New Zealand Rugby Governance Review Report released
An independent panel commissioned jointly by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and
the New Zealand Rugby Players Association to review the constitution and governance
structure of NZRU Inc. has today released its report.
The purpose of the review was to address a simple question: Is the constitution and
governance structure of NZRU fit for purpose to:
• Ensure the appointment of a board that has the required matrix of skills, experience
and qualifications to govern effectively; and
• Confront the challenges, and maximise the opportunities, that present themselves?
If not, what changes should be made?
The panel reached its conclusions having consulted widely with rugby stakeholders and
interested parties both in person and through a well-publicised submission process.
The Review Panel Chair David Pilkington said “we have first ensured that all voices of the
many stakeholders have been heard. We have travelled the country and listened. We have
received and reviewed hundreds of submissions and interviewed nearly 200 people”.
The report concludes that the current NZRU constitution and consequent governance
structures are not fit for purpose in the modern era.
The panel is recommending two key changes:
1. The creation of an independent process to ensure the appointment of an
appropriately skilled, high performing board to govern the organisation.
2. The creation of a Stakeholder Council to ensure the voices of stakeholders are heard
and their interests represented in a collaborative forum.
The panel’s report provides detailed recommendations based on good governance
principles as to how these changes can be implemented, and an explicit list of matters to be
addressed by a fully independent board.
Pilkington said “New Zealand Rugby in the professional era is a large and complex business.
The structure it sits within was not designed for a business of this size and complexity. There
is widespread recognition that change is needed to address the many challenges. We are
confident that what we propose is the best route forward. The conclusions are not novel,
they exist and work in other organisations and environments”.
“There have been a number of reviews in recent times and it is this panel’s fervent hope
that this is the last review of this type and that walk, finally replaces talk,” Mr Pilkington
Can be downloaded from the NZR website NZR governance review or BoardWorks
The independent panel was comprised of David Pilkington (Chair), Anne Urlwin, Whaimutu
Dewes and Graham Mourie, supported by specialist governance consultancy BoardWorks.