Steve Braunias' Secret Diary of NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew

"As Oscar Wilde said, 'I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.'"
"As Oscar Wilde said, 'I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.'"

MONDAY

At the end of the day we've got to find out exactly what happened so we can exonerate the boys. Because the one thing that's clear in this whole mess is that the boys are the victims.

The boys weren't to know it was out of bounds to do anything they wanted to do with a naked "dancer" at their end of season celebrations at the Okoroire hot pools near Matamata.

I love those boys. They're like family. In fact all of New Zealand Rugby is one big family made up of a lot of really big boys.

But the boys are hurting right now. It breaks my heart to see it. The important thing is to lay it to rest so we can move on, and we can only do that with some key learnings.

I met with New Zealand Rugby's crack investigative unit at a cafe, and said to him, "Mate, I want you go to the Okoroire hot pools near Matamata, and look under every rock."

That was yesterday. He called this morning to arrange another meeting at the cafe.

I got there and he said, "Mate, did you say the Te Aroha hot pools near Paeroa?"

I said, "No, but that's an easy mistake to make."

I drew him directions, and he left as soon as he'd finished his long black.

He called this afternoon to arrange another meeting at the cafe.

He ordered a long black, and we sat down.

He reached into his pocket and brought out a rock. He put it on the table.

I said, "Mate, what's this?"

He said, "A rock."

I said, "Did you look under it?"

TUESDAY

We arranged to meet at the cafe. While I was waiting for him, I ordered a brioche, and flicked through an old copy of Mindfood.

He came in and said, "Well, I put it back like you told me to, and looked under it."

"And?"

"Nothing."

"Well, thanks for doing that," I said. "It's good to follow through on these things. Did you talk to anyone while you were out there?"

"No."

"What about Scarlette?"

"Who?"

"The 'dancer'," I said, making the inverted commas with my fingers.

He said, "What's the point of that? I may as well talk to those other women who complained about the boys. Waste of time."

"Give her a call, mate," I said.

"Alright, mate," I said. "Soon as I finish my coffee."

WEDNESDAY

In the spirit of transparency, I held a press conference with Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman and Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, and outlined our key learnings.

"Nothing happened," I said. "Nothing went on. There's nothing to see here.

"As Tolstoy said, 'We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.' Or as Oscar Wilde said, 'I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.' In conclusion I'd like to say we've laid it to rest, and now we can all move on. Thank you all for coming."

We met for a meal afterwards. "I think that went very well," I said.

THURSDAY

I met with the boys and told them they were all under caution. No one said anything.

They hung their heads. I could tell they were hurting.

Then they left, and I saw them laughing and high-fiving in the carpark. You've got to love those boys!

FRIDAY

I met with New Zealand Rugby's crack investigative unit at a cafe to go through his expenses.

I said, "So what are the Okoroire hot pools near Matamata actually like?"

He said, "How should I know? I was at the Te Aroha hot pools near Paeroa."

- NZ Herald

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