The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Resource material › Our Policy Advice Areas › Racing Policy

We administer the Racing Portfolio and our Policy Group provides policy advice to the Minister for Racing on related matters. We also administer the Racing Safety Development Fund.

Guidance on Point of Consumption Charges requirements and responsibilities for offshore providers can be found on the Point of Consumption Charges – Offshore Operator Guidance page (updated 19 August 2021)

Review of the greyhound racing industry

In May 2023, Minister for Racing Kieran McAnulty has announced the release of the Racing Integrity Board’s reports into the future of the greyhound racing industry. The Minister had intended to seek Cabinet agreement to the reports public release early this year. However, this was delayed due to disruptions caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. The Minister now intends to discuss the reports with key stakeholders over upcoming months.

In April 2021 Government commissioned a review of animal welfare and safety in the greyhound racing industry by Sir Bruce Robertson (the Robertson review).

Due to the findings from the Robertson review, in September 2021, Government announced that the industry was put ‘on notice’ and must either make the recommended improvements to animal welfare or risk closure.

The Racing Integrity Board (the RIB) then worked with Greyhound Racing New Zealand on the areas arising from the Robertson review and RIB presented its findings to the Minister in December 2022. The Minister then requested further information which was received in March 2023.

You can find the RIB’s December 2022 report here:
Greyhound Review Final Report - 12 December 2022
(PDF, 6.4MB)

The RIB’s March 2023 report here:
Greyhound Review Supplementary report - 16 March 2023 (PDF, 507KB)

A link to the Minister's press release can be found here:
TAB partnership helps secure future of racing industry (Beehive website).

The RIB’s Greyhound Work Programme Quarterly Ministerial Report September 2023 can be found here:
Racing Integrity Board’s Greyhound Work Programme Quarterly Ministerial Report - September 2023 (PDF, 2MB)

(September 2021)

The Review into the Greyhound Racing Industry has now finished. The Review received 1156 submissions, this includes organisations involved with the industry and members of the wider public. Sir Bruce Robertson has released his report, and Minister for Racing Grant Robertson has read and accepted the recommendations.

The Report identifies data recording, transparency of all activities, and animal welfare generally as fundamental issues that must be addressed.

Minister Robertson has now asked the Racing Integrity Board to assess the industries progress on these issues, and report back to him before the end of 2022.

You can find the Report, and Minister Robertson's press release here: Greyhound industry formally on notice (Beehive website)

Earlier information about the review

Minister for Racing Hon Grant Robertson has
commissioned a review of the greyhound racing industry (Beehive website).

The review will determine:
  • how Greyhound Racing New Zealand has progressed towards or met each of the recommendations from the 2017 Hansen report (PDF, 1MB) and preceding reviews
  • areas in which welfare reform has stalled or regressed or where new issues have emerged since the reviews above
  • recommendations to further improve the welfare of greyhounds through all stages of life, including retirement from racing
  • whether a more fundamental review of the greyhound industry is necessary.
The review is being conducted by Sir Bruce Robertson, the Chair of the Racing Integrity Board.

Submissions had been sought on the review. The period for submissions has now closed and the final consideration of these is now taking place.

Release of information and submissions

Submissions will not be proactively published although a summary of submissions may be released which may include information you provide. Submissions may be the subject of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (“OIA”). Information can be withheld under the OIA at the submitters request that the submission be made under an obligation of confidence. Please set out clearly in your submission if you object to the release of any information in the submission and, in particular, which part (or parts) you consider should be withheld together with your reasons for withholding the information. Examples could include that you have provided commercially sensitive material, or you have privacy concerns. We will take such objections into account when responding to requests under the OIA. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA can be reviewed by the Ombudsman.

    About Racing Policy

    The Ministerial portfolio of Internal Affairs is also relevant to racing, especially with respect to the wider gambling industry (see:
    Gambling Policy).

    Racing Industry Act 2020

    On 1 August 2020 the main provisions of the Racing Industry Act 2020 (the Act) came into force. This represents the Government’s final and main legislative response to the recommendations of the Messara Report.

    The new Act replaces the Racing Act 2003 and finalises the post-transition governance structure of the racing industry.

