The ICC has rejected the government's pleas over Zimbabwe - but in the same breath, made it clear that it recognises the right of governments to impose sporting sanctions:
"It is also recognised that governments will, from time to time, elect to use sporting sanctions as a tool in their foreign policy programmes.
"Our members accept and respect that where this clear directive is given by a national government, the obligations of the future tours programme will not apply"
The ball is now clearly in the government's court. The ICC has given them an out - imposing sanctions - and it is up to them to use it. And to their credit, the government is least looking at it, with Goff querying the ICC on exactly how clear a directive must be to satisfy them. If a simple resolution from Parliament saying "don't go" is enough, then the Black Caps are off the hook.
I have some concerns that Sneddon might not want to be off the hook - or rather, that financial concerns would press him to continue the tour even if given an out - but the government can easily step in here. The government may not want to pay Mugabe, but I don't think there'd be any bariers to compensating NZC for lost income if the tour doesn't go ahead.