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TAB New Zealand (TAB NZ), the new state-run agency overseeing New Zealand’s horseracing wagering and its allocation of funding, has unveiled its new executive leadership team. The agency will be led by Dean Mckenzie as Chairman, the executive who led the development of TAB NZ under his remit to oversee the interim ‘Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA)’ – a special unit placed in charge of overhauling New Zealand’s racing regulatory structures.    Mckenzie will lead a  team of five executives overseeing the implementation of New Zealand racing’s new regulatory frameworks, designed to address key areas covering wagering, broadcast rights, racetrack operations, corporate governance and finance.   RITA transition executives Jessica Meech and Sam Moncur will maintain their respective positions as General Counsel and General Finance Manager for TAB NZ, with Meech taking on the additional responsibilities for governance services.  Meanwhile, TAB NZ wagering operations will be led by former Tom Waterhouse executive Glenn Saville, who will serve as General Manager for Customer and Betting.  The planned overhaul of New Zealand racing’s broadcast rights will be led by former Harness Racing CEO Edward Rennell, who will join TAB NZ executive team in full capacity having previously served as a consultant to the RITA transition team. TAB NZ has yet to confirm the appointment of its Chief Executive, with Mckenzie fulfilling leadership duties on an interim basis. Updating stakeholders, Mckenzie informed that TAB NZ’s immediate focus would be to ensure financial stability for racing and support its workforce in light of the economic challenges presented by the coronavirus.  

Having devised its Vision Capture Project to move beyond established broadcast workflows and OB in 2017, the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) recently called on solutions from German broadcast innovator Lawo to further revise and streamline its production model. Now operating four OBs instead of six, with three Mercedes Sprinter vans and a fixed site to cover metropolitan race events from a central control room, using Lawo’s Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) provides integrated control. NZRB handles New Zealand’s Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) operation for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing, scheduling daily racing and selling racing and sports bets through a retail network, online and telephony channels. NZRB is also behind the broadcast of racing on two national television channels and Trackside Radio. In 2017, and with OB trucks that were close on a decade of very hard use, the NZRB faced 1,100 OB days racing across the country each year – the number of events and variety of scale bringing into question its previous production standards and raising the opportunity of mixed OB and Remote Production. Following moving to an IP Layer 3 network, Phase 2 of the project saw the NZRB team work with Sony on four HD-capable and scalable OB trucks to cover its existing and very demanding nationwide OB workflow. As part of this design the NZRB team identified VSM as integral to achieving the same flexibility and scalability as seen in the Remote Production model, allowing the shared use of ‘Expansion’ vehicles to seamlessly enhance capability such as extra workspaces and camera count. VSM provides operators with overarching control over their systems in an extremely adaptable way – user panels and interfaces can be configured without limitation in order to meet the requirements of different workflows and applications, with the whole system under redundant control. “One of the key selling points of VSM was the portfolio of support and compatibility for third-party protocols, in addition to Lawo’s own products with Ember+. This was key given the wide range of products used in the design of the HD OBs, without compromising on capability,” says NZRB Broadcast Engineer Michael Tompkins. As Lawo regional representative, Professional Audio & Television (PAT) was instrumental in the successful application of the advanced technology underlying the migration. “Initially, we had several whiteboard sessions that gave us confidence we had a solid idea that could work,” says NZRB’s Vision Capture Project SME Jamie Annan. “PAT had the knowledge and expertise to assist in design, configure ,and troubleshoot a system using the equipment they sold, rather than being there just to sell a product.” Using the 1Gbps Layer 3 network between remote site and control room, and 10Gbps Layer 3 between control rooms, the new model uses a mix of J2K, SMPTE 2022-6, and AES67/Ravenna to provide video and audio between each layer of production under a VSM control system run from two separate locations, ensuring geographical redundancy. The OB design had to maintain the NZRB’s ability to cover the full extent of its racing, but be physically smaller in size, while also providing greater cost efficiencies across the production. Internally, the trucks had to provide cost-efficient yet scalable industry-standard capabilities – requiring VSM to provide integrated control of switchers, routers, and a replay server as well as the connecting network. The basic daily OB setup for a truck covers running up to ten system cameras, with capacity for 12 and other SDI, Commentary, Presentation area and roaming interviews, on a typical day internal crew is Director/Vision switcher, Sound Op, Replay op, Engineer, and a Vision Control op – all operating from within the truck. VSM supports all of these requirements, with the capacity to adapt to any future changes or expansion of the NZRB broadcast operation. By SVG Staff  Reprinted with permission of

