The New Zealand Cricket Player's Association have revamped their player's handbook to include notes on how to deal with various risk areas covered in their personal development programme, including affirmative sexual consent.

The programme has been in action for about seven years, covering off several risk factors including anti-doping, life after professional cricket and sexual consent.

Until this year, the aspects outlined in the programme had not been included in the handbook. NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills said the decision to include them now was simply based on making the material more accessible to players around the country.

"We have always taken the view for our members that they become members when they start playing and they're members of the player's association for life, so we want to educate them and help them as much as we can with off-field matters and personal growth and development," Mills said.


"If people are making good decisions they're aware of the risks around being a professional cricketer and are aware of the importance of respect and responsibility, then they're going to be skills and attributes they're going to have for life no matter what career they're involved in.

"There's a whole heap of pages in here, and they're all aspects of the personal development programme that we run. Good decision making is one aspect to it."

NZCPA were particularly applauded on social media for including a page on sexual consent in the good decision-making aspect of the handbook.

The issue has been a talking point in recent times in wider society thanks to movements like #metoo. High-profile cases of alleged sexual assault like the Brett Kavanaugh case in America, has thrust the issue of sexual consent and the power relations between men and women into the public spotlight.

In the sporting world, football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is accused of raping an American woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. The woman chose to speak out and come out of anonymity in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel.

The NZCPA handbook's section on sexual consent reads: "No matter the situation, sexual consent is crucial. Remember, good consent is about good communication.

"If you want to have relations with someone, you are required by law to get consent from them each time.

"Consent has to be informed, which means you have to be honest about the situation. Consent must be freely given.


"This means they are saying yes because they want to, not because they might be too drunk to say no, or too scared to say no, or they want to stop you from harassing them to say yes.

"Always treat the person you are having intimate relationship with, with respect."

Mills said the decision to include the material in the updated handbook was not made because of issues within the organisation, or as a reaction to any case in particular.

"There's a page on good decision making as it relates to sexual consent, so it's not that we've highlighted that as a particular issue or problem. We don't believe it is, it's just part of our personal development programme which we've had in place for a long period of time now."