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August 2021,

Joint Statement from Cycling New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand

Cycling New Zealand together with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) will commission an independent inquiry in the wake of Olivia Podmore’s death.

The scope of the inquiry will include the adequacy of the changes made in the wake of the 2018 Heron Review into the High Performance programme of Cycling New Zealand.

“We have been listening carefully to the voices of athletes who have spoken out or made contact with us directly. The Board of Cycling New Zealand are very clear they want to make sure that those perspectives are built into this inquiry right from the start,” said Phil Holden, Cycling New Zealand Chairperson.

“Given how closely we work with HPSNZ, it is important that all of our individual and joint systems are reviewed concurrently,” he said.

Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ Raelene Castle said Olivia’s death had raised serious questions about athlete wellbeing in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics that must be acted upon.

“Olivia’s death has focussed our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing, issues that the system has grappled with across a number of years. Our priority is to ensure we understand what has happened and what more can be done.

“Understanding something so complex will take time. We also must respect and engage in the coronial enquiry that is underway.

“A joint inquiry is the right thing to do to ensure we take a system view of the issue and are sensitive to all parties affected by this tragedy” said Raelene Castle.

The inquiry scope and framework will be defined in conjunction with an independent inquirer, to be appointed shortly. Details will be confirmed next week and until that time no further statement will be made.

ENDS

Contacts:
Cycling New Zealand
Media@cyclingnewzealand.nz
07 595 0323

High Performance Sport NZ
Michelle Pickles
Group Media Manager
021 833 244