Buckle up for some more politically correct scandal.

Sport New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand, organisations already under a fair bit of scrutiny of late over their own performance, have decided to leap on board the gender bandwagon, and have told sports that get money from them that they need a quota of 40 per cent woman on boards by 2021 or else.

Or else what? Funding is at risk.


The role, I thought, of these two groups using our money is to promote sport, not political agendas. The role, I thought, using our money, was to reward success on the field or track, to promote excellence in sport, to promote and reward, success, victory and winning. And the more you win, the more support and funding you get.

When did it turn into a city council or community group? Are they going to declare a climate emergency as well?

A sport's job in this arrangement is to succeed. Whether that success is driven by men, women, tall, short, fat, thin, young, old, gender fluid doesn't matter.

What matters is contribution in, results out.

What matters is experience and expertise.

What matters is specialist knowledge, sporting insight and prowess.

In sport at this level, above all else, what matters is winning.

The only people who should be running sport, driving sport, and delivering sport at this level are the best people for the job. Whether their name is Brian or Sue is irrelevant.


Theoretically, would it be nice to have balance? Of course.

But against a backdrop of win and loss, when you're looking for people to take you forward, what counts? What can they bring to your group?

The year after you've failed, and your application goes in for a new year's worth of funding, do you get to say "I know we didn't quite perform as well as we did previously, but we spent a bit much time searching for gender balance on our board. Good news is we got it, but unfortunately no one managed to actually win a medal".

Do you think you'll get compensation for that?

And what are the instructions for boards? Of the two people you've got for the board place, one is male and one female. The male is better, more experienced, and will add what you need. The female would bring balance. Who do you pick?

And how is it, given we are dealing with elite sport, do you live with yourself having coughed to that level of compromise?

Here's the greatest irony.

I would have thought women wouldn't want to be treated this way.

I would have thought every woman who is genuinely wanting and able to contribute to sport at this level would want to be judged on their merits and talents, not picked because of gender.

Because the rule means there will always be a question mark. Are you there through skill or gender?

Next they'll be handing out money for participation for the sport that tried their hardest - that's how bad this is getting.