Double Olympic canoeing champion Lisa Carrington is among a group of high-profile New Zealanders drafted onto an independent panel to look into a respect and responsibility review of rugby in New Zealand.

The appointment of a panel comes in the wake of a number of scandals to hit rugby in this country, including the Chiefs' strippergate, the Losi Filipo assault case and Aaron Smith's toilet tryst.

Carrington will be joined on the panel by former All Blacks greats Michael Jones and Keven Mealamu, former World Anti-Doping Agency head David Howman, respected former All Blacks doctor Dr Deb Robinson, New Zealand Cricket and Hurricanes board member Liz Dawson, Sport New Zealand board member and former netball administrator Jackie Barron and HR and communications executive Kate Daly. The panel will be chaired by New Zealand Law Society president and employment lawyer Kathryn Beck.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said NZR were ready to step up to better meet the public's expectations of rugby starting with a focus on growing NZR's induction and ongoing education programme and ultimately the culture in the professional environments.


"While much has been achieved and there has been considerable personal growth in most of those involved in professional rugby, there is still a significant opportunity, need and desire to further improve the culture and overall standards of behaviour within the professional game," he said.

"In the same way that rugby seeks to do better on the field, we must constantly seek ways to improve off the field. The integrity, reputation, and ultimate success of the game in New Zealand depends on this."

New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey said the panel has been asked to convene at least once before the end of this year with further meetings to be held in the new year.

"A preliminary report will be provided to the NZR board in April 2017, and we expect to be able to share the outcomes of the review in May 2017." he said.

He added: "The work we are announcing today, will undertake a review of New Zealand Rugby policies, processes and programmes already in place, and that may need to be developed further, to build a culture of respect and responsibility in the professional rugby environment.

"This review is part of our continued efforts to be a world leading organisation that enables everyone involved with rugby in New Zealand to be the best that they can be.

"Rugby has long been held up as one of the unique vehicles for New Zealanders to feel connected to each other, to be inspired, and be great members of their communities. We want to play our part in those opportunities and ensure rugby plays a positive role in our society.

"NZR has clear expectations of its players, coaches, team management, executives, administrators and governors, their responsibilities and how they should conduct themselves.

"We want to review how these expectations are communicated and ingrained to ensure the standards of conduct and the underlying culture of respect and responsibility are clearly understood and maintained."