The independent review into High Performance Sport New Zealand and Cycling New Zealand has been delayed until at least mid-October.

The review, conducted by former solicitor-general Michael Heron QC, was scheduled for completion by August 31. More time was requested to complete interviews and gather comments.

Prior to release, the report and any responses will go before the boards of HPSNZ and Cycling NZ.

The extension has been agreed by HPSNZ in accordance with the terms of reference.


The report's true worth will hinge on whether athletes felt comfortable divulging information after earlier betrayals of confidence.

The review was triggered by cycling sprint coach Anthony Peden's resignation.

Heron is looking into allegations levelled at Peden, including a culture of bullying, drinking and an inappropriate relationship with an athlete.

The review will also assess the circumstances surrounding allegations the former New Zealand sprint coach received identifiable documentation of athletes' Rio Olympic reviews via HPSNZ. These were meant to be conducted in confidence with HPSNZ employees Hamish Carter, Eddie Kohlhase and Paul Smith, and collated anonymously.

HPSNZ chief executive Michael Scott earlier said both bodies were committed to acting on Heron's recommendations, and that athletes should rekindle their faith in the system.

"Certainly if athletes had their privacy breached, that would be a major concern and something to address.

"The separation [of the review from HPSNZ and CNZ] gives independence and credibility."

Anthony Peden urging on a Kiwi cyclist at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. Photo / Photosport
Anthony Peden urging on a Kiwi cyclist at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. Photo / Photosport

However, that's easier said than done given the previous leaks.

CNZ chairman Tony Mitchell said the country's elite cyclists received help from sports psychologists after the initial revelations.

"They have been a key part [of coping] with the media coverage, to make sure the athletes are okay, have a voice and can raise any concerns either privately or with a group.

"They got good support networks around them.

"Cycling New Zealand values people and performance equally. There's no place for inappropriate behaviour of any kind."

Since the review began, HPSNZ has also confirmed some structural changes which could result in staff job losses.

The premise behind the move is to fine-tune the organisation's capability leading to the Tokyo Olympics.

The changes follow a period of consultation with affected staff and the wider organisation.

"These changes are needed and are timed to enhance our relationships with national sports organisations, improve delivery support and increase our probability of success in Tokyo," Scott said in a statement.

"We will now move into a redeployment process for those impacted by the structure change and a recruitment process for newly created roles."

On August 12, the Herald on Sunday revealed a proposal had been presented to staff, who were given a period to consult and respond.

The sporting sector has been struck by a turbulent series of events in recent months.

A series of reviews are ongoing, and key staff such as Peden, football coach Andreas Heraf and rowing high performance manager Alan Cotter have been high profile exits from their respective NSOs. Debate has also raged over the methods of Black Sticks women's hockey coach Mark Hager after an email was leaked of him critiquing the team.

The key scope of the HPSNZ/Cycling NZ review are:

For Cycling New Zealand:

1. Determine whether the allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the CNZ's high performance programme are true.

2. Review CNZ's response to such allegations and behaviours and assess whether such response was adequate and appropriate, including the actions taken by CNZ prior to the allegations' public disclosure on May 30, 2018.

3. Consider any other information of alleged inappropriate relationships, bullying, or other inappropriate behaviour in the CNZ HP programme.

4. Assess the culture of the CNZ HP programme including allegations of a "toxic environment".

For High Performance Sport New Zealand:

1. Identify the information received and steps taken by HPSNZ in the Rio debrief including whether there were any allegations made or evidence alleged of inappropriate behaviour within the CNZ HP programme, and if so, when and how that occurred.

2. Identify whether HPSNZ received any other information from the beginning of 2016 or after, containing any allegations or evidence of alleged inappropriate behaviour within the CNZ HP programme.

3. Review HPSNZ's response to all such allegations and behaviours and assess whether or not the steps taken were adequate and appropriate.

4. Identify how information was obtained by HPSNZ in the Rio debrief and how and when it obtained any other information about alleged inappropriate behaviour; and identify how such information was held, used and disclosed by HPSNZ.

For both:

1. Review the rules, policies, procedures, codes of conduct and systems of CNZ and HPSNZ relating to the management of athletes, coaches, other support personnel.

2. Refer any information obtained about employees or contractors of CNZ and HPSNZ which may give rise to further action, to the CNZ or HPSNZ chief executive – depending on which party it applies to – unless such information relates specifically to the CEOs.

3. Provide advice and recommendations on the steps CNZ or HPSNZ should take as a result of the findings, consistent with HPSNZ's ambition to create a world-leading sustainable high performance sport system.