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Key appointments to NZTR executive team announced

21 December 2017, 4:49 p.m.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has made two key appointments to the senior executive team.

Martin Burns will take up the role of General Manager Racing and Equine Welfare and Dan Smith has been appointed General Manager Customer.

Smith is currently Strategy Manager at the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) and Burns was already a senior manager with NZTR, as General Manager Commercial and Strategy.

Burns, who will take up his new role early next month, is an experienced racing administrator and analyst. He has been in his current position with NZTR since September 2014 and was previously Head of Industry Liaison with the NZRB. He has also had commercial banking roles with Kiwibank and the National Bank.

He led a review of the NZTR welfare policy this year and will continue to work in that area, alongside his wide-ranging responsibilities as GM Racing, which will include race programming, handicapping, the racing bureau, studbook, registrations, licensing, club support and infrastructure projects and health and safety.

Smith has been with the NZRB since 2003 and prior to roles in the NZRB strategy team was Commercial Manager, Sales and Distribution.  More recently he has led the Optimise the Calendar initiative, which has introduced key changes into the domestic racing calendar.

In his role with NZTR, Smith will focus on media, communications, ownership, participation, digital, strategic planning, venue planning and events.

NZTR Chief Executive Bernard Saundry said Burns and Smith would further strengthen a restructured management team. “Both Martin and Dan have a good mix of business skills and industry knowledge and have already worked with many of our clubs and participants.”

The NZTR executive team has been reduced from seven to five, following a recent restructure, to focus on key business priorities.