9 Nov 2016

Carrington to help NZR with culture

11:30 am on 9 November 2016

New Zealand's double Olympic kayak champion Lisa Carrington has been included on a nine-person panel that will oversee New Zealand Rugby's respect and responsibility review.

Lisa Carrington

Lisa Carrington Photo: Photosport

The review comes after New Zealand Rugby was heavily criticised in the wake of the Chiefs' stripper scandal, and the case of Wellington rugby Losi Filipo, who was charged by police with assault.

New Zealand Law Society President and employment lawyer Kathryn Beck has been appointed to chair the review panel.

Carrington and Beck are joined on the panel by 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 Blacks Michael Jones and Keven Mealamu and former All Blacks doctor Dr Deb Robinson.

The All Blacks' hooker Keven Mealamu performs the Haka.

The All Blacks' hooker Keven Mealamu performs the Haka. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Outgoing director-general of WADA David Howman.

David Howman. Photo: Photosport

There are five men and four women on the panel.

Robyn Cockburn will support the review as researcher and writer.

New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey confirmed the panel had 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."

Impey said the review was aimed at developing a culture of respect and educating players of their responsibilities as professional athletes.

"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 NZ Rugby was ready to step up to better meet the public's expectations of rugby.

"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," Tew said.

Beck said she 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 NZ Rugby to have a meaningful, and real, assessment of its culture," she said.

-RNZ

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.