I suspect the other ‘Realm’ countries – Niue and Tokelau – would have players who do not fulfil the residential requirements but carry New Zealand passports. And unless they are challenged, then they will get away with competing. The rules are not new. In 2009, a top resident triathlete was prevented from participating in the Mini Games on Rarotonga as he did not possess a New Zealand passport.
My guess is, in this case, the code has decided to take a risk but didn’t get away with it.
The Games should be first and foremost for athletes who reside in the island countries. It is the only way we are going to develop our athletes.
There is also something about the athlete who comes from the homeland, who will take a die-hard attitude into competition. I am personally disappointed that a few codes could have taken a few more locally-based athletes. But I guess at the end of the day, the federations have medals on their minds.
Moana Moeka’a, Ruatonga