Meet our Allies!
Hon Grant Robertson
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Sport and Recreation,
Minister for Infrastructure
What does gender equity mean to me?
It means recognizing that to achieve an equal outcome we need to be aware of the systemic and historical bias that have affected women, and the importance of applying resources and support that rectify those structural issues. Being an ally to me means taking an active stance to promote, support and mihi to women in sport and recreation and sport. It means taking the lead from women and girls as to what needs to be done, and being a consistent and active advocate for those issues
Principal & Consultant at Honoco
A great leader in sport I really admire is Maggie Murphy, CEO Lewes FC . Visionary, proactive, innovative, unrelenting and focused upon empowering others. To be a good ally, you need to be proactive about gender equality, not just take a stance / position. As Sue Anstiss says the word ally should be a verb, not a noun.
Chief Executive, Basketball New Zealand
A great leader in sport I really admire is Megan Compain is a great leader in basketball in Aotearoa. Being the first and only WNBA player in NZ she is doing all she can to drive the sport forward in both men's and women's. My favorite sporting moment is the our inaugural GJ Gardner Tauihi Basketball Aotearoa Final where for the first time we had pay equity in our sport.
Regional ActivAsian Lead, Harbour Sport
A great female leader in sport who I admire is Melanie Giles (now at Sport Bay of Plenty). Mel was my first manager of my professional career when we were both at Northern Football Federation. Her passion for the community, particularly those are vulnerable and have less access to resources and participation opportunities, is unparalleled. She's courageous, strategic and a true leader in advocating for those who need. We are very lucky to have her in the Play, Active Recreation and Sport sector.
Director, HT Consulting
I'm fortunate to have had women support my development through out my career. I wouldn't have had key leadership opportunities without amazing wāhine like Michelle Hollands, Hetty Van Hale, Mary Gardiner and Sarah Barson advocating for me. I want to ensure I am doing the same for women and girls, not just in sport, but in all aspects of life.
Senior Manager, Development Services
International Cricket Council (ICC)
For me being an Ally means I commit to addressing gender equity and will speak up on every occasion I see or hear gender discrimination or imbalances. My advice for allies is to take responsibility to be the change. There will never be a better moment than now
NZ Women's Hockey Team Assistant Coach
Allyship for gender equity is is something I already believe in - so it's more around supporting others to believe in it as well. My advice for new allies is that it's not perfect and it will take time, but as long as you have the view to support change and promote gender equity that is a good place to start!
Sport NZ Graduate
Being an ally is using the privilege I have been entrusted with to ensure I am advocating for gender equity and impacting and influencing where I can to support gender equity. Also using what I can to create the space and platform to allow more voices to be heard. Gender equity to me is being treated fairly and appropriately between men and women. Acknowledging that doesn't necessarily mean 'equal' treatment but addressing situations to ensure it is equivalent.
Community Partnerships Advisor,
Team Lead and Active Recreation,
As a young kid I remember Sarah Ulmer breaking the world record and winning gold at the 2004 Olympics. That is probably my first female sporting moment but also my favourite! My biggest advice for allies would be to understand and listen to females so you can therefore be supportive and help them achieve their goals no matter how big or small they are! As a male i am aware that it can be uncomfortable having these conversations, ultimately it is about getting comfortable in the uncomfortable to be a male ally which has helped me have success so far!
General Manager, Huapai Golf Club Director, Gracie Productions Ltd
Amongst the many women I really admire in sport are Michelle Pepper - IRONMAN Marketing Executive. Michelle is passionate, driven and very clever – a world leader in event marketing and highly respected within the global IRONMAN and event community. Shanelle Barrett is truly one of the best operators in the world when it comes to event delivery – as evidenced with the Taranaki Tri Festival. Shanelle delivers events with a social conscience and community legacy with compassion, smarts and honesty with all stakeholders. My advice to Allies is listening is the best tool you can have in the bag. Bring it out often, use it first and use it most. Advice, guidance and other ways of assisting follow. Don't force gender equity, provide forums, environments and pathways to allow gender equity to emerge and survive long term based on solid foundations.
Chief Executive Officer - Eden Park
New Zealand's National Stadium
Leadership must align an organisation's game plan (values and behaviours) and strategic priorities to acknowledge the importance of an inclusive, diverse and gender equal workforce. Through advocacy and championing change on and off the sporting field we can adopt and achieve a paradigm shift where selection criteria is gender-agnostic.
