How To Waste 29 Million Dollars

January 12th, 2019

The previous Swimwatch post discussed how Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) managed to get the government to hand over $29 million. SNZ made promises they could not keep. They issued false prospectuses. They lied. This post will look at the other side of the balance sheet. How did SNZ spend the money? We have said that it was wasted because of three words – centralisation, ignorance and greed.

We have often discussed the failures of the centralised training program. It took SNZ nineteen years to realise the truth of what they were being told. But eventually it dawned on them and centralisation was abandoned. The fact it took nineteen years to realise the obvious says all we need to know about the IQ of those in Antares Place.  Sadly what Gary Francis offered as a replacement to centralised training is no better.

We have also commented on the role ignorance has played in the failure of swimming. Recently I explained how my high school swimming was inadequate preparation to help international athletes. Primary school arithmetic classes do not equip you to teach quantum physics to doctorate-level mathematicians. In fact a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. When I look back on my early coaching mistake it is a wonder that Toni, Nichola and Jane survived. I’m sure they would not have prospered had it not been for the wise counsel of Jelley and Lydiard. To my credit it took me a lot less than nineteen years to understand their message.

The CVs on display at SNZ reek of high school swimming sports. For example this is how the SNZ website describes Chairman Bruce Cotterill’s interest in sport.

Bruce is passionate about swimming and has been an active swimmer all of his life. He was a competitive swimmer in his teens before becoming active in Surf Life Saving and subsequently Triathlon and Ocean Swimming which has enabled him to remain involved in the sport to this day. In addition to swimming, Bruce plays golf and tennis.

A competitive swimmer in his teens, active in surf lifesaving, senior triathlons, golf and tennis – seriously I cannot imagine a worse CV to guide the career of a Lauren Boyle than that. I’d rather start with someone who had spent his/her sporting career sitting on a couch playing Space Invaders than Cotrerill’s amateur fruit salad.

Steve Johns claims a similar CV. The SNZ website says.

Johns also has a successful background as a sporting participant in water sports as a former New Zealand water polo representative and a titleholder in national surf lifesaving and age group swimming.

Of course Cotterill was going to pick Johns to be CEO – water polo, surf lifesaving and age-group swimming. Spot the difference. No wonder performance swimming in New Zealand is a mess.

Gary Francis has at least spent time on the side of a pool. Sadly once again the bulk of it has been with para-swimmers or age-group members of the North Shore Swimming Club. Again his experience is that “Gee Whiz” brigade stuff that is such a danger to senior performance swimmers. In my opinion the three guys running swimming in New Zealand are not equipped to do the job. Their training and background almost guarantees they will make bad decision. We should not therefore be surprised when that is what happens.

But the characteristic that has the greatest negative effect on the sport is greed. All the $29 million given to SNZ has been wasted on administration. Only a few pennies have gone to those who produce. Swimmers, coaches and clubs have seen next to nothing. Johns and Francis live like kings while the sport dies of malnutrition. The manner in which the money has been spent is a disgrace.

You will see that the total spent by SNZ comes to more than $29 million. The reason for that is because SNZ receive income, not only from the government, but also from affiliation fees, sales and other grants. Here then is an analysis of how Cotterill, Johns and Francis and their predecessors have spent the $29 million given by the government (ie, you and me – the taxpayers) and the income received from others.

It should be noted that when I talk about money paid to swimmers I mean money, like wages, actually paid to swimmers to spend as they wish; to buy a car, put a deposit on a house, buy groceries, live like normal human beings. Paying for a Francis ego trip training camp in Auckland does not count as money being paid to swimmers. Here are the numbers.

Year $ Admin. $ Swimmers % Admin % Swimmers
2000 1249484 58711 95.5 4.5
2001 1253153 20730 98.4 1.6
2002 1364388 44500 96.9 3.1
2003 1375124 57500 96.0 4.0
2004 1965577 36750 98.2 1.8
2005 2363429 33400 98.6 1.4
2006 3444307 222637 93.9 6.1
2007 3794184 224631 94.1 5.9
2008 3152086 220895 93.4 6.6
2009 3059963 275926 91.7 8.3
2010 3366829 329138 91.1 8.9
2011 3784182 340084 91.8 8.2
2012 4136472 327437 92.7 7.3
2013 3988307 332394 92.3 7.7
2014 4453949 181299 96.1 3.9
2015 3512320 232526 93.8 6.2
2016 3740197 132430 96.6 3.4
2017 3389598 128148 96.4 3.6
2018 2999702 95498 96.9 3.1
TOTAL/AV. 56393251 3294634 94.2 5.8

Figures do not lie. In nineteen years since the year 2000 SNZ has spent $59,687,885. Of that total $56.4 million (94.2%) has been spent on administration; spent by bureaucrats like Johns, Cotterill and Francis on themselves and their SNZ Empire. Swimmers on the other hand were paid only $3.3 million (5.8%).

