With the Select Committee on the Racing Bill underway, we highlight Dr Murray Blue who is known in the Industry for calling issues he sees, directly and clearly.
The Racing Bill introduced to the House on 5 December 2019 aims to set in stone the venue rationalisation ideas given the Coalition Government by John Messara (‘the Messara Report’). Essentially the Government wants to adopt the Messara Report on venues, while it has the power to do so.
The Racing Bill as it relates to racing venues is intended to roll over NZTR’s incomplete and once-over-(very)-lightly Draft Venue Plan process (January 2019) which in turn simply adopted the Messara Report.
The report, which the Bill intends to give effect to, made no secret of the fact that a valuable suburban asset is the big target for some kind of “Industry fix”. By taking an Auckland asset and spreading it nationally: it refers in a number of places to the potential value that could be released to the Industry through rezoning and sale of Avondale’s “extremely valuable” freehold land.
In late 2018 Dr Blue represented 17 racing clubs, including Avondale JC, when the lack of consultation in the process for Messara’s report to the Hon Winston Peters was trying to be fixed by the Department of Internal Affairs. Along with Dr Blue, Avondale JC considered that the Messara Report’s failure to consult in respect of matters of such import for the club and community is a fundamental failure of process and inconsistent with principles of natural justice.
So with the current Government proposing to quickly empower the taking of wealth held in inner-city West Auckland for redistribution benefiting generic Industry interests, we link to Dr Blue’s views about elites in racing. [Topical at this time re: the NZ First Foundation.]