'Chiefs investigators never spoke to me', says alleged victim


New Zealand Rugby investigators never spoke to one of the two women who claim to have been abused by Waikato Chiefs players while performing at their end of season functions.

The stripper, known as Laura, says players groped her inappropriately and spat beer on her in 2015.

Her allegations came to light after another stripper complained of the same thing happening at this year's event.

Yesterday, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said an investigation had cleared individual players of wrongdoing, despite never speaking to at least one of the alleged victims of the incidents they were investigating.

Laura is shocked and disappointed they failed to talk to her, as are sexual violence campaigners.

"If they actually did a proper investigation with the right people on board to do that, maybe some of those allegations would have been substantiated," says sexual violence survivor advocate Louise Nicholas.

"An unnamed investigator interviewing unnamed witnesses and not naming any players - what does that really tell us?" asks sport psychologist  Karen Nimmo.

Weeks ago when Laura's allegations arose she told Newshub she wanted to be involved in any investigation. Her details were offered to Chiefs management - but they never took up the offer.

A NZR spokesperson says they weren't aware Laura was prepared to speak to them and they had tried to make contact with her through the police. They said they assumed a Newshub journalist would not disclose their source.

"If Laura still wishes to speak to us, of course we will do so at the earliest opportunity," says the statement.

Laura's allegations came to light after another woman, Scarlette, complained of similar abuse at this year's event.

NZR has apologised - but not to everyone.

"Does that include Scarlette? Does that include Laura? My thought is they would not do that personally because that would be admitting their guilt," says Louise Nicholas.

Laura has given up hope of an apology.

"I was not contacted in any way, shape, or form by anybody affiliated with the Chiefs or NZ Rugby for comment. The outcomes of the NZR's 'investigation' are disappointing, but not surprising," says Laura.

The Human Rights Commission has written an open letter urging NZR saying it has major problems with basic human rights and needs to sort out how it deals with women.

New Zealand's Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says: "The investigation was not up to scratch. It should've been an independent enquiry as the allegations were so serious. The fact that it was carried out by a paid employee of the Rugby Union speaks for itself and I'm really disappointed that was the situation."

Dr Blue adds that NZR has previously refused any offers of expertise from outside sources, but until it accepts help, will continue to get these sorts of results from its investigations.