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Buller appoint woman as rugby chair

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

Buller Rugby Union has made a landmark appointment, announcing Westport lawyer Jane Duncan as its new chairperson.

Duncan, 33, is the first woman to hold such a post at any New Zealand provincial union

She says she is excited by the challenge of leading a small Heartland Championship union and the historic nature of her appointment.

"For me this is not so much about gender but about skill," she said in a New Zealand Rugby statement.

"My fellow-board members felt I have the necessary skills and that I am the right person for the job.

"But it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that women have the right skill sets for these roles."

Duncan's appointment comes two months after former Black Ferns captain Farah Palmer became the first woman to take a seat on the board of NZR.

Late last year, NZR launched a review and set up a panel to address the culture of rugby and women's roles in it following a series of unsavoury off-field incidents.

Duncan is under no illusion about the size of her challenge at one of New Zealand's smallest unions, whose representative team plays in the amateur Heartland Championship.

The number of players, coaches, referees and volunteers has shrunk following the closure of the Holcim Cement Works and a major downsizing of the Stockton Mine.

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