Dear New Zealand Rugby management and board members,

An open letter to the NZ Rugby Union:


Dear New Zealand Rugby management and board members,

Right now, thousands of New Zealanders are questioning the culture of our country’s favourite sport and those in charge of it.

We are writing to you publicly in the hope that you will listen to our calls for you to act with courage.

The internal investigation into an incident involving a woman called Scarlette and members of the Chiefs rugby team has highlighted to all New Zealanders that NZ Rugby’s judiciary process is not appropriate for dealing with issues of integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights.

We are offering our expertise, experience and support.  Louise Nicholas has been working alongside NZ Police to successfully enhance their internal culture for some time now. We encourage you to do the same.  Dr Jackie Blue offered to assist a month ago and this offer still stands.

Rugby is like a religion in New Zealand, with players worshipped by young kiwis throughout the country.  NZ Rugby could not operate without thousands of women volunteers and players in clubs and towns across the country: we must address the culture that exists from the top down and set the right example, particularly for our young New Zealanders.

Now is the time for you and those involved in the incident with Scarlette to be courageous and to take personal leadership on an issue that we can all work on addressing together.

As much as New Zealanders love rugby – we need New Zealanders to respect women.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Signed by,


 

…many people, see the list here and you can also sign it yourself if you want to.

There are currently 3,295 signatures. Make that 3,317 now, including mine.

I loved playing rugby, and liked refereeing to an extent, and still love watching it. But some of the ‘rugby culture’, especially involving booze and women, was and still is ugly. I support positive change.

loverugbyrespectwomen

http://www.loverugbyrespectwomen.org.nz

Leave a comment

78 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th September 2016

    The police investigated and found nothing. The media investigated and found clickbait. The union investigated and found conflicting claims. The employer investigated and sacked the stripper. Now the lobbyists wand to investigate and find a cause.

    I’m unimpressed.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  9th September 2016

      The police decided not to invesergate more money in traffic offences.an Auckland stripping firm sacked a stripper with that name but a Hamilton firm has her on there books with picture of her and the rugby union did a whitewash job using one of there own..

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th September 2016

        Really? Then take the case to court and see how you get on.

        Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  9th September 2016

        Not looking good for the rugby union on breakfast tv.Takes one letter from prominent females and things start to change,just saying

        Reply
    • I think it has been grossly overplayed by media, but it has happened, and now I see an opportunity to push a message and to do something to disassociate rugby from old booze and disrespect images.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th September 2016

        Exactly my point. Lobbyists attempting to push a message irrespective of the facts.

        Reply
        • Perhaps in the media, as in politics – anywhere except a court of law [if we’re lucky] – lobby-ism and the “message” IS THE FACTS?

          The fact is everyone is lobbying to promote their message.

          The “old booze and disrespect images” have become unsustainable in the second decade of the 21st century, thanks to those you general brand SJWs and dismiss …

          Reply
          • “generally” … damnit …

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              If lobby-ism and the “message” IS THE FACTS the loony Left would be the Government.

            • No Alan, your comment is simply the product of your inability to write a complete sentence, often even a complete phrase, without the words “Loony Left” in it ….

              As though repetition makes the fraud grow stronger …

            • Gezza

               /  9th September 2016

              It does get a bit tiresome, Al. The Left aren’t all loonies, Nor are the Right all rabid, or the Centre all comfortable. She’s a hard road finding the perfect descriptors.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  9th September 2016

              Broken-record syndrome well evidenced again, Al…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              Of course I can, PZ. I just enjoy them more with a bit of teasing the demented inhabitants of the moral high ground.

            • Gezza

               /  9th September 2016

              How come the fight for the moral high ground by opposing sides usually involves so many low blows?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              @Gezza, the loony Left is a selective term as someone pointed out yesterday. Eg Labour is Left but Corbyn is loony Left.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              Because those up in those clouds are fanatical nutters, Gezza, and hate each other.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              ..in Helen Clark’s words, the Haters and Wreckers.

            • Gezza

               /  9th September 2016

              Whooosh, Al. 😀

  2. The inexorable progress of ‘equality culture’ – the natural, healthy human impulsion towards a more ethical life – is gonna hurt like hell when it runs up against the most entrenched male chauvinism still extant in our ‘civilized’ society …

    Rugby, or any other sport, simply doesn’t need to be like this …

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  9th September 2016

      Like what?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  9th September 2016

        like hiring strippers and licking their arsehole.

