Auckland Hockey Stakeholder Update – Thursday 1 April
From: Manoj Daji – CEO Auckland Hockey
Hi to all Auckland Hockey stakeholders in what are unprecedented and uncertain times in the world’s history. A lot has happened in the first 7 days of the lockdown in NZ and so the purpose of this communication is to update you all on things hockey related and share and answer some of the questions we have been asked.
Q: Will we definitely be starting Community Hockey on May 2?
A: This is dependent on further lockdown developments out of the NZ Government. We will be working with Hockey New Zealand and the other Hockey Associations to respond to the changing situation. The association chairs and CEOs met today to discuss the matter amongst other things and the May 2 date will be relooked at next week once more information comes from the Government. The key priority for HNZ is the wellbeing and health of our hockey community and to help associations get community hockey up and running at some stage in 2020 depending on and adhering to Government advice.
Q: When we do start again will competition formats etc be in line with previous years?
A: Over the next few weeks AKH will be consulting with Club Secretaries and Presidents via a Questionnaire to get a good gauge on the appetite for different scenarios from their members, which will obviously be dependent on the duration of the postponement period. Eg midweek games as well as weekend games, shorter season, longer season, practice periods, etc. Please have your say via your club.
Q: Is there an early return to practice before May 2 in line with what some other sports have indicated?
A: No. The Associations and HNZ agreed that there is no early return to the turf for practice. From a player’s health and well being perspective there is no significant difference between practicing and playing hockey.
Q: Can clubs and schools organise their own training sessions on external turfs?
A: Absolutely No. As a hockey community it is important, we all acknowledge that the postponement of all hockey is to protect our community against the spread of COVID 19. Team practices during this period put this at risk.
Q: Are bubbles or individuals allowed to come to LEP to use the turf or have meetings?
A: Sorry No. LEP is an Auckland Council owned facility (leased by AKH ) and is in full lock down. There is no public access.
Q: Will there be changes to team affiliation fees due to COVID 19?
A: At this point in time we have postponed competitions only. This will be reviewed at the appropriate time when and if revised competition changes are known.
Q: Will the Black Sticks play in further FIH Pro-League matches in 2020?
A: this is highly unlikely now since their next matches were scheduled in Europe and Asia.
Q: Will HNZ cancel Representative Hockey for 2020 like Australia has done?
A: HNZ met with the Association Chairs and CEOs today and collaboratively decided to cancel all 2020 Representative Hockey tournaments. A decision on Secondary School tournaments going ahead or not is expected from the NZSSSC in the week of April 6. Masters Nationals scheduled for the early part of 2021 is still on and a venue and dates will be advised soon by HNZ.
Q: Will Auckland Hockey be making staff cuts due to COVID 19?
A: Like many businesses and sports organisations in NZ, The AKH Board received the wage subsidy and is working through a process with all full time and regular part time employees over the next few weeks.
Q: Can our club apply for the Government’s wage subsidy?
A: Yes if your club is an incorporated society and has part time or full time employees. Any club contractors must apply independently.
Q: Will my club still receive support via Gaming funding?
A: This is a very challenging time for the Gaming sector obviously with cafes, bars and restaurants shut during the lockdown. We can report the following after our meetings with Sport NZ, HNZ and AKTIVE over the last week to understand the impact of the lockdown on the gaming funding sector:
- Gaming industry funders need to distribute gaming proceeds within 3 months of receipt. What this means is there are no (or very little) reserves and with the hospitality industry shutdown there is no income until bars/hotels are reopened. As such Class 4 Gaming Societies (such as NZCT, Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Grassroots Trust, Southern Trust, Four Winds Foundation) have put a hold on current funding rounds until they are able to reassess at the end of April. Funders are also asking that any grants for events etc that can no longer take place be refunded.
I encourage you to speak with our GM James or the funder directly if you are unsure whether you will be able to spend any grants you may have already received.
With so much uncertainty we do not expect funders will be able to make a definitive statement about when normality can return until the virus is under control.
Sport NZ are meeting daily with the Minister of Sport, and are stocktaking the sport sector to pitch for the Budget in May for a Sports Recovery package to help address the $150m of funding annually for the sports sector received through gaming proceeds.
Q: Has Auckland Council indicated their position?
A: The Council has convened a new emergency measure with a single body Committee assuming all powers and functions of all committees across Council excl Audit & Risk. All decisions on funding for the time being will go through this single body committee.
The Local Boards of clubs are continuing to meet online and continuing with work programmes. Auckland Council has refined their services into essential services.
We trust many of your hockey related questions have been answered in this update and encourage you to have your say as a club member when we circulate our questionnaire next week via our Club Council Meeting.
Stay Safe and Take Care of each other,