Commonwealth Games: New Zealand Olympic Committee signals interest in staging 2034 event under new hosting model

Changes to Commonwealth Games hosting protocols have prompted New Zealand to signal its interest in hosting the 2034 event.

New Zealand has previously hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1950 (Auckland), 1974 (Christchurch) and 1990 (Auckland), with Auckland and Edinburgh the only cities to host twice.

Under a new model introduced for the 2026 Games, events will be spread across the Australian state of Victoria, easing the logistical and financial burden on any one city. 

That important change has opened the door for New Zealand to use already existing facilities across the country. 

While the NZ Olympic Committee has not formally lodged an application to host, it is at least considering it.

"We have advised the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) that we are interested in exploring a New Zealand 2034 Commonwealth Games," said NZOC chief executive Nicki Nicol.

"We want to be very clear this concept is about a nation, not a city, and we'd be looking to develop a Games that would help achieve nationwide goals, and engage young and diverse communities in sport."

The NZOC will now partner with the Commonwealth Games Federation and NZ Government to investigate the costs and benefits involved in hosting the event.

Mark Todd carries the Queen's Baton at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games
Mark Todd carries the Queen's Baton at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games. Photo credit: Photosport

"New Zealand is a brilliant host of sporting events and we know we would hold a fantastic Commonwealth Games," said Nicol. "We also would love to provide an opportunity for our athletes and Para athletes to compete in Aotearoa in front of friends and whānau, inspiring New Zealanders.

"While this is an exciting step, we acknowledge that discussions are in the early stages and there is a significant process to go through, before we are ready to confirm a bid. We would also like to thank the NZ Government for its initial support."

Most recently, Auckland hosted the 2017 World Masters Games, with rowing and track cycling events taking place at Cambridge. At the time, this was billed as the potential model for an NZ-based Commonwealth Games bid.