Dean McKenzie to depart Addington

Chief Executive Officer Dean McKenzie has tendered his resignation and will leave the role at the end of the current racing season. Family commitments, including his immediate family spending more and more time in North America, have lead Dean to decide this is the right time to make the change.

New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Chair Barry Dent commented that “the Board were extremely disappointed to be in the position of having to make this announcement, particularly given the enormous progress the Club had made in the last five and a half years.”

“Dean and his team have worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Club and harness racing in general and collectively we have much to be proud of in these achievements. Dean has made an outstanding contribution to the long-term future of harness racing in Christchurch and we sincerely thank him for all his hard work and dedication to the role”. Dent added.

“With flat industry funding throughout this period the Club has been able to successfully increase returns to stakeholders, despite the many unique earthquake related challenges the Club faces every day. Total stakes and bonuses paid have increased during this time by over 29% which given general industry trends is a credit to all those involved but particularly those at the sharp end like Dean and his team.

Initiatives such as the opening of Spectators Bar & Bistro in 2013, the launch of the KPC in 2014, the installation of the big screen in 2015, and the upcoming release of state of the art sectional timing project StrideMASTER have or will contribute to enhancing the quality of the racing product at Addington Raceway and subsequently the returns the Club can generate for stakeholders. The receipt of the Champion Canterbury Business Award for Retail/Hospitality in 2015 was due recognition for the hard work put in by Dean and the team.

Various successful property related projects including the conversion of the old Raceway offices to a standalone commercial property, co-ordinating footprint operations with AMI Stadium and Horncastle Arena and rigorous adherence to detailed financial and operational planning processes has ensured the Club has been able to report six consecutive annual surpluses and gross assets of over $85m.”

Despite these many achievements, Dean points to the establishment of the 20-year Cup service pin and 30-year long-service awards in 2013 as particular highlights.

“I think the people that feature in these awards presented shortly before Cup Day each year typify what Addington in general and Christchurch Casino NZ Cup Day in particular mean to the people of Canterbury. Addington is an iconic venue and Christchurch Casino NZ Cup Day is a cultural cornerstone to what makes spring time in the garden city so special. The individuals we have presented these awards to during my time hold all these same values in my eyes and Addington wouldn’t be Addington without their long-standing commitment.

I would also like to thank those I have worked closely with on a day to day basis in the last five and a half years, as without them none of our achievements would have been possible. Having had the privilege of working with many fine teams over the years, the team at Addington is by far the strongest I have had the honour to work with. The Club is in very good hands”

The Board will commence the process of seeking a replacement for Dean immediately.

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