Background and Overview

Background relating to the Independent Inquiry

The 2022 High Performance Sport and Cycling NZ Inquiry completed by Herron, Leberman et al, and released on 9 May 2022. view here

The Inquiry considered the high-performance programme delivered by Cycling New Zealand (CNZ), funded (primarily) by High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), and the wellbeing of people within that programme. It also considered the implementation of the recommendations set out in the 2018 Heron Report.

The Inquiry was tasked with assessing wellbeing issues within the HPP during the review period (2018-2021) and make recommendations for change.

The Inquiry made widespread recommendations which broadly included:

  • Making wellbeing central to the activities of the HP programme and fostering a more open and better-connected culture at CNZ
  • Ensuring policies are more clearly communicated, understood, and acted upon
  • Making decisions around selection, recruitment, carding, and competitions more transparent to those impacted, improving event debriefs and reviewing athlete contracts, induction, selection and exit
  • Reviewing centralisation around the velodrome at Cambridge and reconsidering regional pathways
  • Changing and improving recruitment processes, increasing the number of women employed and recruiting a people and performance manager
  • Reviewing governance arrangements

The 2022 Inquiry Report was welcomed by the Board of Cycling New Zealand and the findings and recommendations accepted. The CNZ Board committed to a comprehensive response. In doing so, reinforced their full commitment to ensuring a high-performance culture in their sport that is athlete-centred and upholds the highest standards of ethics, integrity and welfare.

“It is important, as we move forward, to reinforce our total commitment to the wellbeing and care of our athletes and performance staff, whilst continuing to strive for high performance results that inspire our cycling community and kiwis from across Aotearoa,” said Cycling New Zealand Chairman, Phil Holden.

Following the Inquiry public announcement in May 2022, Kereyn Smith CNZM, was appointed as Transformational Director, and has been working with CNZ Board, staff, athletes, and the wider stakeholders of CNZ to develop a comprehensive strategy and approach in response to the Inquiry.

This includes the development of the Transformation 2024 Plan (TP2024) which collates 36 projects that align with the Inquiry’s recommendations and groups them into 13 focus areas for CNZ to address and implement by 2024.

A cornerstone of the response, ensuring the highest integrity and transparency, has been the establishment of a five-member committee Cycling Integrity Steering Committee a (CISC) to provide independent oversight and monitoring in the implementation of the recommendations within the TP2024.

“A key is the independence of this committee and its members and the positive impact that they will have on the oversight of the implementation of the recommendations as outlined by the inquiry. In doing so, this approach could potentially provide a blueprint for sporting organisations to consider for high performance programmes and integrity matters going forward,” said Smith.


Formation of CISC and CISC operating diagram

The Cycling Integrity Steering Committee, comprising of an independent chair, two athlete members, one nominee from Cycling New Zealand and one from Sport New Zealand, will provide oversight of actions in response to the 2022 CNZ and High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Inquiry recommendations.

The CISC will be chaired by the Hon Kit Toogood KC, with athlete representatives Sam Dakin and Jaime Nielsen, Cycling New Zealand nominee Simon Wickham and Sport New Zealand nominee Bronwyn Hall.

Cycling New Zealand Transformational Director, Kereyn Smith MNZM, who is an ex officio member of the committee, said she is delighted with the quality and breadth of the committee members. They will be tasked with monitoring and reporting on CNZs comprehensive plan developed in response to the Inquiry recommendations.

In addition, they can propose possible solutions, changes to policies, and procedures that will ensure a high performance culture in cycling that is athlete-centred and upholds the highest standards of ethics, integrity and welfare.


Overview of the Transformation Action Plan

The Transformation Plan 2024 developed and approved in 2022, is now being actioned and implemented. The plan is comprehensive and aims to overhaul and modernise CNZs practises, policies, and culture, ensuing a fit for the future organisation.

The impact of which, extends across the CNZ from board room to the staff, coaches, and athletes on the velodrome floor.

The plan and priorities emerged from consultation and input from within CNZ (i.e. board, staff, athletes, coaches, HP personnel) and externally (stakeholders, Member Organisations) and the wider cycling community. The strategies are targeted at addressing the issues raised in the Inquiry and improving CNZs organisational performance and focus.

At the heart of the transformation work is creating a culture based on openness, inclusivity, diversity, empowerment, and wellbeing.

Fostering a high-performance environment that is athlete-centred and upholds the highest standards of ethics and integrity is central to the success of the work.

The Transformation Plan collates projects that align with the Inquiry recommendations. This action orientated approach captures 36 projects across 13 areas of focus, which provide a roadmap for achieving meaningful improvement within CNZ.