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Another winning year for New Zealand Rugby


  • Andrew Golightly, Peter Kean, Stewart Mitchell become new directors
  • Organisation rated 82/100 in annual scoreboard
  • New Chairman to be elected in May

Winning national teams, the second successive profit for New Zealand Rugby and a return to financial health for Provincial Unions marked an exceptional 2013 for rugby, outgoing New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Mike Eagle said today.

Speaking at the 122nd AGM of the organisation in Wellington, Eagle said it was very satisfying to be retiring after such a successful year on and off the field.

“2013 was without a doubt an exceptional year – on the field where most of our men and women in black excelled and off the field where financially we were able to breathe a little easier in the face of our ongoing challenges.”

In 2013 the All Blacks recorded a perfect season and both men’s and women’s sevens teams became world champions. Off the field the organisation posted a profit of $2.9 million, the second consecutive year in the black, and restored cash reserves to $63.7 million.

The 2013 Annual Report is available here.

“With a strengthened financial position we were able to share some of the gains with Provincial Unions, while players also shared in the upside through the new Collective Employment Agreement.

“It is very satisfying to note that Provincial Unions have largely been restored to profitability after several very challenging years.”

Eagle said the economic climate remained difficult and it was critical for all in rugby to keep working hard to contain costs and grow revenues.

“We cannot sustain the successes of our game on the field without consistently strong performances off it. It’s vital that our game remains financially healthy and well-led.”

New directors for NZRU
At the AGM Stuart Mitchell was elected as the new Southern Zone representative following the retirement of Mike Eagle. The other nominee was former North Otago Rugby Union Chairman Bill Dean.

Outgoing Northland Rugby Chairman Andrew Golightly was elected to the Board as the Northern Zone representative, defeating incumbent Gerard van Tilborg who served two terms.

“We welcome Stuart and Andrew to the Board. They bring valuable governance, commercial and rugby administration experience to the table as well as a fresh perspective and we look forward to their contribution.

“We thank Gerard for the part he has played over the past six years. He came in at a time when rugby faced great challenges on and off the field and we have greatly valued his contribution. We wish him all the best.”

During the AGM, the Appointments and Remuneration Committee appointed experienced businessman Peter Kean as a new independent director replacing Bob Field who was elected in 2011. Kean is a long serving executive at Lion and has been managing director of subsidiary Lion Dairy & Drink.

“We welcome Peter to the Board and thank Bob for his contribution these past three years,” said Eagle. “As an independent director he has challenged us when we needed to be tested, providing a wealth of commercial experience as well as passion for rugby which has greatly helped our decision-making.”

Strong performance for organisation
New Zealand Rugby’s performance is measured against a range of indicators aligned to the Towards 2016 Strategy. This year the organisation achieved a score of 82/100 compared to 87/100 for 2012.

Chief executive Steve Tew said the result was another strong outcome for all of New Zealand rugby.

“The highlights were of course a perfect season for the All Blacks, two sevens world cups and world series, matched by strong performances by other national teams. The second consecutive operating profit, the continued growth of a strong commercial programme, return to profitability for Provincial Unions and the successful conclusion of a new Collective Employment Agreement were also significant factors.

“On the more challenging side we had mixed results in terms of fan attendance, and interest across some of our competitions and we continue to face challenges around retaining young players, coaches and referees. This was largely behind the 18 per cent of unachieved targets.”

New Chairman to be elected in May
A new Chairman to replace Mike Eagle will be elected at the next Board meeting on Thursday 29 May in order to give new directors sufficient time to familiarise themselves with the key issues facing the organisation. The Board agreed that Graham Cooney would serve as acting Chairman until then.

New Board member bios

Stewart Mitchell
Past Canterbury Rugby Football Union Chairman (2010-14), board member of Crusaders, trained accountant, highly experienced strategic and human resource consultant, over 20 years experience in various governance roles.

Andrew Golightly
Northland Rugby Union Chairman (2008-2014) and board member since 2007. Director of the Blues (2008-13), experienced lawyer specialising in employment, disputes resolution and commercial matters.

Peter Kean
Peter Kean is a long serving executive at Lion, and has been managing director of subsidiary Lion Dairy & Drink responsible for $2.5 billion turnover across Australasia. Former managing director of Lion Nathan New Zealand (2003-11) and various other Lion roles over a 37 year career with the company.



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