GRNZ Welcomes Messara Report

Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) has welcomed the release of the Messara Report revealed on 30 August 2018.

Over the coming weeks we will thoroughly review the recommendations, seek consultation from our Clubs and Licensed People and will formulate a submission in response to the release of the report. 

Greyhound Racing is an important part of the wider racing industry.  We are acutely aware of the impact this report could have on the owners, trainers, handlers and club officials for whom racing is their livelihood and passion.

We take our responsibility as guardians of the greyhound racing product very seriously and will be taking due care and process to ensure we understand the ramifications of this report and therefore the shape of our response to the Minister.

We are optimistic that through working collaboratively and constructively with all parties involved we can collectively build a positive and vibrant future for racing in New Zealand.

We would like to address one piece of information that appears on pg.73 of the report, that “Greyhound racing is proposing to reduce their number of venues from 7 to 3 after 10 years.”   We believe that Mr Messara may have been referencing discussions and industry submissions that took place as part of the Future Venue Plan process that looked at a variety of possible futures.  We can however clarify that GRNZ does not have a plan to reduce the number of greyhound venues from 7 to 3.

More information on how to feed into our review process will be detailed in the coming weeks, but is likely to include visits to a number of clubs and a process for written submissions.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Change the composition and qualifications for directors of regulatory bodies.

  4. 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.

  5. Amend the Section 16 distribution formula of the Racing Act 2003 to a more equitable basis for fixed 10-year terms.

  6. Initiate a special review of the structure and efficacy of the RIU and allied integrity bodies, to be conducted by an independent qualified person.

  7. Begin negotiations for the outsourcing of the TAB’s commercial activities to an international wagering operator, to gain the significant advantages of scale.

  8. Seek approval for a suite of new wagering products to increase funding for the industry.

  9. Confirm the assignment of Intellectual Property (IP) by the Clubs to the Codes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Clarify legislation to vest Race Club property and assets to the Code regulatory bodies for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

Posted on 31/08/2018 3:57:13 PM

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