New Zealand is not too small to host an Olympic Games, the head of the International Olympic Committee says.
IOC president Jacques Rogge is in New Zealand for the final for the Rugby World Cup and has been impressed with New Zealand's performance hosting the tournament.
"It seems to be a very, very good Rugby World Cup. [There has been] great hospitality, great passion, all the support for the various teams coming together and great organisation," Mr Rogge, a former rugby player himself, told Radio New Zealand.
While some have said the tournament would be the last Rugby World Cup New Zealand will host, Mr Rogge did not discount the possibility New Zealand could host the much larger Olympic Games.
He rejected the suggestion the country is too small to host the four-yearly event.
"No it is not too small - you can organise the Olympics with the population of only 4.4 million.
"Whether it would be useful for the country, only you can determine, it is not to the IOC to tell that.
"But it is a possibility. Finland organised the Olympic Games with a population of 5 million, Norway has hosted a Winter Olympic Games ... with the same population as New Zealand."
Mr Rogge said the host would not have to find all the money for the games, with the IOC providing funding from international sponsors to offset the costs.
Of the nearly 2 billion pound cost of the London Olympics next year, Mr Rogge said the IOC would provide around half.
Rugby Sevens will be included in the Olympics next year for the first time.
- Herald Online