    Through the Act, TAB NZ is established as the sole betting provider for racing and sports in New Zealand. TAB NZ is focused on maximising profits for the benefit of the New Zealand racing industry whilst having a strong regard for gambling harm minimisation.

    Industry administrative functions, previously conducted by the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) which operated the TAB, are now the responsibility of the three racing codes.

    The Act enables TAB NZ to introduce new betting products subject to an approval mechanism.

    TAB NZ will be required to apply to the Gambling Commission when intending to change or create betting rules, requiring harm minimisation to be prioritised in any application.

    The Act brings in several changes to the collection of offshore charges. Betting Information Use charges are to be set through commercial agreements with relevant racing codes, National Sporting Organisations or Sport NZ. The Point of Consumption charges have been changed to more closely align with GST on offshore services.

    The Act empowers the three racing codes to effectively govern their respective industries which consist of racing clubs and venues.

    The Act establishes the Racing Integrity Board, responsible for all integrity functions, which oversees an investigative arm and an adjudicative arm that operate independently of each other. These arrangements are based on recommendations from the report by Mr Malcom Burgess MZNM which emphasised the need for an independent integrity body.

    The Act introduced a suite of changes to resolve historic property issues that have stymied the recovery of the industry and creates a legislative framework to enable property to better benefit the racing industry while making considerations for community input and interest in the venue.

    More information on the development of the Act can be found here: Government Review of the New Zealand Racing Industry

    Racing Reform Act 2019

    On 1 July 2019 the Racing Reform Act 2019 (the Act) came into force. The Act formed the government’s first legislative response to the recommendations of the Messara Report.

    The Act reconstituted the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) as the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA). RITA managed the transition and day-to-day operations of the industry until the end of the transition period created by the Act.

    The Act introduced two offshore charges, an information use charge and a point of consumption charge. These charges aim to ensure that overseas betting operators contribute to New Zealand racing and sports codes from which they benefit.

    The Act allowed betting on sports not currently represented by a qualifying domestic national sporting organisation and places the formula for calculating payments to racing codes and sporting organisations into regulations.

    The totalisator duty (betting levy), which was paid to the Crown, was phased out by the Act over three years and the funds instead reinvested with the racing and sport sectors. A proportion of these funds are also set aside for industry-led gambling harm minimisation initiatives.

    Messara Report into the New Zealand Racing Industry

    30 August 2018
    In April 2018 the Minister for Racing, Rt Hon Winston Peters appointed senior Australian racing expert John Messara to review the New Zealand racing industry's governance structures and provide recommendations on future directions for the industry. The Minister released the report on 30 August 2018, and it can be found here:

    Key Racing Industry Groups

    The Racing industry Act 2020 (the Act) establishes TAB NZ as the sole betting provider for racing and sports. The Racing Integrity Board will be established as the body responsible for compliance and adjudicative functions of the racing rules set out by the three racing codes.

    TAB NZ

    TAB NZ is New Zealand’s sole domestic betting provider for racing and sports and is established by the Act. TAB NZ has responsibility for ensuring that it maximises profits for the long-term benefit of the racing industry and returns to New Zealand sports. These objectives are subject to TAB NZ ensuring that risks of problem and underage gambling are minimised.

    TAB NZ provides on-course services to licensed racing clubs off-course betting, including for sports, is available through retail outlets and online. A portion of proceeds from sports betting are funnelled back to sporting organisations to help fund their growth and development while a portion of betting profits is channelled back into the racing industry.

    Racing Integrity Board

    The Racing Integrity Board (RIB) was established by the Minister for Racing on 1 July 2021. The RIB will replace the Judicial Control Authority as the body responsible for ensuring compliance with high standards of animal welfare, integrity, and professionalism within the industry.

    The RIB carries out both compliance and adjudication functions with responsibility for ensuring race day compliance with relevant code racing rules and appointing adjudicative committees to hear matters in accordance with racing rules.

    Racing Codes

    The governing bodies of racing are
    New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated, Harness Racing New Zealand Incorporated and the New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association Incorporated. The code governing bodies are responsible for the administrative functions for their respective industries as set out in the Act. This includes the rules of racing, and for the registration of all racing participants human, equine and canine.

    Only those owners, trainers, jockeys, drivers, horses and greyhounds that are licensed by the relevant racing code may participate in the industry.

