Rugby: NZRU gives itself performance rating of 78.5 per cent

NZRU CEO Steve Tew speaks during the New Zealand All Blacks annual general meeting at NZRU headquarters. Photo / Getty Images.
NZRU CEO Steve Tew speaks during the New Zealand All Blacks annual general meeting at NZRU headquarters. Photo / Getty Images.

The New Zealand Rugby Union has given itself a performance rating of 78.5 per cent for last year.

Chief executive Steve Tew said the organisation had a good year in terms of meeting its own performance targets with the overall rating the highest for the NZRU since 2006.

"It was particularly pleasing that we continued to make progress across all key areas even with the focus on RWC 2011," he said.

The rating is based on achievements under each of the pillars of the organisation's "vision": Strong community rugby, winning All Blacks, "outstanding" competitions, "effective" structures, "positive" global presence, and an "inspirational" Rugby World Cup 2011.

"The rating is a fair reflection of our performance, particularly the importance we placed on winning RWC 2011. We achieved 34 out of 35 per cent for our national teams' success and achieved everything we said we would in relation to our positive global presence and delivering an inspirational RWC 2011 and community rugby legacy plan," Tew added.

"We didn't achieve all our targets in 2011, mainly in the areas of player and coach recruitment and retention and improving on fan support for the game. But there are certainly encouraging signs this year in terms of registrations and strong crowd and TV audience figures for Investec Super Rugby."

The result was released following the NZRU's 120th annual meeting in Wellington this morning.

In a statement, chairman Mike Eagle thanked New Zealand for backing the All Blacks and ensuring the World Cup was a success.

"Our thanks go to New Zealanders for getting in behind the team and for welcoming the world - the fans, the volunteers, all of us played a part in the success of a tournament which put us in the global spotlight like no other event has," he said.

As announced in April, the NZRU posted an improved bottom line profit of $9.6 million, which reflected the foreign exchange wash-up from the NZRU's investment in RWC 2011. However, the organisation also recorded a loss of $3.1m from day to day operations.

NZRU is forecasting a break-even operating result this year, but Eagle warned that the difficult economic environment continued to pose significant challenges.

"High debt and operating losses for some unions show that the challenge to live within our means remains a very real one.

"It is heartening that in the past year 18 of our 26 unions were back in the black. In 2010, the picture was much worse with just eight unions posting a profit. But we all have to do better and return to a path of sustainable and growing profits. If we don't do that debt will grow and end up depriving us of the means to nurture the game."

He said reducing costs must remain a critical focus, but the NZRU had a fresh challenge in that regard with the unbudgeted costs associated with the need to relocate to new premises because of the earthquake rating on its Wellington headquarters.

The annual meeting also confirmed directors for three vacant positions on the NZRU board. Only one nomination was received for the North Zone representative and for the New Zealand Maori Rugby board representative. Consequently, Bruce Cameron was elected as the north zone representative. He is currently chairman of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.

Wayne Peters, the incumbent Maori representative, was re-elected.

Richard Hunt was re-elected central zone representative. The other nomination was Rhys Barlow, a former chairman of the Wellington Rugby Football Union. Hunt was formerly the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union chairman and was elected to the NZRU board last year to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of the late Jock Hobbs.

West Coast rugby stalwart and former NZRU president John Sturgeon was confirmed as a Life Member of the NZRU.

- APNZ

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