RITA Mandate To Grow NZ Racing IndustryTisha Walden | 27 Sep 2019
The Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) in New Zealand came into being in July this year and took over from the New Zealand Racing Board. Its entire mandate is to grow the racing and betting industry in the country into a profitable and sustainable format. It may be a temporary body that will eventually be taken over by something more permanent, but they are expected to lay the foundations that will last into the future.
Winston Peters, the country’s minister for racing, has released a statement in which he detailed the full mandate of RITA as he sees it. The body has been given a substantial sum of money and various resources that should allow it to build an industry that the country can be proud of. As things stand, RITA will have to give the structures a complete overhaul, from the ground up. This won’t be an overnight job, but Peters has given several key targets for RITA to meet in the next year.
Improve Public Trust
Aside from major financial and structural changes to the industry, RITA has been tasked with creating a system that the public can trust and has a good relationship with. There must be a strong focus placed on customer service and operating in a transparent manner to gain trust. All promises to the consumer must be realistic so that the industry and RITA are able to keep those promises and deliver on a target that has been set.
To further public trust, RITA must create a system that ensures that all legal sports betting is fair within the industry. Greater efforts must also be taken to keep at-risk players from potential harm and to ensure that there are easy means of getting help.
Transparent Government Transactions
One of Peters’ top areas for concern was the way in which RITA transacted with his ministry and government in general. He stated that the body must ensure complete transparency on all dealings to ensure that there is trust within government and with the public. Financial reports will be required within four weeks of each quarter ending, as well as full accountability documents. The ministry for racing could also ask for these documents at any point should they need to.
RITA has been granted a contribution of NZ$3.5 million from the Crown. Their mandate is to ensure that this is invested wisely in efforts that will boost the industry. The body will also be responsible for planning a financial structure for the entire industry to ensure that funds are used correctly and that as much money as possible is allocated to prizes and pay outs.