Chiefs allegedly verbally abuse two female parking wardens
People associated with the Chiefs training squad allegedly verbally abused two female parking wardens at Steele Park in Hamilton on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at 10.30am near the Hamilton East park.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said in a video on the Chiefs Rugby Facebook page the team were at a public park training when some team members afterwards noticed they had received parking tickets.
Rennie said their comments were not directed at the parking wardens and they apologise sincerely for any distress caused.
"The Chiefs have been in discussion with Hamilton City Council and wholeheartedly support them in their stance against poor behaviour towards any of their staff."
HCC acting chief executive Kelvyn Eglinton said they had been made aware of an incident that happened on Wednesday morning.
"I have today spoken with the two female wardens and firstly, I would like to commend them on their dignity, integrity and the professionalism with which they, and the rest of our regulatory staff, perform their jobs under often-trying conditions.
"Sadly, abuse of our staff in these situations is all-too-common. They have a tough job, but they do it well and people often don't realise the benefits they bring. Most people treat them with respect, but there is a minority of people who believe it is ok to demean and abuse parking wardens."
He said staff issued a warning notice to one vehicle and an infringement notice to another near Steele Park. They were then abused by some of the players in the area.
"These comments would have been clearly heard by other people in the area, and in fact one member of the public approached our wardens to see if they were OK," Eglinton said.
He said they had discussions with representatives of the Chiefs organisation who have expressed their extreme disappointment at the behaviour of those involved. They have also expressed a desire to apologise personally to the wardens involved.
"This is a timely reminder that there is no excuse for abuse of our staff, by anyone, at any time."
Eglinton said the wardens now just want to get on with the great job they do for our city and put this incident behind them.
"We support them, we are comfortable we have addressed this issue thoroughly and at this time will not be making further comment on the incident."
New Zealand Rugby is aware the Chiefs are dealing with a situation and is seeking more information.