    Racing New Zealand

    While yet to be established, the Act provides for the creation of Racing New Zealand (RNZ). RNZ will be a consultative forum that will promote collaboration and co-operation across codes and with other industry bodies.

    The three racing codes will be able to delegate powers individually or collectively to RNZ. They will be able to use RNZ as a means for collective negotiation with other organisations such as TAB NZ.

    Recognised Industry Organisations

    Along with the three racing codes, the Racing Industry Act 2020 recognises a variety of industry organisations. Along with every racing club registered with each of the three racing codes the Act recognises:

    Sport and Sports Betting

    The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for administering the New Zealand Racing Industry Act 2020 (the Act), which came into force in 1 August 2020. You can find the Act here – Racing Industry Act 2020

    The Act requires an offshore betting operator to obtain the permission of the relevant New Zealand national sporting organisation, or Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sport NZ), before using New Zealand sporting information for betting operations.

    Broadly, New Zealand sporting information refers to information relating to a New Zealand sporting event on which betting may occur.

    An offshore betting operator must also enter a betting information use agreement with the relevant New Zealand national sporting organisation or Sport NZ, agreeing to pay a betting information use charge and agreeing to provide other specified information.

    Sport NZ has now declared certain events to be sporting events for the Act. You can find the list here – New Zealand sporting events

    The above link provides a contact person for each relevant sporting event, and sport. An organisation should get in touch with the relevant person if it intends to accept a bet on any New Zealand sporting event and has not yet received permission to do so or has not entered a betting information use agreement with the relevant New Zealand national sporting organisation, or Sport NZ.

    Surplus racing venues

    The Racing Industry Act 2020 (the Act), sets out a process for the vesting of surplus racing venues while making considerations for community input and interest in the venue.

    The intention of the Act is for the identification and vesting of surplus venues to be conducted by the relevant racing code and negotiated with the relevant club or clubs. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Act outlines a process for the codes to request the Minister for Racing’s involvement.

    The Minister must appoint a reviewer to consult with the relevant parties and investigate a number of considerations outlined within the Act. Once the reviewer has reported back to the Minister, it is then the Minister makes a decision to either present an Order in Council recommending the vesting of the surplus venue to the code or, to decline to do so. This order can include a requirement to make a payment to a club to enable it to race at another venue or a payment in recognition of community interest in the venue. The Minister can order the club and the code to resume negotiations if they believe more can be achieved through that process.

    Offshore charges

    Point of Consumption Charges

    The Point of Consumption Charges (POCC) charges require an offshore operator to make payment to the designated authority (the Department of Internal Affairs) for bets on racing or sports from people residing in New Zealand.

    Guidance on POCC requirements and responsibilities for offshore providers can be found here.

    Betting information Use Charges

    Betting Information Use Charges (BIUC) are charges required to be paid by offshore operators for the use of New Zealand racing or sports information. These charges are negotiated between the offshore provider and the relevant code or National Sporting Organisation (NSO), or, where a NSO does not exist,
    Sport NZ. Sport NZ must first declare a sporting event to be a New Zealand Sporting Event for agreements to be made for sporting information.

    Previous Legislation and Policy Work

    About the Racing Act 2003

    On 1 August 2003, the
    Racing Act 2003 came into force. That Act:
    • repealed the Racing Act 1971 and replaces it with a simpler statute
    • established the New Zealand Racing Board in place of the Racing Industry Board and Totalisator Agency Board
    • provides for the appointment of the Board by the Minister following a comprehensive nomination and consultation process
    • gives greater autonomy to the racing codes for distributing TAB profits, while strengthening lines of accountability between clubs, codes and the Board
    • deems various rules, including betting rules and the rules of racing, to be regulations (this means that Parliament will be able to scrutinise the rules to ensure fairness).

    Racing Amendment Bill 2017

    1 August 2017
    In 2017 Racing Minister David Bennett has introduced a Bill to require betting operators outside of New Zealand offering bets in respect of New Zealand racing or sports, or accepting bets from in New Zealand, to pay charges for the benefit of New Zealand sports and racing. This Bill was subsequentially withdrawn and its substantive provisions incorporated into the Racing Reform Bill 2019.

    Other Relevant Legislation

    More Information