General Manager, Sport Hawke's Bay
Aimee Fisher is an athlete I really admire. I have had the benefit of knowing Aimee through my work at Sport Hawke's Bay over the past few years. I admire her commitment, desire and drive to succeed. She is always willing to give up her time to promote her sport and has recently taken on a coaching role, supporting young people get involved in kayak racing. She is genuine, is a proud Hawke's Bay Kayak Racing Club member and always makes time for young people across Hawke's Bay. Being an ally is someone who is advocating for and supporting a specific topic. Not just talking about support but putting talk into action.
CEO NHG Gymnastics
I believe all people are equal but not all have equal opportunity. Historically women have been marginalised in terms of their ability to progress into management and governance roles let alone recognition on and off the 'field'. This is an opportunity to share stories, perspective and experience but most importantly support the work already done in a practical and real way.
Chief Executive, Surfing New Zealand
A great female in sport is a local wāhine from Whangamata - Jan Shanks, who volunteered 33 years for school surfing in our community. Jan has always pushed for our sport and for our top female surfers. She is a life member of Surfing New Zealand and comes from a strong surfing background. To this day, she can still be found out surfing the famous Whangamata Bar when conditions are good.
Chief Executive, Squash New Zealand
Being an ally is fully supporting balance and diversity in all type of roles in organisations. I was really inspired by Lisa Carrington at the Tokyo Olympics, dominant performance both at the event and over the last 10 years. My advice to allies is to join the movement, take a lead role.
Chief Executive, Golf New Zealand
Gender equity means my 6 and 3 year old girls live in a genuinely fair world where they feel welcomed, valued, and able to thrive in whatever it is they want to do. An athlete I greatly admire is Lydia Ko. Not only the greatest ever golfer from New Zealand but a world class human. She became the youngest world number one in history (male or female) as it showed that anything is possible if you dream big enough and work hard.
Head of Commercial, Sky Television
For me, being an Ally is about walking the talk - and being representative of what I believe in and what I’m invested in when it comes to women’s sport. Across three decades working in and around professional sport I have come across many people and organisations who talk the talk - but walking the talk is not always forthcoming. If being an Ally can go some way to pushing for more walking and less talking, then I’m all in!
Group Manager Play, Active Recreation & Sport at Sport New Zealand
Gender equity means equal, merit-based, unbiased opportunities - requiring conscious and deliberate effort to resource inequity. Coming off the work of so many for so long, it's time for us to stand tall, and to put our shoulders into ensuring equity of opportunity in sport and physical activity.
National Partnership Manager, Sport NZ
A female leader in sport I really admire is my former colleague at Sport Waikato, Robyn Polley who commits so much of herself to others through her various volunteer roles over many years with hockey and volleyball in the Waikato. Polley is committed to growing others and is such a champion for her sports, every weekend is given up supporting the endeavours of young people,
General Manager Active Communities, Auckland Council
There are so many female sport leaders I admire, but I have the privilege of working closely with Jennah Wootten at the moment and she is someone that I am constantly blown away by. Her skill, professionalism, knowledge, relationships, and drive to get things done impresses me in every interaction. She is driven by making a difference, and does so every day.
General Manager, Harbour Sport
Being an ally means females are prioritised, supported and encouraged to lead in their way. So as an ally being actively vocal, and advocating and promoting the importance of creating opportunities, fostering environments and supporting ways to meet their needs. Gender equity is awareness of the disparities that are faced, and the need to unravel the unconscious bias that have controlled our society for so long preventing gender equity. Consequently leading to positive action allowing access for all to resources and opportunities base on needs regardless of gender.
General Manager Community Basketball
Basketball New Zealand
I really admire the incredible female leaders in our community basketball team - Amy McClintock, Meaghan Wilby, Katie Buckley, Lori McDaniel, Nicola Post, Tessa Morrison and Tori Williams. I admire the passion, knowledge and impact they are having to grow opportunities to participate and lead in basketball and our communities with new initiatives like the Basketball New Zealand Emerging Kohine Leaders programme. For me being an Ally is about being an active voice for gender equity and also taking action - empowering female leaders, ensuring a loud and proud female voice and developing new initiatives to connect and support women and girls in sport.
Drug Free Sport New Zealand
Gender equity is giving everyone equal opportunities and rewards, to inspire the girls of today - my daughters - to be leaders of tomorrow, based on female leadership qualities not male "norms". Being an ally is being present and being vocal. Making change today to enable generational change in the future.
