New President, new Board Member for NZRU

Getty Images     25 Apr 2013     Getty Images

- Mark Robinson elected new Central Zone Representative
- Current South Zone Representative Graham Cooney re-elected
- Current Independent Board Member Brent Impey re-appointed
- Experienced women to join two key Board Sub-Committees

Ian MacRae has been elected the new President of the New Zealand Rugby Union at its Annual General Meeting today. He replaces Bryan Williams who has completed his two year term.

“I am deeply honoured to be elected President and I will endeavour to walk in the shoes of the great men who have gone before me,” said Ian MacRae who steps up from the Vice President role he has undertaken over the past two years.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to New Zealand rugby which has served me well over many decades and I promise to do my best in representing the game here and overseas.”

MacRae played 45 games for the All Blacks including 17 Tests and is a long serving administrator and coach at club and representative level in Hawke’s Bay.

NZRU Chairman Mike Eagle paid tribute to outgoing President, Bryan Williams, at the AGM describing him as a great ambassador for New Zealand rugby.

“Bryan has worked hard here and abroad representing the game he loves with great passion, humility and humour.

“You have given tirelessly to the game on many fronts over many years and the vigour you have brought to your latest role these past two years, as well as the two years you served as Vice President, has been much appreciated by all of us today.”

The ballot for vice president was deferred to a later meeting due to an ineligibility issue. There were two nominations – chartered accountant Mark Peters and Canterbury businessman David Rhodes.

Mark Peter's candidacy following his nomination by Tasman Rugby Football Union was ruled to be ineligible due to a constitutional clause that states former NZRU Board members are not eligible for election to the role of Vice President or President for five years after ceasing their term as an NZRU Director.

Mr Peters was an NZRU Director until 2009 and this was an oversight that was not identified until during voting at the AGM.

“We sincerely apologise to Mark and David for not identifying this issue earlier,” said Eagle.

To ensure a robust voting process for the role of Vice President, the meeting elected to carry over the vote to another meeting at a later date.

New Central Zone Representative elected

Former All Black and former Chief Executive of the Taranaki Rugby Football Union Mark Robinson has been elected to the NZRU Board as the new representative for the Central Zone.

“We welcome Mark to the Board. He brings considerable business skills and a deep knowledge of the professional game from both an on field and off field perspective which will be invaluable in terms of helping the Board deal with the many complex issues we face.”

Mike Eagle also acknowledged the contribution of retiring Central Zone Representative Graham Mourie who joined the Board in September 2002 and was New Zealand’s representative on the IRB’s Executive Committee, the Rugby Committee and numerous working groups on the game’s laws.

“Graham has made a huge difference to the way rugby is played and run here and overseas and he has impressed people around the rugby world with his efforts to achieve positive results for the game.”

Brent Impey and Graham Cooney confirmed for new terms

Following the conclusion of the AGM, the Appointments and Remuneration Committee reappointed Brent Impey as Independent Director for a new three year term.

Brent Impey, former CEO of Mediaworks and experienced director, had been appointed in 2012 to replace the late Christopher Doig.
Board member Graham Cooney was also elected for a new term as the South Zone representative unopposed.

“We welcome both Graham and Brent back on to the Board,” said Eagle. “Their mix of governance and business experience has been of great value around the table and we look forward to their contributions over the next three years.”

Experienced women to join two key Board Sub-Committees

New Zealand Rugby has also confirmed that following the AGM, the Board will seek to appoint one appropriately experienced and qualified woman on to each of its Rugby and Commercial Board Sub-Committees.

“Appointing an experienced woman from outside the Board to each of these Committees is a first step to gaining some valuable gender balance while also adding relevant skills to both these influential Board committees,” said Eagle.