28 Feb 2009

NZ Rugby Union cuts costs, freezes wages

8:38 am on 28 February 2009

The New Zealand Rugby Union is slashing a further $2.6 million from its budget, blaming lower interest rates and a drop in match revenues and sponsorship money.

The projected savings include a wage freeze for all NZRU staff, fewer video referees in the Air New Zealand Cup and a cut in spending on the All Blacks' programme.

The union's chief executive Steve Tew says the drop in income could be up to $5 million.

However, he says compared with many other organisations the union is in pretty good shape with cash reserves of more than $50 million.

Mr Tew says the NZRU board has agreed that funding for community and provincial rugby should not be cut.

He says the board is conscious of the financial strain being felt by many provincial unions and thought it was important to maintain funding levels for community rugby.