Mata­mata not buy­ing into amal­ga­ma­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DENNIS RYAN

There’s a story do­ing the rounds pro­mot­ing the idea of Waikato re­gional rac­ing clubs sell­ing up their as­sets and rein­vest­ing in a sin­gle ‘‘su­per race­track’’.

The con­cept is noth­ing new, dat­ing back to the 1990s when a ‘‘green­field’’ sug­ges­tion in­volv­ing the Waikato Rac­ing Club and Cam­bridge Jockey Club was mooted but came to noth­ing.

Now it’s be­ing sug­gested by former Waipa District Coun­cil­lor John Bishop that there is merit in the same two clubs as well as Waipa join­ing forces by sell­ing up their cur­rent fa­cil­i­ties and com­bin­ing in a sin­gle venue.

A Fair­fax me­dia report last week also quoted Mr Bishop as ‘‘en­cour­ag­ing Te Aroha and Mata­mata to con­sider the idea as well’’.

All I can say is that’s news to the Mata­mata Rac­ing Club.

As chair­man of the MRC I have to ad­mit, along with fel­low board mem­bers and man­age­ment, to not know­ing Mr Bishop, not hav­ing been ap­proached by him to per­haps ex­plain the de­tail and most im­por­tantly, not buy­ing into his sug­ges­tion.

While rac­ing is for­ever look­ing at ways in a chang­ing land­scape to in­vig­o­rate and fu­ture-proof, the MRC and its stake­hold­ers doesn’t see this as a vi­able so­lu­tion.

Within its own bound­aries the Mata­mata rac­ing and train­ing fa­cil­ity is a multi-mil­lion-dol­lar com­plex, while the same ap­plies to the var­i­ous pri­vately owned op­er­a­tions that ex­ist in close prox­im­ity within a coun­cil-des­ig­nated equine zone.

Not only are they es­tab­lished as­sets com­bin­ing along with a wide range of an­cil­lary ser­vice providers in a vi­brant lo­cal in­dus­try, but what must also be taken into ac­count is the value of the rac­ing and breed­ing in­dus­try to the re­gional econ­omy.

On an an­nual ba­sis amounts to mil­lions.

Just don’t ask me ex­actly how many.

So there you have it, straight from the hip.

Rac­ing will for­ever be part of the town that’s ‘‘rac­ing ahead’’. that

Dennis Ryan is chair­man of the Mata­mata Rac­ing Club.

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