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NZ Human Rights Commission Open Letter to NZ Rugby Union on respecting women

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 pm, September 8th, 2016 - 106 comments
Categories: culture, human rights, petition, sexism - Tags: , ,

You can sign the Open Letter here.

Dear New Zealand Rugby management and board members,

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.

Signed by,

Dr Jackie Blue, EEO Commissioner

Louise Nicholas, Sexual Violence Survivors Advocate

Rae Duff, National President, National Council of Women of New Zealand

Prue Kapua, National President, Maori Women’s Welfare League

Barbara Williams, National Council of Women

Dr Kim McGregor QSO , Director of Tiaki Consultants

Caren Rangi, National President, P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A (Pacifica Allied (Women’s) Council Inspires Faith in Ideals Concerning All) Inc

Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner

Nive Sharat Chandran, Co President YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand

Sina Wendt-Moore, Co President, YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand

Monica Briggs, CEO, YWCA Auckland

Janet Hope, Governor Zonta International District 16

Karen Johansen, Indigenous Rights Commissioner

Jan Logie, Member of Parliament

Ruth Dyson, Member of Parliament

Tracey Martin, Member of Parliament

Catriona McClennan, Barrister and Social Justice Advocate

Leonie Morris, Auckland Women’s Centre

Eileen Brown, Council of Trade Unions

Sue Kedgley, UN Women

Dr Janette Irvine, General Practitioner

Vicky Mee, Business and Professional Women

Jane Drumm, Shine

Erin Polaczuk, PSA

Deborah McKenzie, Inner City Women

Christine King, President, Pacific Women

Denise Ritchie, Stop Demand

Checkpoint interview with Dr Jackie Blue, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the NZ HRC.

Background reporting from RNZ and The Spinoff.

106 comments on “NZ Human Rights Commission Open Letter to NZ Rugby Union on respecting women”

  1. Bill 1

    Signed. (Was thinking “Fuck the ‘love rugby’ bit”… but hey.)

    • weka 1.1

      (yes, was avoiding that bit myself too).

      • Brigid 1.1.1

        And me. But I signed it. And spread it.

        • Rosie 1.1.1.1

          Ditto. Signed and shared on faceblab. Thanks for the link weka. I heard about this last night and was wanting to find the open letter to sign. Don’t “love Rugby” but what they hey, lots of people do, and they’re the people this letter needs to reach.

    • D'Esterre' 1.2

      “(Was thinking “Fuck the ‘love rugby’ bit”… but hey.)”

      Me too. But I signed anyway.

  2. lprent 2

    Perfect.

    Let’s all raise a glass to the waikato wankers…

    They were when I served public bar in Hamilton. It doesn’t appear like the jerkoffs there have improved in the last 35 years.

    • Rosie 2.1

      +1 …………I think………….

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      How many of the Chiefs come from, or even live in the Waikato. (Here’s a clue – fuck all).

      Do some research on the players concerned before you make a stupid comment about Hamilton.

  3. vto 3

    Heard this on te radio as well. Thought they made their approach in a very good way – rather than berating they have held out a hand – well done.

    However, every organisation is entitled to, and should in such circumstances, run their own internal investigation. This is what they have done. If they had not carried out their own internal investigation then it would have been a poor look. No problem with an internal investigation.

    However however, it seems that circumstances like this require, in addition, a further and truly independent enquiry. So two enquiries – one internal that should be mandatory for such organisations, and a second which is independent.

    [Subthread deleted. I’d like the conversation under this post to be primarily a supportive and encouraging space for women, especially women who are survivors. The Standard already has a reputation of being both relatively unsafe for women, and being an environment that is unwelcoming to women in their politics. Three men arguing here about men’s rights to have a voice is not IMO conducive to a safe and encouraging environment (yes, that includes you OAB). I’m sure you all think your points are reasonable, but from my perspective what I see is early on in the thread a sub-thread that is in the process of degenerating into the same old bickering, and men taking up space arguing with each other. That’s the dominant culture on ts, and it excludes others. I think about what it would be like for women to come and read the comments thread. It’s entirely possible to have a conversation about the internal investigation in a way that respects women readers and commenters. I value the involvement of all three of you in threads, so I hope you are able to figure out what might make safe and encouraging space for women too. The move to Open Mike function isn’t working, so I’m having to move the subthread comments to Trash, sorry. If I have time later I will cut and paste them to OM. If you want to discuss this moderation please do so in Open Mike, not here – weka]

    • vto 3.1

      I don’t understand your comment there OAB as clearly I am not the person to decide and was merely offering an opinion on what should be decided. Isn’t that what this blog is for? Sharing opinions?

