The Black Sticks women's programme has seen another abrupt departure, with assistant coach Katie Glynn resigning.

High Performance Sport New Zealand has confirmed there are ongoing issues within the high-performance set-up, but stopped short of saying whether they had demanded personnel changes.

Glynn is the third high-profile departure from the squad in the past six weeks following the retirement of defender Brooke Neal in May and last week's re-retirement of Gemma McCaw.

Hockey New Zealand released a statement indicating Glynn had resigned from her role to "take a break" from professional hockey.


"Katie is a valued member of our coaching whanau and she has a bright future in the sport. Hockey New Zealand is keen to stay connected with Katie about future coaching opportunities to further develop her immense talent," Ian Francis, Hockey NZ chief executive, said.

Glynn made no comment.

The defections follow a Weekend Herald report that highlighted a fractured squad still struggling to deal with the fallout associated with the departure of former coach Mark Hager and the subsequent Dew report, which pointed to a "negative" environment.

Glynn's name featured prominently in the report as multiple sources indicated that squad members were surprised the staunch Hager loyalist was appointed to the role.

Responding to those concerns, Hockey New Zealand chairman Mike Bignell said: "With Katie we feel that we have an excellent coach with a proven track record that complements the rest of the Black Sticks coaching set up well.

"It has been very important to HNZ that going forward, no one should be disadvantaged… because of any role they may have played in the review process."

Coach Graham Shaw has been trying to implement significant culture changes within the programme, including throwing more decision-making onus on the players but has achieved limited cut through. More than one source told the Herald that there were elements within the squad and management team actively working against the changes.

Olympic hockey remains one of the most extravagantly publicly funded campaigns, with the recent KPMG Report into Covid's effect on the sporting sector indicating that close to $4.7 million was invested into the men's and women's programme in the 2019 financial year.


Despite the ongoing drama, HPSNZ does not appear to have buyer's remorse.

"HPSNZ believes the women's Black Sticks team has the potential to achieve impressive results in Tokyo next year," chief executive Michael Scott said.

"We are aware of some concerns within the squad and are working with Hockey NZ to create a more cohesive team environment and ensure the programme remains fully on track for the Olympic Games.

"As part of this we are working with Hockey NZ to review its progress on the recommendations outlined in the Dew Report. Some very good work has been done since the report was released, however there are some areas where more work is required."