Garry’s Corner – 10 August

Garry Chittick

I normally try to keep politics at arm’s length in my corner. I remember being made to stand in and face the corner in my first weeks at school well. Arm’s length would have exposed me, allowing the class to view my vulnerability. I think I am beyond any such reaction now to my views.

The Corner was never intended to be anything other than a look at the industry come sport from my perspective, cynical at times, but if you went through life without viewing at arms length, the multiple stuff ups that affect your opportunities to get on with life without a degree of humour, you would become very depressed.

I recently watched a union representative on the morning TV espouse the view that the 90 day trial period gave employers the opportunity to fire at will, then re-offer the position to the next 90-day trial employee. Think about it, giving somebody who clearly has little experience an opportunity only to remove them and start again would be nonsensical if they have shown any aptitude. But no, the union’s view and terminology was we are firing at will. The end result is very few will get the opportunity to show they deserve a chance. Jacinda cheerfully ignores any likelihood of waning business confidence with her view as a Government who has been given the mandate to set previous misdemeanours right, there will be a period of adjustment. She’s right, all state services are adjusting, the construction industry is in turmoil, the dairy industry is confronted with multiple challenges, not the least is the strong push for a reduction in numbers. I could go on but in short, Governments create no wealth, zero, their role is to collect from our endeavours the wherewithal to run a fair and just Country.

I am constantly amazed at the attitude of those cocooned in a secure position with the superannuation in the back pocket to those who work the long hours, take the risks, who provide the jobs etc. It will be very interesting to see the result of the Cullen report on taxation, we know for certain it will have limited effect on the cocooned ones, no it will be the risk takers who will be rewarded at the end of their life with the opportunity to support the the 90 day non performing, who are encouraged to believe they entitled. Funny old world. That could be the end of my rant but I have just been informed Winston will not attend the Friday night cocktail evening at Te Rapa. Well the report we have been waiting with baited breath for was to have been presented, John Messara was speaking and presumably would have been available for comment. No report, no Winston, so how will the night go?

Think Clayton ’s, John won’t be able to disclose the content of the report, this is at best embarrassing, where oh where is our leadership. Unlikely to come from Glenda in theory her term is over, also chances are current leadership is unlikely to get 10 out of 10 so why encourage tabling of the critical report. Code Chairmen, well where are they. My guess is the codes individual aspirations are getting in the way of a concerted amount of pressure that needs to be applied. The end result, Messara is a very busy man, fitting us into his schedule could mean no report for some time. Not his fault, no chances are DIA will devour the report, political interests will panic, the report may be our Xmas present. In the meantime, we can take comfort from the Racing Boards Statement of Intent. I have tried to marry the content of the SOI with the six months financial report, difficult, the 12 m borrowed top up in stakes is casually referred to as advance, repayment is vaguely identified out of future growth.

Paddy Power assimilation is it now 40m if so tell it like it is. Silence is all we hear. We can be comforted in the knowledge the recipients of the first 60m of earnings won’t be as concerned as the risk takers are. I’ll say it again, funny old world. Never mind the mares will foal, the cattle will chase the Lycra ones out of the paddock risking execution, and the spring racing will excite us all with new and old stars who have no idea if they are racing for 1m or 10 k. It might be better to be the horse, fed, bedded and shod. Then again having someone jumping on and whipping you has little appeal. How long before the bearded ones find a reason to interfere, they will, funny old world.

P.s well what do you know? My Corner was written Wednesday night, Lo and behold it is already out of date. John Messara is now not attending. What a pity, this was a much-needed opportunity, one the racing industry is entitled to get a grip on the intended direction he may have in mind.

It is not the end of the road, the report will be tabled but John’s presence really is imperative. Clearly, Winston’s default is the reason for Messara not attending. This leaves Te Rapa, who have created a cocktail party built around the start of spring racing, and interesting guests, with undeserved egg on their face. Circumstances beyond their control, I say come anyway, enjoy the night and talk about them. So, the much-vaunted paper, remember we are fortunate to have not only Johns input but others who have filled whatever gaps needed filling.

I have said before I have zero knowledge of its contents, the only hint I have from my time with John was it needs to be actioned now!!. It’s very unlikely it will have the endorsement of the current Board if so how does the now happen, they will undoubtedly stonewall, a couple of doubts sown in the boffins at DIA will automatically take time. Then the politicians, with limited understanding will attempt to justify the time they spend in Wellington, framing the new act.

Why keep repeating this, because there is no doubt NZ First was helped to sneak over the 5% in no small part by the racing fraternity. Why? Because Winston assured us of his intention get to the heart of our problems and clean out the swamp. He got off to a great start, now open the drains, let the fresh water flush out the mud, and it will be all go. See you at Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate day, come and enjoy yourself, we’ve got plenty to talk about.

Cheers G

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