Several codes operating on reduced hours

As NZ Rugby cuts a swathe through its organisation, Otago sporting groups are also making cutbacks to meet the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Radio New Zealand reported yesterday NZ Rugby had told its 180-strong full-time staff that 50% would lose their jobs and others would have to reapply for roles.

The governing body last week announced a loss of more than $7million for the previous financial year and forecast a potential plunge in revenue of well over $100million this year because of the pandemic.

It has forced chief executive Mark Robinson to make wholesale staff cuts, although he would not confirm RNZ's figures.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley confirmed the union’s staff were working four-day weeks for the foreseeable future. A deal for provincial players’ remuneration was still being worked through by NZR and the NZ Rugby Players’ Association.

Netball South chief executive Lana Winders said staff had reduced hours by 20%, similar to the ORFU.

The Otago Hockey Association and the Otago Cricket Association had also moved to four days a week and using annual leave to make up the difference if it was available.

Football South had staff on four-day weeks and 80% pay. It had intended to move to three-day weeks and 60% pay next week but that would be reviewed following announcements due next week.

The Highlanders did not return calls.

Regional sports organisations are able to apply for a grant up to $40,000 under a new scheme announced this week by Sport NZ.

Applications for this cash through both Sport Otago and Sport Southland should open on Monday.

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