Hockey's bosses and its players association will meet on Monday to try and resolve problems around the women's Black Sticks in the wake of a damaging email critical of players before the World Cup last month.
Hockey New Zealand moved to shut the issue down after longtime coach Mark Hager wrote an email which was negative towards three players before the World Cup. But instead of sending it to just its one intended recipient, a member of his coaching/support staff, he inadvertently sent it to all his players.
Hager has apologised in person to the group and each player individually, but rather than die away the matter is simmering.
Former goalkeeper Amelia Gibson spoke out tonight detailing the reasons she walked away from the game.
Fear kept her quiet, she said. Gibson, who won 63 caps since 2010, believed she had no choice but to cut short her career, citing a negative environment within the Black Sticks.
"You want to be treated with integrity, you want to be able to play to the best of your ability but if you're in a negative environment it's not possible to perform," she told One News.
"It becomes pretty real when you're at home crying most days.
"I was too scared to say anything because I didn't want to ruin my chances."
Gibson said she sought help from a team psychologist then chose to go outside the team environment.
She raised her concerns with HNZ, who have acknowledged they received a complaint from a third party but felt it didn't require further action at the time. That view is being revisited.
Players association executive manager Glen Sulzberger said initially the bulk of the feedback from players was of the 'time to move on' variety.
"When they arrived back in New Zealand I reached out to a few players to get their view on how it (the email) affected them. It became reasonably evident that…a number still had concerns surrounding it.
"There's a number who think it's done and dusted; and a number who feel quite the opposite. We want to work out what the next steps might be needed."
Sulzberger said there had been no talk in specific terms of Hager having to leave before players would be satisfied. That was a matter for HNZ.
"We think there could be some learnings. If things happen in the environment, how do they deal with it?
"What things can the team manage and (on) what things they should look for external support."
Sulzberger said there were no pre-conceived ideas of what the players association want to get out of the meeting.
But "we want to present the views of the players who have given us feedback. We want to collaborate with HNZ on any potential solutions or if there is a need for adjustment in the environment."
New Zealand, who won their first Commonwealth Games title on the Gold Coast in April, had a disastrous World Cup. Ranked fourth in the world, they failed to even make the quarter-finals. In the latest rankings they have dropped to sixth.