        Reply
        • Bill

           /  9th September 2016

          Yeah, this is what you would expect from motorcycle gang, not a highly paid professional sporting franchise.

          The takeaway from the union investigation is, rugby truly is a team sport, at all levels. Where the needs of the many, outweigh the few.

          If you want to lick a strippers arsehole get a motel.

          Reply
        • Nelly Smickers

           /  9th September 2016

          😡

          Goodness Gracious ❗ Sounds to me like it might be better if they just got Wayne to come down and install a few more toilet roll holders in the clubhouse.

          Reply
          • Bill

             /  9th September 2016

            Yep sorry Nelly, but unfortunately it is was it is and if the rugby club had installed a few more rules and left this kind of behaviour to the after, after function.It would have only implicated a few like it always does, but now it implicates their entire club and culture.

            Who hasn’t been to a strip show, men or women and if this hadn’t at some point got out of hand with some players wanting to turn it into a orgy, no one would of even heard about it. Stupid behaviour like this, could have escalated into some present, facing a rape charge. Stripping is a legal profession but it doesn’t disqualify her right to say no, to having sexual acts performed on her.

            I can almost hear some at the inquiry saying, no she loved it.

            Reply
        • Klik Bate

           /  9th September 2016

          I wonder if when Kitty arrives, she will find this as boring as all the ‘Kim Dotcom’ posts? LOL!!

          Reply
  3. Corky

     /  9th September 2016

    All that is wrong with Aotearoa is encapsulated in that letter.

    1- PC
    2- The worship of morons whom happen to be good at kicking and running with an inflated leather bladder.
    3- The booze culture.
    4- Believing a naked women amongst pissed men won’t eventually be manhandled.
    5- Thinking women behave differently in similar situations.
    6- Believing the Rugby Union actually care, or may do in the future.
    7- Believing rugby culture has changed for the better. Only the PR is better.

    At college, we once had the misfortune of having a All Black coach and a few, then All-Blacks, do a guest training session of the 1st 15 I was in. Every second word from the coach was an expletive, and the sexual innuendo of what we should do in a scrum situation, turned me off, not on. Ironically, we were told to protect the try-line like it was our sisters honour.

    I took up surfing after that. Guess I should thank coach for curing me of hero worship.

    Reply
  4. Pete Kane

     /  9th September 2016

    “The newly-released information left Dame Susan Devoy struggling to speak,”
    I would normally say ‘silver lining’ to headings like this.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/84078856/chiefs-stripper-scandal-womans-ordeal-recounted-in-interview

    Reply
  5. duperez

     /  9th September 2016

    Was Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, who signed the Human Rights Commission’s open letter to NZ Rugby, audibly appalled by the details in the interview she had with the other people who were present?

    Reply
  6. David

     /  9th September 2016

    Has anyone witnessed the behaviour of women at a male strip show, outrageous so looking forward to Devoy et al being gender neutral in their condemnation

    Reply
  7. Kevin

     /  9th September 2016

    I think I’ll dress in Armani suit and go walking in a park at night known for muggers. And then when I get mugged instead of going to the police I’ll go to the media in order to push an agenda, whatever that may be. And if anyone calls me stupid I’ll scream victim blaming.

    Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th September 2016

    Trial by media. Who was the lawyer that did the NZRU inquiry?

    Reply
    • Bill

       /  9th September 2016

      Trial by media, leftest conspiracy, Who was the lawyer that did the NZRU inquiry?
      Who hired the damn stripper, Andrew Little?

      Hell Alan, all we need now is for David Lange to ask, can I smell abused stripper on your breath.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th September 2016

        A simple question which it seems curious hasn’t been answered given the criticism of the investigation.

        But there, there. Facts don’t matter. Let’s all rush to judgement.

        Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  9th September 2016

      That’d be the nameless NZRU lawyer who didn’t front up to talk about the inquiry findings… the same NZRU lawyer who left interviewing the victim until the very end of the inquiry…

      … and Steve Tew has the temerity to claim that NZ Rugby has been “incredibly transparent” about the episode…. yeah, whatever…

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th September 2016

        You know that how? And the stripper who wouldn’t talk to police agreed to talk to the lawyer when?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th September 2016

          Steve Tew needed to start by saying the Chiefs are a national embarrassment & he is disgusted with them. After that, he might have had some credibility, but not much, and only with yobbos.

          Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  10th September 2016

          Here you go Alan… Steve Braunias hits the nail on the head…

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11706928

          Oh, and by the way I know the NZRU lawyer was nameless ‘cos he or she hasn’t been named, and I know the NZRU lawyer didn’t front up to the media ‘cos he or she was nowhere to be seen, and I know that the victim was last to be interviewed ‘cos Tew admitted so.

          And I also know that apologies were publicly issued to everyone except the victim because I listened to the apologies.

          You harp on about innocent until proven guilty, but you set a mighty high bar when it suits you

          Reply
  9. ” … highlighted to all New Zealanders that NZ Rugby’s judiciary process is not appropriate for dealing with issues of integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights.”

    I’m finding it difficult to ascertain exactly how the NZRU’s “judiciary process” works. Does anyone know? I may have missed reading a previous topic about the enquiry.

    This ‘pay to view’ OUP article indicates it was a ‘Kangaroo Court’ until 1990 when the NZRU set out “to provide its members with a code to deal with all disciplinary matters. The Black Book was born. John Dowling, a Dunedin solicitor, was the chair of the committee, whose task in formulating the rules ‘was the need to express them in plain and unambiguous and non-legalistic language’.”

    http://arbitration.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/4/467

    I gather players have defence lawyers at judicial hearings but did the stripper have legal representation at this ‘enquiry’? If not, is the judiciary really reviewing all the facts or complete legal arguments?

    Personally I’d question to what extent any court assesses absolute facts, and to what extent legal argument, spin, image, untruth and even lies play their part, especially the first?

    I’m wary of enquiries by Rugby Unions since reading about the ‘Courts of Enquiry’ held by the English RFU in the years prior to “the schism” of 1895 that established the Northern RFU and Northern Rules, later Rugby League. These ‘Kangaroo Courts’ were epitomised by Rev. Frank Marshall of Huddersfield, the “witch-finder general, rooting out incipient professionalism”.

    “He burnished his reputation as “the man with bell, book and candle facing the evil spirit of professionalism” by banning his own club, Huddersfield, in 1893 for breaching the amateur code.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Marshall_(rugby_referee)

    Pity the NZRU don’t enforce the modern code of conduct with equivalent vigour …?

    Organisations like individuals protect themselves. We see it everywhere …
    “Neoliberal” and “Looney Leftie” are a couple of examples close to hand …

    If “Macho-ism” is the underlying ideology of rugby and if the RU are partisan, which seems likely, perhaps today they root out incipient feminism instead?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  9th September 2016

      One can analyse this situation to death but still find at the end of it the only question to answer is, “is the behaviour of all those involved something to be proud of and that you would want your kids to grow up and do?”

      And the answer for anybody who’s had a decent upbringing is ‘No’.

      That’s my opinion. Happy to consider the argument of anybody whose answer is ‘yes’, though?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  9th September 2016

        What about the answer: “We don’t know. None of the claims have been tested under oath and with cross examination and defence witnesses. Neither do we know who behaved badly and who behaved well.”?

        You are happy to summarily convict the whole team without a trial. So I don’t think you had a decent upbringing.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  9th September 2016

          Thanks for your thoughts. I think I did.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  9th September 2016

            Yes, I noticed. But I don’t see the evidence for that either. Innocent until proven guilty is fundamental to fairness and natural justice – a tenant that should be taught in a good upbringing.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  9th September 2016

              We didn’t have tenants. We didn’t hire strippers, none of us were strippers, none of us would stay in a place where the sort of stuff reported was going on, and I didn’t say anyone was innocent or guilty.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  9th September 2016

              Nah, you judged the behaviour of all those involved to be indefensible and I say you have no sound basis for that mass and unequivocal conviction.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  10th September 2016

              That would be tenet, fool… a rabid righty Freudian slip if ever there was one… and who are you to judge Gezza’s upbringing?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th September 2016

              @jb, Gezza brought his upbringing to the table, not me. So I judge it on the facts as I do yours.