      Anyways, does the opinion make sense to you? Two enquiries? There must be an internal one, for the structural integrity of the organisation etc, and there must be an independent one for the very obvious conflict reasons.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        The offer is of “expertise, experience and support“. Louise Nicholas’ work with the Police is mentioned.

        I can’t see how two men discussing inquiry structure is relevant or useful.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Wow.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps you can explain it to me, how useful it is to respond to an offer of ongoing assistance by changing the subject.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              vto gave an opinion, and you pretty much jumped on him saying men aren’t allowed opinions on this topic.

              My only response to that is “wow”.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “Allowed”

                Nope. Relevant and useful, when the topic to hand relates to an offer of ongoing support.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.2

        That might have relevance if it was on field incident or say on team bus and only involved members of team.

    • framu 3.2

      ” No problem with an internal investigation.”

      if the issue is claims of group sexual assault i would have to disagree

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      However, every organisation is entitled to, and should in such circumstances, run their own internal investigation.

      Under the circumstances this should have been a police investigation and the RU should have kept well out of it except as needed to assist the police.

      An internal investigation for this matter simply looks like a cover up.

      • Scott 3.3.1

        The police declined to investigate it. I knida wish they had, if only to reassure themselves (and us).

        That meant the NZRFU was left with an employment issue to investigate, and did just that. In fact, they seem to have done it in a very thorougher way.

      • Enough is Enough 3.3.2

        Remind me how the Chiefs or the Rugby Union stood in the way of a Police investigation?

    • Lanthanide 3.4

      It’s normal in workplace safety investigations, for WorkSafe to carry out an investigation, and the company(ies) involved to carry out their own internal investigation, too.

      For this particular complaint, having only an internal investigation, and then not releasing any pertinent details about that investigation, was clearly completely inadequate, and they’ve just landed themselves more opprobrium for having taken such a slap-dash approach on an issue that clearly has a lot of public attention. It seems that perhaps the Chiefs board (or whoever) didn’t themselves believe it should have such public attention and hence why they took the approach they did, but they should have accepted that there was a lot of public attention and treated the situation with the seriousness and sensitivity that the public attention entailed.

      However I’m not sure that in general if similar things happened again in other circumstances (private party hires a stripper, stripper has their privacy/rights invaded etc), without the public scrutiny attached, that having an independent investigation would be necessary. It would very much depend on the circumstances of each event, I think, and how many people were involved. When there are many direct witnesses (like in this case), having independent investigations probably makes sense, but if there were only half a dozen people involved in a similar incident, an internal investigation – done transparently for all involved – could be sufficient.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.4.1

        We already have a mechanism for independent investigation of assault allegations.

        Those charged with this duty have let us down too often.

        • Lanthanide 3.4.1.1

          According to Stephanie, the police didn’t investigate because the woman didn’t want them to: /nz-home-of-rugby-raping-and-beer/#comment-1228704

          • McFlock 3.4.1.1.1

            And some of the girls in the Roastbusters investigation declined to press charges.

            It’s a vicious cycle – nobody does anything because nothing will be done, so nothing gets done even if you strike an officer who wants to do something, so then nobody is held to account, so then nobody does anything because nothing will be done…

            edit: just to clarify, I’m not saying “oh, the reason nothing is done is because nobody presses charges”. My point is simply that complainants not wanting to use the justice system is often a result of the inefficacy or even blaming nature of the justice system in these sorts of cases. But that this doesn’t help improve the system.

