Coronavirus: Govt announces relief package for NZ sports

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson.
Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson. Photo credit: Getty

The Government will give national sporting organisations (NSOs) a helping hand to keep them afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Friday, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson confirmed all funding from the current financial year would roll over into next year to ensure NSOs could remain operational during the crisis. 

Robertson said organisations had lost significant funds from broadcasters, sponsors and sports betting.

The new four-year investment plan has been pushed aside and the last year's funding will continue through to June 30, 2021. 

Robertson acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has had a "significant impact" on sport in New Zealand.

"National sports organisations, in particular, have lost significant revenue streams, including broadcasting, sponsorships, sport betting, class 4 gambling and membership fees.

"The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of all sport from international, professional to grass roots competitions, and the closure of community facilities."

Robertson also confirmed that all sport and recreation businesses could apply for the COVID-19 wage subsidy.

The wage subsidy was announced last month to support employers adversely affected by COVID-19, so they could continue to pay their employees and supports workers to ensure they continue to receive an income, even if they were unable to work.

Plans will be put in place to help sports get back on their feet once the pandemic eases, Robertson added.

"This package will look to include some support for community organisations, and our high performance and elite athletes.

"Sport, recreation and play are vital for the health and wellbeing of our communities, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support the sector, both at a grassroots and elite level, into the future."