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Sector Update - 29 September

29 September 2023

Kia ora koutou,  

I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to what will hopefully be a long summer, let’s all cross our fingers! 

What an action-packed period of sport we’ve enjoyed recently. It was great to see the All Blacks get their World Cup campaign up and running, and of course, a special shout-out to the Warriors. While we didn’t get that fairytale finish we all dared to dream of, the team can be proud of their efforts this season and how they united the nation, in that unique way that only sports can. We also saw new world champions in bowls (Tayla Bruce) and para bowls (Teri Blackbourn and Julie O’Connell) recently, and a fourth World Motocross Championship for Courtney Duncan. With so many results and teams in action, it’s awesome to see Kiwi athletes representing Aotearoa with pride.  

Off the field, there’s been plenty happening in our sector. It was a privilege to attend this year’s Disability Hui to connect and kōrero with many of you around how we can continue to support disabled New Zealanders – especially rangatahi – to be active.  

Inclusion is a key focus in our strategy and the mahi we all do to get Every Body Active. This week we launched the Inclusivity Hub, which will help organisations and individuals with their mahi in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. There are a range of resources and tools to help us understand the diverse experiences of rangatahi and create more inclusive activities for them. Check out the Hub and let us know any feedback or suggestions you have for useful content. 

A fair and equitable sector is important and links to an op ed I wrote recently on Stuff, laying down the challenge to ramp up our investment in women’s sport. The three hugely successful women’s world cups over the last 18 months are clear evidence that women’s sport is here to stay, and we as a sector must continue working together to keep the momentum going. 

With the All Blacks continuing their World Cup campaign against Italy on Saturday, I know many of us will be up nice and early to cheer them on. Here’s hoping for a strong performance to kick-start the weekend! 

Ngā mihi, 
Raelene Castle   


National Physical Activity and Play Plan – update

Sport NZ has been working with other government agencies to develop a National Physical Activity and Play Plan, which is aimed at better coordinating our respective mahi on physical activity and play.  

The focus of the plan in the short-term will be on how physical activity and play can support greater impact in the three priority areas of: 

  • improving physical and mental health outcomes for New Zealanders; 
  • improving school attendance and engagement; and 
  • improving the uptake of active transport in schools and communities. 

We hope the plan will result in a greater focus on physical activity and play in the work of other government organisations, particularly in the education, health, and transport sectors. More information about the plan is available here

Adine Wilson joins Integrity Transition Programme  

The Integrity Transition Programme (ITP) team is delighted to welcome former Silver Ferns captain and sports lawyer Adine Wilson to the Integrity in Sport and Recreation Establishment Board. This board is tasked with ensuring the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is operational by July 1, 2024.  

Wilson joins Don Mackinnon, Traci Houpapa, and Tim Castle on the board.  Meanwhile, work continues on development of the Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation: 

  • Reference and focus groups have been engaged to support development of the first draft of the Code, which the ITP expect to be able to share with sector organisations for their feedback later this year.   
  • More than 120 adults and 110 rangatahi are participating in online discussions to explore the key themes highlighted by the ITP's recent public survey. Their contribution will help ensure the Code reflects the views and aspirations of a wide range of participants and is shaped by a strong youth voice.  
  • An Athlete Reference Group featuring 12 former and current high-performance athletes has been formed to assist the development of the Code. The group, chaired by Olympic cyclist Rushlee Buchanan, will meet regularly until the end of the year.    
  • An Integrity Code Reference Group has also been formed to provide expert guidance on the technical aspects in the drafting of the Code.  

Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori 

Sport NZ recently opened an expressions of interest (EOI) process for the Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori, to identify potential stakeholder organisations suitable for tākaro Māori strategic development roles. 

Investment of $4.3 over three years into the Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori will strengthen a national infrastructure to support tākaro Māori. This will include establishing Tākaro Māori Workforce roles, with the first cohort comprising strategic roles to shape the kaupapa, co-design what the Tākaro Māori Workforce roles will be, and develop the learning and development needed to build the capability of a tākaro sector. 

