Horse racing has finally got the laws it needs to grow - now the search starts for the boss to implement them.
The Racing Industry Bill has breezed through its second and third readings in Parliament and will become the law the industry is governed by on August 1.
While the passing of the Bill was not a surprise, just how thorough the Select Committee process was, and the engagement from politicians from across the house, probably did catch a few hardened racing administrators off guard.
What it has produced it a more balanced Bill than what was originally presented to the Select Committee, and a document that gives the industry the tools it needs to work together, which has rarely been horse racing's strong point.
The passing of the Bill means the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) will morph into TAB NZ in August, with its responsibility to run the gambling side of the industry and pass the profits on to the three racing codes to promote the industry, pay stakes and administer racing on a day to day basis.
The Bill will also see the formation of a new body named Racing New Zealand which will comprise representatives of all three codes and give them a more powerful single entity for some of the crucial negotiations that lie ahead.
But with RITA winding down and who is Minister for Racing post-election dependant on whether Winston Peters is still in cabinet or even Parliament, the most important role in New Zealand racing becomes the new chief executive of TAB NZ.
The Herald understands there was a shortlist for that crucial role before Covid-19 struck but the final interviews haven't been able to take place because the overseas candidates cannot get into the country because of the restrictions.
RITA executive chair Dean McKenzie has stated he will not seek the chief executive role.
Who becomes the chief executive will be crucial as for much of the last 20 years the TAB has been run by chief executives with limited or no experience or knowledge of either racing and/or gambling.
That mistake cannot afford to be replicated as the industry enters one of the most important eras in its history.
** On the racing front the surprise package of harness racing's comeback will look to make it four wins on end at Addington tonight.
Matua Tana has been sensational winning all three of his races since lockdown; even though he still has a rough gait early in his races and is a hard watch for favourite punters.
But so big is his motor if he trots throughout he should win race eight tonight, with Fabrizio (race seven) looking one of the other top bets of the night.