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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Royal Commissions

Racing in New Zealand has been built up by the honorary and devoted work of its enthusiasts, and legislation has contributed little to its development. Various governments have, however, appointed Royal Commissions to investigate alleged grievances. The first Royal Commission was appointed in 1911 and represented solely racing and trotting interests. It was directed to recommend how the number of days racing could best be reduced by 43, and trotting by 11, as the Gaming Amendment Act of 1910 required. In 1915 G. Hunter and T. H. Davey were appointed another two-man commission representing racing and trotting interests. They were required to recommend the distribution of 31 extra totalisator permits allowed by the Gaming Amendment Act 1914. This was a much travelled commission.

In November 1920 the Government appointed a five-man Racing Commission to determine which racing and trotting clubs should be given totalisator licences from 1 August 1921. This Commission studied exhaustively all aspects of racing and inspected nearly all the racecourses in the country. It heard those who opposed an increase in totalisator licences. It wrote a most comprehensive report and made many important recommendations about racecourses, appointments, and the amalgamation of clubs. Many of its recommendations, though sound, were never enforced.

The fourth Royal Commission, appointed in 1946, was by far the most important for racing and trotting. It studied every aspect of racing and gaming and wrote a report of far-reaching consequences for everybody connected with racing. Not only did it recommend the removal of most (if not all) the pointless restrictions imposed by the Act of 1910, but it also came out heavily on the side of the offcourse-betting scheme propounded by the Racing and Trotting Conferences, and in favour of the restoration of the doubles totalisator. But, like its predecessors, it has not had all its recommendations accepted by Parliament.

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