Fundamental to Kia Hīanga, Sport NZ’s bicultural Play Plan 2022-25, is a ‘waka hourua’ approach that acknowledges Sport NZ’s need to better fill its tangata whenua waka. The Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori is a direct response to achieving outcomes set out in Kia Hīanga and sits alongside the Local Play Workforce Project – Councils.  

Find out more: Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori EOI.

Local Play Workforce Project – Councils 

The Local Play Workforce Project – Councils includes a $4.3m investment to create 18 Local Play Advocate roles (in four cohorts) in local councils over two years to work with, and inside, councils to improve play outcomes for tamariki in their communities.  

Cohort Two of the Local Play Workforce Project – Councils has now been finalised, with six more Local Play Advocates recently appointed inside the following councils: Invercargill, Selwyn, Waimakariri, Central Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, and Wellington.  

Cohort One began in February 2023, with roles established inside the Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Gisborne, and Christchurch councils. Cohort Three is planned to be in place by July 2024. 

Local Play Advocates focus on influencing better play outcomes for tamariki inside their councils, aiming to create better quality play experiences and encourage physical activity for tamariki and their whānau across our neighbourhoods and cities. 

Read about the great play work led by Local Play Advocate Damien Puddle at Hamilton City Council: Writing the play book for Councils across the country.

Mother and son on a field playing string games


Healthy Active Learning: Strengthening community connections  Through a growing collaboration with the Healthy Active Learning team at CLM Community Sport, Papakura Marae is using physical activity to connect with schools in the area in new ways. Early in term 3, 80 ākonga from four local schools were formally welcomed onto Papakura Marae for a Matariki celebration.  

CLM Healthy Active Learning community connector Shyanne Thompson supports schools to develop quality connections with their community to enhance tamariki wellbeing. The idea to connect ākonga with the marae through physical activity was born from a successful kī-o-rahi pilot the marae ran with CLM Community Sport earlier in the year. 

Read more about this wonderful day and the impact it had on students: Strengthening community connections at Papakura Marae – Education Gazette.


Increasing participation of Muslim women and girls in the outdoors  

First Step Outdoors, an outdoor education provider based in the Waikato region, is providing opportunities and spaces for rangatahi to try outdoor activities in a safe and supportive environment. 

Their latest initiative, created together with WOWMA (Women's Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association) and Yasmina Community Trust, is connecting young Muslim women (aged 16-26) to the outdoors in Aotearoa.  

Over a one-day Eid Adventure Day, Muslim women and girls undertook kayaking and a high ropes course. 

The programme was made possible with support from the He Puna Korikori (Outdoor Activity Fund), a Sport NZ contestable fund managed and administered by Recreation Aotearoa.

Watch their latest initiative online now.

Rangatahi looking happy towards the camera


Inclusivity Hub – ensuring physical activity is inclusive for everyone 

This week Sport NZ launched the Inclusivity Hub. Created specifically for those working in play, active recreation, and sport, it provides a range of resources for organisations and individuals wanting to start or progress on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) learning journey.  

The Hub is designed to support everyone in the sector to better understand the diversity of young people’s experiences, create more inclusive activities, and enable rangatahi to be active in ways that feel safe and relevant to them. Across the site, you’ll find practical guidance to use, policy templates to adopt, training to attend, and case studies to learn from. Each topic also features stories from rangatahi with lived experience so you can hear directly from them how small changes can make a big difference to their lives. 

We would love to hear what you think about the Hub and what further support may be needed to put the content into practice and promote it to your wider networks, clubs, and communities. If you have feedback or would like to submit an addition to the Hub for consideration, please get in touch with us

Visit the Inclusivity Hub and read the story about how it came to be. 

