A new Collective Employment Agreement has allowed the New Zealand Rugby Union to forge ahead with restructuring of the National Provincial Championship.
The new agreement is still to be ratified by the various parties, and the NZRU says that should be achieved in the first quarter of 2010.
The 14-team Air New Zealand Cup will continue next year, but in 2011 it wil be split in half with a seven-team first division and seven-team second division based on their positions from next year's championship.
The new collective agreement will see a reduction of the salary for provincial unions from $2.2 million to $1.35 million, or 36 percent of a province's commercial revenue based on previous years.
The most a province can pay a player will be $60,000 with the exception of two marquee players who will be capped at $90,000.