The internal investigation into an incident involving a woman called Scarlette and members of the Chiefs rugby team highlighted that NZ Rugby’s disciplinary process isn’t appropriate when dealing with issues of integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights.
Since writing the open letter, I’ve made a number of recommendations in my conversations with Steve Tew about how NZ Rugby can embed human rights in their practice and address the culture issues within their organisation and the sport.
The recommendations include:
- Developing a Human Rights policy, committing to incorporate human rights principles into everyday practice
- Ensuring their disciplinary process is legally robust and protects vulnerable people such as children, or those who have laid complaints of a sexual nature, seeking independent advice and support when required
- Taking steps to ensure diverse representation across NZ Rugby’s governance and management structure
- Supporting more diverse people into management roles
Louise Nicholas and Heather Henare have also been leading discussions with the NZ Players Union and Steve Tew around sexual violence training at all levels in the sport.
As a signatory to the letter, your voice is an important part of this conversation and we are incredibly proud of what has been achieved so far with your support.
It’s important for future generations of rugby players, supporters, all women and each of you who signed this letter, that they get this right.
We will be continuing to work with them as they address their culture challenges and become an organisation that they, and all New Zealanders, can be proud of.
Please continue to talk with your friends and family about the campaign and we will continue to keep you updated as this important and necessary work continues.
Dr Jackie Blue
Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner