April 19, 2023
Rugby League waking to Māori after challenge
Aotearoa Māori Rugby League chair John Devonshire says a legal challenge from a breakaway Māori group has been a wake-up call for the wider New Zealand Rugby League.
He’s welcoming the decision to withdraw the action, but the faction led by former chair John Tamihere is still considering a rebel league competition in the regions.
Mr Devonshire says over the past two years since he joined the board New Zealand Rugby League has made major changes in its response to Maori.
“There’s still a long way to go to be fair – and I’ve been made to feel welcome but there’s still a lot of educating, a lot of learning for them, to acknowledge and be sincere and responsible,” he says.
John Devonshire says as well as himself, the 8-member NZRL Board now also includes Maori league icons Tawera Nikau and Howie Tamati and women’s standout Honey Hireme.