            • Gezza

               /  10th September 2016

              Your opinion isn’t fact Al.

              Issues of morality – and even ethics – aren’t always best left to the Courts to decide. What we need is a survey of public opinion? Have any been done.

            • Blazer

               /  10th September 2016

              don’t bring renters into this Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  10th September 2016

              You might need a survey of public opinion to make an ethical judgement but as sure as heck I don’t. However I do need reliable facts.

        • Bill

           /  10th September 2016

          “Neither do we know who behaved badly and who behaved well.”?”

          This is the point Allan, according to the NZRU inquiry, everyone behaved well.

          I don’t have faith in the independent Police complaints authority, to be impartial enough to hold an inquiry into themselves, let alone the NZRU.

          It’s pretty clear that the NZRU went straight into damage control mode rather than impartial inquiry mode and this blew up, right back in their own faces.

          Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  9th September 2016

    No I didn’t convict them. This is not a trial. I’m not on a jury. By all those involved, I meant those, including the stripper, whose activities were in very poor taste. Perhaps I should have made that clearer. So, you’d be ok with your kids being associated with people who get up to that sort of thing? As long as a jury didn’t convict them all of something actually illegal because bad behaviour on both sides, and conflicting witness testimony? Fair enough.

    It would be interesting to see the CCTV footage. Hope we do.

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  9th September 2016

      Wayne said he heard the the Club had already wiped the CCTV footage……but I think he said *Radio Reamher* have the full audio available.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  10th September 2016

      I know my children will behave themselves well in whatever situations they encounter, Gezza. And they won’t rush to judgement when they don’t know the facts. That’s what I call a good upbringing.

      Reply
  11. patupaiarehe

     /  9th September 2016

    No surprise that no-one was found to be at fault in the so called investigation. As in any profession, you don’t ‘nark’ on your colleagues…
    The thing is, they have all learned from this. Everyone who was there knows EXACTLY who behaved badly, But they will never tell the truth in public, much less to a disciplinary committee. But they all know, and so do the selectors….
    This quote is from Corky, comment of the day IMHO

    Ironically, we were told to protect the try-line like it was our sisters honour.

    Guess what guys? That stripper is somebodies sister. Maybe someones mum too. She is no less honourable, just because she is being paid to ‘get her kit off’…

    Reply
    • Bill

       /  10th September 2016

      Well put patupaiarehe.

      Reply
    • Bill

       /  10th September 2016

      Just one more point that no one has raised, both STRIPPERS R US and the rugby club were involved in her employment. Both of these parties are responsible to provide a safe work environment, identify potential hazards and act in a way that is appropriate to the particular circumstances.

      This is not a joke, she is entitled to the same rights that any other worker receives under WORKSAFE NZ. All NZ business’ are required to have a health and safety manual, specific to their industry, by law.

      This was clearly a serious near-miss situation and if she was fired as suggested earlier as a result of her employers inability to comply to a safe work environment, she has legal recourse in this situation.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  10th September 2016

        Not sure even that is true, Bill. I had the impression she was hired by an individual, not the club.

        Reply
        • Bill

           /  10th September 2016

          It comes down to defining if that individual was acting for the club Allan. On the other hand STRIPPERS R US could very likely come up short, in not providing security for their staff, hiring a stripper may have just more expensive.

          Reply
          • She was a contractor that broke STRIPPERS R US rules by allowing touching and was then given the heave ho by them.

            The media ‘beat up’ is confirmed in that the stripper doesn’t want to press charges. Her (ever-changing) story has got out of hand when all she originally wanted was the people who touched her to pay their fees for doing so as they agreed.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  10th September 2016

              no such thing as a free ‘lunch’ …so they say…not sure how tasty it would be!

            • If she was ripped off by not being paid for services provided she has my full support, unfortunately she tried to take the issue a different road and its blown up out of all proportion and being hijacked by others pushing their own agendas against ‘men’.

            • Bill

               /  11th September 2016

              Love to see her contract tho and what services are defined as Strippers R us, as opposed to a contractor carrying out other work, not offered by the first party after the show is over.I wonder if they ever ran it up the pole at a toolbox meeting.

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