The Government has ruled out any prospect of New Zealand rescuing the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Minister for Sport Jonathan Coleman told the Herald today that there was no interest in approaching the Commonwealth Games Federation after it announced this morning that South Africa has been dropped as the host in five years time.
"We have no intention of taking over the 2022 Commonwealth Games," Coleman said. "There is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built across the country and this ranks well down our list of priorities."
Two English cities are the early favourites to replace Durban, the only bidder when the 2022 hosting decision was made two years ago.
Coleman's use of the word "country" in his comments reflect that it is widely considered that any future New Zealand bid for a Games would need to include more than a single city host like Auckland who last hosted the event in 1990.
Sport New Zealand, then known as Sparc, conducted a feasibility study into potential future hosting of a Commonwealth Games in 2010. That study looked at whether New Zealand should host the 2018 Games which eventually went to Australia's Gold Coast.
The study predicted hosting the 2018 event would cost "between $500 and $600 million". The Gold Coast Games are costing reportedly Australian taxpayers and ratepayers $A1.12 billion.
Meanwhile, the head of New Zealand's Olympic Committee Kereyn Smith said it was "full steam ahead" and the new host for 2022 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.
"The board is optimistic there are venues capable of stepping in."