Right now, thousands of New Zealanders are questioning the culture of our country’s favourite sport and those in charge of it.
We are writing to you publicly in the hope that you will listen to our calls for you to act with courage.
The internal investigation into an incident involving a woman called Scarlette and members of the Chiefs rugby team has highlighted to all New Zealanders that NZ Rugby’s judiciary process is not appropriate for dealing with issues of integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights.
We are offering our expertise, experience and support. Louise Nicholas has been working alongside NZ Police to successfully enhance their internal culture for some time now. We encourage you to do the same. Dr Jackie Blue offered to assist a month ago and this offer still stands.
Rugby is like a religion in New Zealand, with players worshipped by young kiwis throughout the country. NZ Rugby could not operate without thousands of women volunteers and players in clubs and towns across the country: we must address the culture that exists from the top down and set the right example, particularly for our young New Zealanders.
Now is the time for you and those involved in the incident with Scarlette to be courageous and to take personal leadership on an issue that we can all work on addressing together.
As much as New Zealanders love rugby – we need New Zealanders to respect women.
We look forward to hearing from you.