Sponsor calls for Troy Bowker to leave Hurricanes board

Author
Jason Pine,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Aug 2021, 10:03AM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Sponsor calls for Troy Bowker to leave Hurricanes board

Author
Jason Pine,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Aug 2021, 10:03AM

A sponsor of the Hurricanes is calling for the Super Rugby franchise to take action over outspoken board member and shareholder Troy Bowker.

The Wellington businessman this week accused entrepreneur Ian Taylor on LinkedIn of "sucking up to the Left Māori agenda" for supporting the name Aotearoa.

Throughout yesterday, further online comments and interactions involving Bowker emerged; further outraging Hurricanes players and fans.

Hospitality business Kapura is a club sponsor and CEO Jamie Williams said they had been in dialogue with Hurricanes management.

"We obviously let them know we didn't think it was the right alignment for the Hurricanes," Williams said.

"That leads to pressure on us supporting our business and asking if we're going to carry on sponsoring the Hurricanes. If you have someone on your waka that's not singing to the same tune, there's got to be some action.

"By no means is that a threat; we'll always be there to support the Hurricanes because they're part of Wellington, but they need to clean shop pretty quick."

Kapura employs more than 800 staff across its 35 Wellington venues and aligns with the Hurricanes through its Fortune Favours brand.

Williams believes the only way forward is for the Hurricanes and Bowker to part ways.

"I think they know it; it's just how quickly they can do it.

"The first step is to probably try to get Troy off the board, which I know a lot of people have been calling for.

"Then, over time, you'd probably expect they try to find a way to help Troy sell his shares."

Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara took to Twitter yesterday, labelling Bowker's comments racist and insulting.

Williams believes the organisation has to consider what is best for them moving forward.

"They're all about whakapapa; all the people who have come before and all the ones who will come after. You don't want this to become a myth and a dark period in their history, so you've got to take action now.

"It's just a fact - it's not like there's any malice. I don't know Troy, but they need to move on and get re-focused.

"This is a conversation no one wants to be having right now."