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The direction of New Zealand's Winter Olympic programme is under scrutiny in a review by sports funding agency Sparc.

New Zealand's results at the Vancouver Winter Games this year were ordinary, with the pick of the performances coming from snowboarder Kendall Brown, who finished 15th in the halfpipe, and the 11th and 14th places of skeleton racers Ben Sandford and Tionette Stoddard.

Sparc's four-year investment in the winter sports programme ends this year and the aim of the review is to assess the best way forward.

The Academy of Sport South Island, based in Christchurch, runs the winter performance programmes and deals with athletes from a range of sports.

That makes for a different funding approach from summer sports, which are assessed individually.

"We were always going to do a review and have a look at the appropriate model going forward, if we should be supporting individual sports rather than a collective group," Sparc high performance boss Marty Toomey said.

The disappointing results had no bearing on the review, he added. Had New Zealand done well in Vancouver there would still have been fresh assessment.

"The same process would definitely have been followed. Sometimes when things are rosy the risk is you don't dig deep enough."

The key question for the review is how best to invest through to the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.

"Do we take a long-term view and make our decision now in terms of who we're investing in and how much we're doing, or is it something we want to do further work on," Toomey said.

The aspect of most interest to athletes is how much money will be on offer. In the four years from 2007 to the end of this year the Sparc core investment was $2.4 million.

The review would help to ascertain how much should be put into winter sports over the next four years.

While there was disappointment at some of the performances in Vancouver, Toomey pointed out that those with the worst results had not been supported through the winter sports programme because they were not at a level Sparc considered high enough to invest in.

"The targets we chased with the winter programme was around the top 16 or better. That is a fundamental of all our investment philosophy. We invest where we think there is the best return."

One issue to be studied is location.

While the academy is based in Christchurch, Snow Sports New Zealand is in Wanaka. That makes sense geographically, given that Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone - not to mention Snow Park, ideal for practising jumps and tricks, and Snow Farm, a fine cross-country and biathlon facility - are in their backyard.

Toomey is less concerned about whether they should be based in one spot than in making sure the funding mechanism is right.

Consultations are complete, and final reports are being written to be presented to the Sparc high performance board next month. In December all sports will discover how they have fared when the board announces its decisions.