Somewhat belatedly, New Zealand Rugby is moving to repair its tarnished image after a series of unedifying episodes involving at their core the treatment of women.

The announcement of a panel to review the way the game deals with "respect and responsibility" is welcome, though the exact tasks and composition of the group remain for the moment unclear because NZR has yet to spell out the details.

Rugby's administrators have been behind the eight-ball on this issue since the Chiefs stripper scandal some 10 long weeks ago. They were handed a tailor-made opportunity when the Human Rights Commission reached out with an offer to help the game take some concrete steps towards respecting women and changing the culture in their organisation.

Since then, there have been discussions with the Players' Union and senior rugby figures, but precious little has trickled back to the public to reassure those who love the sport that the game is willing and committed to change for the better.


In the meantime there have been more examples of players behaving badly, but few indisputable signs that the group which runs the game is willing to swiftly make some tough calls in the overall interests of the sport.

The two-paragraph statement on Thursday night promised a "thorough and transparent review." The union needs to show more urgency and purpose. It is well-resourced organisation, which manages a sport that occupies a privileged and central place in New Zealand society.

It should not need a special panel to advise on issues of "respect and responsibility." In 2016, they should be second nature.