Coronavirus Pandemic: New Zealand Sport Returns!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

On 8 June 2020, after 75 days of restrictions including 42 days of strict lockdown, New Zealand has declared that it is free of the Coronavirus and has lifted all social and economic restrictions, except border controls.

New Zealand suffered 1154 cases of the virus and 22 deaths from it.

It is one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-Pandemic normality.

This means that public and private events, including sport, can now take place without any social distancing rules or other restrictions, such as sporting events being held behind closed doors, that are in place in most of the world.

It is reported that the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, did a little dance for joy at the news!

However, Ardern warned that “ …. elimination [of the virus] is not a point in time, but a sustained effort.”

New Zealand will need to revive the economy, which is expected to go into recession, as a result of the Pandemic.

Of the sporting events that can now go ahead are some major rugby union tournaments, featuring the famous ‘All Blacks’ national rugby union team, perhaps the most valuable brand in the sport, reputedly worth some US$ 300 million.

All very exciting news!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’