Don't panic - the Commonwealth Games had an emergency plan in place long before Durban was dropped as the host in 2022.

The head of New Zealand's Olympic Committee Keryn Smith said it was "full steam ahead" and the new host would be known in a matter of months.

"There's a real sense of sadness and the (Commonwealth Games) federation gave Durban and South Africa a reasonable amount of time to honour commitments, but sadly things have changed politically and economically," Smith said.

Smith told Radio Sport the federation starting working on a rescue strategy months ago, when Durban already had the wobbles.

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In the wake of today's decision to drop Durban, the BBC reports that Liverpool and Birmingham have "expressed interest" in hosting the 2022 Games. Liverpool is already planning a bid for the 2026 Games.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has informed British sports minister Tracey Crocuh that the city would have "no problem" being ready four years earlier than intended.

Smith said there would not be a bidding process for 2022, rather the federation would approach cities it knew were ready-made for the job.

The host city would need a range of facilities that were ready, and could put together a significant amount of money in short order.

"We wouldn't want to be starting from scratch," she said.

Gold Coast will host in 2018 but she said it was unlikely the same city would go back-to-back. Smith said it was a "fundamental part of the movement" that the Games were held every four years, and the federation would not want that continuity to be broken.

Mayor Phil Goff has already ruled out the Auckland taking on the 2022 assignment, saying the city was already under enough financial and infrastructure pressure.