decision to increase levies as of 1st April 2016 to balance the flow-on effects of the cessation of the residual levy, plus the industry's claims record.

It would appear that many of these claims are preventable with better training and induction. With the new Health and Safety At Work Act coming into effect on 4th April, all employers and employees need to be fully compliant with their responsibilities under the new Act.

NZ PATTERN COMMITTEE

Mr Chas Amon has retired as the Chairman of the New Zealand Pattern Committee, responsible for the grading of all black type races. The NZTBA thanks Chas for his outstanding contribution to this Committee over many years, both as a nominee of the NZTBA, and in later years as Chairman. The NZTBA is currently represented on the Pattern Committee by Mark Freeman, Andrew Stewart and myself.

Chas Amon will be replaced as Chairman by Matthew Goodson, the recently retired Chairman of NZTR.

NZB INSURANCE PEARL BONUS SCHEME

The Pearl Series continues to go from strength to strength with 438 fillies registered as Earlybird Entries for the 2016 Series when first entries closed at the end of February. This number is second only to the first year total of Earlybird Entries. Breeders can still enter yearling fillies up until 31st July at the slightly increased fee of $920 inc. GST.

If the Series is to fulfil its original vision of assisting breeders and owners to race fillies and mares in New Zealand, the clubs must provide more opportunities in the rating 65 & 75 races for fillies and mares, and races beyond 1600m.

NZTBA and NZTR will be reviewing the Series and planning for the future.

EDUCATION

I acknowledge the considerable time and effort Vicki Pascoe has put into representing the NZTBA on educational matters now that the Primary Industry Training Organisation (PITO) has control of our "Breeders" course for young people entering the breeding industry.

Vicki has spent many hours making sure that the important course content is not lost when preparing young people for their work on stud farms. Our Waikato Branch has always been a strong supporter of education and remains so even after the PITO has taken over the course leadership.

WINTER MEMBERS SEMINAR

The National Office is in the early stages of planning a Members Winter Seminar. We invite ideas from members on topics or people you would like to see on a panel speaking on topics of interest.

We do intend to cover Taxation and Health & Safety issues, but would welcome your input on subjects you would like to learn more about.

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

The NZTBA has joined forces with New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing (NZTM) to refresh and integrate our website with wider industry's web platform development. The new site will include racingnews.co.nz; nztm.co.nz; nzracingdesk.co.nz; breeders.co.nz and racingjobs.co.nz. We are currently waiting for the final templates to launch the new Breeders site.

Our own site has shown considerable growth during this past year, featuring weekly background stories on breeders' success.

NATIONAL COUNCIL NOMINATIONS

The NZTBA Council is calling for nominations for election to the 2016/17 National Council. You will see, on the Nomination Form on the next page, that any financial member may nominate another financial member for election to regional vacancies, provided the nominator and nominee reside in the same region. Please contact me if you need any further information. Nominations will close on Friday 9th May 2016.


Kind Regards,

Michael