Paul Henry vs Steve Tew - TV host rips into rugby boss

Paul Henry lays into the NZ Rugby boss at failure to contact victims of Wellington player's assault. Photo / Mediaworks.
Paul Henry lays into the NZ Rugby boss at failure to contact victims of Wellington player's assault. Photo / Mediaworks.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew will call the victims of Losi Filipo, but only after he endured an onslaught on live television from broadcaster Paul Henry.

It was a demanding morning in the media spotlight for Tew who was also taken to task by Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB, Andrew Mulligan on Crowd Goes Wild, Susie Ferguson on RNZ's Morning Report and Hilary Barry on Breakfast.

LISTEN: Steve Tew speaks to Larry Williams

Pulling Tew on to answer for the controversy surrounding Losi Filipo, Henry did not let Tew escape a barrage of hard questions and retorts.

Tew and the NZRU have been under fire after making the choice to remove themselves from certain aspects of the scandal.

"We are dealing with a lot of people every single day of the week, and there will be mistakes made," Tew said.

"But we try to learn from them and get better."

However, Henry wasn't letting go that easy.

"But you don't learn from them," Henry said.

"The Chiefs scandal was just a few weeks ago, then this comes up, you haven't learned anything."

Tew admitted that perhaps Wellington Rugby should have found more details about what happened with the assault.

However, Henry had a different view.

"You said perhaps, what do you mean perhaps? Theres no perhaps about it," Henry said.

"What kind of idiot doesn't actually ask what is involved in this case?"

Tew moved on to the usual NZRU rhetoric which states this is a Wellington Rugby problem and that the national union doesn't play a role.

"Paul, we're not involved in this actually. Wellington rugby has contracted Filipo."

"So is that New Zealand Rugby's stand?" Henry said.

"What is your job as chief executive of New Zealand Rugby? It's New Zealand Rugby, and this is besmirching the name.

"You said in your statement, 'We do not tolerate any behaviour that disrespects woman or anyone for that matter', but yes you do. I can prove it. If it weren't for Losi, he [victim] would still be playing.

Lastly, Henry criticised Tew for the fact he, or anyone from the NZRU, hasn't called the victims.

Tew said that as a result of the show he would call the victims once he left.

Once again, Henry wasn't happy.

"That's gross management, that's appalling management, if this is the quickest you can deal with it."

Calling Tew out on his promise, Henry made one last remark before signing off.

"Will you tell me now, that I won't have to have a conversation like this with you again?"

A slightly less rattled Tew appeared on Radio Sport's Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast, saying the NZRU are going through a rigorous process to ensure there are less incidents in the future.

"What we should have learned, is that we get as much information as we can so that we can make an informed decision," Tew said.

"We're already talking to a range of agencies that are dealing with similar matters. As a consequence of what happened with the Chiefs, we are going to update some of the education work very quickly."

Tew also said he wasn't surprised at the reaction of the New Zealand public, given the seriousness of the assault charges.

Tew made another media appearance, speaking with Newstalk ZB's Larry Williams.

Tew commented on Wellington Rugby's handling of the situation, saying "there are certainly some lessons to be learned here".

"I think you need to dig a little bit deeper when there's an assault charge. You have to look at how serious it is."

"We've relied on the court system in this instance and Filipo, who at the time was a schoolboy, pleaded guilty and was discharged."

"I think we being Wellington in the first instance have taken that off face value".

Tew said simply the handling was "not good enough."

- NZ Herald

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