Will Soon Be Made Available

By David

Swimwatch readers may recall our decision to file an Official Information request for the Sweetenham Report. Well, Swimming New Zealand has replied. Through SPARC they have declined our request. Their excuse is that they plan to publish the Sweetenham Report on the Swimming New Zealand website in the near future. Or in their words, “will soon be made available on Swimming New Zealand’s website”. The Official Information Act allows requests for information to be declined if the information requested is about to be made public.

The letter from SPARC’s CEO, Peter Miskimmin, advising us of Swimming New Zealand’s decision is reproduced here.

So do we believe Swimming New Zealand? It’s not as though they haven’t lied to their members and others before. Spinning the truth is a skill they have perfected and polished. Just look at the adulation they heaped on swimming’s eighth worst Commonwealth Games’ performance in New Delhi. SPARC clearly didn’t believe that string of misinformation and ordered an investigation into whether Cameron was up to her job. Swimming New Zealand is also the organization that was ordered to obtain the approval of the Regions before progressing Project Vanguard. In a move representative of President Nixon at his worst they altered the Annual General Meeting minutes. We have New Zealand’s best sport’s lawyers looking into that piece of dishonesty.

On and on it goes. To be really fair you wouldn’t want to bet the house that Swimming New Zealand will do anything they promise. So here at Swimwatch we have placed a clock on the website that will count the time it takes Swimming New Zealand to put the Sweetenham Report on their website. Let’s find out what the Coulter gang mean by “soon be made available.”

We know they’ve already had the Sweetenham Report for over three years. Clearly there hasn’t been much urgency to inform the membership of its contents. Now, it seems, disclosure of the Report has become a priority – or at least that’s what they have told the SPARC CEO. In a couple of days, wouldn’t it be good if we could all celebrate Swimming New Zealand’s punctuality in publishing the Report? Or will we? The Swimwatch clock will reveal all.

And the good news this week is…

I have just received the following email from Hayley Palmer telling us about the “ANZAC Swim for Canterbury” event. See what you can do to help. It’s a really good cause.

“You may already know about the ANZAC Swim for Canterbury event this coming weekend.

Having Libby Trickett, Leisel Jones, Brenton Rickard and Jessicah Schipper here to swim is something that I never thought I would see. More importantly, it is a great opportunity to give back to Canterbury. The graciousness of our Australian friends in helping us in this endeavour is quite humbling.
I would really appreciate if you are able to circulate to all club members the following information for bookings and ticketing. This can also be found on the website: www.anzacswim.co.nz


Tickets for the hospitality evening can be purchased through the website as single tickets, Tables of 10, Tables of 8, or a “Table with a Champion”. We will be accompanied by our Australian guests and Kiwi stars such as Danyon Loader, Moss Burmester, and Sophie Pascoe. The evening will include dinner, panel discussions and an “auction” of the stars into our 8 Premier League teams swimming in the Saturday main event. It would be great to see your club or region purchase a table and perhaps hosting one of the visiting stars.


There are Master Clinics on Saturday morning and afternoon. The morning clinics at West Wave are already booked, but there are plenty of places for the afternoon sessions at the Diocesan Pool and the newly re-opened Jellicoe Park Pool in Onehunga. Some of the Australian guests will also be taking clinics early Saturday morning at the Ocean Swim “King of the Bays”. Details and times are on the website.


We will double the seating capacity at West Wave, so there will be plenty of tickets for the Curtain-Raiser (16 Junior teams) at 5.30pm followed by the Main Event (8 Premier League teams) at 7.00pm. While the programme is based on the ASL Premier League format, there will also be a few entertaining moments. Each team will “carry” a non-swimming sports code 4 x 25m relay team. Expect to see Ian Jones and other former All Blacks, a team from Rowing NZ, Black Caps, Black Sticks, a team of Olympic yachtsmen, and a sports media team. The seating is designated as Gold, Silver, and Bronze. You will need to get there early to secure the better areas. There are discounts in each of these price bands for school-age children as well as family tickets.

Running an event of this magnitude there are significant costs. With the generous support of the Auckland Council, ASB Community Trust, Swim T3, CLM (Community Leisure Management), Bartercard, Speedo, Spencer-on-Byron, RealDesign, Absolute Insurance, ASL, we are in a position where the majority of the overheads have been accounted for.


Many of the Australian visitors will arrive on Friday 15th. I would be grateful to hear from anyone willing to act as ‘hosts’. Essentially that would involve pickup from the airport delivery to and from their accommodation at the Spencer-on-Byron in Takapuna, providing transport between the various events, and finally delivering your guest back to the airport, which for most will be on Sunday 17th. If there are any who are happy to help in this regard, please contact Hayley at: hpalmer2nd@gmail.com

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Hayley Palmer

  • simply swimming


    You may be interested to know that apparently Mr Sweetenham himself is coming to New Zealand in May (is that soon?) to run a coaching program in the Central North Island. Suppose SNZ does post the Sweetenham report on their web-site ‘soon’, then Mr Sweetenham will be able to verify that it has been posted in full, unaltered and in its full unadulterated glory. Lets not count on it.

