NZTBA office badly damaged in Auckland storm

The NZTBA's office at Ellerslie Racecourse was extensively damaged during the unusually fierce storm which swept through Auckland and many other parts of the North Island on Sunday evening.

A one-hundred-year-old oak tree owned by the Auckland City Council was blown over onto the NZTBA building which is occupied by the Association's three full-time staff members, New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing's Joe Walls and Andrew Birch, and the staff of the Halberg Trust.

NZTBA chief executive Michael Martin says "Although the damage to the building is serious, we're all grateful that the timing of the tree's collapse meant no-one was injured."

The tree fell across the central part of the building so the main damage appears to be in the NZTM office, the Halberg Trust main office and the Sir Tristram room upstairs, although the paintings of Sunline, Sir Tristram and Horlicks are untouched. The Stead Memorial Library and its contents are also intact. However, the full extent of the damage won't be known until the tree is removed, a tricky business which was started today. A professional guard will be in place until the building is closed up.

Michael expects to announce interim arrangements for the office and staff by the end of this week. In the meantime contact details for the Association are:

Michael Martin
Mob: 021 338 500
Email: nztba@xtra.co.nz

Sally Cassels-Brown
Mob: 021 174 3068

The NZTBA office was built fifteen years ago with the substantial support of the Association's membership. It was opened by the NZTBA's Patron, Her Majesty The Queen on 5 February 1990.

- Susan Archer


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