Rugby bosses are investigating after neighbours of All Black Rieko Ioane complained of noisy late night parties and foul language.
One neighbour was so fed up after being woken up by a 2am haka, she let herself into an open door in Ioane’s home to give him and his friends a telling off and was met by a group of “gobsmacked” large men.
“When we found out an All Black was moving in we were all so excited. Everybody was chatting, ‘Oh, I heard there’s an All Black moving in, wow, we’re gonna be famous’.
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“But that excitement died off pretty quickly, because he moved in on a Wednesday and on the Friday he had a party. We were like, ‘That’s fine’. And then the next Friday it was like, ‘Oh’ and then the next Friday it was like, ‘Oh, okay’.”
The Blues were aware of a complaint being lodged via the Independent Complaints Authority, which acts on behalf of New Zealand Rugby, the Super Rugby side’s chief executive Andrew Hore said in a written statement to the Herald on Sunday.
“We are investigating accordingly.”
The complaint – which the Herald understands alleges behaviour including noisy late-night parties involving both Ioane brothers and others at the property, a 2am haka, yelling, foul language and singing “f*** the neighbours’ – was made online eight days ago.
Bruce Sharrock, the manager for both Rieko Ioane and his brother and Blues teammate Akira Ioane, declined to comment.
The person who made the complaint did not want to speak to the Herald on Sunday, but said yesterday they’d not yet heard back from the Blues or New Zealand Rugby.
No neighbours had called noise control and only one had spoken to Ioane about noise or behaviour – a female resident who confronted the All Black and his friends, including his brother, the neighbour who spoke to the Herald on Sunday said.
“One Friday night they had a party and they had a haka inside the house. Can you believe it? It was 2 o’clock in the morning and it woke up [a female resident]. She could hear the thumping through the ground. Big guys – you should see his friends, everybody’s scared of them.
“She was furious, she got up and went over there and the entry door was open and she went inside the house and said, ‘Oi, you need to be a bit more mindful, there’s neighbours here with young children’ and they were all like gobsmacked.”
The haka stopped, but the party continued, the neighbour said.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 1, 2020
The main problem wasn’t the one-off haka, it was the yelling, noisy comings and goings in the early hours and, especially, the foul language.
“I do swear, like a normal person, but some of the swearing’s just disgusting … like the c-word. We all have young children and everybody’s pretty disappointed about the behaviour.
“When they drink they just go crazy.”
However, other neighbours told the Herald on Sunday they either hadn’t been disturbed by gatherings at Ioane’s home or didn’t have a problem with them.
One heard said: “It hasn’t worried us at all. I was young once and I’m certain we all made noises, but they normally quieten down after 12 o’clock. It’s not the end of the world … I’m a happy neighbour.”
Another said: “It’s certainly not too loud or causing any disturbance … they’re just enjoying life.”
Ioane, an All Blacks starting certainty early in his career before finding himself relegated to the bench for the big games at last year’s Rugby World Cup, has courted trouble before.
In 2018 he copped a black eye after a scuffle with a Blues teammate, understood by the Herald to be flanker Blake Gibson, allegedly sparked by a flippant comment Ioane hurled at his teammate after one of the side’s many losses in a horror season.
The pair were “just poking fun at each other” and he had apologised to his teammates and the club, Ioane said In a statement at the time.
Brother Akira Ioane has also captured headlines for the wrong reasons, with then-All Blacks coach Steve Hansen citing fitness and attitude as roadblocks to his inclusion in last year’s world cup squad.
"I can understand there’s questions around it, it makes sense"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 1, 2020
Last month the 24-year-old revealed his private battle with mental health after the exclusion, saying he realised he’d been giving undue weight to the opinions of fans and media and needed to shut them out of his mind.
The neighbour who spoke to the Herald on Sunday said he didn’t have “any hatred” toward his famous neighbour.
“I don’t want to hurt his career, because the guy’s worked hard to get where he is … he’s a nice fella and his partner is nice. I wish they’d perhaps purchased a house in Remuera or St Helier’s where there was a bit more space around them.
“We’re living in a very high density suburb. You’re living right next to people. You’ve just got to be a bit more mindful, you know?”
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