New Zealand Rugby accepts Black Ferns Cultural and Environmental review findings

• NZR to develop plan to implement recommendations in partnership with key stakeholders
• CEO thanks Panel and all those who contributed
• Changes following 2021 campaign already implemented

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has today shared the findings and recommendations from the Black Ferns Cultural and Environmental Review and thanked the panel and all those who contributed.

The Review's key themes and recommendations have been accepted by NZR and work on implementation has begun.

The review was undertaken in the wake of the 2021 Black Ferns Northern Tour and the Instagram post by Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate. The Review panel was tasked with considering the Black Ferns' culture and environment, with an eye to optimising it going forward and ensuring the programme was in the best position to be successful on and off the field.

The panel was made up of Phillipa Muir, Tammi Wilson Uluinayau, Eleanor Butterworth, Gilbert Enoka and cultural advisors Luke Crawford and Saveatama Eroni Clarke.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said NZR has received and thoroughly considered the report and will work towards implementing the panel’s recommendations.

"No-one should be in any doubt about our commitment to the progression of women's rugby in this country. This report highlights that we haven't got everything right and we apologise for not having provided all the tools for our people to succeed.

"The Black Ferns have been great ambassadors for rugby; they have won five of seven Rugby World Cups since their inception and have added considerably to the mana and legacy of New Zealand Rugby in that time; the current group of players and management are part of this," said Robinson.

Several changes have already been implemented to the Black Ferns following the 2021 campaign, including last week's announcement that Wayne Smith will come on board as Technical Coach to assist Head Coach, Glenn Moore.
The report identified key themes centring on the high performance environment, management and leadership structures, communication, health, wellbeing and culture.

There have been 26 recommendations put forward by the Review panel, and NZR has consulted with player leadership and management to identify a number of areas where there will be immediate action.
The intention is to create additional support and resource to focus on team culture and leadership within the management team including specific tikanga expertise provided via New Zealand Rugby Kaihautu Māori Luke Crawford.  

Additional education resources for players and management will be introduced, with a focus on harm free workplace sessions, communication strategies and continued focus on personal development plans for players through the NZRPA. Priority will also be put on supporting the player leadership structure to grow and deepen.

There will be an emphasis on existing policies and new initiatives that focus on the health and wellbeing of players and management, with work already underway in this space.

All this work will contribute to the high performance vision and standards of the programme to foster a sustainable, high performing environment.

New Zealand Rugby has committed to remain connected with Muir and Wilson Uluinayau to ensure progress continues on the recommendations made.


Click here to read the Black Ferns Cultural and Environmental review