Steve Tew: Louise Nicholas to help NZ Rugby

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew says his organisation will work with experienced anti-sexual violence advocate Louise Nicholas to enhance its education programmes for players and the broader rugby community.

In the wake of the Chief's end-of-season stripper scandal and New Zealand Rugby's investigation into the incidents, which has been criticised, Tew said the organisation clearly could do better in terms of the culture of its players, particularly regarding attitudes towards women.

"We've had very fruitful discussions with Louise Nicholas and Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue today and welcome their help," Tew said.

Significantly, Tew said he also took the opportunity to take Dr Blue and Ms Nicholas through the Chiefs investigation process.

"They accepted that there was no need for the inquiry to be re-litigated by us.

"We also remain willing to help the police in any way we can and that includes making available the report our senior counsel has prepared."

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said today of the lessons he felt could be taken from the so-called "Mad Monday" celebrations: "You've certainly got to have a plan in place. You always want to celebrate success or the end of a season, but an appropriate plan and making sure you look after each other in the right ways is going to have to be the way forward."

Tew added: "Rugby has an important place in our community. Women, young and old, as players, supporters, parents and volunteers, are at the very heart of our game. Recent events show that attitudes among some of our people towards women leaves a lot to be desired.

"These views let rugby down. Today we are reaffirming our commitment to ensuring all our players know what's expected of them in the professional game.

"We're already doing a lot of good work in this area, but clearly we need to do more.

We're absolutely committed to ensuring our programmes underline the importance of healthy relationships and respect for women.

"We know Louise and the Human Rights Commission have a lot to offer in this area and we look forward to cooperating with them in the future to improve our education for the rugby community.

"For the past year we have been developing a respect and responsibility education
programme in association with ACC focussed further on healthy relationships and consent issues. This week we began advertising for a Respect and Responsibility Manager to spearhead the project."

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