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The man behind the 2011 Rugby World Cup


Martin Snedden is a highly experienced CEO who has led major projects for New Zealand Cricket, New Zealand Rugby and the New Zealand tourism industry.

Martin’s specialty is leadership including breaking through barriers to success, change management, talent development, leading member associations, risk management, strategic storytelling and brand alignment, and team building and team culture.

Current work
Martin is currently working on a project for NZ Cricket called ‘One Cricket’
that is about leading cricket in New Zealand into the future - creating the types of cricket games that the kids of today and tomorrow will want to play, and ensuring that the cricket network throughout New Zealand is cohesively restructured to be able to successfully deliver cricket for a modern nation.

Martin has recently worked with a group of leaders within Auckland to create Destination AKL 2025, a destination strategy for Auckland. Martin says, "Tourism is booming, so much so that there is growing concern that we are at risk of destroying what is so good about Auckland. This strategy focuses on preserving and sustainably developing what makes Auckland a great place to live, work, and visit. Now the strategy is launched, my role is to stay on top of people and organisations to make sure they take responsibility and make things happen.”

Martin led the creation of the Tourism 2025 plan in 2012/13.
He says, ”The 18 month-long process of creating Tourism 2025 created cohesion within an industry that had become dysfunctional and unable to organise itself to take advantage of its opportunities. The process involved layers of stakeholder leadership stretching right across NZ. Relationship and business alignments emerged during that 18 months so that the plan was already succeeding well before it was finalised and launched.”

Previous experience
Sport: Played cricket for New Zealand BLACKCAPS between 1980 and 1990, playing 25 tests and 93 one day internationals, Former CEO of New Zealand Cricket, CEO of Rugby New Zealand.

Between 2001 and 2007, Martin headed up NZC during a tumultuous period punctuated by issues relating to terrorism, politics and player contract negotiations; a period where the BLACKCAPS (New Zealand cricket team) consistently ranked high in both tests and one day internationals. He led the successful joint NZC / Cricket Australia bid for the rights to host Cricket World Cup 2015.

Between 2007 and 2011, he was CEO of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd, the company responsible for staging the extremely successful Rugby World Cup 2011. His book, a personal account of this RWC experience, A Stadium of Four Million was published in 2012.

Throughout 2014, as a director of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Martin was closely involved in the ICC’s reorganisation of the governance of international cricket and the re-shaping of cricket's Future Tours program.

Tourism: Former CEO of the Tourism Industry Association.
As CEO of the Tourism Industry Association, he led our tourism industry through the creation of 'Tourism 2025', a framework to provide New Zealand's number two-ranked export earning industry with a confident sense of strategic direction through the next decade. Since the release of the plan, the industry has boomed and is far-outstripping initial growth targets.

Promotions: Former CEO of Duco Promotions Limited
Duco's strong event portfolio includes the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines and the KFC Fight For Life as well as management of New Zealand's boxing star, Joseph Parker.

Our delegates really enjoyed Martin’s relaxed style of presentation and his stories about his cricket days. Galvanizers Association

Martin has a very good corporate background and was excellent at weaving in the key messages we gave him before hand. Very personable and very easy to work with. He was excellent and worth every penny.

ANZ Private Bank

Martin provided an excellent speech and had the audience enthralled with his story presented in a relaxed, informal manner. He incorporated the theme for the evening, ‘Strength through Partnership’ very well into his speech. He showed his local knowledge of the area, which gained rapport with the audience. It was refreshing to have a person of his calibre talk about an event, rather than himself. We have had a lot of very positive feedback from people who attended and each one thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Willis Toomey Robinson

With a topic which can be very heavy and emotionally draining, Martin closed the conference on a high. I was very impressed by his story telling skills and his ability to reach out to the audience and draw them into his world. As a speaker he is a dream to work with and I’d like to thank him for his efforts at this conference


Martin was wonderful. The audience was largely made up of females who might not necessarily respond well to a presentation on rugby, but he made it about much more than that and it appealed to everyone in the room, whether they were senior or junior, in marketing or finance. A perfect blend of humour, storytelling, and useful take away advice.

Loyalty NZ

Martin did a great job preparing for our event. Getting to know our group and its intricacies can be an interesting task. Martin was professional throughout the entire process.

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