Sport in New Zealand in 2018 could well be remembered as the year of the inquiry.

Athlete complaints about the way some coaches and administrators behaved towards them made many headlines in the last year.

The worst of the coaching villains – Anthony Peden and Andreas Heraf – have gone. But Rowing NZ is still looking for a high-performance manager after their poorest World Championship return in 15 years and Cycling NZ needs a new CEO after Andrew Matheson left last month.

Netball resolved its issue with the Silver Ferns coach, but the results didn't really improve.

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But amid the issues regarding athlete-coach relationships, there were magical on-field moments. In no particular order, here are some of the best:

Because he comes from here, and because he's possibly the most self-effacing, modest and attention-deflecting athlete I've ever met, Kane Williamson is at the top of my list.

He's now officially the world's second best batsman and what he could do while others flailed around him during the recent series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, was nothing short of brilliant.

It's extraordinary to think that at just 28, he already has 19 test centuries and this year has become, I believe, the best batsman New Zealand has ever had. He's likely to play for another seven or eight years. Barring injury or a catastrophic loss of form, he will set records that no New Zealander is ever likely to beat.

You could hardly say the All Blacks had a bad year, but when their own governing body doesn't put them up for Team of the Year at either the New Zealand Rugby Awards or the Halberg Awards, you know New Zealand Rugby even knows things could have been better.

The sevens programme has just been sensational. For the two Mount Maunganui-based teams to win both Commonwealth Games gold and then their respective World Cups means they are our star rugby teams this year.

Kelly Brazier's length-of-the-field try to secure the Black Ferns the sevens gold medal against Australia in the Commonwealth Games final might be the most memorable moment of the year.

Kelly Brazier's length of the field try to secure the Black Ferns sevens gold medal against Australia in the Commonwealth Games final might be the most memorable moment of 2018. Photo / Getty Images
Kelly Brazier's length of the field try to secure the Black Ferns sevens gold medal against Australia in the Commonwealth Games final might be the most memorable moment of 2018. Photo / Getty Images

Although it's severely challenged by what Nico Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott did to win their bronze medals at the Winter Olympics.

It had been 26 years since this country's only previous success at this level. That both medals were won on the same day, and that Nico and Zoi are now the youngest and second youngest Olympic medallists ever from this country, just makes it that more special.

There were some other 16-year-olds among the country's sporting stars this year too. The Junior Ferns, the under-17 women's football team, breathed fresh hope into women's football after the Andreas Heraf debacle earlier in the year.

Now that the Football Ferns are in the Women's World Cup next year, it's very obvious where we look for international football success.

It was a good year to be a motor racing driver if your name was Scott.

Scott Dixon won his fifth Indy Car series title, although it's now 10 years since he won the big one at Indianapolis itself.

Scott McLaughlin won an enthralling and season-long contest with Shane van Gisbergen to win the V8 Supercars. The two races at Pukekohe were among the best sporting drama of the year.

Apart from the two sevens victories, New Zealand won 13 other gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in April. But without detracting from any of those performances, the reality is that the Commonwealth Games are struggling to retain relevance and credibility.

That they are back in Britain again in 2022, after Durban said it couldn't afford them, is a real pointer to a not overly promising, or diversified, future. Cities in Canada are not especially interested and there is little enthusiasm for New Zealand to be a host again either - and that's before we get into a debate about the facilities that would be needed here.

So the future looks like Australia and Britain alternating, as has been the case for most of the 21st century. Apart from the disaster that was Delhi in 2010, it's been Melbourne, Manchester, Glasgow, Gold Coast and now Birmingham since 2002. It can't go on like that.

Perhaps the Commonwealth Games Federation could hold an inquiry.