Sport | Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games host bid presents 'best opportunity' to showcase Aotearoa - chairperson

The first woman and first Māori to be elected chair of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Diana Puketapu (Ngāti Porou), says there are huge benefits to having the Commonwealth Games in Aotearoa

New Zealand is in consideration to host the 2034 Commonwealth Games.

The Games have been held twice in Auckland in 1950 and 1990 and in Christchurch in 1974.

If Aotearoa wins the bid, it will be the first time that the entire country can play host due to the Games’ growth in years.

“Things have changed since [1990] in terms of the Commonwealth Games, in that we can hold a Commonwealth Games across the whole motu rather than a specific city. So that gives us an opportunity to showcase our beautiful country. But it also gives us an opportunity to involve more New Zealanders to participate.”

If it were to go through, it would give ample time to discuss with Māori on how to weave te ao Māori into the games, to make the 2034 Games the most unique one yet.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase our tikanga Māori, te ao Māori, and maybe do that in a way that hasn’t been done before either by New Zealand or any other Commonwealth countries.”

Bids for countries to host take seven years before the year they want to host, with 2027 the year for New Zealand to put its hand up.

“There’s a lot of water under the bridge between now and then, in terms of looking at the feasibility of it, whether it’s economically feasible for the country, how we might go about that.

“We’ve got support from government and cross-government, and having that support is obviously paramount to getting any bid off the ground. Now we enter a phase looking at the feasibility of holding a Commonwealth Games in a way that we want to hold it and whether that’s possible.”

Public Interest Journalism