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is pleased to announce that a further $530,000 has been distributed from its Industry Enhancement funds to support the racing industry at a grassroots level. In January 2017, NZRB announced it would provide an additional $4.8 million in funding to improve stakes, address aging infrastructure and encourage the entry of young people into racing. In season one $0.6 million was distributed and in season two a further $1.0 million was distributed. Of the $539,982 allocated since October, $454,982 has been applied to projects investing in key infrastructure, including $61,777 for the purchase of 20 Moisture Meters and seven GoingSticks for Racecourse Managers across the country. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has identified that many course managers in New Zealand don't have access to appropriate resources to produce optimal outcomes during track preparation prior to raceday. These tools are expected to deliver consistency across racing surfaces while providing valuable data to track managers. Other infrastructure grants include; $200,000 to upgrade the stabling complex at Addington Raceway $51,500 to upgrade Wanganui Jockey Club's irrigation system $21,375 to upgrade crash padding for fences at Wanganui and Palmerston Nth Greyhound Clubs $25,888 for Westport Trotting Club's stable block and roading works $9,442 to replace and upgrade security cameras at Hatrick Raceway $85,000 for the costs of locating and mapping underground services at racecourses nationwide A further $85,000 was allocated to youth enhancement initiatives including the development of new equine learning resources for New Zealand Equine Education Trust tutors and effective guidelines to encourage responsible behaviour across the industry. Funding for the 18/19 season is still available. Applications can be made by contacting Ian Long, Head of Public Affairs.   Kate Gourdie Manager, Media & Corporate Communications  

A year of continued transformation has seen the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) recap a year of unprecedented growth for the TAB, attracting a total of 78,580 new customers, improved betting margins and strong cost control. NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes said it was strong result in spite of the lack of forecasted revenue from anticipated Racefields legislation, the impact of the Australian Gambling Act and racing abandonments. "In many regards it has been a challenging year for the Board, which makes it particularly pleasing to report an increase in net profit and distributions to the Codes driven by growth in customer numbers and disciplined cost management. "There has also been significant progress in our strategic initiatives which will set us up well over the next decade or so. Our customer focus is driving real value for our industry and better outcomes for our punters, racing product is looking great through our vision capture initiative and progress was made toward our fixed odd betting platform and our Anti-money-laundering requirements." After successfully repositioning the brand, broadening its wider mainstream appeal and completing a series of successful marketing acquisition campaigns, the TAB has seen a strong increase in the number of active monthly account customers, averaging 114,500, compared with 98,000 for the same period last year. The business has seen a significant increase in its underlying active account customer base, now at 230,000, up 38,000 customers or 20% on last year. Reflecting on the 2017/18 Financial year at the NZRB's Annual General Meeting at Petone, CEO John Allen said this record growth was a key result of the NZRB's Customer and Channels programme, designed to deliver $17 million of additional profit back to the racing industry by 2021. "When we started this programme in 2016 we had approximately 90,000 active customers and now average around 113,000 active customers per month. That is a phenomenal rate of growth for a wagering business and demonstrates real opportunity" says NZRB CEO John Allen. "Improvements to our digital channels have been extensive as we've worked to dramatically enhance the experience for customers. The TAB mobile app has had a complete redesign and has seen the total betcount reach 11.7 million, up 56% or 4.2 million bets on last year. The total number of unique users is 47,000, up 37%," says Allen. "This significant growth in customer numbers, margin improvement and disciplined cost management underpinned another strong year for NZRB. We've continued to support New Zealand racing and sport with an operating profit result of $154.9 million, up $6.9 million (4.7%) on last year. Including investment in our strategic initiatives, reported net profit was $145.9 million, $1.9 million (1.3%) ahead of last year. "As we reported last month, distributions to the racing codes reached a record $148.2 million, an increase of $10.6 million on last year while a further $1 million was allocated from NZRB's industry enhancement funds. Record commission payments of $10.2 million were made to 34 national sporting organisations, up $1.0 million (10.4%) on last year while our gaming activities delivered $12.8 million in funding applied to racing and $3.4 million in grants to grassroots sport, up 6.8% on last year. "We believe these results prove there is a huge opportunity to grow the profitability of the New Zealand TAB and we will continue to lift our core business over the coming year, while progressing the key strategic initiatives which will lift annualised net profit to the vicinity of $200 million once fully delivered," says Allen. Glenda Hughes acknowledged Racing Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters for commissioning a review of New Zealand racing which was led by Australian racing administrator John Messara. "We welcome the Minister's initiative in setting up the review and we support the majority of recommendations, including refocusing the NZRB as Wagering New Zealand. However, the TAB is a significant and valuable industry asset and we owe it to our customers and the industry to ensure far reaching decisions, such as outsourcing the TAB, are thoroughly analysed and carefully considered before any decisions are made. "The industry is in urgent need of investment and the resulting revenue from Racefields, repeal of the betting levy, new synthetic tracks and a refocused venue footprint, in addition to the benefit of NZRB's strategic initiatives will be a game changer for racing." The full NZRB Annual Report for 2017/18 is now available at Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board  

