New Zealand's top women's rugby players should be paid better, says the new Minister of Finance.
Speaking on TV3's The Nation this morning, Grant Robertson said he was looking forward to having a conversation with New Zealand Rugby about how they will achieve the new Government's goal of pay parity.
A debate was sparked when the pay and other disparities were revealed between the top men's and women's rugby teams, the All Blacks and the Black Ferns.
During their respective Rugby World Cup campaigns, the women earned $2000 in match fees, the men $7500.
The men are also paid annual retainers ranging from $195,000 to $850,000 and have a bonus structure in place which meant victory brought them each an additional $100,000.
Despite returning home World Cup champions, the Black Ferns had to fly home economy class after playing five games in 17 days. The men reclined in their business seats, having played seven games in 43 days.
Robertson said the issue was on the Government's agenda.
"I certainly believe that the Black Ferns should be paid better. They're a world champion team," he said.
"Women's rugby is now one of the most competitive parts of rugby in the world, and I'd love to see the Black Ferns ..."
Robertson also elaborated on the some of the new Government's fiscal plans, saying he never denied the numbers were tight but he was ambitious and optimistic about what could be achieved.
"There are certain areas of spending that we must do to be a decent society, to care for other people. I would never compromise on that. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.
He added it was possible Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters could be wrong when he said there are difficult economic times ahead.
"That is possible. But what we've got to do as a country is ensure that we are in a position to deal with whatever headwinds are out there. And, as I say, I think we've got the policy prescription to do that."