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New Zealand not to bid for 2018 Commonwealth Games

Wednesday 17 March 2010, 8:43AM
By Auckland Regional Council
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AUCKLAND

New Zealand will not bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. This decision follows a rigorous scoping exercise involving Auckland’s local and regional councils, Government and the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Commenting on the Government’s decision, Bid Feasibility Group member Michael Barnett says the feasibility study found that many long-term benefits would arise for Auckland and New Zealand and these would justify the $500 to $600 million costs. Mr Barnett acknowledges that the current economic climate makes it difficult to commit to such a large project but says circumstances in 2018 are likely to be very different.

Even though a bid is not going ahead, major events remain a priority for Auckland.

“The bid feasibility process is an investment in Auckland’s future because our thorough and sophisticated approach for assessing a possible Commonwealth Games bid has identified a wide range of opportunities for Auckland.”

Mr Barnett says opportunities include possible village sites that can be targeted for urban renewal, venues that can be enhanced to support other sporting events, and opportunities to build a cluster of high performance sports, research and medical facilities. All of these can be pursued with or without a bid for the Commonwealth Games.

He notes that the Bid Feasibility Group is committed to realising these opportunities and pursuing other major sporting events that will build on the Louis Vuitton Trophy and Auckland Festival of Sail, the Rally of New Zealand and Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General, Barry Maister says, despite the decision, New Zealand fully supports the Commonwealth Games as a major fixture for many of the world’s top athletes.

“We may not be hosting the 2018 event, but our door is still very much open for future Commonwealth Games bids. The feasibility study has shown we have the capability and capacity to win and host the Games.”