Major Events Fund is 'bollocks' and should be scrapped - ACT

Joseph Parker (Getty)
Joseph Parker (Getty)

The Major Events Fund is "bollocks" and needs to be scrapped, says ACT.

The fund is used to help finance international sports events held in New Zealand, but leader David Seymour says the recent kerfuffle around boxing promoter Duco proves it's not needed.

"The Duco events saga has shown exactly how flighty these major events really are," he told Newshub.

"They all say they need the money and won't go ahead without Government funding. Duco have shown, in the case of the Parker fight, that's bollocks."

Instead, he says ministers should focus on running the country.

"Core services like education, infrastructure and policing all suffer when politicians are distracted by the glamour of corporate showbiz," he said.

"Governments fall into the trap of granting fat cheques to organisations that are perfectly capable of raising a profit without help."

Duco applied for financial help to stage Joseph Parker's WBO world title fight against Andy Ruiz in Auckland and then withdrew its application. It's been reported the fight will go ahead in Auckland after all - without any help from the taxpayer.

"How many of the stand-up paddleboarding competitions, horse races and a host of other events the Government has funded would have gone ahead if only the Government had held the line, but actually the Government got suckered into funding it using taxpayers' money?" asks Mr Seymour.

Prime Minister John Key welcomed news that the bout would be staged here.

"I think it's great for New Zealand. The entire boxing world will be looking at this fight and all of New Zealand will be supporting Joseph Parker.

"For boxing aficionados it might be one of the very few chances they get to go along and see a world title fight."

Ruiz's promoter Bob Arum has confirmed that Duco raised enough money to stage the bout in Auckland.

"I know Joe Parker is a dedicated athlete and he's training here in Las Vegas. I talked to Kevin Barry this morning and he thinks Parker will be at his best so it should be a great fight," Arum said earlier this week.

Reports suggested that Duco was prepared to do what it took to keep the fight in New Zealand, including taking a loss. 

NZN / Newshub.