Thoroughbred racing clubs agreed major amendments to the Constitution of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Inc. (NZTR) at its Annual General Meeting in Wellington, on Wednesday, 15 December 2010. The vote was carried by 324 votes to 1.

The current Board of ten directors, elected on a regional or sector basis, will be replaced, on 1 May 2011, by six appointed, independent directors.

Guy Sargent, Chairman of NZTR, commented: “The key determinants in arriving at these radical changes were to ensure a strong and effective Board for the industry, made up of appropriately skilled independent directors.”

“The Board will no longer be elected on a regional or sector basis. Future directors will be selected by a 12-person council, called the Members’ Council, comprising ‘shareholders’ (racing clubs) and sector organisations (industry associations for Owners, Breeders, Trainers & Jockeys). This will free directors from representation issues and enable them to concentrate on the industry’s direction and performance.”

“The Members’ Council will be there not only to select and appoint Directors, but also to recommend the level of directors’ fees and appraise the performance of all directors annually.”

Appointments to both the Board and the Members’ Council are for three year terms and for a maximum of three terms, that is, an initial term and two further terms of three years each.

It is intended to have the new board in place by the beginning of May 2011. To ensure this deadline is met, nominations for the Members’ Council will be sent out within the next week, with a deadline for return of these nominations of 18 February 2011.

The call for director nominations is planned to occur on 1 March 2011 and the deadline for receipt of these nominations will be 1 April 2011.

The Members’ Council will then meet and appoint Directors with the aim of having the new independent NZTR Board in place by 1 May 2011.