Hockey NZ boss appears in the dark over player dissatisfaction - 'I’m not sure what you’re talking about'

For a small organisation that players say has some serious problems the chief executive of Hockey New Zealand has somehow been in the dark.

1 NEWS spoke to 11 past and present players today who all highlighted the same problems.

They alleged the use of bully tactics and mind games, describing it as 'shut up and do as you're told, or don't play' atmosphere within New Zealand women's hockey culture.

The players say they feel mistreated and are too scared to speak up as if they do, there's repercussions.

However, CEO of Hockey New Zealand Ian Francis seems to be unaware of any issues when asked by 1 NEWS.

"Sorry I'm not sure what you're talking about there, we were notified yesterday that there was some concerns from the players' association," Mr Francis said.

The players' association says Mr Francis must be aware as they meet monthly.

"We have had discussions on an ongoing basis of things happening in the environment," said Glen Sulzberger.

At least 13 people have left the organsation in the last two years, with a farmer staffer saying they had a lack of confidence in its direction.

The revelations come as Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager has apologised to members of his New Zealand women's hockey team after inadvertently emailing them criticism of their attitude.

Hager, who has coached the Black Sticks for a decade, admitted sending an email to his players which was intended for team management during the women's World Cup in London last month.

The 54-year-old singled out several "struggling" players.

He expressed frustration at several players' work ethic and training habits.

Hager hasn't returned calls from 1 NEWS.

Hockey NZ is in the process of signing off on a person to conduct its independent review and Mr Francis will meet with the players' association on Monday to get to the bottom of the Black Sticks' problems.

Pressure is mounting on Hockey NZ in the wake of increasing claims of toxic team culture in the Black Sticks Women. Source: 1 NEWS


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