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BUDGET 2001: $100 million increase for Sport

24 May 2001

$100 million funding increase for Sport, Fitness and Leisure

The Government plans to increase funding for sports, fitness and leisure by almost $100 million over the next five years as it implements the recommendations of the recent Sport, Fitness and Leisure review.

The budget provides an initial extra $2 million in the next financial year to start implementing the recommendations. Sport, Fitness and Leisure Minister Trevor Mallard said that would be used to establish a new crown entity to replace the Hillary Commission, aspects of the Sports Foundation and the sport side of the Office of Tourism and Sport.

"But what is most exciting is that the Government has acknowledged the health and economic benefits of a strong sport, fitness and leisure sector and agreed to a massive boost in funding for the sector starting in two years time," Trevor Mallard said.

"Two million dollars in 2001-02 and in 2002-03 has been allocated for the initial implementation of the report.

"Funding will then increase to $20 million in 2003-04, to $30 million in 2004-05, and up to $40 million in 2005-06 and thereafter. This money is in addition to current lotteries funding. The new entity will play a major role in developing and defining the priorities from recommendations raised in the Graham report.

"The Government also provides ongoing certainty to the high performance sport centres with a continued commitment of $4 million per annum beyond 2003-04. This will be a direct benefit to our elite athletes.

"The sport, fitness and leisure sector has received a huge boost from this budget. I am confident that the country will reap the benefits - both social and economic - for years through social behaviour changes, improved health and increased national pride in our
sporting achievements.

"This is an investment in a healthy future for New Zealanders as the Government moves to build a stronger economy and fairer society," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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