NZTR to develop sustainable industry blueprint

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Cameron George

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The Board of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has announced a number of key decisions and initiatives that were recently agreed upon at its 25 November Board meeting. “I’m excited by the options we have in front of us to create a vibrant future and implement actions to energise, excite and set up a sustainable future, in line with our own way of thinking and considerations from the Messara Report,” NZTR Chairman Cameron George said.

“Our priority was to ensure we continued with Bernard Saundry as CEO until July 31 2022. “This enables the Board to build on existing relationships for the greater benefit of the industry in the short to mid-term, while a number of other actions are being managed into place for the longer term. “To have stability in the CEO role for a further 12 months beyond this racing season is sensible, and crucial for our industry in reaching its long-term potential.”

In addition to Saundry’s extension, the Board resolved to undertake an organisational review of NZTR. This will include but is not limited to structure, capability, resource, culture, and location. A focus of the review will be identifying the best succession plan to replace the CEO at the conclusion of the 21/22 season.

These elements will be reviewed in the near future, with the appropriate actions to be implemented in a timely manner. The key consideration principle for all matters will be a “horse and industry first” stance, in line with cost and output efficiency and quality.

The NZTR Board collectively believes that it’s time all parts of the business are put to the test of what is best for the industry and its future. The review action will happen quickly in order for NZTR to plan a rollout phase for any potential change for better industry outcomes.

This review will run parallel with a number of other matters that are currently being consulted and/or developed within NZTR and the industry:

  • Future racing calendar
  • Club hubs and Venue Planning
  • Future use of the Whip
  • Funding for 2021/22 season
  • TAB NZ Board selection process
  • Improving Training and Education outcomes by way of a Training, Development and Welfare Programme
  • Assist in transitioning to the Racing Integrity Board
  • IT systems integration and upgrade with Racing Australia and Technology One

“I would like to encourage everyone to get involved in creating an exciting future as history shows us that when we act as one, with a “horse and industry first” mindset we can be enablers and achieve great things – we own it with you,” George said.

NZTR Board, Management and staff are committed to building and maintaining excellent relationships with all sectors of the industry, so that all participants can seamlessly navigate through an exciting change period to implement a healthy and sustainable future for New Zealand racing.

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