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Sector Update

28 March 2024

28 March 2024

Kia ora koutou, 

I hope you’ve all had a great March. As we chase the final weeks of daylight saving, the seasons are changing before our eyes, and winter sport is now on the horizon. For those involved with School Summer Tournament Week last week, I hope you had a fantastic time creating and sharing quality experiences with our rangatahi. 

While summer activities are still fresh in the memory, I want to give a shout out to everyone who took the plunge at the Z Manu World Champs (about time New Zealand had its own self-appointed World Champs), which concluded earlier this month with the Grand Final. What a great event that was, not only in terms of the huge range of manu techniques we saw, but also its ability to bring communities of all types together, through a bit of classic Kiwi summer fun. 

It's now 120 days until the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, and Aotearoa was again treated to some stunning performances on the world stage from our athletes over the last month. A huge focus this month was on the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow, where Kiwis took centre stage. Geordie Beamish’s incredible effort to snatch the 1500 metre win will live long in the memory. Kudos also to Hamish Kerr on his gold; Tom Walsh and Eliza McCartney for claiming silver; and Zoe Hobbs for smashing her PB. 

It really is starting to feel like the home stretch for those seeking the last few qualifying places at the Games, and we wish all the best to everyone working hard for a spot in Paris, whatever valuable role you play. Remember, it takes a village for any athlete or team to be successful. 

Closer to home, just a reminder from me that entries for the 2024 NZ Sport and Recreation Awards are open until Monday 22 April. This is your chance to nominate individuals or organisations doing great mahi to enrich community wellbeing through sport and physical activity, and I know there is plenty of it out there! If you know of someone who deserves to be recognised, jump on the Awards Portal and let us know. 

I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Easter break. Thank you once again for all that you do. 

Ngā mihi,  


Read about the latest news across Aotearoa

Rural Travel Fund: 2023 snapshot 

Each year Sport NZ produces a ‘snapshot’ of the participation that has been funded by the Rural Travel Fund. The fund is designed to help subsidise travel for rural junior teams aged between 5-19 years, removing the barrier of travel cost so they can compete in regular sporting competition. 

The fund is administered on behalf of Sport NZ by 35 eligible territorial authorities across Aotearoa, and has been in existence since 2003. 

Check out the infographic for a snapshot of how this funding was distributed in 2022 and 2023. 

Research reveals how sports clubs manage integrity issues 

AUT’s national survey of sports clubs has produced valuable insights into how threats to integrity are perceived and dealt with in New Zealand’s sporting communities. 

With the assistance of the Sport and Recreation Integrity Transition Programme, AUT’s 2023 National Sport Club Survey included questions about integrity for the first time. 

The aim of the survey was to identify club committees’ perceptions of threats to integrity in community sport and gain an understanding of the level of preparedness to manage integrity issues and complaints at club level. 

The survey generated responses from over 800 clubs nationwide. You can read the results here.

Update: Sport NZ Sport Development Manager, Alex Chiet 

Many in the sector will have heard the news concerning Sport NZ’s Sport Development Manager, Alex Chiet, who has recently been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Alex will be stepping away from his mahi with Sport NZ for the next few months to travel overseas with his whānau to undertake treatment. 

Andy Rogers, who leads our coach development mahi and who is well-known to many of you, will be acting in Alex’s role in the interim, initially up to the end of June. He can be reached at We will continue to provide you with any updates to this arrangement. 

Thank you to those who have sent messages of support to Alex and his whānau – he has greatly appreciated these. Sport NZ will be doing all we can to support Alex and his family throughout. 

Workforce to strengthen tākaro Māori across Aotearoa  

We’re pleased to announce the first cohort of tākaro Māori strategic workforce roles to be funded as part of Sport NZ’s ‘Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori’.    

Previously approved by Te Taumata Māori, an investment of $4.3m over three years aims to increase the physical activity of tamariki and their whānau by playing ‘as Māori’ – through enabling the restoration, reclamation, and revitalisation of tākaro Māori across Aotearoa.  

Tākaro Māori allows tamariki and their whānau to experience joy and fun while allowing them to make sense of their culture, identity, whakapapa, and the world they live in.  

The project will build the capability and capacity of the tākaro Māori sector, including strengthening existing roles and developing additional tākaro Māori workforce. The seven tākaro Māori providers that make up Cohort One will help shape the kaupapa, deliver on their organisation’s tākaro outcomes, and build the expertise of the tākaro sector.   

The Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori sits alongside the Local Play Workforce Project – Councils, where investment is creating 18 Local Play Advocate roles inside local councils over two years to work with councils to improve play outcomes for tamariki in their communities.   

Sport NZ’s approach to improving play outcomes for tamariki is captured in our first bi-cultural plan – Kia Hīanga, Play Plan 2022-25.   