And even those disastrous figures are putting SNZ in the best possible light. Most of the $3.3 million credited in these figure as being paid by SNZ to swimmers is PEGS and Prime Minister’s money paid by the central Government. SNZ has no option but to give it to the swimmers. My bet is Cotterill, John and Francis would take that too if they could.

Without the money given to swimmers by central Government – in other words money paid to swimmers from SNZ funds, the numbers since the year 2000 would be:

Paid on Admin. Paid to Swimmers % to Admin % to Swimmers
56,393,251 152,500 0.2 99.8

So take your pick – SNZ at best has given swimmers 5.8% of its income or at worst 0.2%. Either way I’m sure that must seem wrong to you. Whether swimmers are getting five cents from each dollar or one cent from every five dollars it has been a “Great SNZ Rip-off”.

Here we have an organisation responsible for the welfare of swimmers, which is forever telling the world how important swimmers are, and yet spends 94.2% or 99.8% of its money on itself and only 5.8% or 0.2% on New Zealand’s swimmers. That is greed and it is killing the sport, not only in New Zealand but around the world. Fortunately swimmers are beginning to understand the injustice. $56.4 million spent on the Antares Place office while 6,000 swimmers get as little as $152,500 is flat out wrong.

Greed has hurt the sport of swimming badly. Fortunately it is also going to see the sport change. Questions that yesterday would never have been asked are now demanding answers. Is Antares Place value for money? Is it worth $56.4 million? What would happen if it was savagely cut in size? Do swimmers deserve a more? As sure as god made little green apples what has happened since the year 2000 is not right. It has to change.

Call The Serious Fraud Office

January 11th, 2019

I would never suggest that Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) bureaucrats, Cotterill, Johns and Francis or their predecessors, were guilty of illegally misappropriating money provided by the government. I have no doubt that all the money provided has been properly accounted for. A qualified person has kept the accounts and a good auditor has been called in to check the work. The amount of money received and the amount spent will be accurate. The numbers will add up.

However, while the accounts may be technically as clean as the driven snow are they morally clean?  Are they pure and wholesome or is there a sinister lack of moral accountability that should concern the members?

These questions are important. SNZ has been stunningly successful at screwing money out of the government. Peter Miskimmin has coughed up big time. The table below shows the amount received by swimming in the 18 years since 2000.

Year SNZ Government Income
2000 358704
2001 348903
2002 404228
2003 456777
2004 510000
2005 1222411
2006 2307812
2007 1970068
2008 1902623
2009 1979010
2010 2038928
2011 1962838
2012 2233877
2013 2389813
2014 2495292
2015 2189533
2016 1659030
2017 1413148
2018 1176498
TOTAL 29,019,493

As you can see the total government money bummed by SNZ since the year 2000 is $29,019,493; an average of $1,612,194 a year. I bet Cotterill and his mates wish they were getting that average amount these days. $29 million is a huge sum of money. If SNZ had put it in the bank each year it would be earning $90,000 a month today. That’s as much as they got from the government in 2018. $29 million could also have bought 124 years on a cruise ship or 60,000 years of ice cream, or a Falcon 7 jet.

Instead SNZ spent it on what? Largely themselves is the answer. But what the money was spent on is not the real problem. The most stunning question is what on earth did SNZ promise to get the money? What did Peter Mikimmin expect to get for his $29,019,413?

Surely Miskimmin is not so stupid that he hands out $29 million for no reason. Consider this fact. The government has given SNZ $3 of our tax money every minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop for eighteen years. In the time it takes to read this post Mikimmin will have given SNZ another $60. Not even Miskimmin is stupid enough to do that without the expectation of getting something in return. What did SNZ promise? What are they still promising? I’m guessing it wasn’t 124 years on a cruise ship, 60,000 years of ice cream or a Falcon jet. Although this is SNZ; anything is possible.