            • Anne 3.4.1.1.1.1

              In an nutshell McFlock. In other words:

              It’s fear that drives a lot of women (and young girls) from declining to press charges. Fear of not being believed. Fear of denigration from those in positions of power over you. Fear there will be retribution if you dare to speak out. And finally the fear of outright rejection… this one is the hardest to overcome because, in some cases, the victim has already been through enough trauma to last a lifetime.

            • mosa 3.4.1.1.1.2

              Some women speak out McFlock like Amanda Bailey the Parnell waitress who went public after putting up with John Key pulling her hair on a number of occasions at the cafe she worked at.
              That took guts and had she not told her story then the public would not of known about the abuse she suffered at the hands of a high profile public servant namely the PM of NZ.

              • McFlock

                Yeah, and got pilloried for it.

                How we treat those complainants who do come forward is disgraceful, and perpetuates the problem.

    • simbit 3.5

      Yeah, Catholic Church do their own investigating to. Until the adults take over…

  4. Sack Shane Reti 5

    Signed.

    • Heather Grimwood 5.1

      Also signed SSR. It’s the culture, not the game at fault…..incredible that such crass behaviour continues.

      • Chris 5.1.1

        It’s almost as if the mentality is “well prostitution is legal so this must be, too.” And the thinking goes further into acceptability. There just doesn’t seem to be present even a modicum of discernment, just no understanding whatsoever, that’s the scary part. Rennie said the mistake was in “celebrating” in public, FFS – extremely telling. The mistake was that a group who’re seen as role-models (I don’t know how or why but they are) thought that “celebrating” in this way could ever be okay regardless of anything. Even if they did behave like gentlemen – let alone what did in fact happen. So the message to boys is “when you’re older playing club rugby or whatever, when you hire a stripper to do dances for everyone at the end of year wind-up, make sure that you’re polite and don’t do anything the stripper says that you can’t, okay? Now run along outside and practice your kicking.”

    • rhinocrates 5.2

      Signed and shared. There seems to be a bug with the Facebook share option, so I recommend a cut and paste of the URL.

  5. AmaKiwi 6

    “Conflict of interest” is almost a foreign concept in NZ.

  6. mauī 7

    A great list of powerful women, although there does seem an absence of tory women.

    • miravox 7.1

      Louise Upston, the Minister for Women, thinks it’s none of her business, I read – she has no comment to make because it is “entirely” a matter for the rugby organisation, she said.

      One Tory woman (or is that ex-tory?), Upston’s ex-colleague, Jackie Blue had a different view, it seems.

    • Anne 7.2

      … there does seem an absence of tory women.

      Not surprising. The ‘rugby, racing and beer culture” is highly prevalent among National’s supporters. They don’t want to upset them by standing up against them.

      I’m not surprised Dr Jackie Blue left parliament because she always came across to me as too good for them.

    • D'Esterre' 7.3

      Maui: “there does seem an absence of tory women.”

      Yeah, I’d noticed that as well.

  7. left for dead 8

    Signed
    As with Bill and weka, had trouble with opening gambit.

  8. Chuck 9

    “As much as New Zealanders love rugby – we need New Zealanders to respect women.”

    The gorilla in the room is social media and our children. The Chiefs – stripper issue is of course the current headline. And no professional rugby team should hire strippers for entertainment, specifically if the stripper does “extras” which seems to be the issue here. As in some players did not pay nor get the consent of the stripper for the “extras”.

    However social media (various hookup sites etc) is a dark place for many young women…it normalizes the thought process in young adults that viewing girls / young women as pieces of “meat” is acceptable.

    • Scott 10.1

      Good on them. We need businesses that support sports teams just like we need ones that support ballet. I’ll be sure to send business their way when I can.

      Thanks Ovid.

      • DoublePlusGood 10.1.1

        We don’t need businesses that support sexual assault though.

        • Enough is Enough 10.1.1.1

          I love your respect for the presumption of innocence

          • DoublePlusGood 10.1.1.1.1

            Note that their players don’t need to have actually engaged in any sexual assault for the Chiefs to be supporting sexual assault – regardless of what went on on the evening in question, the Chiefs have subsequently clearly shown through the way they have responded to things that they are perfectly fine with sexual assault.
            And we don’t need businesses with that kind of attitude towards women.

