Paul Doherty has been appointed Executive Director of Cycling Support N.Z. Inc.
He will take up the position on 22 April 2002.
Mr Doherty is 37 and graduated from the University of Auckland with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering. His professional experience has been in the design and construction of highways both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom where he lived and worked for six years.
Mr Doherty says that his background in highways will stand him in good stead for his role as New Zealand's first full-time cycling advocate. In fact it was his experience with roading in the UK that allowed him to see the potential of the humble bicycle.
"This is an exciting challenge for me. The Government has taken some very positive steps in recognising the benefits of cycling to our communities with the Minister of Sport Fitness and Leisure Hon. Trevor Mallard's recent Task Forse report on "Getting Set for an Active Nation and the Minister of Transport Hon. Mark Goshe's Land Transport Package "Moving Forward". Personally I see every journey made on a bike instead of in a car is a net gain in terms of benefiting ones health and reducing traffic congestion and emissions, without even considering the many social benefits of cycling."
Cycling Support N.Z.Inc is an organisation formed in 1997 to raise the profile of cycling. Its members comprise the Bicycle Industry Association of NZ, Cycling Advocates' Network, Cycling NZ, Heart Foundation, NZ Mountain Bike Association, NZ BMX Association and Triathlon NZ.
Paul will be working with all members to identify key priorities nationally, to generally raise the profile of cycling and to help facilitate the implementation of cycling facilities.
"My biggest challenge is perhaps one of changing the general perception about cycling. It is not seen as "cool", yet interestingly Caltex and Mazda have recently used images of cycling in their TV advertising to promote their products. I believe that cycling can change peoples lives for the better."
John Struthers, Chairman of Cycling Support N.Z. Inc in announcing the appointment said he was extremely excited with this appointment and the strengths Paul will bring to the job.
"For the first time we will have a full time executive helping promote cycling. In recent years the profile of cycling has grown significantly mainly through the efforts of voluntary organisations such as the Cycle Advocates Network. However there is a lot of work to do before all key decision makers fully appreciate the benefits of encouraging cycling, and have concrete plans to achieve this.
In this respect New Zealand is 5 to 10 years behind most other western countries."
Contacts for more information:
Paul Doherty, Executive Director
Ph: 09 436 2640