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.