Keir Hansen has been appointed as head of high performance at Netball New Zealand ©NNZ

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) has strengthened its management team ahead of a crucial three-year period by appointing Keir Hansen as head of high performance.

Hansen, who was previously High Performance Sport New Zealand’s (HPSNZ) national strength and conditioning manager, will take up the position on November 14.

He replaces Steve Lancaster, who left the governing body in July to join New Zealand Rugby as head of provincial union rugby.

Lancaster had been the second high-ranking NNZ official to depart the organisation in quick succession after Hilary Poole announced her resignation as chief executive six weeks earlier.

In his last position, Hansen was responsible for overseeing 14 different Olympic and Paralympic high performance programmes in New Zealand in the build-up to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hansen will be tasked with overseeing the high performance unit at NNZ in the lead-up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, where the nation will bid to turn their Glasgow 2014 silver medal into gold.

Keir Hansen will be tasked with leading New Zealand to further international success ©Getty Images
Keir Hansen will be tasked with leading New Zealand to further international success ©Getty Images

New Zealand will then be hoping to dethrone reigning champions and arch-rivals Australia at the Netball World Cup, due to be held in Liverpool in England, the following year.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to work in one of New Zealand’s most popular and successful sports,” Hansen said.

“I look forward to building on the solid foundations that have been laid and helping deliver and drive a world-class high performance programme.”

Jennie Wyllie, who took over from Poole as NNZ’s chief executive on July 18, described the appointment of Hansen as “key”.

“This is a key appointment for Netball New Zealand as we build towards Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017, the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and Netball World Cup Liverpool 2019,” Wyllie said.

“The high performance knowledge and experience that Keir brings to the role will add significant value to Netball New Zealand as we aim to regain our position as the number one Netball nation.”