Inaugural Women’s British and Irish Lions Tour off to roaring start thanks to government support

Published: 17 January 2024

The inaugural Women’s British and Irish Lions Tour will receive $3.9 million from the government’s Major Events Fund to support matches played across New Zealand in September 2027, offering significant economic, social and cultural benefits to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Major Events Manager, Kylie Hawker-Green says it’s excellent to have another women’s sporting event added to our major events calendar following the success of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup and the rugby and cricket world cups in 2022.

“We know how much Kiwis love to get behind a good sporting event, and I am sure the Women’s British and Irish Lions Tour will be no different” says Kylie.

“Major events like this also bring a wide range of economic and social benefits to our country through things like international visitation, increased spend in the regions, and by creating new role models for young New Zealanders. These are all outcomes the Major Events Fund is designed to achieve.”

Aotearoa New Zealand has a rich history with the British and Irish Lions having hosted the first ever men’s British and Irish Lion’s Tour in 1888.

The inaugural women’s tour will be a landmark moment in history and affirms that Aotearoa New Zealand is a highly capable and exceptional host nation for international events across sport, arts and culture. The bid by New Zealand Rugby and supported by government beat competitive interest by France and the United States for the hosting rights.

The British and Irish Lions have a legendary legion of fans who are anticipated to follow the first ever women’s team to New Zealand for this historic tour.

More information about the Major Events Fund can be found here:

Major events website(external link)

MBIE media contact