The Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games (AP&ES Games) which were to be held in Rotorua have been postponed.
The Games were planned to be held from March 4 to 11, 2022, but have been postponed for 12 months until March 3 to 10, 2023.
The announcement has come following a period of consultation and close monitoring of the Covid-19 climate in both New Zealand and Australia.
Games marketing manager Dave Wishnowsky said, "The lack of certainty that the Australian competitors can enter with confidence and travel to New Zealand in March 2022 made the early decision the only real option".
A one-year postponement was chosen with the belief that travel restrictions and vaccination rates will allow all competitors to travel easily to Rotorua for the eight-day event.
The 18th edition of the bi-annual games will see between 3000 to 5000 competitors playing 60 sports throughout the region and city.
The AP&ES Games help to build camaraderie and promote a healthy lifestyle through sport, along with raising awareness of the crucial work done by emergency services including police, fire, customs, ambulance, corrections, surf lifesaving, DOC, emergency nurses, aviation security, primary industries, mountain, harbour and water rescue.
The games are open to current, voluntary, and retired staff from all over Australasia.
Wishnowsky said, "The great news is the games are postponed as opposed to cancelled, and the extra 12 months will now be used to make the event bigger and better".
"There is a huge desire from all the competitors to attend an event like this after the lockdowns, travel restrictions and cancellation of the 2020 games which were to be hosted by New South Wales.
"All our partners and supporters have understood and supported the decision, and the management team are now focused on 2023.
"This will be an amazing event and we are looking forward to bringing it to Rotorua."
The Games will now begin on Friday, March 3 , 2023 with an Opening Ceremony in downtown Rotorua near the lake front.
A Games hub will be erected on the Village Green and host both social and sporting events through until Friday, March 10.
The Games management are looking to involve the Rotorua culture and community as much as possible and will continue to look for people interested in volunteering throughout the event.
"We need up to 400 volunteers to help with sports, social events, registrations, information and ambassadors for the city."
Information relating to the event and volunteering can be found on the website, www.apes2022.co.nz.