Hockey New Zealand have enlisted an employment lawyer to lead their review.

Maria Dew, of Bankside Chambers, will head the investigation into the women's Black Sticks and its team culture.

Dew has worked in several complex and sensitive employment investigations.

Hockey NZ last month announced it would undergo a review into the team, following claims that coach Mark Hager created a negative environment within the side.


The controversy started when Hager sent out an email that was meant to be sent to a support staff person but instead went to all players in the squad just before a key match at the World Cup, which they unexpectedly lost.

Three players were specifically criticised for aspects of their game, and Hager felt the general attitude towards training was wrong.

Former goalkeeper Amelia Gibson is the only player to have spoken out against the Hager regime but others in the current group are understood to be unhappy.

However, several former players have also shown their public support for Hager in a letter signed by seven former Black Sticks in support of the under-fire coach.

The review will be completed by the end of November.