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Swimming New Zealand announces chairman

Media Release

Monday, 3 September 2012

Swimming New Zealand announces chairman

Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) has announced its new chairman will be Brent Layton, of Wellington.

‘I am delighted we have been able to secure Dr Layton’s services for this important and critical position,’ said Chris Moller, chairman of SNZ’s Appointment Panel.

‘He has a wealth of experience in governance, leadership and change management, and he also has a real passion for the sport of swimming.

‘We are fortunate that he has the time available to commit to the considerable task of leading and rebuilding Swimming New Zealand and its relationship with stakeholders.’

Brent Layton is currently chairman of the Electricity Authority, the establishment of which he led. He has been a director or chairman of numerous organisations, including five years as the director and chief executive of the NZ Institute of Economic Research.

He also has a lifelong interest in swimming, has held NZ Masters records in butterfly, and continues to swim recreationally on a regular basis.
Dr Layton said he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

‘New Zealand swimmers show a tremendous amount of raw talent, technique and training effort. The job of Swimming New Zealand is to maximise all these qualities and foster a culture of winning in the sport.’

Brent Layton was unanimously selected as chairman by the Appointments Panel, which was established following the approval of a new constitution for SNZ on 28 July and consists of Chris Moller (chairman), Sir John Anderson (independent nominee), Simon Perry (swimming nominee) and Horst Miehe (swimming nominee).

He will now join the panel to select up to five further directors of SNZ, of which three will be recommended to the Regions for election and two will be appointed to the Board.

Interviews for the remaining positions will take place in late September. Brent Layton and the new Board will take up their positions once the Appointment Panel confirms the new appointed and elected Directors. This is targeted to be completed by the end of October

In the interim Sue Suckling continues as governance administrator.

Short Bio

Dr Brent Layton was brought up in Christchurch. At the end of secondary school he spent a year with Volunteer Service Abroad teaching in Sarawak before returning to New Zealand to attend Victoria University of Wellington. At University he successfully completed a BCA, a BA (Hons) and a PhD. He specialised in economics and economic history. Dr Layton taught in the Economics Department at the University of Canterbury until 1984 when he left to help found the New Zealand Futures Exchange.

Between 1984 and 2003 Dr Layton was a director and chair of a wide range of organisations in a broad spread of sectors and industries: banking, transport, electricity, laundry, food processing, IT software and hardware, health, market operation, economic consultancy, professional theatre, governance consultancy, geological and nuclear sciences, agricultural research, horticultural research and bio-technology. He was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to business management in 1996 and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand in 2003. For five years from 2003, Dr Layton was the Director/Chief Executive of the NZ Institute of Economic Research. He is currently the Chair of the Electricity Authority, the regulator of the electricity market.

Dr Layton was a competitive swimmer in his youth. In his teens he belonged to Wharenui in Christchurch and trained with Pic Parkhouse. In the 1980s he was active in masters swimming at Wharenui and trained under Clive Power. At one point he held three New Zealand Masters butterfly records. Prior to shifting from Christchurch to Wellington in 2003 he was a member of Jeremy Duncan’s surf, tri and masters group at Aquagym. He still swims regularly for recreation.

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