Forbury Park Trotting Club looks to simplify operations

Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Forbury Park will look to move to a more streamlined constitution in the coming months.

Former New Zealand cricketer Rachel Pullar has also been confirmed as the club’s new chief executive.

A meeting of members on Wednesday night outlined issues facing the club as its annual meeting looms early next month.

At the moment the club has both a committee and a board. The board appoints the chief executive and looks after the day-by-day running of the club but a committee is also involved.

It was unclear at times who controlled what roles.

Current club chief executive Della Henderson said the club wanted to have just one board.

It needs 75 % of members to support the move at the annual meeting on November 4.

It was hard to get enough people to sit on two boards, Henderson said.

There had been two previous attempts to try to get a new structure at the club but it has been voted down narrowly on both occasions.

The new board would have two independent members, appointed by an independent panel, along with another three elected members. There was also an option to co-opt up to three more board members if needed.

The club has had a rollercoaster past few months. It lost all its winter racing because of Covid-19 and then lost all dates in the new season draft calendar. But it managed to get some back when the final calendar was released in early July.

The club had also sold some land for a residential development for $1 million. The development, which is in the southeast corner of the ground, is still going through the council process though resource consent had been granted and the club was waiting for titles to be granted.

Club management also met representatives from Harness Racing New Zealand earlier this week and Henderson described it as a positive meeting.

Topics discussed included funding arrangements, facilities at Forbury Park and the way ahead.

Harness Racing New Zealand had not been supportive of the Forbury Park club getting any dates for the new season.

One of the conditions of it getting its dates was a review of racing in the Otago region would be undertaken. This has now ballooned to include the Otago-Southland district.

It was supposed to be completed by December and Racing New Zealand was still sticking to that timetable.

Racing NZ had appointed a business consultancy firm, Sapere, to undertake the review.

Pullar will start her job next month as Henderson moves on to another opportunity.


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