About Us

The New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit Ltd (RIU) is an independent organisation responsible for integrity matters in the NZ racing industry. The formation of the Racing Integrity Unit makes New Zealand racing one of the few jurisdictions around the world to have a tri-code integrity unit.

With the establishment of the unit a clear delineation has been established between the agencies responsible for rule making (the three codes - HRNZ, NZGRA and NZTR), policing (the Racing Integrity Unit), and the judiciary for integrity issues (the Judicial Control Authority).

Each of the three codes (harness, thoroughbred and greyhound) and TAB New Zealand has a 25% shareholding in the RIU which has a separate constitution and Board.

A total of 34 full time staff members are employed by the RIU in offices in Auckland (head office) and Christchurch, as well as regionally throughout New Zealand these consist of Admin, Betting analyst, Stewards and Investigators.

The RIU is responsible for overseeing the integrity of over 1000 Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound race meetings and Trials. In addition to this the RIU staff oversee the function of race day and non-race day swab sampling and stable and kennel visits.

Funded entirely by the New Zealand Racing Industry, the New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit allows for a more efficient pooling of resources and sharing of best practice procedures.

Additional Services introduced since the RIU’s Establishment in 2011

As the result of a review of race day integrity practices, in 2012 the RIU took control of the drug testing process from the purchase of swabbing equipment and consumables to the race day swabbing procedures, processes and staffing (85 casual swabbing officials), as well as the contracting of all race day Veterinary services.

In 2017 the industry determined that the RIU was the most appropriate vehicle to oversee and fund the Salvation Army Racetrack Support programme.

The RIU also operates a 0800 Hotline for information and has memorandums of understanding with the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Primary Industries, Salvation Army and the RSPCA.

RIU Costs of Operation

It is important to understand that the RIU does not operate a corporate office. It is managed as a cost centre, with minimal (2) support staff. The services it provides and its annual budget are subject to review and have to be annually approved by TAB New Zealand (formerly RITA) in consultation with the three racing codes.

Since it was established in February 2011 the NZRB (now TAB New Zealand) and the three codes have transferred a number of additional responsibilities to the RIU which have increased its costs of operation. Race Day Veterinarians, Swabbing consumables, swabbing staff, typists and latterly Judges in the northern region have all been transferred over to the RIU and were costs previously met by Clubs and the codes. In addition, the codes and the then NZRB agreed the industry should contract with the Salvation Army for counselling services and the RIU was given responsibility for that contract.

To ensure its core responsibilities are achieved the RIU added a Betting Analyst and Trainee Stewards to its core staff to ensure there is some provision for succession planning in the organisation. As illustrated in the below table the increase in RIU core costs between 2011 and 2019 have been below the rate of inflation.

RIU Breakdown of Operating Costs

2011/12 Operating Costs $4,100,000

Additional Services introduced since the RIU’s Establishment in 2011

Betting Analyst/Trainees $250,000

Race Day Vets Swabbing/Typists/Judges (Transferred costs from Clubs and codes) $1,690,000

Salvation Army Support (Approved by NZRB & the Codes) $210,000

Increase in Core costs (10.50%) $430,000

2018/19 Operating Costs $6,680,000

Inflation over the period 12.5%

In independent studies of its operations the RIU has been shown to be competitive on cost for the services it provides when compared with overseas integrity jurisdictions - Burgess Report 2019