Ministers Gush But Overlook Game's Real Value

New Zealand First is calling on the National government to politely ask Sky TV to broadcast a few Lions games live and free to New Zealanders.

“About 1.1 million homes do not have a Sky subscription so will not get the rugby live in their living rooms. For many it is unaffordable.

“National should have some persuasive powers with Sky.

“A little arm twisting from Alfred Ngaro should do the trick.

“And it’s like another Sky, this time SkyCity, which is beholding to National for a massive windfall from National ticking off more pokie machines and gambling tables at the Auckland casino.

“SkyCity also got a mates deal on the purchase of a public asset -  TVNZ land - in Auckland.

“So what’s a few live games of rugby between mates – and with an election near, that should play out well for National with rugby fans – the PM won’t even have to go into a dressing room or re-try a triple handshake.

“The government is excited about the tour – but only to the extent it is a money spinner.

“Three Ministers – Coleman, Barry and Bridges - are gushing over “its remarkable economic boost”, events to “enhance the fan experience”, and “leveraging opportunities” in schools.

“New Zealand First welcomes the international fans and the economic benefits but let’s not forget the game, and the value of sport as a whole, it’s not just a cash cow.

“It’s a sure bet that the Ministers have a Sky subscription and probably tickets to the matches. So let’s be fair to ordinary New Zealanders as well,” says Mr Peters.