My guess is all sorts of pipe dreams were trotted out. SNZ has never been shy about over promising. In fact there is a remarkable consistency about the SNZ fairy tale. We were told the team that swam in the Sydney Olympic Games would do well but was really there to prepare for podium finishes in Athens. Four years later the Athens team would also do well but was there to prepare for Beijing. Four years later the Beijing team would also do well but was there to prepare for London. The same thing was said about London and Rio.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Gary Francis is reading from the same movie script today. Expectations for the Tokyo Games should be modest but in 2024, just look out. New Zealand will be there to stun the swimming world. Gary Francis is a Jan Cameron verbal clone.

The reality is that five Olympic Games have come and gone since the year 2000 and New Zealand has won nothing. $29 million has been spent for no return. In the commercial world Directors and CEOs would be in jail for the way SNZ has behaved. Over-promising is a serious offence. The Security’s Act is very clear. This is what it says.

Where a prospectus, that includes an untrue statement, is distributed, every person who signed the prospectus commits an offence.

Every person who commits an offence against this section is liable on conviction to—

·        imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; or

·        a fine not exceeding $300,000

The plans that SNZ submit to High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) are effectively commercial prospectuses. They say that in return for giving SNZ an amount of money HPSNZ can expect to receive certain specified benefits. Arguably SNZ has included untrue statements in many of the 18 prospectuses submitted since the year 2000. Over-promising once is a mistake, twice deserves a warning but eighteen occasion is 5 years in jail and $300,000 fine territory.

The lack of results confirms that the Board of SNZ has taken the government’s money under false pretences. And that is against the law. It is no good saying, “Oh we thought we would do well. We tried our best.” Petricevic, Roest and Steigrad from Bridgecorp plus others tried that defence and ended up in Mt Eden Prison.

When you ask for and get $29 million there is an obligation to perform. It is not an option. It is compulsory. SNZ has failed to deliver against the obligations it accepted when it held out its greedy little hands and took the $29 million. SNZ is perfectly happy to pay bloated salaries and lease expensive SUVs with the government’s money. They are good at the spending side of the balance sheet. But sadly SNZ has failed totally to deliver on its promises.

There is an obvious question – why has SNZ failed so spectacularly? That is a topic for another day. However three words come close to explaining the cause – centralisation, ignorance and greed. Centralisation, because for years SNZ demanded the right to control the preparation of every good swimmer in the country. Ignorance, because Cotterill, John and Francis don’t have a clue about the product. Cotterills recreational triathlons, Johns high school swimming and Francis club age-group coaching do not equip them to run an international swim program. Greed, because the lion’s share of the $29 million was spent on administration and fringe activities such as learn to swim tuition. Performance swimming only received a tiny amount of the $29 million. Most of the money stayed inside the glass doors of the Antares Place offices. None of it made it out into New Zealand’s swimming pools where it would have done some good.

SNZ lied to get the money and then misspent it.

Civil Disobedience

January 9th, 2019

I have previously discussed the importance of New Zealand’s elite swimmers engaging in a coordinated program of civil disobedience. Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) bureaucrats Steve Johns and Gary Francis are not going to change on their own. Life is too good for them the way things are. They receive bloated salaries and drive around in expensive leased SUVs while swimmers have to cough up $5,300 each to represent the country at a world championship. Why would Johns or Francis want to change that?

Only when the pain of holding onto the status quo is greater than the comfort of their current privileged lifestyle will they have any incentive to change. It is up to the New Zealand swimming community to make the life of Johns and Francis so miserable that they eventually accept that reform is better than despair. At the same time sports journalists in New Zealand and overseas need to be educated as to why the country’s best swimmers have set out on a program of civil disobedience. The international swimming world is changing. Civil disobedience in New Zealand would receive widespread understanding and support. New Zealand could well become a model for foreign countries seeking to reform their oppressive swimming regimes.

However, make no mistake, Johns, Chairman Cotterill and Francis will fight back dirty. They are not about to give up without a fight no matter how far into the gutter the fight takes them. They will paint New Zealand’s best swimmers as ungrateful, selfish and greedy. They will threaten sanctions and impose selection bans. They will ignore the millions they have spent on administration and the pennies allocated to swimmers. They will exaggerate the pennies spent on swimming and ignore their free ticket junkets to China and Japan. They will lie.

