This time last year industry stakeholders were looking forward to the Minister for Racing Winston Peters opening the Karaka Sales Series and delivering a good news speech.
It didn’t happen in January, but in late April he announced that John Messara would conduct a review of the industry and in September we were presented with his findings and recommendations.
The review certainly ruffled feathers and the fallout resulted in some 1600 submissions being presented to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for consideration either supporting the changes, objecting to them or offering ulterior solutions.
As we are witnessing with Brexit the parliamentary process works slowly and good legislation takes time to prepare, and to that end the DIA and the Minister seem to be taking the right approach, with the appointment in December of the Ministerial Advisory Committee.
This comprises an eclectic group, specialists in their field of business, and chaired by NZTR board member Dean McKenzie. His fellow board members include Liz Dawson, Kristie MacDonald, Sir Peter Vela, and Bill Birnie.
The Committee who have met a couple of times since Christmas will provide an interim report to the Minister by the end of February. The Government is then expected to make decisions on the recommendations of the Messara Report and the Committee in March 2019 which will form the basis of new legislation going forward. A final report by the advisory committee will be presented by the end of June.
For a full run down on the terms of reference for the Ministerial Advisory Committee click on file below.
The NZTBA was involved in discussions with John Messara when he was compiling his report and has made submissions supporting the recommendations in the report on behalf of its members. We will continue to work with the DIA and Minister’s office providing advice and support as the new legislation unfolds. Strengthening our domestic racing scene is a top priority if we are to save our breeding industry. - Michelle Saba