Some thirty years ago, after many years of lobbying, the NZ Harness Racing Trainers & Drivers Association, along with the other ‘Kindred Bodies’ was granted a seat on the Executive (as it was known then) of the New Zealand Trotting Conference (as it was known then), which saw it’s representative play an integral role in the decisions made during that time.
In 2019, a decision was made to bring the governance of Harness Racing New Zealand into line with standard business practices and, as part of that restructuring, the ‘Kindred Bodies’ were requested to relinquish their position at the governing table. Despite some reluctance to give up something that had been fought so hard for, the decision was made by the Trainers & Drivers Assn. to stand down for the good of the Industry as a whole.
Whether that decision was the right one is open to debate, but it was felt at the time, as it still is, that having a Board without parochial and factional interests was essential for progress to be made.
Consequently, it is with some dismay to see that the remit submitted by the Kapiti Coast Club on behalf of ‘smaller clubs’ has surfaced.
While everyone acknowledges that these Clubs have an important role to play in harness racing in this Country, they are made up of a group of passionate amateurs, who put a great deal of time and effort into holding one, maybe two race meetings a year. The question is, does that give them the necessary skills to make decisions influencing a multi-million dollar Industry and hundreds of livelihoods?
For these enthusiasts to be given a larger say in the running of the Industry than an organisation representing men and women whose livelihoods depend on it, and have countless millions invested in it, is irrational and basically unconstitutional.