New Zealand Rugby is heading for an administrative shake up today, expected to lead to greater representation of women in the game's highest echelon.

At present the NZR board of nine includes one woman, former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer, who was elected last December to replace Maori representative Wayne Peters.
She was voted in unanimously by the country's 26 provincial unions.

NZR chairman Brent Impey has long been a strong proponent of greater diversity among the game's decision makers.

"NZ Rugby can't be out of step with where the rest of society is going and I think that's being recognised," Impey said at the time of Palmer's election.


"Of 155,000 players, 21,000 of them are women. It's my personal view that, particularly around women's sevens and the Olympics, it can become the No 1 women's team sport in this country.

"It's just inconsistent to have those numbers and those ambitions without that group being represented at the governance level."Rugby could take a cue from New Zealand Cricket.

Late last year it launched a document, Women and Cricket; Cricket and Women in which is set out to change the way the women's game is viewed and administered, to put more resources into it, and give it greater recognition.

NZC admitted at the time it had essentially been derelict in it's overseeing of the women's game for the last two decades.

One of the governance and leadership recommendations which came out of that was to "significantly and quickly increase the proportion of females in cricket governance".

There are now three women on cricket's board of nine - president Debbie Hockley, Liz Dawson and Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

Today's NZR special general meeting in Wellington will vote on changes to the make up of the board.

The key proposal is to reduce the number of board members directly elected by provincial unions from six to three, allowing for three appointments to be made by the Appointments and Remuneration Committee. They would be based on nominations from provincial unions.

The move would mean six of the nine board positions will be appointed rather than elected.