Provincial unions have rejected a move by the New Zealand Rugby Union to abolish board representation based on geographical representation.
At a special general meeting the NZRU proposed the abolition of the requirement for directors to be elected from zones, chairman Mike Eagle saying that would ensure the election of the best available candidates.
The proposal would also have increased the number of independents on the nine-member board from two to three.
While the move was rejected it was agreed that a new appointment process would be introduced whereby only candidates shortlisted by an appointments committee can stand for election.
It was also decided that candidates should be selected according to specified skills and competence.