$17 million cut from Sport New Zealand funding

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 06/07/2014

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The Government is set to slash $17 million from Sport New Zealand's budget.

Documents released by Parliament reveal a government committee has recommended a 17% cut in funds for the sport and recreation sector managed by Sport NZ.

That will result in a $17m budget decrease for the 2014-15 financial year, bringing funding back towards the level of two years ago - and down from an increased estimated actual spend of $100m-plus in the last financial year.

The recommended decrease is the result of the ending of "extra funding in 2013/14 for high performance facilities, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the establishment of the 2015 World Cup Office in Sport New Zealand".

Sport NZ is yet to comment on the decrease to an annual budget of approximately $83m, although it is likely to have minimal impact on high performance funding for the likes of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Government outcomes sought from Sport NZ have been identified as increased participation in sport, more New Zealand winners in international sports and keeping New Zealand sport drug free.

Compared to an estimated spend of just over $8m in 2013/14, Sport NZ, which includes the Crown's elite sport funding arm High Performance Sport New Zealand, has budgeted almost $9.5m to be spent on contractors in the 2014-15 financial year - a rise of more than $1.3m.

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