24 June 2024

The 2024 New Zealand Rugby League Annual General Meeting took place at the NZRL Head Office on Saturday 22 June, with several changes to the Board taking place for the coming year.

At this AGM Howie Tamati stood down as President after 11 years of service and Tawera Nikau was appointed to replace him.

Hugh Martyn advised that he will be standing down as NZRL Chairman but will be staying on as a Director for the year as the final year of his term, to enable a smooth transition to the next Chair.

At the Board meeting following the AGM Justin Leydesdorff was appointed Chair and Honey Hireme-Smiler Deputy Chair for the coming year.

Robyn Morete was elected to the Board to replace Natasha Tere who stepped down from her role as Director which she filled for the past four years.

New Zealand Rugby League would like to thank Howie Tamati and Natasha Tere for their invaluable service to the Board, and wishes congratulations Tawera Nikau, Justin Leydesdorff, Honey Hireme-Smiler, and Robyn Morete as they step into their new roles.

24 June 2024

New Zealand Rugby League is sad to announce that at the 2024 Annual General Meeting on Saturday 22 June, Howie Tamati stood down from his role as NZRL President after 11 years of service.

One of the game’s great servants, Tamati has dedicated years of service and made significant contributions to the game of rugby league and NZRL as a player, coach, Life Member, and President.

In 1990 Tamati was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal and in the 1994 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to rugby league.

Tamati was later awarded the honour of NZRL Life Membership in 2009 before being appointed NZRL President in 2013, a role he faithfully filled for over a decade.

Most recently Tamati was inducted into the Legends of League in 2022, a testament to his on-field achievements including 24 Test appearances and captaincy for the Kiwis from 1979-1985, followed by two years of Kiwis coaching duty in 1992-1993.

New Zealand Rugby League CEO Greg Peters says, “We owe a debt of gratitude to Howie for his unfaltering service to the game of rugby league and NZRL as our President over the past 11 years. Thank you, Howie, we are incredibly grateful for you and your work.”

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is thrilled to announce an exciting partnership with Dynasty Sport, marking the renowned sportswear brand as the official apparel provider for the next five years.

This partnership marks a significant milestone for both entities as they unite to elevate the presence and performance of New Zealand Rugby League on a global scale.

As the official apparel provider, Dynasty Sport brings its expertise in crafting high-performance, cutting-edge sportswear to outfit NZRL teams and supporters alike.


“We are thrilled to welcome Dynasty Sport to the NZRL whanau,” said Greg Peters, CEO of NZRL. “This partnership reflects a shared commitment to excellence, innovation, and the enduring legacy of New Zealand Rugby League.


“It’s evident that New Zealand Rugby League and Dynasty Sport share a number of core values. Dynasty Sport has a deep passion for sport spanning across both grassroots and professional teams; we felt very aligned on our relentless commitment to excellence on and off the field.”


“We’re excited to have all New Zealand’s Rugby League brands under Dynasty Sport, and together, we look forward to creating unforgettable moments both on and off the field.”


Tyler Rakich, co-founder and Director of Dynasty Sport, is equally excited about the new partnership.

“We are extremely passionate about rugby league, and as a Kiwi-owned and operated business, we feel privileged to have our logo on our national team’s jerseys, he said.

“Fans can look forward to a full range of beautifully designed supporters’ apparel in 2024. There will be something for everyone and we can’t wait to see fans wearing it with pride!”

Peters also acknowledged the contribution of the incumbent partner BLK.

“We’re grateful to BLK, who have supported the Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns over the last four years.

As we embark on this new chapter with Dynasty Sport, we thank BLK for their partnership and wish them continued success in their future endeavours.”



About Dynasty Sport


We’re sportspeople too. Some of us play, some of us used to, some of us coach and all of us love to watch our favourite teams and athletes compete every week.

​Headquartered in Auckland, with locations across NZ & Australia, Dynasty Sport operates across a global footprint. We are proud to supply high quality on and off-field sports apparel to professional and grassroots sporting organisations, schools, and businesses around the world.

We have a focus on sustainability too. Ecotek, our fabric made from ethically sourced recycled plastic bottles, is used in our ranges, helping fans and organisations make the sustainable choice whenever they can.

Dynasty Sport are leaders in rugby league, with a great reputation amongst fans and organisations for their impressive ranging and designs, high-performance technology and sustainability focus. Most recently, the One NZ Warriors range has been enormously popular. The Cowboys, Titans, Sea Eagles, Tonga Rugby League, Toa Samoa and dozens of grassroots clubs across NZ and Australia also proudly wear Dynasty Sport.

