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NZ Academy of Sport South Island Interim CEO announced

NZ Academy of Sport South Island Interim CEO announced

The New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island has appointed Dr Selwyn Maister as its interim Chief Executive.

Dr Maister will take over the CEO position currently filled by Kereyn Smith, who is moving into the role of Secretary General of the NZ Olympic Committee in January. Dr Maister is currently on the NZAS South Island Board, from which he will take leave of absence.

Board Chairman Peter Cox said that after reviewing the situation, the board realised it needed more time to consider the options for the on-going role of the CEO, given the large number of large projects it was now managing. The board intended to maintain the momentum of on-going work, and will utilise the time to consider its future options.

“The key rationale behind the decision to appoint an interim position is maintaining the momentum on priority projects whilst buying time for a longer term outlook and for the Board to assess its options and secure the right personnel for future roles,” he explained.

“The scope for activities in the South Island has increased significantly over recent months, and we need to evaluate what this will look like in the medium term as the demand shows no signs of diminishing,” Mr Cox said.

“The NZAS SI is fortunate to have someone of Selwyn’s calibre, who is available and already involved the organisation.”

“It is critical during these developments to support New Zealand athletes in the build-up to the London Olympics in 18 months time, and also to secure leadership and management of the Winter Performance Programme for the next Winter Olympics and beyond.”

Dr Maister will work from both the Academy’s Head Office in Dunedin and the Christchurch centre.
The NZAS South Island has been working closely with its North Island counterpart and with SPARC to plan implementation of a significant increase in funding for high performance sport announced by the Government earlier in the year. It is now clear that this will significantly benefit the South Island through investment in facilities and people in both Dunedin and in Christchurch, and through increased activity.

“The Government has advised it wants to ensure the system is working to maximise benefits for athletes. We are working with SPARC and NZAS NI to ensure this occurs,” Mr Cox said.

At the same time, development work at the NZAS South Island’s Centres of Excellence at QEII in Christchurch, and the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, are at important stages to bring to fruition. On Friday, the Dunedin City Council and SPARC confirmed their commitment to the development of brand new NZAS South Island facilities at the new Stadium in Dunedin. Work will proceed immediately on this project.

In addition, the move south of some national sport’s high performance programmes, including NZ Bike and Triathlon NZ, has meant a large uptake of NZAS South Island services, with staff playing a leadership role in their athletes’ build-up to the Olympics.

“The significant increase in investment and partnerships, and in activity in high performance is very positive for athletes and coaches, and for South Island communities,” Mr Cox said.

Dr Selwyn Maister
In addition to his position on the NZAS South Island Board, Dr Maister also serves on the board of Paralympics NZ. He is a Paralympics NZ appointee on the Board of the company running the International Paralympics Committee World Athletics championships in January 2011 in Christchurch. He is also President of the NZ Olympians Club and a Trustee of the Dr Tom Anderson Trust which funds sports medicine initiatives in the Canterbury region.

Dr Maister represented New Zealand at hockey for 15 years, including three Olympic Games and the inaugural World Cup in 1973. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1976, and was team captain in 1973-74.

He was the Assistant Coach for the Women Blacksticks at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the Men’s Junior Blacksticks manager/coach in the mid 1980s, coach of the Canterbury Premier Women’s team for a few years and has coached at Premier Club level for about 20 years. He has also been a NZ Men’s selector and was also appointed to the inaugural Board of Hockey NZ when the men and women’s associations amalgamated in 1989.

Dr Maister, who has a PhD in organic chemistry, has studied at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.

He was the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Sciences at Christchurch Polytechnic, and was CEO of the Canterbury West Coast Sports Trust from 2001 to 2007. Since then he has been largely working in the voluntary sector but has two periods acting as CEO for both Softball NZ and Sport Auckland.

ENDS

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