The picture at the top of this post is of Martin Luther King and one of his quotes. He said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” That is exactly what all this is about. The constitution, the rules of swimming and the accepted methods of administration are unjust and wrong. Swimmers are treated like slaves while Francis and Johns live off the fat of the land. The priorities of swimming are corrupt and feudal. Johns, Cotterill and Francis spend millions behind the glass door leading into their offices and nothing on swimming pools in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hastings, New Plymouth, Auckland or Whangarei. That has to change.

Are swimmers more important than Johns, Cotterill or Francis? It is not even close. And yet if you look at the way the money is spent, Johns, Cotterill and Francis are all that exists. Swimmers are nowhere.

That’s why a coordinated program of civil disobedience is so important. In the previous Swimwatch post I said this.

Imagine if the sixteen swimmers selected to compete in the World SC Championships had publicly burnt their $5,300 SNZ invoices in Auckland Airport and then refused to board the flight. My bet is it would be the last time Johns and Francis would charge swimmers to represent the country at a world championship.

I accept refusing to fly to a world championship is asking a lot. In fact it is asking too much of the sixteen swimmers involved. However whether a stand like that should be made cannot be determined by cost alone. What about the benefit? If no New Zealand senior swimmer ever again had to pay to represent their country the value of the action of sixteen strong New Zealanders, burning their invoices and missing this one meet, would be millions of dollars and a 100 year expansion of freedom.

No matter what the rest of their careers in swimming might achieve, they would have made a mark far more important to them and their sport than any medal or record. In the context of swimming their contribution would have been as important as the abolition of slavery, giving women the right to vote and the Magna Carta. What an achievement; to be known as one of the sixteen men and women who made the world a better place.

Of course the opportunity of that moment has come and gone. Nothing happened. Sixteen swimmers paid their $5,300 SNZ invoices and consolidated the belief that Johns and Francis being rewarded while swimmers are screwed is the way of the swimming world. The old order was preserved. Johns and Francis could smile smugly to themselves and drink their latte content in the knowledge that they had screwed the workers one more time. For them it was mission accomplished.

Some of you may be thinking that it is easy for me to be pushing for swimmers to sacrifice in the cause of justice but what, you may be asking, is David Wright doing to aid swimming reform? It is a valid question. So here is my 2019 SNZ Reform Plan.

2019 SNZ Reform Plan

·         Continue pushing the need for reform through the pages of Swimwatch. The reaction of Johns, Layton and Francis is sufficiently negative to suggest that the blog is having the intended negative affect.

·         Continue the Privacy Commission investigation into the lies told by SNZ about the investigation into my coaching.

·         If necessary extend the Privacy Commission’s investigation into a full Human Rights Commission hearing

·         Open proceedings through the New Zealand Courts that challenge the monopoly power of SNZ by asking the Court to rule that SNZ’s monopoly power of swimming is illegal.

And in addition to these personal goals I will continue to look for opportunities for those who matter most, the swimmers, to cause SNZ no end of problems. I have no idea what they will be. Possibly buy all the tickets for the Awards Dinner and then have no one turn up. It would be a better way to spend the price of the ticket. There will be occasions in the next twelve months when we can let the world know that the autocratic exploitation of Johns, Cotterill and Francis has gone on for too long. We missed a grand opportunity at Auckland Airport before the World SC Championships. Such a moment should not be allowed to pass again.

Writer’s Block

January 8th, 2019

For two days I have been struggling to think of a subject to write about. I did consider commenting on the need for New Zealand’s best swimmers to address the disgraceful treatment they receive from Steve Johns and Gary Francis. Being treated as inferior, being poorly paid, being stung for airfares and accommodation won’t change while those affected say nothing. The abuse will continue to hurt generation after generation. The world’s best swimmers have finally realised that truth and have stood up to challenge the FINA dictatorship.

New Zealand’s best swimmers desperately need to follow their lead. Daniel Hunter should be doing an Adam Petty in New Zealand. Lauren Boyle should have done a Katinka Hosszu when she had the power of being one of the world’s best swimmers. In every case change has only come about when athletes demand to be treated properly. Johns and Francis are not going to change voluntarily. There is too much personal benefit in screwing the financial life out of New Zealand’s best swimmers.

