Kiwis mulling Games pullout


WELLINGTON, September 13 – New Zealand will withdraw from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi if security assessments conclude there is a risk to athletes, officials said Monday.New Zealand team chef de mission Dave Currie said he will travel to India on Tuesday to make a final pre-Games assessment before the country’s squad of more than 190 athletes arrive later this month.

Currie said some of the athletes were as young as 14 and their safety was top priority.

"I need to look their parents in the eye and say ‘I believe your child is going to be safe’. If I can’t do that then we can’t go," he told TV3.

New Zealand Olympic Committee president Mike Stanley said his organisation would rely on government advice to decide whether it was safe to travel to Delhi.

"Right now, New Zealand is planning to be in Delhi," he told reporters.

"If things change and the New Zealand government can’t advise us that our athletes are secure in that environment, then we won’t go."

Asked about the deadline for a decision to pull out, Stanley said reviewing security was an ongoing process.

"That could be right up until the start of the Games and it will be monitored through the Games," he said.

"It’s just one of those things we have to be vigilant about and we have to take it on a day-by-day basis."

The government’s latest public advice about the Commonwealth Games, posted in mid-July, does not warn against travelling to Delhi.