Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive) has announced the establishment of the Organised Sport Advisory Group to provide input, collaboration and guidance on organised sport in Auckland.

Chaired by Murray Lockwood, Board Member, Northern Netball, the Group comprises: Dean Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, New Zealand Golf; John Limna, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Football Federation; Julie Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Tennis New Zealand; Lara Collins, Chief Executive, Waka Ama; Phil Vyver, General Manager, Auckland Bowls; and Nigel Cass, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, NZ Rugby.

The Organised Sport Advisory Group replaces the Auckland Sport Coalition and now includes National Sport Organisations. Representatives have been appointed based on extensive business and sport experience and will provide a sector-wide perspective. Mr Lockwood was previously Chair of the Auckland Sport Coalition and has been appointed to Chair the Group for one year.

Dr Sarah Sandley, Chief Executive Officer, Aktive says the establishment of the Organised Sport Advisory Group acknowledges the significance of organised sport in Auckland.

“As we pursue the vision for Auckland to be the world’s most active city, we recognise the continuing importance of organised sport, both historically and in the future, in creating relevant, high-quality physical activity and sporting experiences for many Aucklanders,” says Dr Sandley.

“In such a complex, fast-changing city, it’s critical that organised sport organisations are able to further develop the part they play in the lives of our citizens, particularly our young people and diverse communities.”

With both regional and national body representation, the Organised Sport Advisory Group will provide high-level strategic input to guide decisions, enhance collaboration, share research and help direct advocacy. The Group will meet initially quarterly, and as a minimum twice a year.

Dr Sandley adds: “The establishment of this Group is an important addition to the sector’s information sharing and will help inform Aktive’s plans in our five current priority areas – advocacy, sector development, schools and community, spaces and places, and coaching. It will also provide input into the long-term strategic planning for sport and recreation in Tāmaki Makaurau, a diverse city with many challenges but also unparalleled opportunities to increase participation.”

Aktive is a charitable trust that has been established to make Auckland the world’s most active city. It is a key strategic partner of Sport NZ, Auckland Council and major grant makers and funders. Aktive invests more than $11m per annum in a range of delivery partners, organisations and projects that will get more people recreating and playing sport in Auckland, with focuses on young people and identified communities.


Organised Sport Advisory Group

Murray Lockwood, (Chair)

Current role: Chair of Netball Northern and Windross Farm Golf Course. Murray is a volunteer across a wide range of sports, whilst also CEO of a large structural and civil engineering consultancy. He has been a board member of Netball Counties Manukau, chair of Auckland Manukau and Northland Gymnastics. Murray was a member of the Auckland Sports Coalition Executive from its creation in 2009, and chair from 2015.

Julie Paterson

Current role: CEO, Tennis NZ. Julie has extensive experience in Badminton and Netball, with spells as CEO of Netball Southland and Netball Northern Zone. She is co-Chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA), launched in 2017 to increase the visibility, value and recognition of women’s sport in NZ.  Julie has also been an Executive member of the Auckland Sport Coalition.

Nigel Cass

Current role: Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, NZ Rugby (NZR). Nigel’s sporting pedigree extends back to the Hillary Commission, working in Local Government Liaison and Active Living, including roll out of the Push Play campaign. He was a senior staff member in NZ Rugby from 2001 to 2007 before working on the Rugby World Cup 2011 as GM Tournament Services. Nigel returned to NZR in 2012 as GM Strategic Relationships and Planning before taking up his newly-created role to deliver NZR’s strategy including a recognition of the importance of Auckland to the success of New Zealand.

Lara Collins

Current role: CEO, Waka Ama NZ. Lara is also currently President of the International Va’a Federation, and Board member of the NZ Canoe Federation. Lara moved from being President of Waka Ama to their CEO in 2012, following a long career with College Sport Auckland, working across a range of sports, and four years with the Sir John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams programme in Manukau.

Dean Murphy

Current role: CEO, NZ Golf. Dean has been working with New Zealand Golf since 2007, initially as Commercial Manager, appointed as Chief Executive in 2010. Prior to joining New Zealand Golf, Dean was employed in sales and marketing for Lion Nathan and spent 10 years in London working in the tourism industry. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors, a board member of Central Districts Cricket, and a trustee of Project Litefoot.  Dean was awarded the C.K. Doig Leadership Award at the Sport and Recreation Sector Awards earlier this year.

Phil Vyver

Current role: GM, Auckland Bowls. Phil has experience in the Local Government sector and leisure centre industry in the United Kingdom, and with the former Manukau City Council, as well as holding positions in Sport Bay of Plenty and Counties Badminton. Phil has also been a member of the Auckland Sport Coalition Executive and their delegate to OneVoice – Auckland Sport and Recreation.

John Limna

Current role: CEO, Northern Football. John has over 25 years’ experience in high performance and grassroots sport around the world, serving The British Olympic Association, Sport England, Sport Scotland, UK Sport, and working in the London Olympics in 2012. He spent seven years in the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Sports School.  In New Zealand he was part of SPARC/NZ Academy of Sport in the early 2000s and is now returned to lead the northernmost football federation.