Garry’s Corner – 24 May, 2019

Garry Chittick

Hi you two, I said last week I would be in a position to comment on Winston’s Friday speech this week. Well by now it is old news, the abolition of the last of the betting duty had been well signaled but still when considered along with his previous Duty reduction it is quite an achievement for Winston to get over the line. Yes, the final $13 m is apparently to be fazed in over three years, comical really when considering the largese offered as part of the wellbeing budget.

For all that $4m a year is in no way going to fill the reduction in the trending returns for this year. The speech confirmed the intent to pass the Racefields Legislation which will over time hopefully produce further income. Just to clarify Racefields is, in essence, the right to charge other wagering providers for the use of our racing information.

The National Government should have had no difficulty passing the required Legislation but as with all of our requests for change which was of no cost to the Government National chose to ignore our needs, Winston to be fair has promised and delivered. The next phase though is more significant, RITA it appears is to consist of the MAC group along with a couple more. Now I only know two of the anointed ones, the others may or probably don’t have the experience of the racing culture, which you won’t change, but I wish them all the best, however part of the reason for the current mess is our leadership who despite their best intentions have little or no understanding of either wagering or racing administration. RITA and whatever power the act entrusts them with is MAKE OR BREAK the Chairperson will need to pick up the mantle and run.

First port of call will have to be current administration. I, unfortunately, will be in the Gold Coast and will miss the Waikato visit of the Racing Board. Brian de Lore covered more than adequately last week in his Blog, which is compulsory reading, the industry’s view of this current go round. I must question the purpose of the current executive this close to what may be a significant change in the Racing Boards functions. Either they are confident the business as usual mantra will prevail or they are in fantasy land. If the former then further to my earlier view we are doomed. Surely they can’t believe Winston has gone to these lengths for nothing to change. But then at Winston’s launch of the Messara report when asked if the activities of the current Board and Executive would be subject to audit Winston replied they were dead, “ You don’t bother with a dead horse “ unquote. I know if I was Chairperson my resignation would have not waited until the next day. John Allen laughed at the suggestion that Winston would be the catalyst for change. Well dead they may not be, but there is a strange odor emanating from Petone.

I recently had a birthday, I wouldn’t normally tell the two of you but someone put the celebrations on Facebook hence no longer a secret. However all it confirmed was I am on the wrong end of the conveyer belt of life, what better to do than race a good horse. I would sooner race it here but she’s on her way to Melbourne, watch this space and I’ll give you a heads up when the times right. Aren’t we lucky they do things well over there or I would have to retire from racing and fish my life out. Cheers G

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