‘Massively surprised’ by honour



For services to sports governance

Kereyn Smith was the face of New Zealand sport during her 11 years as chief executive and secretary-general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

But the former Clinton farm girl was still "massively surprised" and honoured to be made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

"I really am proud of the opportunity to serve New Zealand sport on the domestic and international stage and know that to carry New Zealand’s voice, values and integrity is really important to me and something I’m really proud of."

Since stepping down from her Olympic role in March, Ms Smith has taken up the position of transformational director for Cycling New Zealand.

Starting her career as a physical education teacher, Ms Smith became the private secretary to the Minister of Sport, chief executive of a regional sports trust and general manager of the Hillary Commission, now known as Sport New Zealand.

She spent 10 years as the chief executive of the Academy of Sport South Island, in Dunedin, before becoming the first woman to lead the Olympic committee in 2011.

Ms Smith was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sport and active society commissions and was on the IOC’s 2024 and 2028 big evaluation committees.

Since 2015, Ms Smith has been the vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Her interest in women’s sport has been evident, helping establish the Olympic Women’s Leadership Academy in New Zealand.

Ms Smith is also founding member of the International Working Group (IWG) on women and sport and was on the New Zealand advisory board that steered New Zealand’s successful bid to host the IWG secretariat and conference.

Earlier this year she was presented the ISPS Handa Sport New Zealand Leadership Award.

She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015 and was given the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.