A recent wānanga brought together the first cohort, local iwi, and Sport NZ Play leads to celebrate the work, past and present, to officially begin the project.  

Cohort One organisations are:  

  • Whaiao Sport Northland (Whangarei)   
  • Whiti Ora Tairāwhiti  (Gisborne)   
  • Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa (Rotorua)   
  • Toi Tangata (Auckland)   
  • Te Kete Hauora o Rangitāne (Dannevirke)   
  • Kokiri Marae Keriana Olsen Trust (Wellington)   
  • Hawaiki Kura (Blenheim)  

An open Expressions of Interest process was run in September and October 2023, with the seven successful organisations approved at the end of December 2023 by Te Taumata Māori – the Māori board that provides leadership for both Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa and High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) – as they work towards achieving their Te Tiriti commitments.  

Group of people standing in front of a marae

Sector insights to support decision making and advocacy for sport and recreation

Sport NZ has been focusing on providing better insights about the sector to support decision making and advocacy for sport and recreation. We have three new pieces of research this month that give unique insights. 

1. Measuring the Social and Economic Impact of Sport New Zealand 2023Following on from the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Report in 2023, this research estimated the economic value of the sport and active recreation sector at $3.96 billion per annum in 2019, (1.4% percent of New Zealand’s GDP) with 53,480 jobs generated in the sector.   
The study demonstrated that recreational physical activity generates significant value for society and is strongly connected to the rest of New Zealand’s economy. It also showed that the sport and recreation sector generated more employment compared to other sectors of the economy.

Read the full report: Measuring the Social and Economic Impact of Sport New Zealand 2023.

While we can see the social and economic benefits of the sector, we know that there are challenges within the sector in terms of sustainability and funding, many of which were captured in the preferred futures work we did collaboratively in 2020.

2. An analysis of the funding of the play, active recreation and sport sector in New Zealand We have a project underway to get a comprehensive picture of how the play, active recreation and sport system is funded in New Zealand, understand any issues that the current funding model creates and consider how they might be addressed. As part of this project, we commissioned the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research to analyse the funding that flows into the system each year and how this has changed over time. The analysis showed that:

  •  While c.$4b per year flows into our sector, overall revenue for the system has seen a real-term decline of more than $500m (14%) between 2018 and 2022.
  • A reduction in revenue from membership and participation fees, sponsorship and commercial activities has led to an increased reliance on central and local government and Class 4 gaming funding. 
  • There has also been a reduction in revenue for organised sport activities while revenue has increased for ‘pay for play’ activities (for example, the fitness industry and events).  

Read the full report: An analysis of the funding of the play, active recreation and sport sector in New Zealand

3. An estimation of the value of alcohol sponsorship in sport 2023Linked to the funding analysis was a report into the amount of alcohol sponsorship in sport. This provided the first estimate since previous research in 2015. The report found that there had been a reduction in the estimated amount of alcohol sponsorship in sport from approximately $21 million in 2015 to approximately $10-12 million in 2023.  

What next?
Taken together, these reports (and the earlier SROI report) demonstrate the value that the play, active recreation and sport sector delivers for New Zealanders and the economy, while noting the current funding challenges facing the sector. 

We intend to use these reports to further engage with the sector and work collectively to address the financial challenges facing the play, active recreation and sport system.

You can find all of the research on Sport NZ’s website.


Read about awesome events and opportunities happening around Aotearoa.

National Māori Sport and Recreation Wānanga (12-13 April 2024)  

Te Aupikitanga Aotearoa will host the upcoming National Māori Sport and Recreation Wānanga at the Sir Howard Morrison Centre in Rotorua from Friday 12th – Saturday 13th April 2024.  

The conference aims to foster connections among experts across the sector, with the theme "KIA MAU KI TE AKA MATUA, KEI MAU KI TE AKA TAIAPA," emphasising the importance of Māori values in sports and active recreation. 

Pio Terei will be emceeing the two-day event, with keynote speakers such as Dr. Wayne Ngata, Dr. Rangi Mātāmua, Dr. Farah Palmer, and Dr. Bevan Erueti. Connection of te taiao (environment) and mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge), advocacy and representation, cultural pathways, research and data on Māori sport, and opportunities for rangatahi are the among the hot topics to be discussed at the wānanga. 

Registrations are open now – click here to register.  

There is a small fee of $100 per person to attend the two-day conference, which also includes the gala dinner on Saturday evening. 

Follow Te Aupikitanga Aotearoa Ltd on Facebook for all the updates about the conference. 

