I have mentioned before my application to see the Marris Report into complaints made about my coaching. It has been and continues to be a long and difficult road. It is important for me to win the case. There is no way Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) should be able to investigate any member and then refuse to give that member a copy of the final report. That is flat out wrong. Whether the person being investigated is innocent or guilty they have an unquestioned right to see the final report into their behaviour.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on why that should be the case. We are right in the middle of this SNZ issue. It would not help our cause to discuss every last thing SNZ is doing wrong. And so we won’t do that.

But what I do want to discuss is why it is important to all SNZ members that I win this case. It is important because any one of you could be investigated at any time for a breach of SNZ rules. If that occurs I am sure everyone would like to think they would have access to the result of the investigation.

If I win the chances of the accused gaining access to a final report from SNZ get better. If I lose SNZ’s conviction that they can hold onto a final report and not show it to the accused receive a boost. SNZ is attempting to place itself above the law and that is bad for all of us.

I have mentioned before that we were at the stage of having our application to see the report being considered by the Privacy Commission. This has now been completed and we have been made aware of the Privacy Commission’s findings. I do not want to discuss those findings. They are best kept confidential to be used at the next Human Rights Tribunal stage.

However what I can say is that I am pleased the Commission has come to its determination. I suspect SNZ – not so much.

But there is one sentence in the report of the Privacy Commission that I believe is important to share with you. Here is what it says. The capitals and bold print are mine.


Just consider that sentence for a moment. The organisation responsible for swimming in New Zealand is being told by the government’s privacy Tsar that it needs to go to school to learn about privacy. That is a damning accusation if there ever was one.

Here we have a sport populated with a majority of young female members and the national organization responsible for their care is so bad at privacy issues that the government are recommending it receives remedial training. Who is that specifically? Is Cotterill’s privacy knowledge deficient? Does Johns have privacy failings? Who specifically needs to go back to privacy school?

The Privacy Commissioner is right about SNZ’s need for privacy training. My case is a perfect example. That is why it is important for me to win by seeing the Marris Report. While SNZ believe they can deny me access to the report all sorts of bad things are possible. Take, for example, last week at the NZ Age Group Swimming Championships. SNZ posted on social media a publicity photograph taken in the girl’s changing room. It was eventually taken down but – too late, the damage was done.

You see that’s the problem. When SNZ disrespect privacy, as much as they are doing in my case, anything is possible, even publishing photographs taken in the changing rooms used by teenage girls. And so SNZ if you are tempted to think that the disruption caused by David Wright is unnecessary trouble making, read again the recommendation of the New Zealand Privacy Commission.


Oh and stop publishing photographs on social media taken inside the girls’ changing room at your National Championships.

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