    Maybe if SNZ does not understand what most of us would understand ‘soon’ to mean, Mr Sweetenham could provide us all with his own copy of the report to post when he comes in May? What do you think?

    In the past whenever SNZ has been asked by its regional owners to disclose the Sweetenham report, guess what? – their answer has always been a resounding NO! What has changed now? I think that ‘soon’ also probably means no again!

    Meanwhile, lets watch the clock.

  • simply swimming

    David I forgot, do you think Swimming New Zealand are likely to be buying a table and attending the ANZACs dinner on Friday?

  • Chris

    Very, very, funny! Love your clock, but it seems to have disappeared … I trust it will be back “soon” (hopefully our “soon” rather than SNZ’s “soon”)

    Speaking of clocks or stopwatches – apparently Mike Byrne was seen at a few heats sessions at Opens with a stopwatch in hand sitting in Lane 8 and looking thoroughly bored.

    My question is this? Was he there on his annual leave or on leave without pay, having paid for his own food and lodgings like every other official and volunteer at Opens? I think not! Is he a qualified TK? (LOL) I think not! So it wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of reason to suspect he was there for no other reason than a bit of staged PR to try and convince us all that he really does love swimming and that he is a good guy after all, because look, he can mix it with the grassroots. Oh please!

  • I did ask SPARC if there was any possibility of finding out how long “soon be made available” might be. I am pleased to report they did ask. The reply they received from SNZ was not as informative. Here is the exchange of emails for you to decide on SNZ’s spirit of cooperation for yourself.

    From: David Wright [mailto:nzdaw@yahoo.co.nz]
    Sent: Tuesday, 12 April 2011 4:00 p.m.
    To: SPARC
    Subject: Re: OIA request

    Thank you for your email and please pass on my appreciation to the SPARC CEO for looking into this matter. I appreciate that it is probably not appropriate to enter into a backwards and forwards correspondence on a matter such as this. It would however assist our deliberations if we knew what Swimming New Zealand meant by being posted on their website “shortly”. How long is shortly? Any assistance you may be able to provide in that regard would be appreciated. Thank you again

    David Wright


    Hi David
    I don’t have a specific date from SNZ but they have undertaken to post as soon as possible.


    Ahhh – we now know from the desk of Mike Byrne that “shortly” means “as soon as possible”. That’s important.

  • Earl

    David – I hope the All Blacks team featuring Ian Jones will be handicapped – Before being named as an All Black, Ian was a very very good Northland Swimmer.

  • Chris

    Hahahaha – Check this out:


    So Mark Regan is now going to World Champs after all, but as a “coaching advisor”. OMG. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    This is what I think happened:

    SPARC finds out from the newspaper that SNZ are not planning to send the most senior coach on their payroll to the most important swim meet of the season, and the event upon which the whole HPC is judged.

    Cameron and SNZ get bailed up. SPARC says “You WILL send our coach” as they begin hammering the final nail.

    Cameron/SNZ says: “Alright then … FINE … have it your way” (amidst a lot of toy throwing from cots).

    Cameron/SNZ huddled in heavy conference session: “But how do we save face?” “I know, we’ll call him a coaching advisor, say nice things about him, attempt to justify our decision by saying something about coaching decision being based on swimmers with highest ranked FINA points” and then “Nobody reads stuff on the site anyway, they won’t know”

    But of course, as I pointed out earlier (and easily worked out from the SwimNews ranking lists), the highest ranked FINA points swimmer (on a 2 per nation basis) from last week’s Opens is Lauren Boyle, who is one of Mark Regan’s swimmers (he has 5, Scott has 4, the others 1 each, and the rest train abroad). Go figure!

  • Chris

    But of course, the other explanation is that they read SwimWatch – surely not! SwimCoach101 perhaps?

  • I do wonder if it would be kind to point out to SNZ that Section 28(5) of the Official Information Act says:

    “Undue delay in making official information available in response to a request for that information, shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1), to be a refusal to make that information available.”

    SNZ – we are tired and you have been warned.

  • Paul Kent

    A few weeks before world champs trials ALL coaches with carded athletes that had achieved performance status where asked how we should select coaches for National events

    I believe that the selection for coaches’ criteria was met…. It just didn’t quite work this time and it left out experience.

    Highest FINA point at the meet…. highest to lowest was agreed upon ahead of most swimmers selected on a team…also, % of time under a coach has been in place for a while. (NZ Based) there is no doubt that their are overseas athletes that trust, and work extremely well with Mark Regan.

    Great to see Mark selected, he will balance that team