Just look at how track and field athletics has changed. But it took the courage of Loraine Moller’s demand for equal pay to initiate that reform. New Zealand swimmers should not sit in Northland or Taranaki or Hawke’s Bay or Wellington or Christchurch complaining quietly about the disrespect handed out by SNZ.  They need to do something about it.

They need to inflict pain on Johns and Francis. They need to cause them discomfort. And they need to make the New Zealand public aware of the reason they are causing SNZ to squirm. At the National Championships why not qualify fastest for the final and then refuse to swim. Why not qualify for the Commonwealth Games and then refuse to travel. Imagine if the sixteen swimmers selected to compete in the World SC Championships had publically burnt their $5,300 SNZ invoices in Auckland Airport and then refused to board the flight. My bet is it would be the last time Johns and Francis would charge swimmers to represent the country at a world championship.

Mohandas Gandi called his protest against the authoritarian British rule of India an act of civil disobedience. That is what it will take to change Johns and Francis. Francis even comes from the country that oppressed India. He should know better than to copy the worst features of colonial rule in New Zealand swimming.

In the end I decided not to write about the sins of the governing body. This Christmas Alison and I were on holiday with our daughter, grandson and son-in-law. It was a really spectacular week. One afternoon our four year old grandson was playing peacefully on his tablet computer. I’m not sure what happened on the screen but speaking quietly to himself, in a perfect British accent, he said, “Oh no not this crap again.” I think it is best to avoid the same sentiment from Swimwatch readers.

So I thought I might reminisce one more time about life and sport at Wairoa College. In my last year at Wairoa College, it was called the Upper Sixth Form, the school had some sporting success. We won a silver medal in the North Island Secondary Schools Swimming Championship. We won the senior team title in the Hawke’s Bay Poverty Bay Cross Country Championship and we won the Hawke’s Bay Poverty Bay Antony Eden Public Speaking Championship. I was lucky to play a part in all three events.

Second in the North Island Secondary Swimming Championships was predictable. My competition was Greg Meade from Gisborne. Try as I might I never could beat bloody Greg. He was New Zealand junior medley champion so I was pleased with the silver medal. I was not so pleased later that night when Greg and I followed our normal North Island Secondary School’s habit of going to Palmerston North’s late night movie. I’m not sure whose plan it was, so I will say we, had the idea that rolling Jaffas down the wooden floor of the theatre would be a hilarious thing to do. It was until a flashlight-armed usher kicked us out into the night.

The Hawke’s Bay Poverty Bay Senior Cross Country title was unexpected. Wairoa College selected the team of five runners based on a road race around the school. My mate Donald from Te Reinga and I were both in the trial. About a mile from the finish the leading pack had been reduced to about eight runners that still included Donald and me. Then 200 meters ahead a local farmer opened a gate to let fifty or so cows out onto the road to walk to their milking shed. Six city runners stopped in their tracks. I too was somewhat concerned but tough Donald ran on oblivious to the bovine dangers that lay ahead. I followed very closely behind as Donald swatted and swore his way through the herd. By the time we came out the other side we led the still stationary city kids by 400 meters; a lead far too big to be threatened. We were on the school cross country team. A couple of weeks later Donald and I flew down to Napier, in a Cookson newspaper airplane, for the main event. I was the second Wairoa runner home behind Billy van Berkham who, in the trial, had been caught behind the cows. The team was good enough. When the points were tallied Wairoa had won the senior championship.

The Antony Eden Oratory Competition was held in Havelock North. On the strength of winning the school speaking competition I was selected to represent the school in the provincial final. The subject of everyone’s speech was “Churchill the Orator”. I’m afraid I cheated a bit and got my mother to write the speech. It was stirring stuff. I don’t remember it all, but the first line was, “To the peoples of the Commonwealth Churchill was a voice”. The rest of it must have been okay as well because the judges picked me as the winner.

And some would say, “He hasn’t shut up since”.

Wairoa College Swimming Sports

January 6th, 2019

A couple of posts ago I was complaining that successfully taking part in high school sports hardly provides the experience needed to guide the career of an international athlete. I was talking about the CEO of Swimming New Zealand (SNZ), Steve Johns, who in his public resume makes great play of his feats as a high school swimming star.

