Taxpayers shouldn't pay All Blacks to keep players in NZ - Taxpayers' Union

Long Lunch 28/08/2018
Photo: Photosport.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has asked the Government for more funding, as the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) battles cashed-up European clubs.

Following the team’s Bledisloe Cup success over the Wallabies on Saturday, Mr Hansen met with the Prime Minister and Minister of Sport, asking Jacinda Ardern if she could “find some money” to help the team compete against the likes of England and France to keep players.

“They should be our biggest sponsors because we’re their biggest brand,” he told media later.

But the Taxpayers’ Union says the Government should not get involved in bankrolling the All Blacks.

“Something that seems to have been missed from this story is the amount of favours that taxpayers already do for New Zealand Rugby Union and the All Blacks,” spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen.

“The New Zealand Rugby Union actually gets income tax breaks for the work they do promoting amateur sport. And that’s not to mention funding for the likes of the Dunedin Stadium, plus all of the private funding they get from New Zealanders every day.”

Mr Houlbrooke says dealing with huge overseas chequebooks could end badly for our Government.

“Because it doesn’t end well when the poor New Zealand Government is attempting to outbid a European billionaire – for the taxpayer that’s actually a bloody scaring proposition.

“If a Beauden Barrett type was actually snatched up by another club, we’d be sad. But frankly, New Zealand has the depth of talent to fill the gaps,” he told RadioLIVE.

Earlier this year, the Government said it would throw $100m behind the America’s Cup for New Zealand’s hosting of the event in 2021.

The Government wouldn’t comment on whether it’s open to helping fund the All Blacks.

Listen to the full interview with Louis Houlbrooke above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.