International sport back up and running in New Zealand

The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.

“A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to New Zealand,” Grant Robertson said.

“Getting teams into managed isolation and allowing them to train and be competitive has not been an easy task. I am pleased we’re now in a position where we can welcome teams back to New Zealand.

“I am also very happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with Netball New Zealand to resume international fixtures. Netball New Zealand are set to make an announcement on their season later today.

“This is off the back of the agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union to host the Bledisloe Cup games. The Wallabies are set to arrive in New Zealand to begin their Managed Isolation this weekend.

“Security and health safety provisions will apply for the touring teams. While sports teams will be operating within a bubble, safety will be ensured through the provision of normal Infection Prevention Control mechanisms, like physical separation, normal hygiene practices and PPE. Training facilities will also be secure, safe and isolated,” Grant Robertson said.

Other sporting codes will also have the opportunity to express their interest in bringing teams and athletes to New Zealand.

“Sport New Zealand has started working with other sporting organisations and this morning has written to National Sports Organisations to gauge their interest in bringing international teams and athletes to Aotearoa.

“It is important that we understand the demand from other sports so New Zealand can continue to play an active part in international sport. This will aid our preparation for a series of exciting upcoming international sport events starting with the Rugby World Cup next year.

“We have to balance a number of competing needs when it comes to our managed isolation facilities. This week we have made announcements about further places for critical workers, and recently for more visa holders, including partner visas. We are continuing to work on the return of international students as well.

“Getting international sport back up and running in New Zealand is another step forward. Like many New Zealanders I am looking forward to seeing international sport resuming. It is a huge part of our culture and helps bring us together as a nation.

“I’d like to wish all our teams and athletes the best of luck in their upcoming fixtures, the nation will be cheering them on,” Grant Robertson said.

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