For more information on Dynasty Sport visit www.dynastysport.co.nz



26 June, 2023


Following today’s New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) annual general meeting, two new Directors were welcomed onto the NZRL Board, Tania Te Whenua and Ian Olán.

Te Whenua has supported rugby league at a local and regional level for over 30 years. Her impressive credentials as a chartered governance professional and as the principal of her law and consulting firm make her a valuable addition.

Tania has developed a comprehensive understanding of governance principles as she serves on the Civil Advisory Board to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation and the Governance NZ Women on Boards.

Having served on the Board of Counties Manukau Rugby League for nine years, Ian Olán possesses a deep understanding of the game at both a community and governance level.

NZRL Chair Hugh Martyn says, “Tania’s strong networks both within sport and recreation and more broadly within the public, community and private sectors make her a valuable addition. As does Ian’s extensive background in governance, finance, strategy, and stakeholder management.

“Both bring a wealth of skills and expertise, and we are excited to welcome them to the NZRL whanau.”

NZRL would like to thank and farewell two departing Directors, Jeni Pearce and Kiwi #614 Tawera Nikau.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Jeni Pearce for her contribution to New Zealand Rugby League and congratulate Tawera on serving two full terms,” said Martyn.

“Jeni was a valuable board member and never hesitated to assist at grassroots events and tournaments. We are sad to see her go and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

“Tawera has long been a servant of the game, and we are extremely grateful for the value and insight he brought over the course of his two terms. His dedication will undoubtedly continue; however, as a rugby league great and invaluable board member, he will be sorely missed.” concluded Martyn.

The NZRL Board is Hugh Martyn (Chair), Howie Tamati (President), Justin Leydesdorff (Deputy Chair), Natasha Tere, John Devonshire, Honey Hireme-Smiler, Grant Stapleton, Tania Te Whenua, and Ian Olán.

01 June 2o23

Reon Edwards’ involvement in the game stretches back 43 years, but his new role as Canterbury Rugby League President – which was announced at CRL’s AGM on Wednesday night – marks a return to the organisation in a formal role for the first time since 2015.

Edwards’ vast administrative experience includes serving on the Southern Zone Board from 2009-13 and the CRL Board from 2012-15 – the latter during a vital and transformative period for rugby league in our region – before accepting a position on the New Zealand Rugby League Board in 2015.

Edwards has had stints as Chair of CRL and NZRL, while he retains a place as a director on the International Rugby League Board, which he has held since 2018.

“To secure Reon as President is significant,” CRL CEO Malcolm Humm says.

“Although a non-operational role, to have someone with such a depth of knowledge regarding the local, national and international game is immense, and we certainly will be leveraging off this.”

Edwards first pulled on a pair of boots for Marist-Western Suburbs as a five-year-old, later played for Eastern Suburbs, won a CRL premiership with Halswell in 2003 and represented Canterbury Māori.

His enormous contribution to the game at all levels since saw him awarded NZRL Life Membership last year. But he’s excited about contributing in an official capacity again in his home province.

“Of course it’s an honour to be asked to step into the President role,” Edwards says.

“I’ve been involved in the game since my younger days, running around in paddocks, so it’s great to be able to come back to district level – I’m looking forward to supporting the Board with this new role.

“I’ve been involved with some local clubs since retiring from the New Zealand Rugby League Chair role and I’m still engaged with those clubs, it’s been good for me to reconnect.

“I think the game here in Canterbury is progressing and under some really good leadership, with Wally (Wilson) chairing the Board but also with Mal (Humm), he’s 12 months in the role now as CEO and we’ve seen some really good progress made. It’s great to see.”

Edwards outlined some of his chief priorities looking ahead to his term as CRL President, building on the invaluable assistance he has provided to Canterbury’s clubs more recently – in conjunction with the people who continue to be the lifeblood of those clubs.

“My first-hand experience with some of the clubs I’ve been involved with in the last couple of  years is that we’ve got a great bunch of volunteers in the game and really committed people within our clubs,” Edwards enthuses.

“Guiding them and providing some support around best practices is where I can lend a good hand. If we can strengthen the governance aspect of our clubs and the strength of our committees and processes, the rest of it will continue in terms of our player participation and increasing our junior numbers.”

CRL Chairperson Wally Wilson reiterated Humm’s sentiments about the prospect of rugby league in the region further benefitting from Edwards’ experience and selfless input.

“To secure a President with such mana and leadership capability is a real privilege for Canterbury Rugby League and I look forward to working with Reon in the future,” Wilson says.



20 April 2023

Mainstream has extended its commitment to New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) for a further four years as Principal Sponsor of the Kiwi Ferns & Referees and Official Associate Sponsor of the Kiwis.

