Harness racing to review club structure

J Scott Latest News


August 10, 2015

At the Annual Conference of Harness Racing Clubs and Kindred Bodies on Saturday, August 8, Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) presented a proposal based on reviewing the existing club structure.

This would involve a consolidation of the existing 45 clubs into a regional based model of nine “super” clubs.

In presenting this, HRNZ Chairman, Gary Allen, said “current industry structures are not sustainable and change is required. Static industry funding, declining income from gaming and increased general costs have placed considerable additional financial pressure on clubs.

Action is required to strengthen the industry’s position and viability long term.”

This followed a presentation that was given at the Conference summarizing an independent review of clubs’ financial statements over the last six years.

This highlighted an increased number of clubs with a higher risk profile and a declining overall industry financial position.

Under the model which HRNZ presented as a starting point for industry discussion, the restructured
“super” clubs will assume greater responsibility for racing within their respective regions.

The aim is for a more compact, stronger and efficient club structure that will enhance the viability of harness racing for its participant base.

At the Conference, consensus was that the model presented had merit and would be the subject of
extensive industry consultation over the next six months.

Clubs will consider the merits of this and how it could be structured within their respective regions.

HRNZ’s governance structure will be reviewed in conjunction with this.

Gary Allen said: “it was very encouraging to get the positive and constructive response to the proposal presented on Saturday. HRNZ looks forward to consulting further with clubs and introducing an industry structure which will better secure the code’s long term future.”

“Doing nothing is not an option and positive action over the next year is essential”.

Details of the financial presentation and HRNZ’s vision paper are outlined on www.hrnz.co.nz.

Edward Rennell,
Chief Executive