New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew supports All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's criticism of Australia's need to develop their own players.
Hansen started a debate between the trans-Tasman rivals after the All Blacks' 18-18 draw with the Wallabies in Brisbane last weekend when he asked if Australia's talent identification protocols were up to standard particularly for poaching New Zealanders.
This after Australia's New Zealand-born full-back Mike Harris contributed fifteen points to the Wallabies cause in Brisbane,
Harris and Australia Rugby Union CEO John O'Neill hit back, comparing Australia's "thefts'' to those by the NZRU in the Pacific Islands.
But Tew has backed Hansen saying there's a big difference between Harris' situation and the players of Pacific Island heritage in New Zealand.
"We've got a very clear conscience in terms of the players we have playing the game in this country," he told the New Zealand Herald.
"The vast majority of players across the board that play rugby in this country out of particularly Samoa, Tonga and to a lesser degree Fiji, are second, third and fourth generation New Zealanders."
Tew said he didn't have a problem with New Zealand players moving Australia but what concerns him is that ARU is not doing enough to develop their own players and need to build on a local competition.
"They've got their own issues in Australia," he said.
"They need to look very hard at the depth they have in their competition. There was a small irony that last weekend (in Brisbane) I watched three games of rugby coming out of New Zealand, when that finished the test started and when that finished the Currie Cup came on.
"The reality for us is that we want the global game to be strong so we have to accept the fact that our talent, whether it's players or coaches or for that matter anyone else who is involved in the game, will be sought after around the world.
"Ultimately there are over a million New Zealanders living overseas and a vast majority of them are living on the eastern seaboard of Australia so rugby players are no different."