28 October 2021
Kia ora koutou,
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long weekend with their friends and whanau. It has been an unsettled month for most around the country with continued restrictions, Covid-19 cases cropping up in the South Island and the introduction of a new COVID-19 protection framework.
Clearly this is a frustrating situation for us all. Sport NZ’s Senior Leadership Team met today to discuss the feedback we are getting from all parts of the sector and recognise the significant challenges that come with managing business-as-usual operations alongside the pressures and uncertainty brought to bear by ongoing alert level restrictions. We often find ourselves unable to give the clarity we would like and appreciate how immensely difficult it is to plan for the future right now. It is a priority for us to ease pressure where we can for our partner network.
We are currently working with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) to understand the implications of the new traffic light system. This is difficult, as you can imagine, given the number of sectors affected, of which we are just one. To improve our ability to advocate and add sector context to decision making, we have seconded one of our policy team into the DPMC. This will hopefully build tighter connections across our respective teams.
Please be assured we will communicate new information as soon as we can. Below you will find an update on vaccination for workers and vaccination certificates. We cannot provide any specific sector-facing information on the traffic light system at this time but will work swiftly to build clarity. Below is a summary of what we know.
Today we have also heard that there will be a change to MIQ conditions including a re-opening of the border to low-risk travellers and a move to home isolation once the traffic light system is in place, the first step of which will be a reduction in stay from 14 to 7 days. This is great news for the thousands of kiwis wanting to get home. The most up to date info can be found here. We will be in touch directly for those with MIQ Group allocations affected, once we know more.
A reminder the Government announced a $5.3 million package to assist sport and recreation organisations primarily in the Auckland region who have been financially impacted by lockdowns resulting from the Delta outbreak. These funds are being managed by Aktive, Recreation Aotearoa and Variety - the Children’s Charity, with full details available on their respective websites.
He waka eke noa,
About the new COVID Protection Framework
The new COVID Protection Framework (CPF) will kick in when we reach the 90% vaccination target; the current Alert Level system will be replaced by the new framework.
The framework has three levels:
- Green is when there is some COVID-19 in the community
- Orange will be used to control spread at low levels when it is present in the community
- Red will be used to actively bring case numbers down if needed.
Different parts of the country may be at different levels. Across all levels, there may be targeted local lockdowns to help stop very localised spread. In many cases, people will need to provide vaccination certificates to enter businesses or attend events, or even to travel between regions. At all levels of the new framework, businesses, retail, public facilities and schools will generally be able to remain open for vaccinated people.
The three steps of Alert Level 3 will remain in place until Auckland reaches 90 per cent vaccination and the traffic light system takes over. Aucklanders will find out next Monday, November 1, whether the region will move from step 1 to step 2. While step 2 still sits in level 3, it could mean more freedom.
Government needs to pass urgent legislation in the coming weeks to support the new COVID-19 Protection Framework system and there is still ongoing policy work to confirm the details of this system. Government is aiming to have this legislation passed and more detailed sector-specific guidance available about how the system will work by the end of November.
We know you will have many questions about the new system and we will be working as closely as we can with other agencies to understand the detail of the new system as it is developed and confirmed. We will provide more information about the new system and the implications it will have for the sport and recreation sector as soon as we can.
Boost for Business Support Package
Government will boost payments to businesses affected by higher alert levels as the country transitions to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.
Ministers have agreed to significantly boost the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP). After the next scheduled payment on 29 October, Government will move to fortnightly payments at double the current rate. The enhanced support will first be paid on 12 November and fortnightly thereafter until Auckland is able to move into the new framework. Because businesses will be able to operate at all levels of the framework, the wage subsidy and the RSP will be reworked to a new targeted payment at the RED level of the new framework.
Final details of the support to be provided under the new framework will be agreed in November.
The COVID-19 Protection Framework and COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates
The Government has made a series of recent announcements about the new COVID-19 Protection Framework and the role that COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates (CVCs) will play in this. The best source of information about these announcements is the official COVID-19 website.
A key part of the new framework is the ability for businesses to operate and events to go ahead – even when COVID-19 is still present in the community - if the events require the use of CVCs. Under the new framework there are no limits on the number of attendees at green and orange levels events if CVCs are used (limits will apply for events held at green and orange levels if they include unvaccinated attendees).
Also announced was a new law that will include a simplified risk assessment process for employers to follow when deciding whether they can require vaccination for different types of work. Until the new law is passed, organisations can use the existing health and safety risk assessment process to decide whether they can require vaccination for different types of work.
We are working to understand how far the education and health mandatory workforce requirements will extend in terms of roles within the sector, as well as developing guidance about the steps that sport and recreation organisations may wish to take to develop their own vaccination policies. We will share this guidance once available.