      • mary_a 10.1.2

        @ Scott (10.1) … so you are OK supporting businesses that sponser organisations which indulge in sexual assault?

        • Scott 10.1.2.1

          No I don’t. But the evidence suggests there was no sexual assault. And I don’t like this sort of keyboard warrior blackmail that seem to be meted out these days, let alone without a sound basis for doing so.

          [I’ve made it clear in moderator bold above that this discussion is to be primarily a safe and encouraging space for women, esp survivors. The evidence doesn’t suggest what you say, and I don’t care what your personal feelings are about actions that address rape culture. I do care if you try and argue them in ways that support rape culture under one of my posts. If you want to argue that nothing bad happened to Scarlette you are not welcome in this thread. If you don’t understand why what you have done creates unsafety or supports rape culture, then I suggest you take a step back, start listening to women, and learn something. This is a political blog, and the politics around rape culture are significant and need to be respected. Only warning – weka]

        • BM 10.1.2.2

          What sexual assault?, according to the nine witnesses interviewed, not one actually backed up what the stripper alleged.

          I just don’t get this left wing mindset that all women are as pure as driven snow and would never tell lies or try and deceive people.

          • Psych nurse 10.1.2.2.1

            And who is going to incriminate themselves ?.

            • Scott 10.1.2.2.1.1

              I agree with you, but not only were there players (some if not most of whom would not have been involved in the alleged actions if they occurred) at the “show”, it was also attended by nine independent witnesses. If their version of events stack up with each other and with the players then I think it is unreasonable to assume that all of them are lying about it.

            • BM 10.1.2.2.1.2

              So you’re saying all nine witnesses are lying?

              • Colonial Viper

                the key is to see if the NZRFU lawyer will swear to the voracity of the testimony he obtained and recorded as being the full truth.

                • BM

                  You reckon the NZRFU lawyer may have doctored the evidence?

                  That’s a rather serious allegation to make.

                  [please read my moderator note above. I consider debate that implies that Scarlette lied to be akin to climate change denial and not welcome in this thread. Not because women never lie, but because shifting concern from victims to people in positions of power is rape culture and a form of denial of rape culture. The topic of the post is about rape culture within rugby culture and what can be done about it. – weka]

                • Scott

                  How could he do possibly that? It is not his evidence you would be asking him to swear to. He could swear to the truth of the witnesses evidence no more than he could swear to the truth of the complainant accusations.

                  I see the problem here being that the police refused to investigate (in a serious way) what were and are serious accusations. I’d like to know why. But even if they had, and had then decided to pursue it no further, I suspect we’d be having the same comments on here.

                • JO

                  The voracity of the ‘players’ that night might have affected the veracity of their testimony.

              • Macro

                In a word “Yes”.

              • Patrick Cummoskey

                Absolutely! It’s our culture of rape to protect the guilty!

        • Ross 10.1.2.3

          I didn’t realise a jury had found anyone guilty…think of the money we could save by simply deciding allegations without proof! We could pay a living wage…

          • McFlock 10.1.2.3.1

            Nobody’s saying the sponsors should be sent to prison.

            Just that there’s enough bullshit and conflicting statements from the rugby club and union to strongly suggest that consumers might want to consider exercising their freedom to choose another product.

            It looks to me like a sexual assault(s) took place. But even if it(they) didn’t – and I reiterate that it(they) most probably did – the attitude of the club, union and some of the sponsors with their cursory investigation and flippantly protective comments strongly indicates that had any sexual assaults happened, they would have been covered up, minimised, excused or even endorsed.

            In short, if the “Chiefs” didn’t have a group culture of raping women with impunity, then they’re a step closer to it now. And I’m seriously thinking about any connection I have with sponsors of that organisation.

            Lion Nathan reckoned they harrumphed at the Chiefs about it, but have kept sponsoring them. I’m not sure I’m happy that that’s enough. And I’m a thoroughly parochial Speights drinker.

  9. Scott 11

    I think the letter is great, and I support it. I don’t think they should not have hired a stripper. As a community minded organisation, I think they should not have been doing anything they were not prepared to do in front of their mums, girlfriends, wives, kids. Have a party if they want to, just don’t be stupid about it.

