Wood becomes first female president of New Zealand FA

April 3 – Johanna Wood has been elected the first female president of New Zealand Football (NZF) in an overhaul of the ruling body’s governance following a tumultuous 2018.

Wood was elected on to the New Zealand Football executive committee in May 2018 for a four-year term and named as acting vice-president last October. On Tuesday, she was elected the president of New Zealand’s governing body. In March Wood had already been elected as an OFC member of the FIFA Council at the OFC Congress.

Her election comes after a prolonged crisis of governance at the NZF. Wood replaced president Phil Barry, who stepped down last week. Barry had replaced Deryck Shaw, who resigned in October after an independent review found that Austria-born coach Andreas Heraf had ‘bullied and harassed’ women’s national team players. Following the scandal NZF’s chief executive Andy Martin also left the organisation. He has yet to be replaced.

“It’s an honour to be given a role of such responsibility and I am looking forward to making a positive contribution to a sport that means so much to so many New Zealanders,” said Wood. “We have gone through and are continuing to go through a period of transition. Both ExCo and the Senior Management Team, along with our membership, are committed to delivering on the recommendations of the Independent Review. We remain committed to our vision of incredible performances both on and off the field.”

At the annual NZF congress, the organising body said it had recorded a $65,000 deficit for 2018 ‘after a net $700,000 transfer from the International Teams Reserve set up in 2011 to fund future international activity.’

Revenue decreased by 26% and expenditure dropped by 16% to $2.7 million according to the annual report released by NZF. The revenue was $13.1 million in 2018, a decrease of $4.6 million from 2017, which the NZF ascribes to ‘the absence of the Confederations Cup money and World Cup Intercontinental playoff revenue.’

New Zealand Football Interim Chief Executive Officer Andrew Pragnell said that the NZF is still in good financial health to build a sound future for the domestic game. Participating in the independent review cost NZF $250,000. “It is clichéd but holds true nevertheless, and never more so than in the face of the NZ Football Independent Review, that it is not the adversity itself that determines our future but how we learn and respond to that adversity,” said Pragnell.

“We know we have work to do and are committed to implementing the 22 recommendations of the review in full. The financial position of New Zealand Football is solid and we will look to build on this in 2019.”

At Tuesday’s annual congress, Andrew Bowater and Jackie Barron joined the ranks of the NZF Exco as new members. Garry Carnachan was elected as vice-president.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1571324213labto1571324213ofdlr1571324213owedi1571324213sni@o1571324213fni1571324213