We recommend that you continue to refer to the updated guidance on the Worksafe website about health and safety assessments regarding vaccines. We will continue to update our FAQs on the Sport NZ website to provide more information.
Futures – COVID-19 and mental health
Experts have expressed concern about the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. Quarantine measures, worrying about the future and economic uncertainty can all add to fear, stress and anxiety. In the face of ever-changing circumstances and a prolonged impact from the virus, people increasingly need mental coping methods. Read more here.
New Active NZ report - Spotlight on Tamariki
Sport NZ has just released the Spotlight on Tamariki report, which complements the June 2021 Spotlight on Rangatahi. The findings show the diversity within tamariki by age and gender in how much participation happens, how tamariki participate, their experiences and barriers. The results are primarily based on data collected through the Active NZ survey between 2017 and 2019 from 10,678 tamariki between ages 5 and 11. Tamariki were involved in 62 percent of responses. Reading the Spotlight on Tamariki alongside the Spotlight on Rangatahi will give you a complete picture of tamariki and rangatahi’s participation. Read the full report here.
Have your say on a National Physical Activity and Play Plan for Aotearoa
Building on sector engagement last year to develop a shared vision for the future of physical activity in New Zealand, Government agencies have worked together to identify an initial 13 action areas to start bringing the ‘preferred future’ for physical activity in New Zealand to life.
This is your chance to have your say on the areas that can have the biggest impact on increasing rates of participation in physical activity and play, particularly for those who are currently missing out. We want to hear from a wide range of people, so welcome and value your views. Feel free to forward this message on to those in your networks. The independent survey has been developed by Kantar Public (formerly Colmar Brunton) and your responses will remain anonymous.
Please click here to complete the survey. The closing date is Tuesday 16 November 2021.
Community spotlight: StarJam a game-changer for disabled young people
Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa funding opens up world of opportunities for young people with disabilities, with a new programme recently introduced to the Hawke’s Bay, which is changing the lives of a group of disabled young people and their families.
StarJam kicked off its first programme in the area earlier this year after discussions between Sports Hawke’s Bay and the disabled community identified a need for more regular and diverse opportunities. With the help of Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa funding, the new offering is proving so successful with tutors, parents and young people alike, that Hawke’s Bay has become one of the fastest growing StarJam regions in the country. Read about the impact of the programme on eleven-year-old Fynn.
Coaching Athletes with Autism
Special Olympics NZ has developed an online learning module about coaching athletes with autism. The module is free and available for anyone who may benefit from some basic information on supporting participants with autism. It provides an introduction to autism and offers research-based support and advice for coaches who work alongside athletes with autism. The module can be accessed via the Special Olympics NZ website.
Women + Girls strategy anniversary milestone
This October we celebrated three years of our strategy to address under-representation of women and girls. If you missed it, check out the progress we’ve made against each of our 24 commitments here.
We also released new findings from the Sport NZ and Isentia study of gender balance in New Zealand sports media which shows in the first six months of 2021 (to 30 June) positive change is underway. View the infographic here . There will be an additional release from this study in the coming weeks, comparing coverage of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
WISPA launches global IWG Insight Hub
Recently launched during the Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit, WISPA has unveiled a new tool dedicated to advancing gender equity and equality in sport and physical activity worldwide. It is a collection of global research, case studies, toolkits and news contributed by the International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport network and its Insight Partners.
With the ambition to see over 100 pieces go online by Christmas, Sport NZ is already on-board, and is keen to see the exceptional work of the play, active recreation and sport sector in Aotearoa well represented. Sign up to share your stories now.
Mentoring Opportunity for Chairs
Community Governance NZ and the Institute of Directors have teamed up to offer a unique mentoring opportunity for Chairs of small community organisations (including play, active recreation and sport). Applications close 18 November. View more details here.
59th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards nominations and ticket sales open
The Halberg Foundation has announced the 59th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards will take place on Wednesday 23 February 2022 at Spark Arena in Auckland. Nominations can now be submitted for achievements in 2020 and 2021 and will close on 1 December 2021. Tickets are now available for the event with a special discounted sector rate. For nominations and ticket information please contact email@example.com.
National Action Plan against Racism
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has begun public engagement on the best action to take to eliminate racism in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is a strategic priority for the Commission - the nation's independent human rights body. The HRC want your ideas to ensure this work reflects the vision, values and lived experiences of impacted communities, families, whānau, hapū, and iwi across the country. Your contributions will be treated anonymously and will be summarised in the Commission's engagement report. Have your say here.
We know that the disruption caused by COVID-19 uncertainty has affected people across the sector. If you or someone you care about needs some extra support, it is important to know where to go to access the right help to work through the challenges being experienced. Here are a range of free resources and services that can help.