An update from Bowls New Zealand – 25/03/2020

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An update from Bowls New Zealand – 25/03/2020

The country is about to enter Alert Level 4, with our communities effectively on lockdown.

Over the past few days, Bowls NZ has been getting a few questions from our bowls community that we thought we would answer in this website update.

Q:        Can I play bowls at the local club, during this four week lockdown period?

A:         Short answer is No. The government is comfortable with you taking a walk and exercising, as long as you remain in your bubble and stay isolated from others. Visiting the bowls club, by yourself, may sound reasonable, but the reality is that when you are at the club you may come into contact with equipment and (assuming others take the same approach) with other bowlers.

So, enjoy the break people – work on the mental side of your game by freshening up for your triumphant return in May 2020.

Q:        I am a greenkeeper, can I access my greens during the four week lockdown period, to do some basic maintenance?

A:         Again, the answer is No. The maintenance of greens is currently considered a non-essential service and therefore no accessing of the greens during the next four weeks is permitted.

Bowls NZ is working with Sport NZ, on an approach to the government and Ministry of Health, to have facility maintenance confirmed as an essential service. I do not expect this to be confirmed for a few days (there are other government priorities right now), so for now assume the greens are out of bounds for four weeks.

Q:         We have a club (or centre) AGM scheduled for April, May, June 2020 – does the AGM still go ahead if we remain under Covid-19 protections.

A:         We are seeking the advice of government agencies on the matter of AGM’s. You will have certain obligations, according to your constitutions, to hold meetings, present financials and elect officers.

Some of these things can be done by way of video or phone conference calls – if you need a hand setting these up, then contact one of the Bowls NZ team. However, until we get an official government view on postponing AGM’s, then our recommendation is that you apply common sense to your AGM circumstance; i.e. if your membership is in agreement, then consider deferring the entire AGM or non-essential AGM matters to a later date.

Q:        Our club or centre employs staff (including a greenkeeper), can we apply to the government wage-subsidy scheme?

A:         The answer is Yes, provided you meet the conditions established by the government. They being:

  • your business must be registered and operating in New Zealand
  • your employees must be legally working in New Zealand
  • the business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared with the same month last year, and that decline must be related to Covid-19
  • your business must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of Covid-19
  • you must make your best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period.

The Covid-19 wage subsidy will be paid at a flat rate of:

  • $585.80 for people working 20 hours or more per week
  • $350.00 for people working less than 20 hours per week.

The subsidy will be paid as a lump sum and covers 12 weeks per employee.

For more details, visit the following link


Over the next few weeks, a number within our bowls community will be feeling especially alone and isolated – so please pick up the phone, drop them an email or share your thoughts over Facebook. I heard of one club yesterday that said they were planning on ringing all their members (past and present) to simply say hello – fantastic!

Stay safe and stay connected everyone.

Kia Kaha New Zealand

Mark Cameron

CEO, Bowls New Zealand


+64 21 270 8060


Healthline: Free health advice and information, anytime – 0800 611 116

Need to talk? To connect with a professional counsellor free call or text 1737

Click here to download a PDF copy of this statement.