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Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19

03 April 2020

This media release has been republished from

National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today.

"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.

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

"That is why the decision has been made to roll over their funding for the current financial year into next year," Grant Robertson says.

As part of the immediate financial support for national sport and recreation organisations, Sport NZ's new four-year investment plan has been deferred so that current levels of investment remain through to 30 June 2021. In addition, Sport NZ partners will not be obliged to continue Sport NZ-led initiatives, so they can focus on remaining operational.

High Performance Sport NZ has also confirmed core funding for 2020-2021 to Olympic and Paralympic sports so they can transition key high performance functions into the rescheduled Tokyo Games next year, as well as the new Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic cycle.

In addition to this financial support, Grant Robertson says all sport and recreation businesses can apply for the COVID-19 wage subsidy.   It is hoped this will mean the sector retains much of its talent and expertise over the short-term, so organisations can continue to play a significant role in helping New Zealanders increase their physical activity levels.

"The Government is also working on a sports recovery package for when we get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 grass-roots and elite level, into the future," Grant Robertson says.


Media contact

Philip Clark, Media Manager - Sport New Zealand

M: 0278 385 710



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