5 Mar 2024

Report says Cycling NZ has addressed broken model

7:01 am on 5 March 2024
A New Zealand team pursuit team in action.

A New Zealand team pursuit team in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Cycling New Zealand has addressed all the issues it needed to as part of transforming the culture in the sport.

The Cycling NZ Integrity Steering Committee has made its final report and is satisfied that Cycling New Zealand has addressed the issues they had raised.

The Transformation Plan 2024 was developed in response to the Heron Report in 2022.

That inquiry found the CNZ high performance model was broken and needed to be "reimagined" after the suspected suicide of Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore in 2021.

The report, produced by a four-person panel led by Michael Heron QC, followed a separate review in 2018 which highlighted a culture of bullying, poor behaviour, lack of accountability and dysfunctional high performance programme.

In their final report, the CISC, said "It was wholly satisfied that CNZ, through its Chief Executive Simon Peterson, management and staff, and under the leadership of the Board, had faithfully addressed the 2022 Inquiry issues and recommendations."

The CISC said all recommendations had been implemented or will be by the end of the year.

"All aspects of the Transformation Plan 2024, which consolidates 36 projects (150 tasks), across 13 themes, derived from the inquiry recommendations, are either completed or underway and set for completion and/or implementation by the end of 2024.

"These priorities are now being captured into a CNZ Progression Plan to ensure continuation and embedding of initiatives, with check points from time to time."

The CISC comprised Chair, Hon Kit Toogood KC, Transformation Director Kereyn Smith CNZM, athletes Jaime Nielsen and Sam Dakin along with Bronwyn Hall and Simon Wickham.

The CISC had identified several areas which needed attention.

"Those included elevating the role of wellbeing, improving culture and communication, enhancing transparency in decision-making around high performance processes, re-evaluating centralisation, overhauling CNZ recruitment processes and reviewing governance structures.

"The Board of CNZ committed to taking all possible steps to cultivate a performance culture that is athlete-focussed with high ethical, integrity and wellbeing standards.

The Board has also resolved to take transformative action in regards the governance of CNZ with significant change expected."