New independent HRNZ Board directors appointed

In June of this year, the clubs and kindred bodies of Harness Racing New Zealand voted to make a significant change to the structure of the board of Harness Racing New Zealand. The new board now has eight members (down from 11) and for the first time two independent directors have been appointed.

This move to a more streamlined board model sees HRNZ better equipped to deal with the challenges that the industry faces in an increasingly competitive racing and sports environment.

HRNZ is delighted to announce, after a thorough process led by Sheffield Ltd, the appointments of Mrs Victoria McCrea and Mr Philip Holden as Independent Directors, effective December 1, 2019.

Mrs McCrea is Auckland-based and a former Head of Marketing communications for Tabcorp Australia. She is currently General Manager of Marketing and Innovation for George Weston Foods and has held similar senior level marketing roles in the food industry in both New Zealand and Australia.

“I am delighted to be joining the board of HRNZ and look forward to bringing a different perspective to the board. I am excited about the future of the sport and the opportunities that exist to attract a new audience and regain relevance in the community” said Mrs McCrea.

Mr Holden has considerable experience at both CEO and board level in sport in New Zealand. He was previously the Chief Executive of Greyhound Racing New Zealand and New Zealand Rugby League and is a current board member of both Cycling New Zealand and Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Mr Holden says, “My time leading GRNZ has given me deep insight into both the challenges and the opportunities that face the racing codes in New Zealand. My focus will be on ensuring the sport at board, club and participant level is ready to embrace the changes that are required”.

Ken Spicer the Chair of HRNZ said, “We feel fortunate to have attracted such high calibre candidates to the HRNZ board. Both Victoria and Phil will bring different skillsets to that of the current board members, which can only be beneficial for harness racing in New Zealand. I would like to pay tribute to the foresight of the clubs in supporting the changes to the governance model that has made these appointments possible”.

The full board of HRNZ is Ken Spicer (Chair), Colin Hair (Deputy Chair), John Coulam (Chair, Audit & Risk), Kevin McNaught, Ross Johnson, John Grainger, Victoria McCrea and Philip Holden.

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