The New Zealand racing industry is being forced to wait for vital legislation to boost the industry following an announcement of yet another review by the Ardern-Peters Government, National’s Racing Spokesperson Ian McKelvie says.
“Winston Peters has put the brakes on the Racing Amendment Bill – a key piece of legislation he was so keen to push through the House just a matter of months ago when he was in Opposition,” Mr McKelvie says.
“The industry has already delivered stakes increases for the 2017/18 season, and Mr Peters’ decision to halt the progress of the bill has put the New Zealand Racing Board in an awkward financial position with the new season just three and a half months away.
“Australian racing expert John Messara is well respected on both sides of the Tasman, but I have concerns the review may simply deliver the answers Mr Peters was wanting on behalf of his supporters in the thoroughbred breeding sector.
“He should remember there are three codes which underpin the industry in New Zealand, and this review will leave all three codes in limbo while they wait for the report back later this year.
“Those New Zealanders involved with racing at the grassroots level roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. By contrast, this delay in the Bill progressing through the House, the delay from Mr Peters in providing advice from his officials to the Primary Production Select Committee, and the reaction to his underwhelming speech at the Karaka sales might have racing people wondering whether this veteran stayer might be peaking on his run with several furlongs to go.”