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NZR Board releases governance proposal to change sport's leadership structure

NZR Board releases governance proposal to change sport's leadership structure

NZRUMarch 27, 2024

NZR Board releases governance proposal to change sport's leadership structure

The New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Board has today publicly released a proposal to change the sport’s leadership structure and create generational change for the game.

Board Chair Dame Patsy Reddy has presented the Board’s Governance model to NZR’s voting members, the 26 Provincial Unions and the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board (NZMRB).

The Board’s recommendation, which is available to view here, would see a transition to a fully independent model of governance.

“Changing rugby’s leadership structure is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform while at the same time ensuring that rugby remains deeply connected to New Zealanders. The Board’s view is that the time has come to collectively commit to transitioning to a new model,” said Dame Patsy. 

“Across rugby there is wide-spread agreement on the need for change and we have seen that everyone has had the best interests of the game at heart as we have worked through the recommendations of the Governance Review with our members since August last year.”

Feedback and views of NZR’s voting members has strongly advocated for a process which ensures the Board has lived experience of community rugby, Te Ao Māori and strong relationships across Māori and Pasifika.

The NZR Board believes this approach can meet the perspectives of the voting members, whilst staying true to the principles of independence in the Governance Review recommendations.

Dame Patsy acknowledged there would always be alternative views, but the time had come for rugby to realise its full potential in order to build financial sustainability and safeguard the grassroots game into the future.

“This leadership structure will provide greater opportunities for diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders to have a voice in rugby. We are operating in a rapidly changing world and we need a leadership structure which supports a global, professional sport and meets the unique needs of our local communities.

“Community rugby is at the heart of the Board’s recommendation, and it is crucial that we meet the principles and recommendations of the Governance Review if we are to achieve the decisive and effective decision making needed to grasp this opportunity.”

A transitional phase would provide NZR’s key rugby stakeholders with the opportunity to consider, input and pilot the design of a Rugby Council (Stakeholder Council) to represent a broad spectrum of rugby stakeholders in New Zealand, and the Appointments Panel which will recommend Board candidates  for ratification by the voting members at the AGM. 

A Transitional Appointments Panel agreed with voting members would be established in the interim to provide certainty in the upcoming Board appointments process. It is expected the transition period would apply until the 2025 NZR Annual General Meeting. 

The NZR Board governance proposal is available here.

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