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Rugby bosses to meet HRC over Chiefs case

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/09/2016

Steve Tew © Getty Images Steve Tew Chief executive Steve Tew says New Zealand Rugby will meet the Human Rights Commission over criticism of the sporting body's "internal culture" after the Chiefs' stripper saga.

"Despite all we are doing in this area, recent events show we have not got it right, so we will talk with the commissioner as a priority on what more we could do," he said.

Tew said that, in recent years, NZR had increased player education programmes covering matters such as risk awareness and responsibility as public figures.

"We are continuing to expand on this work, and are developing a respect and responsibility education programme focused further on healthy relationships and consent issues."

NZR announced this week that all Chiefs players would be issued with a formal warning for their role in an incident involving a stripper during post-season celebrations.

However, no individual player would face further action after an NZR investigation was unable to verify allegations of sexual assault.

The investigation arose after a woman named Scarlette complained of being inappropriately touched by players.

The commission responded to the findings by calling on New Zealanders to sign an open letter asking NZR "to seek support in addressing their internal culture issues".

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says the investigation highlighted that NZR's judiciary process was "not appropriate for dealing with issues of integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights".

"NZ Rugby has previously refused to take up offers of support and expertise from external parties with these sorts of investigations," she said.

"Until they do, these investigations will continue to produce the exact same results."

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