New Zealand lawmakers have backed a bill making match-fixing a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison, ahead of major sporting events.
According to Sports Minister Murray McCully, "Match-fixing is the number one threat to the integrity, value and growth of sport. As we have seen from recent events, New Zealand is not immune to this threat. That's why the government is taking action on this matter."
While match-fixing was already covered under existing offences, the bill would put it "beyond doubt" that it was covered under the Crimes Act, Justice Minister Judith Collins said.
The bill has now passed its first reading in parliament and could become law by the end of the year.