The Tasman Mako will begin its Mitre 10 Cup defence in Pukekohe. Photo: File.

What are Nelson’s sports stars paid?


Ever wondered what our region’s top sports stars are paid? Jonty Dine went to four of our top franchises to find out.

Tasman Mako

Tasman Rugby Union commercial marketing manager Les Edwards says the Mako earn based on proven experience and ability.

Players in the Mitre 10 Cup receive a salary range of $21,000 to 50,000.

“Rookies start at the lower end of this scale while Super Rugby players are at the top.”

The Mako will have no less than 16 players in Super Rugby this season.

Tasman United

Tasman United operations manager Matt Campbell says, as the ISPS Handa Premiership is an amateur league, no players get paid to play football.

“Players in the Tasman United squad may receive a weekly training reimbursement as per NZF regulations.”

He says this payment is to cover the actual costs of players to train and play at this level.

Central Stags

New Zealand Cricket Players Association CEO Heath Mills says, under their collective agreement, there are 16 players contracted to each domestic team and they are ranked each year 1-16.

The retainer for number 1 is $54,500 and drops in increments of roughly $2,000 down to number 16 at $27,500.

These contracts are for a 7 ½ month period from September–April. Players also get 10 percent of their retainer value put into a superannuation fund.

They can also earn match fees of $800 for a Ford Trophy match, $1650 for Plunket Shield and $575 for Supersmash matches.

If they play all games, they would get $29,000 in match fees.

Nelson’s Willie Luddick made appearances across all three formats for the Stags in 2019.

Nelson Giants

While Steven Adams is earning $22million a season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Nelson Giants is predominantly made up of amateur players.

Former Nelson Giants general manager Bill Dahlberg says while the top player in the NZNBL may fetch up to $50,000 a season, local players aren’t paid for games and instead have travel and accommodation expenses covered.

He says players are also given gym memberships and access to health services such as physios.

He says the franchise relies largely on gate sales to stay afloat.

Imported players to the Giants can bank between $15 and $30k a season.