August 2022,

Four new board members for High Performance Sport New Zealand

A highly experienced mix of coaches and former athletes are among four new members appointed to the High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) Board of Directors.

The new board members are:

  • Dame Valerie Adams, four-time Olympic shot put medallist.
  • Duane Kale ONZM , six-time Paralympic swim medallist, and Vice President of the International Paralympic Committee.
  • Dame Noeline Taurua, former Silver Fern and World Champion Silver Ferns Coach*
  • Don Tricker ONZM, former Black Sox player and coach, and San Diego Padres Director of Player Health and Performance.


HPSNZ Board Chair, Bill Moran, says all four appointees are internationally renowned and bring deep expertise in the areas of player and coach development, talent development, paralympic pathways, wellbeing, as well as long-term experience in the NZ high performance system.

“The four new members all come with huge experience in, and understanding of, high performance sport, and we believe their knowledge, insights and ideas will be a real asset to the HPSNZ board.

“They will bring their own unique and valued perspectives to the board table, as we continue to implement our 2024 Strategy and the 2032 High Performance System Strategy, to ensure the environment is the best it can be.”

“We welcome them all to the HPSNZ Board and look forward to working with them.”

Having recently retired from competitive sport after winning her fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo, Dame Valerie Adams says this is a new step for her and she feels privileged to have the opportunity to work with the team at HPSNZ.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to help shape the best possible environment for our athletes to have a strong voice, and to thrive on the world stage.

“I hope I can make a difference by bringing new perspective and sharing personal experience of the pressures that can be experienced in the high performance environment, as we continue to build a better future for all those involved whether it be our athletes, coaches or staff.”

Duane Kale, who also sits on the Sport NZ board, says it’s an honour to get the opportunity to connect at a governance level across New Zealand’s high performance system.

“HPSNZ is working from a strong base, and I look forward to contributing to the fine tuning of the high performance system to ensure our athletes and people within the system are thriving.  I want our system to continue to be viewed as world leading, be valued by the New Zealand public, but most importantly to have the trust and confidence of athletes.”

“Being able to sit on both the Sport NZ and HPSNZ boards, gives me the opportunity to help navigate the strategic priorities of both organisations to leverage mutual benefit and impact for Aotearoa.”

Coach of the World Champion Silver Ferns, Dame Noeline Taurua, says this is a different pathway for her, and she is honoured to have the opportunity to contribute at a strategic level for the good of all sports.

“I have experienced sporting life from grass roots through to high performance, both as a former athlete and as the current coach of a national team. I am passionate about a high performance system that recognises and acknowledges the unique challenges that each sport faces.

“It is crucial that the high performance system is integrated and streamlined and that it continues to grow, prepare and support world class people to compete on the world stage.”

Don Tricker has spent many years in high performance sport, including as a player, a coach and manager.  He’s currently the Director of Player Health and Performance at the San Diego Padres in the MLB and says he’s excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of New Zealand sport through his role as an HPSNZ board member.

“Throughout my time in sport, I have had the great fortune to work alongside many outstanding people. The makeup of the HPSNZ board is another example. I look forward to leveraging off the knowledge and experience of my fellow board members as we provide our people with the best chance of success.”

The four new directors fill vacant positions on the Board, which will now have a full complement of 10 members.




*HPSNZ is aware that as the current coach of the Silver Ferns, Dame Noeline Taurua may at times be conflicted in her role as a Board Director.  As is standard Board practice, Dame Noeline will declare any conflict, and step aside from Board discussions and decisions when necessary.

New Member Biographies

Dame Valerie Adams
Dame Valerie Adams is one of New Zealand’s most dominant track and field stars. From 2006-2014 Dame Valerie enjoyed an unprecedented winning streak in world athletics of 107 competitions. Her major wins included back-to-back Olympic gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, and four world championship titles. In 2016, Dame Valerie added silver to her Olympic medal collection at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and was later appointed as a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Athletics.

As a mother of two, Dame Valerie continued to compete at the top level and won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (postponed to 2021) whilst also coaching younger sister Lisa to her gold medal win at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the shotput.

Dame Valerie announced she would be hanging up her throwing shoes in March 2022.  She continues to be involved in Athletics through coaching and is the Deputy Chair of the World Athletics Athletes Commission and World Athletics Board Member and Chair of the Oceania and Athletics NZ Athletes Commission.  Dame Valerie also enjoys spending time with her young family, working in the community and with her commercial partners.

Dame Valerie is a leader and role model in the Pacific community, and a seven-time Halberg sportswoman of the year winner.

Dame Noeline Taurua
With a Masters of Science in Performance coaching, Dame Noeline Taurua is at home in the high performance environment.  She has been involved with netball for over 40 years and has fashioned a stellar career at all levels.

Dame Noeline was appointed Silver Ferns Head Coach in 2018 and in less than a year transformed the team’s fortunes to win the world championship in 2019.

She has tasted coaching success on both sides of the Tasman, leading newly established franchise Sunshine Coast Lightning to back-to-back premierships (2017,2018) and minor premiership (2019) in the Suncorp Super Netball competition.

Dame Noeline coached the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic from 2002-2013, leading them to two National Back Cup titles and one ANZ Championship title – the first and only New Zealand team to win the Trans-Tasman championship.

She was also an assistant coach for the Silver Ferns in 2011 and 2012 and represented the team as a player from 1993-99.

Dame Noeline won the Coach of the Year and Supreme awards in the Aotearoa Maori Sports Awards for 2019. In 2020 she won the Halberg Coach of the Year and Leadership awards while the Silver Ferns won the Supreme Award, Team of the Year and Favourite Sporting Moment awards. In the 2020 New Year Honours, Noeline was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to netball.

Duane Kale ONZM
Duane Kale won six medals and broke four world records in swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.  He was the Team Manager at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games and Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Paralympic team at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games.

Since then, Duane has taken on many lead roles in governance and compliance.  In 2013 he was elected to the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board and four years later became Vice President.  He was an elected member of Paralympics New Zealand for eleven years and was appointed by the International Olympic Committee to the Evaluation Commission for the 2004 Paralympic and Olympic Games.  He was appointed to the Sport NZ Board in 2011.

Duane also has an extensive commercial finance career as a Senior Manager at ANZ Banking Group.

Don Tricker ONZM
Don Tricker is now in his fifth season as the Director of Player Health and Performance at the San Diego Padres

Prior to joining the Padres, Don spent seven years as the High Performance Manager for New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and led their High Performance Programme. While with NZR, Don facilitated the development of their High Performance Strategy, facilitated the All Blacks 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign plans, and completed the reviews of those campaigns. In 2008, along with Mike Heron, Tricker completed the independent review of the All Blacks 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Prior to joining NZR, Don was a Performance Consultant with High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ). During his time with HPSNZ, he led the development of New Zealand’s Coaching strategy and attended the Athens and Beijing Olympics in a coach mentoring role.

Don played softball for New Zealand’s national team from 1985 to 1991, finishing second at the 1988 World Championships. He coached the Black Sox from 1998 to 2004, leading them to World Titles in 2000 and 2004. Don was inducted to the New Zealand Softball Hall of Fame and the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame. In 2000 Don was named Coach of the Year at the Halberg awards. He was also honored in 2004 with an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Media contact:

Michelle Pickles
Group Media Manager
021 833 244