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Wellington Rugby name review head

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/11/2016

Dame Margaret Bazley will lead an independent review of Wellington Rugby's player conduct and recruitment processes sparked by the Losi Filipo case.

The 18-year-old was earlier this month sentenced to nine months' supervision after an outcry over his initial discharge without conviction on assault charges.

Filipo had pleaded guilty to assaulting four people, including two women, in central Wellington in October last year.

His Wellington Lions' contract was terminated by mutual agreement.

Wellington Rugby said Dame Margaret's services were engaged following a strong public reaction to the union's decision to stand by Filipo and be part of his rehabilitation.

This had created debate about rugby's responsibility to take action outside of any court-imposed sanctions, the union said in a statement.

Dame Margaret's review will focus on Wellington Rugby's processes and protocols regarding player recruitment, and the management and monitoring of player behaviour, particularly those contracted while still at school.

The review will not inquire into, or report on, the the criminal justice system and its interactions with Filipo.

The review is expected to be concluded in early December.

Dame Margaret has led a number of high profile inquiries and reviews, including the Fundamental Review of the Legal Aid System in 2009 and the Government inquiry into Police Conduct (2004-2008).

She also chaired the New Zealand Fire Service Commission from 1999 to 2011.

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