President Mountain Raiders BMX
Co - Founder "The Ruby Project"
Being an ally means taking my sons to watch woman's sport, talking with my kids about their favorite sportspeople (both male and female), encouraging my business and my professional network to buy corporate tables at female sports events. Speaking up when false equivalences are referenced in discussion of equity in Male V Female sports. Actively partnering with female sports leaders to build and hold space for females in sport, and resourcing those spaces to be able to apply female specific research to foster successful outcomes.
Simon Wi Rutene
FIS (Federation du Ski Internationale)
Technical Delegate Commissioner, Oceania
Equity considers our duties to others, for example equitable duties one owes to others when in a position of power, like trustee/beneficiary, or coach/athlete. By extension gender equity in my worldview is an obligation owed by a person with a power difference over another, and the understanding, acknowledging and removing unconscious bias so decisions requiring consideration of gender upholds trust and dignity. Being an ally means equal rights, equal opportunity and do all that I can to improve life for the next generations.
Far North Area Manager
Northern Region Football
To me , Gender Equity is not just about equality on a financial level . It’s also about working with our wahine to determine what they want from sport participation. If I look at football , a male dominated sport , with rules formulated and administered by males with female players simply playing the male version of the game. At a high level it works . Just look at the current success of Women's football across Europe and the world . The record crowd attendances and the quality of the games.
General Manager, ILT Stadium
Badminton World Federation
Gender equity is a basic human right towards fairness and justice to all. Two all star athletes that I admire are Lisa Carrington, for her continued dedication to be the best that she can be each and every day and Sarah Ulmer for smashing the world 3,000m individual pursuit record twice at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
A leader in sport I really admire is Maggie Cogger-Orr. Maggie is a rugby referee, who has risen to be at the top of her field, refereeing test matches, including at the RWC2021 (in 2022). Maggie is the only, I repeat, only, female referee in her association. She has battled and defeated stereotypes about a women’s ability to referee top level rugby, and she does it with a consistently positive attitude. She puts effort into teaching young/starting referees. During COVID she organised events for the local referees to participate in online to help maintain the community. 10/10 for inspiring people to be involved in officiating sport.
International Paralympic Committee
Maria Clarke - Sport Lawyer and Governance Expert is someone in sport that I really admire. Maria helped guide me and our organisation on a governance review journey. From Purpose to Regulations, Member Engagement to Proposal documents, Maria covers all good governance best practice and prompts healthy debate and consideration of so many aspects along the way. I learnt so much throughout this journey.
CEO, New Zealand Football
Being an ally means using my position and leverage to address structural barriers to gender equity. It's about addressing the structural and historical obstacles that prevent us from being where we should be. Let's work together to keep pushing for change - momentum is infectious and we are close to having a snowball effect across the sports system.
CEO, School Sports New Zealand
I have been fortunate to work with Louisa Wall recently. Louisa articulately understands the value of sport for those seeking to wear a silver fern, but also for those brave enough to just want to participate in the gender of their choice. Being an ally is the opportunity to stand alongside wahine, celebrating and promoting their right to equitable sport opportunities.
Athlete, Cycling New Zealand
Co founder Podium,
Founder Slow Coffee
Be an active support of gender equity in sport. We need to be deliberate and active to create equity initially in order for it to become the norm in NZ and around the world. I would encourage other males to jump on board! Let's give everyone the same amount of opportunity to reach their potential.
General Manager Belgravia Leisure
I have been an outspoken supporter for equality for some time including presenting key notes at recreation Aotearoa conferences on this very issue. Operating 18 leisure facilities in NZ we need to ensure that we provide opportunity from the ground up for females at least equal to males. If every sporting organisation has the same approach over time maybe we can move a little closer to equality.
Chair of WADA Athlete Committee
Chair of DFSNZ Athlete Commission
Being an ally means doing what is right, it means understanding the status quo and how it exists, and understating and acting to ensure we have gender equity. It's also about knowing that gender equity will bring enormous benefits and opportunities.
NZME (Newstalk ZB and NZ Herald) and
Cricketer Melie Kerr is someone I've admired for many years with her incredible talent with bat and ball for the Wellington Blaze and White Ferns. On top of that, her recent struggles with mental health and subsequent use of her platform to normalise conversation around it are truly inspirational. I guess for me being an ally means using my media platforms to give greater exposure to women's sport. In particular, my weekend radio show on Newstalk ZB is a great vehicle for this and I want to continue to look for ways to equalise the amount of air time we give to each gender.
Clubs and Leagues Manager
Oceania Football Confederation
An ally means standing up for what is right for sport, when it matters. An ally actively promotes the good in the sport and takes action when it is needed. An ally recognizes when their voice will make a difference and supports all initiatives to rightfully place the sport where it needs to be.