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GMANZ appoints internet infrastructure expert as independent chair


Source: GMANZ

The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) today announced the appointment of Wellington intellectual property lawyer and internet consultant Peter Dengate Thrush as its new independent chair. He will take up the appointment formally on 14 October.

Interim chair Mike Knell said the calibre of candidates was outstanding, with many keen to extend their governance portfolios to the non-profit gaming machine sector. GMANZ’s new chair will be well- positioned to pick up the challenges confronting the sector post-COVID, including the growth of unregulated online gambling and the need for a more robust and even-handed gambling regulatory framework.

“Peter is globally-recognised for his governance, regulatory and strategic skills, honed through his extensive work with internet infrastructure organisations and technology start-ups, along with chairmanship of a wide range of national and international organisations and listed companies,” said Knell.

“With this appointment GMANZ is well-placed to progress its strategic priorities, which include initiatives to dispel misinformation about the gaming machine sector and ensure that local body and central government decision-makers are properly informed by evidence about its collective economic contribution to communities and the wider economy,” said Knell.

“Maintaining a sustainable funding model that benefits 11,000 community organisations a year is a priority,” he said.

Dengate Thrush helped write the regulatory system for the internet and for 4 years chaired Los Angeles-based ICANN, the global organisation that regulates the generic domain name system (.com, .net and .org), overseeing a comprehensive internal restructuring, technology innovations and policy development. He helped write the dispute resolution system of compulsory arbitration for domain names world-wide and for InternetNZ and helped build the multi-stakeholder model by which the internet is now governed.

One of the first New Zealanders to have a personal Wikipedia page, he is a sought-after internet commentator who has been widely interviewed by international media outlets such as the BBC, New York Times, The Economist and the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to high profile international initiatives, such as Roar.Basketball’s efforts to roll out the .basketball domain, for the benefit of the global basketball community, Dengate Thrush has taken a leading role assisting NZ internet entrepreneurs, and NZ exporters.

He served as chair of the Electricity Rulings Panel from 2011 to 2020 and is currently deputy chair of the NZ Copyright Tribunal.

GMANZ represents most of the 34 non-club gaming machines societies currently operating in New Zealand, along with Hospitality NZ venue operators with gaming, a number of club societies, and manufacturers and suppliers to the industry.

The gaming machine sector distributes or applies more than $345 million annually to authorised purposes, the bulk of which is distributed back to the communities where the funds are raised, by way of grants. In addition, the sector contributes $290 million a year through duty and taxes, and funds almost half of the $20 million levied annually to fund the Ministry of Health’s gambling harm minimisation programme.

For more information contact:

Mike Knell
Acting Chair, GMANZ 027 280 2063

30 September 2020