A cone of silence has descended over Hockey New Zealand and its players' association after a meeting yesterday to resolve the Mark Hager email issue and subsequent fallout.

The two parties met to sort through a potentially damaging situation, which has put Black Sticks women's coach Hager in the spotlight over an ill-starred email he sent to a support staff person, which was in part critical of several players, and which found its way into the squad's hands during the World Cup in London last month.

Criticism of a negative environment within the women's squad surfaced through former goalkeeper Amelia Gibson's allegations to that effect late last week.

"HNZ and the Hockey Players Association have had a positive and constructive meeting to discuss and understand the feedback by some past and present players about the Black Sticks women's environment," a joint statement from the two organisations read.


"We have agreed a plan to address the feedback, which involves an independent person to look into the feedback and gather more information if appropriate."

That person will be confirmed in the next few days.

That statement added that athlete welfare is "paramount. At the same time, we must consider and protect the rights of employees".

Neither party would make any other comment after the meeting which lasted around three hours.

The players received the surprise email before their clutch World Cup match against much lower-ranked Japan, and lost 2-1, a result which had a significant impact on their failure to make the quarter-finals. That led to a drop in their world ranking from No 4 to No 6.