Rugby's future in Northland, as elsewhere, is uncertain in "the fast-changing environment that Covid-19 has forced upon us," according to Northland Rugby Union CEO Cameron Bell.
The game's resumption would be dictated by a Ministry of Health clearance, and if protocol was broken then that clearance will be delayed, he said, urging the people of Northland to comply with the Level 4 lockdown.
"These are unprecedented times. We are all facing challenges, whether it be in our personal or our business lives, and rugby is no exception," Mr Bell said.
"Whilst we are awaiting some key decisions from NZ Rugby, NRU has taken a leadership position in the best interests of our community, and acted proactively to ensure the health and wellbeing of our wider rugby community and our financial security.
"We are meeting regularly with NZR, provincial union work groups, our own NJC, CoU, and at NRU board level to ensure we are aligned internally and strongly represented at national level. It is a rapidly changing environment we are faced with, and in response we are building many various scenarios based on what the current information is."
The NRU had moved "immediately" to protect its long-term financial viability as soon as the borders were closed. All discretionary spending had been frozen on March 17, while the union had been the first province to apply for, and receive, the Ministry of Social Development subsidy for staff.
All rental contracts had been contacted and holidays requested, while the closure of gaming facilities meant valuable trust funding had "understandably" been stopped. There was no guarantee of match day revenues under the current scenarios, and NZR funding beyond the April quarter was not assured.
The pandemic was having a real impact on sponsors, and there could be no commit to new playing gear for the coming season. Sky revenues, which the NZR used to fund the provinces, were also under threat.
"The financial modelling scenarios we have run identify very significant challenges to the long-term financial viability of NRU, with significant losses projected for the 2020 year," Mr Bell said.
"There are many unknown elements to these scenarios, including NZR contributions and the most significant expenditure, which is player payments. We are awaiting further developments within this space as NZR and the NZ Rugby Players' Association enter into negotiation talks.
Whilst the NRU wants to compete in both the Mitre 10 and FPC competitions, our primary objective is to foster and grow our community game, and to do that we must secure a strong financial position," he added.
"NRU has stated that we want to compete, but to achieve that there are significant financial hurdles that need to be addressed in NZR funding and player payments. The cost cuts we are making alone will not enable us to compete in these competitions, and we will not enter into a commitment that spells financial ruin for Northland rugby.
"As CEO I am committed to leading our staff through this crisis. We have a fantastic team of people who are passionate about the development and growth of our game, our people and our business. Staff are all working from home, and where applicable working to support our game.
"Consistent with our approach to all cost elements, we have applied financial prudence with staff and implemented a range of salary reductions to reduce costs. We stress that these are not performance-related, and are simply a pragmatic response to the impact of Covid-19. This is a fluid situation, and one that we are constantly monitoring.
"Our staff are aware of the seriousness of the situation, which is constantly evolving. They have expressed an understanding of the position and that we need to act to protect the game in Northland.
"The big unknown is when rugby will begin again. NZR are working hard to find high-value rugby content to support arrangements with SKY. This involves any opportunity to secure All Black rugby within the 2020 calendar. Super Rugby is working with NZR, and hopeful that some type of meaningful competition will be available during 2020. Similarly, provincial unions still hold a desire to provide a Mitre 10 Cup competition, along with community rugby. Ultimately, the all clear will be delivered by Ministry of Health.
"Northland Rugby will continue to monitor the situation, while making plans that are financially prudent and sensible, to support the future of the game in our proud province with a great legacy in rugby.
"We acknowledge again that these are tough, unprecedented times. We wish everyone good health and strong resilience in everything that is in front of them, and to be assured we will do the very best for Northland Rugby and to ensure our long-term financial viability."