Welcome To Lions But Too Few Kiwis Will See Your Matches Live
New Zealand First welcomes the British and Irish Lions and their supporters to our country but is disappointed so few New Zealanders will be able to see them play live, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“All of the test matches sold out long ago and only the minority of New Zealanders who hold Sky subscriptions to view games live on television and have the money to buy expensive match tickets will be able to see them live.
“This is a major disappointment for hundreds of thousands of Kiwis who love our national game but will miss out.
“On previous Lions tours they played in many provincial centres so most New Zealanders had the chance of seeing them which reinforced rugby as our national game and a game for all New Zealanders. This is not happening now.
“It is a great pity that New Zealand First’s Broadcasting (Games of National Significance) Amendment Bill which would make sure all top sports involving Kiwis are seen free on television was dumped by our political rivals earlier this year.
“No doubt MPs who voted against this bill will have the luxury of seeing the games live but their lack of concern for hard-working Kiwis who don’t have the spare cash to do so shows just how out of touch many of them are.
“It is also extremely unfair that New Zealand taxpayers who pay almost a billion dollars each year bankrolling sport and recreation and funding state television are being shut out.
“The government should step in and introduce what happens in Britain and Australia where enlightened governments have stipulated certain sports must have free live broadcasts,” says Mr Peters.