The Otaki-Maori Racing Club is managed by a committee, supported by a small number of executive positions.
Patron: Steve Moffatt
President: Rangi Ransfield
Vice Presidents: Josie Donaldson, Tom Jamison, Norman Taratoa,
Committee: Andre Baker, Ricki Baker, Richard Taratoa, Jim Johnson, Micky Carkeek, Jack Frost, Doug Logan
General Manager :
T: 04 528 9611
M:027 77 35 440
RACE Inc.Tracks General Manager
06 356 4940
021 814 632
Otaki Track Manager
Late Patron: Arthur McGill-Passed away May 2015
Long-time Otaki-Maori Racing Club steward, past-president and patron Arthur McGill, who died after a short illness in May, was a man of many talents and varied interests outside of racing.
Arthur was born in Johnsonville, the son of Lionel and Micky (Mabel) McGill, and grew up in Petone, attending Petone Central School and Hutt Valley High.
He was very keen on engineering and on leaving college he took up an apprenticeship with Downer & Co, based in Kaiwharawhara. Some of the major projects he worked on included the Terrace Tunnel and the strengthening of buildings such as Kirkcaldie & Stains and the BNZ.
He went on to set up his own business, McGill Engineering, and helped in the construction of the giant NZ Post building in Waterloo Quay.
Among other projects, he designed and constructed crusher machines for the Hongoeka Quarry and the business changed name to Plimmerton Engineering.
Soon after he was lured to W R Grace, Porirua, (later Sealed Air) and ended up staying there for 30-odd years.
He married Pam in her hometown of Foxton in1963.
He built and designed machinery for W R Grace and Sealed Air and was sent to Shanghai in China to build a new factory and teach the Chinese how to handle the machinery. He was also sent to Melbourne to install new machinery in the company's factory there shortly before he took retirement in 2009.
He had earlier developed a liking for greyhounds and bred many good performers including Pure Malice and Raging Malice, from his very speedy bitch Miss Malice. He had earlier become interested in racehorses through Pam's uncle, Foxton trainer Henry Callahan, and had shares in a number of gallopers with limited success. In more recent times he joined a syndicate with Te Akau's David Ellis, included among those he raced being Fast Fiction, Princess Davonne, Fine Choice (Singapore) and the highly promising Sebrose who finished a finished a good fifth in the 2015 Singapore Derby (and Pam was there to cheer the horse on).
Arthur played various sports at school including cricket, rugby and rugby league and was also a very keen rower, representing the Petone Rowing Club over a number of years. In 1959 was a Wellington Rugby Union fourth grade rep and later went on to excel at rugby league for the Petone club. He also played rugby for Petone and in 1987 he and Pam went on a Petone Rugby Club supporters' tour to England.
They also travelled extensively in more recent times and embarked on a 100-day world cruise in 2013.
Arthur was diagnosed with a brain tumour in late October, 2014.
He is survived by wife Pam, daughters Sandra (partner of Rongo, mother of Kaleb -- Hongoeka), Debbie (Wellington) and Anne-Marie (married to Greg, in Queensland) and son Daniel (married to Bernie, father of Danika, Emery and Jasmyn -- Whitby).
The passing of our Club Patron- Jim Winiata b.1926- d.July 15th 2012
Jim regarded the Otaki-Maori Racing Club as one big family – not simply because so many of his own family members had belonged to it, but because the club had had so much input by a number of local families over a very long period. His father, Nepia Winiata was Secretary for 21 years and then club President until his death. Currently there are several other Winiata’s serving as stewards or participating as club members.
Jim was born in Ohau in 1926, and then raised where he continues to liveuntil his death in the same Te Horo property. There’s something of a genuine pedigree about the Winiata’s Otaki-Maori Racing Club history. Waiting until he ‘was old enough’ to become a member at 21 was frustrating, but also a club rule back in 1947 – he had been a club steward for some 50 years, patron for over 25 years, and reckoned he had seen ‘all the changes’ at the course over the years. He even helped to demolish the old public stand in the late eighties to make way for the present one.
Jim Winiata believed strongly that the club’s Maori ownership and history must be preserved and not let go the way of other such clubs – “we are unique and this is our strength”. Jim was the ‘real thing’, and had an incredibly long history with the Otaki-Maori Racing Club, and was a fascinating gentleman to engage in a chat and to pass on some genuine Otaki history!
He will be missed