Whilst the Trainers’ Association has not officially been sent a copy of this proposal, it has been circulating and was discussed at the meeting following the NZTA AGM. There was a general consensus not to support the proposal. Whilst the Trainers' Association do not have a vote at the NZTR AGM, they do have a representative on the Members' Council, currently Nigel Tiley.

The proposal is for a change to the NZTR Constitution and structure of the Board, so that six representatives are elected by Clubs in six geographic regions of New Zealand. 
Click here for a link to the proposal. 

Following are releases from NZTR, Members’ Council and NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association for your information. some Consultation documents on the Gallop South Proposal:

NZTR & Members’ Council Joint Consultation Document:

Link to release on 28 September 2020
Link to graphic of Stakeholder representation and interaction

NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Consulation Document:


Members’ Council (Northern representatives) letter below :

Hello Chairpersons, Presidents and CEOs of the Northern Racing Clubs,


We are writing this note as your representatives on the NZTR Members' Council (MC) to keep you informed of the Council's work on your behalf.  We recently met in person (after months of zoom meetings) with the NZTR Board and we wanted to update you on various matters that were discussed.  We also wanted to let you know what the Members' Council has been doing and that we are here to listen to your views on industry matters.  Should you have any queries regarding the matters listed, or other matters you feel the MC needs to address, please email us or phone us - we will always be happy to discuss any topics with you and feed those views back to the NZTR Board on your behalf.


  1. Over the last months the MC has met numerous times using video conferencing to keep abreast of how the Racing Act with its additional requirements for the Codes is being addressed.  There have been numerous considerations due to the COVID-19 situation that the NZTR Board has had to navigate e.g. creating the need to accommodate the government's rules at varying levels of conduct and social distancing etc. 


  1. The MC met in person in Wellington on 16 September as a Council, and then with the NZTR Board and CEO Bernard Saundry on 17 September. The following matters were on the agenda and were fully discussed:


One of the MC's prime duties is to appoint directors to the NZTR Board. At this year's AGM there will be three director vacancies - Rick Williams retires by rotation and has indicated he will not be re-standing having given six years of service. Victoria Carter also retires by rotation and has the right to re-stand for one further and final three year term. She does not need to make that decision until applications for Directors close. Dr Alan Jackson, the current Chairman, has also indicated he will be stepping down at the AGM. Consequently there are a three vacancies to fill.


NZTR has recently advised clubs by one of its regular electronic notices that applications for the roles of NZTR Director are being sought - NZTR is also advertising these positions in various publications. People who wish to apply for a Director role may do so by going to the NZTR website and submitting their application.   


It should be noted that there has been an incorrect assumption that directors and committee members of racing clubs cannot stand as a Director of NZTR. In fact, they can do so, but if they are appointed they must then resign from their role with the club.


The MC has carried out 'exit interviews' with the two directors of NZTR who have already advised that they are retiring at the AGM.  The MC has also had an independent assessment of the performance of the board carried out. These pieces of work also help to inform the MC of the experience and skill set required in potential new NZTR Directors to give a balanced skill set at the combined board table. Skills and prior experience in Director governance roles of significant businesses would be a real benefit in candidates to compliment the board's current skill set.  Skills and experience in any of governance of property matters, digitally rich businesses, and/or promotionally dependent businesses would also be an advantage. 


  1. NZTR has been through a very challenging year with the submissions on the Racing Bill, and then the passing of the Racing Act. That then was followed by the government's rules due to the COVID-19 virus which has so heavily interrupted our racing industry. At the AGM the MC will report on its review the NZTR Board performance.


  1. The Gallop South proposal to revert to the election of NZTR Directors via a regional representation system was debated. Salient points include:
  • the proposal would go back to the system that failed the industry and caused the change to regional representation for positions on MC, with the MC deciding on the Director appointments to NZTR.
  • the current system is aligned to how most national sports are governed.
  • the current system is similar to how the transformed racing clubs in Australia have set up their governance.
  • the Messara Report outlined the requirement to have the type of Director appointment system that is currently in place.
  • the prime measure needed in considering what system to use to appoint Directors needs to be that which will result in the most capable people governing the whole of the industry. It should be merit based in the view of the MC.
  • a major issue appears to be the need for better lines of communication from small clubs to NZTR.  This needs to be addressed. In that regard NZTR is implementing a forum for small clubs to raise matters for NZTR to consider. It is proposed also that the role and responsibilities of the MC be expanded to enable the MC is more actively and formally act as a conduit for small clubs, and indeed all clubs, to have matters heard.




Geoff Vazey     

NZTR Members’ Council (Northern), Director Auckland Racing Club

021 523 240

[email protected]



Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM

NZTR Members' Council (Northern), Chairman Waikato Racing Club

021 598 161

[email protected]