Former St Kilda CEO elected AFLNZ Chairman

Former St Kilda Football Club CEO Michael Nettlefold has been elected the new AFL New Zealand Chairman following on from Geoff Dickson’s resignation last month.


Following the AFL New Zealand Board Meeting on Tuesday, he will take on the position immediately. Michael Nettlefold played 79 games with St Kilda and Fitzroy in the Victorian Football League (VFL)  between 1979 and 1985.

He was appointed to the position of St Kilda CEO in April 2009 following on from his position on the St Kilda FC Board. His appointment was based on his depth of successful business experience, management style and background with both the game and the club.

The St Kilda Football Club was involved in the first ever international  AFL fixture hosted by the city of Wellington in 2013 with two further matches scheduled in the following years.

Following on from this and his election on to the New Zealand Board in 2015, Michael has been impressed with the board’s commitment and efforts to develop the game within New Zealand and looked forward to an exciting future and the challenges that lay ahead.

Current board member Andrew McKenzie has been elected to take on the role of Deputy Chairman.

Andrew McKenzie

Andrew McKenzie has played over the past seventeen years in Wellington for the Saints and in Auckland for Mt Roskill and Auckland. He has three sons who have also played the game within New Zealand, two being members of the New Zealand men’s team.

He has assisted AFL New Zealand initially as an independent member of the Risk and Finance Committee and has now served on the AFL New Zealand Board as an Elected Director for three years.

He has over eighteen years of senior executive experience in both corporate and operational roles within organisations that have had provision and support of sporting bodies as part of their roles. He has led a variety of corporate groups, operational businesses and large scale, complex projects as well as managing corporate groups including finance, legal, HR, property, IT, strategy, treasury, subsidiary monitoring and procurement. His experience and responsibilities have been wide ranging.

He has an extensive range of contacts in both the private and public sectors that will be relevant to AFL New Zealand, including within Sporting bodies and facility providers. He has also been a member of a number of boards and industry bodies so the role of a director is one he is familiar with.

Andrew held the position of CFO of Auckland City Council and most recently the role of General Manager Finance for Fletcher Construction until his recruitment into the position of CEO of New Zealand Housing Commission. Andrew is based in Auckland.

Bernard Saundry

AFL New Zealand also welcomes recently Appointed Director Bernard Saundry who brings with him a wealth of experience within the sporting landscape and an important skill set that will benefit AFL New Zealand

With over 14 years’ experience as a CEO and a demonstrated capacity to manage and develop key commercial outcomes in a multi stakeholder environment, he has successfully managed business outcomes across Racing Victoria, RV Media, Seven West Media, Radio Sports Network, Racing Australia, TABCORP Joint Venture, VicRacing Pty Ltd and Thoroughbred Racing Productions.

Currently in the position as the Chief Executive Officer of  New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing based in Wellington, Mr Saundry has held similar positions with reputable organisations including the Western Bulldogs Football Club and Racing Victoria.

Extensive experience in New Business Development in both digital and Free to Air TV broadcast platforms will be of great benefit to AFL New Zealand.