New CEO Announced
Iain Potter wasn’t attracted to his new job as Basketball New Zealand chief executive by the international standing of the Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns, or the NZ Breakers’ championship feats.
It wasn’t even a highly competitive National Basketball League, although he’s excited by the prospect of working with all these high-profile programmes.
But the real issues facing basketball are far deeper rooted and it’s that sense of community that brought Potter to this role.
“Basketball is a very inclusive sport,” says Potter, who has spent the past 20 years as chief executive of the Health Sponsorship Council.
“I like that it can be played socially and competitively, at local or elite level, by male and female, young and old. It’s a game for all people.
“It’s very contemporary, it’s on the rise and it’s a worldwide sport that New Zealand is surprisingly good at – what’s not to be positive about?”
During his stint with the HSC, Potter oversaw a variety of campaigns that promoted health initiatives, including Smokefree/Auahi Kore, Sunsmart, Feeding Our Futures and Breakfast Eaters.
“I worked with many sporting organisations in a sponsorship capacity, harnessing the power that sport has to carry messages and influence New Zealanders to promote healthy lifestyles,” he says. “I also worked alongside many community organisations – cultural, Maori, Pacific, church, charitable – to help achieve health outcomes.”
A long-time resident of Wellington, Potter’s sporting background is mainly in rugby, where he played at club level until the age of 36 and then coached the Wellington’s Marist St Pat’s senior side. He was Wellington B forward coach for two years and currently serves on the Wellington Rugby Union board.
“The recruitment process has been thorough,” says board chair Karen Poutasi. “Appointing the chief executive is a board’s most important task, and we undertook a thorough search to find the right blend of commercial, leadership, personal skills and experience to meet the challenges facing basketball in New Zealand.
“Having just completed work on the ‘All of Basketball Pathway Plan’, the board agreed that Iain was ideally equipped to manage the implementation of this framework as we continue to grow the sport at all levels.”
Potter reports for duty at Basketball New Zealand’s Wellington office on September 17 and will work alongside interim CEO Murray Strong during a transition period.
Iain Potter at a glance
• Grew up in Tuakau (“not Auckland, not Waikato, but fiercely Counties”)
• Bachelor of Social Science at Waikato University
• Played club rugby until age of 36, then coached Marist St Pats, Wellington B forward coach
• Wellington Rugby Union Board
• Twenty years as Health Sponsorship Council chief executive, overseeing Smokefree. Sunsmart campaigns etc
• Previously six years as Auckland Housing Corporation divisional manger and, before that, principal tenancy mediator