A four-person panel of high-profile female sports figures and QC Michael Heron will conduct an independent inquiry following the death of Olympian Olivia Podmore.
Cycling NZ and High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ) announced the independent inquiry panel today, adding they were "now moving to be a participant" in the investigation.
The inquiry into the culture at the sporting body was commissioned on August 19 after the death of Podmore in a suspected suicide.
In a social media post before her death, Podmore spoke of a "cover-up" at Cycling NZ and High Performance Sport NZ.
Co-chairs of the inquiry will be QC Heron, who also led a 2018 inquiry into inappropriate culture at Cycling NZ, and Massey Professor Sarah Leberman.
Rio Olympics silver medallist rower Genevieve Macky (nee Behrent) and Silver Ferns netballer Dr Lesley Nicol will round out the four panel members.
Following the 24-year-old Rio Olympian's death on August 9, the Herald reported that Podmore was allegedly pressured to lie by Cycling NZ during a 2018 inquiry into impropriety at the sporting body.
This inquiry was also led by QC Heron, and part of the fresh 2021 inquiry will be to evaluate whether the findings from the 2018 report were properly implemented.
In an online media conference today, Sport NZ chief executive Raelene Castle clarified this inquiry will not be overlapping with the coronial inquiry into Podmore's death and will be dealing more with the "environmental realities" of culture and support at Cycling NZ and HPSNZ.
"I think there's a very delicate line that we're trying to navigate here which is the job of the coroner and the coroner will be looking at very specific iterations relating to the social media post and the situations that actually led to her passing. So that's the focus for them," Castle said.
"So that's the focus for them. For this review, this is really about trying to look at the environmental realities of Cycling NZ and HPSNZ where we were engaged in the environment from a culture and support point of view, and that is the main focus we will have out of this review."
Participants in the inquiry will be able to engage with the panel through a range of options, including individual interviews, focus groups, direct emails or a survey.
Cycling NZ chief executive Jacques Landry also confirmed any athlete who had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Cycling NZ or HPSNZ will be able to waive that to speak to the independent inquiry panel.
"We have no idea who the panel will be contacting," Landy said.
Landry said they were "pleased" QC Heron has agreed to co-chair the panel again.
"After leading the 2018 review into Cycling New Zealand, he is the best person to test whether the recommendations from that review were implemented effectively, and what we could have done, and still can do, better," he said.
Cycling New Zealand board chairman Phil Holden said that "we will leave no stone unturned" in implementing the eventual findings of the new inquiry - and would not rule out job losses as a consequence.
"As a board and an organisation we are 100 per cent committed to following through with this inquiry; whatever comes out of it, we will address it," Holden said.
"As an organisation integrity's one of our values and we'll hold to that. I think you should take comfort from that."
Castle admitted "I'm not sure the  review will be different" in substance to the 2018 Heron report but assured the implementation of the inquiry's findings would be key this time around.
"I think the outcomes are the real things that are the focus. Some of the feedback we received [on the 2018 Heron report] was that people didn't feel wholly comfortable just talking to lawyers, if you like," Castle said.
"So giving some flexibility around the ways they can engage is incredibly important."
Holden said "the world has changed quite considerably since that  report was issued" and they do not equate the events that led to the 2018 report to be comparable to the current situation.
"It's an entirely different event and issue and we've got a four-person panel that's approaching it and I think having Michael [Heron] back in the mix absolutely assures that you're capturing what happened in the past but actually applying to what we need to as we look forward in this inquiry supported by some fairly strong people around him," Holden said.
On September 11, the Herald reported that Podmore was paid a $20,000-plus sporting grant for welfare reasons.
Several Cycling NZ teammates told the Herald that awarding Podmore a 2018 Performance Enhancement Grant (PEG) when she did not compete at the World Championships that year was unprecedented.
A website for the independent inquiry has been set up at www.cyclinginquiry.co.nz including the Terms of Reference and information on how to provide feedback and access support.
Castle said when the new inquiry was finished it will be released publicly, with redactions only occurring to protect people's privacy.
Aside from reviewing the implementation of the 2018 Heron report recommendations, the new inquiry will assess:
• The support offered to athletes at critical points within Cycling New Zealand's high-performance programme in Cambridge.