Record growth in customer numbers underpins New Zealand Racing Board result Operating Profit up 4.7% Record distributions to racing and sporting industry 20% growth in account customers The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) continues to increase its support to New Zealand racing and sport, announcing an operating profit result of $154.9 million for the year ending 31 July 2018, up $6.9 million (4.7%) on last year. Including the investment in its strategic initiatives, reported net profit was $145.9 million, $1.9 million (1.3%) ahead of last year, despite the delay in 'Racefields' legislation which was budgeted to provide more than $4.9 million to racing. Financial highlights released ahead of the NZRB's 2018 Annual Report, which is due out later this year, include distributions to the three racing codes reaching a record $148.2 million, an increase of $10.6 million on last year. A further $1 million was allocated from NZRB's industry enhancement funds to improve stakes, infrastructure and youth development. "These results continue our track record of increasing profits and distributions year on year and are underpinned by record growth in customer numbers combined with margin improvement and disciplined cost management," says NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes. "An additional $12 million in funding provided the industry with a much needed boost in stakes money in 2017/18," says NZRB CEO, John Allen. "As well as record distributions to the racing industry, commission payments of $10.2 million were made to 34 national sporting organisations, up $1.0 million (10.4%) on last year. In addition, our gaming activities have delivered $12.8 million in funding applied to the racing industry and $3.4 million in grants to community sporting organisations, up 6.8% on last year." "These strong results have been enabled by Kiwis connecting with the TAB like never before. Over the past year NZRB has delivered a number of customer and channels initiatives which has seen the total number of account customers betting with us during the year reach a record 230,000, up 20% on last year." "During the year, the NZRB has continued to ensure our costs are strictly managed and as a result our underlying operating expenses to run the business increased by a modest $0.8 million (0.6%) compared to last year, while underlying staff expenses decreased by $3.1 million or 5.1% on last year," says Allen. "We are delivering on our financial commitments to racing and sport that supports the future sustainability of our industry, and these results show that the TAB is a significant and valuable industry asset. "Looking forward, we are confident of achieving our long term ambitious targets however the outcomes of the recent review of the racing industry by Mr John Messara will be a key consideration for the Board." "We have considered the report in detail and agree with a majority of the recommendations, however the potential outsourcing of the TAB will need to be thoroughly analysed to ensure any decisions which are made are in the best, long term interests of our customers and the industry" says Allen. The full NZRB Annual Report for 2017/18 will be released at the NZRB AGM at NZRB Head Office in Petone on Friday 7 December.   Kate Gourdie   Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board    

The announcement that the Police have today executed search warrants on a number of racing industry participants as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged race fixing within the harness code while disappointing shows the racing integrity system is working, New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) Chair, Glenda Hughes said. The actions taken today resulted from information received by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU), an independent body charged with maintaining integrity in the sport. That information initiated a co-ordinated and careful investigation between NZ Police and the RIU. "The value of having an independent integrity body focused on investigating and prosecuting any alleged impropriety is reinforced in this action," said Ms Hughes. "Those involved in the industry and the Kiwi punters who support it must have confidence in the integrity of the sport," said John Allen, NZRB CEO, which runs the TAB. "I am confident that our integrity systems work and that where alleged breaches of our rules and of criminal law are identified, they are investigated and prosecuted appropriately," he said. As this is a Police matter, NZRB will not be commenting further at this time.   Kate Richards Head of Communications New Zealand Racing Board

