NZ politicians to shake up racing, seek international interest

New Zealand’s racing industry is facing a major overhaul designed to bring in more international interest and boost revenue, though some critics say it increases political involvement in a traditionally neutral industry. The recent national elections returned strident nationalist leader Winston Peters as Minister of Racing and Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition government. Peters leads the New Zealand First Party (NZF), which holds the balance of power in the New Zealand parliament following an inconclusive election in September. He is said to be close to certain leading figures in racing who have strong views about the future direction of the industry and NZF’s policy is said to reflect the agenda of this group. He has now secured agreement for NZF’s racing policy to be adopted as government policy. The ten-point plan includes promises to increase stakes at large race meetings, introduce a new category of meeting to attract more investors in...

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