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The Board of Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) is pleased to announce that Daniel Gerrard has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Daniel takes the helm of the organisation following the successful launch of Wai ora Aotearoa: Navigating to a safer future. New Zealand Water Safety Sector Strategy 2025.

As the lead agency WSNZ developed the strategy alongside its sector partners – it sets out a collaborative approach to reduce drowning fatalities and injuries in Aotearoa/New Zealand over the next five years.

Board Chair Maurice Kidd says after an extensive search the Board are pleased to have found the right person to lead WSNZ, the sector and the implementation of the strategy.

“Daniel has the experience and the leadership ability we need for the sector to work more collectively to ensure every New Zealander connects to and enjoys the water safely,” says Maurice Kidd.

Daniel Gerrard has extensive experience in the sector in leadership roles most recently as Head of Member Services at Surf Life Saving (Northern) and has previously held Chief Executive positions at Sport Auckland and Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti.

He’s spent over 12 years as Chair and board member of Canoe Racing NZ and Sportnet (Regional Sports Trusts Governing body) and was instrumental in developing and executing the Greater Auckland Aquatic Action plan (GAAAP).

Daniel has led the development and execution of organisational strategies for Virgin Active Thailand, Sport Auckland, Sport Gisborne and the Peter Snell Institute of Sport.

In his role as a consultant for Virgin Active’s Swim & Sport Project he established and launched learn-to-swim programming across its South East Asian sites (Thailand and Singapore).

Daniel Gerrard says more Kiwis, especially kids, need access to lifelong participation in sport and recreation, especially in and around water.

“As Kiwis we love the water, in particular our spectacular and often wild coastlines and waterways. I am passionate about the safety of all Kiwis, especially when it comes to water and the important role it can play in personal growth. I’m excited about this opportunity to assist New Zealand’s Water Safety Sector in achieving its aspirational outcomes and bring down our drowning toll.”

Daniel will join WSNZ later in May.

The Board of WSNZ would like to thank Paul Verić for his service as Interim CEO and his leadership over the summer months and through the launch of the strategy.


CEO Announcement

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