The extended partnership will see Mainstream continue its tenure with NZRL through to the 2025 World Cup after joining the rugby league whānau in 2017.

Throughout the partnership, Mainstream remained an invaluable supporter of the game at all levels, staying loyal to NZRL through the Covid-19 pandemic when there was zero international rugby league activity for nearly two years.

Mainstream continues to show integral support for the women’s game and has been avid supporters of the Kiwi Ferns since the partnership’s inception.

NZRL CEO Greg Peters says Mainstream is an integral member of the NZRL whānau.

“It’s an exciting milestone to extend our partnership with Mainstream through to a third Rugby League World Cup,” says Peters.

“Mainstream has shown invaluable support through some of our most challenging times, and their support of the women’s game has been felt widespread among our Ferns group.

“I know we are all delighted to continue this partnership, and I look forward to what we’ll be able to achieve over the next three years as we enter one of the most exciting eras in international rugby league.”

Managing Director of Mainstream Greg Haliday says, “Mainstream is looking forward to building on the great relationship we have enjoyed over the last few years with the Kiwis and the Kiwi Ferns. You can be sure that our own team will be closely supporting the men’s and women’s teams right through to the excitement of the 2025 World Cup”.

New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce two new director appointments have been made in Natasha Tere (Elected) and Paula Kearns (Appointed).

Tere boasts over 15 years of strategic and operational management experience and is passionate about sports administration.

Tere was on the Board of Canterbury Netball for eight years and Chairperson of the Canterbury Tactix. She brings a knowledge of Rugby league at a grassroots level and is driven to improve stakeholder engagement and cultural and social diversity.

Kearns also has notable governance experience including her current positions as an External Member of the Audit and Risk Committee Ministry for the Environment and Director and Chair of AFRC of Mount Wellington Trust Hotels Ltd and Keri Corporation Ltd.  Additionally, she held previous positions with Ara Taiohi, NZ Football and Foundation North (previously ASB Community Trust).

NZRL Chair, Reon Edwards says, “We were very fortunate to receive a number of applications from quality people involved in business as well as the sport of rugby league. Both Natasha and Paula were stand out applicants who bring welcomed diversity and a vast range of skill sets to the table. They are an exciting addition to our Board.”

New Zealand Rugby League wishes to thank Vice-Chair Elizabeth Richards and Bill McEntee who have both retired from their roles as Board Directors.

NZRL also congratulate Reon Edwards on being re-elected as Chairman and Hugh Martin for being appointed as Vice Chairman.

The 2020 AGM also saw rugby league legend; Frank Morris Endacott ONZM awarded an NZRL Life Membership for his services to the game which spans six decades.

NZRL also wish to congratulate the following 2020 Distinguished Service Awards Recipients: John Peter Brimble, John Gary Clarke, Bill Liddell, Stanley Nicholas and Gary Whittle.

For more information about the recipients please click here.

The NZRL Board – Reon Edwards (Chair), Hugh Martyn (Vice), Tawera Nikau, Andrew Fraser, Grant Stapleton, Natasha Tere and Paula Kearns.

Current Life Members (alphabetical order): John Bray, Jim Campbell, John Coffey,  Ray Cranch, Frank Morris Endacott, Cathy Friend, Allen Gore, Ray Haffenden, Don Hammond, Peter Kerridge, Sir Peter Leitch, Bud Lisle, Trevor Maxwell, Cameron McGregor, Sel Pearson, Gerald Ryan, Cherie Steele-Shanks, Howie Tamati, Kevin Tamati.

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is pleased to announce, OPRO, the producer of the world’s most technically advanced mouthguard, is now the official mouthguard supplier of New Zealand Rugby League.

As part of the three-year agreement, OPRO will provide every single registered player in New Zealand between the ages of 6 – 12 with a free Snap-Fit mouthguard; their entry level mouthguard that received the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

OPRO will also be the official mouthguard supplier for the World Number 1 Ranked Kiwis, World Nines Champions Kiwi Ferns and the Junior Kiwis for their international campaigns, supplying each representative player with a fitted mouthguard.

NZRL CEO, Greg Peters, said: “We are delighted to enter into a long-term relationship with such a trusted and quality brand such as OPRO.

“Their calibre of clients speaks for itself and we are extremely grateful for their generosity and what they are providing, not only our rugby league communities at a grassroots level but also our high-performance athletes as we set sight on the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.”

OPRO Sports Marketing Director, Daniel Lovat added: At OPRO, we’re passionate about fostering safe sport from grassroots to the elite level. As Rugby League’s number one ranked nation, we’re excited to help NZRL continue to achieve excellence into the future by providing every single player between the age of 6 and 12 with one of our award-winning mouthguards.”

