After months of discussion and consultation, big changes are being proposed on how the whole racing industry, including harness racing, is being funded.
On 1 August 2020, RITA devolved into TAB NZ and Racing NZ. TAB NZ has changed the method and timing in which all three codes will be funded for the 2020/21 season, which will now flow through Racing New Zealand.
The biggest proposed change is that all three codes (HRNZ, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and Greyhound NZ) will be paid in arrears. This is a significant departure from the current situation.
It’s proposed that clubs will be paid a month in arrears and then distribute the money to owners, trainers, drivers etc.
“Essentially this means that everyone will be paid monthly, instead of fortnightly,” says HRNZ interim chief executive Phil Holden.
“We don’t believe this is the way we should be going and we are continuing to make submissions on how we can change this.”
“We know this will be a shock to many.”
Total funding for racing will remain at $139.6m. However, Harness will receive a lower percentage of this funding than in previous years to reflect the fall in harness racing turnover, compared to the other two codes; particularly the Greyhounds.
TAB NZ had also confirmed that they will review the total betting performance on a quarterly basis, with potential adjustments on an as needed basis if there is a significant change in their income, due to unforeseen circumstances (such as COVID19).
HRNZ has also agreed to a new model that responds to a request from Clubs to provide greater clarity on how their funding has been calculated, with funding being allocated to stakes, the cost of running a meeting, and where applicable for operating a large training facility or hosting a large number of meetings .