Stuff reporters Dana Johannsen and Zoe George should hide their heads in shame. Today they have written 700 words on a 10-point action plan published by HPSNZ. The purpose of the plan, we are told, is “to address recommendations specifically related to either HPSNZ or the broader high-performance system.” Johannsen and George then go on to accentuate the mythical benefits likely to accrue from the 10-point action plan. And in that they are insulting the memory of Olivia Podmore and any other victim of sporting abuse – yes, including me.

Investigative journalism? I don’t think so. More like cheer leaders for the establishment, two journalists petrified of missing the cucumber sandwiches on offer at the Castle table. Why? Because the HPSNZ action plan does nothing. It is a document that will gather dust like so many have before. If Johannsen and George think this is going to do anything more than the dozen HPSNZ action plans that have gone before, then I have a cycleway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to sell them.

This action plan will do nothing to protect the next Olivia Podmore or Aimee Fisher or Lauren Boyle – the next Olivia Podmore will die because Johannsen and George did not tell truth to power. The next Aimee Fisher will be sent to Coventry because Johannsen and George failed to do their job. The next Lauren Boyle will have to leave New Zealand to find protection in Australia or the United States because Johannsen and George were conned.

This time the Conner-in-Chief, Raelene Castle, promised New Zealand this.    

A Cycling Integrity Steering Committee has also been established. Another committee bought and paid for by HPSNZ. The accused investigating itself. The chances of that working are nil. The chances of the committee being around in five years are nil.  

The plan includes various wellbeing initiatives, steps to improve alignment between regional and national pathways and improved data management systems. Another effort to whitewash Castle’s reputation. What does it even mean? What is a wellbeing initiative? How will that make Eyad’s life better. Of course, it is pathetic rubbish and Johannsen and George needed to point that out. And what does, “steps to improve alignment between regional and national pathways” mean? Actually, I know what it means. It means Castle can impose her ideas of wellbeing on individual sports. That paragraph is another Castle grab for power. Would I trust my daughter’s career in the ravenous hands of Raelene Castle? Not bloody likely. Look how well her organisations handled Podmore and Folau. Do not invite this Homer’s Siren with you on the Cook Strait ferry. And oh my God, “improved data management systems”. How is that going to change anything. Would that have stopped Castle’s $25,000 bribe being paid to Olivia Podmore? Would that have got Aimee Fisher on the Olympic team to Tokyo? No of course not.

The plan is going to appoint a “Women’s Health Lead”. That’s another, sounds good, feels good position. I have no idea what the appointed person is going to do, that the National Health Service or every female athlete’s PG isn’t capable of doing better. Words, words, words, signifying nothing.

And finally, Castle promises that “HPSNZ will also implement a systematic approach to monitoring wellbeing and responding to issues including implementing athlete voice mechanism.” That sentence is simply a dodge to get out of facing up to a real trade union. Let me tell you a story. Eyad receives a scholarship from the IOC. The money is processed through the NZOC. It must be spent on training related expenses. Every refugee athlete on a scholarship anywhere in the world (44 athletes from 12 countries across all five of the world’s continents) is permitted to add an amount for coaching expenses to their monthly costs – except in New Zealand. Why? Because Castle and the NZOC don’t like what I write on Swimwatch, the rule was made early on that Eyad could NOT claim anything to assist with my training travel costs. So, Castle can backoff with the “athlete voice mechanism” bullshit. When Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela look after their athletes better than New Zealand, I am inclined to not believe a word out of that woman’s mouth. Make no mistake this is not because I want the money. This is simply to illustrate the vicious vindictiveness of HPSNZ.

So, what would have kept me happy. The answer is a two-point plan.

1.   Abolish every Sport New Zealand appointed Board member’s position. In other words, Castle could have brought back democracy to New Zealand sport.

2.   Approach the New Zealand Trade Union Council to establish a truly independent trade union to care for athlete’s welfare. Not some bandaid over a broken leg like this pathetic 10-point action plan.

And for the love of God, Johannsen and George, do your job. I would imagine the last thing either of you want on your CV is a note saying the next Podmore death is: “because I did nothing. I fiddled while Rome burned.”

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