Tonight the long awaited review of the New Zealand Racing Industry the "Messara report" was presented at Claudelands Arena and Live-Streamed via facebook. Summary of Recommendations from the Messara report Change the governance structure, so the NZRB becomes Wagering NZ with racing responsibilities devolving to the individual Codes. This will sharpen the commercial focus of TAB operations and improve the decision-making and accountability of the Codes. Establish Racing NZ as a consultative forum for the three Codes to agree on issues such as entering into commercial agreements with Wagering NZ, approving betting rules and budgets for the integrity bodies, equine health & research, etc. Change the composition and qualifications for directors of regulatory bodies. Request that a Performance and Efficiency Audit of the NZRB be initiated under section 14 of the Racing Act 2003, with particular emphasis on the operating costs of the NZRB. Amend the Section 16 distribution formula of the Racing Act 2003 to a more equitable basis for fixed 10-year terms. Initiate a special review of the structure and efficacy of the RIU and allied integrity bodies, to be conducted by an independent qualified person. Begin negotiations for the outsourcing of the TAB’s commercial activities to an international wagering operator, to gain the significant advantages of scale. Seek approval for a suite of new wagering products to increase funding for the industry. Confirm the assignment of Intellectual Property (IP) by the Clubs to the Codes. Introduce Race Field and Point Of Consumption Tax legislation expeditiously. These two measures will bring New Zealand’s racing industry into line with its Australian counterparts and provide much needed additional revenue. Repeal the existing betting levy of approximately $13 million per annum paid by the NZRB, given that the thoroughbred Code is a loss maker overall, with the net owners’ losses outweighing the NZRB’s net profit. Clarify legislation to vest Race Club property and assets to the Code regulatory bodies for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Reduce the number of thoroughbred race tracks from 48 to 28 tracks under a scheduled program. This does not require the closure of any Club Upgrade the facilities and tracks of the remaining racecourses with funds generated from the sale of surplus property resulting from track closures to provide a streamlined, modern and competitive thoroughbred racing sector capable of marketing itself globally. Construct three synthetic all-weather tracks at Cambridge, Awapuni & Riccarton with assistance from the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund. Support the development of the Waikato Greenfields Project. Introduce robust processes to establish traceability from birth and the re-homing of the entire thoroughbred herd, as the foundation stone of the industry’s ongoing animal welfare program. Increase thoroughbred prizemoney gradually to over $100 million per annum through a simplified three-tier racing model, with payments extended to tenth place in all races. Read the full Messara report here!   Harnesslink Media

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has welcomed the release of the Messara report on New Zealand racing, says NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes and CEO, John Allen. "The New Zealand racing industry is a significant contributor to New Zealand, providing $1.6b of GDP, employing more than 14,000 people and more broadly involving 58,000 Kiwis across the country each year," said Hughes. "However, racing is struggling to ensure its long-term future, with many participants struggling to make ends meet and continue in the industry they love. "We appreciate the recognition of both our contribution and our challenges by our Minister for Racing, Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, and the support he is providing to New Zealand racing at this critical time," says Hughes. "Ensuring a long-term sustainable future for our entire racing industry is our utmost priority, and the NZRB offered our full support to Mr Messara, including meeting with him and supplying information to assist with his work. "NZRB has not been sitting on its hands while the review has taken place, we have remained fully committed to the priorities we have underway to significantly lift investment across the three racing codes, and continue to explore our broad strategic options for the future," Allen added. "Last year, NZRB increased stakes funding to the industry by $12 million, the largest single increase in distributions for many years. We are continuing to deliver our key strategic projects, and are projecting a significant lift to industry distributions over the coming years to more than $200 million per year. "We expect our work, alongside the key recommendations in this report, will lead to meaningful, positive change for our industry, and support the thousands of hard-working Kiwis who are the lifeblood of racing in New Zealand," said Allen.   Kate Richards Head of Communications New Zealand Racing Board

