Impressive Arizona Leger joins the Counties Manukau family as Emerging Director

Arizona Leger has been added to the Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union board as an emerging director while former Steelers player and coach Gary Millington has been confirmed the new vice chairman.

Leger has grown up in rugby and in the region and boasts an impressive resume at such a young age.

Her journey with Counties Manukau Rugby began as a volunteer in 2003 at the age of seven (Arizona’s father Gus was an RDO for the Union at the time) and she has continued to serve the union over the last 18 years through various roles, including creating content for the 2020 Steelers season.

Leger lived on campus at Wesley College, where her parents were staff members, from 2000-2013 and attended Karaka Primary and St Joseph’s Primary before heading off to boarding school at Year 9.

Of Samoan, Māori, Tongan and Fijian descent, Arizona is an advocate for mobilising underrepresented voices and representation in decision-making spaces. In 2019, she was nominated as the Indigenous Delegate to attend the G(irls)20 Summit in Japan making her the first delegate to represent New Zealand. She was also appointed to the Government’s Ministerial Advisory Group on the NCEA Review and most recently was named as the Co-Chair for the Auckland Council Elections Working Group.

Additionally, Arizona presents at various events ranging from a TEDx Talk on the concept of Leadership to the Festival for the Future Gender Equality panel. Arizona is a current Master of Human Rights candidate, with a specific focus on Indigenous Rights.

"As a young, Indigenous wahine who grew up around the game, in the game and volunteering at the game, I feel that this is a special opportunity to pay it forward to a Union that raised me,” Leger said.

“It's a chance to learn but also a chance to challenge our Board members to weave together the best possible future for Counties Manukau both as a union but more importantly, as a proud community."

Leger’s father is also an ex-Steeler while her younger brother is PIC Steelers captain and Hurricane Orbyn Leger.

“Arizona is a very impressive young woman, who has a lot to offer,” CMRFU chairman Craig Carter said.

“She is very passionate about the Union and of our community and she will bring a lot of energy and expertise to the Board that will help take us forward.

“We see Arizona as someone that can have a massive impact on our Union and on the game and look forward to working with her.”

Successful businessman Gary Millington who played 65 games for the Steelers during the early 1990s, was confirmed as vice chairman as he enters his second full year on the board.

“Gary has a wealth of experience in rugby, business and our local area and has provided some great expertise during his 1st year on the Board. He’s a passionate man with huge drive to see our people and union prosper and he will make an outstanding vice chairman,” Carter said.

Andrew Foote and Sue Styants have both been co-opted onto the CMRFU board to provide accounting and legal expertise.

The pair have served on the board for a number of years and have already made a big contribution to the Union.

“We welcome Andrew and Sue back onto the board,” Carter said. “Collectively we have a top quality board, with a wide range of expertise and experience.

“There is great diversity and an excellent mix of backgrounds, interests and strengths.

“I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”