    But I fear the letter is written on the basis of the unproven, and rightfully doubted based on the current evidence, accusations. If that is the case the writers need to place a greater reliance on evidence than they do ideology or indeed prejudice.

    For that reason I’ll not be adding my name.

  10. Fustercluck 12

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11706497

    Will the police whitewash the whole thing too? Looks like we will see…

  11. mary_a 13

    Many thanks for the opportunity to sign this petition.

    Personally apart from the disgraceful behaviour of the rugby players involved, I feel the NZRU executive did not handle the situation well. Watching Steve Tew on TV, it seemed to me it was a case of ho hum, saying something along the lines of making the offenders feel as though they have behaved like naughty boys, slap them over the wrist, then it will all go away and they can move on to the next female (entertainer) who comes their way in the future!

    Are the police taking this issue seriously? Doesn’t seem like it to me.

    • Scott 13.1

      On the last bit I’m with you. I don’t understand why he police refused to investigate it, and I wish they’d tell us their reasons (but doubt they will). I’m sure they have some, but the accusations were / are fairly serious and not even taking a good look at it doesn’t reflect well on them.

      • framu 13.1.1

        ” and I wish they’d tell us their reasons ”

        they have already – and its been repeated multiple times

        pretty sure this point has already been raised and answered multiple times here over the last few days

        ————————————

        “Following the initial allegations, police said they had spoken to Scarlette on two occasions.
        “At the time she was offered further information and support by police. However based on those discussions, which included consideration of her wishes and the information that was available to us, police at the time were not able to take the matter further.”
        There was now potential to take the issue further, considering the information released to the public on Friday.
        “Given what has been reported in the media today, we will again reach out to her to see if there is any further information she wishes to provide for police to assess,” a police spokesperson said.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/84078856/chiefs-stripper-scandal-womans-ordeal-recounted-in-interview

  12. Colonial Viper 14

    So is it time the Collective Left organises a boycott of next years Super Rugby?

    • McFlock 14.1

      Nah. Wouldn’t have legs.

      But I’m seriously considering moving away from Speight’s. They’re about the only sponsor whose product I use – TV3 has already largely lost my viewership, and I don’t use electric fences.

      • gsays 14.1.1

        hi mcflock, gallaghers also manufacture approx 80% of aotearoa petrol/diesel pumps.

        • McFlock 14.1.1.1

          Yeah, and my employer uses their door locks. Can’t do much about that, though.

          But beer just doesn’t have the same appeal, atm. I’m sure the feeling will pass eventually (lol like beer always does)

    • Scott 14.2

      Sometimes you have to wonder if the “Collective Left” actually want a Labour / Green / NZ First government.

      [Completely off topic and looks like trolling. Pull your head in. See moderator notes above – weka]

    • AmaKiwi 14.3

      CV

      “organise a boycott of Super Rugby”

      To be successful a protest tactic must be fun. Can you think of a protest tactic that would be enjoyable? If you can, I’ll be there.

    • Enough is Enough 14.4

      Just out of curiosity when was the last time you attended a Super Rugby game CV. Will your boycott be any different to your 2016 Super Rugby attendance

    • alwyn 14.5

      I’m willing to bet that Andrew Little won’t be in Hamilton to watch the Test match tonight. He will decline to have the taxpayer provide him with a flight to Hamilton, a limo to the ground, a free ticket and accommodation for the night.
      He will instead be showing solidarity with his female MPs in boycotting the game.
      On second thoughts I am certainly not willing to make such a bet.

  13. Hum 15

    Has anyone considered that there maybe a possibility that Scarlette’s story is not the complete truth? I know, you will all chop my heads off for pointing this out, but it seems the media and all these letter signatories are accepting her version of events without question.

    • mauī 15.1

      Let me see, one, no two different people go up against some of the most loved people in society backed by a powerful establishment. They provide detailed allegations that can’t be disproved. Allegations are denied, a sham investigation is done, but some fault is admitted. You really think this is fabricated? No, I didn’t think so.