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is pleased to release the 2018/19 domestic racing calendar. The calendar, which covers the period from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019, has been approved by the NZRB Dates Committee following extensive consultation with Codes, clubs and other recognised racing organisations. A total of 1,031 race meetings will be hosted, down four from last year. The number of greyhound meetings increases by two and fans will continue to enjoy eight hours of racing most Tuesdays, similar to the current season. There will be an additional two harness meetings and a change in venue for the Harness Jewels, with the NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club to host at Addington for the first time on 1 June 2019. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing have removed eight race meetings across the country to improve the quality of fields. These eight meetings were assessed based on seasonal impacts for specific regions where available starters are less and also considers track conditions. The 2018/19 racing calendar also accommodates the closure of Ellerslie for a track upgrade. This is due to reopen on 27 October 2018 and sees a change in venue and date for the Pakuranga Hunt meeting, the Auckland Racing Club Great Northern meeting and the Auckland Racing Club Premier meeting. NZRB estimates this calendar will deliver increased financial benefits to the industry, similar to the additional $3 million forecast for the current season. Over the past three years, NZRB has been working with the wider racing industry to develop a domestic racing calendar that maximises revenue, improves the quality and competitiveness of racing and optimises the cost of its delivery - the Optimise the Calendar project. Optimise the Calendar is one of a number of key strategic initiatives currently being progressed - other activities include an automated fixed odds betting platform and forward-looking Customer and Channels strategies. These initiatives will deliver a significant lift in annualised net profit once fully implemented and help NZRB build a long-term sustainable future for racing in New Zealand. Here is a summary of the key dates, features and changes to the 2018/19 racing calendar: Thoroughbred Spring Carnival commences in Hastings on 1 September 2018 NZ Cup and Show Week runs from 10 to 17 November 2018 Wellington Cup Day is on 19 January 2019 Karaka Million Twilight Racing is on 26 January 2019 Auckland Cup Week runs from 2 March to 9 March 2019 Printed 2018/19 racing calendar booklets will be available free from TAB retail outlets in August. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board   m +64 21 994151 e w Level 1, 60 Stanley Street, Auckland, PO Box 37649, Parnell, Auckland 1151  

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is deploying Promapp’s cloud-based business process management software to support its transformation to a more customer-led business. “Promapp will support our strategy to transform the business to be more customer-led to ensure our future products, channels and initiatives meet the needs of customers,” says Simon Bunt, head of programme management office at NZRB. Bunt says the Promapp deployment follows a comprehensive market review. NZRB directly employs 820 personnel. The organisation takes betting on more than 78,000 domestic and imported thoroughbred, harness and greyhound races each season, as well as on a rapidly growing number of domestic and international sporting events. In addition to selling racing and sports bets through more than 650 retail outlets, online and telephony channels, NZRB also films, produces and broadcasts racing and racing editorial content via their television, radio and digital channels. To support its growth in both channels and overall business, NZRB wanted to make it easier to facilitate the changes in process management required when new products are introduced. It also wanted all process information to be stored in a central repository in the cloud which would enable staff to access up-to-date processes, thereby supporting overall transactional compliance. “Having a solution like Promapp in the cloud is attractive owing to the number of outlets, and the diversity and skill sets of our staff working in customer-facing channels. You can login from anywhere with a password,” says Bunt, in a statement. “Our frontline staff need to verify customers according to the latest process. Promapp will ensure our users are responsible for their processes, further boosting compliance and accountability across the organisation. “Staff will be able to suggest process updates and quickly implement improvements, boosting overall efficiency and productivity,” says Bunt. Importantly, Promapp will also support transformation of the organisation’s Fixed Odds Betting (FOB) business following deployment this year of new technology which will enable it to meet ever-increasing customer demand and better compete with international wagering organisations. At the same time, a centrally-stored set of processes will enable the organisation to fully comply with its financial risk obligations like anti-money laundering legislation.  

