NZ Rugby governance reform: Board and provincial unions to go head-to-head

Two governance reform proposals, one from the New Zealand Rugby board and one from the provincial unions, will be voted on at special general meeting (SGM) at the end of the month.

The proposals come following an independent review last year that found NZR’s constitution and governance was not fit for purpose and stressed the need, among other things, for a nine-person independent board.

The NZR board, chaired by Dame Patsy Reddy, will present a modified proposal, rather than wholly accepting the recommendations made in the Pilkington review.

In a statement, the NZR board said its proposal would give effect to the key recommendations outlined in the review published last August and would see the board move to becoming independent rather than having provincial representation.

The other proposal put forward by a group of provincial unions’ chairs would retain provincial representation on the board.

In a statement, the NZR board said it was waiting for those provincial unions to complete it.

The PUs’ proposal differs from the reviews and NZR’s in that it guarantees provincial union experience on the board.

The New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA) wants the review’s recommendations to be implemented in full and have been vocal in their criticism of the NZR and PUs’ proposals.

NZRPA chief executive Rob Nichol

NZRPA boss association head Rob Nichol reiterated that they had “not supported any of the proposals NZR or the provincial unions have made regarding NZR’s governance reform”.

Nichol cited a “lack of trust and confidence in the current leadership of NZR” and is in favour of adopting the recommendations of the report with no concessions and called for the NZR board to step down and re-apply for their positions under the framework of the review.

The special general meeting will take place on Thursday 30 May, in Wellington, where the two proposals will be considered by NZR’s voting members.

If either of the governance proposals are approved at the SGM, the AGM may be held on Friday 12 July.

However, if neither proposal is approved at the SGM, there will be a scramble to get something agreed upon before the AGM.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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