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SBD Global/March 27, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

New Zealand Rugby Union Seeks To Target Auckland's Growing Asian Population

Connecting with Auckland's growing Asian population is "one of the New Zealand Rugby Union's main goals for the next three years," according to Patrick McKendry of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. In revealing the organization's hope of broadening its horizons, CEO Steve Tew said its future "depended on it." Asked if he would like to see an Asian represent the All Blacks, Tew replied: "We cannot be relevant in Auckland or New Zealand unless we accept the fact that there's an increasing Asian influence in our population, so we need Asian people to want to play, coach, administer, watch and 'wear' our game. If we don't get that right then some time in the future we'll be irrelevant." Ensuring rugby was the sport of choice in wider Auckland was point No. 4 in a six-point plan for the NZRU, which has rebranded itself for "everyday" use as New Zealand Rugby. The first two goals are "performance-based and clear-cut" -- win the 2015 World Cup in England and win the men's and women's sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Included are maintaining the financial health of the New Zealand game -- "and there was good news on this point" with a surplus of NZ$626,000 ($525,000) announced for the 14 ITM Cup provincial unions for the past financial year, a turnaround of about NZ$1M after the deficit of NZ$631,000 in '11 -- "making sure teenagers stayed engaged with the game, and maintaining New Zealand's global presence" (NZ HERALD, 3/26).
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