Top leadership award to NZ Golf chief
New Zealand Golf chief executive and Golfer Pacific columnist Dean Murphy has gained a top prize at the New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards in Wellington.
Murphy received the C K Doig leadership award, which recognises outstanding leadership by a sport and recreation executive.
Murphy, who joined New Zealand Golf in 2007, said he was honoured by the award.
“It’s really humbling to see the people who have stood before me and held this award,” Murphy said.
“I really love what we do and I really love the organisation I work for.
“It’s been quite a ride and our sport in particular has grown so much and there’s still so much to do.
“I’m quite enthused for the future, but right now, I think this is an award for the board, all the staff that aren’t here and our organisation.”
Murphy started his career at New Zealand Golf as commercial manager. He quickly formed successful partnerships and was always seen as a future leader of the organisation. Murphy spent a year as the acting chief executive before officially taking up the role in 2010.
Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin said the awards were once again a huge success and he made it clear how important the award winners are to the worldwide sporting community.
“It’s vital that we recognise the work and people that support and encourage New Zealanders to be physically active and to win on the world stage, and for me, this is a highlight of the year,’’ Miskimmin said.
“The awards ceremony brings together leaders from across the sector to recognise the top achievements and to acknowledge leadership and lifetime achievement.
“In Dean we have a superb leader, but what sets him apart is not what he has done, but more how he has led. He is an extremely good listener and an empathetic friend. People warm to him and believe in him.”
In the past eight years, Murphy has overseen a new community-focused approach in the sector, employing several sector support managers around the country.
Murphy’s commitment to the future sustainability of the sport is evident in several other projects which came to fruition during 2017, including the golf sector plan for Auckland, the casual golf initiative, plus the love golf and she loves golf campaigns.
The New Zealand Men’s and Women’s Open have not only grown, but Murphy has removed the financial risk of both events to New Zealand Golf. The women’s event made history last year by reaching LPGA status, which saw more than 30,000 fans come out to watch Lydia Ko while the men’s open has adapted into a unique pro-am format playing for in excess of $1 million on the Australasian PGA Tour and broadcast throughout Asia.
Former winners of the C K Doig leadership award include Steve Tew from New Zealand Rugby and Keryn Smith of the New Zealand Olympic Committee.