The New Zealand Harness Racing Trainers and Drivers Association Incorporated is a long established organisation representing all license-holders, be they trainer, driver or stable-hand, full-time or part-time.
For many years the Association operated on a regional basis, with branches based in the Auckland, Christchurch and Invercargill areas, and while this did offer some support and guidance to Industry participants, when, after much lobbying, the Association was granted representation on the Harness Racing New Zealand Executive, a Constitution was drawn up and a National Council was formed, consisting of representatives from three regions, the Northern Branch, the Greater Canterbury Branch, and the Otago/Southland Branch.
This National Council consists of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Northern and Greater Canterbury Branch, the Chairman of the Otago/Southland Branch and the Association's representative on the Harness Racing New Zealand Executive, who would automatically become Chairman of the National Council.
The Council meets twice a year, in Auckland and Christchurch, and in recent times, a meeting with Stipendiary Stewards has preceded the full Council meeting. These get togethers with the Stipendiary have proved to be very fruitful, with robust discussion on mutual matters of interest and various contentious issues sorted out after various points of view are put forward.The Northern and Greater Canterbury Branches meet on a regular monthly basis, while the Otago/Southland provide valuable input into the regional meetings held in that area between Clubs, breeders and horsemen.
As well as having direct representation at the Harness Racing New Zealand Executive table, the Association has representatives on the Sires Stakes Board, the NZ Equine Industry Training Organisation, various HRNZ sub-committees, and Area Licensing Committees.
Now recognised as an essential cog in the Harness Racing Industry, we have regular personal contact with personnel in Government Departments, the New Zealand Racing Board, Harness Racing New Zealand, and the Clubs themselves in order to improve conditions for trainers and drivers, as well as ensure that licence-holders can work in harmony with these bodies for the benefit of the Industry overall.