News NZRL Game Plan very well received in Northland

NZRL Game Plan very well received in Northland

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NZRL Game Plan very well received in NorthlandAs part of its process of development and accountability, members of the NZRL management team are travelling around the country presenting the Game Plan update at a series of meetings open to anyone with an interest in Rugby League.

The first for the year took place in Whangarei on Monday night and was presented by the NZRL’s General Manager High Performance Tony Kemp, who was joined by recently appointed Rugby League Northland Zone GM Alex Smits.

The ‘Game Plan’ is the NZRL’s five year Strategic Plan and each quarter the organisation measures itself against the plan and reports on what it has achieved, what is still a work in progress and what is yet to be done. Results are measured in a number of ways including outside statistics, its own internal reporting structure, and feedback from stakeholders. Nine core elements, drawn as jigsaw puzzle pieces, show progress by colour – red for very poor, orange for making progress and green for have met stated goals and continuing to maintain them.

Alex Smits said of the Northland meeting, “The presentation was very well received and it was great to see representatives of our sponsors NorthTec and the local RST joining league supporters and local media in the audience. It was also a real positive to see some of the old faces from the area coming along to hear about what’s happening now. “

Ian Swindells of NorthTec said he’d been very impressed with Tony’s presentation, which he’d found extremely informative and well worth his time. He said, “Jim and Tony and the NZRL management team have obviously done an excellent job. It’s a wonderful story for any organisation which is trying to turn things around. I am now thinking about ways in which our organisation can benefit from this story and whether we can maybe involve Jim or Tony in some sort of mentoring.

“As the manager of a tertiary institution, one which has been partnered with Rugby League in Northland for a while, it’s really helpful to get some context of what’s been happening at NZRL and the aspirations for the game in the regions. I was very impressed and really glad I’d come along.”

Jason Hannah, a Community Sports Advisor with Sport Northland, agreed with Ian’s comments saying,”It was great to see Rugby League in such a positive light after the publicity it has received in the past. It’s obviously so much more professional than in past years and having a presenter people can identify with, like Tony Kemp, a familiar face, was great as people know him with his Kiwis experience and that made a difference.”

Jason says the high points for him were seeing how Rugby League relates to other sports, its progress and how the changes are obviously improving the sport. He concludes “The other thing I found really helpful was the jigsaw puzzle, I’m a very visual person and to see the nine puzzle pieces and the colour coding made it really obvious ‘this is where we’re going and this is what we’re trying to achieve’.”

Game Plan update meetings are being held around the country over the next few weeks and details of these will be posted on the NZRL website as they come to hand.

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Rugby League Northland would like to welcome Cori Paul to the position of Development Manager.

Born and raised in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, from a family of two sisters and one brother. Like most families involved in sport, growing up playing weekend sport in the morning and following Dad around the Rugby League fields of Auckland were the main activities in the household for many years.

I have been living in the Northland region for close to 27 years and come from Wainui Bay in the Bay of Islands. Northland is my home. My partner Gemma is the Pathways Coordinator at Te Kapehu Whetu school, and our three boys (Deon – 16, Cobe – 15 and Chase 13)  keep busy with the multiple activities they are involved with (Basketball, Rugby, Kapa Haka and Touch). We also have one daughter who is currently studying Bachelor of Radiation Therapy at Otago University based at the Wellington Campus.


I have been involved in a multitude of industries in my working life ranging from quality control processing to mechanical repairs to disability sport and secondary school sport administration. This experienced has allowed me to develop different skills around planning and managing projects and people.


Coaching began for me in 2006 when my daughter decided she wanted to play netball for Whangarei Primary School and although I had no idea about the sport, I enjoyed every aspect of it which lead me to become accredited in the Sport industry through the NorthTec Sports and Recreation programme. While I have coached junior Rugby League, Rugby, Football and Netball teams I have recently been heavily involved in coaching Rugby at Club and Representative age group level.


I am passionate about Northland and junior sport. I am excited to have the opportunity to develop and grow Rugby League in Northland and a challenge I am looking forward to. I believe growing our players holistically is the key in making sure that we not only have fantastically talented players representing our region but also developing our players as good people.