08 August 2020
Gymnastics New Zealand (Gymnastics NZ) has released the terms of reference for the Independent Review to be conducted by David Howman. In conjunction with this, Sport New Zealand (Sport NZ) has released the terms of reference for the expanded use of the Interim Complaints Mechanism (ICM) to deal with complaints coming forward from within the gymnastics community.
Together these provide an independent and robust framework for receiving and processing these complaints and ensuring all aspects of the sport are examined.
"Gymnastics NZ is committed and highly motivated to investigate all complaints, with an unwavering focus to effect change, and ensure all participants, both recreational and competitive and our wider community, can enjoy our sport safely. We believe the implementation of the ICM, with the ability for each complaint to be assessed and then investigated independently, as well as the appointment of David Howman to review the overall culture of the sport, will ensure we achieve this." says Tony Compier, CEO of Gymnastics NZ.
Sport NZ CEO Peter Miskimmin says he is deeply concerned by the allegations arising within the sport and is pleased Gymnastics NZ accepted the offer to utilise the ICM and also welcomes the appointment of David Howman to lead the Independent Review.
“It is vitally important that participant’s and others within the gymnastics community, past and present, feel safe coming forward. The ICM is ideally suited to this and encourages people to come forward in the confidence that they will be heard by a professional and independent party and that as a result appropriate action will be taken. The use of the ICM and the Independent Review that will run concurrently represents a robust approach,” says Peter Miskimmin.
David Howman says he is pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to the future of the Gymnastics culture in New Zealand, where athlete wellbeing will be prioritised.
“This is an important review for the athletes concerned, Gymnastics NZ as the governing body and the entire gymnastic community. It is a chance to learn from athletes and others in order to create a stronger and safer sport and culture.” says David Howman.
The Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM)
The ICM is operated in total independence by Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law. Those wishing to come forward can obtain contact information from www.sportnz.org.nz/icm.
The ICM legal team will independently assess each complaint and the response will be tailored to the circumstances of the case.
The team will:
- Provide prompt acknowledgement and assistance to those who need it
- Listen respectfully and ensure the complainant is heard
- Establish what the complainant wants and needs in relation to their complaint
- The ICM team will be empowered to recommend and explore resolution options, including independent investigation
- Identify the common themes arising from the nature of the complaints
The independent reviewer will include any recurring themes in the wider review of the sport of gymnastics. To enable this, information will be forwarded to the independent reviewer, but only where there is consent from the complainant.
Gymnastics NZ is continuing to operate its SafeSport email system, firstname.lastname@example.org but all complaints received through this now automatically re-direct to the ICM. Details around this process are available on the home page of the Gymnastics NZ website.
The Independent Review will be conducted by David Howman.
This work will provide a wider review into the sport of gymnastics in New Zealand. Mr Howman will have access to information from the ICM, relevant to the review, with consent from the complainants. Mr Howman will review trends and themes that emerge from complaints, and will provide a report to Gymnastics NZ with observations and recommendations across all aspects of the Gymnastics NZ function, policy and procedure, and the sport in general. Mr Howman can be contacted confidentially at email@example.com .
Once completed this report will be publicly available, in full.
Group Media Manager, Sport NZ
T: 0278 385 710