Dear Community,


Just a quick note from the Harbour Team.


On Wednesday NZR released Rugby Guidelines for Unions, Clubs and Schools to incorporate into Harbours Return to Rugby Activity Plan.


On Wednesday afternoon we had a zoom call with all of our community leadership (Life members, Council of Clubs, Club Chairs, Secondary Schools Exec, Junior Rugby Exec, Premier Coaches, Referees Exec, NHR Board and NH Staff) to cover NZR’s return to rugby guidelines and the 3 phased approach (Prepare to Train, Prepare to Play & Play) - This was presented by Mike Hester (NZR Participation Manager).  We also had Steve Kidd (Active) to present from a facilities and fields perspective mainly to understand when the fields will become available.  NHR staff then presented a DRAFT competition calendar based on the guidelines and 3 phased approach.


We had over 100 people on the zoom call, which was really great.  We are very lucky to have a connected and passionate community leadership group who care about Rugby and its people.


Yesterday afternoon, we organised individual zoom meetings with each of the committees to recap, answer further questions and gather some feedback on the Return to Rugby Activity Plan.  We will continue this work in a considered manner with our community leadership to ensure we clarify what we need to, before confirming the overall plan.




  • The guidelines that have been provided are comprehensive.  This will create some added planning and organising for Clubs, Schools and the hard working volunteers.  Please keep this in mind as we move forward from here. 
  • Organising committees need time to process the guidelines and understand the operational requirements needed to ensure safe workable solutions are put in place both on and off the field.
  • We will continue to work closely with NZR as part of this process.




1.       There is to be no organised rugby training or games from now until further notice is provided following the next Government advisory on 25 May.

2.       Phase 1 Prepare to Train is underway.  Rugby Clubs & Schools are working with the Union to ensure all necessary requirements can be met. These include hygiene protocols for people, venues and facilities, requirements for gatherings and contract tracing. This is the key priority right now.

3.       The Union have agreed with Clubs and Schools that Harbour Rugby will sign off on all safety plans (based on NZR provided checklists).

4.       NZR guidelines state that Phase 2 Prepare to Play where Teams can begin pre-season training (including contact training) subject to Government advice to be provided on 25 May.  Harbour Rugby is working with Clubs (Junior and Senior) and Secondary Schools toeither plan towards this date or identify a later date.  This will be confirmed in the coming days.

5.       NZR guidelines state that Phase 3 Play where competitions can commence (if restrictions on mass gatherings are increased from 25 May) from 20 June. Harbour Rugby is working with Clubs (Junior and Senior) and Secondary Schools to confirm this also. This will be confirmed in the coming days.

6.       The guidelines & phases can be viewed here

7.       Clubs & Schools inform us that there has been a positive response from participants about the returning to Rugby this season - This is great.  Players, coaches and referees can continue to register online if they haven’t already registered


It is exciting to be talking about Rugby starting back however we know that this comes with a great deal of responsibility, not just to our Rugby Community but all of New Zealand after the nationwide effort Kiwis have put in up until this point.  People and community safety, trusting the experts advice, and ensuring the plan meets the needs of our community, will continue to drive our decision making.


We will be in touch as soon as we have more information to move our community Rugby waka forward.


Nga mihi,


David Gibson 

General Manager

North Harbour Rugby Union