Board and Staff Profiles


jan shearer   


Baord Jan Shearer.png An experienced sports administrator Jan Shearer is a three-time Olympic sailor who won a silver medal in the 470 Class at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Immersed in high performance sport for many years, she is married to Murray Jones, the six-time America’s Cup-winning sailor and designer. Her daughter, Gemma Jones, competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics finishing fourth.

Dunedin-born Jan, worked for much of her adult life as an engineer before moving into sports governance in 2011, where she served for three years on the Tennis NZ Board. Concurrently she was recruited for the Tennis NZ Advisory Group and subsequently worked in the role of Head of Performance at Tennis NZ between 2012 and 2017.

In 2016 she joined the Snow Sports NZ Board and for the past 15 months has served as Acting CEO for Snow Sports NZ in Wanaka.



Warren Matt BW.jpg

With over 17 years working in the sport and recreation industry, Matt is now working as Grants, Fundraising and Projects Manager for Surf Life Saving NZ focusing on funding and organisational development. As a volunteer he has been on numerous committees and Boards of both Surf and Swimming and is currently a committee member of the Mana Kayak Racing Club.

Matt has a background in coaching at Club and Representative level spending a number of years as Surf League coach. He is also an ICF ITO (International Technical Official). Matt also enjoys spending time with the family and when not taking the kids to all of their sporting activities enjoys surfing, kayaking, fishing and cycling.

scott bicknell


Scott Bicknell.jpeg.jpg
Scott is a Planning Consultant for Boffa Miskell, an environmental planning and design consultancy. Scott holds a Masters of Resource and Environmental Planning but brings extensive experience and knowledge to the board shaped by voluntary involvement and employment in various national sporting organisations, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, and being a professional athlete in canoe sprint. He remains on several canoe sprint and surf life saving club, regional and national committees.

A highly motivated and tenacious person who prides himself on his ability to lead others and continually challenge his own ability, he has a passion to develop strong working relationships with stakeholders to deliver innovative and high quality solutions.

Melodie robinson


Board Melodie.jpg Melodie Robinson is a New Zealand sports journalist and presenter, and former international rugby union player for the New Zealand women's national rugby union team. She also represented New Zealand in sevens at the Hong Kong 7s and Japan 7s.

While playing rugby she gained a degree from the University of Otago (BA PHSE) and a journalism certificate from Wellington Polytechnic in 1996.  Her natural leanings towards sports has seen her hold roles in radio and tv - commentating and presenting for the Super 12 and NPC. Involvements in hosting Super Rugby and ITM Cup build ups, the ANZ Championship and international netball build ups, the Halberg Awards, and is a regular on World Rugby's Women's Sevens Series as a commentator and is a journalist for Sky TV NZ.



Board - Hamish reid.jpg Hamish is the Operations Manager for Dominion Salt limited with over 20 years experience working in chemical & manufacturing organisations. Hamish has a bachelors of science degree in chemistry with extensive experience in continuous improvement within complex operations.

Along with his extensive operational and business experience Hamish brings 25 years of voluntary experience in both canoe racing & surf lifesaving where he has been involved in everything from coaching to club administration and is currently the president of both Eastern Bay Canoe Racing Club and Whakatane SLSC.

On a personal side Hamish is married to Jan and together they have three children. Sport is a family affair with the whole family involved in Canoe Racing. Hamish himself has been mucking around in kayaks since 1984, hence he brings to the board an absolute passion for our sport. 



Board - Stu Clark.jpg 

Stuart is a proud Cantabrian who loves the outdoor environment we are blessed with in New Zealand.  His professional experience in engineering and manufacturing has shaped a disciplined, measured approach to developing organisational capacity through cooperation, collaboration and big picture perspective.

Introduction to competitive kayaking came through multi-sport, followed by supporting kids in Surf Live Saving and Canoe Sprint.  As current President of the Arawa Canoe Club, enabling others to develop and share a passion for our sport, competitively or recreationally has become a focus as personal sporting activity becomes more socially focused than competitive. Providing opportunity for people develop as athletes and individuals and reach their potential is a key motivator to involvement in sports administration.

Volunteering as an official for CRNZ provides another perspective to the sport and the work that goes on behind the scenes organising events and their importance to the athletes competing in them.

Favourite outdoor activities relate to a love for water - kayaking, fishing, boating but also include cycling and tennis.





- Staff -


TOM ASHLEY, Chief Executive Officer

tom passport.jpg

Tom grew up on the water off Auckland’s North Shore. He was a professional windsurfer for 11 years and won a gold medal for NZ at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. 

