Govt announces $80 million investment into sport recovery 'at all levels' in NZ

Sports Minister Grant Robertson has announced $80 million will be invested into sport recovery “at all levels” in response to the financial impact caused by Covid-19.

Sports Minister Grant Robertson poses with Highlanders fans at the launch of Super Rugby Aotearoa. Source: Getty

Mr Robertson confirmed the large financial package as the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.

“Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite level,” Mr Robertson said.

“All levels of the sector have been affected by Covid-19 and this funding is focused on making sure the sector continues to thrive, while also ensuring New Zealanders can continue to maintain their wellbeing through physical activity."

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.

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Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says it’s to support sport at all levels. Source: 1 NEWS

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.

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.

“Sport NZ has also earmarked $3 million for individuals and families in financial hardship who are unable to take part in sport and recreation opportunities. Details on how this funding will be distributed will be released in coming weeks,” Mr Robertson added.

“All the funding announced today, and the remainder of the package will continue to place a specific emphasis on groups who are traditionally less active or are missing out, including women and girls, Māori, disabled people and our high deprivation communities.

“Having prioritised initiatives that focus on the areas in most need of support, Sport NZ will continue to engage with the sector to decide how the remaining $180 million is best spent over the next four years to help sport recover, strengthen and adapt.”