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Basketball New Zealand welcome overdue funds from Government's relief package

Basketball can breathe a financial sigh of relief, finally recognised in the Government's Covid-19 sporting recovery plans.

As Finance and Sport Minister Grant Robertson today unveiled his $80 million handout to help sport survive the global pandemic, basketball has been handed a financial windfall, controversially ignored in last month's $4.6m relief fund.

The Government's package today giving basketball $500,000 towards the current men's and upcoming women's NBL.

"[The funding is] simply a recognition that basketball is a sport that's got a great national league going," Minister Robertson said.

"This is an opportunity for us to support that."

Basketball New Zealand's chief executive Iain Potter welcoming the funding, which will be crucial to ensuring the future of the professional game in this country.

The funding is a shot in the arm in particular for women's basketball.

"For the women's NBL this means we can have it," Mr Potter told 1 NEWS.

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"Without that funding we were seriously looking at cancelling the event at this year."

Mr Robertson said the first release of funding from the Sport Recovery Package includes a $68 million fund to support community sport, $10 million for a second Community Resilience Fund to provide further immediate support to a broader range of eligible local and regional organisations, and an initial $7.3 million package to improve facilities for New Zealand's upcoming hosting of world cups.

Mr Robertson specifically pointed out the $25.4 million fund will help basketball and the NBL after the New Zealand governing body publicly stated their disappointment in missing out on initial funds while other sports and competitions were supported last month.

There will also be a $25.4 million fund for Sport NZ's national partners to strengthen and adapt. It will also support specific sports, with the cost of running premier national leagues affected by the pandemic.