New Zealand Rugby to measure  commitment to inclusion and diversity

New Zealand Rugby will measure diversity and inclusion outcomes alongside delivering the DHL NZ Lions Series, All Blacks and National Team success and community rugby registration numbers as part of its reporting of organisational performance in 2017.

The addition of diversity and inclusion in the organisation’s scoreboard follows NZR’s commitment in 2016 to developing and implementing policies, programmes and practices that encourage greater diversity and inclusion across sport.

NZR’s approach to diversity and inclusion features four areas of focus. They are: development of policies and guidelines; education and resources for staff and players; community rugby programmes encouraging greater inclusion across the game; and partnerships with Government, National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other groups.

NZR General Manager of Rugby, Neil Sorensen said NZR was committed to eliminating homophobia and discrimination from rugby and ensuring diversity and inclusion was a natural part of the way the game operated in New Zealand.

“The approach NZR has taken is to look at all areas of our game and consider how we can be more inclusive. This is not about having a single policy but making inclusion part of what we do.

“Implementing the recommendations of the recently established Respect and Responsibility panel will be an integral element of our approach but our commitment extends well beyond that.

“Rugby is the first sport in New Zealand to seek accreditation for the Rainbow Tick certification process on welcoming and inclusive work places, we’ve appointed experienced people to drive respect and responsibility within our professional rugby environment and will roll out policies and guidelines promoting inclusion.

“NZR is also proud to have established a forum of National Sporting Organisations, along with Sport New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Council to champion diversity and inclusion throughout sport. We’ll be working with the Human Rights Commission and other organisations to use rugby to encourage the conversation about diversity in NZ.

“We know there is a long way to go before rugby is considered truly inclusive and diverse however we’re confident that our approach will ensure we’re well set up to achieve our goals.”

NZR’s inclusion and diversity framework was originally developed in 2015 by an internal working group following the release of the international study, ‘Out on the Fields’, which identified issues of homophobia and discrimination within sport in New Zealand.

The programmes and activities to be implemented in 2017 include:

  • Review of all NZR policies including Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination, and Equal Opportunities.
  • Development and promotion of Diversity and Inclusion statement for rugby in New Zealand.
  • Completion of Rainbow Tick Diversity & Inclusion certification process.
  • Recommendations to achieve greater diversity on NZR Board for voting by NZRU members at Annual General Meeting in April 2017.
  • Implementation of Rugby Respect and Responsibility Programme to enhance the skills and knowledge of healthy relationships within the rugby community and reduce domestic/dating/family violence and sexual assault is under development.
  • Partnerships with Human Rights Commission, New Zealand Falcons rugby team and other relevant organisations.
  • Funding of New Zealand Rugby Foundation for catastrophically injured players
  • Execution of recommendations directed by NZR Respect and Responsibility panel.
  • Continued Chair of NSO Sport For Everyone working group