Former Silver Fern and Black Fern Louisa Wall looks a prime candidate to become the minister of sport and recreation in the new Labour-New Zealand First coalition government.

Labour's shadow spokesperson for the portfolio was Trevor Mallard, who is touted to become the next speaker of the house.

Wall, the Member of Parliament for Manurewa, would bring rare international sporting experience to the role.

The incoming minister would replace National's Jonathan Coleman.


Another beneficiary from the change in power could be the 2021 America's Cup.

In the Herald's series of pre-election sporting questions to the parties, Labour, NZ First and the Greens each favoured degrees of government investment in the waterfront to ensure New Zealand hosted the regatta.

Mallard wanted the event funded "mainly by the private sector through sponsorship, but I believe there is a place for the government to be a partner in order to capture the massive leverage opportunities".

NZ First's Clayton Mitchell said: "This was a fantastic achievement that will have a positive social and economic impact on New Zealand. A joint partnership between the private sector and the Government needs to be considered."

The Greens Julie Anne Genter wanted the event used to fast-track the building of a light rail route from the city to the airport, in time for the first race.

"Hosting major sports events can help revitalise city areas, like Auckland's Viaduct for the 2000 and 2003 regattas," she said.

Elsewhere, some nervous folk are likely to be inhabiting High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand after the election result.

Jobs could be at stake.

In simple terms, Sports NZ is responsible for sports participation and the control of government funding.

HPSNZ is charged with helping New Zealanders triumph internationally.

During the election campaign the Herald asked parliamentary parties' sports spokespeople whether HPSNZ and Sport NZ should be separate or combined entities.

Mallard's response was "combined"; Mitchell's opted for the status quo by saying "if it's not broken, why fix it?"

As a supplementary, the parties were asked if it was more important to invest in grassroots or elite sport?

"The balance of funding has gone too far in favour of elite sport," Mallard said.

"Medals are important, but exercise and participation are more so. School and grassroots support, especially for coaching, needs a real boost."

Mitchell said both grassroots and elite sport play an equal and significant part.

"Elite sport is used to promote, encourage and inspire young people to participate, and grassroots is needed to train, educate and encourage good discipline and healthy living."