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NZ Rugby report from Respect and Responsibility Review

September 28, 2017 at 3:04 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

NZ Rugby has published findings from its Respect and Responsibility Review.

The review was initiated in 2016 after criticism about players harassing and behaving violently towards women and the organisation's response.

The review involved looking at existing research, policies, protocols, best practice models, stakeholder engagement and an online "mailbox." The review also considered the 2013 Independent Review of Player Welfare and the resulting areas of change that NZ Rugby has been working on.

The full report, Respect and Responsibility Review (2017), outlines the areas the review focused on:

  • "Induction and education programmes for the professional game
  • Attitudes to women
  • Codes of conduct and behaviour protocols
  • Leadership contributions to attitudes and behaviours
  • Personal Development Programme
  • Impact of alcohol and potential use of recreational drugs
  • Policies, practices and procedures for complaints about behaviour."

The report covers a number of areas and topics that were explored through the review. Six goals are recommended and discussed in detail in the report:

  • "Goal One: Inclusive - Inclusive Leadership: NZ Rugby is committed to pursuing inclusive leadership.
  • Goal Two: Progressive - Developing People: As a progressive organisation, NZ Rugby is committed to developing the capability and success of its people along the participation to performance pathway.
  • Goal Three: Integrity - Nurturing Wellbeing: NZ Rugby acts with integrity to develop and support the wellbeing of people within rugby and expects its community to do the same.
  • Goal Four: Empowering - Gender Equity: NZ Rugby is committed to gender equity and proactively works to empower girls and women to be engaged at all levels in rugby.
  • Goal Five: Respectful - Proactive Engagement: NZ Rugby has a leadership role within rugby proactively engaging with stakeholders and communicating respectfully in a way that reflects these goals.
  • Goal Six: World leading - Accountable and Independent: NZ Rugby commits to being world leading, setting ambitious targets and being accountable through its annual scoreboard to its constituents, partners and stakeholders, and utilising independent processes to preserve its integrity."

For each goal there are short, medium and long-term actions.

A summary report is also available.

The review was led by Law Society President and Panel Chair Kathryn Beck. Robyn Cockburn is the researcher and author of the review.

Stuff reported that Ms Beck said:

"We found a culture that was ready for change. It's an all-culture change that's required so that's a big challenge. But it's do-able, and our recommendations are designed so they're things rugby could do that would make a difference."

The NZ Herald reported that NZ Rugby has appointed its chief financial officer and head of corporate services Nicki Nicol to lead the implementation of the review.

Responses to the report

Newshub spoke with the two women who made complaints about inappropriate behaviour from rugby players and shared their comments about the report (see the video). 

Radio NZ reported that Sexual Abuse Prevention Network General Manager Fiona McNamara supported the report, but said more work needed to be done:

"It's really great that gender equity is one of the goals, but that whole section is all about encouraging women to play the sport, which is super important but what's missing is a really clear plan to address the culture that makes rugby unattractive to women."

Radio NZ also reported that Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue was glad to see the report, but wanted action sooner:

"I was really disappointed to see the actions around alcohol and drugs and behaviours only a medium goal - so they won't be looked at until 2019/2020. I just think it's more urgent.

Others, including University of Otago Associate Professor Louise Signal and Alcohol Healthwatch Executive Director Nicki Jackson, have criticised the actions related to alcohol for allowing alcohol sponsorship to continue.

Related information

See these previous NZFVC news stories:

NZ Rugby announces review of "respect and responsibility"

Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme receives NZ Rugby award

Rugby League's "Don't be an Egg!" campaign addresses sideline abuse and family violence

Rugby, partner violence and professional sports bodies; Julian Savea charged with assault

Media

Stripper in Chiefs scandal speaks out after NZ Rugby's announcement, NZ Herald, 19.09.2017

NZ Rugby attempt to change off-field behaviour a 'smart business' move, Stuff, 12.09.2017

Rugby review won't change All Blacks much, NZ Herald, 07.09.2017