After a challenging year Sport Northland is ready to head into 2023.
Sport Northland held its 2022 AGM recently, ending another successful year for the trust.
Current Tangata Tiriti co-chair Libby Jones was re-elected by the membership at the meeting. Libby will serve another three-year term, her third term with Sport Northland.
Libby, who lives in Paparoa, was first appointed as Kaipara District Council councillor on the Sport Northland board back in 2016, however, she did not re-stand as a councillor in the 2019 local body elections and as such re-stood for the board through the elected process, and was subsequently successful at the 2019 AGM.
The board bid farewell to Sheryl Mai (Whangarei District Council), Rick Stolwerk (Northland Regional Council), Kelly Stratford (Far North District Council) and David Wills (Kaipara District Council), whose council terms came to an end.
A Trust Deed remit was unanimously passed by the membership at the AGM, the result of which decreases the size of the board from 10 to eight. Three of those are elected at the AGM (one per year), three Māori trustees are appointed – one by Te Kahu o Taonui (Iwi Chair’s Collective) and two by the Board Appointments Panel, while the result of the Trust Deed remit will now see two local government trustees appointed by the Mayoral Forum instead of the previous arrangement where each council appointed one trustee.
The reduction in the size of the board will assist Sport Northland to meet its medium-term co-governance goal of at least 50 per cent Māori trustees, which will advance the board’s goal of partnering with Māori in genuine co-governance; and further demonstrates Sport Northland’s ongoing commitment to Te Tiriti and He Whakaputanga.
In addition to this, a lot of good practice research has been published on board size, which includes multiple benefits from a smaller board of about eight people.
Richie Guy, a previous long-term chair of the Sport Northland board, was unanimously re-elected as Patron of the organisation for the 2022/23 year. Richie chaired the board for more than 20 years until 2014, and in 2015 took over the patron role from another long-standing trustee, the late Dr Matt Marshall.
At the first meeting of the board recently, post the AGM, the board re-elected Libby Jones and Kath Wharton as co-chairs for the 2022/23 year, continuing the co-chair trial that the board agreed on in July this year for a 12-month period.
This trial enhances the co-governance approach taken by the board and seeks to give full effect at a governance level to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga, New Zealand’s founding documents so that the Māori voice is at the decision-making table as Sport Northland strives toward their vision of “All Northlanders moving more for enhanced wellbeing”.
In their report to the AGM, Wharton and Jones highlighted a great year for the board and the wider organisation, citing such developments as the board’s continued Te Ao Māori/co-governance journey, the development of a new organisational strategy through until 2027, the continued development of governance in Northland and the $1.2 million in funding distributed to the play, active recreation and sport sector via the Tū Manawa and Kauri Mana funds that Sport Northland received from Sport NZ.