1 NEWS Political Editor
The Prime Minister says a new all-weather racing track to be built will help keep the "considerable" racing industry from suffering "significant" losses on wet days.
Racing Minister Winston Peters announced the government's intention to build the $10m track after several races throughout the country had to be abandoned due to weather.
The track could be in Waikato to boost the region and be closer to some of the breeders, with Mr Peters saying Waikato would be "a good option".
Mr Peters said both taxpayers and the industry will be helping to pay for the new track.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, defended the pledge, saying the racing industry is an important one in New Zealand.
"If you have the weather affect a significant race day, the losses are significant," Ms Ardern said.
"We've certainly pledged to do much more to make sure that is a sustainable industry."
When asked why the Racing Board or TAB weren't paying for the new track, Ms Ardern said there were issues around the entities taking the proceeds of gambling to fund their own projects.
"We've been explicit about barring that from going straight back into the racing industry so that community organisations benefit rather than the industry itself," she said.
Mr Peters is also promising tax relief for owners who are breeding horses for racing. He says the current legislation, which he delivered last time he was Racing Minister, isn’t working like it should.
The Racing Minister made the announcements in a speech at the official opening of the 92nd National Yearling Sales in Karaka.