Thursday, August 18, 2022

New Zealand MMA Gym Charged After Violating COVID Policies

An MMA gym in New Zealand is in serious trouble after failing to comply with the country’s government-mandated COVID-19 prevention policies.

Oliver MMA, which is located in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn, is alleged to have not kept any written records of individuals entering and exiting the facility. This requirement is a part of the country’s COVID-19 Public Health Response Act, which has helped New Zealand become one of the world’s most successful countries at managing the spread of the virus.

WorkSafe, which is described as “New Zealand’s primary workplace healthy and safety regulator” by the organization’s website, have filed criminal charges against the MMA gym.

The charges refer to the gym failing to keep a record of employees and other individuals, but also alleges they allowed people to work at the gym without knowing their vaccination status and that the gym intentionally failed to comply with the government order.

Oliver MMA’s representatives appeared in court on Monday, July 18 after originally being set to appear at Waitakere District Court earlier this year, and they’ll return to court in September.

Previous Violation

The MMA gym has already run afoul of WorkSafe in the past and subsequently received an infringement notice in December that resulted in a significant fine for allowing unvaccinated staff to work at the facility.

A number of UFC fighters that train at New Zealand-based City Kickboxing have expressed frustration with the country’s strict COVID-19 policy. (Instagram)

The original fine was apparently the first of its kind that WorkSafe handed out, and their head of general inspectorate Simon Humphries outlined the situation to New Zealand news outlet Stuff.

“Egregious breaches like this will be treated seriously,” Humphries said. “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.”

The previous fine the gym paid was for $12,000 (New Zealand Dollars), but the individual charges they now face could end up being up to $15,000 NZD each.

What’s your reaction to an MMA gym in New Zealand facing criminal charges for failing to comply with the government’s COVID-19 prevention measures?

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