Govt may pay for RWC cruise ship accommodation

Updated at 9:16 am on 4 March 2011

The Government says it may put money into ensuring that Rugby World Cup games scheduled for Christchurch in September go ahead.

It says, however, that its decision depends on the outcome of assessments of the city's AMI stadium.

Prime Minister John Key says the Government has made enquiries about bringing in cruise ships to accommodate rugby fans and may be prepared to cover that cost.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says costs may arise from having to bring in cruise ships two months before the start of the cruise season.

Mr Key says an initial assessment of the stadium suggests the newer parts have not been damaged but there is potential damage to the Hadlee stand and some liquefaction around the building.

He says a far more detailed inspection is needed and a decision on the future of the tournament is still months away.

A Rugby World Cup spokesperson says it is too early to know when an informed judgment can be made about the quake's impact on the tournament.

Christchurch is scheduled to host five pool games and two quarter-finals.

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