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Michael Guerin: Winston Peters losing patience with racing's infighting as ruling body set to make dramatic cost cuts

The boss of New Zealand racing — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Racing Winston Peters — has finally spoken out and it would appear he is losing his patience with the industry's relentless in-fighting.

Peters has kept his public comments about the racing industry brief during lockdown but suggested this week there could be Government support for the struggling industry in coming weeks, possibly announced as part of the May 14 Budget.

Peters has put his weight behind the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA, the board running the TAB) even though they have been under attack from many sectors.

Those attacks eased, for a while at least, on Thursday when the codes were able to announce satisfactory stakes levels for the remainder of the season. The stakes are not great but about the best that could be hoped for in the middle of a worldwide crisis.

The nonsensical talk of $5000 stakes, the TAB being insolvent and trainers striking may disappear for a while. The racing industry has many problems and one of the worst is constantly publicly shooting itself in the foot.

Peters is the single most important person standing between racing recovering and then improving, or basically being stuffed. Correspondence obtained by the Weekend Herald shows he is firmly backing RITA's actions and thinks the industry has been living beyond its means.

A respected industry employee wrote to Peters three times over recent months and received a reply on Thursday signed by the Minister which leaves little room for argument about where his loyalty lies.

"RITA inherited a structure which frankly has been living beyond its means for a number of years," wrote Peters.

"It faces the unenviable task of addressing that issue while negotiating all the implications of the Covid-19 crisis.

"Unfortunately some voices in the industry blame RITA for the problems they have inherited.

"This is unproductive. And we don't intend to stand by silent to such criticism when that criticism lays properly somewhere else.

"The Government will provide the industry with all the necessary tools to determine its future. However, collaboration and leadership from all levels of the industry are needed ..."

The letter also backs the directors of RITA and suggests the Racing Bill could be back in front of Parliament before long.

Weekend Herald sources are suggesting it could be passed into law before the election which would, depending on the amendments suggested by the select committee, give racing more power to get things done.

So Peters is clearly not in the mood for the tail to be wagging the dog and its appears those who are, at best questioning or at worst undermining RITA, are also going up against the minister.

Two of the key issues for RITA, apart from the obvious lack of money and a worldwide pandemic, has been poor communication and outrage from industry participants over their staff levels and therefore expenditure.

Both are justified.

A recent letter from the Trainers' Association to RITA was handled poorly and often communication to the industry has been so complicated and full of corporate jargon. The people it is aimed at informing have no idea what it means.

RITA have also been purposely vague so as not to annoy other political forces while the racing industry applies for a support package. If that is granted, it isn't to prop up RITA, but support the codes.

It would be a prudent idea for the racing industry to present a united front as they are asking for Government help. And as for RITA's top-heavy expenses, it is now certain there will be a significant reduction in costs, including many redundancies inside the business.

RITA bosses are refusing to comment but it is definitely going to happen, with heads of departments already reporting on how they can achieve those savings, including staff cuts.

As for the hot-button issue of out-sourcing?

That is still on the horizon but with so much global uncertainty the major potential partners won't be negotiating hard deals any time soon. Implementation of any out-sourcing deal, if it happens, would be at least two years away and only if the Government of the day has an appetite for it.

But what Peters seems to have more of an appetite for is racing presenting a united front, especially as it joins the long queue of struggling industries seeking help.

 

 

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Wishing and praying comes to mind. Rita under performing as recently as last week, communication lacking. Pigs still at the trough, but no announcement on them.  You have been given $15 k per race, now shut up.:rcfe-depression:

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7 minutes ago, arjay said:

Wishing and praying comes to mind. Rita under performing as recently as last week, communication lacking. Pigs still at the trough, but no announcement on them.  You have been given $15 k per race, now shut up.:rcfe-depression:

Exactly. He's the one that needs to shut up unless it's to actually get RITA to do something and say something transparent and constructive. That's just bullying language. In other sectors, the questioning, points of difference, consultation etc. are regardeed as healthy and helpful. The leadership including him should be driving that robust debate and providing the information so we can all participate in informed critical analysis.

Instead we get left like mushrooms sitting on a pile of shit in the dark.

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A reasonable summation of the situation I’d have thought.

Re the Racing Amendment Bill.......good luck with that, my impeccable sources say it’s parked and of little interest or priority.

Winston is in the same boat....he’s irrelevant.....they don’t need him the way they’re polling, and they certainly don’t want him....although the SFO apparently does 

The other issue that concerns me is this tricode union.....seriously ? ....isn’t that akin to asking rugby, league and soccer to unite for a common cause ?

