This graph shows the dramatic increase in funding for sports from central government during the 2000s. In the 1990s the Hillary Commission received good support for community sport from the Lottery Grants Board, and since 1997 that support has remained fairly static. As the Sydney Olympics of 2000 approached, the Crown began to give financial assistance for high-performing athletes. During the 2000s, and particularly following the creation of Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) in 2003, two activist ministers of sport – Trevor Mallard and Murray McCully – realised the advantage to New Zealand's reputation from having successful international sportspeople. So, Crown funding rose fast and three quarters of that funding was directed towards high-performance sport. SPARC was replaced by Sport New Zealand in 2012.
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