COMMENT:

The long awaited review into NZ women's hockey is out - and what do we know?

Well not much given they only released three pages of it.

But of the 33 players interviewed, 24 of them reported "serious concerns" about the team environment.

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We don't know what they are specifically, but it's alleged there was a culture of bullying and that number, 24 out of 33 tells, you all you need to know about the atmosphere within that workspace. The majority of players interviewed didn't like it.

So aside from the fact that report's vague and hockey benefactor Sir Owen Glenn's still not happy, this whole spectacle has raised an interesting question: when do bullying claims get taken seriously?

At what point do people get listened to? Does informal reporting count?
Do passing comments about it count? Does asking for help, but not laying a formal complaint per se count?

Some of the players and representatives interviewed last year claimed they'd been informally raising concerns with Hockey New Zealand since 2016. That's two years of raising concerns.

But Hockey NZ hadn't responded - why? Apparently because they didn't receive any formal complaints.

So the summation was what? That players who moaned were just whingers? That it wasn't to be taken seriously?

I have an element of sympathy with Hockey NZ in that to act, you probably do need actual dates, names, specifics. But at the same time, how long do you need to see a pattern of complaints, albeit informal ones, to get the message something's awry?

Hockey NZ's offered an effusive apology to the affected players. Chairman Mike Bignell said "the failings resulted in unacceptable outcomes" and that "it should never have got to this point and the fact that it has, is something Hockey New Zealand is deeply sorry for and unequivocally apologises to all those who have had a poor experience in the environment".

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'It should have never got to this point' are the key words here - and hopefully going forward, the key learnings out of all this.

Yes national women's coach Mark Hager has quit – it appears he jumped before he was pushed - and Sir Owen Glenn's pulled a million bucks in funding. He's annoyed at the trashing of Hager's reputation and he now wants the board taken to task.

But the question remains: how did claims of bullying and gripes of an unhappy negative culture go on for so long, and not get taken seriously?