New Zealanders could be packing grandstands at sporting events as soon as next weekend should COVID-19 restrictions lift, building hopes for a golden run of trans-Tasman sport.
A 12th straight day without a new case of coronavirus has prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to unveil plans to step down to baseline, or 'level one', restrictions.
A decision will come at next Monday's cabinet meeting, with all expectations that social distancing and gathering caps will be removed.
"Our churches will be able to return to full service. Our sports and concert stadiums can be sold out. And we can celebrate and we can mourn with one another in groups of any size," she said.
The decision will come in time for round one for New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, beginning June 13 in Dunedin, and the resumption of Netball's ANZ Premiership the following weekend.
Sport Minister Grant Robertson said it wouldn't just be Kiwi fans relishing that prospect.
"It will be a boon for the people who run our stadia and for the businesses," he said.
"If we are able to move into level one next week, we've got the prospect of things like Super Rugby games being able to be played in front of full stadiums which will be just terrific."
The next step, dependent on the establishment of a trans-Tasman travel bubble, would be more Australia v New Zealand matches across a string of codes.
Cricket's governing bodies are well advanced with fixture plans for both men and women.
Football Federation Australia has flagged internationals between the high-flying Matildas and Silver Ferns, and fellow Olympic qualifiers the Olyroos and All Whites.
And given the postponement of a winter tour by Wales and Scotland, the next international rugby fixture likely to be played is a Bledisloe Cup match in Wellington.
"There is the possibility, that if we can get the trans-Tasman bubble going for a huge amount of trans-Tasman sport," Mr Robertson, a keen rugby player, said.
"Already we've got both the women and men's cricket teams organised.
"I'm quite sure we'd all like another Bledisloe Cup series too, so the All Blacks can confirm their dominance over the Wallabies."
Mr Robertson said his door was open should sporting organisations look to start those conversations.
"Part of our package that we've developed in the sport recovery package is about supporting elite sport and professional sport to operate and working with the national sporting organisations," he said.
"I'm sure as part of those conversations the potential for trans-Tasman sport will be part of it."
Ms Ardern has previously flagged September as a realistic prospect for the creation of a trans-Tasman travel bubble, though tourism and business bodies are pushing for this to be created sooner.
Both Ms Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison have pledged to resume travel only when it is safe to do so.
New Zealand has just one active case of COVID-19. Australia, as of Tuesday, has 494.