Diana Puketapu-Lyndon will replace Martin Snedden as chair of NZ Cricket, the first woman, and first Māori person in the history of the organisation to fill the role.
The change follows a decision from Snedden, who still has a year to run as a director on the board, to stand down as the chair to allow deputy chair Puketapu-Lyndon a smooth transition into her new position.
Puketapu-Lyndon was first appointed to the NZ Cricket board in 2017 and is now the second-longest-serving director. She chairs the New Zealand Olympic Committee and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, and a fellow chartered accountant.
Of Ngāti Porou whakapapa, she brings a wealth of commercial and sporting administrative experience to the position, including two stints as chief financial officer in America’s Cup sailing campaigns, and one as a director of the World Masters Games.
Snedden, a former chief executive of NZ Cricket, who has served three terms as a director, said stepping down to accommodate a new chair was “simply the right thing to do”.
New life members
In addition to stepping down from the NZC Board, Snedden is also leaving his position as NZ representative to the International Cricket Council. Former Black Cap, and board member Roger Twose will assume that role.
“Both these decisions have been taken in the name of ensuring good, sound governance succession planning, as well as taking advantage of what is an excellent opportunity for a leadership refresh.”
He noted that, since 2013, NZ Cricket had enjoyed a prolonged period of sound and effective governance in support of management, and influential involvement at ICC level.
“I have no doubt that this will continue under Diana’s and Roger’s leadership.”
Also at the AGM, former White Ferns captain Maia Lewis (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Whātua) and Amy Satterthwaite, and former Black Caps captain Luteru Ross Taylor were elected life members of NZ Cricket.
First Aotearoa Wāhine team confirmed
Meanwhile, following the inaugural Māori Women’s national tournament last month, NZ Cricket has also confirmed an Aotearoa Māori women’s cricket team will take the field for the first time.
The team, led by Lewis, will compete at the Pacific Cup tournament in Auckland early in the new year, the first time a senior Māori side has competed since an Aotearoa Māori men’s team played in the Pacifica Cup in 2001.
“This opportunity is a welcome extension to the pathway for Māori cricketers,” Lewis said.
“We have seen great success in NZC’s Aotearoa Māori secondary schools programme, and the recent Wāhine Māori national tournament held in Hastings - and the Pacific Cup is another opportunity to showcase some of our best Māori wāhine players.
“We saw plenty of talent on display at the Wāhine Māori nationals and I’m excited to get the squad together in January and connect not only through cricket but through culture and hauora.
“We are creating a legacy and a pathway for Māori wāhine cricketers for the future.”
Diversity and inclusion lead Andrew Tara said NZ Cricket was committed to improving engagement with Māori and Pasifika.
“Off the back of the inaugural wāhine nationals in Hastings last month, we’re delighted to be able to continue offering opportunities for Māori cricketers,” he said.
“Building capability on and off the field and supporting the development of cricket in the Pacific has been a key driver in our commitment to hosting this tournament.”
Pacific Cup to light up Auckland summer
Aotearoa Wāhine will play five East Asia Pacific zone teams, Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu in pool play at Lloyd Elsmore Park in January, with the grand final to take place at Eden Park’s Outer Oval on January 21.
Luteru Ross Taylor, one of only a handful of Samoan players to represent New Zealand at the highest level of cricket and a passionate advocate for the sport across the Pacific, said the tournament was a chance to continue the growth of cricket in the Pasifika community.
“This tournament represents a great opportunity for Pacific cricketers to play against strong opposition, and in turn gain valuable experience,” Taylor said.
“I’m excited to see the Pacific nations taking the game head on, learning both on and off-field, and most importantly enjoying themselves.
“I would encourage the local Pacific community to get out and enjoy the action.”
The tournament will be officially opened with a pōwhiri on Tuesday, January 16.