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) today announced an underlying operating profit for the first half of 2017/18 of $83.4 million, up $2.8 million or 3.4% on last year (excluding the net impact of strategic initiatives costs and benefits of $4.4 million). Including the planned investment and associated benefits from the strategic initiatives, reported net profit was $79.0 million, $1.1 million (1.4%) below last year however this was $2.9 million above Budget. NZRB Chief Executive John Allen says this good interim financial performance is the result of a strong uplift in digital turnover and customer acquisition combined with ongoing disciplined cost management. "Successful customer acquisition campaigns, growth in digital channels and increased betting from high staking Elite customers has seen a growth in total revenue to $188.1 million, up 3.2% on last year and a corresponding growth in total turnover to $1.430 billion, up 3.9% on 2016/17," says Mr Allen. "Our rolling average monthly active account bettors grew to more than 106,000 per month over the 12 months to January 2018, up 16.4% on the previous 12 month period, and in January 2018 alone there were 112,250 active customers betting, up 19.5% on last year. The Spring customer acquisition campaign run across the second quarter delivered a massive 23,737 new customers, up 28% on target. These newly acquired customers continue to bet regularly with the TAB supported by our CRM initiatives that has contributed to the growth in Betting Turnover and Revenue. Underlying operating expenses were $68.4 million, up 1.4% on last year largely driven by ongoing investment in technology platforms and PCI regulatory compliance while staff expenses, broadcasting and property costs have all been reduced. During the first half of 2017/18, the NZRB increased its distributions to the racing industry by 11.5% or $9.1 million on last year to $88.2 million while funding for national sporting organisations also increased by $1.0 million or 22.3% up to $5.5 million and another $1.3 million in grants were paid to amateur sport from gaming. Mr Allen says the NZRB is on track to deliver its challenging full year underlying operating profit target of $153.9 million in the 2017/18 year and remains committed to lifting distributions to the industry. "We remain committed to lifting distributions to racing while facing a number of challenges. The industry continues to be plagued by an unusually high number of abandonments - 19 over the past six months (many of which occurred throughout January at Thoroughbred meetings), equating to $1.5 million in lost profit. The cost of these abandonments is also significant to trainers, jockeys and drivers incomes and returns to owners not to mention the flow on effect to other races," says Mr Allen. In February, NZRB along with the three racing codes launched a process to address the issues our industry faces around infrastructure - leading the development of a future venue plan to help generate maximum benefits for racing’s stakeholders by delivering strategic investment in fit-for-purpose infrastructure and increased financial returns. NZRB Interim Results HY18 HY17 % change Total Turnover (Betting and Gaming) $1.430b $1.376b +3.9% Underlying Operating Profit $83.4m $80.7m +3.4% Reported Net Profit $79.0m $80.1m -1.4% Distributions to Racing $88.2m $79.1m +11.5% Funding for National Sporting Organisations $5.5m $4.5m +22.3%   The above table is based on NZRB’s management accounts for the six months to 31 January 2018. The full NZRB Interim Financial Statements 2017/18 are now available on our corporate website Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board  

Racing industry leaders are seeking feedback from industry participants to help inform a future venue plan which will help generate maximum benefit for racing’s stakeholders, participants and investors by delivering increased financial returns, strategic investment in fit-for-purpose infrastructure and a long-term sustainable future for the industry. The CEOs of the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) are leading the development of a plan to help shape the future for New Zealand racing. “New Zealand has a rich and successful racing history that is to be cherished - champion animals, quality bloodstock, top class trainers, drivers and jockeys, and an industry full of people passionately devoted to racing. “Our racing industry is a part of local communities, providing jobs, facilities, and social events, the benefits of which extend beyond simply racing,” says NZRB CEO, John Allen. “However, the pace of change and the challenges affecting racing have been rapid over recent decades and show no signs of slowing down. “Many racing venues have significant infrastructure challenges, including unreliable racing surfaces and deteriorating oncourse facilities for both racegoers and our customers and communities,” says Mr Allen. “We recognise that clubs/venues are the decision makers regarding their race tracks; however, the scale of investment required is not an issue that can be solved by the NZRB, one code, club or region,” adds NZTR CEO, Bernard Saundry. “The recent commitment from Racing Minister Winston Peters and the New Zealand Government for an all-weather track is fantastic news, and while the work we do on the Future Venue Plan will support this initiative, it will be a separate process undertaken in partnership with the Minister and will not be dependant on the outcome of this feedback process,” says Mr Saundry. “We need to invest in the right racing, trialling and training infrastructure that will drive greater efficiency and sustained growth over the next 5, 10, 15 plus years, while creating the safest possible environment for our animals and modern facilities for racing participants, customers and communities,” says HRNZ CEO, Edward Rennell. “The first step is to seek the views of clubs and Recognised Industry Organisations (RIOs) on our wider industry infrastructure issues, and encourage ideas on what we, as an industry, must do to address them for the future of racing for decades to come,” says Mr Rennell. Feedback is being sought through an online survey which includes a series of questions as well as providing an opportunity for participants to submit additional thoughts and ideas. “We encourage clubs and RIOs to collaborate with key participants to provide a full range of views. We would also like to see thinking and discussions at a regional level,” adds incoming GRNZ CEO, Mauro Barsi, who takes up his new role on 5 March but has already been involved with this process through his role on the NZRB Board. “Nothing has been predetermined, and industry input is critical to the plan’s development and success. We are providing an open forum where all issues can be raised, and where fresh ideas can be shared and considered - no idea is a bad idea,” says Mr Barsi. The survey has been shared with industry participants this week and is open for contributions until 5pm on Friday, 13 April 2018.  These will be used to inform the development of the draft future venue plan, which will be shared with industry for consultation in mid 2018. General queries regarding the survey can be sent to, or interested parties can visit Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board

