Steve Hansen's changing room funding request for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Steve Hansen's changing room funding request for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Photo credit: Getty

The Labour Party toured the All Blacks changing rooms for the first time on Saturday night after the team's Bledisloe Cup success over the Wallabies.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Sport Grant Robertson met the players in the Eden Park changing rooms, where coach Steve Hanson took the opportunity to ask them for more funding.

"They should be our biggest sponsors because we're their biggest brand," he told media later.

He said he asked Ms Ardern if she could "find some money to help us compete against the likes of England and France so we can keep our players".

"There wasn't a lot said after that," he added.

Earlier this year, the Government announced the America's Cup would get a $100 million "support package" for New Zealand's hosting of the event in 2021.

The Government wouldn't comment on whether it's open to helping fund the All Blacks, but Mr Robertson did say it was a great night for the team and that Mr Hansen simply saw an opportunity to push for his sport.

Saturday wasn't the first time a political party has visited the All Blacks' changing rooms. Former Prime Minister John Key was famously dwarfed by Sam Whitelock in 2015, but this time was different.

"It was the turn of the boys from the Labour Party to enjoy the moment," Mr Hansen said.

TJ Perenara even gave Ms Ardern his playing jersey.

"She didn't expect it but for me, I think it was more special for her to accept it from me," he said later.

"Not just on behalf of myself, but my family and my community too."

Mr Hansen said it's important the Prime Minister gets to know the people representing our country in the famous black and white shirt, and to support them - financially or otherwise.


Steve Hansen praises players for 'special' performance against Wallabies