27 Apr 2017

NZ Rugby braces for 'confronting' report

4:57 pm on 27 April 2017

The panel investigating social problems in rugby will deliver a very confronting report says New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.

Following a series of off field incidents last year, including the Chiefs Strippergate incident, New Zealand Rugby established a respect and responsibility review panel led by Law Society president Kathryn Beck.

Steve Tew and Losi Filipo

The conviction of Wellington rugby player Losi Fillipo for assault last year was one of several off-field issues New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew had to deal with. Photo: RNZ

The panel has given the New Zealand Rugby Board a progress report but Tew refused to elaborate, saying it would be wrong to do so before receiving a final report.

Tew says a lot of people have wanted to contribute to the review which has led to deadline for its completion being extended until July.

"I said at the AGM it will be a confronting report but it will be good for rugby if it wants to retain its place as a contributor to New Zealand society and the leadership of our organisation...will have a bearing on how that all goes," he said.

"There are some issues we need to deal with but let's wait until we see the report because I think it would premature if I start speculating before they complete the great work they are doing."

Tew said he expected a draft report to be compeleted by June or July.

He said the timeframe "had pushed out a little bit because a lot of people wanted to be involved," however New Zealand Rugby wasn't waiting for the report before taking action over the issues.

"We're not waiting for the report to do things better. There's a lot of things we have done differently since last year. There were a lot of things that were in train anyway (before the panel was established) .....we're doing what we need to do now but we have got a group who we think will give us some very good insights and help inform us going forward," said Tew.