Ian Francis has been named Hockey New Zealand's chief executive, after spending the last six months in the acting role.

Francis joined HNZ five and a half years ago and has been General Manager Community Sports and Events for the organisation. He led the completion of HNZ's strategic planning process while acting ceo and received solid endorsement from chairman Dean Ellwood today.

"We saw some very high-calibre applicants, however Ian's leadership and achievements in recent months have demonstrated he is the right person, and the board is confident he will be well supported by the wider hockey and sporting community," Ellwood said.

"Hockey New Zealand's board has conducted a robust and extensive recruitment process to ensure we have the best person to lead the sport in the implementation of its ambitious 2020 strategy."

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Francis said he was looking forward to guiding the organisation and the sport of hockey into the next stage of its evolution, both in New Zealand and internationally.

"I'm thrilled to have been given the exciting opportunity to lead Hockey New Zealand, and I look forward to the road ahead," he said.

"We are a very successful sport from grassroots right through to high performance, and we will continue working towards our lofty goal of becoming the world's best hockey nation."