Silver Ferns major sponsor ANZ has agreed to contribute to a fund to reward the New Zealand side for their championship-winning performance at the Netball World Cup.
The Ferns claimed a thrilling 52-51 victory over Australia in the World Cup final in Liverpool but their players won't be receiving any prizemoney for winning the tournament.
Pointing out the invaluable exposure that major sponsors received from the Ferns' efforts, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on sponsors to consider a payout.
"I wouldn't want to call [the sponsors] out but ultimately they're the ones that derive benefit from us being the best on the world stage," Ardern told the The AM Show.
"I think it should really just be a question for us, 'Does that feel fair'? Because it does tend to, of course, be those sports like netball where you don't see that same attraction of sponsorship.
"You couldn't have watched that game and say that those players weren't deserving of recognition ... Go on, why not [give them a bonus]?"
ANZ responded to the Prime Minister's comments, saying it is happy to contribute towards a fund to provide the Ferns with a payout.
"The Silver Ferns' World Cup victory was inspirational, so we're happy to work with other key stakeholders to contribute to a fund in recognition of the team's commitment and dedication," an ANZ spokesperson said in a statement to the Herald.
"ANZ values its partnership with Netball NZ and is incredibly proud of the Silver Ferns' Netball World Cup victory.
"Over the last 10 years, through highs and lows, we have invested about $30 million to help grow the sport of netball in New Zealand across all levels of the game from grassroots to elite.
"ANZ has been supporting women's sport in New Zealand for more than 10 years and we look forward to continuing this well into the future."
Another of the Silver Ferns' major sponsors, MYOB, said player incentives are negotiated through Netball NZ and not through sponsors.
"Elite sports funding is complex and we are proud to play our part through our significant contribution to Netball NZ, the Silver Ferns and grassroots netball across the years of our partnership," a MYOB spokesperson said in a statement to the Herald. "Player payments and incentives are negotiated with Netball NZ."
Questions were raised when it was revealed that the world champion Silver Ferns will not receive any prizemoney, while the Black Caps players shared $3 million for coming second in the Cricket World Cup. However, the money received by the Black Caps was put up by the International Cricket Council and not by sponsors.
Regardless, Ardern still urged sponsors to consider giving the Ferns a payout.
"As a general principle, I think New Zealanders would like to see fair acknowledgement of sportspeople when they reach the top of their code, and that should include netball," the Prime Minister said.
International Netball Federation chief executive Clare Briegal told RNZ's Morning Report that netball is still at the early stages of commercial development, and that prizemoney was not even considered.
"Prizemoney's not something that's even on the table for our netballers."
Briegal also added that more exposure is needed for netball to grow, as well as develop commercially.
"Without that exposure, the sponsors aren't so readily there ... there was growing money coming into the sport, but it is so little."
The subject of pay has also come up during the aftermath of the Ferns' triumph in Liverpool.
Top Silver Ferns players earn about $130,000, about a tenth of what All Blacks captain Kieran Read earns. New Zealand Rugby also receives about 10 times more from sponsors than Netball New Zealand.
Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie told RNZ the governing body would like to pay the Silver Ferns more but it needs to be weighed up against growing the sport at grassroots level.
"Overall, there needs to be recognition for the value of women's sport, and also at an international level our governing body needs to work as hard as they can to really maximise the benefit [to] the 20 million young women and girls who play netball around the globe."