NZRU hail successful year on and off the field

20:47, Apr 24 2013
Steve Tew
STEVE TEW: "It's [2012] right up there with 2005 which was then called by the chairman at the time, Mr [Jock] Hobbs, as an extraordinary year."

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew hailed it as their best year since 2005.

The union's 121st annual meeting in Wellington yesterday was told of a $3.2 million operating surplus, its first since 2008, and $51.9m in cash reserves.

Performances on and off the field moved Tew to liken it to the year when New Zealand hosted the British and Irish Lions, and secured World Cup hosting rights.

"It's right up there with 2005 which was then called by the chairman at the time, Mr [Jock] Hobbs, as an extraordinary year," he said.

Tew acknowledged that some provincial unions were still struggling.

The meeting was updated on progress on a collective bargaining agreement which would "change the landscape a bit".

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The cash reserves were largely secure, thanks to major sponsorship deals with adidas and AIG.

Former All Black Mark Robinson was elected to the board, taking over from Graham Mourie as the central zone representative.

Ian McRae, who played 17 tests for the All Blacks, replaced Bryan Williams as president after the latter served his two-year term.

All Blacks great Sir Brian Lochore was named patron, replacing the late Sir Wilson Whineray. There was a hiccup in the election of vice-president when one of the two nominees, Mark Peters, was ruled ineligible due to a clause that states a stand-down period of five years for former NZRU board members.

Canterbury businessman David Rhodes was the other nominee. Voting was held over.

Graham Cooney was re-elected as south zone representative unopposed, while Brent Impey holds his place as an independent director for a further three years.

The Dominion Post