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Leverage and legacy

Leverage and legacy

Definitions of legacy and leverage, the expected key outcomes and benefits, and examples.


Central and local government are now giving greater weight to maximising the longer-term economic and social opportunities arising from hosting major events.

For each event that receives Major Events Development Fund investment, New Zealand Major Events and Sport NZ will work with the recipient to develop its leverage and legacy performance expectations. Early discussions on leverage and legacy opportunities are essential to ensure there is sufficient time for identification of opportunities, design of tactics and implementation.

For events that are not funded by New Zealand Major Events, leverage and legacy considerations can broaden the appeal of the events to potential event partners. Sport NZ is especially interested in how events can help deliver components of i) NSO strategic plans and ii) Sport NZ's strategic plan – more effectively than other methods. Sport NZ offers facilitation and advice to help organisations maximise the benefits from events.

This section provides definitions of legacy and leverage, the expected key outcomes and benefits, and examples.



Designed activities and initiatives aligned to but outside the normal running of an event that result in one-off or longer-term benefits that either increase or are in addition to the benefits that naturally arise from the event itself.


Lasting, long-term benefits on a regional or national scale, that result either from the event itself (intrinsic legacy) or from the leverage activities surrounding it (extrinsic leverage).

Event legacies

Include but are not limited to:

  • changes in perceptions or motivations
  • the creation of employment related to the event itself, including the up-skilling of volunteer staff
  • international exposure for New Zealand
  • opportunities for New Zealanders to experience world-class events
  • enabling communities to showcase their regions and achievements nationally and internationally
  • social/generational cohesion and community pride
  • creating trade or investment opportunities during the event.
  • ongoing business or industry growth opportunities, and the creation of longer-term employment
  • the development of local, regional or national infrastructure and facilities
  • fostering key international relationships
  • growth in participation and high achievement in the field to which the event relates
  • increased participation in sport, recreation or artistic pursuits.

Event capability benefits

Include but are not limited to:

  • building event organisation skills
  • improving governance and leadership capability
  • extending or improving systems and knowledge relating to event delivery
  • increasing the quantity and quality of volunteers
  • enhancing New Zealand's reputation as a destination for major events

Ensuring legacy happens

To ensure the legacy and leverage benefits are achieved, a working group should be established at the earliest stage possible, to share information, ideas, strategies and tactics, so that the initiatives and activities are ‘linked up'. Depending on whether the event has national, regional or local significance, the initiative to form the group should come from the relevant government agency i.e. local, regional or central government.

The group should include representatives from:

  • the New Zealand code or group that is hosting the event
  • the event governance group
  • event managers/administration
  • local, regional and central government.

The group's objective is to determine:

  • how to use the event as a platform to generate ideas and action around the event itself
  • how it can ensure the event will generate sizeable, direct economic, social and cultural or international exposure benefits, in particular those that align with government objectives.

The group should work toward:

  • an agreed joint strategy and action plan
  • dedicated resources to make sure the plan happens
  • a process for monitoring and supporting the achievement of the strategy as it is implemented.

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