Commonwealth Games: National leader Christopher Luxon wouldn't back New Zealand bid for 2026

Opposition leader Christopher Luxon wouldn't throw his support behind New Zealand hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Due to ballooning costs, the Premier of Australia's Victoria state on Tuesday made the shock decision to pull out from hosting the event.

There are now questions on who will clean up the mess and Christchurch Mayor Phil Mauger has told local news outlet Chris Lynch Media he thinks the South Island should host it. 

Luxon, the National Party leader, acknowledged the Victoria cancellation was tough news for athletes but believed New Zealand couldn't afford to host the Games.

"Sadly, we can't," he told AM. "And the reason is very simple - we're in a recession and there are much higher priorities for that spend.

"New Zealand does not have the luxury of having our… books financially in good shape.

"We are in no position to be able to afford the Games, sadly.

"I hope there's a solution that comes forward because I think, for the athletes that have been training, it's pretty tough to get this news last-minute."

Luxon said he had fond memories of attending the 1974 Games in Christchurch as a 4-year-old but "we've got to face up to reality".

The last time New Zealand hosted the Games was in 1990.

However, New Zealand's "got other choices in a recession that we have to make", Luxon said.