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Darryl Fitzgerald v New Zealand Canoe Racing


Appeal against decision of NSO – non-selection – D appealed against a decision of Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) to not send a men’s K2 1000 team to the 2015 World Cup series regattas – heard under urgency – CRNZ chose D and F as the crew for a Men’s K2 boat to compete in the World Cup – D told CRNZ he preferred to race with another paddler Q who hadn’t been chosen in the team rather than F – CRNZ informed D that the team chosen was himself and F, who were the top performers on the basis of the trial results, and asked him to confirm that he was prepared to be considered for New Zealand team selection paddling with F and would commit to training with F – after several days of correspondence D eventually replied that he confirmed his interest in being selected but while there were appeals pending around the K2 selection he could not “confirm nor deny” his interest in being involved with the plan outlined by CRNZ until the appeals have been resolved – after full consultation between selectors, CEO and the CRNZ Board, CRNZ subsequently decided not to send a K2 boat – D appealed that CRNZ hadn’t properly followed /or implemented its selection policy; that there was no material on which the selection decision could be reasonably based and that natural justice was denied Tribunal dismissed the appeal – Tribunal found no evidence of lack of a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the requirements in the policy, unfairness or actual bias – it was not demonstrated that the policy had not been sensibly, sensitively and sympathetically followed – rather than there being no material on which the decision of CRNZ could reasonably be based there was an available rationale for its position – there was a clear scenario which supported and justified the eventual decision taken after the ongoing and persistent stance of Mr Fitzgerald – on an independent and objective assessment of the acts and omissions over the critical days there was a solid foundation for the decision taken and no basis for the Tribunal to intervene.

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