NZ taking first steps to outlaw match-fixing

Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully. Photo / NZPA
Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully. Photo / NZPA

Match-fixing will become a crime in New Zealand.

Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully announced yesterday that an amendment would be made to the Crimes Act to ensure serious forms of match-fixing would be subject to criminal sanctions.

"New Zealand is not immune to the international risks of match-fixing and we are taking pre-emptive steps to protect our well-deserved reputation for playing fair and the integrity of New Zealand sport," Mr McCully said.

"We have released the New Zealand Policy on Sports Match-Fixing and Related Corruption and announced plans to amend the Crimes Act 1961 to ensure the most serious form of match-fixing is a criminal offence.

"The national match-fixing policy provides a comprehensive framework for collaboration across Government, the sport sector and the betting industry to address match-fixing risks to New Zealand sport," he said.

"An important component of the policy is ensuring we have a strong legal framework around match-fixing, and ensuring it is subject to criminal sanctions."

Match or spot-fixing, where specific actions in a game are rigged for the benefit of blackmarket bookmakers and betting gangs, is not a criminal offence in many countries, which has thrust the emphasis on investigations on to sporting bodies who often do not have the resources to deal with the problem.

In December, it was revealed that three New Zealand cricketers - Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey - were being investigated by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit.

More recently, investigators from the Metropolitan Police in London have been here collecting information on allegations of match-fixing.

Cairns has vehemently denied any involvement in match-fixing.

The investigations into the Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent allegations involve police in more than one country and the ICC sharing information.

- NZ Herald

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