High Performance NZ boss Mike Scott admits the potential withdrawal of funds from millionaire philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn is concerning.

A comprehensive review released yesterday revealed alarming findings about a negative environment under then head coach Mark Hager, including the majority player view that the negative culture had been experienced for at least the last two years.

Despite the findings of the review, Glenn remained unconvinced with the findings of the independent review, calling the claims by the majority of the players interviewed "cowardice".

"He is a good coach – I saw a lot of his coaching all over the world. No complaints, all the good players are supporting him. Who are the ones who aren't? This is cowardice, absolute cowardice," Glenn told Newstalk ZB's Larry Williams.


Last week, the Herald reported that Glenn – a strong supporter of Hager, who resigned as coach of the women's side last month – would be freezing his funding to the Black Sticks women's hockey programme because of dissatisfaction with the sport's governance.

Speaking to Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave, Scott said he was hopeful that the situation between Glenn and Hockey NZ would be resolved quickly.

"Clearly Sir Owen is a very passionate supporter of the Black Sticks and we're all hopeful that this situation can be resolved quickly," Scott said.

"As a nation we're a small high performance system competing against much bigger and better resourced countries and any philanthropic support like this can make a big difference.

"Obviously we're concerned about the potential withdrawal and we're hopeful that it can be resolved and move forward so we can create the best possible environment for the athletes to perform."

Former Black Sticks Women's coach Mark Hager. Photo / Photosport
Former Black Sticks Women's coach Mark Hager. Photo / Photosport

The review revealed that of the 33 players interviewed, 24 players reported 'serious concerns' about the environment within the team.

However, details of the review and what constitutes a negative environment have been scarce, leading to criticism from both Glenn and the New Zealand Hockey Players Association.

Glenn believes the hockey board needs to be "taken to task" for its lack of transparency with the findings of the review.


"I saw the amended copy. Probably 30 to 40 pages. But it has huge gaps in it," Glenn said.

"Everything that could have been contentious has been deleted. And it looks like a lawyer has gone over it with a fine tooth comb.

"Where's the justice in that? Where's the fair play in that? Someone has to question this. Nobody wants to take responsibility.

"I want the hockey board to be taken to task."

Scott, on the other hand, defended the review saying some of the details were withheld to protect the privacy of the participants of the review.

"The environment that obviously Hockey NZ undertook this review was to ensure that people's privacies is protected. And we respect that because people came forward on the basis that their input would be confidential."