November 16, 2020 – New Zealand-based executive recruiting firm Ichor Leadership Search has placed Raelene Castle as the new CEO of Sport New Zealand. She replaces Peter Miskimmin, who steps down in December after 11 years in the role.
“Raelene brings tremendous breadth and depth of experience as a CEO in sports administration and is a proven people and organizational leader,” said Bill Moran, Sport New Zealand chairman. “The board of Sport New Zealand sees her has the ideal person to lead our organization forward as we continue our important work in addressing declining participation among young people and protecting the strength and integrity of our sector.”
“Raelene is an open and down-to-earth leader,” Mr. Moran said. “She is someone who has tackled complex and challenging matters, working with and through others. She also deeply understands the sport and recreation landscape and the value this brings to individuals, communities and our society.”
Ms. Castle is one of Australasia’s leading sports administrators, having most recently held the positions of CEO at Rugby Australia and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Prior to that, she was CEO of Netball New Zealand from 2007 to 2013. Outside of her extensive leadership experience, she has held several governance roles in sport, previously serving as a board director of SANZAR (Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship), the ANZ Championship netball competition and the International Netball Federation (INF). Ms. Castle moved into sports administration after a 15-year commercial career, working in management roles for some and New Zealand’s leading companies. She was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2015 for services to business and sport.
Ms. Castle said she is excited about the opportunity this role presents and is honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the organization that serves as the kaitiaki of Aotearoa New Zealand’s play, active recreation and sport sector. “My time in Australasian sport has shown me the critical role sport and recreation play in bringing communities together and the positive impact those experiences have on society,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with our partners and colleagues across government and our sector to ensure more New Zealanders, particularly our tamariki and rangatahi, are able to enjoy quality participation experiences.”
“I believe I am joining Sport New Zealand at a key moment in our sector’s history,” she said. “COVID-19 has had an enormous impact at all levels of the sector but with the Sport Recovery Package there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to solidify the sector and reshape it to be more robust and deliver more participation opportunities. I’m looking forward to being part of that work.”
Sport New Zealand is the main government agency responsible for governing sport and recreation in New Zealand. It was established in 2003 by the Sport and Recreation New Zealand Act 2002, consolidating three agencies into one, and was known as Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) until 2012. Sport New Zealand is accountable to the government through the Minister of Sport and Recreation.
Led by Grant Pryde and Guy Brew, Ichor Leadership Search draws on over 40 years of market insight and judgement, relationships and networks. Its principal focus is on chief executive, senior leadership/ C-level, strategic specialist and governance search engagements.
Mr. Pryde provides advice to boards and CEOs – whether it applies to national and international executive searches or complex projects that build senior leadership teams. He began his working life in the human resources and training and development arenas, before moving into management positions in the IT sector.
Mr. Brew has experience in recruiting for senior roles at executive management levels in Asia, New Zealand and the U.K. He has a decade of experience in banking and financial services, with roles in trading, risk management and portfolio management.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media