New Zealand Rugby announces Respect and Responsibility Review     09 Nov 2016    

New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey said New Zealand Law Society President and employment lawyer Kathryn Beck has been appointed to chair the review panel.  She is joined by fellow panel members Sport NZ Board member and former netball administrator Jackie Barron, New Zealand Cricket and Hurricanes Board member Liz Dawson, former World Anti-Doping Agency head David Howman, HR and Communications Executive Kate Daly, former All Black greats Michael Jones and Keven Mealamu, respected former All Blacks doctor Dr Deb Robinson, and Olympic Gold medallist Lisa Carrington.  Robyn Cockburn will support the review as researcher and writer.

“The work we are announcing today, will undertake a review of New Zealand Rugby policies, processes and programmes already in place, and that may need to be developed further, to build a culture of respect and responsibility in the professional rugby environment," Impey said.

“This Review is part of our continued efforts to be a world leading organisation that enables everyone involved with rugby in New Zealand to be the best that they can be.

“Rugby has long been held up as one of the unique vehicles for New Zealanders to feel connected to each other, to be inspired, and be great members of their communities.  We want to play our part in those opportunities and ensure rugby plays a positive role in our society.

“NZR has clear expectations of its players, coaches, team management, executives, administrators and governors, their responsibilities and how they should conduct themselves.  

“We want to review how these expectations are communicated and ingrained to ensure the standards of conduct and the underlying culture of respect and responsibility are clearly understood and maintained,” Impey said.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said NZR was ready to step up to better meet the public’s expectations of rugby starting with a focus on growing NZR’s induction and ongoing education programme and ultimately the culture in the professional environments.

“While much has been achieved and there has been considerable personal growth in most of those involved in professional rugby, there is still a significant opportunity, need and desire to further improve the culture and overall standards of behaviour within the professional game.

“In the same way that rugby seeks to do better on the field, we must constantly seek ways to improve off the field. The integrity, reputation, and ultimate success of the game in New Zealand depends on this.

Kathryn Beck welcomed the opportunity to lead this work for New Zealand Rugby.

“This is an important piece of work for rugby in New Zealand. I am encouraged by the conversations I have already held with New Zealand Rugby as it demonstrates a real desire to drive a positive change in the way rugby identifies and addresses issues of respect and responsibility.

“Rugby in New Zealand is in a unique position where it should be able to inspire and encourage New Zealanders – young and old – to be the very best people they can be.

“I am delighted with the calibre of the panel as I believe they will help New Zealand Rugby to have a meaningful, and real, assessment of its culture,” she said.

Brent Impey said the panel has been asked to convene at least once before the end of this year with further meetings to be held in the new year.

“A preliminary report will be provided to the NZR Board in April 2017, and we expect to be able to share the outcomes of the review in May 2017.”

The Terms of Reference are publicly available and can be viewed here.

Kathryn Beck is available for a stand-up this afternoon in AUCKLAND.
WHEN:  2:30pm, TODAY Wednesday, 9 November
WHERE:  NZR Auckland office, 125 The Strand, Parnell, Auckland at 2.30pm
CONTACT: Juli Clausen for more details.