The reality is that the only common denominator is their gambling revenue, and that’s exactly what drives them apart, and into direct competition with each other, so they’re hardly going to unite ( unless it’s a charade )

Maybe the Irrelevant Minister For Whisky should’ve focused on dismantling a dysfunctional Racing Act, and the dysfunctional code governing bodies, the dysfunctional RIU, the barely adequate Trackside which should be outsourced, and then try rebuilding a blended tricode racing entity with at least two competing betting agencies bidding for the rights to sell the product 

In addition it might now be the right time to talk about targeted funding.....whatever your race meeting earns this year is what you get allocated by way of funding for the exact same meeting next year ...you could even micro focus it and fund race to race year on year.....that’d get rid of the ludicrous current model that allocates the most funding to the smallest fields, particularly in the 85 grade, and to jumps racing which is said to have no appeal to punters 

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I think the term "Infighting" is a distraction as such.

The 3 codes know they are being raped and pillaged and need Peters to get off his arse and sort Rita but as always he has a deflection.

Infighting has been atrocious in the past but surely everybody is now fighting in the same direction.

Just typical political speak , he's successfully shut up the Industry with one bamboozling statement.

Besides the "Minister Of Whiskey" has more important things on his desk , like a naughty little schoolboy down the back of the class , taking cheap pot shots at China.

Where's that KGB umbrella ....

 

 

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42 minutes ago, poundforpound said:

In addition it might now be the right time to talk about targeted funding.....whatever your race meeting earns this year is what you get allocated by way of funding for the exact same meeting next year ...you could even micro focus it and fund race to race year on year.....that’d get rid of the ludicrous current model that allocates the most funding to the smallest fields, particularly in the 85 grade, and to jumps racing which is said to have no appeal to punters 

Yes. Maybe a 3 year rolling average to be fairer but some close link between earnings and events has been needed since 2003 at least. Also an allowance for days and dates perhaps with the better performing clubs and racedays having preference the following year?

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45 minutes ago, poundforpound said:

A reasonable summation of the situation I’d have thought.

Re the Racing Amendment Bill.......good luck with that, my impeccable sources say it’s parked and of little interest or priority.

Winston is in the same boat....he’s irrelevant.....they don’t need him the way they’re polling, and they certainly don’t want him....although the SFO apparently does 

The other issue that concerns me is this tricode union.....seriously ? ....isn’t that akin to asking rugby, league and soccer to unite for a common cause ?

The reality is that the only common denominator is their gambling revenue, and that’s exactly what drives them apart, and into direct competition with each other, so they’re hardly going to unite ( unless it’s a charade )

Maybe the Irrelevant Minister For Whisky should’ve focused on dismantling a dysfunctional Racing Act, and the dysfunctional code governing bodies, the dysfunctional RIU, the barely adequate Trackside which should be outsourced, and then try rebuilding a blended tricode racing entity with at least two competing betting agencies bidding for the rights to sell the product 

In addition it might now be the right time to talk about targeted funding.....whatever your race meeting earns this year is what you get allocated by way of funding for the exact same meeting next year ...you could even micro focus it and fund race to race year on year.....that’d get rid of the ludicrous current model that allocates the most funding to the smallest fields, particularly in the 85 grade, and to jumps racing which is said to have no appeal to punters 

the barely adequate trackside, please explain how you would do it better, ive voiced my ideas for radio trackside on a thread but what would improve tv.

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6 minutes ago, mikenz said:

the barely adequate trackside, please explain how you would do it better, ive voiced my ideas for radio trackside on a thread but what would improve tv.

Free to Air. Forget  USA and the like, shit racing, apart from group ones

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14 minutes ago, mikenz said:

the barely adequate trackside, please explain how you would do it better, ive voiced my ideas for radio trackside on a thread but what would improve tv.

Put it in the hands of an independent production company, you’d get a better service and better product at a cheaper price, just as the media compete intestate in Australia 

Make clubs pay to have the Trackside service attend their meeting, with various levels of service at different price levels 

Provide a subscription video library service that’s linked to current fields 

All the little added value things you find offered when you open up to competition .. think airlines, breweries etc ...

 

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you do wonder how much it cost to run 1 channel then another, would it be more cost effective to have 1 tv channel,maybe a second that is only on their website , ive asked a question before, what cost savings if any or benefits do they get from being on sky, even if it was back to free you would still get racing through your sky decoder?That usa racing is hard to get enthused about, the other day there was race over 300 metres, unreal plus i hate the way the horses are always on a tight lead before the race, they need to warm up properly and thirdly it shows how boring racing on all weather tracks actually is but being fair it is a situation you may have to accept sometimes because of climate.....just noted though last night that in a trot race from sweden a win pool over 6 thousand, those  usa races wouldnt top the ton, and in reality many greyhound races in nz probably dont either.

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10 minutes ago, poundforpound said:

Make clubs pay to have the Trackside service attend their meeting, with various levels of service at different price levels 

 

Unfortunately the clubs don't get enough money as it is to put on the show, let alone pay for the TV.

