Changes rung to fix Bike New Zealand's books

Last updated 10:23 29/05/2014
Simon Perry

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Bike New Zealand is undergoing fundamental change as the nation's second-biggest Olympic investment attempts to fix serious governance and financial problems.

Posting a net loss of $169,685, a number of board changes have been rung at the organisation's annual general meeting.

Waikato businessman Simon Perry has taken over as chairman while former world champion Alison Shanks and former interim chief executive Brian Broad have also been added to the top table.

Former High Performance Sport New Zealand administrator, Andrew Matheson, has also just begun as the organisation's new chief executive.

The taxpayer-funded organisation, which received $18.3 million in public funding for its last Olympic Games alone, only avoided posting "a relatively large" financial deficit at last year's AGM after it flipped a $200,000 website expense into its list of assets.

But this time, the red numbers couldn't be avoided with a $169,685 loss recorded in the books.

Sport New Zealand has also spent $70,500 in taxpayer money reviewing the organisation - but chief executive Peter Miskimmin was blocking the contents of the document from being released after considering whether there was "an overriding public interest".

BikeNZ lost its principal sponsor two years ago and at an operational level has been under serious pressure during that time.

Last year successful sprint coach Justin Grace and chief executive Kieran Turner both suddenly quit BikeNZ ahead of an impending relocation to a new, multimillion- dollar velodrome in Cambridge.

Recent Stuff investigations have also included claims a BikeNZ junior development coach has tried to influence young riders to take pain pills before races.

New chief executive, Andrew Matheson, says BikeNZ simply wants to break even next year - but claims the organisation is "far from crisis".

As chairman. Perry replaces Richard Leggat who stood down from the position at the weekend, admitting change was needed.

Perry says his appointment is a "privilege".

"It's a privilege to be appointed as chair and help build on the platform already laid, recognising the country's growing interest in Bike in all its forms," Perry said.

"An early priority will be to develop communications with our wider biking community and our key stakeholders especially our member organisations."

Perry was also chairman of Perry Group of companies that he ran as CEO for 15 years, and currently chaired the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, Swim Waikato and St Peters Swimming Academy.

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He has links to cycling as chairman of the Te Awa Charitable Trust, which is building the Te Awa Cycle Trail, and chairman of the Home of Cycling Trust that built and operates the new velodrome complex that houses BikeNZ, Triathlon NZ and other sporting entities.

- Stuff

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