The Auckland Rugby Referees Association is an independent body that provides rugby officials at rugby matches in Auckland and, through the representative system, throughout New Zealand and internationally.
Each year, the ARRA provides officials to over 3,100 rugby matches at Senior, Junior and Secondary School level from our 220+ membership.
The Association’s goal is “to be recognised as leaders in referee development and performance” and to be “New Zealand’s most successful and influential provincial rugby refereeing association”.
In 1895 under the leadership of F.J. (Curly) Ohlson the Auckland Rugby Referees Association was formed as an independent body from the Auckland Rugby Football Union. Since then our membership has grown considerably and you will find our referees officiating in club rugby and secondary school rugby fixtures throughout the winter season.
Over the years we have produced 10 International referees with our most well known and most experienced referee at this level being John Pring who refereed all four British Lions test matches in 1971. Since 1980 the number one ranked referee in Auckland receives the John Pring Shield and to date winners of this prestigious trophy have been Mike Farnworth (1980), Paul Arthur (1981-82), Trevor MacLachlan (1983), Paul Wood (1984), Mark Thompson (1985-1990), Glenn Whalstrom (1991-2002), Chris Morgan (2003), Matt Stanish (2004-2009) and Jonathon White (2010-2011).
We have produced many representative referees who have officiated in International matches, Ranfurly Shield challenges and representative games. Our referees in the National High Performance Squad are Jonathon White, Ben Skeen, Shaun Elliott and Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri. We are very proud to have four of the top referees in the country.
We have international exchanges with referees travelling to England, South Africa, United States, Australia, Hong Kong, the Pacific Islands, Thailand and Dubai to name a few.
We have excellent social activities with teams playing in local competitions in Touch Rugby, Cricket, Golf and we our social rugby team called the Whistlers who have been in existence since 1903, not only play local club sides but also other referees associations around New Zealand.
Training and Development
We regard ourselves as leaders on the field and off the field. We provide weekly training and discussion nights for our members and our experienced coaching department looks after and assists the active referee. We lead the way in communication gear for match officials and offer a variety of appointments from junior through to premier rugby.
Sponsorship plays a major role in any sporting organisation and to that end our Association is indebted to our Principal Sponsor Westie Pies and Barfoot and Thompson. Without them we, and many other refereeing associations throughout New Zealand, would struggle to survive.
Become a Referee
So if you are thinking of joining our ranks we would be more than happy to have you sign on. As the quote goes from a former New Zealand international referee:
If you want to be in the best seat in the house, become a referee.