Highlanders disappointed by actions of convicted Selby-Rickit

Highlanders player Manaaki Selby-Rickit during his appearance in the Invercargill District Court...
Highlanders player Manaaki Selby-Rickit during his appearance in the Invercargill District Court yesterday. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
The Highlanders are disappointed by the actions of lock Manaaki Selby-Rickit who was convicted in the Invercargill District Court yesterday, and an employment misconduct process will begin.

Selby-Rickit (23) had his request to be discharged without conviction refused by Judge Bernadette Farnan.

He pleaded guilty last month to a count of injuring with reckless disregard for the safety of others in relation to an incident in September.

The summary of facts said Selby-Rickit punched the victim several times in the head after an altercation in the Invercargill central business district, and kicked him in the head when the victim was on the ground.

Defence counsel Bill Dawkins said in his submission he would be careful not to stereotype Selby-Rickit.

He said he was not just a rugby player, but also a provisional registered Te Reo teacher, who grew up in a Maori community and family.

Dawkins said both his careers would be in jeopardy if Selby-Rickit was convicted.

"His criminal, foolish, drunken actions place his career of teaching and rugby at risk."

He used the word shame to described the feeling of the player, his family and community.

Judge Farnan said Selby-Rickit's offence was very serious.

She said the victim, in his impact statement, said he believed Selby-Rickit should suffer the consequences of his actions.

She highlighted Selby-Rickit was remorseful, attended therapy and was willing to attend restorative justice.

Judge Farnan convicted him and ordered him to pay $8000 emotional harm reparation to the victim.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said, through a spokesman, the franchise was disappointed with the actions of the player.

The misconduct employment process would be carried out by New Zealand Rugby, as it employed Selby-Rickit.

This process would begin shortly but it was unclear how long that would take.

Selby-Rickit, younger brother of netballers Te Paea and Te Huinga Reo and son of former All Black Haydn Rickit, was a development player for the Highlanders last season but did not take the field.

He was named in the Highlanders squad for next season earlier this week. - Additional reporting Steve Hepburn

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