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New Zealand Rugby issues public apology to Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images)

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New Zealand Rugby [NZR] has issued a public apology to Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate following the Black Ferns hooker’s decline in wellbeing during last year’s tour of Europe.


Last December, Ngata-Aerengamate took to Instagram claiming she had a mental breakdown during New Zealand’s winless tour of England and France, making allegations at then-head coach Glenn Moore.

The social media post sparked an independent review by NZR into the culture and environment of the Black Ferns, the findings of the review shortly followed by Moore’s resignation in April.

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Two months on, NZR has released a statement to formally apologise to Ngata-Aerengamate as the national union took “responsibility for systematic failings” that led her breakdown.

“In December 2021, following a social media post by Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, New Zealand Rugby commissioned an independent review into the culture and environment of the Black Ferns,” the statement reads.

“In April 2022, upon completion of the review, NZR fully accepted the review’s findings and recommendations, including the findings that stated Te Kura’s concerns expressed in her social media post were not isolated, and that following her breaking down on the end of year tour, she was not properly supported or monitored.

“NZR has formally apologised directly to Te Kura and her whanau for the experiences that led to a decline in hauora for her. NZR has taken responsibility for the systemic failings that led to this decline.


“NZR now wishes to repeat that apology to Te Kura publicly and reiterates its commitment to ensuring Te Kura receives the appropriate mental wellbeing and training support required to help her continued recovery.

“NZR further reiterates its acceptance of the Review’s recommendations, its commitment to ensuring their implementation moving forward and to ensuring that the Black Ferns will strive to deliver a performance culture and environment that is safe and rewarding for all.

“NZR acknowledges the courage that is required for people to speak up on mental health issues.

“Rather than embark on a litigious route, Te Kura, her whanau and support elected to engage in a mediated restorative process with NZR and Glenn Moore.


“That process was ongoing at the time that Glenn Moore resigned. That process has now concluded and NZR and Te Kura have addressed any issues between them and are moving forward positively.

“NZR is also aware of and supports Te Kura making her own statement acknowledging the resolution of this matter today.”

The apology comes a day after the Black Ferns, led by new director of rugby Wayne Smith, opened their 2022 campaign with a Pacific Four Series win over the Wallaroos in Tauranga.


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