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Local Play Workforce Project - Tākaro Māori

Expression of Interest
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Play for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau 

Sport NZ’s focus on play for tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau highlights the importance of play in embedding the skills, knowledge and understanding that are essential to fostering wellbeing.  

Sport NZ’s approach to improving play outcomes for tamariki is captured in our bicultural plan – Kia Hīanga, Play Plan 2022-25 and alignment to Te Pākē o Ihi Aotearoa, Sport NZ’s Māori Outcomes Framework.  

In alignment with Te Pākē o Ihi Aotearoa, we value the need for culturally distinctive and bicultural pathways that enable tangata whenua to participate and succeed as themselves; values cultural distinctiveness; provides accessible pathways; provides fair and just allocation of resources. 

As a kaitiaki of the play, active recreation and sport system, Sport NZ is aiming to restore, reclaim and revitalise traditional knowledge surrounding tākaro Māori and is committed to ensuring the mana of tākaro Māori is upheld and maintained. 

Local Play Workforce Project - Tākaro Māori 

Fundamental to Kia Hīanga, 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 Kia Hīanga and achieving the outcomes set out in this. It sits alongside the Local Play Workforce Project - Council, in which investment is creating 18 Local Play Advocate roles in local councils over two years to work with, and inside, councils to improve play outcomes for tamariki in their communities. 

The Local Play Workforce Project - Tākaro Māori is a four-year guided investment journey to support organisations with a focus on the area of tākaro Māori. The outcome is to support iwi- and Māori-led organisations, or organisations with strong connections to mana whenua working in the tākaro Māori space, to restore, reclaim and revitalise tākaro Māori. 

The project will strengthen the existing tākaro Māori workforce across Aotearoa New Zealand and shape a unique kaupapa that will drive ongoing development. Through building capability and capacity in this area, we are aiming to enhance the tākaro Māori system and the ongoing enablement of the restoration, reclamation and revitalisation of tākaro Māori nationwide.  

What is tākaro Māori? 

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

Through enabling the ongoing development of tākaro Māori, we can offer tamariki an opportunity to play as Māori. We can also support communities to create meaningful connections with others, help enable cultural knowledge and language transmission across generations and at all levels and support the revitalisation of tākaro Māori.   

Expression of Interest

Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa is interested in the creation of a culturally distinctive, accessible, and equitable pathway for growing the capacity and capability of the tākaro Māori sector.   

We are interested in investing in established leaders within the tākaro Māori space who have experiences and expertise in developing and delivering tākaro Māori (or cultural revitalisation kaupapa related to tākaro).  

Our initial focus on these key stakeholders will support us in our efforts to enable the wider restoration, reclamation and revitalisation efforts of tākaro Māori in an authentic and culturally appropriate manner. Our preference will be with providers and organisations already working towards outcomes similar to those within Te Pākē and Kia Hīanga.   

What will successful applicants receive as part of this investment approach?

The first cohort will receive investment of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) funding over three years to enhance their capacity to deliver on existing tākaro Māori Kaupapa. Subsequent cohorts will also receive three-year investment from when the roles begin.

How to apply 

Find out more in the Expression of Interest document below about this investment approach. 

Useful information 

Read through the supporting documents below to understand more about this project.  

Frequently Asked Questions: Local Play Workforce Project - Tākaro Māori

Kia Hīanga, Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Play Plan

Te Pākē o Ihi Aotearoa | Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa Māori Outcomes Framework

Closing date 

Expressions of Interest has now closed.

For more information 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Martini Miller-Pānapa, Kaipūkenga – Tangata Whenua Tākaro, Sport NZ Play Unit by email or phone 021 673 204. 


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

We will be hosting two webinars so you can find out more about the project and the EOI process and have your questions answered. 


  • Martini Miller-Pānapa, Kaipūkenga – Tangata Whenua Tākaro, Sport NZ  
  • Adam Sutton, Senior Investment Advisor, Sport NZ  

Webinar 1

Date: 12 September 

Time: 1.00 - 1.45pm 

Webinar 2

Date: 18 September 

Time: 1.00 - 1.45pm 

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