I'm really looking forward to presenting the GONS Bill for its First Reading next month.

The people I've spoken to and the respondents to media polls and talkback radio overwhelmingly, absolutely agree that games of national significance should be played live and free-to-air.

The only push back against it have been based on fear of the unknown, relating to the possibility of some of our New Zealand sporting heroes and heroines leaving our shores in search of big money deals overseas.

These concerns are totally unsubstantiated. All of the international evidence shows that sportspeople have not been lost to other countries who have enacted similar broadcasting laws.


We saw more evidence of this in the last couple of weeks, with Ben Smith and Israel Dagg choosing to recommit themselves to New Zealand rugby and turned down hugely lucrative foreign contracts, for the lifestyle and sporting opportunities here in New Zealand.

They do need to know they are valued, as positive sporting role models, and we know that when young people see them making a financial sacrifice for the benefit of New Zealand sport, they will be inspired. We know how valuable positive role models are, and when we see people achieving here at the highest levels, our self-belief grows.

So we're asking for your support, to make sure that every MP in Parliament knows that we want our sporting games of national significance live and free-to-air. There is an online petition at https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/rugby-and-other-games-of-national-significance-should-be-live-and-free-to-air-for-everyone so make sure you and all your friends have signed it, and remember, every MP has a phone. We all need to make our voices heard to reclaim our birth right: Live Free Sport.