Reshaping high performance sport

  • Murray McCully
Sport and Recreation

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Murray McCully, has announced the inaugural board of directors for the new organisation “High Performance Sport New Zealand.”

High Performance Sport NZ has been formed by merging the SPARC high performance unit with the two New Zealand Academies of Sport into a streamlined unit.

It will develop high performance athletes with an annual spend of $60 million dollars and further develop world-class training facilities in partnerships with the private sector.

“I am pleased the current Chairman of SPARC, Paul Collins, will be the first Chairman of High Performance Sport New Zealand,” said Mr McCully.

The other board appointments consist of three sitting members from the SPARC board:  Katie Sadleir, Don Mackinnon and Bill Birnie; NZ Academy of Sport nominations Mike Stanley (North Island) and Peter Cox (South Island); New Zealand Olympic Committee nominee,  Simon Wickham; and two independent members, Mark Weldon and Hamish Carter. The Board also includes SPARC CEO Peter Miskimmin as an ex-officio member.

“This is a significant announcement for high performance sport in New Zealand, as this new entity will focus on building a culture which pursues excellence and allows athletes to focus on performance rather than funding,“ said Mr McCully.

Earlier this year, SPARC and the New Zealand Academies of Sport announced an agreement in principle to merge.  Since then a working group has been working on the design of the new entity, which will be a subsidiary of SPARC, but which will have a majority of external directors.

“High Performance Sport NZ will have its own CEO and an international search is now underway as part of the transition process,” said the Minister. 

The new Chairman of High Performance Sport New Zealand, Paul Collins, says input from the NZOC, sport organisations, coaches and athletes is proving valuable in finalising the design and transition plan for the new entity.

“The Government injection of new capital and operating funding last year has presented the sector with an amazing opportunity to assess what’s possible,” he said.