Commonwealth Games: New 'roadmap' opens opportunity for future New Zealand hosting bid

New Zealand's chances of staging future Commonwealth Games may have been boosted by the new review that enables neighbouring cities or countries to share hosting rights.

The Commonwealth Games Federation proposes future hosts limit their programmes to about 15 sports, with only athletics and swimming guaranteed spots.

But the other significant outcome could see neighbouring cities or countries divide hosting duties.

"This plan strikes a nice balance between retaining the core values and history of the Commonwealth Games, while allowing future host cities and countries to have more say on what the Games will look like,” says NZOC president Mike Stanley.

"This is also a really positive step towards New Zealand hosting another Commonwealth Games in the future. The flexibility of both a tailored sports programme and a multi-city approach would be really positive for a New Zealand Commonwealth Games proposal."

Next year's Commonwealth Games will be staged at Birmingham, England, but no-one has nailed down 2026 hosting rights yet. Australia, Canada, India and Sri Lanka have all expressed interest.

"Hopefully, next year, we will be able to showcase that you can bring in other countries to host together," says CGF president Dame Louise Martin. "We've been trying hard to get the smaller countries to host a Games, but they are too small to do it the way it's been.

"That is why we are looking at the roadmap to see what is necessary, what do we really need to do. 

"If somebody has a fantastic athletics stadium, but the country next to them has got a fantastic shooting range, link up together and see what we can do."

New Zealand last hosted the Games in 1990 at Auckland, and before that in 1974 (Christchurch) and 1950 (Auckland).