27 Apr 2017

Record income but NZ Rugby still posts financial loss

5:15 pm on 27 April 2017

New Zealand Rugby's income has grown to a record level, topping $160 million but the organisation has still posted a $6m loss.

Despite the loss, New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew told the organisation's annual general meeting in Wellington today that it was in solid financial health.

He said the $6m loss was $3m better than budgeted, and had come about through deliberately using the income due from this year's British and Irish Lions tour early.

06092016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Gordon Tietjens steps down as All Blacks Sevens coach.  Pictured: Steve Tew, NZ Rugby Chief Executive.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

New Zealand Rugby's total income for the past year was $161m, up over 20 percent on 2015.

"Rather than spend it all in one year we are ensuring the financial benefits from the Lions Series and other areas of income are invested sustainably over the mid-term to set rugby up for long-term success," Tew said.

"We made this investment in rugby in 2016 because our balance sheet could sustain it due to having no debt and a strong cash position. In addition, our commercial team deserve special recognition for the increase in income which has come through their good work.

"None of our increased investment in rugby would be possible without increasing our income. In 2016, we grew our income by a record 21 percent, and 2017 is forecast to see further increase with a one-in-12-year commercial benefit from the Lions Series."

children playing rugby

More people are playing rugby in New Zealand. Photo: 123RF

Grants to provincial unions increased by more than 50 percent while more people than ever before were playing the game, with over 155,000 registered players last season, a 3 percent increase on 2015.

At today's meeting, Maurice Trapp was elected president of New Zealand Rugby - replacing long time rugby administrator David Rhode, who retired after completing his two-year term.

Trapp has been the chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation and president of Auckland Rugby.

He is a former Auckland coach (1987-91) and long-time administrator in Auckland and Hawke's Bay.

Former All Black Bill Osborne

Former All Black Bill Osborne Photo: Photosport

Former All Black Bill Osborne was elected vice-president.

Osborne played 48 times for the All Blacks between 1975 and 1982, including 16 tests. He also played for New Zealand Māori and was New Zealand Māori Player of the Year in 1977.

He has served on the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and is a former board member of the Sports Foundation, Hillary Commission and SPARC.