New Zealand Rugby Crises: Governance Reforms Rejected, Split Risks Loom

New Zealand's provincial rugby unions voted 59-31 against proposed governance reforms by NZ Rugby and players' association, potentially leading to a split in domestic rugby. Instead, they adopted 'Proposal 2' requiring board experience. NZ Rugby Players' Association criticized the decision, calling it a missed opportunity for necessary changes.

Reuters | Updated: 30-05-2024 06:49 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 06:49 IST
New Zealand Rugby Crises: Governance Reforms Rejected, Split Risks Loom
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New Zealand's provincial rugby unions voted against proposed governance reforms pushed by the sport's national governing body and players' association on Thursday in a move that could lead to a split in the domestic game. At a Special General Meeting (SGM) in Wellington, the unions voted 59-31 against a proposed leadership structure pushed by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) Chairwoman Patsy Reddy which called for all members of the board to be independent, as advised by a governance review.

The unions instead voted 69-21 in favour of their own "Proposal 2", which demands that at least three of the nine members have two years' experience on one of their boards. The vote follows a threat by the players' association last week to split with NZR and set up a new governing body for the professional game if Reddy's proposal was blocked.

The New Zealand Rugby Players' Association (NZRPA) criticised the unions in a statement soon after the vote. "It was a great opportunity for the game to make the changes required," NZRPA boss Rob Nichol said.

"It's incredibly unfortunate we haven't taken that opportunity and ended up with what the expert labelled status quo or worse." The unions' rejection of NZR's proposal is a major blow for the governing body's leadership and paves the way for major board upheaval.

Reddy said in March that she would consider her position if her proposal failed to pass at the SGM. The governance review was commissioned in December 2022 after NZR secured a NZ$200 million ($120 million) cash injection by selling a stake in its commercial business to U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake.

The review said NZR's leadership structure was not fit for purpose in the modern age.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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