Independent inquiry following death of Olivia Podmore

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 19, 2021 |

Cycling New Zealand together with High Performance Sport New Zealand will commission an independent inquiry in the wake of Olivia Podmore’s death.

Podmore, 24, died of suspected suicide last Monday.

Her death followed a social media post where she outlined the demands of high performance sport.

The scope of the inquiry will include the adequacy of the changes made in the wake of the 2018 Heron Review into the High Performance programme of Cycling New Zealand.

Cycling New Zealand Chairperson Phil Holden said “we have been listening carefully to the voices of athletes who have spoken out or made contact with us directly. The Board of Cycling New Zealand are very clear they want to make sure that those perspectives are built into this inquiry right from the start.”

“Given how closely we work with HPSNZ, it is important that all of our individual and joint systems are reviewed concurrently,” he said.

Chief Executive of High Performance Sport NZ Raelene Castle said Olivia’s death had raised serious questions about athlete wellbeing in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics that must be acted upon.

“Olivia’s death has focussed our attention once more on the complex issues surrounding athlete welfare and wellbeing, issues that the system has grappled with across a number of years. Our priority is to ensure we understand what has happened and what more can be done.

“Understanding something so complex will take time. We also must respect and engage in the coronial enquiry that is underway.”

“A joint inquiry is the right thing to do to ensure we take a system view of the issue and are sensitive to all parties affected by this tragedy” said Raelene Castle.

The inquiry scope and framework will be defined in conjunction with an independent inquirer, to be appointed shortly. Details will be confirmed next week and until that time no further statement will be made.

National helplines

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Helplines and local mental health services

A directory of helplines and local mental health service contact details. Download

Depression-specific helplines

Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 (to talk to a trained counsellor about how you are feeling or to ask any questions). – includes The Journal online help service. – online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.

Sexuality or gender identity helpline

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support.

Helplines for children and young people

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat. – or email [email protected] or free text 5626.

What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 12noon–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available from 3pm–10pm 7 days a week, including all public holidays.

Help for parents, family and friends

EDANZ – improving outcomes for people with eating disorders and their families. Freephone 0800 2 EDANZ or 0800 233 269, or in Auckland 09 522 2679. Or email [email protected].

Parent Help – 0800 568 856 for parents/whānau seeking support, advice and practical strategies on all parenting concerns. Anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.

Family Services 211 Helpline – 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area.

Skylight – 0800 299 100 for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am–5pm weekdays.

Yellow Brick Road – Supporting families towards mental wellbeing.

Other specialist helplines

Alcohol and Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or online chat.

Are You OK – 0800 456 450 family violence helpline.

Gambling Helpline – 0800 654 655

Anxiety NZ – 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY).

Seniorline – 0800 725 463 A free information service for older people.

0508MUSICHELPS – The Wellbeing Service is a 24/7 online, on the phone and in-person counselling service fully funded by the NZ Music Foundation and provided free of charge to those in the Kiwi music community who can’t access the help they need due to hardship and other circumstances. Call 0508 MUSICHELP.

Shine – 0508 744 633 confidential domestic abuse helpline.

Quit Line – 0800 778 778 smoking cessation help.

Vagus Line – 0800 56 76 666 (Mon, Wed, Fri 12 noon – 2pm). Promote family harmony among Chinese, enhance parenting skills, decrease conflict among family members (couple, parent-child, in-laws) and stop family violence.

Women’s Refuge Crisisline – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) (for women living with violence, or in fear, in their relationship or family).

Shakti Crisis Line – 0800 742 584 (for migrant or refugee women living with family violence).

Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault).

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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