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 Club Assistance

What Club Assistance is Available?

About Club Liaison Officers

Who is the Club Liaison Officer in Your Area?

What Club Assistance is Available?

Each province has a Club Liaison Officer employed by the Provincial Rugby Union. Their primary role is to provide support for rugby clubs.

Your local Provincial Rugby Union also has other staff dedicated to community rugby.  If you need further information on the types of assistance available just contact your local Provincial Rugby Union, they are there to help.

About Club Liaison Officers

Club Liaison Officers are employed by the Provincial Rugby Unions, from NZRU funding, with the view to strengthen clubs by improving their administration capability including:

  • Volunteer recruitment and retention
  • Fundraising
  • Finances
  • Club development and planning

The initiative was trialled in 2004 and 2005 with four Club Liaison Officers supporting clubs covering Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay/East Coast, Otago/North Otago, Auckland and Counties Manukau.  The trial was successful and led to the New Zealand Rugby Union investing $1.14 million to support the initiative and employ 18 Club Liaison Officers throughout New Zealand.

Who is the Club Liaison Officer in Your Area?

The below information includes a photo and brief profile of the Club Liaison Officer in each area.
Club Liaison Officer contact details can be found in the Provincial Rugby Union Contacts section of this website.
To find out about the Club Liaison Officer in your area click on your province below.


Bay of Plenty



Counties Manukau

East Coast

Hawke's Bay

Horowhenua Kapiti

King Country


Mid Canterbury

North Harbour

North Otago


Poverty Bay

Rugby Southland

South Canterbury


Thames Valley

(Nelson Bays and Marlborough)



Wairarapa Bush


West Coast

Auckland - John Gillies 


John became the Club Liaison Officer for the Auckland Rugby Football Union in the beginning of 2006, having previously been Auckland's Referee Education Officer since 2001.

He played rugby at premier club level and then started refereeing in 1981.  He was the Regional Referee Development Officer in Palmerston North from 1999 to 2001. 

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Bay of Plenty - Steve Anderson


Steve was appointed as Club Liaison Officer for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Football Union in April 2006. 

Steve’s experience in club rugby has been through involvement with the Taneatua Rugby Football Club and the Eastern Bay of Plenty Rugby Sub-Union. 

Steve has been involved in all facets of community rugby from coaching and club administration to representative team management.  He has performed the roles of Chairman, Union Delegate, Club Captain, Treasurer and committee member on numerous committees since 1992.

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There is no Club Liaison Officer in Buller.  For club assistance please contact Buller Rugby Football Union on (03) 789 8330 or email

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Canterbury - Ray Southam


Ray was appointed to the position of Club Liaison Officer for Canterbury in July 2006.

A Linwood Club man, since 2005 he has served on the Canterbury Metro Committee and has been a participant on several amateur review groups established by the Canterbury Rugby Union.

He has had many enjoyable rugby experiences from club level to international level, having coached and administered rugby from club level through provincial to international both here in New Zealand and Ireland spanning over 30 years.

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Counties Manukau - Cathy Newman

Cathy joined as Club Liaison Officer for Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union in May 2006.

Cathy has a background in Laboratory and Quality Management. In the past 12 years she has had sports administration experience working as a Secondary School Sport Coordinator and as a Sport Development Coordinator with the Regional Sport Trust. 

Sport is dependant upon the dedication of volunteers and Cathy is on hand to assist the 18 clubs in the region.

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Hawke's Bay - Andy Kells


Andy commenced work as a Club Liaison Officer for Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union in March 2006.

Andy was Chairman of the Takapau Rugby Football Club (Inc) from 2003 to 2005, and oversaw the club regain status with the Incorporated Societies. 

Andy has an understanding of the issues at club level and is keen to meet all rugby clubs in Hawke's Bay to assist in any way he can.  

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Horowhenua Kapiti - Brenton Takapuna 

There are currently no details for Brenton.  To find out about club assistance in the Horowhenua Kapiti areas please contact the Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Union on (06) 367 8059 or email

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King Country/Thames Valley 

The Club Liaison Officer role for King Country and Thames Valley is currently vacant. 

For club assistance in King Country please contact King Country Rugby Union on (07) 878 7545 or email

For club assistance in Thames Valley please contact the Thames Valley Rugby Union on (07) 862 6352 or email

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Manawatu - Martin Brady


Martin started as Club Liaison Officer for Manawatu in March 2007.

Martin was involved with the Marist Rugby Football Club in Palmerston North from 1999 to 2005 where he fulfilled the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman. 

Martin worked as a Sports Reporter for The Ensign Newspaper from 1995 to 1999 and was Sports Development Manager for Sport Manawatu until 2005.  In 2006, Martin was the Assistant Event Director for the 2006 World Junior Men's Squash Championships.

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Mid Canterbury/South Canterbury - Clive Callow


Clive was appointed Club Liaison Officer for Mid Canterbury Rugby Football Union and South Canterbury Rugby Football Union in 2006.

