New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has confirmed that the Racing Industry Bill, a major package of reforms to replace the Racing Act 2003, has had its first reading in Parliament.
The introduction of the bill has been welcomed by Dean McKenzie, who has been named as the interim Executive Chair for RITA. He explained that the introduction of the bill ‘is a significant milestone for racing’ and will help achieve the ‘ambitious goals set by John Messara to ensure the sustainability of the racing industry.’
“The revitalisation of the New Zealand racing industry is well underway thanks to the commitment and support of the Government. The nature of changes proposed are considered so substantive that a new Racing Act is recommended in the Bill,” said McKenzie.
“The new Bill is the culmination of the most significant reform of racing since 2003 and follows the Racing Reform Act which came into force on July 1 and included the gradual repeal of the betting levy and enabling regulations for a Point of Consumption Charge and Betting Information Use Charges.
“The racing industry in New Zealand contributes $1.6 billion to the economy, it provides a livelihood for 14,000 industry participants, and is an important part of our heritage.”
Mckenzie continued: “The Government’s support of racing will help lead to increased employment, improved exports and a general increase in the industry’s already significant contribution to New Zealand.
“RITA looks forward to contributing to the Select Committee process and enabling legislation that reforms the racing industry so that it is revitalised, healthy and financially viable once again.”
Yesterday, it was confirmed that McKenzie will take up the role of interim executive chair from January until June 2020 to oversee RITA’s transformation into TAB NZ, taking over from current Chief Executive John Allen who will be stepping down from RITA on 20 December.