A Massey University study has found that while Maori and Polynesians excel on the sports field they are mostly invisible when it comes to sports management
PhD student Ryan Holland completed a research paper on governance of national sporting organisations.
He says while those of Maori and Pacific Island descent make up nearly half the players in high profile teams such as the All Blacks and the Silver Ferns, their representation across all sports in governance roles is just over 5%.
Mr Holland says he did not come across any out-and-out racism but race and culture were at the heart of the problem.
He says when teams such as the Warriors or Auckland Blues lose games, there is feedback suggesting it is because there are too many Maori or Pasifika players on the field, yet when they're winning that same observation isn't made.