For Your Information

By David

A few hours ago, Swimwatch received the following comment

“Is it true that Brian Palmer has left Auckland Swimming technically insolvent?? The rumour is that Auckland have major invoices that they are unable to pay and may need to be bailed out by SNZ?”

I posted the following reply.

“I have no idea of Swimming Auckland’s financial position. However I would be very cautious indeed of any story involving a SNZ financial bale out. Anything that organization does will come at a huge price. Several weeks ago I warned Auckland that SNZ would find a way of using the power vacuum created by Brian leaving to win power over New Zealand’s largest region. This story of the need for money could well be SNZ’s first step in that direction. AUCKLAND BEWARE.”

And now Swimwatch has received the following email from Brian Palmer.


May I firstly thank you for the generosity of your comments in this article.  I have done so privately on a previous occasion, but as I am now asking for my comment to be posted it is an opportunity for me to do so publicly.  I have never, ever wanted to be “the story” – if my service in Auckland was of some value to the swimming community and made a difference, then I am pleased.

Now, the reason I am asking for this comment to be posted!

David, I have always admired your honesty.  Whether I agree or disagree with what you write I have always respected the courage you display in putting your name to every claim you make.  Top marks to you.

The same cannot be said for the gutless and ignorant visitor to this blog who has just posted slanderous and malicious rumour attached to this article.

A question has been asked, is there any truth to a rumour that I left Auckland Swimming ‘technically insolvent’? The answer to this risible rubbish is absolutely not.  That there might even be such a rumour is farcical and where it might be sourced from, one could only guess.  But clearly one exists or it would not be repeated rhetorically in an effort to try and provide legitimacy to it.  Is there truth to it? Absolutely not.  To be ‘technically insolvent’ would mean that the ASA did not have sufficient cash, or near cash assets, to meet its obligations.  That simply is not true.  End of story.

Is there any substance to a claim that there is, or that there may be discussions taking place with SNZ relating to a supposed ‘bail out’?  Such a notion is almost too comical to warrant a reply, but certainly not on my watch and almost certainly not in the new Executive’s changeover.  The ASA most certainly was neither insolvent, nor technically insolvent at the time when I left its employ.  And I have been assured, in the strongest terms, that it is not today.

I am proud of what has happened over the past five years at Auckland Swimming.  My greatest achievement is that I have left it stronger than when I came, so taking a ‘pop’ at me is nothing new.  But taking a swipe at the ASA by extension – I will be very defensive.  The ASA is still a small, not-for-profit organisation, and in common with most grass roots organisations of its type is not endowed with great wealth and most certainly does not receive taxpayer support.  However, it does its job and meets its objectives.  A succession strategy was established and the ASA is currently led by an exceptional executive of outstanding past and present swimmers.  They have a feel for the sport in a way in which non-swimmers do not, and cannot.  They are doing, and will continue to do a fantastic job.  The ASA will be stronger under Sarah Thomas’ executive leadership than it has ever been.  I am absolutely confident of that.  She will lead the ASA in a way which surpasses anything that I might have been able to accomplish.  The only people who have anything to fear from that leadership are those who do not like the idea of a strong, competent and independent Auckland.

I would suggest that anyone who chooses to malign another’s reputation should at least have the courage to leave the cloak of anonymity behind.  Then and only then can your readers judge its merits.

Brian Palmer

Thank you Brian for your years at Auckland Swimming – it is sad that a response to this sort of stuff is required at all. Helping put the record straight is a privilege.