The 2018 Oceania Rugby Annual General Meeting was hosted by the Vanuatu Rugby Football Union in Port Vila, Vanuatu on Wednesday 29th May.
Richard Sapias, Oceania Rugby President, opened the meeting by welcoming the delegates from across the region. During his address Sapias noted the increase in participation with a record 1.4 million players across the region. Boosting this figure is the work that Oceania Rugby and Member Unions were doing around the growth of Women’s rugby. The signing of an MOU with UN Women Pacific reinforced Oceania Rugby’s commitment to increasing the participation and leadership of women and girls in rugby across the Pacific.
The regional body was also focused on improving governance not only in its member unions but also in Oceania Rugby itself, with several changes to the Constitution being voted on following two years of review and consultation with member unions. Practical governance reforms, changes to the structure of the Executive Committee and limitations to the Executive Committee rotation will see the Executive Committee increase to 8 members. These include:
Speaking after the AGM Oceania Rugby President Richard Sapias said, “It was the most important vote in the history of our organisation. This AGM saw the most changes to our governance structure in our 18 years of existence. These changes have given Oceania Rugby a very robust and up to date constitution which will enhance the governance of the organisation.”
The meeting also saw George Latu from Samoa elected to the Oceania Rugby Executive Committee to replace Teremoana Moeka’a of Cook Islands who has served on the Oceania Rugby Executive Committee since 2016.
Latu spoke on his election saying, “Through my recent experience with the Samoa Rugby Union board I believe I will bring something fresh and different to the Executive Committee, a fresh view with my commercial and legal background and my experience not only as a player but a rugby administrator and former Judicial Officer. I believe I have a strong understanding of the processes on and off the field at a national level and look forward to applying that to the region.”
Teremonana Moeka’a thanked the members for allowing him to have served on the committee for the past 2 years saying. “I am happy to end my time now and have enjoyed my time on the Executive Committee. It has been an educational experience and I have used my time to be a voice for the smaller unions in our region. The highlight of my time on the Executive Committee was being able to financially support our smaller unions to participate at the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games in a first for the region” said Moeka’a.
Bruce Cook, World Rugby’s Rugby Service Manager in Oceania noted that “The landscape of rugby in the Oceania Region is growing and changing constantly which brings great opportunities and challenges for Oceania Rugby and Member Unions. There was robust discussion and shared ideas during the workshops and meetings on a number of areas which will shape the immediate future and longer-term strategy of Oceania Rugby.”