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Five New Members Appointed To The Sport NZ Board

Five new members have been appointed to the Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sport NZ) Board.

Duane Kale, Karen Vercoe, Rakesh Naidoo, Robyn Cockburn and Suri Bartlett have each been appointed for three-year terms. Their diverse backgrounds and experience will bring fresh insights and perspectives to the Sport NZ Board.

Duane Kale ONZM is a Paralympian with significant governance and commercial finance experience. Kale was an elected member of Paralympics New Zealand for 11 years and has been appointed by the International Olympic Committee to the Evaluation Commission for the 2024 Paralympic and Olympic Games. Kale is currently a Senior Manager at ANZ Banking Group. As Paralympian #96, Kale won six medals and broke four world records in swimming at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. He was then Team Manager at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics Games and Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Paralympic Team at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympics. In 2013 Kale was elected to the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board and in 2017 became Vice President.

Karen Vercoe MNZM has held various leadership roles in business and governance. She is currently Chief Executive of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust and chairperson of Te Pūmautanga o Te Arawa and sits on the Iwi Chairs Forum Māori Sport and Iwi leaders’ groups. Vercoe is a recognised Iwi leader nationally and within Te Arawa and led the Covid-19 response on behalf of Te Arawa Iwi and hapū in 2020. Vercoe is a former international sportswoman in rugby and touch. She has served as a member on the Sport Industry Training Organisation Māori Board and the OSCAR Foundation. She was also the author of Sport NZ’s Māori Participation in Sport Review in 2017.

Rakesh Naidoo has worked in partnership with diverse communities for over 25 years. Currently, Naidoo is an Executive Committee member of New Zealand Football, a National Manager with New Zealand Police holding the rank of Superintendent, and on the New Zealand Law Society National Standards Committee. Naidoo brings an understanding of the needs of diverse ethnic communities and experience in delivering on their expectations. Rakesh also worked at the Human Rights Commission as Principal Advisor Race Relations.

Robyn Cockburn has more than 30 years’ experience working as a consultant researcher, strategist, facilitator and educator. She is the Director of Lumin, a consulting company working with sport, arts and recreation organisations. Cockburn is a Co-Facilitator of the New Zealand Olympic Women’s Sport Leadership Academy for retired women Olympians and a Teaching Fellow in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She has significant governance experience and is currently Chair of The Shift Foundation. Cockburn is also an Accredited Recreation Professional and fellow of the New Zealand Recreation Association and Physical Education New Zealand.

Suri Bartlett is a Director and Consultant with over 35 years’ experience. Bartlett is currently the co-founder and Managing Director of Tenzing Limited, is a member of the Save the Children NZ Board and participates on numerous public sector governance boards overseeing the delivery of programmes. His consulting experience spans New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe, specialising in technology-enabled organisational transformations and supporting governance. Bartlett has been a partner at KPMG and served on the Netball New Zealand Board for nine years, chairing the audit and risk committee.

Chair Bill Moran and members Raewyn Lovett and Dr Farah Palmer have been reappointed, each for a further three-year term. Lovett has been appointed as Deputy Chair, and Beatrice Faumuina continues as member on the board.

The Te Pae Mātai team at Manatū Taonga acknowledges and thanks outgoing members Jason Shoebridge, Kylie Clegg, Hilary Poole and Rowan Simpson, all of whom have provided significant contributions, commitment and passion during their terms.

Sport NZ is a Crown agency, and promotes and supports quality experiences in play, active recreation and sport, including elite sport, to improve levels of physical activity and, through this, ensure the greatest impact on wellbeing for all New Zealanders.

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