HerStory Hero colour

Celebrating Womens Rugby With A Free Exhibition In Whangarei

For the very first time, Herstory, an exhibition profiling the story of Womens Rugby in New Zealand will be shown in Whangarei just in time for the school holidays and Whangarei co-hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.

Herstory of Womens Rugby tells the tales of how women’s rugby began in New Zealand and it evolves to cover the game today with video interviews and an interactive touch screen, selfie backdrops and more.


Rugby for Life who continue to support and grow rugby in Northland has partnered with Whangarei District Council to bring the exhibition to Hātea Studio, within Whangarei Art Museum building in the Whangarei Town Basin,  aims to bring art and rugby together for the community and visitors to enjoy.

The New Zealand Rugby Museum has designed this exhibition with objects that represent the change in playing kit, from the 1880s knickerbockers, the 1980s hand-me-down men’s gear, to the fitted athletic uniforms of 2021.

Over 70 photos from 1915 to 2021 are featured in the exhibition, and film footage including the first inter-provincial match in 1980 will be shown. The highlight of the exhibition are the interviews with past and current players. The exhibition includes Vicky Dombroski, first and only woman to have
coached the Black Ferns, and manager when the team won the 1998 Rugby World Cup. Dr Farah Palmer, three times World Cup winning captain and current NZ Rugby board member. Selica Winiata, winner of the fans try of the year in 2013 and second on the all-time try-scoring list for New Zealand. And, Sarah Hirini, current captain of the Black Ferns Sevens.


Sharon Morgan, former Whangarei Deputy Mayor, current board member of WAM (Whangarei Art Museum) and current Trustee of Rugby for Life says, “Herstory represents womens rugby, Rugby for Life and the arts partnering to bring a significant event to our city. An event that has the ability to attract new and existing viewers and provide an interesting experience that brings people together.”

Stephen Berg from The New Zealand Rugby Museum has curated this exhibition with care and says, “We celebrate womens rugby in this space and are grateful to Rugby for Life and Whangarei District Council for bringing this exhibition to Hātea Studio for all to enjoy and learn about women in rugby.”

Herstory opens on 6 October and is open daily from 10am until 4pm until 30 October. The exhibition is free with a donation requested. Please visit www.rugbyforlife.org.nz/herstory for further details.