Becoming a Referee

Refereeing is very rewarding, a great way to stay fit, meet new people and give something back to the game you love.There are around 90 referees in Hawke's Bay of all ages, backgrounds and occupations.  The only prerequisite is a love of the game and a pair of boots.  You will be fully equiped and given specialised training both on and off the field.

While many referees take up the whistle to simply get out on a rugby field each Saturday morning, keeping fit and helping people enjoy their recreation, many others see refereeing as an opportunity to develop their decision making, enhance their management skills and even realise a dream of being a test match referee. Whatever your ability, age or aspirations refereeing caters for everybody.

For more information call Keith Groube on 021 285 5001 or email

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the place where it leads" - Erica Jong 

Dan's Story 

Being a top rugby player playing Provincial, Super and Professionally overseas, sometimes when you retire from playing by choice or by necessity, does not always mean you will become a good team coach or a good referee. But then again sometimes the opportunities are presented to you and you take full advantage of what is offered and put in 100% effort the rewards start flowing in.

With guidance from his coach John Harland, assisted by Chris Pollock and our HBRRA NZR squad members Tipene Cottrell and Hugh Reed our very own Dan Waenga has flowen through the ranks. Having only started refereeing mid way through the 2017 season Dan has already refereed 

Dan has also gone on to ref a FPC pre-season game, selection into the Hurricanes Youth Rugby squad (along with Amon Rimene and Stu Catley) and officiate as an AR on a Magpies Mitre 10 cup game! WOW - Dan couldn't have thought it could get better than that!! - BUT WAIT!!! it does...

Dan has been appointed by NZR to referee Fiji Schools v NZ Maori u18 and appointed to referee a televised Farah Palmer Cup game in Rotorua.

It just shows that if you want it, are prepared to work for it and can take on good advise, progression up the ranks can come.

Congrats Dan. In fact congrats to all the HBRRA referees and coaches for your commitment, time and support of fellow referees. The HBRRA is a mighty great association to belong to.


It is generally accepted that like rugby itself refereeing in Hawkes Bay began around 1875. In these early days game would be refereed by coaches, teachers, school House masters and ncos'.

Whistles were introduced into the game in 1886.

The Hawkes Bay Rugby Union in early days was responsible for appointing referees to games.

The original Hawkes Bay Rugby Referees association was formed in 1894 and disbanded the same year. 

It wasn't until June 10th 1899 that the HBRRA was reformed and has seen several changes along the way to get to its present state.