By Duncan Mackay

Swimming New Zealand logoJanuary 20 - Australian sports administrator Christian Renford has been appointed as chief executive of Swimming New Zealand, it has been announced. 

The post had been vacant since last May after Mike Byrne resigned following the release of an independent review, which criticised the national organisation and called for the entire Board to resign and him to be removed.

In the meantime, Swimming New Zealand has undergone a whole of sport review by an independent panel.

The Swimming New Zealand chair, Dr Brent Layton, claimed the review addressed the issues faced by the sport and the majority of the recommendations have now been implemented.

He says they have adopted a new constitution, have a new Board, a new chair and a new high performance director and believes swimming is moving towards the review's vision for the future of the sport in the country.

Renford will from Rowing New South Wales, where he had been chief executive for the past four years, and has a background in swimming and was formerly the national surf sports manager at Surf Life Saving Australia.

New Zealand sent 17 swimmers to the Olympics at London 2012 but they failed to win a medal.

The best performance came from Lauren Boyle, who finished fourth in the 800 metres freestyle
Lauren Boyle at London 2012Lauren Boyle was New Zealand's best swimmer at London 2012, finishing fourth in the 800m freestyle

Renford's first major target will be the World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona in July followed by next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

"Christian was successful in achieving a real commitment from the membership and stakeholders to forge a pathway forward in his roles with rowing," said Layton.

"It is this skillset that the Board are looking for to take swimming forward across all parts of the operation."

Renford is due to take up his new role in March.

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