NZ racing minister asks TAB to aid industry

NZ racing minister asks TAB to aid industry

TAB NZ will have to present a report and a contingency plan by the end of the year.

New Zealand.- Minister for Racing Winston Peters has written to the board of TAB NZ to outline how it will be expected to aid the racing industry to recover from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Letter of Expectations is a requirement of the Racing Industry Act 2020.

Peters wrote: “It is important that TAB NZ has a resolute focus on its sustainability, revenue growth and efficiency gains so it can support the industry to thrive.”

The letter is addressed to TAB NZ executive chair Dean McKenzie. It requests the company actively plan contingencies with racing codes in case there is a Covid-19 resurgence.

TAB NZ will have to present an update on the state of its recovery and contingency plan by December 2020.

Fearing a new surge of Covid-19 cases, Peter recognised that the “cessation of racing in Australia would have significant impact on TAB NZ’s immediate business and its ability to provide financial support to the racing industry, and hence contingency and accompanying scenario planning for any such eventuality is critical.”

Then ultimate goal is that the organisation builds enough reserves to meet any future shocks without external support.

The Minister recognised this might not be achieved solely by earnings in the short term, especially since TAB has also been hit by the pandemic, but this issue is already being addressed with officials from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Peters also urged TAB NZ to name a “capable chief executive” for running the commercial betting operation.

The minister gave the organisation until June 2021 to present a five-year plan for its long-term direction. This should include a road map for future product development, financial recovery and any options to recapitalise TAB NZ, among other issues.

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