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Keeping the spirit alive, both literally and figuratively, is behind a move by Dunedin’s past and present women MPs.
Labour’s Clare Curran, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei and former MP Katherine Rich, are urging the region’s women to donate what they can to bolster the coffers of the Otago women’s rugby team, the Spirit.
“The NZRFU, despite this week posting a $13.4million profit, has said it will support the Spirit, but not financially,” Clare Curran said.
“The state of the Otago rugby union is due to years of mismanagement and bad decisions, some of which the NZRFU should take some responsibility for.
“Women don't just make the scones or stand on the side-lines at rugby games any more. They play the game and should be encouraged,” Clare Curran said.
“Members of the Spirit are plucky and they are hugely enthusiastic. The team has produced some outstanding players, many of whom have gone on to represent New Zealand.”
Ms Curran said she had written to a range of prominent women and women’s organisations seeking their support.
“If we work together I am sure we can stump up with what's needed to keep the Spirit alive this season.
“I am donating $300, and when contacted today both Katherine Rich and Metiria Turei offered to contribute similar amounts. It’s a good start,” Clare Curran said.