Inclusivity hub banner


Reflecting on the Disability Hui (4-5 Sept) 

Earlier this month in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, more than 120 people from across the sector came together to strengthen connections, share knowledge, and explore ways to provide more opportunities for disabled young people to be active. It was a great two days filled with stimulating kōrero, reflections, and connections. We're excited to continue collaborating and moving forward together so we can make physical activity inclusive for all. Watch this space for a video series on some of the themes resonating throughout the Disability hui. 

Group looking to camera at the disability hui

National Facilities Strategies: Spotlight on Squash  

Sport NZ works with its partners to develop national facilities strategies with the aim of ensuring sufficient and accessible spaces and places for people to participate in physical activity. We are currently refreshing our New Zealand Sporting Facilities Framework, a tool to help the sector’s decision-making about sporting facilities.  

In the lead-up to the Framework’s launch, we will be sharing some of the current facilities strategies that may be useful to others thinking about their own spaces and places. This month we highlight the Squash New Zealand National Facility Strategy, which was completed in November 2022. This strategy was commissioned by Squash New Zealand with input by its 11 squash districts to:  

  • establish a clear picture of current squash provision/participation and analyse the need for provision now and into the future.  
  • provide direction for the future provision and development of quality and accessible squash facilities across NZ.  
  • consider potential innovations and best-practice guidance.  
  • outline the profile and identify actions for squash districts to progress 

Have a read of the strategy and explore the other national facilities strategies on our website as well. 

The Flow on Effect – how to be a menstrual ally 

There are important conversations happening the world over on how to increase participation of young women in sport and physical activity – and then help them stay in the game for longer. As part of our commitment to help address barriers to participation, off the back of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, we launched the Flow on Effect.  

If you’ve seen this series floating round on our social channels, awesome! If not, today we would love to share with you insights from Education Outdoors New Zealand Professional Development coordinator and facilitator Sophie Watson on how the language we use when talking about menstruation matters. It’s one in a series aiming to break down the stigma of periods, with the web resource speaking to women’s health more widely.   

Watch the video online at The Flow on Effect.  

Sophie Watson talking to camera


Incorporated Societies Act 2022 and Regulations 

Sport NZ is supporting play, active recreation, and sport organisations to update constitutions and re-register under the new Act. Over the coming months, we’ll be offering support through webinars and helpful resources. 

However, there is no need to rush into action. While the Act and Regulations go live on 5 October 2023 when re-registration can begin, the deadline for re-registering is in April 2026. 

The 30-month transition window offers a valuable opportunity to not just comply with a new Act but strengthen existing constitutions that may need a refresh. We have gathered some valuable feedback on how we can best support partners in this process through four pilots. You can hear about one of these in our latest webinar here

Following this webinar, we have compiled a series of FAQs we hope you’ll find useful. In here you can see if your organisation qualifies for an exemption, under section 45 (3) Incorporated Societies Act 2022 No 12, Public Act 45 Committee – New Zealand Legislation.

Our current webpage will soon have resources available including constitution templates, guidance notes, and checklists (national societies in October, and regional and club societies in November).  

If you have any questions or concerns as you go, email us at


Important changes to financial and non-financial reporting for charities and incorporated societies 

We have previously provided guidance on compliance with these changes, and this document provides a high-level summary and a useful table outlining the requirements and timing of compliance for different entities.  

We have become aware of a range of approaches by auditors as they seek assurance that investment is delivering impact, and this is causing confusion within the sector.  

We have sought advice on how we might be able to assist, but without a central auditing body, and given this is still early days for most partners (and auditors), we are taking a watching brief approach. 

Templates can be found here. Sport NZ can collect and share sector examples for those who would find these useful. If you would like to share what your organisation has done, please send these through to


Is your board appealing to women?  

In this webinar, hear 10 key insights about how to engage female talent with your board, based on the perspectives of over 200 women. Learn more about: 

  • Women’s perceptions of sport sector boards in general 
  • What women believe are the barriers to board participation 
  • What would make women more likely to apply for your board role 
  • Practical steps you can take to appoint great female board members 

Watch the webinar recording on Sport Tutor.  

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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