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NZ Rubgy Ruled By Dollars Not Sense


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Media Release

12 August 2008

NZ Rubgy Ruled By Dollars Not Sense

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has expressed his disappointment that dollars and not sense are ruling rugby in this country.

His comments follow the New Zealand Rugby Union’s draft determination of the 12 teams which will be invited to participate in the Air New Zealand Cup from 2009 which has proposed the axing of Northland and Tasman from the competition.

Mr Peters says that the draft determination reeks of profit being the key determining factor for the future of rugby in New Zealand.

Mr Peters played rugby in Northland in his younger years and has been a long time supporter of the Union.

“This proud Union deserves much better than this,” said Mr Peters.

“Northland and Tasman’s playing records, player registration numbers and population bases are all sound and are not in the bottom two places among the current Air New Zealand Cup unions so what are we left with as the determining factor here?

“It appears that television audiences and the profit margins of the New Zealand Rugby Union hold more sway than the need to develop the game at grass roots level, especially in rural unions.

“Sky Television needs to be reminded that the public own the game in this country, a game which has been built up by the rural provinces for generations. Free to air is still an option for rugby supporters.

“Destroying the game in rural provinces will cost New Zealand Rugby a lot more than the temporary and marginal loss of profit incurred whilst the new competition is given a chance to work,” said Mr Peters.


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