June 09, 2022
Speaking out should not be red card offence
The chair of Women in Rugby Aotearoa says New Zealand Rugby’s apology to former Black Fern Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate shows Aotearoa has come of age.
The apology came after a review found complaints of insensitive comments and body shaming were well founded.
Traci Houpapa says while it took far too long for the apology to come, it was an acknowledgement past practices are no longer acceptable.
“For wāhine like Te Kura who are gay, who have partners in the sport, who have a voice, they need to be heard and they need to be able to call behaviour without fear of losing their spot or being benched or not even making the starting squad. That’s the step change and the systems change that must happen in New Zealand Rugby,” she says.
Ms Houpapa says Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate and her whĀnau have showed the way forward by engaging in a tikanga-based reconciliation process with former coach Glenn Moore and NZ Rugby.