New Zealand Government makes $7.3 million payout to rugby nationwide

Rugby in New Zealand has received a $7.3 million boost from the nation’s government under its wage subsidy scheme.

According to a report from Stuff, the country’s governing body, New Zealand Rugby, has attained about half of that payment – totalling in $3,687,444 – after filing applications due to hardship cause by the coronavirus pandemic.

The report states that NZR claimed for 531 staff, receiving $6933 per staff member.

The payout comes after the organisation slashed 20 percent of its staff’s pay at the beginning of the month, which, at the time, NZR said it was able to do with the assistance of the government’s subsidy.

Provincial unions and Super Rugby franchises have also benefitted from the payout.

One of New Zealand’s largest provincial union, Canterbury, has received $400,147.20, for 63 staff members, which breaks down to $6351 per staff member.

Other large unions have received significant payouts, with Otago being handed $267,124.80 for 38 staff, while Auckland has been handed more than a quarter of a million for 37 staff members.

It’s a similar case for both the Waikato Rugby Union, which fielded $160,000 for 24 staff, and the Wellington Rugby Union, which has been granted $144,792 for 21 members of staff.

Elsewhere, smaller provinces have also claimed six-figure sums, with Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Counties Manukau and Taranaki receiving more than $100,000 each.

In Super Rugby, the Chiefs and Crusaders have been given $150,000, while $126,829 has gone the way of the Highlanders.

The Hurricanes’ owners – Hurricanes Investment Limited Partnership – has also received $112,473.60 for 16 staff, according to Stuff.

These payouts come in the wake of an emergency $250,000 grant from NZR to each of its Super Rugby clubs earlier this month.

To be eligible for the subsidy, businesses must declare a revenue drop of 30 percent caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and will keep the individuals named in their applications employed for at least the 12 weeks of the duration of the grant.