6 Jul 2018

Lawyer to lead NZ Football review

7:47 pm on 6 July 2018

Employment lawyer Phillipa Muir will lead an independent investigation into the "conduct and culture" at New Zealand Football.

NZ Football president Deryck Shaw and chief executive Andy Martin

NZ Football president Deryck Shaw and chief executive Andy Martin Photo: Photosport

The national body on Friday confirmed details of the review, which comes after 13 members of the national women's squad made official complaints about the team environment under head coach Andreas Heraf.

Announced on June 20, the investigation was originally decided upon to look into those complaints, but New Zealand Football said it had also received complaints "from other stakeholders" which raise allegations about the conduct of its people.

The review's term of reference state it will determine whether, and to what extent, NZF knew about any of the allegations and if their response to such allegations and behaviours was adequate and appropriate.

Recently resigned chief executive Andy Martin is expected to take part in the investigation.

NZF president Deryck Shaw said Martin was under no oligation to come forward, but he had heard "second hand" that Martin was likely to contribute.

"We understand that he may make himself available for the review, but that's up to him to make that determination - there's no obligation for him to be questioned," Shaw said.

Shaw said the NZF executive committee and the NZ Professional Footballers Association had agreed that broadening the scope was necessary to improve the future of football in NZ.

"The terms of reference task Ms Muir with investigating any complaints and advising whether there have been any breaches to the NZ Football Code of Conduct or inappropriate behaviour by New Zealand Football people.

"She will also make any recommendations she believes are appropriate."

The review will commence immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of August, when Muir will present her report and recommendations to NZF.

NZPFA chief executive Harry Ngata endorsed Muir's appointment, along with the terms of reference, and expressed their confidence in the independent review process.

"We have been consulted about the terms for this investigation and have agreed the Terms of Reference and Pip Muir's appointment as Reviewer.

"The players support the review as a necessary step to responding to their concerns and are looking forward to helping shape the future of football, particularly women's football in New Zealand."

Muir is a senior partner at national law firm Simpson Grierson, where she heads the firm's employment law group and acts for many New Zealand corporations, tertiary institutions, and local government bodies.

She has undertaken numerous workplace reviews over the years.

The review will be confidential and only Muir's outcomes and recommendations will be made public.

Anyone wanting to contribute was able to make direct contact with Muir via a dedicated email address.