NZTR Board appointees bring strong skill set

5 November 2020

The Members’ Council of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) yesterday announced three new appointments to the NZTR Board.

The new appointees - Darryll Park, Andrew Fairgray and Mike Clarke (from 1 January 2021) – will take up their positions following the NZTR AGM on Tuesday 17 November.

At that time chairman Dr Alan Jackson and board members Victoria Carter and Rick Williams will depart.  During their time at the Board table the industry has been faced with many challenges throughout a period which has been a time of change.

Dr Jackson stated that while it has been a challenging time to lead the organisation he has been proud of the collective efforts of his fellow board members.

“My five-year stint as the NZTR Chair has included the introduction of the Health & Safety in the Workplace Act, the Messara Review, the Racing Industry Act and, in the final few months, the Covid-19 crisis,” Dr Jackson said.

“This past year has been a particularly busy one for the NZTR Board, with my fellow members being asked to give much more of their time to NZTR than normal. That they did so willingly, is an indication of their commitment to affection for our industry.”

Departing deputy chair Victoria Carter has played a significant part in representing New Zealand racing on the international stage, specifically around participant welfare.  A highlight being chairing a welfare panel at the Asian Racing Conference.  Her considerable Board experience has also provided value around the NZTR Board table during her seven years on the Board, and prior to that as the chair of the Members’ Council.

The third Board member to leave this year, Rick Williams, has been a major contributor in the area of the business of racing, including work on venues and integrity.  His lifelong involvement in the industry and ability to bring that lens to any decision, combined with his analytical approach meant his input was always well-considered.

Those replacing this trio were appointed following a robust interview process for the positions, which attracted 32 applicants.

Darryll Park (Christchurch) is a seasoned Director with experience with the Crusaders Rugby Franchise.  Darryll has previously held executive roles within Air NZ and Christchurch & Canterbury Marketing and is a life member of the Canterbury Jockey Club.  He is a fellow of the NZ Institute of Management and an Accredited Member of the Institute of Directors.

Andrew Fairgray (Auckland) brings a blend of entrepreneurial, data and IT knowledge to the Board table.  Having held lead roles with 2degrees, where he is currently Chief Business Officer, Vodafone and Alcatel, Andrew is also a former Board member of the Auckland Racing Club and is a racehorse owner.

Mike Clarke (Auckland) is a partner at KPMG with a background in accountancy and management training.  His expertise is in the areas of gaming, IT, hospitality and tourism and he is also a previous owner of racehorses.

As flagged in yesterday’s announcement, the Members’ Council has proposed amendments to the constitution which would allow the NZTR Board to comprise between five and seven directors. 

Should this constitutional change be approved it is the Members’ Council intention to appoint Bruce Sherwin to the Board.

 Bruce Sherwin (Hamilton) provides extensive racing knowledge across a broad number of areas and jurisdictions.

On behalf of the Members’ Council, chairman Paul Humphries said the Council was very impressed with the quality and depth of the applicants for the roles.

“The combination of the new appointees and the incumbent NZTR Board members – Jason Fleming, Cameron George and Bruce Sharrock – provides the right blend of abilities, skill sets and racing knowledge to shape and lead the industry through changes going forward due to the Racing Industry Act 2020 coming into effect,” he said.

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