• The impact that HPSNZ investment has on Cycling New Zealand
• The impact of having high-performance athletes in one location, Cambridge, for most of the year
• What steps can be undertaken to ensure the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of all individuals in Cycling NZ's high-performance programme.
The inquiry panel
Dr Lesley Nicol and Gen Macky are both highly respected former athletes who have an intimate understanding of the sports environment. Macky spent many years training and competing as part of the centralised rowing programme in Cambridge, while Lesley played 110 tests for the Silver Ferns and is now a specialist sports and exercise physician who also specialises in female sports medicine.
Professor Sarah Leberman brings the expertise gained from research into women and leadership in sport and has herself been involved in sport for most of her life, including as a participant, coach and administrator.
Michael Heron, QC, was formerly New Zealand's Solicitor-General and has appeared as lead counsel in all New Zealand courts. He led the 2018 Heron Report into Cycling New Zealand, which gives him valuable insight into the organisation as a whole.
Castle said they had considered getting an ex-Cycling NZ athlete on the panel but they could not find someone with the "right level of gravitas" and without conflicts with existing coaches who would be appropriate.
Key objectives of the 2021 inquiry:
• To assess the adequacy of the implementation of the recommendations from the 2018 Report by Cycling New Zealand and HPSNZ (noting both areas of strength and
opportunities for improvement);
• To identify areas of further improvement that would ensure the wellbeing of athletes, coaches, support staff and others involved in Cycling New Zealand's high-performance programme are a top priority within the environment;
• To assess the support offered to athletes at critical points within Cycling New Zealand's high-performance programme (by both Cycling New Zealand and HPSNZ), with a particular emphasis on induction, selection and exit transitions;
• To assess the impact that HPSNZ investment and engagement has on Cycling New Zealand's high-performance programme;
• To assess the impacts (positive and negative) of high-performance programmes which require elite athletes to be in one location for most of the year, with a particular focus on Cambridge; and
• To understand what steps can be taken to improve current and future practices,
policies and governance of Cycling New Zealand's high-performance programme with a view to ensuring the safety, wellbeing and empowerment of all individuals within that environment.
The fresh Cycling NZ independent investigation into culture
On August 19, Cycling NZ and High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) said a joint independent inquiry would include the adequacy of the changes made in the wake of the 2018 investigation, called the Heron Review, into the high-performance programme of Cycling NZ.
"We have been listening carefully to the voices of athletes who have spoken out or made contact with us directly. The Board of Cycling New Zealand are very clear they want to make sure that those perspectives are built into this inquiry right from the start," Cycling NZ chairman Phil Holden said in the statement.
"Given how closely we work with HPSNZ, it is important that all of our individual and joint systems are reviewed concurrently."
Chief executive of HPSNZ Raelene Castle said Podmore's death had raised serious questions about athlete wellbeing in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics that must be acted upon.
"Olivia's death has focused our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing, issues that the system has grappled with across a number of years. Our priority is to ensure we understand what has happened and what more can be done.
"Understanding something so complex will take time. We also must respect and engage in the coronial inquiry that is under way.
"A joint inquiry is the right thing to do to ensure we take a system view of the issue and are sensitive to all parties affected by this tragedy."
The inquiry scope and framework will be defined in conjunction with a yet to be appointed independent inquirer.
What the 2018 Heron report found
• The Heron review was commissioned by HPSNZ in 2018 after allegations of bullying, inappropriate behaviour, inappropriate personal relationships, a drinking culture, lack of accountability and lack of follow-up.
• The independent review was conducted by Michael Heron, QC, who interviewed current and former athletes, coaches, support staff and consultants of Cycling NZ and HPSNZ.
• In his findings, Heron said: "The allegations which emerged in the media recently are well-founded. They reflect a culture in the programme of a lack of consequences for poor behaviour, a lack of accountability and sub-optimal leadership."
• The report found that the poor behaviour lay with a small number of individuals at Cycling NZ and questioned whether the high-performance system "adequately protects the welfare of athletes".
• Heron was satisfied an "inappropriate personal relationship existed between the coach and a female athlete". An "old boys' club" that prevented accountability for poor coach behaviour was also found.