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New Zealand Rugby launches independent complaints management service

New Zealand Rugby launches independent complaints management service

  • Independent online and 0800 phone service established to report inappropriate off-field conduct in rugby
  • Complaints to be managed by respected employment lawyer Steph Dyhrberg

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has established an independent online and 0800 phone complaints management service to provide ready access for people to raise complaints about inappropriate conduct in rugby.

Establishing the service was one of the recommendations from the 2017 Respect and Responsibility (R&R) Review and will ensure complaints are resolved in a timely and fair manner with independent oversight.

NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew said the independent service was part of the organisation’s commitment to create a respectful and inclusive rugby environment in New Zealand that inspires and unifies people.

“Having an independent complaints management system will ensure all concerns are heard, documented, investigated and decisions are made about the appropriate course of action if required.

“It’s an investment in our community and ensures concerns can be raised confidentially and discussed with an independent person. People can feel reassured that their concerns will be acted upon with good intent.”

NZR has appointed highly regarded employment lawyer Steph Dyhrberg from Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law as the independent manager of the complaints process. Ms Dyhrberg is a well-respected employment and dispute resolution lawyer with over 25 years’ experience.

Ms Dyhrberg said she welcomed the opportunity to support rugby in New Zealand to be the best it can be in this regard and lead change within rugby.

“My primary role is to provide an independent service that can identify the nature of any complaint and ensure good process is used to resolve issues as fairly and effectively as possible.”

Sport NZ Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says “Sport NZ welcomes the introduction of the independent complaints management service by New Zealand Rugby. Rugby is part of every community in New Zealand and it’s great to see NZR showing leadership and commitment to creating a respectful and inclusive rugby environment.”

The service is now live.

In addition, the Respect and Responsibility Independent Advisory Panel – another recommendation from the R & R Review – has now been appointed. The Panel comprises Kathryn Beck who was the Chair of the R&R Review, and panellists, Jackie Barron and Keven Mealamu. A new member will join this group, Russell Smith, co-director of Korowai Tumanako and HSB Clinical Specialist. The Panel will provide advice and support to NZR as the Respect and Responsibility Review recommendations are implemented.



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