Our Board is charged with setting strategy, direction and policy for New Zealand Rugby, and is ultimately responsible for the decisions and actions of NZR Management and Staff.
Many of the decisions concerning New Zealand’s national teams, domestic competitions, financial management and rugby traditions can only be made by a vote of the Board.
In October 2017 it was decided to transition over a three-year period to a Board comprising three Elected Board Members, three Appointed Board Members, and three Nominated Board Members. Nominated Board Members are to be nominated by Provincial Unions or the NZ Māori Rugby Board, then appointed by the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, and the first appointment was made in April 2018. The last elected position to be replaced by a nominated position was decided at the 2020 AGM to complete the transition.
One of the Nominated Board Member positions must be filled by a representative of Māori, and that person is automatically appointed as NZR Representative on the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board.
All Board Members must resign from, and be independent of, any Provincial Union office.
The Chair of the Board is Brent Impey. He has held the Chair since June 2014.
Brent Impey was appointed to the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2012. He has both played and coached rugby and was closely involved in many broadcast and sponsorship issues as Chief Executive of Mediaworks from 1999-2009.He was also involved in the 2011 NZRU review of Investec Super Rugby franchises. He holds a number of directorships, including Yellow Pages Group and Devon Funds Management Limited. He has been Chair and Executive Director of the Fred Hollows Foundation in New Zealand and is a director in both New Zealand and Australia. He operates his own consultancy business with clients including Ports of Auckland and government agencies.
Former Melbourne Storm and Sunshine Coast Lightning Chair, Bart Campbell joined the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2020. Prior to joining the Board he was a secondee to the New Zealand Rugby Strategy Committee from 2018-2020. He is CEO of Left Field Live, a Melbourne-based boutique sports marketing agency. Campbell holds a Masters in Commercial Law, is a qualified Barrister and Solicitor and Harvard Business School Advanced Management Programme graduate. Campbell has spent two decades overseas working in the business of sport in London and Melbourne, where he founded Global Sports Management and amassed extensive governance experience, including senior executive roles at Essentially Group and CSM.
Richard Dellabarca was appointed to the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2015. He recently returned to New Zealand after 14 years offshore in a variety of CEO, CFO and director positions in private equity backed ventures, capital markets and financial technology. His time offshore also included 12 years with the Kiwi Expat Association (KEA). Prior to this, Richard was an investment banker, working in both New Zealand and Australia in Mergers and Acquisitions and Equity Capital Markets. Richard has an MBA from Cambridge University and is qualified as a barrister and solicitor, and chartered accountant.
Sir Michael Jones was elected to the Board in April 2018. The former All Black played 74 matches between 1987 and 1998 and is a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame. He received a New Zealand Medal for service to the Pacific Island community in 1997 and was knighted in 2017 for his work in driving economic and social development for Pasifika people in New Zealand, and for his work with youth development in NZ. He is Chair of the Village Community and Youth Trust, which provides Pacific and Maori youth mentoring, leadership and educational support, and the Pacific Advancement Trust, which has recently established the first Pacific Island Secondary School in New Zealand. Michael has extensive experience in commercial and business sectors and serves in a number of Governance and leadership roles on various Private sector and community organisations. Michael also holds the Samoan matai chief titles of Savae and La’auli.
Jennifer Kerr was appointed to the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2020. Kerr brings over 25 years of global experience as a senior executive and in New Zealand, Europe and North America, most recently as a Board member of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Counties Manukau Rugby Union and Deputy Chair of Callaghan Innovation. Kerr’s specialities include strategy development, Health and Safety and executive selection and succession and she is currently completing a Masters of Security and Crime Science.
Bailey Mackey was elected to the New Zealand Rugby Board at the 2020 Annual General Meeting. President of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union, Mackey is also the Founder and CEO of Pango Productions – a privately owned film and television company, as well as the founder of tech startup and online production management tool KAHA. Mackey is the representative for the Creative sector on the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council. In 2017, he was named Māori Entrepreneur of the Year.
Stewart Mitchell is a former Canterbury Rugby Football Union Chairman (2012-14) and board member of the Crusaders (2008 - 2014). Stewart is a qualified accountant and highly experienced strategic and human resource consultant. He has over 20 years' experience in various governance roles and has considerable experience working with Councils and both private and public sector Boards, across a broad range of industries. Stewart played representative rugby in both England and NZ and was a member of the NZ Colts (U21 team 1972 -1973). Stewart joined the Board in 2014.
Shaun Nixon was elected to the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2019. His previous rugby experience includes roles as Chair of North Harbour Rugby Union (2015-2019) and as a Director of the Blues (2017-2019). He has also chaired North Harbour Rugby Audit and Risk Committees and the Commercial Committees from (2012 to 2015) and prior to his New Zealand Rugby appointment was Chair of Audit and Risk and Commercial Committees for the Blues.
Shaun is an entrepreneur and a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience. He is a founding partner of Nixon Cate Chartered Accountants and is also owner of Total Storage Limited which is a nationwide self-storage company.
Dr Farah Palmer (ONZM) was elected to the Board in December 2016. The former Black Fern (35 Tests, 1996-2006) captained the team to three consecutive Rugby World Cups, was inducted to the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014 and has served on the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board since 2007. Palmer is a senior lecturer in Massey University's School of Management and Director of the University's Māori Business & Leadership Centre (Te Au Rangahau)
NZR has two Officers: The President and Vice President, who represent NZR and New Zealand at important functions and events, locally and globally. The President and Vice President (along with the Chief Executive Officer) attend New Zealand Rugby Board Meetings, although they are not considered Board Members and may not vote on Board matters.
These positions are elected for two year terms. In 2019, Bill Osborne became President while Max Spence was elected Vice President.
Bill Osborne has an extensive business background including roles as Group Manager International for New Zealand Post, CEO of Quotable Value New Zealand, inaugural Chair of 2 Degrees Mobile and chair of CoreLogic New Zealand. He has served on the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board and is a former board member of the Sports Foundation, Hillary Commission and SPARC. Osborne, All Black #744, played 48 times for the All Blacks between 1975 and 1982, including 16 Tests and for the Māori All Blacks.
After graduating from Lincoln College (now University) in 1976 Max Spence has committed his professional career to the agricultural and horticultural sectors. In May 2019 he completed 35 years’ service with Fruitfed Supplies, a part of PGG Wrightson. He stepped down as the National Manager of Fruitfed Supplies in June 2019. He was Chair of the Nelson Bays Rugby Union from 1996 to 2005, Chair of the Tasman Rugby Union for the period 2006 to 2008 and was on the Board of Crusaders Franchise Ltd from 1999 to 2010. He is a life member of the Nelson Bays Sub Union and in 2013 became the first Life Member of the Tasman Rugby Union.
The New Zealand Rugby Patron fills an honorary role as the figurehead for the organisation. Throughout the 20th Century the Governor General traditionally held the role of Patron. Former All Blacks Captain Sir Brian Lochore was Patron until his passing in August 2019, and Ian Kirkpatrick, was elected as his successor at the NZR Annual General Meeting in 2020. Kirkpatrick was an All Black (# 666) from 1967 to 1977, playing in 38 Test Matches, including nine as Captain between 1972 and 1974. He was made a Member of the British Empire for services to rugby in 1980 and inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2003. He is also Patron of his local rugby club in Poverty Bay and remains an active supporter of club and representative rugby.