2 ORFU members retained?

Andrew Rooney.
Andrew Rooney.
The new board of the Otago Rugby Football Union is expected to be named today and is likely to include two faces from the old board.

The six-member board was to have been named last Tuesday but legal issues and a short period to interview applicants and make appointments forced an extension.

It was not able to be named yesterday because not all contracts had been signed.

The board will not come into operation until the agreement with all major parties which staved off liquidation for the Otago union is formally signed.

That is all but finished but has to be signed off by lawyers.

The Otago Daily Times believes the two members from the old board will be Andrew Rooney and John Faulks. The board was forced to quit as part of the agreement which saved the Otago union from liquidation.

Mr Rooney, an investment adviser, was heavily involved in that process. He is the current chairman of the Dunedin Rugby Football Club.

Mr Faulks, a business owner, was an independent member of the last board, and has coached Otago junior age group teams.

John Faulks.
John Faulks.
Also expected to be named are Arrowtown club president Simon Spark, Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper, chartered accountant Doug Harvie and Queenstown real estate agency owner Kelvin Collins.

Mr Harvie was seeking a position on the old board in February and is still believed to want a seat.

Mr Spark, a self-employed contractor who unsuccessfully sought a position on the Queenstown Lakes District Council in 2010, was a critic of the past board, calling for it to stand down when facing liquidation.

Mr Collins, the father of promising player Michael Collins, has links with the Wakatipu club and owns Harcourts real estate businesses in the South.

Mr Cooper has been chief executive of Silver Fern Farms - a company with a turnover of more than $2 billion annually - for more than five years.

One of the four new members is expected to be named board chairman. Mr Rooney was tipped for the position, but he is believed to have been passed over, and one of the new members is the likely selection.

Wayne Graham, chairman of the board during its recent upheavals, and deputy chairman Laurie Mains did not seek to keep their seats.

A change in constitution agreed at a recent special meeting meant the new board was selected by a panel made up of New Zealand Rugby Union representative Bob Field, Dunedin deputy mayor Chris Staynes and ORFU representatives John Dowling and Ross Dykes.

Under the old constitution, board members were voted in by clubs, which led to criticism the board lacked the appropriate mix of skills.

The new board will be under the watchful eye of the Dunedin City Council and the New Zealand Rugby Union, which have the right to have an observer at all board meetings. The council representative will be a staff member, while the NZRU observer has not been confirmed.


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