Peters prodded into transparency over racing industry review
Rt Hon Winston Peters has now released the terms of reference for his review of the racing industry, due to intervention of the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union and the Ombudsman.
New Zealand First has a long history of promoting handouts for the racing industry, with an all-weather track and new tax breaks just the latest examples. So naturally, we were very interested when Winston Peters announced a review of the sector.
Whether this type of review leads to impartial policy advice or just proposals to prop up an industry with taxpayer money depends on the questions raised in the review’s terms of reference.
We were stunned when the Minister refused to release the terms, saying there was no document literally titled ‘terms of reference’. After we involved the Ombudsman, the Minister has now released to us the letter to the review head that outlined the scope of the review.
There seems to be nothing remarkable about the released terms of reference, which begs the question of why Mr Peters’ office was so secretive in the first place.
Mr Peters could avoid the perception of cronyism if he were more transparent about his tinkering with the racing industry.