Voting Academy

The Halberg Foundation selects individuals to the ISPS Handa Halberg Awards Voting Academy (“The Academy”) who have distinguished themselves in their field and have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to make sound decisions.

Voting Academy members are expected to uphold the highest standards of fairness, accuracy, and integrity. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles.

The Voting Academy comprises 25 to 30 members, of which the majority are former elite athletes, coaches, and/or sports administrators (who may still be currently involved), and the remainder being current sports media.

The current voting academy is:

Alexis Pritchard, Andrew Alderson, Andrew Mulligan, Andy Hay, Ben Lucas, Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, Brendon Pongia, Dan Buckingham, Dr Farah Palmer, Duane Kale, Eddie Kohlhase, Fred Woodcock, Graeme Crosby, Grant Sharman, James McOnie, Jayne Craike, Jodi Brown,  Lesley Murdoch,  Maia Jackman, Marc Hinton, Mark Richardson, Rikki Swannell, Sarah Cowley Ross, Sir Michael Jones, Suzanne McFadden, Te Arahi Maipi, Tiffiney Perry, Tom Bartlett

The expectations and responsibilities of Voting Academy members are to:

  • vote on time

  • not disclose how they, or any other member, voted.

  • have no collusion between Voting Academy members.

  • disclose any conflicts of interest (e.g. family members nominated etc)

  • accept the collective responsibility of Academy decisions

  • respect the integrity of the Academy, Halberg Awards, and Halberg Foundation, and to take no action that will impact negatively on their reputations.


The Academy votes on the following major Award categories; 

  • Halberg Award (the ‘supreme’ award) Decade Champion 

  • ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Decade  

  • High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Decade 

  • ISPS Handa Para Athlete of the Decade 

  • ISPS Handa Team of the Decade 

  • Buddle Findlay Coach of the Decade 

The Voting Academy will consider the following guidelines when judging the Decade Champion award category finalists;

1. Regarding the achievement was it in that sport’s ‘pinnacle event’ (eg Olympics, Paralympics, World Cup)
2. Regarding the achievement was it a world record, or world ranking or recognition (eg ‘World Player of the Year’)
3. The quality of the field / competition
4. The global nature of the sport
Please note:
Re: (1.a) ‘Pinnacle Events’ – The Halberg Awards define Pinnacle and Major events as follows*:
Pinnacle Event: A Pinnacle event is the most significant event in a sports four year competition calendar e.g. the Olympic / Paralympic Games or a World Cup or World Championship event that is held once every four years (e.g. Rugby World Cup, Netball World Cup, FIFA World Cup etc.).
Major Event: A Major event is the next most significant event (after a pinnacle event) in a sports four year competition calendar. These are other events that occur within a four year cycle that are considered major events (e.g. IAAF World Championships, Hockey World Cup, Basketball World Championships etc.).
*this aligns with High Performance Sport New Zealand’s definition of Pinnacle and Major.