NZ Election Special: NZ First Policy on Racing

Winston Peters

"The New Zealand Racing Industry is not getting a fair go and is in desperate need of an internationally competitive policy," New Zealand First Leader and Tauranga MP Winston Peters said today [2 July].

"This is an industry that exports well in excess of $100 million each year, contributes hundreds of millions to the New Zealand economy, and employs tens of thousands of New Zealanders. However, by international comparison, this industry has fallen dramatically behind since taxation allowances were withdrawn in 1986 under Labour Finance Minister Douglas.

"New Zealand Government policy has not been internationally competitive in the areas of taxation and depreciation. What is desperately needed is a wise and sympathetic policy found in other horse breeding nations, particularly Ireland, Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters announced today that New Zealand First will fix it by:

1. an improved depreciation regime for stallions and brood mares;
2. a tax advantage for on course betting; and,
3. amending the taxation regulations that are patently unfair on the racing industry by putting all gaming on the same footing.

"This is an industry that has long failed to reach its potential because of a lack of action from successive governments only too happy to take the tax without proper regard for the international circumstances in which it was earned or to address the obvious lack of consistency between different forms of gaming. One wonders how much the Casinos have given to political parties for this campaign: New Zealand First turned down a sizeable sum on the principle that we cannot support millions of dollars being sucked out of our economy by foreign owners," said Mr Peters.