Life & Culture

Black Ferns culture review panel seeks former players to share their experiences

A former Black Ferns who may have been removed from the mailing list is asked to contact an independent review panel that investigates the culture and team environment.

A letter was sent to current and former players this week by the reviewers, in association with the New Zealand Rugby Players Association.

The Independent Review Panel investigating the culture and environment of black fern was set up in December after senior black fern prostitute Te Kura Ngata-Iringamat claimed she had suffered a mental breakdown following allegedly critical comments from trainer Glenn Moore.

The review has resumed, with leading Simpson Grierson employment attorneys Phillipa Muir and Black Fern and NZRPA Director Tammy Wilson Oluenyao interviewed this week ahead of a planned Black Ferns camp in Queenstown. Interviews are expected to continue in February.

Eleanor Butterworth, New Zealand Rugby's National Hurt Prevention Director, sits on the Black Ferns Cultural Review Committee.

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Eleanor Butterworth, New Zealand Rugby’s National Hurt Prevention Director, sits on the Black Ferns Cultural Review Committee.

Eleanor Butterworth, New Zealand rugby’s national injury prevention director, and Gilbert Inuka, All Blacks’ captaincy director, also joined, but they will not be involved in interviewing the players.

Read more:
The Black Ferns’ new contract decisions have been influenced by coach Glenn Moore
* Black Fern is approaching professionalism with new contracts due to be announced
*Black Ferns coach Glenn Moore breaks his silence after allegations from Te Korra Ngata Iriengamat

New Zealand Rugby Cultural Adviser Kaihautu Maori Luke Crawford and Pacifica Communications Director Eroni Clark will work alongside the panel to ensure that the review operates in accordance with the Tekanga Maori Principles.

The review was created after Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate said she suffered a mental breakdown during the Black Ferns North Tour.

David Nelson/Photosport

The review was created after Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate said she suffered a mental breakdown during the Black Ferns North Tour.

The letter sent to the players stated that the review team is “independent” of NZ Rugby and that “the conclusions and any recommendations will be those of the review team”.

A draft report of the committee’s findings will be submitted to the NZ Rugby and Players Association, as well as management of the Black Ferns and anyone else “potentially affected” by the report by the end of February.

Women’s rugby advocate Alice Soper said she’s heard from players who didn’t know how to handle the review, she said in an Instagram post on Wednesday. Super is calling for more players to “give your vote and support the Mana Black Ferns Jersey”.

Her comments come on the heels of confirmation that 30 Black Ferns have been awarded a professional rugby contract. Things It was revealed on Tuesday that Glenn Moore played a role in which players were due to receive contracts.

Rugby player and women's rights advocate, Alice Soper, has said she does not want to recruit female athletes for the sport

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Rugby player and women’s rights advocate, Alice Soper, has said she does not want to recruit female players for the “people crash” sport.

“Anyone who loves the game like me can see that things are not right at the moment. You can see that just watching a match. It just doesn’t come together the way it needs to be,” Sober said.

“And if that wasn’t true in the Black Ferns environment, it wouldn’t be right for any of us because that would have to be the pinnacle, the epitome of excellence that we should all follow.

“I don’t want to recruit our little sisters into a sport of people crashing. I don’t want us to have an Olivia Podmore moment. We need to learn from that. We need you to do better.”

Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore died in a suspected suicide in August 2021, following an Instagram post explaining the requirements of high-performance sport and calling into question the integrity of New Zealand cycling and high-performance sports in New Zealand. An independent review of New Zealand’s cycling environment is also underway, with draft results expected in February.

Sober said that while the Black Ferns’ review might be a distraction from the defense of the World Cup – which New Zealand hosts in October – it was now time for a change.

“that they [the panel] I want to hear from you. They are good. They want to know what’s going on. We need you to perform better. We can go down this path together.”

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