Tew admits to mistakes in stripper case

Date published: September 9 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Steve_Tew_NZR_CEO_2016

People from outside New Zealand Rugby should have been involved in the investigation of inappropriate behaviour by the Chiefs, CEO Steve Tew said on Friday.

NZR issued a warning to the entire Super Rugby team on Wednesday following the release of their investigation into an alleged incident involving a stripper that occurred last month at the team's end-of-season 'Mad Monday' celebrations.

They also said they were unable to verify any of the allegations made by the woman, identified as "Scarlette" by New Zealand media, though it had left "a black mark" on the sport and the two-time Super Rugby champion Chiefs, reports Reuters.

Since the release of the report, however, Tew's organisation has been heavily criticised for their handling of the incident and a lack of transparency, while it has raised debate on how women are treated by sports teams in the country.

Tew said on Friday he stood by the report, which was conducted by their general counsel Keith Binnie, and was adamant it was the "truth of the situation".

"We got to the truth of what happened around the Chiefs 2016 event," Tew told reporters at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, where the All Blacks are preparing to play Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

"In the benefit of hindsight it might have been better for us if we got someone to work with him, who could have brought an outside perspective to it and given it that legitimacy.

"I still stand by the work he did. He's a very careful person and he came back with a very clear set of findings that are consistent with everyone who was spoken to."

Scarlette declined to make a complaint to police and on Friday told New Zealand media through a lawyer that she would not be asking for them to re-examine the incident.

It has, however, created a maelstrom in rugby-mad New Zealand, with the Chiefs losing two sponsors, the All Blacks test being drawn into the controversy while Prime Minister John Key rebuked the behaviour that led to the allegations.

Several prominent New Zealand women were also signatories to an open letter from the Human Rights Commission to NZR on Thursday asking them to change the culture of rugby.

"Right now, thousands of New Zealanders are questioning the culture of our country's favourite sport and those in charge to do better," the letter read.

COMMENTS