Weekend Sun   

I am proud to be a Kiwi, especially when I look at how well we do on an international sporting stage such as the Commonwealth Games.

When we are up against massive countries with tens of millions of people and seemingly unlimited budgets for sports development, we always bat way above our weight when comparing our per capita stats, which is great to see.

What was also great to see was plenty of live free coverage of the Commonwealth Games. It was fantastic to have access for all Kiwis to watch some of the best sports on the planet, despite some intelligentsia media commentariat saying that live free sport is ‘a thing of the past’ and ‘won’t be seen in New Zealand any time soon’, despite other countries around the world ensuring games of National significance are broadcast free and live. Mike Hosking might have just got this one wrong?

The great thing about the Commonwealth Games being broadcast on terrestrial television is that no Government intervention took place to achieve it, there were no new laws needed to be passed, or a debate in the House.

New Zealand First believes it’s common sense for everyone to be able to enjoy watching our sporting heroes and heroines competing. This is because sport is considered by many as a major part of our Kiwi culture and inspires young people to be the best they can.

It seems the impact and influence our sporting culture has on the public and private sector is greater than some people thought, because now we can all look forward to watching the 2019 Rugby World Cup live and free on TVNZ and Spark.

The big question now is, do we need to pass legislation to ensure we continue to see live and free games of national significance or do we chance it beyond 2019?

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP
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