Organisers of the Anchor AIMS Games have urged schools to pay close attention to health professionals' advice to help curb the spread of measles.

The annual tournament begins in Tauranga on September 8 with 11,500 entries from around New Zealand and the Pacific.

A large number of athletes will be from Auckland where the measles outbreak, which started in January, has had the most impact.

There are 731 confirmed cases in Auckland with a further 144 cases confirmed around the rest of the country.


Anchor AIMS Games Trust chairman and Otumoetai Intermediate principal Henk Popping said the health, safety and wellness of the athletes was of paramount importance.

"We want to do our best to make sure athletes head home from our tournament with incredible memories and new friends and nothing else," he said.

He said they had been working closely with the health and prevention teams at both the Ministry of Health and Toi Te Ora Public Health.

There will be a range of medical professionals on-site throughout the tournament.

"We're also talking through the signs and symptoms of measles at our opening ceremony, so we should be as prepared as we can possibly be."

Popping said the tournament director Vicki Semple had been monitoring the developments for two months.

The trust had sent out information to all 369 participating schools in July with advice on what to do.

This advice included a letter from Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer Dr Phil Shoemack who said anyone with measles would need to stay away from the Anchor AIMS Games.


Anyone who was not immunised and has been in contact with someone found to have measles may also be required to stay away from the tournament, the letter said, for 14 days from the last contact with the sick person.

Popping said it was a timely reminder after his own school had just had vaccinations for Year 7 students.