    • weka 15.2

      The Aunties ‏@whaeapower Sep 7

      IME when a person with least power says they are:
      raped
      abused
      assaulted
      molested

      they were.
      Easy to glide over truth.
      Don’t.

      IME when person with most power says:
      it was a joke
      I never meant to hurt
      It was a mistake
      it was their fault

      they’re lying.

      That’s not an absolute, but in a society that sanctions rape culture, it’s time we started believing what women say instead of assuming they’re lying. If we want to change rape culture we have to undo the cultural practice of undermining women who speak out.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1

        This is the heart of the matter. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a poor test where issues of privilege, power and consent are involved.

      • AmaKiwi 15.2.2

        Some of the most powerful protest stories are not purely factual accounts. But the story is compelling and 100% believable and in the end a powerful public motivator. So whether the story is fact or fiction is not terribly important to me.

        John Steinbeck’s powerful depression era book, The Grapes of Wrath, told of the desperate plight of migrant farm workers. Fact: Steinbeck came from an upper class business family and wrote the book while staying in the family bach in Big Sur. He never worked in the fields; never lived in a migrant camp; was never poor. But his story was “true.”

        It is also true that drunken men abusing (and raping) women is an ugly fact of NZ life. It happens everyday (and night) to many, many women.

      • Ross 15.2.3

        If we want to change rape culture we have to undo the cultural practice of undermining women who speak out.

        I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying. Someone charged with a crime has the right to a fair trial. I’m sure Mils Muliaina would agree.

        “It’s been a really tough seven months not being able to comment publicly.

        “When I first found out the charges the immediate thought was for my son. He should never have been put what he went through.

        “I’m looking forward to going back to New Zealand in a few days. We want to put this behind us and move on. It’s been a long long process.

        “I don’t know the girl or know what happened. All I know is that I’m not the person that had done what she said.”

        http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/blacks-star-mils-muliaina-cleared-sex-assault/story-28011888-detail/story.html

        [Take a week off for trolling, Ross. And while you’re away, educate yourself about the matters you’re unsure of, because if you come back still showing this level of disrespect towards women, your next ban will be permanent. TRP]

        • Nic the NZer 15.2.3.1

          Thanks for playing Ross, but as you will come to understand,

          In Soviet Russia you don’t get fair trial, fair trial gets you!

  14. Anne 16

    Oh dearie me. The truth is starting to trickle out now. John Campbell has interviewed NZRU chief, Tew. It appears the All Blacks were present. The so-called independent witnesses consisted of 3 men and 3 women who were not associated with any of the players. However, we know from Scarlett’s description they were all as drunk as skunks. Yet their version of events is believed over the stripper who was sober and just earning her living.

    Could it have something to do with the presence of NZ’s sporting deity – the haloed All Blacks?

  15. BM 17

    I really hope none of you people end up on juries.

    This witch hunt mind set on display here is hard to understand and really quite disturbing, especially in people who seem quite intelligent and articulate.

  16. RedBaronCV 18

    And now Tew is back in the NZ Herald going on about how they tried very hard to speak to Scarlett when they started their inquiry. How dare he – he reeks of arrogance.

    He really doesn’t get it does he?

    Talk about an over whelming sense of entitlement – why on earth would she want to talk to his little whitewash inquiry – it has no legal standing, is run by people paid by the union and could not be considered “independent” by any criteria whatsoever. Any chance that anything she says would be reported accurately ??

    He then goes on to say
    “We talked to police, Victim Support, and a range of other people and it wasn’t until the very end that she was prepared to speak.” and from that it seems reasonable to infer that they toured all the people who may have been involved with supporting her needs trying to use them to pressure her into appearing at his little kangaroo court. Bullying by remote, trying to put “the boys needs” before hers.

    Then he had the nerve to say
    “He said any work they did with women’s advocates would have to be “quick” to avoid rugby’s reputation eroding further.”
    Why should women’s advocates leap to his demands that they need to sort out his issues quickly and fix rugby for him. He should get off his butt and do it himself.

    Still at this point I’m sure a lot of the NZ’s women are wondering why they bother to take their kids to rugby practice,

    • weka 18.1

      Incredible really. The one about fixing things quickly because of the reputation demonstrated a high level of misreading the situation.

