Human Rights Commission is calling on the Chiefs and NZ Rugby to seek expert advice and training to change an internal culture which is out of step with Kiwi values of integrity and respect.
Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says now is the time for those men who were in the room at the time to take responsibility for their actions and for NZ Rugby to address their internal culture issues.
“NZ Rugby needs to be taking a hard look at the culture that exists within their organisation, which is one of protecting their own and treating strippers as second-rate citizens unworthy of respect, safety or even an apology.
“It is disappointing that NZ Rugby refuse to take up offers of support and expertise from external parties with these sorts of investigations. Until they do, these investigations will continue to produce the exact same results.
“I would implore NZ rugby to seek the services of our most powerful sexual violence survivors advocate, Louise Nicholas, to help deal with the issues that lie at the heart of rugby culture. An important first step in this training, would be to issue a public apology to Scarlette.
“The fact of the matter is that Scarlette was made to feel so uncomfortable that night, that she rightly raised her concerns. No woman, regardless of her profession, should be made to feel uncomfortable while at work.
“Each of those team members present that evening must take responsibility for their actions and behaviour. Many of them will have wives, daughters and sisters – would you want them to feel safe while they were just doing their job?
“Rugby is like a religion in New Zealand, with players worshipped by young kiwis throughout the country. All rugby teams, should now take the time to reflect on whether their actions are setting the right example for those young people.”
The open letter can be viewed and signed here:
Dr Jackie Blue updates supporters on the her call with NZRFU CEO Steve Tew following the release of the 'Love Rugby Respect Women' open letter.