Sir Owen Glenn has used money that would have gone to the New Zealand women's hockey team, to help out their former coach.

It was revealed by the Herald last month that the long-time benefactor froze the $1 million he had committed to the women's Black Sticks, because of dissatisfaction with the sport's governance. He continues to stand by now-departed coach Mark Hager, who he has been a vocal supporter of.

Hager resigned in January to take over as coach of the British and English teams leading to the Tokyo Olympics. His decade-long Black Sticks tenure culminated in a maiden gold medal at April's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Hager also took the team to two Olympic fourths, two World League finals and a Champions Trophy bronze.

But he has been at the centre of the review, and believing he could no longer be himself, left the role.


The six month independent review conducted by Maria Dew QC found serious failings by Hockey New Zealand. The review revealed that of the 33 players interviewed, 24 players reported 'serious concerns' about the environment within the team.

The majority player view of a negative environment had been experienced for at least the last two years, with players arguing that the environment wasn't helping them reach their full potential, and was impeding the success of the team.

Sir Owen demanded that Hockey NZ be investigated if they were to earn the money back.

He says those haven't been met, but a call from Hager has led him to start funding them again from this month.

"It wasn't Hockey New Zealand that did anything. Mark [Hager] said it's passed, let it go, I don't want to keep fighting. It's clearly wrong but I don't want to keep fighting, so he just said I've moved on so let's just accept it.

"But all of those Hockey New Zealand people who have apologised are still there."

However, the January and February payments won't be back-dated. Instead, they've gone to Hager himself.

"The two months payments that I would have given the women's team, I've given to Mark Hager. It will allow him four return trips to see his family. His family have now settled in New Zealand and obviously he's in England and they don't want to go there.


"He's had to suffer. I just hope I've softened it. But some of them [the players] are frankly stabbing him in the back, but they've been guaranteed anonymity. The whole governance of sport in New Zealand needs to be addressed. I'm not sure who will look at it, but somebody needs to. It's not just hockey, it's cycling and rowing and all sorts of things."

Sir Owen's also offered some advice to incoming women's Black Sticks coach Graham Shaw.

The Irishman was last week appointed as Hager's replacement, and will take over in May.

"I don't know him. He did well for Ireland, took them to the World Cup final. I have no opinion on him though. I wish him well … I only hope he looks at his contract," Glenn said.