George appointed chief stipendiary steward of new unit

Cameron George has been appointed Chief Stipendiary Steward for the new tri-code Racing Integrity Unit (RIU), effective 1 November 2010.

For the next three months he will continue in his current role of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Chief Stipendiary Steward as well as working to establish the RIU.

The RIU will take over the integrity functions of the three Codes – NZTR, Harness Racing NZ (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing NZ (GRNZ) – on 1 February 2011, on which day he will leave NZTR and transfer to the RIU, together with all Code Stewards and Investigators.

Over the last 12 months, the three Codes and the NZ Racing Board have been exploring options to establish a combined industry integrity unit. Instead of one separate integrity department for each of the three codes, agreement has been reached to form one independent Racing Integrity Unit.

The RIU aims to provide enhanced protection for racing punters and all who invest in the industry.

The RIU will be independent of the governing bodies of the three Codes and will be responsible for enforcing each Code’s Rules of Racing. The three Codes, however, will maintain ownership of their respective Rules of Racing and making any changes to them.

It will be governed by an independent Board of four and will be led by a General Manager, Integrity (yet to be appointed), to whom the Chief Stipendiary Steward will report.

New Zealand will be one of the few jurisdictions in the racing world with a tri-code integrity unit.

Cameron first worked as a Stipendiary Steward in New South Wales before joining NZTR in the capacity of Senior Stipendiary Steward in July 2006 and was promoted to the position of NZTR Chief Stipendiary Steward in March 2007.

He left NZTR in November 2008 to become Chairman of Stewards for Harness Racing Victoria and returned to his current role in February this year.

Of his new role, Cameron stated: “The world of wagering is extremely competitive and punters have many options to invest in, besides racing. While it is not the only solution to growing wagering in New Zealand, having an integrity function that is independent, strong and looks after punters’ best interests, will increase confidence and has to be an important step in keeping our customers.”

“I consider this a great opportunity at an exciting time and one of the most important stewarding roles in world racing, given its broad range of racing responsibilities. With these changes racing in New Zealand will go from strength to strength over the coming years. I’m keen to contribute to that change.”