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'We're sorry' - Hockey NZ apologises to women's Black Sticks after review into negative team culture

Hockey New Zealand have today released a summary of an independent review, which looked at concerns voiced by current players and past Black Sticks women’s players at the Hockey Players Association last year.

More questions have been raised as to why Hockey NZ haven't revealed the entire document.

The review draft was made in December 2018 and was finalised last month.

A summary of the review made by Maria Dew QC was released today.

The review was made in September after 1 NEWS revealed former Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager accidentally sent an email to the entire team in July last year that criticised several players at the World Cup in London.

Hager resigned last month as head coach of the Black Sticks women's team and is now the head coach for the Great Britain and England women's teams.

Dew said in her report that HNZ systems "had failed to enable player issues to be responded to at the time."

Dew spoke to 33 players and half of the players that played for the Black Sticks women from 2016-2018 and 70 per cent of those players said they had concerns about the environment.

Chair of the Board at Hockey NZ Mike Bignell apologised today to the current and past New Zealand women's hockey players at a press conference in Auckland.

"The failings resulted in unacceptable outcomes for some of our players and consequently the broader management team," said Bignell.

"It should never have got to this point and Hockey New Zealand unequivocally apologises to all those who have had a poor experience in the environment.

"We're sorry we did not have the right support in place to ensure legitimate concerns were investigated. We welcome the opportunity to meet confidentially with anyone who believes that their concerns are not being addressed."

Black Sticks players spoke to 1 NEWS about the negative culture within the squad while under Hager in August last year.

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Mark Hager created a rift with his players and New Zealand Hockey after mistakenly sending a critical email to his team during the World Cup last month. Source: 1 NEWS


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