For any enquiries, please email:

Webinar: Postgraduate Physical Activity and Hauora Study

Victoria University of Wellington – Te Herenga Waka is holding a webinar for anyone interested in postgraduate physical activity and hauora study options. Dr Lara Andrews will host a short presentation followed by a Q&A. Learn more about developing advanced skills in promoting physical activity and mātauranga Māori and how postgraduate study might fit around your work and life commitments.  
Thursday, 11 April 2024, 5.30pm (Online via Zoom)   
Register online:  

Take part in the Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Survey 

Recreation Aotearoa and the Department of Conservation are looking to gain a better understanding of the experiences of disabled people and tāngata whaikaha Māori to help design and develop better services. 

If you are a disabled person and/or their family/whānau/friends and support persons, this survey is for you. 

Complete the Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Survey here.  


Here are some stories from the community we didn’t want you to miss.

Gotcha Boccia: Paralympics New Zealand’s regional community Para sport pilot 

Paralympics New Zealand recently completed its first regional community Para sport pilot, Gotcha Boccia, as part of its Collectively Stronger Together project (under the Strengthen and Adapt Programme). 

The pilot took place between November 2022 and August 2023 and tested the operating approach in developing a new Para sport in regions where it had not been offered previously. Paralympics New Zealand engaged with a range of organisations throughout the pilot:  

  • Boccia New Zealand 
  • Disability Sport and Recreation Hawke’s Bay 
  • Parafed Manawatū  
  • Parafed Taranaki  

The below video captures the excellent mahi from the pilot partners. A report with the outcomes, impact, shared practices, and learnings is available from Paralympics New Zealand. 

4 rangatahi sitting in chairs on the side of a court

Shamrock Boxing a champion for community wellbeing 

It was great to see Napier’s Shamrock Boxing, a recipient of Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa funding, gain recognition on One News for its work in the community. 

Sport Hawke’s Bay helped fund Shamrock Boxing as its numbers were growing so quickly. The project is a great example of the types of impact Tū Manawa is having at a local level, and highlights the value of and role that physical activity can have for communities. 

Watch the story on One News.

Celebrating individuality and embracing diversity  

The first day of this month marked Zero Discrimination Day, which is a great reminder about the importance of inclusion and making sure everyone can enjoy the benefits of being active. In this video, Rhion Munro of Joyful Movement shares how to create safe spaces and positive environments for young people to participate fully as themselves. Watch the video and learn how diversity improves physical activity experiences. 

Person talking to a mic looking off camera

This is ME® Provider Workshop 

Sport Waikato’s This is ME® team have brought together insights, sector knowledge, and lived experience to create a new online resource that will help providers grow their confidence in delivering opportunities to women and girls. The This is ME® Provider Workshop is now available through Sport NZ’s Sport Tutor platform. The interactive modules are designed to increase understanding of the motivations and barriers women and girls experience in play, active recreation and sport. Throughout the workshop, a custom action plan is generated to supplement key learnings and to support providers to implement applicable changes in their code, activity, or programme. 

Explore the online course on Sport Tutor.

Learn how to better deliver to women and girls banner


Have you seen our Guidance Document for Sports Field Development?

We are in the process of refreshing our New Zealand Sporting Facilities Framework, a tool to help the sector’s decision-making about sport and recreation facilities. In the lead-up to the Framework’s launch, we are continuing to highlight and share the many useful resources we have for those involved with facility planning, management, and operation. 

This month, we’re showcasing the Guidance Document for Sports Field Development. This was produced to provide comprehensive guidance on the development of sports fields for territorial authorities, schools, and sports organisations. The guide captures development options, operation and capital cost information, case studies, and environmental considerations. Please note that Sport NZ will be updating the costing information later this year. 

Ahead of the game: March 2024 Disruptor Scan

Monitoring signals of change is crucial for sport and recreation organisations to stay ahead of emerging risks and identify potential opportunities for strategic advantage. 

Sport NZ’s March 2024 Disruptor Scan is now available and alerts the sector to possible disruptors to sport and recreation within a two to five-year timeframe. It is designed to be used for discussion on possible implications or the need to adjust approaches. 

You can explore the Disruptor Scan and find out more on the Sport NZ futures webpage. 


An update on the Incorporated Societies Act 

Our full suite of constitutional templates is now available on the Sport NZ website to support organisations’ work through updates to the Incorporated Societies Act. 

Following guidance from MBIE (which is overseeing the new legislation), Sport NZ will soon release updated constitutional templates to include:  

  • a clause and guidance notes for a pragmatic solution to disputes resolution 
  • a clause and guidance notes for the temporary exemption to Clause 65(3) that allows for more than 49% independent board members.  

We will notify you once these are available, alongside supporting material.  

Integrity Code 

Please note Sport NZ was previously recommending organisations consider holding off re-registering under the Incorporated Societies Act until further details of the Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation (Integrity Code) became known after 1 July 2024. Following further internal discussion, including with legal advisors, we are no longer recommending a particular approach, and consider that it is up to organisations whether they wish to progress their re-registration now or wait for further details of the Integrity Code.  

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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