MMA gym fined for breaching New Zealand vaccine mandates

An MMA gym in Auckland was handed a five-figure fine for violating New Zealand’s stringent vaccine mandates. Oliver MMA—a combat sports gym operated by Steve and Krissy Oliver, was found in violation of recently imposed mandates that require businesses, including gym…

By: Karim Zidan | 2 years
MMA gym fined for breaching New Zealand vaccine mandates
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

An MMA gym in Auckland was handed a five-figure fine for violating New Zealand’s stringent vaccine mandates.

Oliver MMA—a combat sports gym operated by Steve and Krissy Oliver, was found in violation of recently imposed mandates that require businesses, including gyms, to ensure that all attendees and staff have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The new measures were implemented by WorkSafe, New Zealand’s workplace and safety regulator. The group fined Oliver MMA $12,000 NZD (approx. $8,000 USD) for knowingly violating the mandates and endangering attendees.

“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.”

Despite the hefty fine, Steve Oliver told the NZ Herald that his team were determined to stay open in order to serve unvaccinated attendees experiencing “extreme mental health distress.”

“We care about them and have put in extra measures to ensure that we are helping them to get the right support and [being] there for them…we’re doing our best to keep everyone happy here and safe.”

Humphries later confirmed that Oliver MMA was the first Covid-related financial penalty handed out by WorkSafe since implementing the new framework.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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