ADVOCACY UPDATE - The Messara Report

Many organisations in the Outdoor Recreation sector are the beneficiaries of funding from Gaming Trusts such as NZCT or Pub Charity. Gaming trusts return around $330 million to local community organisations every year and around 90% of funds are returned to the communities in which they are raised.

In 2018, the Government commissioned what has become known as the Messara Report in the Racing Industry. It had many recommendations, but one in particular could have a large impact on Gaming Funding for organisations involved in community recreation.

The report recommends the removal of legal restrictions in Section 33(3) of the Gambling Act that prevent the NZ Racing Board from acquiring Class 4 gaming licence venues. That could result in the NZRB buying up the most lucrative gaming venues (something the likes of NZCT or Pub Charity can't do) and returning 80% of the proceeds to the racing industry, rather than community sport and recreation organisations.

Our efforts have sought to have that recommendation dismissed before it reaches Cabinet and failing that, dismissed in Cabinet. Failing that Recreation Aotearoa will submit against the recommendation at Select Committee.

To those ends, Recreation Aotearoa has written to several MPs and Ministers on both sides of the House, expressing our concern. We are confident that our perspective has been heard.

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