A look into the team culture found members of the Black Ferns had been subjected to culturally insensitive comments, alleged favoritism, and body-shaming act from coaches.
It led to the resignation of head coach Glenn Moore, less than six months from the Women’s World Cup, hosted by New Zealand.
Smith, nicknamed “the professor” because of his in-depth knowledge of the game, takes up the role of a director of rugby for the women’s side.
The 65-year-old will head a new coaching structure through to the World Cup in October-November, New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said.
“There is no questioning Wayne’s caliber as a coach and what he will bring to this team. We know he is excited to be involved in the Black Ferns and about what they can build this year,” Robinson said.
Smith will be assisted by Whitney Hansen, who has had an intern coaching role with the team for the past two years, and Wesley Clarke.
She alleged Moore had told her she did not deserve to be on the team and was “picked only to play the guitar.”