Complaints and Disputes

We are committed to promoting respectful behaviour and ensuring that people feel safe within the bowls community.

Bowls New Zealand is committed to promoting respectful behaviour and ensuring that people feel safe when interacting within the bowls community. Bowls NZ has established a new complaints and disputes service, as a safe and independent way for any bowling club member to lodge a complaint, issue or dispute and have it resolved in a timely manner. The service is free of charge and applies to any complaints or disputes relating to inappropriate or objectional behaviour. The service is operated by Bowls New Zealand through an independent commissioner resolution service. Your privacy and confidentiality are important within this service.
What can I complain about?
Unethical, dishonest, or illegal behaviour
Harassment (sexual or otherwise)
Health and safety risks
Unlawful discrimination
Offensive / insulting language or behaviour
This process does not apply to:
Event/match decisions by umpires or tournament controllers
A dispute about selection for a particular team or event
(Any complaint of this nature should be directed to your bowling club, centre, or event organiser).
What can I Expect?

1.   The Complaints and Disputes manager will listen to your complaint.
2.  The manager will tell you whether your complaint is an issue that can be dealt with through this process. If not, they may be able to offer other avenues for pursuing your complaint. Bowls New Zealand may also be able to assist in a less formal way with matters, and the manager will be able to provide suggestions in this regard.

If the complaint can be heard within the complaints and disputes service
3.   The manager will ensure that Bowls New Zealand has all the information that is necessary for your complaint to be dealt with. This includes gathering information from additional parties referred to within the complaint.
4.   The manager will refer you and your complaint to an independent member of the Bowls New Zealand Judicial Panel referred to as a Judicial Commissioner.
5.   The Judicial Commissioner will consider all of the relevant written information that is available before deciding if the matter is considered frivolous, vexatious, or warrants further investigation.

If the matter warrants further investigation
6.   The Judicial Commissioner shall convene a meeting of all affected parties, consider the matter thoroughly before reaching a decision.
7.   The Judicial Commissioner can impose a wide range of sanctions from a caution, warning, or ban on participation and/or attending bowling clubs.
8.   The Judicial Commissioner can also refer the matter to Bowls New Zealand for a separate investigation (as set out in Schedule Two of the policy document).

Agreement of all Parties
9.   If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Judicial Commissioner, then you can appeal the decision to the full Bowls New Zealand Judicial Committee. Another option is to take the matter to the Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service. More information is available on their website:

If you have any questions about this service, please email or call (09) 579 5853 during office hours.