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Sector Update

10 November 2022

Kia ora koutou, 
I hope you're all well and managed to catch what was an amazing match between the Black Ferns and France over the weekend. For many who regularly engage with sport, it really was one of the best advertisements for the game, packed full of skill, passion and last-minute drama. I'm sure many of you, like me, will be tuning in to see the Black Ferns compete to retain the World Cup on Saturday at 7:30pm against England at a packed-out Eden Park.  Let's all get behind them for what will be a great game and, regardless of the result, the spectacle, performances and affordable ticket prices have created a new group of fans, who now have a new group of sporting heroes.  

Talking about coming together, I enjoyed seeing many of you earlier this month at Connections Conference which was held at the new Te Pae Convention Centre in Christchurch. There were a range of thought-provoking speakers over the two days who shared some fascinating insights, challenged some of our thinking and told some inspiring stories, challenging us to think about how we could create a brighter future for sport and recreation together. We will share a summary of the keynote speakers at Connections with everyone over the coming weeks, for now, here's an article which frames up the theme of the event.  

Also, a huge congratulations to the winners from the New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards, there was some inspiring mahi on display from across the motu that left me feeling immensely proud of what's happening across the sector. You can see a summary of the winners on the night here

With the end of the year fast approaching now I just wanted to thank you for all you continue to do. I'm sure most of you, like me, will be looking forward to some time off over the festive break to recharge ahead of what will be another busy year! 

Ngā mihi, 
Raelene Castle 

The final stage is set for IWG 2022

A high-powered line up of inspiring insightful speakers have been confirmed for the biggest sports conference ever to be staged in Aotearoa. Registrations for the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport, which will be held in Tāmaki Makaurau next week, have surged past 1,200. In-person registrations have now closed but virtual passes will be available right through until the end of the event. The event is also set to create an enduring environmental legacy through a unique partnership that will see native trees planted to neutralise the air travel emissions of the conference’s international participants. Register or view the programme.

System Funding Assessment and Exploration 

We are beginning a kaupapa to look at how the play, active recreation and sport system is funded. The purpose is to develop a clear policy position and rationale on any changes that may be needed to ensure a sustainable funding system for play, active recreation and sport in the future. The recommendations from this can then be used to inform decision-making by Sport NZ and other organisations that fund the system, and support Sport NZ in our role to advocate on behalf of the system in the future. 

The first phase is to build on the information we already have about how the current play, active recreation and sport system is funded so we have an in-depth understanding of the current funding model and any issues it creates. This kaupapa will consider all funding sources into the system (e.g. funding from Sport NZ, other government agencies, local government, community trusts, Class 4 gaming, participants, sponsorship etc). The second phase will involve considering alternatives to the current funding system. 

As part of the first phase, we will be seeking input from our communities across the system, about their funding arrangements. This will specifically include details of any alcohol sponsorship funding received to help us develop an updated estimate. Kōrero will be sought via a survey coming out later this month and we’d appreciate your help in ensuring your communities and local clubs share their input.  

We will provide updates via future sector updates and our website and there will be opportunities for you to be more directly involved in the New Year. If you have questions or would like to signal your interest in working with us on this kaupapa, then please email us at  

New integrity entity confirmed by Cabinet 

In October, Cabinet confirmed its intention to establish a new integrity entity and agreed a working title for the new organisation of ‘Integrity Sport and Recreation NZ’ (ISRNZ).  

ISRNZ’s high level purpose has also been confirmed as promoting and protecting the safety of participants in sport and active recreation. ISRNZ will do this by preventing and addressing threats to integrity in sport and active recreation, and promoting participants’ trust and confidence in integrity within the sector. You can read more about the high-level purpose and principles of ISRNZ in the October Cabinet paper, which will soon be available on both the Sport NZ website and the Integrity Transition Programme website.     

The Integrity Programme Team is working towards having legislation introduced in 2023 (subject to Government timelines for the introduction of legislation) to establish ISRNZ to then become operational in 2024.  The team is undertaking targeted consultation on the eventual legal name (which may change from ISRNZ as a result) so that it can be confirmed ahead of legislation being introduced.    

