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Netball New Zealand name panel to review Commonwealth Games campaign

A three-person panel, chaired by Auckland lawyer and experienced sports director Don Mackinnon, has commenced a review process to evaluate the Silver Ferns campaign for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.


Two independent members will join Don Mackinnon as part of the review panel. Emirates Team New Zealand COO, Round the world and Americas cup yachtsmen Kevin Shoebridge, along with former Silver Fern, Pasifika Community Leader and General Manager of Duffy Books in Homes Linda Vagana have been appointed by the Netball New Zealand Board to look into the performance of the team.

“We were extremely disappointed with the results at the Commonwealth Games and need to understand what influenced the team’s performance,” NNZ Board Chair Allison Ferguson said.

“We believe a thorough independent review is needed if we’re to get it right for the future of the Silver Ferns and we are thrilled with the quality of the panel we have been able to secure,” she said.

Chair of the Review Panel Don Mackinnon said the panel was looking forward to the challenge ahead and confirmed that the process would be thorough and fair.

“Netball is an incredibly important part of the fabric of New Zealand sport and the sport should be applauded for having the courage to open themselves up to the scrutiny of an independent review,” he said.

The trio will analyse all material aspects of the Silver Ferns performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games including the performance preparation and planning, team strategy and tactics, resources committed to the campaign, leadership capability, selection policies and processes, team culture and stakeholder alignment.

It will cover a period from January 1, 2016 until the present time and the panel will be asked to identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign and any other material factors contributing to the Silver Ferns’ results.

They will also be asked to identify any other relevant areas that may have contributed to the performance of the Silver Ferns including high performance pathways, competition structures and alignment with the zones and franchises.

The review process will include Silver Ferns coaches, management and athletes, NNZ management and board members, ANZ Premiership franchise coaches, New Zealand Netball Players’ Association, High Performance New Zealand and key influencers to Netball as determined by the panel.

A peer review will take place at the completion of the panel’s findings to ensure the appropriate questions have been asked in all areas.

Former Silver Ferns captain Tracey Fear, who has a wealth of High Performance experience in both Australia and New Zealand, and High Performance Sport New Zealand senior performance consultant Eddie Kohlhase will lead the peer review.