6 Jul 2015

Pacific athletes send $US14m home every year

2:54 pm on 6 July 2015

A New Zealand study shows about $US14 million ($NZ21 million) is sent back to the Pacific Islands each year from Pasifika athletes.

New Zealand money.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Massey University researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Aid Division studied the value of remittance money from semi-professional and professional sports people in New Zealand, Australia, France and Japan.

The lead researcher, Rochelle Stewart-Withers, says the figures aren't suprising as there has been a huge increase of Samoan rugby players.

"We actually calculated the growth over the last ten years and there's been a growth in demand of up to 172 percent in terms of demand for the Pacific player."

Ms Stewart-Withers says the next step is a programme to educate families and athletes about the best way to handle remittance money.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs