Update from the Chair - November 2022

Industry Update from John Coulam, HRNZ Chair

November 2022

During the month of October, the Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Conference was held and this was followed by the Annual General meeting of clubs and kindred bodies.

At the Annual meeting we bid farewell as a director to Colin Hair, who had served on the HRNZ Board for at least 13 years, first representing the New Zealand Standardbred Breeders’ Association, and then following a constitution change, Colin was elected by clubs and kindred bodies to the Board.

For most of those years Colin was Finance Chair of the Board and to assist with a smooth transition, Colin has agreed to be a non-director appointment over the next 12 months on the HRNZ Audit Risk and Finance Committee.

Following the process to elect an independent director to the Board, Todd Anderson was replaced by Ms Anna Gallien, who was in attendance at the conference and joined the Board following the Annual meeting. During his brief time on the Board, Todd was instrumental in bringing about improvements in reporting and the timeliness of reporting at a Board level.

A member of the Audit Risk and Finance Committee, Todd also led the Breeders’ initiatives that were recently implemented.

The HRNZ Board met after the Annual meeting to appoint their office holders. As a result of this meeting, Phil Holden was elected Finance Chair, Kevin McNaught was elected as the Deputy Chair of the Board and I was re-elected as Chair of the HRNZ Board.

Following the workshops held at the conference on governance, work continues in the background on a re-write of the Harness Racing New Zealand constitution. It has been felt for some time that the current constitution is no longer fit for purpose and with changes required from April under the
Incorporated Societies Act, the time is right to progress this.

It was refreshing this year to have both the New Zealand Cup Day and Show Day run outside of the Covid restrictions experienced over the last
two years. Both days were highly successful, not only showcasing some quality races, but they proved successful days on the tote.

The Cup Day turnover at $7.5 million was the largest by any code for a New Zealand race meeting over the last ten years. In fact, all harness meetings held last week in the country outperformed the corresponding meetings of 2021.

Under the Harness Racing New Zealand constitution, clubs and kindred bodies need to give approval for HRNZ to lease premises. A Special General meeting will be held online on Tuesday 13 December at 11.00 am to vote on the HRNZ Board negotiating an early release from its current premises and
subsequently taking on a lease at 114 Wrights Road, a property owned by NZ Metropolitan Properties Limited. The reasons for such a request has been sent to all clubs and kindred bodies.

Below is a summary of racing performance season to date:

The HRNZ Board meets again on Friday 2nd December.

John Coulam, Chair


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