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Sector Update - 26 January 2023

26 January 2023

Kia ora koutou,  

Welcome back to the new year, I hope everyone had a nice break over summer and managed to spend time with friends and whānau. I had a very relaxing time with friends and whānau and whilst I managed to read eight books, not all of them were on the beanbag under the pohutukawa, as Cyclone Hale had its say. 

It's been great to see people across the country being active in ways that work for them, whether it's playing at the beach, making the most of our green spaces outdoors or engaging in the various summer sport that's underway. It was great to see the community spirit and inspiring performances at the Waka Ama Sprint Nationals last week at Lake Karāpiro. For those who were there, or watching it on TV, you could feel the fun and excitement from team and volunteers alike, well done to everyone who delivered a great event!  

This year is shaping up to be another big one as we move into the last year of our 2020–2024 strategy. We've delivered some great outcomes so far across play, active recreation and sport and there's plenty of exciting initiatives getting underway in the regions through many of your organisations. We're also preparing for the world's best footballers to come to our shores in June for the FIFA Women's World Cup, which will be another opportunity for us all to showcase our sector and create a lasting legacy off the back of what will be an amazing event.  

Finally, just an acknowledgement from me that I know there have been some significant changes in leadership across the sector. To those who have moved on to new challenges, thank you for your leadership in your respective organisations.  To our new leaders in the sector, a warm welcome. I'm really excited to work closely with you all to continue making a positive difference through a more physically active Aotearoa.  

Ngā mihi, 
Raelene Castle 

Share your feedback:  System Funding Assessment and Exploration project

As mentioned in the December 2022 sector update, we have a kaupapa underway looking 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 the sector. The recommendations from this kaupapa 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 with and on behalf of the system in the future.  
We are now seeking input from our communities across the system, including National Sports Organisations, Regional Sports Organisations and local clubs and active recreation organisations about their funding arrangements via a survey.  

The more information we have, the better we can do our job and advocate with and on behalf of the sector, so your feedback is really valuable. We would also appreciate it if you circulated the survey within your networks to encourage your local clubs and organisations to complete it. It will only take about 10-15 minutes to complete. 
The closing date for the survey has now been extended to Friday, 10 February 2023.  
More information about this kaupapa is on our website. If you have questions or would like to be more closely involved, then please email us at:


Star power in boardroom 

Bill Moran, Chair of both the HPSNZ and Sport NZ Boards, featured in the most recent edition of Boardroom, the quarterly magazine from the Institute of Directors. The summer issue has an article titled “Star power in boardroom” and the first part of the story is centred around the former high-performance athletes on both the Sport NZ and HPSNZ boards. Bill was interviewed and tells an excellent story about our board members, what they bring to the table, and why it is important to have their perspective and expertise on our boards. 

Have a read of the article.


Mountain biking helping to transform lives for rangatahi

A Wellington-based mountain bike programme is giving secondary school students a taste of life on two-wheels and the benefits stem far beyond the bike. Dirtskool is run out of a storage shed full of mountain bikes, conveniently perched on the edge of Wainuiomata Mountain Bike Park. 
Their focus is on introducing mountain biking to rangatahi who may not otherwise get the chance to give it a go, with 42 percent of this year’s group saying the sport would have either been out of their reach or not on their radar.  

The programme initially began with weekly lessons for Wainuiomata High School students, however, with the help of Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa funding via Nuku Ora, Dirtskool has since bought a new fleet of mountain bikes and expanded the programme into other schools throughout the Wellington region.  

Read more about the difference Dirtskool is making to rangatahi in the region.

Person riding a mountain bike through a forest

Board checks out progress in Canterbury during visit 

In December 2022, the joint HPSNZ and Sport NZ Board meeting was held in Christchurch.  Sport Canterbury kindly provided an update and tour of the construction site at Parakiore Recreation and Sports Centre and a walk round the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub

Group of people standing in a row in high vis gear

Webinar: The future of Integrity in Sport and Recreation – developing a national code of integrity 

Work is getting underway to develop a national code of integrity for the sport and recreation sector, and the Integrity Transition Programme would like to tell you more about it, and about their wider work to strengthen the overall integrity system.  

“The Code will be a cornerstone for the way integrity issues are addressed in the future. It’s something that can benefit all participants – athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, organisations – and we want the whole sector to be involved in its development,” says Programme Director Rebecca Rolls. 

Please join our webinar and learn more about how you can contribute to the Code and wider kaupapa to strengthen integrity. 

Time and date: 7.00pm, Wednesday, 8 March 2023 REGISTER HERE:  
The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing on the Integrity Transition Programme website.  

The Programme team will also hold a series of engagement hui with key parts of the sector throughout February and early-March 2023. Invitations to these hui will be sent separately. 

If you’d like to get in touch with the Programme team, please email us at or learn more about our work at    


Webinar: Kia Hīanga – Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa 2022–2025 bicultural vision for play in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Kia Hīanga sets out Sport NZ's bicultural vision for play in Aotearoa New Zealand, with the focus over 2022-2025 on play for tamariki 5–12 years of age in a bicultural context. It includes a series of actions that Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa has committed to, to improve the quality of experiences, opportunities and support for play and further develop the Aotearoa Play System. 

Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa believes a strong bicultural foundation is critical to Aotearoa New Zealand's national identity and wellbeing, therefore Kia Hīanga uses Māui Hīanga as the foundational framework to give shape, reason and rationale to the commitments and actions. 

Kia Hīanga links strongly to Te Aho a Ihi Aotearoa, Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Māori Activation Plan. Through this connection, we join the journey to continue the restoration, revitalisation, and reclamation of Tākaro, by, through and with tangata whenua at all levels and through distinctive cultural pathways. 

Everyone is welcome to attend this webinar to find out more about Kia Hīanga, Maui Hīanga, Sport NZ’s commitments and actions and where to next.  

Time and date: 10.00-10.45am, Tuesday, 31 January 2023 Facilitators: From Sport NZ, Nikki Penetito-Hemara, He Mātanga Māori – Play Systems; Neavin Broughton, He Mātanga Māori; and Ellie Davidson, Regional Play System Consultant. 

Mā te hīanga, ka tipu te tamaiti 
By being mischievous, the child will grow 
(Moana-Lee Raihania, 2022) 

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