Former Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle is returning home as New Zealand’s top sports administrator.


Castle, who left RA in April after two years, has been appointed chief executive of Sport New Zealand.

She replaces Peter Miskimmin, who resigned in August after 12 years in the position at the crown agency, and is the first woman in the role.

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Castle stepped down from RA after the board said she no longer had their confidence.

She oversaw a protracted public and legal row with star player Israel Folau over homophobic social media posts and also clashed with then Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

The code also hit significant financial strife when she failed to reach an agreement for broadcast rights and then suffered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Castle said she was pleased to be back contributing to New Zealand sport.


“My time in Australasian sport has shown me the critical role sport and recreation play in bringing communities together and the positive impact those experiences have on society,” she told

“I am looking forward to working with our partners and colleagues across Government and our sector to ensure more New Zealanders, particularly our tamariki and rangatahi, are able to enjoy quality participation experiences.”

Castle, who has also been chief executive of Netball New Zealand and NRL club Canterbury, will be involved in the rolling out of New Zealand’s Sport Recovery Package.

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