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these are very strange times in many fields, the tv and radio fields are all gunna need some restructuring, there is a very limited market for many sports or limited cash for pay tv subs as in spark v sky and so on, the radio sport market is actually dead at present, i suggested trackside radio and radio sport, which has gone as i know, sorta becoming one station, there is not much room in nz, we are simply a small community, the key to it paying would be getting live sport commentary and with it the adverts that would be taken fron newstalk zb, when sports starts again what will happen then.

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1 hour ago, poundforpound said:

 

In addition it might now be the right time to talk about targeted funding.....whatever your race meeting earns this year is what you get allocated by way of funding for the exact same meeting next year ...you could even micro focus it and fund race to race year on year.....that’d get rid of the ludicrous current model that allocates the most funding to the smallest fields, particularly in the 85 grade, and to jumps racing which is said to have no appeal to punters 

Shit, I find myself agreeing with P4P. Some variation of his suggestion above needs to be implemented, even if only in the short term while the industry finds it feet again.

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Ive mentioned this previously and this latest epistle from WP endorses my dysfunctional  theory This latest missive is i suggest aimed  fairly and squarely at  MIA and other NZTR opponents of RITA. How many of you really think Tony Pikes NZTA recent outburst was orchestrated by that body??

 

Greg

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3 hours ago, shaneMcAlister said:

So Peters is clearly not in the mood for the tail to be wagging the dog and its appears those who are, at best questioning or at worst undermining RITA, are also going up against the minister.

 

Herein lies a large part of the problem , just who is the tail and who is the dog , i would suggest the suits/politicians/oxygen thieves don't understand which part they they are . I would also suggest the dog is getting sick and tired of the tail fecking things up . 

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3 hours ago, shaneMcAlister said:

Michael Guerin: Winston Peters losing patience with racing's infighting as ruling body set to make dramatic cost cuts

The boss of New Zealand racing — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Racing Winston Peters — has finally spoken out and it would appear he is losing his patience with the industry's relentless in-fighting.

Never has the industry been more unified, so we bring out the old corker 'infighting' to this time publicly deflect RITA's and Winston's lack of progress in advancing racings interests.

I say well done to the codes and all other parties for their part in finally gaining national attention to our plight.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, poundforpound said:

Put it in the hands of an independent production company, you’d get a better service and better product at a cheaper price, just as the media compete intestate in Australia 

Make clubs pay to have the Trackside service attend their meeting, with various levels of service at different price levels 

Provide a subscription video library service that’s linked to current fields 

All the little added value things you find offered when you open up to competition .. think airlines, breweries etc ...

 

The first step would at least Trackside get some separation from RITA with the codes as shareholders. The subscription for looking up form is a non starter. Out of all the states in Australia the racing.com web site is the worst for looking up form because some idiot has deemed it necessary to run the same advert every time a race is played. Whats required is simplicity. racing.com is messy. Saundry has tried to style the loveracing website on Victoria but thank god the NZ site still doesn't have the annoying racing.com features.

20 years ago here on Racecafe Chris Wood presented a full list of expenses for running a racemeeting. A figure of $6000 rings a bell so I guess the clubs then were responsible for Trackside fee.

T

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4 hours ago, poundforpound said:

A reasonable summation of the situation I’d have thought.

Re the Racing Amendment Bill.......good luck with that, my impeccable sources say it’s parked and of little interest or priority.

Winston is in the same boat....he’s irrelevant.....they don’t need him the way they’re polling, and they certainly don’t want him....although the SFO apparently does 

The other issue that concerns me is this tricode union.....seriously ? ....isn’t that akin to asking rugby, league and soccer to unite for a common cause ?

The reality is that the only common denominator is their gambling revenue, and that’s exactly what drives them apart, and into direct competition with each other, so they’re hardly going to unite ( unless it’s a charade )

Maybe the Irrelevant Minister For Whisky should’ve focused on dismantling a dysfunctional Racing Act, and the dysfunctional code governing bodies, the dysfunctional RIU, the barely adequate Trackside which should be outsourced, and then try rebuilding a blended tricode racing entity with at least two competing betting agencies bidding for the rights to sell the product 

In addition it might now be the right time to talk about targeted funding.....whatever your race meeting earns this year is what you get allocated by way of funding for the exact same meeting next year ...you could even micro focus it and fund race to race year on year.....that’d get rid of the ludicrous current model that allocates the most funding to the smallest fields, particularly in the 85 grade, and to jumps racing which is said to have no appeal to punters 

I agree with nearly all that's written above, but in Trotting I am pretty sure the funding a Club receives is based on the previous year's results

Perhaps it isn't for T/B's

Mikie

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4 hours ago, arjay said:

Free to Air. Forget  USA and the like, shit racing, apart from group ones

Another race from usa now , 274 meters, 160 win pool.correction win pool 500

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4 hours ago, arjay said:

Free to Air. Forget  USA and the like, shit racing, apart from group ones

Yes the racing is shit, but the actual filming and presentation is a bare bones ,cut back, stick to the basics  cheap and nasty low grade product but you get everything that you really need without any frills, so it is just what we need shitty or not.

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