NRL: Security boss warns another pitch invasion incident could change how we attend sporting events in New Zealand

Red Badge Group CEO Ben Wooding has warned New Zealand is "one incident away" from changing the way we attend sporting events if people continue to invade pitches.

It comes after there were 13 incidents at the NZ Warriors' NRL season-opener at Wellington's Sky Stadium on Friday, which left two security guards injured.

Wooding believes should the trend continue, New Zealand could follow other countries' example and close off any possibility of pitch invaders with cages or screens.

"As much as the next person, I'm convinced it's the Warriors' year, and I don't think anyone wants to be turning up to sporting events with big cages surrounding the field," he told AM.

"That's not where we want to go in New Zealand, but we're one incident away from probably the changing face of sport in New Zealand.

"We see in other places around the world where there are big cages, or there are security guards standing shoulder to shoulder and I don't think that's the direction we want to go.

"I think our staff have got the right to be safe, they turn up to work and we're putting these events on alongside the stadiums and we're focused on the safety of fans, players and I think we should be thinking about our staff as well who are in the firing line."

Instead, Wooding is calling for harsher penalties to deter pitch invaders and wants their power to be extended past major sporting events.

Under the Major Events Management Act 2007, pitch invaders can be fined $5000 or face up to three years improvement, but that doesn't apply to everyday sporting events.

"Yes, they get referred to the police, and we can trespass people from stadiums for up to two years, but ultimately there's an opportunity here to extend harsher penalties or harsher punishments and more disincentive for people to be coming onto the field," Wooding said.

"But at the moment, that only covers major sporting events, so for example, that will be used for FIFA, for the Women's World Cup this year. Really, we're looking for that to be extended to your everyday sporting event.

"It doesn't extend to those events at the moment, so as we've seen, there's just not enough disincentive for people to be coming on [to the field].

"There's other things we're looking at on the back of Friday, such as potential assault, but at the moment, it's clear that even that as a penalty is not persuading people from coming onto the field."