The New Zealand government has welcomed the 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,” Minister of Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson said.
Getting teams into managed isolation
He added that getting teams into managed isolation and allowing them to train and be competitive had not been an easy task. But he was pleased the country was now in a position where it could welcome teams back.
“I am also very happy to announce that an agreement has been reached with Netball New Zealand to resume international fixtures. This is off the back of the agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union to host the Bledisloe Cup games.”
The Wallabies rugby team is set to arrive in New Zealand to begin their managed isolation program this weekend.
Teams will operate within a bubble
“Security and health safety provisions will apply for the touring teams,” Robertson said.
“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.”
The government says other sporting codes will also have the opportunity to express their interest in bringing teams and athletes to New Zealand.
Robertson said it was important that the government understand the demand from other sports so New Zealand. This would aid the country’s preparation for a series of exciting upcoming international sport events starting with the Rugby World Cup next year.
Balance competing isolation needs
“We have to balance a number of competing needs when it comes to our managed isolation facilities,” he noted.
“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.”