Minister for Racing David Bennett has appointed Bill Birnie to the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB). “It’s a pleasure to welcome Bill Birnie to the NZRB. Mr Birnie brings a lot of corporate governance experience and will add value to the NZRB,” Mr Bennett says. The purpose of the NZRB is to oversee the racing industry and the TAB, which has a $2.7 billion turnover a year, and returns over $150 million to New Zealand racing and sports each year. The seven-member board is made up of four independent members, including the Chair, who are appointed by the Government, and three code representatives nominated by the Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing codes. Mr Birnie, an investment banker by trade and former solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, has also held positions on several boards, including NZ Screen Commission, the Hilary Commission, High Performance Sport NZ, Sport New Zealand, NZ Film Commission, NZ Warriors Ltd and Play It Strange, amongst many others. Mr Birnie’s three year tenure begins on 23 June 2017. “I would like to thank outgoing board member Barry Brown for his contributions to the NZRB and industry over the past three years. Mr Brown is passionate about the industry and we thank him for his commitment to racing,” Mr Bennett says. Hon David Bennett Minister of Racing

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has released its 2017/18 racing calendar which will support better placement of domestic thoroughbred meetings and a further increase in Harness racing at both our premier venues on a Friday. The calendar, which covers the period from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018, has been approved by the NZRB Dates Committee following extensive consultation with Racing Industry Organisations, Codes and Clubs. A total of 1,035 race meetings will be hosted, up eight from last year. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing have further reduced the number of 3 meeting Saturdays from 11 to 4. Analysis has shown that moving the third meeting to other days of the week, typically Sundays, improves customer attraction to the domestic product and supports a schedule that maximises revenue from imported Australian racing on the biggest day of the week. The number of Greyhound meetings increases by just one, but there will be up to eight hours of racing most Tuesdays - double last season. There will be an additional 3 Friday nights with racing at both Addington and Alexandra Park, a move Harness Racing New Zealand believes will boost opportunities for both premier clubs. While some of the changes to the 2017/18 calendar have an impact on a small number of racing clubs, NZRB estimates it will add $3.30 million net in benefits to the industry (made up of changes to NZRB and club costs and revenues), compared to rolling over the standard calendar from the previous season. Over the past two years, NZRB has been working with the wider racing industry to develop a domestic racing calendar that maximises revenue, improves the quality and competitiveness of racing and optimises the cost of its delivery - the Optimise the Calendar project. Optimise the Calendar is one of a number of key strategic initiatives currently being progressed - other activities include an automated fixed odds betting platform, forward-looking Customer and Channels strategies, and working with Government on the introduction of Racefields legislation. All of these initiatives will deliver a significant lift in annualised net profit once fully implemented and transform NZRB to help build a long-term sustainable future for racing in New Zealand. Here is a summary of the key dates, features and changes to the 2017/18 racing calendar: Thoroughbred Spring Racing commences at Hastings on Saturday 2 September 2017 New Zealand Cup and Show Week in Christchurch will run from November 11 - 18 2017 Ashburton Trotting Club Christmas meeting to be run on Sunday 24 December 2017 Wellington Cup Day will be held on Saturday 20 January 2018 Karaka Million Twilight Racing is on Saturday 27 January 2018 Auckland Cup Week runs from March 3 to March 10 2018 The Harness Jewels take place at Cambridge on June 2 2018 Printed 2017/18 racing calendar booklets will be available free from TAB retail outlets in August.   For more information please contact me on 021994151.   Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board m +64 21 994151 e w Level 1, 60 Stanley Street, Auckland, PO Box 37649, Parnell, Auckland 1151   This communication, including any attachments, is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, any unauthorised use is expressly prohibited. Please contact me immediately, destroy it, and do not copy or use any part of this communication or disclose anything about it. It is your responsibility to check this email and any attachments for viruses or other harmful code before opening or sending on. Please note that this communication does not designate an information system for the purposes of the Electronic Transactions Act 2002. The content of this email does not infer an ongoing contract. Thank you.  

