The New Zealand Open golf championship has been cancelled for the second year running, due to ongoing travel restrictions to protect the country from the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Zealand's borders have been shut to foreigners since March 2020. The government pushed back plans for a phased reopening from mid-January to the end of February out of concern about a potential Omicron outbreak, as in neighbouring Australia.

"We have done everything within our power to make this event happen," tournament chairman John Hart said on the event's website.

"However, with the current government restrictions in place, running an event that includes 250 players, 250 caddies, 500 volunteers, nearly 100 tournament staff and officials, plus numerous contractors, as well (as) spectators, is just not possible."

The organisers had announced in December that the championship, part of the PGA Tour Australasia, would go ahead.

It had been scheduled to take place from 31 March to 3 April at the Millbrook Resort near Queenstown on the country's South Island. The three leading players would have won direct entry into the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.

As of Sunday, New Zealand, had reported 15,910 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 52 deaths since the pandemic first struck.