Adine Wilson, the former captain of the Silver Ferns and a sports lawyer, has been selected as one of the four members of the Establishment Board tasked with overseeing the development of the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission.
The newly established Independent Crown Entity bears the responsibility of safeguarding and promoting the safety, well-being, and fairness of competition within New Zealand’s sport and recreation sector.
Wilson’s career includes leading the New Zealand Silver Ferns to a gold medal victory at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Currently serving as the outgoing chair of the New Zealand Netball Players’ Association, she also practices law as a part time member of Meredith Connell’s sports law department.
“Joining the Integrity in Sport and Recreation Establishment Board is a great chance to play a part in helping to ensure all New Zealanders have the best possible experiences when they participate in sport and recreation. It’s a massive part of who we are as Kiwis,” she said in a press statement.
Don Mackinnon, who chairs the Establishment Board, which passed its final reading in Parliament last month, welcomed Wilson’s addition to the team, recognizing her as an iconic figure in New Zealand sports. Her work in establishing the NZNPA has had a significant impact on the nation’s sports landscape.
She is one of four on the board which includes Mackinnon (chair) Tim Castle, a Wellington barrister and company director and government adviser on Maori affairs Traci Houpapa.
This appointment comes as part of the broader initiative to establish the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, which was officially enacted into law on August 23, 2023 with the intention of ensuring the wellbeing of sports participants and ensuring they have better support and protections to safely raise integrity matters.
It was established following scandals and reports of bullying and other bad practices in sports organisations such as Cycing NZ, Hockey NZ and Football NZ with prominent sports lawyer.
A review of Cycling NZ in 2018 by Power Lawyer Michael Heron KC found that the organisation had a toxic culture with bullying, poor behaviour, lack of accountability and an inappropriate relationship all existed within a dysfunctional high performance programme. Heron’s report and other factors lead to widespread dissatisfaction about these and related issues in top sporting organisations.
This and similar integrity, drug and ethical issues ultimately lead to the establishment of the Commission.
The Commission will also incorporate Drug Free Sport New Zealand and become New Zealand’s national anti-doping organisation.
Expected to commence operations by July 2024, the Commission will function independently of existing government entities, including Sport NZ and High-Performance Sport NZ.
It will take over aspects of the existing sport and recreation integrity framework, including Drug Free Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand’s integrity functions, such as the complaints and mediation service. Additionally, the Commission will adopt a strengthened approach to combating competition manipulation and corruption.
Adine Wilson’s appointment brings valuable experience and insight to this vital role, ensuring that the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission will be well-equipped to fulfill its crucial mission in the world of New Zealand sports and recreation.