Sport New Zealand to spend $16m reserve

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 16/12/2012

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Sport New Zealand is to spend $16 million from its reserves on a combination of high performance and recreational concepts.

The Crown entity's latest annual report reveals all but $3.1m of its $19.2m public equity has been committed to a mix of community sport initiatives and elite athlete facility developments.

The injection sits aside more than $70m in public money distributed by Sport NZ for the recreation sector and $60m distributed by elite sister entity High Performance Sport New Zealand for top athletes.

Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin confirmed specific sports have been targeted with the reserve spending.

Two years ago Sport NZ investment targeted seven sports in rugby, hockey, cricket, netball, football, rugby league and gym sports.

Now also in line for help are athletics, cycling, golf, triathlon, tennis, basketball and bowls.

"It's a mix of high performance sports and recreation sports," Miskimmin told the Star-Times.

"This is a strategy we've been opening up for the last couple of years. We're really looking to work with sports who are aiming for higher participation rates."

Elite facilities committed to include a new national cycling centre of excellence in Waikato, developments to Christchurch's Jellie Park following the earthquake damage caused to QEII Park, and a new ocean water centre on Auckland's Takapuna Beach.

"That money has been held in reserve. It's allocated, it just hasn't been spent on those facilities."

Miskimmin said the $3.1m left in reserves was a requirement of the board.

"It's a policy of the board and it's for a rainy day, anything that comes up we need to be able to step forward and support."

Miskimmin said other sports will be added to the current batch of 14 in time.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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