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New Zealand: Most Influential

Elisha Chauhan selected 10 of the most influential people in the New Zealand sports industry, and explains how they are each playing a significant role shaping the business.

David Hisco (main picture)
CEO, New Zealand, ANZ

David Hisco has been working for ANZ for over 30 years, holding various senior roles including managing director of retail banking in Australia for a year from December 2004, and global commercial head – a position he still holds along with his CEO title.

ANZ invests a significant aQmount into New Zealand sport through its various sponsorships, including with the New Zealand Olympic team and New Zealand Cricket. It also title sponsors the premier netball league in Australia and New Zealand, known as the ANZ Championship..

Grant Dalton
CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand

Sailor Grant Dalton competed in five Volvo Ocean Races (formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race).

Dalton was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours in 1995 for his services to yachting, and was shortlisted for the World Sailor of the Year award in 2001 by ISAF (the International Sailing Federation).

He was also named CEO of America’s Cup’s Team New Zealand in a bid to improve the team after its five-nil loss in 2003 to Swiss challenger Alinghi.

John Fellet
CEO, Sky Television

John Fellet joined Sky Television, the largest pay-TV platform in New Zealand, as chief operating officer in 1991. He was appointed CEO in January 2001.

Sky is one of the biggest investors in New Zealand sport, and has broadcast every All Blacks game, both home and away, since 1996. Last month it signed a six-year extension to its rights agreement with New Zealand Cricket, the governing body for the sport in the country, to show New Zealand’s international matches and New Zealand Cricket’s domestic competitions until 2020.

Peter Miskimmin (below, right)
CEO, Sport New Zealand

Two-time Olympian and former captain of the New Zealand hockey team Peter Miskimmin has been a member of several boards since retiring from professional sport, including the New Zealand Olympic Committee (1993-2000) and the New Zealand Sports Foundation (1995-1999). He is also a former president of the Olympian Club of New Zealand.

Miskimmin was a board member of Sport New Zealand – then known as SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) – from April 2006 before becoming CEO in April 2008.


David Kennedy
CEO, Eden Park

David Kennedy became Eden Park CEO in February 2010 ahead of the stadium’s hosting of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

His previous roles include eight years with gaming and entertainment firm Sky City Entertainment Group as general manager of group operations, public policy and corporate strategy.

Prior to that, Kennedy was CEO of the St. Lukes Westfield shopping mall, after beginning his career in property development and town planning roles with Auckland City Council.

Murray McCully
Minister for Sport and Recreation

Qualified lawyer Murray McCully has been the minister for sport and recreation since 2008 and oversaw New Zealand’s hosting of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which was won by the home nation.

McCully also supported a bill that passed its first reading by a unanimous vote in New Zealand’s parliament last month [August] which makes match-fixing a criminal offence carrying a seven-year jail sentence.

David White
CEO, New Zealand Cricket

Former cricketer David White began a career in sports administration as CEO of the Wellington Rugby Football Union and Super Rugby’s Hurricanes team from 1997 to 2000.

He then led the Auckland Rugby Football Union and Super Rugby’s Blues team as CEO from 2001 to 2005, before becoming CEO at Bristol rugby union club in the UK.

White became operations director of Rugby Travel and Hospitality in 2008 and later stepped away from rugby to become CEO of New Zealand Cricket in 2012.

Hilary Poole
CEO, Netball New Zealand

With a background in marketing, including over seven years as head of marketing strategy at the Bank of New Zealand, Hilary Poole moved into her first major role in sport when she was made chief executive of Hockey New Zealand in August 2009.

After spending four years in the role, she became CEO of Netball New Zealand in October last year following the resignation of former leader Raelene Castle, who became the chief executive role of Australian rugby league team the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Kereyn Smith (below)
Secretary General, New Zealand OC

Kereyn Smith was appointed secretary general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee in 2011, following her 10-year tenure as CEO of the South Island’s New Zealand Academy of Sport.

Smith also served a six-year stint as vice-president of the International Netball Federation and chairperson of Netball New Zealand. She was a trustee of the Forsyth Barr Stadium, a council member of the University of Otago and director of Super Rugby’s Highlanders team.


Steve Tew
CEO, New Zealand Rugby Union

Joining the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2001 as general manager, Steve Tew was elected deputy CEO in 2003 before taking up the top job in 2008, following Chris Moller’s decision to step down. New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2011, which it went on to win after facing France in the final.

Tew oversaw a controversial five-and-a-half-year deal with insurance company AIG in October 2013, which saw the New Zealand national rugby team wear a sponsor on the front of its shirt for the first time in its history.

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