Motorcycling New Zealand In Good Hands
June 21, 2017

Virginia Henderson, the general manager for motorcycling's governing body in New Zealand. Photo by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ.com

Now more than five months into the job, it's fair to say that Aucklander Virginia Henderson is now well settled in and she has a firm grip at the helm of New Zealand's most important motorbike organisation.

Appointed in February to the role of general manager for the sport of motorcycling's governing body in New Zealand, Motorcycling New Zealand (MNZ), the 53-year-old married mother-of two from Ramarama has wasted no time familiarising herself with the day-to-day workings of the organisation and also looking ahead to future developments.
 
"In offering me the role, my guess is that MNZ was looking for a candidate that came from a sporting body background and one who has strengths in team building, commercial management, brand marketing, networking with stakeholders and leadership, and was passionate about advancing Motorcycling in New Zealand," said Henderson.
 
"We spent many years as a family travelling to motocross events. We have many great memories of motocross weekends away with family and friends and we were very fortunate that (daughter) Amy was happy to support her brother (Scott) in his riding."
 
Now a life member of the Pukekohe Motorcycle Club, Virginia Henderson had been instrumental in the club applying for and receiving funding to acquire a club house, with a dedicated medics' room as part of that.
 
She soon after became club secretary and remained in this position for four years, before starting work for Hockey New Zealand.
 
"From my role as the Commercial Manager for Hockey New Zealand ... and prior to that I held a number of leadership roles within the airline and travel sector ... I had the opportunity to take all that I'd learned and apply this to a different sporting environment with MNZ.
 
"I have not come into the job at MNZ with any preconceived ideas for change. I have been keen to listen, to learn and understand what our members want. In my first three months I attended 10 events and as many prize-giving events as I was able to attend, all of which proved to be extremely beneficial as I got to talk to riders, officials, clubs, life members and manufacturers, who all have a different perception of Motorcycling New Zealand."
 
She also acknowledges the MNZ office staff, who work tirelessly to ensure the organisation runs smoothly.
 
"The team in the office, three girls, do an incredible job managing the day to day activities for all our members and this often goes unnoticed – you name it, the question gets asked and the girls go out of their way to help all our members," she smiled.
 
With a huge passion for the sport and a dedicated crew behind her, Henderson sees a big future for MNZ.
 
"I absolutely love leading Motorcycling New Zealand. We have a clear strategic plan that is well structured and we are making significant progress."
 
And Henderson's final words: "Watch this space – there are plenty of projects on, that’s for sure."

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