Into The Red Zone

By David

When bad people are under pressure their mistakes multiply. That is certainly true of those responsible for Swimming New Zealand. A few years ago I used to be very careful about what was written on Swimwatch about Cameron, Byrne, Toomey and Coulter. I didn’t want to be sued. Now I don’t care. The defence of truth is so impregnable no action of theirs could possibly succeed.
Take the email sent by President Coulter to the Bay of Plenty Centre today. In it he says, “The SNZ Board disagrees with your opinion on these items.” Now I’ve read every Swimming New Zealand Board minute posted on their precious website and cannot find a single reference to the Bay of Plenty letters. If I was a Board member of Swimming New Zealand I would be very concerned about a President who assumes his opinions are the views of the whole Board – especially when the President is as out of control as this one.

However the clause of most concern in President Coulter’s letter is the following.

“There was much discussion at the AGM about the next phases and approvals required. However the motion approved according to the records of the meeting did not include the wording you have in italics. We believe the draft minutes are accurate, and we await approval by the next General Meeting. The sentiment of the meeting was that we should all be involved in decisions progressing the organisation and that will be the case.”

Is the wording of this clause the product of a crook and a complicit attorney? See what you think. The second sentence says, “The motion approved according to the records of the meeting did not include the wording you have in italics.” How bloody obvious is that? Of course the minutes that are now on their website do not include the original words. Murray Coulter took them out. Coulter doctored the minutes. And now he’s gambling on the next AGM approving the phony minutes. How does Swimwatch know this? Here is how.

  1. The Bay of Plenty version of the minute was written down at the AGM by two Regional delegates who have copied Swimwatch with their notes.
  2. The Bay of Plenty version of the minute was copied by Swimwatch for the story posted in January called “In the Vanguard of Political Intrigue” from the original AGM minutes posted on the SNZ website.
  3. The Bay of Plenty version of the minute is still shown in the Project Vanguard notes recorded on the SNZ website.


Does any Swimwatch reader really believe it is possible for four independent sources who have never met each other to construct exactly the same wording for exactly the same minute, if that minute never existed? Of course it’s not. Coulter altered the minutes and now he is in full cover-up mode.
President Coulter’s next sentence is usually the product of advice from a second-rate lawyer. It says. “We believe the draft minutes are accurate.” Notice the phrase, “we believe”. That’s a dead giveaway qualification used by the guilty-as-hell. Just in case things go bad, President Coulter’s lawyer has left an escape route. “We never said the minutes were accurate, we just thought they were accurate.” Yea right and Bill Clinton never had sex with that woman.

Mistakes and lies reported to me today were not restricted to President Coulter. Byrne is under pressure and is beginning to panic. A delegate at the SNZ Project Vanguard meeting last weekend told me that Byrne announced to the meeting that the Absolute Insurance Company’s sponsorship of the Auckland Centre was putting SNZ’s State Insurance sponsorship at risk. There are two pretty serious errors in that lie. First, Absolute does not sponsor Auckland Swimming. They sponsor the Swimming League. Second, the Absolute Insurance involvement in swimming sponsorship predates State’s sponsorship. State simply don’t care that Absolute is helping provide the League prize money. If Byrne did say this stuff, he was lying.
The same delegate told me Byrne was also asked if anyone opposed to Project Vanguard had been invited to the Wellington meeting. Or was this a Nuremberg “Rally of Honour” for the party faithful. “Certainly not”, Byrne told the meeting. This event was for a cross section of opinion. “What about a well know opponent from Bay of Plenty”, Byrne was asked. “Yes”, Byrne said, she had been specifically invited. Well, you will not be surprised to hear, that was also a lie.

Talking about invitations, our Club received an invitation today from Auckland Swimming to attend a meeting to hear about Project Vanguard. Here is what the email said.

All Auckland Clubs. You will no doubt be aware that SNZ has been taking significant advances as it relates to Project Vanguard – these have profound implications for all of who participate in the sport and will shortly involve us as a regional body making some important choices that will affect all of our futures. While all is not completely clear there are now four clear choices which have been tabled by Swimming New Zealand as being their preferred models for consideration. The Auckland Board feels that matters have now reached a point where it is vital that clubs are once more be engaged in this process. They have asked me to invite you all to a meeting to discuss Project Vanguard at Sports House, Harbour Sport Albany on 19th May at 7:00 pm. This invitation is open not just to club officers but also to any member who has an interest. Regards

Thank you Auckland Swimming for the opportunity to discuss Project Vanguard. Faced with the SNZ dirty pool discussed in this article it is a most important initiative. I do hope it is enthusiastically supported by all swimming people. My guess though is that SNZ will paint it as some sort of insurrection.
And finally today I was contacted by our lawyers who tell me their report on Swimming New Zealand’s bad behaviour will be delivered this Thursday.

Most certainly the sport of swimming has just entered the red zone. The signs are good. My feeling is that a touchdown is imminent. I’m just not sure yet who is going to do the scoring.

  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not has got nothing on SNZ. Do you know what they have done this morning? They have taken down the SNZ Vanguard Question and Answer page that reported on the original AGM minute. Once again they have indulged in a bit of perverting the course of justice; tampering with the evidence. The problem is they do it so badly. Don’t the understand we have a photoshot copy of the page? Being dishonest and stupid is a real problem for those guys.

    Does anyone know if the TAB would take a bet on how long it is before President Coulter and Byrne deny the Question and Answer page ever existed?

  • Just to ensure there is a permanent record of the Question and Answer that Swimming New Zealand removed from their website this morning we have copied the relevant portion below. This is the information President Coulter did not want you to read. This is the information your President and your CEO are prepared to hide from you.

    “4. Will this progress from Phase 2 to Phase 3 be put to the delegates to approve?

    This was discussed at the Forum on Saturday 11th September and again in General Business at the SNZ AGM on Sunday 12th September. After robust discussion, a resolution was put to the vote and was passed. The resolution read:
    Project Vanguard Phase 3:
    The original resolution read:

    “That the board appoint a sub-committee consisting of three board members and three nominated regional representatives to review the current regional structure and make recommendations to the board as to how this could be optimised”
    Project Vanguard seeks the ratification from this Annual General Meeting to continue this process recognizing the independent regional funding streams and the need for continued consultation and communication with all stakeholders. Approval from the membership will continue to be sought at the end of each phase of the project seeking continuation to the next.
    Any resulting outcomes or recommendations requiring constitutional change will need to be considered and approved by a Special General Meeting of SNZ.”

  • Mustapha Mond

    This is all very disturbing.