The Sport NZ Integrity Team will continue to provide support and guidance on integrity related themes – with a range of tools and resources available here – until ISRNZ is established.  
You can learn more about the work of the Programme at, or contact the Programme directly at


WHO report on physical activity 

Many of you may have seen the One News story on Tuesday night speaking to a report from the WHO outlining physical activity statistics in New Zealand. There seems to be an anomaly with the young people's inactivity statistics that were quoted which don't correlate with our own Active NZ research. We are currently looking into this and will clarify further in a future edition of Sector Update. 

Research partnership supporting inclusive coaching practice and disability coach education 

We are proud of our collaboration with the University of Waikato on a new three-year research project focused on supporting inclusive coaching practices and developing disability coach education resources.  

Coaches play a crucial role in supporting and enabling disabled tamariki and rangatahi in the sport and recreation sector. This project aims to develop training and educational resources and programmes for coaches to build system-wide capability that supports improved outcomes for disabled young people and a more inclusive sport and recreation environment.  

Kicking off this month, the project will centralise the voices and lived experiences of disabled people and coaches to understand where more support is needed. For more information about the project, please contact Dr Robert Townsend, Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Pedagogy at the University of Waikato at:

A girl in a wheelchair throwing a red ball in a goal


Play trailer teaching valuable lessons  

With this week being Play Week Aotearoa, we thought we'd share one of the many amazing play stories we've seen across the motu. 

Thanks to Tū Manawa funding through Sport Northland, Parafed Northland was able to buy a play trailer, which is helping to remove barriers to participation and giving everyone play opportunities.  The idea behind the application was in response to communities wanting to ensure everyone, and the variety of different needs that might encompass, has the opportunity to be involved in and enjoy play in schools and communities.  

The play trailer features a whole range of play equipment that allows tamariki and whānau to explore and have fun with no set rules – and has provided many opportunities to highlight play being for all, regardless of ability. 

Find out more about the impact the play trailer is having in Northland, and see other play stories from around Aotearoa at

Two tamariki playing with a frisbee goal


Webinar: How the SRCMS can benefit you or your organisation 

With the summer season getting underway it is timely to remember the Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service (SRCMS) - a safe and independent way for anyone engaged in sport and active recreation to lodge a complaint, issue or dispute and have it resolved in a timely manner. 

Join a webinar this month where we hear from the SRCMS team who will talk about the service and who can access it – as well as how it can support you or your organisation with concerns, complaints and disputes.  

Guest speaker, Henry Moore, the SRCMS Team Leader, will sit down with Sport NZ’s Josh Margetts for an informative session.  

This event is free to anyone engaged with the sector, and we encourage you to share details with your network.  

When: Wednesday 30 November 2022, 7.00-7:45pm (NZST).    

Register here


Facilities Planning Tool  

The Sport NZ Spaces & Places team is celebrating the fact there are now over 10,000 sport and recreation facilities stored in the Sport NZ Facilities Planning Tool! Launched in 2019, this captures play, active recreation and sport facilities for every region in New Zealand.  

Sport NZ promotes and encourages an evidence-based approach to the planning of spaces, places and facilities. The Facilities Planning Tool helps with this, as well as saving organisations a lot of time and money when collecting facility data for future planning work. 

We encourage all partners to use the Facilities Planning Tool and to review the data regularly.  


Quarterly Disruptor Update 

Sport NZ monitors the 31 disruptors most likely to impact sport and recreation within a two to five-year timeframe. You can view the details on each of the disruptors on the futures webpage

60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards   

The Halberg Foundation has announced the 60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards will take place on Wednesday 15 February 2023 at Spark Arena in Auckland. Nominations for sporting achievements from 1 December 2021 - 30 November 2022 can now be submitted and will close on 1 December 2022. Tickets are also available for the event at a special sector rate. For more information, please contact

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

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