Jordan Speith the racehorse. New Zealand. Golf Digest Image.

NZ: Citizens taking their opposition to racing Govt bailout to the streets

Press Release. Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses. New Zealand 15th July 2020

Citizens against the New Zealand government’s racing industry bailout will take their message to the streets this Saturday.

“We will have teams in Wellington and Whanganui taking a stand against the governments $72.5 million bailout to prop up animal cruelty and gambling” Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) spokesperson Frances Baker said.

“We will be speaking with the public to raise awareness about horse racing cruelty and gather signatures for our important petition against the bailout which will be presented to parliament later this month” Ms Baker said.

Essential services such as St John’s Ambulance are facing major job cuts to deal with their $30 million deficit, meanwhile a cruel industry that has long been on its knees is being handed a lifeline.

“Why is horse racing, an industry that takes lives and is responsible for the breakdown of families due to gambling addiction, being treated as more important by our government than services which save lives?

“This is the question New Zealanders are asking and they deserve answers” Ms Baker said.

Just last month CPR released a report demonstrating that over 3,000 horses are vanishing from New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) each year. Read the report here.

“New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing takes no responsibility for the horses they profit from once their racing days are over,” Ms Baker said. “There is zero accountability required. They can use, abuse and discard of as many horses as they please and are given rewards by our government for doing so. This is simply unacceptable and completely out of step with a so-called ‘progressive’ government”.

The public can join the CPR outreach teams in Wellington or Whanganui from 11am onwards. Learn more here.

Outreach Details

What: Outreach across New Zealand against the racing bail out
When: This Saturday 18 July 2020 11am – 1pm
Where: Wellington and Whanganui

WELLINGTON: In front of the Body Shop on Cuba Street (69 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington)
WHANGANUI: Whanganui Market, Taupo Quay, Whanganui

Related Reading

“We can’t guild the lily. The racing industry has been hit by the perfect storm of COVID-19 while in a weak financial state and in the midst of a reform programme,” said Winston Peters, New Zealand’s Minister for Racing, when announcing a $72.5 million dollar COVID-19 emergency support package for the racing industry. “As a result, there is a genuine risk of insolvency and the industry losing the future gains of its reforms.”

The support package consists of:

• $50 million dollar relief grant for the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA)

• Up to $20 million in funding to construct two new All Weather race tracks.

• $2.5 million dollars for the Department of Internal Affairs to fast track work on the online gambling revenue, and address loss of revenue impacts on community and sport groups.

“Of the immediate grant, $26 million will be used by RITA to pay its outstanding supplier bill which it hasn’t been able to do because of strangled revenue,” Peters said.

See New Zealand Announces $72.5 Million COVID-19 Support Package For Racing Industry, Paulick Report, May 2020 »

Featured Image: Jordan Speith the racehorse. Golf Digest.

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