Are Kiwi Groups Coming Home? What do the NZ’s new government rules mean for sport?

Sports in New Zealand have been boosted by the news that outdoor concentration limits will be lifted this weekend.

The government today announced new restrictions on the traffic light system, including the removal of outdoor concentration limits at the current red light from 23.59 on Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would be “welcome news” for industries such as sports and entertainment.

“There is no doubt that this is likely to be welcome news to hear, because we now see from a wealth of evidence that it is safe to be outdoors even now,” Ardern said in a statement today. “And for events like sports facilities, outdoor concerts, I know it will be welcome news.”

However, indoor sporting events will remain without fans for the time being, with indoor concentration limits only rising to 200 at the red light.

Fans will now be able to return to indoor sporting events in orange light.

The government has also announced that vaccine cards will no longer be required from Monday, April 4.

See how the news will affect sports in New Zealand:


Fans will return to Super Rugby Pacific on Saturday, which means that the Highlanders – Blues match at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Chiefs – Crusaders match at FMG Stadium Waikato will have no concentration limits.

However, both games are still in the air as many teams were hit by Covid-19 cases last week.

The Highlands are hoping to put a team on the pitch to face the Blues after being forced to postpone their clash with Moana Pacifica last Friday. The Crusaders are on a similar boat as more than half of their team tested positive for the virus.

Moana Pacifica’s home game at Mount Smart Stadium against the Hurricanes on Friday night loses little of the new rules, which take effect on Friday 23.59.

The return of the fans to the stadiums will be a huge financial support for the Super Rugby teams. The Highlanders boss, Roger Clark was revealed last week that the franchise’s expected losses – prior to the recent announcement by the government – were in line with the other four New Zealand groups between $ 500,000 and $ 2 million.

Rugby League

The Warriors are committed to staying in Australia for the rest of the NRL season, but are now more likely to continue their plans for two scheduled home games at Mount Smart Stadium in July.

The abolition of concentration limits and the opening of borders for vaccinated Australians from 11:59 pm on April 12 will probably be good news for Kiwi fans hoping to take a look at the New Zealand NRL team at home for the first time since in August 2019.

The Warriors have not yet announced an update on their plans since today’s government announcement, but they have responded positively on Twitter.


The New Zealand Women’s Cricket World Cup will also be boosted by the announcement, with the final match of the White Ferns group stage – and probably their last game in the tournament – against Pakistan at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday are no longer subject to concentration limits.

The series of three ODI matches of the Black Hats with the Netherlands starting on March 29 will also host full capacity stadiums, but the individual T20 clash on Friday will remain limited.


The Wellington Phoenix could now play in New Zealand as early as next month.

Phoenix CEO David Dome revealed to the Herald earlier this month that they are confident they will be racing in New Zealand in April and May, including a race in Auckland, if by then the concentration limits have been lifted.

The club is partnering with the Australian Professional Championships for a revised draw. There are three chances for the New Zealand games, with home games scheduled for the Central Coast Mariners (April 17) and Western Sydney Wanderers (April 25) and a catch-up match against Melbourne City.


The ANZ Premiership is the unfortunate league that did not receive an immediate boost from the government’s latest announcement, with indoor games.

Fans will only be able to return when the country switches to the orange light setting.

Are Kiwi Groups Coming Home? What do the NZ’s new government rules mean for sport?

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