MatarikiYouth Development

Member Bulletin April 2024

Member Bulletin April 2024

Posted April 25, 2024

Dear Members and Clubs,

As most will be aware, Tuesday night saw a club-called SGM that resulted in the removal of the last members of the previous IHNZ Board, as per the process outlined in the IHNZ Constitution.

As with many others, I find it truly heart-breaking to see the national body for our sport in such disarray, as has been witnessed in recent years but culminating in these and other more recent events.

While there are many views on the alleged rights or wrongs of various individuals on the previous board, the fact is that the slate is now clean – at board level at least – and it’s time for our sport to move on.

Financials and Transparency

My role is to act as a “caretaker”, while the new Board is being appointed. While I can’t promise anything beyond that, there are some key points I would like to make to reassure our members that transparency is coming:

1. IHNZ is a registered charity. This means that transparency in relation to finances and other matters isn’t a “nice to have”, it’s a legal requirement. I intend to ensure that, going forwards and in relation to recent history, that legal requirement is met.

2. IHNZ has engaged a respected professional accounting firm to immediately:

  • Gain an initial view as to the solvency of IHNZ. This will be shared with members once known.
  • Undertake an audit of the 2023 year without delay. This was actually a legal requirement prior to the AGM, however, did not happen. Auditors are important – they act for members of Incorporated Societies and give you the assurance that the information presented to you is accurate.
  • Review recent transactions this year. IHNZ is a charity and with that comes obligations around how member’s funds are accounted for. Any non-standard transactions will be reviewed by Chartered Accountants.
  • Provide advice on recent years, including analysing where and how the significant losses occurred (along the lines of the transparency requested at the 2024 AGM). This is NOT a witch-hunt – it’s about understanding where mistakes have been made so we don’t make the same ones in future.

3. Until this work is completed, any commentary on financial matters is purely speculative. I cannot give more detail than this because the state of the accounting is sub-optimal, but I can give an assurance that all information will be shared with members once established.

4. As a charity, if any financial impropriety is found, we have a legal obligation to report it to the Charities Registrar who will then take whatever action they consider necessary. This should not in any way be taken as a suggestion there has been any, but I want to give assurance that action will be taken if there has.

5. In response to recent questions, I can confirm that it appears tens of thousands of IHNZ funds have been spent on legal fees in recent times. This is all money that cannot now be spent on developing our game or playing hockey. We are urgently seeking confirmation of the full and final amount and this, alongside all other financial matters, will be shared in due course.

I hope this information is sufficient to give you an assurance that this is a new era for IHNZ. I can only do so much in my caretaker role, but my objective is to be able to pass over a clear and transparent picture to the new board, when appointed, so they can start on the right foot.

Having said all that, where do we go from here?

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, our sport has been greatly damaged by the inability of our governance level to put personal matters aside and act in the best interests of our sport and its players.

It is going to take some time for wounds to heal and for the mana and credibility of our governing body – and our sport – to recover.

But that recovery has to start now.

Please, it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, put down your guns and emerge from the trenches. It’s okay to be angry. But it is not the time for mud-slinging. It is not the time for speculation on what has gone wrong and who is at fault.

Accountability will come, but right now it’s time to start the healing process.

IHNZ has to once again be about our players, young and old.

It has to be about those kids out there who are passionate about our sport, and those yet to discover it. It has to be about our players heading off overseas to represent us, and it has to be about the vast majority of players who just want to play the game, not be drowned in politics and drama from those tasked with its administration.

If you need perspective, head down to one of the many rinks around the country that have training and games, or watch our awesome IHNZ 18U and 21U take on KIHL’s finest this weekend (livestream). Look at the faces of those who are playing. They are our future and they deserve – and we should all demand – that their interests are once again at the forefront of everything we do.

New IHNZ Board Members

You may have seen we are now looking for new board members.

I don’t get a say on who is elected, but my personal view is that we need individuals who will rise above the behaviours we have seen in recent times and focus only on the good of the game and its players. People with experience in governance and who hold mana.

If that’s you or someone you know, please don’t let the past influence your decision on whether to be part of the future. Here are the details (free registration reqd):

If we want a bright future for our sport, we all need to work together to make it happen.

This is the start of a new era for IHNZ. Please help us.

Willy Harvey, IHNZ