Key agreements connecting New Zealand and Australian racing have been signed by the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) and Australia's Tabcorp.   The agreements, which relate to race broadcasting, wagering, international marketing and the commingling of racing, reconfirm the close relationship between the racing organisations and wider industries in both countries.   "These new agreements mark the beginning of a new phase in the ongoing partnership between our organisations and NZRB looks forward to continuing to work with Tabcorp to promote and advance our world-class Australasian racing," says NZRB CEO, John Allen.   "New Zealand and Australia have some of the best racing in the world, and these agreements are a key way of ensuring people in both countries have access to see and bet on our quality racing product.   "New Zealand racing will be broadcast in Australia on Tabcorp's Sky Racing TV network, and through the international marketing agreement, we are also able to showcase New Zealand racing to an even bigger, world-wide audience, utilising Tabcorp's extensive international network.   "One of the components of the agreements most popular with our TAB punters is the continuation of commingling of New Zealand and Australian pools. Commingling enables Kiwis to enjoy bigger dividends through larger pools," says Mr Allen.   "These agreements provide a progression from earlier agreements which expired in June 2015, reflecting the changing landscape both NZRB and Tabcorp are operating in, such as the rapid growth of social media and online streaming.   "For example, back when the last agreements were set up, Facebook was barely established - now it's the preeminent social media platform so we needed to look at how developments like this were reflected in the new agreements," says Mr Allen.   Tabcorp chief operating officer of wagering and media Craig Nugent says; "Tabcorp and the NZRB have been working closely together for some years and these new agreements provide the stepping stone for both organisations to find new synergies that will benefit both.   "Our International Team is doing a great job showcasing Australian racing to the world and we are proud to be able to bring New Zealand racing to a bigger global audience through our global communications network," says Mr Nugent.   The agreements confirm terms set out in short form term sheets signed in late October 2016, and will be in place through to 31 October 2019.   Kate Richards Head of Communications, 027 839 0399

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has announced it will provide an additional $4.77 million in funding over the next two and a half years to support the racing industry to improve stakes, address aging infrastructure and encourage the entry of young people to racing. CEO John Allen says the NZRB Pilot Enhancement funds have come as a result of overwhelming feedback from the industry. "Last year I undertook a series of conversations around the country speaking to those at the coal face of the New Zealand racing industry and hearing their concerns. "I received a very clear message that this is an industry under significant pressure; many people are struggling and the industry requires increased financial support now, which is why we have created these enhancement funds to help address these issues," says Allen. More than $2.8 million will be made available to tactically boost stakes, with the aim being to provide greater return to owners, trainers, jockeys and drivers, in turn attracting higher quality racing and improving the overall race experience for industry people and punters alike. The Youth Development fund will aim to help build the next generation of racing by applying more than $645,000 to encouraging the development of career paths into and through the industry. The Infrastructure enhancement fund will help address aging infrastructure of racetracks to improve safety, reliability and the oncourse experience, with more than $1.29 million available across the industry over the current, 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. "The allocation of funding will be made in collaboration with all three racing codes to ensure they are in line with their individual strategic planning," says Allen. While NZRB has identified a number of key initiatives which, once full delivered will provide an estimated $50-55 million in annualised Net Profit per year to racing through increased distributions, Allen says he recognises that many in the industry need help right now. "While these investments aren't a silver bullet, they are an important short term measure to provide the industry with some breathing space until the benefits of the key initiatives are realised. It is also a clear signal to the industry that NZRB will support the long-term growth of racing in New Zealand," says Allen. These initiatives will be funded by Class 4 Gaming proceeds so do not impact NZRB's distributable betting profit to the racing industry. The following table outlines NZRB's investment over the remainder of the current season and the across the next two seasons:   Funding   Stakes Enhancement 2017 (21 Jan - 31 Jul)     $641,000 2017/18     $1,100,000 2018/19     $1,100,000 Total     $2,841,000   Youth 2017 (21 Jan - 31 Jul)     $145,000 2017/18     $250,000 2018/19     $250,000 Total      $645,000   Infrastructure 2017 (21 Jan - 31 Jul)$290,000 2017/18     $500,000 2018/19     $500,000 Total      $1,290,000   Total per year 2017 (21 Jan - 31 Jul)   $1,076,000 2017/18     $1,850,000 2018/19     $1,850,000 Total funding $4,776,000   Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board    

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