    • Philj 18.2

      Is it only women that take their kids to rugby? And is it only women that find this incident repugnant? I look forward to seeing the abs with black arm bands at tonight’s test to show respect for the nation’s women! Now that would be amazing.

      • RedBaronCV 18.2.1

        Fair comment – should read “a lot of NZ’ers are wondering why they take the kids to rugby practice” Thanks

  17. Philj 19

    I take issue when I am repeatedly told that talented rugby players are Role Models heroes or some such. Not for me there not.

    • Enough is Enough 19.1

      who are you repeatedly told that by?

      • Philj 19.1.1

        Enough
        Too much.
        Don’t you listen to the radio or read newspapers? I’ve answered my own question.

      • Siobhan 19.1.2

        “richie mccaw role model”…is an actual Google search.

        Then we have this carry on….

        “New Zealand’s politicians have fallen over each other to praise the All Blacks for their status as role models – then displayed why they can’t live up to their own standards.

        A tempestuous session of Question Time in Parliament had started so well, with an official motion to congratulate the All Blacks on their Rugby World Cup triumph.

        MPs let loose a gushing torrent of praise to congratulate Richie McCaw and company, paying tribute to their behaviour off the field as well as on it.

        Greens co-leader James Shaw said the team had “done an extraordinary job with an extraordinary group of people”, while NZ First’s Fletcher Tabuteau reached for Winston – Churchill, that is – when describing their attitude as “a little thing that makes a big difference”.

        Prime Minister John Key, who watched the final at Twickenham, said he could speak for all in praising the “great ambassadors of this country” for their behaviour during the tournament.

        “We want to take this moment as a House, I think, putting aside all of our party political viewpoints, just to say on a united basis that we have enormous admiration for this team.”

        The absolute on and off field awesomeness of the All Blacks is, it would seem, the one thing that politicians of all brands are willing to agree on.

        • gsays 19.1.2.1

          Hi Siobhan, that appeal for the all blacks cuts through plenty of other boundaries too.

          I played (poorly but with enthusiasm), coached, managed and have consumed rugby for a lifetime.
          Love it, the power, grace, athletisism, impact, teamwork.
          That’s why it hurts so much to have dear leader force his way into every Ritchie story.

          The cheap shots seem to come thick and fast when one/some of them fall from grace.

          So much of the anger seems to stem from:
          the inadequate responses offered by people who should ( and are paid) to know better- chiefs CEO and Gallagher/women’s refuge representative.

          Made worse by the union and it’s ‘enquiry’.

          Now McCaw is getting dragged into the muck.

          • Siobhan 19.1.2.1.1

            Now McCaw is getting dragged into the muck…I don’t think he is at all, and I hope you don’t think that was my aim…I was commenting on the idea that rugby players are considered the top, if not the only Role Models for young men in this country.

            • gsays 19.1.2.1.1.1

              Hi Siobhan, I took no inference from you re McCaw.
              Your comment seemed to offer an opportunity for me to comment. Without ruffling feathers.

              I agree the role model tag gets bandied about too much, the players would agree too.

              Ironically gotta test to watch.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.2.1.2

            It affects all other parts of society. Why should rugby circles not face criticism along with the rest?

            • gsays 19.1.2.1.2.1

              Hi oab, I assume yr comment was to me.

              I have no prob with footy facing criticism, the hatred and hysteria shown in this issue has gone over the top from time to time.

              Again the white collar people and their inappropriate responses added fuel to a fire.

              You are right this occurs across society and in this society the abs are held in high regard. Rightly or wrongly.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I wish I could be sure that when you talk about the hatred and hysteria that has gone over the top, you are referring to rape culture, for what could be a bigger expression of hatred than that?

        • Philj 19.1.2.2

          Thanks Siobhan for your references to rugby role models, embassadors etc etc. It surprises me that you have to provide evidence of the obvious to some folk.

  18. Patrick Cummoskey 20

    As a feminist I’m not surprised. This is a product of our beer-soaked rugby culture of violence and sexism meeting our culture of rape. If it was up to me I would order schools to teach a non-violent, non-aggressive form of rugby.

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