After retiring from professional sport, Tom attained a Bachelor of Law with Honours and worked at Russell McVeagh in Auckland. Most recently, he spent four years as head coach of the Chinese Olympic Windsurfing Team, during which time Chinese athletes won World Championships and an Olympic silver medal. 




Karen's previous life saw her working in the FMCG industry for 16 years, initially in Sales and Sales Management, and then as Managing Director of a merchandising, demonstration and importing business.

She then made the jump to sports to work for Netball Wellington Region before joining Canoe Racing NZ back in 2009.  She has seen the organisation go through many changes in that time and has herself moved from a part-time role as Business Manager to her full-time role as Sport Development Manager.  

She is qualified as an ICF ITO (International Technical Official) and her other sporting interests include netball and surf lifesaving. 


Staff - stacey plowman 2.jpg

Stacey lives on the North Shore in Auckland. She has three children - Danika, Toby and Lucas.

Stacey started off in IT before moving to Office Management and prior to CRNZ was self employed for 12 years having an accounts and administration business as well as owning different businesses in the beverage, gift and storage industries. She started working for CRNZ at the end of July 2013.

Stacey leads a busy life supporting her children’s sports and interests as well as enjoying the beach and the theatre in her spare time.

Gordon Walker, HP Coach

Gordon 2.jpg

Gordon was born in Zimbabwe and moved to NZ with the rest of his family at age 6. He was educated in Hamilton and then Auckland and has lived there ever since. He is married with 3 young children.

Gordon was given the role of Intern Coach with CRNZ in early 2010 and has been a part of the High Performance Programme since then.

Gordon has a keen interest in many sports and has coached a variety of sports including cycling, running, swimming, kayaking, triathlon, and multisport.


Staff Frederic.JPG

 A native of France, Frederic comes to the role with a background in coaching in both France and Canada being involved with both French and Canadian National Programmes and working in different clubs in Canada (Lac Beauport, Ottawa River, Chelsea). 

He has developed his coaching expertise over more than 30 years including 10 years as a member of France's national and international canoe teams.  

He holds a Masters degree from the University of Lille in the Science of Sport and Recreation and undertook further studies in Osteopathy in order to build his expertise in the science of the human body.  

He is married with two young daughters.    



Staff - Jasper Bats.jpg

Jasper was part of the CNRZ High Performance squad up until 2015 and within that time completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology.  

After retiring from competitive kayaking he travelled with his fiancee to Australia where they became the official partner for C Barcelona in Australia and New Zealand with Jasper's role being primarily event management. 

In his time off he enjoys going outdoors, either with a rifle, fishing rod or surfboard.



staff nathan luce.JPG

Nathan most recently comes from the Australian Sports Institute and has coached national teams in both his native Canada, and the USA.

Nathan was a Canadian kayaking representative before beginning full-time coaching in 2002. 




Polly Powrie.jpg

Polly Powrie is a two-time Olympic medallist having won gold at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016 alongside teammate Jo Aleh. Polly grew up in an Auckland sailing family and started her career in the sport at the local Kohimarama Yacht Club progressing through the junior classes and then honing her skills in a range of boats before pairing with Aleh to launch their women's 470 campaign in 2009. Aleh and Powrie were coached by Nathan Handley. Powrie retired from Olympic sailing in January 2017, honing her skills in the corporate world before returning to sport to take up the Operations Manager position with Canoe Racing NZ in June 2018


Staff - Aaron Osborne.jpg


Aaron joined us after several years at Canoe Slalom New Zealand, during which time he set up the Canoe Slalom NZ coach development, served as coach of the National Performance Squad and Team Manager at the Rio Olympic Games, and was instrumental in setting up the Vector Wero Whitewater Park as the training venue of the NZ squad. He has spent the past two years as Canoe Slalom NZ’s High Performance Manager.


Latest News & Features

New Zealand challenge gathers momentum

New Zealand challenge gathers momentum

Kurtis Imrie (Mana) and Max Brown (Whanganui) took another significant step forward in their ...

Women’s K4 crew spearheads Kiwi assault

Women’s K4 crew spearheads Kiwi assault

New Zealand enjoyed a successful day two of the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World ...

Kiwis mount great start in Szeged

Kiwis mount great start in Szeged

It was mission accomplished for the Kiwi boats on the opening day of the ICF Canoe Sprint and ...

© Copyright 2019 Canoe Racing New Zealand