Executive Managers

The Executive Council is responsible to the Board for the day to day management of the Association and comprises the following members:

 

Executive Director – James Mitchell

James Mitchell is just crazy passionate about all aspects of polo. He has had a long association with the sport in New Zealand and in particular his club Kiwi. James represented NZ at numerous international competitions and also travelled extensively for polo as a player and coach. James brings a wide range of skills to his current role overseeing the Executive team (who are all volunteers) within our organisation. The Executive Director role acts as the interface between the Board (strategic and governance) and the Executive who are charged with the delivery of the sport.

  • Appointed as Executive Director end of 2015.
  • NZ Competitions Director 2000-2015
  • NZ men’s team 2002-2017
  • Founding member of Central Canoe Polo, misc. positions including President.
  • Member of Kiwi Canoe Polo Club 1994-onward. Committee member most of that time (and still) and past President.
  • ICF B referee
  • International coaching experience: Scandinavia, India and China in recent years. Involved in coaching various club and regional teams for last 20 years.
  • Played all his career for Vikings teams winning numerous titles. These days he plays slightly more socially for the Vikings Valhalla team.

James can be contacted on nzcpaexecdirector@gmail.com

 

Coaching Manager – Jacqui Frost

Jacqui has a long association with polo. Most of you will know her as Frosty’s wife or Liam’s mum. Currently she is working with Kiwi in the role of Coaching Coordinator. She has a degree in Accountancy, and then gained a Post Graduate Diploma to become a primary school teacher. She is a team leader and specializes in developing and delivering resilience programs. Jacqui is also currently undertaking further education in educational psychology. Jacqui’s passion is in empowering teams and in developing people.

I want to ensure our coaches are well resourced and supported at every level of Canoe Polo. Ensuring that we have a nationwide network of coaches that have a culture of learning and development is a key component of this. I am looking forward to working alongside our coaches to develop these areas.

Jacqui can be contacted on nzcpacoaching@gmail.com

 

Communications Manager – Kat Graham

Canoe Polo plays a large role in Kats life, supporting her husband Jed at national and international competitions. Kat has also been supervising the Paddle Blacks website and social media for a few years. She also manages the communications and social media at her work. Kat has never played Canoe Polo, instead prefers to watch and socialise from the side lines.

Kat can be contacted on nzcpacomms@gmail.com

 

Competitions Manager – Jed Graham

Jed can be contacted on nzcpacompetitions@gmail.com

 

Funding Manager – Rachael Macky

Rachael is more widely known in the canoe polo community as ‘Zanes Mum’. She has been involved in canoe polo for the past 7 years. She started off managing an Intermediate school team and is now also on the Hawke’s Bay committee as the funding officer.
Rachael can be contacted on nzcpafunding@gmail.com

 

High Performance Manager – Greg Oke

This is a new role within NZCPA and Greg will be on a 1 year term. The reasoning for the 1 year term is so we can develop the role, set processes and have a clear structure in place before we then go through the formal advertising process in 2021.

Greg has an abundance of experience in canoe polo and other sports:
– Head Coach FAHS 7 years
– Coached Kiwi teams A, B and C grade
– Selector for NZCPA current and past
– Board Director NZCPA ( 4 years)
– Development officer Kiwi Canoe Polo
– Coached Centrals Development
– Regional Referee.
– Current B Grade open player (Vikings Rust)
– Involved with the Olympic and Commonwealth games from a health provider and athlete services role 2004, 2006 ,2008, 2010 games
– Represented NZ at Slalom and White water racing
– Rep NZ Canoe Polo Masters. Oceania

Greg has a passion for high performance sport and its growth and delivery.
He is keenly aware of the needs of developing players at all ages and has a strong understanding of the pressure at high performance levels.

He is committed to clarifying our current framework and looking at the needs of our athletes and sport into the future.

He is open to dialogue with all stakeholders in this process and believes in a strong, representative, ethical and inclusive culture that underpins our program.

He believes in providing a pathway for our athletes to excel on the world stage with no barriers.
Greg would like to see Canoe Polo in the Olympic Games as a core canoe sport with NZ strongly represented in the medals.

Greg can be contacted on nzcpahp@gmail.com

 

Refereeing Manager – Darren Austin

This referee manager role is about the process of managing our referee qualification process and other referee administration and directing people to the right place. This role is not about the rules.

Darren is a Senior Football referee and an International Taekwondo referee so it made sense after his oldest child Kase and now his youngest daughter having both been actively involved in the sport at a national level, he felt the timing is right to share his experience and knowledge with NZCPA.

Darren can be contacted on nzcpareferee@gmail.com

 

Schools Manager – Kelly Hepburn

Kelly’s had a long history with Canoe Polo right from playing to now coaching and refereeing, running our NZ Schools program and Chairperson for Hawke’s Bay Canoe Polo. She has had so many career achievements today but the best so far has to be leading the way to the latest development of the Aquatic Facility at the Mitre 10 Regional Park in Hawke’s Bay.
Kelly has been a part of schools canoe polo since 1999 when she played at her first secondary school nationals for Napier Girls High School and thought it fitting to take on this role when it came up in 2018. She has really enjoyed putting her own little spin on it, but working with an amazing team of coordinators from the current active regions, Peter Anderson from South Island, Meghann Corbett from Central East and Sarah Orme from Central West. She would love to get in touch with someone from Central South and Northern to get the programs back off the ground in those areas to see schools develop all over the country.
She is currently coaching the Havelock North High School senior girls team after a great victory in 2019 and now with her own sons playing the Napier Boys High School junior A team and a team at Taradale Intermediate with her younger son.
Kelly is really looking forward to the future of schools canoe polo and is really hoping to see the participation grow in the next few years all over NZ.

Kelly can be contacted on nzcpaschools@gmail.com

 

Squads Manager – Meryn Hinton

2020/21 – World Champs Italy – U21M Manager
2019 –       NZ Development Tour Ireland/Belgium – U21M Manager
2018 –       World Champs Canada – U21W Co-Manager/Snr Women’s Manager
2017 –       Oceania Champs Palmerston North – Womens’ Squad Overall Manager
2016 –       World Champs Sicily – U21W Manager
CPHB Overall Squad Manager (3yrs)
Sundevils Swim Team Manager (3yrs)
NZCPA Board Member (2019 – current)
Eastern Region Founding Member & Secretary – (2014 – current)
CPHB Committee Member (2012-2014)
HNCPC Founding Member & Club Secretary – (2011 – 2016)
I was first introduced to canoe polo in 2006/7 when our son started playing at Intermediate and I have been involved in canoe polo administration since 2010 when we formed Havelock North Canoe Polo Club at HNHS.  Both children have played for school, club, regional and international teams – Jordan in U21M team to World Champs 2014 in France and Alexia in U21W World Champs teams in 2016 (Sicily) and 2018 (Canada).
Meryn can be contacted on nzcpasquadsdirector@gmail.com