Harness Racing New Zealand Appoints new CEO

Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) is delighted to confirm today that it has appointed Peter Jensen as Chief Executive.

Mr Jensen comes to HRNZ with a wealth of senior level leadership experience including Chief Executive roles at Spanbild Holdings Ltd, a large Christchurch-based construction company with multiple business units operating across Australasia, Southern Response, a Government owned insurer and most recently with Addington Raceway Ltd.

HRNZ Board Chair Ken Spicer said Mr Jensen has a strong mix of commercial expertise and racing knowledge and interest.

“Peter Jensen has extensive business experience along with a life-long passion for harness racing. His background in customer-centric organisations, central government and managing complex projects are well suited to leading the HRNZ team as our industry deals with the changes that are likely to be ahead as a result of the Messara report”.

Mr Jensen said he was looking forward to leading the HRNZ team and working with the board to deliver meaningful change.

“HRNZ faces a number of challenges but also some exciting opportunities. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the business and I am looking forward to bringing to this role my skills, experience and passion for the sport to make a real difference for industry stakeholders”.

Mr Jensen’s start date is yet to be confirmed as he completes his commitments to Addington. In the meantime, Liz Bishop GM Operations, will act as Chief Executive. Mr Spicer said he was confident HRNZ will be in good hands with Mrs Bishop, who has been with the business since April, at the helm.  Edward Rennell’s last day with HRNZ is on December 19, after 21 years as Chief Executive.

Mr Spicer said Mr Rennell has made a significant contribution to the sport of harness racing: “I would like to express our gratitude for the commitment Edward has shown to HRNZ over such a long period of time. He can be rightly proud of what has been achieved under his stewardship. The Board wishes Edward every success in his future endeavours”.

The chair of the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club, Brent Smith said Addington is disappointed to lose Mr Jensen but understood his desire to take a leadership role with a broader industry perspective.

Mr Smith said, “Peter has achieved a great deal in his time at Addington. We are confident the business is in good shape and on track to remain New Zealand’s premier harness racing club. We have commenced our search for our next CEO and will make an announcement on this early in 2019, once the process is complete”.         


For further information, please contact:

Ken Spicer, Board Chair, HRNZ
+64 21 320 106
[email protected]


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