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Minister Warned NZ Industry "Faces Chronic Issues"

Monday, 18th July 2011

The New Zealand racing industry “has largely lost its mainstream appeal & faces chronic issues, its new minister has been warned” reported The New Zealand Herald. The NZ Department Of Internal Affairs (which provides policy advice on racing) “said in its briefing to Craig Foss (who has replaced retiring John Carter as Racing Minister) that thoroughbred racing in particular faces challenges” & noted: “With the exception of a few glamour & community race days, racing has lost its mainstream consumer appeal. It has struggled to compete against an increased range of gambling & entertainment options & is suffering from a lack of investment & a long-term decline in its core betting income. Racing must reinvigorate its offering if it is to become more appealing to consumers.” The Department added: “NZ Thoroughbred Racing has recently acknowledged that racing's current position is not sustainable. It is consulting industry organisations on a range of proposals to improve the industry's prospects. Implementing change in racing will require strong leadership, as previous attempts have failed. You can expect to receive representations from NZTR on its plans for the future.” At the end of this month, the Government's NZ$3 million a year co-sponsorship of major group races ends & the Department warned: “Given the racing industry's current financial position, it is very unlikely that the recipient racing clubs will be able to keep the prize-money at the higher level without the scheme.”

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