Dame Patsy Reddy, Rowena Davenport appointed to NZ Rugby board

Former governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy is joining the board of NZ Rugby.

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Former governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy is joining the board of NZ Rugby.

Former governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy and prominent rugby administrator Rowena Davenport have been appointed to the New Zealand Rugby board, lifting its female representation to 33 per cent, still below the Government’s quota.

They joined Dame Farah Palmer, who is the board’s deputy chair and also chair of the NZ Maori Rugby board.

NZ Rugby board new appointee Rowena Davenport with her children Oscar and Millie proudly holding the Ranfurly Shield in 2019..

Sharron Bennett

NZ Rugby board new appointee Rowena Davenport with her children Oscar and Millie proudly holding the Ranfurly Shield in 2019..

Reddy replaces former chair Brent Impey, who was not available for reappointment after serving four terms on the board, while Davenport replaces Jennifer Kerr, who chose not to seek reappointment after joining the board in 2020.

Reddy and Davenport were appointed by NZ Rugby’s appointments and remuneration committee.

READ MORE:
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* New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey hails diversity factor in new board
* Second woman joins Dr. Farah Palmer on NZ Rugby board as Jennifer Kerr appointed
* Farah Palmer makes history as the first NZ Rugby board deputy chair

In 2018, the government, under its Women and Girls in Sports and Active Recreation Strategy, introduced a 40% female representation on boards quota for sports that receive more than $ 50,000 a year in public funding.

NZ Rugby’s slowness to increase female representation has drawn criticism, and board chair Stewart Mitchell acknowledged on Friday the organization still had work to do around gender diversity in rugby governance, while calling the board ” increasingly diverse ”.

“It is an area we are committed to, and the introduction of women like Rowena and Dame Patsy will only strengthen and enhance the administration and governance of our game,” he said in a statement. “Their influence could not come at a better time as we head into a massive year for women’s rugby.”

Reddy had a career as a lawyer, director and crown negotiator before serving as governor-general from 2016-2021, while Davenport, who is chief executive of Dunedin-based law firm Gallaway Cook Allan, recently finished her term as chair of the Otago Rugby Football Union (ORFU), completing nearly a decade on the union’s board.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining the NZR board, with the Rugby World Cup in Aotearoa later this year,” Reddy said.

“I am sure this tournament will inspire a new generation of women and girls to play rugby. I look forward to contributing to a sport that has unified and enthralled New Zealanders from all walks of life for over 150 years. ”

Davenport said she was looking forward to bringing her experiences with Otago rugby to the NZR board.

“I believe there are huge opportunities ahead for rugby and the Rugby World Cup, on home soil in 2022, is a prime example of that opportunity.”

The board is holding its annual meeting on Thursday.

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