Oliver MMA, a combat sports gym located in Auckland, NZ, has been fined $12,000 NZD ($8,000 USD) for defying the country’s COVID-19 mandate.
New Zealand’s workplace and safety agency, WorkSafe, found the gym in violation of a mandate that requires all gyms and businesses to ensure fully vaccinated staff and patrons against COVID-19.
During a recent interview with the New Zealand Herald, WorkSafe issued a statement on the penalty to Oliver MMA.
“Egregious breaches like this will be treated seriously,” said Simon Humphries, Head of Specialist Interventions at WorkSafe. “This business has continued to operate in breach of the rules. That’s not fair to the high number of businesses and organizations who have changed how they operate to keep people safe.” (h/t Bloody Elbow)
The Gym Owners Are Determined To Keep Oliver MMA Open
The gym’s ownership, consisting of Steve and Krissy Oliver, told the publication that they intend to remain open for the foreseeable future after hundreds of New Zealanders had been turned away elsewhere. Steve expressed his empathy for the community.
“We care about them and have put in extra measures to ensure that we are helping them to get the right support and to be there for them,” the owner said.
It is unclear if the gym will receive more severe penalties in the future for its intentions to defy the COVID-19 mandate. The gym is home to a couple of amateur fighters and is mostly utilized as a training gym, hosting classes daily.
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