He previously worked as a high school teacher and school administrator. He works part-time as a Club Liaison Officer, dividing his time between Timaru and Ashburton.

Clive played First Division rugby in the early 1980s and coached First XV rugby for 25 years. He is a past President and life member of the Pleasant Point Rugby Football Club in South Canterbury and has had considerable experience as a Union Council Chair and Board member.

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North Harbour - Denis Henderson


Denis Henderson was appointed as Club Liaison Officer for the North Harbour Rugby Union in April 2006 having been Rugby Operations Officer for the Provincial Union for 14 months previously.

Denis’ experience in club and school rugby has been through involvement at Silverdale United Rugby Football Club and Orewa College on the Hibiscus Coast.  His involvement in community rugby began in 1988 when his son commenced playing junior rugby. 

Denis has performed the roles of Chairman, Club Denior Delegate, Teasurer, Gear Custodian and committee member at Silverdale United Rugby Football Club since 1995. 

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North Otago - Robin Smart

 Robin is the Office Manager for North Otago Rugby Union and also undertakes the role of Club Liaison Officer for the area.  She has been with North Otago Rugby for four years and began the Club Liaison role early in 2006.

When Robin began the Club Liaison Officer role, she was enthusiastic to build relationships with the clubs in the area.  She is very pleased with the results as there is now an “open door” policy and the feedback from clubs has been very positive.
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Northland - Donny Stevenson

Donny started working as the Club Liaison Officer for the Northland Rugby Union in January 2006. 

He is familiar with the Northland rugby area through his playing association with the Awanui Rugby Club, Kaeo Rugby Club and Marist Rugby Club.  He has played and coached at representative level for Northland and is currently the New Zealand Maori Rugby Coach.

Before his role as Club Liaison Officer he was a PE Teacher serving on the senior management team as the Junior Dean.

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Otago - Brett Compton

Brett Compton joined the Otago Rugby Football Union at the beginning of August 2007.

He comes to the role having spent the last 16 years working in the field of Child Abuse and Youth Offending as a conference co-ordinator working with Police, Social Workers, the Judiciary and Community groups alike.

His experience in rugby extends to playing extensively at all club levels and coaching in the last 20 years. He comes to the role keen to support the maintenance and development of rugby to see the rugby experience and all that it has to offer shared by more people at all ages in all communities.  

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Poverty Bay/East Coast - Dwayne Russell 


Dwayne started working as Club Liaison Officer for the Gisborne and Ruatoria areas in April 2006.

He is currently studying Business Management through NZQA and Turanga Ararau. 

His role includes developing clubs in the region and is also a resource for fitness training, defensive patterns, kick sequencing and general rugby skills training.

Dwayne's roles have been concurrent with seasonal work overseas in Japan and Ireland.
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Southland - Paul Gray

Paul was appointed as Club Liaison Officer for Southland in March 2006.

He has been involved in rugby administration of  since 1995 and played rugby in both Dunedin and Invercargill.  He was previously a Chartered Accountant before taking on this role and the finance role at Rugby Southland.

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Taranaki/Wanganui - Roger Wells

There are currently no details for Roger.  To find out about club assistance in Tarankai please contact the Taranaki Rugby Football Union on (06) 759 0167 or email

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Tasman (Nelson/Marlborough) - Siobhan Hanley


Siobhan joined Tasman Rugby Union in 2006 as a Club Liaison Officer.  

Siobhan has a law and business background and has been an active volunteer in clubs in Ireland and has worked for the Irish Rugby Union (Munster Branch).

Siobhan has coached at age-grade level and played women’s rugby in Ireland. 


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Waikato/King Country - Janine Barrett 


Janine has been the Club Liaison Officer for Waikato Rugby Football Union since the beginning of 2006. 

She is really enjoying working with Waikato clubs, and says that there are fantastic people working in the Waikato club scene so the challenges facing club rugby are easily met.

Janine has been with Waikato Rugby Football Union since 2004, originally as Referee Administrator and then as a Community Rugby Coordinator.

Janine has a Bachelor of Communication Studies and is currently studying towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies.  

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Wairarapa - Marilla Rankin

Marilla started working as Club Liaison Officer for Wairarapa Bush Rugby Football Union in May 2006.

She has been involved with rugby in the Wairarapa for four years working as a volunteer at the Greytown Rugby Football Club. 

Marilla believes that as Wairarapa is a small rural area, her role is important in maintaining the communication link between the clubs and the Provincial Union. Marilla also works in the hospitality industry.

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Wellington - William Strang


William was appointed as Club Liaison Officer for Wellington Rugby Football Union early in 2006.

He had previously played club and representative rugby in Christchurch, Wellington, and New Zealand Universities.

After farming in the Marlborough Sounds, William returned to Wellington as a secondary school teacher where he was able to continue his rugby involvement in coaching and rugby administration. 

William was involved with Wellington Secondary Schools Rugby Union before becoming a Club Liaison Officer.

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West Coast

There is no Club Liaison Officer in the West Coast.  For club assistance please contact the West Coast Rugby Union on (03) 768 7822 or email

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