Harness Racing New Zealand has announced that it has appointed a new chief executive to replace the outgoing Edward Rennell.
Rennell’s replacement, Peter Jensen, comes to HRNZ with a wealth of senior-level leadership experience, including chief executive roles at Spanbild Holdings Ltd., a large Christchurch-based construction company with multiple business units operating across Australasia, Southern Response, a government-owned insurer, and most recently with Addington Raceway Ltd.
HRNZ Board Chair Ken Spicer has said Jensen has a strong mix of commercial expertise and racing knowledge and interest.
“Peter Jensen has extensive business experience along with a lifelong passion for harness racing. His background in customer-centric organizations, central government and managing complex projects are well suited to leading the HRNZ team as our industry deals with the changes that are likely to be ahead as a result of the Messara report.”
Jensen has said that he is looking forward to leading the HRNZ team and working with the board to deliver meaningful change.
“HRNZ faces a number of challenges, but also some exciting opportunities. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead the business and I am looking forward to bringing to this role my skills, experience and passion for the sport to make a real difference for industry stakeholders.”
Jensen’s start date is yet to be confirmed, as he is currently completing his commitments to Addington. In the meantime, Liz Bishop GM of Operations, will act as chief executive. Spicer said he was confident HRNZ will be in good hands with Bishop, who has been with the business since April, at the helm. Rennell’s last day with HRNZ will be on December 19, after 21 years as chief executive.
Spicer said that Rennell has made a significant contribution to the sport of harness racing.
“I would like to express our gratitude for the commitment Edward has shown to HRNZ over such a long period of time. He can be rightly proud of what has been achieved under his stewardship. The board wishes Edward every success in his future endeavours.”
The chair of the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club, Brent Smith, said that Addington is disappointed to lose Jensen, but understood his desire to take a leadership role with a broader industry perspective.
Smith said, “Peter has achieved a great deal in his time at Addington. We are confident the business is in good shape and on track to remain New Zealand’s premier harness racing club. We have commenced our search for our next CEO and will make an announcement on this early in 2019, once the process is complete.”