In my experience many of the enthusiastic things I firmly believed as a high school swimmer I had to abandon when I came across the wiser heads of men like Mark Schubert, Arch Jelley and Arthur Lydiard. All that high school, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” stuff had to be replaced by level headed professionalism. In fact I frequently ended long conversations with all three of those coaches wondering how they had been so successful when their enthusiasm was so obviously inferior to mine. If I thought something had gone wrong at training all three coaches would council me not to worry, there was always tomorrow. Almost always if they made suggestions about my training plans it was to reduce their quantity or intensity. I thought they must be getting too old – past their best. I did struggle with the thought that all three seemed to be getting “past it” at the same time – just when I needed their advice most. Finally it dawned on me. I was hearing the same thing from three Olympic Champion coaches – perhaps it was me that needed to change.

It sure took a while but that change was important. The dedication of Jelley, Lydiard and Schubert was never in question. The way they applied their dedication was what was different. There was a level headed and confident maturity about the way they went about their work that my high school conditioned brain simply did not understand.

Having said that I am certain that all those coaches, and certainly me, have huge respect for the benefits of high school swimming or track athletics. Because high school sport is different from the Olympics – as different as chalk and cheese – does not make high school sport inferior or bad – just different.

And so with that thought in mind let me tell you about the Wairoa College swimming sports. Wairoa now has a fantastic indoor 25 meter pool. Dead posh they are these days. In the 60s, when I was at Wairoa College, such luxuries were not dreamed about. The town pool – called the Wairoa Baths – was a 33.3 yard outdoor pool. The location on the banks of the Wairoa River was spectacular and Wairoa’s hot summers kept the water at a good temperature.

I didn’t swim there often. My training pool was in the Hangaroa River at my home in Te Reinga, 36 kilometres from the luxuries of Wairoa city swimming. I did however compete in the Wairoa Baths, once a week at club nights and once a year at the Wairoa College school sports.

Club nights were special. I would leave school and go to Oslers Dairy – it is still there but today it’s called Oslers Bakery and Café – and buy one scoop of chips and a piece of fish. I have an idea that dinner cost one shilling, but that might be wrong. I had a special spot on the edge of the Wairoa River for eating my evening meal. Preparation completed I walked back along the river to the Baths ready to do battle with the city kids. They trained in the pool every day and had things like coaches, track suits and training schedules. My training in the river and fish and chips diet seemed to work though. I ended up winning the Auckland SC 100 breaststroke Championship and swimming in the Nationals. But, just as important, I won the annual Wairoa College swimming sports four times.

The day of the swimming sports was the highlight of my academic year. The whole school, of 400 students, was marched down to spend the day at the Wairoa Baths. I imagine that I was a pain in the proverbial arse. The Headmaster was a very conservative, straight-laced sort of guy. With good cause he must have hated the way I behaved. I knew I was the best swimmer in the school and was determined to act like a god for every minute of the five hours we were there. I wandered around, never dressed in anything more than my speedos. I overdid the dark, staining sunscreen and made sure every race was a new record. This was a God given chance to impress; an opportunity to show off my skill and talent that must not be lost. Looking back I cringe at the arrogance of it all. But at the time I bathed in the adulation. No national or international title can have been so enjoyed.

Thirty years later I went with Jane to her school swimming sports. I couldn’t help but notice the difference. By that stage Jane was a national champion and had represented New Zealand. But at the school sports she sat quietly with her friends waiting for her races. She didn’t seem to be getting nearly as much out it as I did. I guess Mark Schubert, Arch Jelley and Arthur Lydiard would understand why. It’s all a question of perspective.

I must tell you though that my college 33.3 yard breaststroke record stood unbeaten for thirty-four years. I forget what the time was. We were always trying to break twenty seconds but it may have been a bit slower than that.

The Wairoa College swimming sports were great fun and did their bit in creating my love of sport. Although that love has been moderated, channelled and disciplined over the years it remains part of the foundation that gets me to the pool for training today. So thank you Wairoa College. I hope your swimming sports are as much fun today as they were in the 1960s. They certainly were as important in my education as School Certificate, University Entrance or a Victoria University Political Science degree.