Day At The Track

The Labour Party - Policy on Racing

05:34 AM 14 Jul 2014 NZST
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David Cunliffe
David Cunliffe

This is the third in a series of articles we are running with regards to the racing policies of the major political parties in New Zealand.

This time it is the LABOUR PARTY:

Our vision 
Racing is a skilled, vibrant industry with a high profile in New Zealand. It contributes 
significantly to the domestic economy in terms of primary production, as a gaming sport and 
in entertainment. It has an extremely high value in the export of bloodstock, particularly in 
new markets such as Hong Kong. 
Racing offers employment directly and indirectly to many people across a wide spectrum of 
society. Labour is committed to working in partnership with the industry to achieve better 
outcomes in all areas of the racing industry. 
When in government, we worked hard to build a good environment for the industry. The 
income tax liability was removed on offshore stake money, and the GST liability due on 
horses sold for export was addressed. 
The Racing Act 2003 better equipped the industry to address the challenges it faces. Labour 
delivered a reduction in taxation to align with other forms of gambling, enabling the industry 
to have increased funds for stakes, assets and other activities. 
Labour recognises the need for the industry to achieve sustainable growth through 
maximising strengths and opportunities, and will continue to work closely with the sector to 
facilitate this. 
Value to economy 
The racing industry makes a significant contribution to New Zealand‟s GDP, and creates 
employment and export opportunities. A study by the Melbourne-based economic 
consultancy IER Pty Ltd (IER) found that in 2008/09 the industry had a significant economic 
impact on New Zealand‟s GDP, employment and exports.
They reported that, in 2008/09: 
1) Racing made a direct contribution of $464 million to GDP, and generated more than 
$1,635 million (0.9 per cent of GDP) if the indirect impact of expenditure in the racing 
industry is taken into account. 
2) Racing directly sustained 8,877 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, and when the indirect 
impact of racing is taken into account, the total employment increased to 16,934 FTE 
jobs. More than 52,000 people participated in the racing industry (this figure included 
volunteers and owners). 
3) The racing industry generated more than $167 million in export sales of thoroughbred 
and standard bred horses. 
A prosperous and dynamic sector with huge potential 

The racing industry is currently in decline, primarily through having to compete with many 
other forms of gambling. So changes are needed. When in Government, Labour will be 
instrumental in allowing all parts of the industry to be involved in reviewing the current status 
of the industry, and to establish what is the best way forward. 
Labour is committed to building on the good partnership we had developed with the racing 
industry, and will continue to work closely with the industry to strengthen racing‟s 
contribution to economic growth. Labour will ensure that all additional funding to racing 
contributes to real economic growth to be enjoyed by all stakeholders, through appropriate 
industry strategies. 
Recognising that change must come from within, Labour will convene a round-table 
discussion of major stakeholders in the industry with a view to strengthening and 
enhancing the economic viability of racing in New Zealand. We will ensure that a 
strategic direction is developed and implemented. 

Labour is concerned that some racing clubs might use revenue from pokie machines for 
purposes other than for the social good. There are also proposals to establish pokie 
machines on racing club premises, and we are concerned this may be done without 
sufficiently-wide consultation. Labour will bring together industry stakeholders to develop 
policy on these issues. 
Labour will ensure the robustness of the Integrity Unit, meaning that those appointed to it are 
of the highest calibre, in order to maintain the integrity of the unit and the industry. 
Labour in government will assist in establishing a Code of Practice for the racing industry, 
which will be drawn up and agreed upon by all major stakeholders and will link with the 
current set-up of the Integrity Unit. 
We will also uphold the position of the New Zealand Racing Board to hold the exclusive 
rights to racing and sports betting in New Zealand, and for the net proceeds to be returned to 
sustain New Zealand racing. 
Labour will work with the New Zealand Racing Board, the racing code bodies, the Governments and International racing bodies to ensure that New Zealand is well placed to respond to any threats to racing's revenue and integrity.
Racing is inherently a dangerous occupation. But with the right tools, the risks can be 
managed and mitigated. Labour is committed to working with the sector to ensure that 
jockeys ride in the safest environment possible. A reduction of injuries and safer practices 
will result in a reduction in ACC levies.
Labour will work with the industry to reduce injuries, promote safe practices and provide safe amenities. 
Our thoroughbred stock is a precious resource, and in New Zealand we are lucky our 
industry is free from diseases such as Equine Influenza. But the scare in Australia reinforces the need for vigilance in biosecurity measures to protect the industry. Labour will ensure the 
racing sector and the government have the necessary measures and tools in place to 
identify and manage biosecurity risks to protect the industry. 
Labour will support appropriate biosecurity measures to protect the racing industry in 
all its activities. 

Skills development and training is as important in the racing sector as any other sector. We 
want to see the industry continue to move towards being a high-technology, high-skilled 
driver of growth. Labour will continue to work with the sector to identify areas for 
improvement in industry training and education. 
Labour will work with the racing sector to further its industry training and education 

Labour recognises the difficulties faced by the racing industry in modernising itself for the 
21st century. We will work with all major stakeholders to ensure the revitalisation of a strong 
economic performer which can do even better. 
The Labour Party
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