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NZTBA President speaks at Glenmorgan opening

Peter Hutt speaking at the Tuscany Farm opening, with studmaster Brett Jenkins and the Prime Minister to his left.
Peter Hutt speaking at the Tuscany Farm opening, with studmaster Brett Jenkins and the Prime Minister to his left.

Peter Hutt, the President of the NZTBA, addressed around 400 people at the opening of Glenmorgan Farm's new sales preparation facility, named Tuscany Farm, at Karaka last Thursday. Special guests included the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark and Dr Takamatsu from the Japan Racing Association's Sydney office.

The text of Mr Hutt's speech follows:

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

I'm sure you'll agree that this yearling preparation farm is "state of the art" and a testimony to Glenmorgan Farm's vision and confidence in the future of our industry. Our congratulations to the Jenkins family. Family businesses are the core of this industry and seeing three generations of the Jenkins family here today should give us all confidence in the future.

On behalf of the Association I would like to thank the Prime Minister for her personal involvement and genuine interest in our industry - both the breeding side and the racing side.

I would also like to thank our previous Minister for Racing, the Honourable Annette King, for her readiness to listen to our concerns and her efforts to develop legislation to improve the administration of racing - which would be to the ultimate benefit of the breeder who relies on a strong domestic racing scene to underpin the domestic market for our young thoroughbreds. We are keen to develop a close relationship with our new Minister for Racing, the Honourable Mark Gosche.

As an industry we have never asked for handouts from the Government. We have grown over the past 100 years because our product is top class. Nevertheless, in many ways we are under-achieving, unnecessarily, because the structure of racing administration has not been modernised to take advantage of opportunities to increase efficiency and therefore increase returns to all stakeholders including not just breeders, but the Government as well.

During this week we have heard a presentation from the authors of the Racing Industry Board's Working Party Report. They have produced some exciting but pragmatic new ideas to consider and they have received a positive reception from the breeders', owners' and trainers' representatives present. I would ask the Minister for Racing to give the industry an opportunity to understand and consider these recommendations before advancing the current Racing Amendment Bill.

If we don't get it right this time we will have failed first those people who have contributed so much to industry development in the recent past and secondly, and more importantly, those generations of prospective industry participants who we would wish to follow. The Government must be a big part of this team effort if we are to succeed.

This report is a political document as well as a commercial one. It contains within it recommendations relating to regional development. It provides a positive vision for provincial and country racing which are in the heartland of wider New Zealand society. We respectfully request that the views of the high-calibre authors be given their rightful audience.

It's important to remember our past and current achievements - from Carbine to Sunline. The New Zealand breeding industry is recognised globally for producing world class performers. We have a fine history of stockmanship and horsemanship which underpin our sale-ring and racetrack success. We bred 5000 foals last year - that's more than France and Germany combined. We exported $120 million worth of thoroughbred horses from New Zealand last year. We have so much to celebrate and so much to look forward to.

We invite the Government to share our vision for an even better future. We can see that the Jenkins family and Glenmorgan Farm have set their sights on a prosperous tomorrow and we wish them every success to reward them for their hard work, energy, confidence and foresight.

Thank you.

- Susan Archer