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The Racing Bill will now have a second reading in the House after the Select Committee’s report was released yesterday.

Government Select Committee: Someone on the new board must be betting tech savvy

The Government’s select committee reporting on the Racing Industry Bill has recommended that the future governing body of the TAB must include someone with experience in broadcasting and technology related to betting or gambling.

In apparent recognition of the failings of recent TAB boards and the disastrous $42 million betting platform which has contributed to its near demise, the select committee specified those two skills as being needed for the new seven member TAB NZ board.

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee which has examined the Bill, and yesterday recommended it be passed with some amendments, also wants a selection panel to be set up for greater fairness and representation in the appointment process of the board.

The Bill previously allowed for the Minister for Racing to appoint up to seven members after considering nominations from the racing codes and Sport and Recreation New Zealand.

The new process would see the Minister appoint three members from the codes’ nominations but the other four would come from names put forward by the selection panel who would also consult recognised industry organisations.

While the Minister would have the power of veto, further nominations would be made until the Minister and the codes agreed.

The select committee also specified that TAB NZ must not only prepare a statement of intent and a business plan before the start of each year but must give the codes 15 days to consult on matters of disagreement.

Racing New Zealand

The select committee recommended that a new consultative forum, Racing New Zealand, be established in the Bill to facilitate discussion between the three racing codes on issues that relate to the wider industry, and to encourage the adoption of common positions.

The Messara Report originally floated the idea of Racing New Zealand to represent the racing codes in negotiations and interactions with other industry bodies. It could negotiate commercial agreements with TAB NZ, help develop the racing calendar and approve budgets and plans for the industry’s research and integrity bodies.

Clubs’ assets

The select committee also responded to a raft of submissions raising concerns over the power given the Minister to wind up a racing club and transfer its assets and surplus land to the wider industry.

To prevent a club from unjustly surrendering its venue to the code, it recommended a more negotiated discussion.

If a club refused to enter negotiations or could not come to an agreement, the minister must consider whether there are special circumstances, including the use of the land by the community, before recommending an Order in Council transferring its assets to the industry.

The proposed changes require the Minister to appoint a reviewer, agreed to by the club and the code, who would seek submissions from the club and community groups, before making a decision.

Clubs will also have the right of appeal to the High Court.

Offshore charges

The select committee recommended one change to part five of the bill which provides a framework under which offshore betting operators must pay a fee. That includes people who take bets on racing and sporting events held in New Zealand, as well as those whom people here place bets with.

Instead of entering an agreement with the Department of Internal Affairs, it stipulated operators must approach the relevant racing code or sporting organisation, to align this provision with the bill’s intention to promote commercial arrangements for the industry.

The Racing Industry Bill will now have a second reading in the House and it is hoped it will be passed before the election.

The Select Committee comprised: Darroch Ball (Chair) Chris Bishop, Paul Eagle, Raymond Huo, Matt King, Jan Logie, Jami-Lee Ross, Jamie Strange and Tim van de Molen. Andrew Bayly and Ian McKelvie replaced Chris Bishop and Matt King for the review.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Awapuni

Race 5: Lincoln’s Kruz

“He has trained on well since his trial. The track is going to be very testing (heavy 11) on Saturday and he is untried in these conditions but there’s not a lot of exposed form in the field and, if he handles the track, I’d expect him to be right in the thick of it.”

Race 8: Platinum Rapper

“We’ve decided to go with the 3kg claim of Temyia Taiaroa in what is a strong field. She will come down to 52kg which will really help her on the heavy track. She has had a jumpout and a trial to prepare for this so, with the right run, should be right in the mix.”

Race 9: Lincoln Dreamer

“He has Kozzi Asano up so will claim 1kg which will be a help. He handles wet tracks and has won on a heavy track before. This may be a bit short of his best distance but I expect him to get back in the running and be doing his best work late. He has been working well and I’m looking forward to seeing him back at the races on a wet track.”

Race 10: Benny Lincoln

“The field isn’t very strong but he has had only one jumpout so I am expecting he will improve a lot from the run. He handled the track well at the jumpouts so I think he will handle wet ground, but he may be one run away. Kozzi Asano will claim 1kg.”