The NZ Trainers' Association is delighted with the decision by the Minister for Racing, the Right Honourable Winston Peters, to appoint John Messara to review the New Zealand racing industry's governance structures and to provide recommendations on future directions for the industry.
The Trainers' Association has been in regular communication with the Minister's office and many members have discussed the urgent concerns with the Minister in person.
It is heartening to have a Minister who is responsive to the industry's needs and who appreciates the contribution that racing makes to the economy.
Representatives from the NZTA, including National President Tony Pike, past President Murray Baker and Executive Officer Wendy Cooper, met with John Messara last month. The views of the trainers were given a very fair hearing and were completely understood as being of great concern.
The clear message delivered was that stakes must improve dramatically for racing to become viable for owners to invest and stakeholders to survive.
It was apparent from the wealth of knowledge and expertise Mr Messara has that the review will make recommendations for strategies and necessary structural changes to enable the industry to be turned around.
The report is eagerly awaited and is a beacon of hope for the stakeholders.