At a media conference in Auckland today NZRL Board Chair Reon Edwards, together with Deputy Chair and Acting CEO Hugh Martyn, welcomed the Review Panel findings, describing the process as having been robust and enlightening.

“Disappointing as it was, the Kiwis 2017 loss could ultimately be for the best for the game,” said Edwards. “This is a good wake-up call and an opportunity for a fresh start.

“While Tim and Raelene’s report identifies very clearly where things went wrong, importantly they have provided the NZRL a solid framework to help us deliver on our high performance requirements, improve our selection processes, enhance risk management, and ensure we vastly improve our planning and communication.

“We have already implemented the Review Panel recommendation to change the policy that the Kiwis’ Head Coach must be a New Zealander, and next week we will announce the make up of the new selection panel.

Chair of the Independent Review Panel, Tim Castle: “All those whom we interviewed for the purposes of our work co-operated fully and we have had the advantage of very candid responses to the hard questions.

“We took this task on with the objective of putting everything and everyone under scrutiny, so that there could be a constructive analysis to the best advantage of the sport going forwards.
Martyn said: “As a relatively new board member I have been hugely impressed with the willingness of the Board to accept accountability, and in a very transparent manner without fear or favour.

“We are now very well positioned to make changes that will have far reaching, positive effects and get the best outcomes for the game.”


1. Vastly improve and comprehensively document its “fit for purpose” High Performance Plans, Programmes and measures for success at the elite level and integrate them into the organisation. We
consider that this Report must be factored into these steps. The High Performance Plans, Programmes and measures for success must, among other things, incorporate:
• a dedicated support structure with required expertise to ensure the Kiwis Head Coach and coaching staff have all the tools and support for desired Kiwis success in their international campaigns.
• a player relationship management policy and development plan to provide for strong player welfare and culture
• a comprehensive Risk/Opportunity Management Plan
• all such other policy and programme requirements of a quality High Performance Plan as distilled from the following recommendations and this Report.

2. Enhance its knowledge, expertise, understanding, leadership and capability at the high performance sport level, and at the CEO position. Document job descriptions and required essential skills
for all relevant positions; and design and document all processes and procedures to achieve the enhancements described. These steps must also include a clear articulation of the arrangements to
be put in place to provide full support for the Kiwis’ Head Coach, including the vastly improved High Performance plans and programmes already referred to.

3. Change the current NZRL policy that the Kiwis’ Head Coach must be a New Zealander; and open recruitment and appointment processes to ensure the best person for the position is appointed.

4. Review and update its current Player Selection Policy to better reflect the capabilities and qualities being sought for all positions in the Kiwis.

5. Develop a highly sensitive and efficient player communication programme and policy to facilitate ease of communications across the entire NZRL organisation, including its High Performance and
coaching positions, with all elite players.

6. Develop genuine and enduring relationships between the entire NZRL organisation, including its High Performance and coaching positions, and all elite players, including potential elite players.

7. Review and update, or create as necessary, communications policies and plans with players and staff, Social Media Policy, Media Policy, Crisis Communications Policy, and Media Plan; and
incorporate these policies and plans into the new improved High Performance Plan identified in Recommendation No. 1 above.

8. Review appropriate contractual arrangements for players which maintain the integrity of current eligibility rules, but provide the best prospect of player stability for the Kiwis.

9. Review the appropriateness and efficiency of its structure and organisation and make any necessary changes. In particular, but without limitation, we recommend that the NZRL consider recruiting
on/in to its governance arrangements (including the Board) high performance sport expertise.


1. A complete lack of proven high performance sport (HP) expertise within the NZRL organisation and the supporting structures that need to be put in place for sustained success.

2. A systemic failure of senior NZRL leadership to identify HP problems and inadequacies, and no obvious ability to identify and manage the risks arising.

3. The Kiwis’ campaign was disadvantaged by the NZRL appointment of an inexperienced Head Coach (with potential nonetheless) who attempted to implement too much in a short space of time and treated
the RLWC like a ‘Test’ event instead of the pinnacle of the Kiwis 4 year calendar.

4. NZRL let down Head Coach David Kidwell specifically in not providing him with the carefully and strategically designed 2014 – 2017 High Level Kiwis Campaign Plan. We record that in our view the
Head Coach should have, upon his appointment asked for and insisted on being provided with that High Level Plan. David Kidwell acknowledged that indeed he should have done this but did not do so.
We consider that his failing in this regard was unsatisfactory. It does not however, in our view, excuse the failure of NZRL senior leadership to provide its Kiwis Head Coach with that High Level

A copy of the Review Panel’s Summary report is available in the link below:

NZRL Independent Review 16 March