New Zealand still unsure of participating in CWG


Wellington : The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) Monday said it will wait for its chef-de-mission Dave Currie’s assessment after his 10-day visit to New Delhi before deciding on participation in the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

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The New Zealand Commonwealth Games top management insisted they would not compromise one bit on the security of the athletes. New Zealand have gone in with Canada, Australia, England and Wales in a joint operation to assess security and preparedness for the Games.

“We will come back and (report that) either it will be okay or we don’t think this is viable,” Dave Currie was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald.

The assessment will include whether basic amenities are working, such as showers and toilets, the state of security round the food in the athletes’ village through to issues including transport and health.

The NZOC president Mike Stanley said while the five countries will be monitoring the situation jointly, there won’t be a collective decision taken on whether to continue with the Games or not.

“It is going to be a collective consultation and collaboration in all of this, but we are an independent body and will make our own decision based on that,” said Stanley.

“Naturally if you engage with a group of nations of a high level of expertise and who have got similar sorts of experience with the Games, obviously we’ll take on board their view. But at the end of the day it’s our decision.”

Currie was critical of sports sections within the New Zealand team who have employed independent advisories seeking extra information on top of the NZOC assessments.

“To me there is no logic. Our netball, hockey and rugby teams have chosen to do it, but I don’t know why they’ve done it,” said Currie.

He also held the media responsible for the speculation around the Games. “It’s not helpful when people speculate round the situation, whether it be dengue fever or 1,000 athletes that haven’t arrived. That’s mischievous in my view and there’s no basis for that at all.”

Both Stanley and Currie reiterated that the athletes’ security is top priority.

“There will be a ring of steel round the village like you won’t believe,” Currie said.

Stanley said that “if the New Zealand Government can’t advise that our athletes will be safe, then we won’t go”.

Currie will leave for India Tuesday.