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National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme update

National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme update

27 September 2021

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ established the National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme in July 2020 to improve the capacity, capability and resilience of selected national partners and their delivery networks, so that they are best positioned to meet the needs of participants and athletes into the future. 

Wave One

The first Wave of 11 national partners went through the Strengthen and Adapt design phase between July 2020 and February 2021. Wave One partners included Netball NZ, NZ Cricket, NZ Football, NZ Rugby League, NZ Rugby, Basketball NZ, Touch NZ, Volleyball NZ, GirlGuiding NZ, Paralympics NZ, and YMCA NZ.   

All 11 partners have now developed Strengthen and Adapt plans that reflect their deeper understanding of what their future needs to look like, their current state, and have identified change projects set out to achieve their future state. 

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ met with leaders from the Wave One partners last week who are responsible for implementing their plans and change projects. The focus of the online hui was to understand each other’s plans and to identify where partners can collaborate to help each other succeed in achieving the desired change.  

Programme Review  

A phased approach was adopted to establish this programme to ensure the methodology was tested and lessons could be taken from Wave One into future programme waves. An independent review of the Wave One process to date was undertaken and the learnings have informed an updated programme scope and approach to future Waves (Two and Three). 

The kaupapa of the programme from the design phase remains to enable national partners and their delivery networks to develop a plan and implement system changes that put them in the best position to meet the needs of participants and athletes into the future. 

The review identified some key learnings. Notably that the programme:  

  • was a valuable tool to support national partners and their delivery networks to develop a change plan;  
  • was most successful where there was deep stakeholder consultation; 
  • methodology overall was a success, including the concept of the ‘brains trust’ enabling national partners and independent advisors to work together to explore opportunities, challenges and issues; and
  • that the programme parameters needed to be better defined from the outset. 

The original programme was designed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was little understanding of what a COVID environment really meant for sport and physical activity in New Zealand. This programme has now evolved to deliver for multiple partners, in an environment with a better understanding of the impacts of COVID-19. 

Waves Two and Three  

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ are now giving the opportunity to an additional 18 national partners to undertake the Strengthen and Adapt process through two future Waves. These partners have been selected to participate because of the impact their Strategy is having on the physical activity and / or high performance outcomes of New Zealanders.  

Wave Two partners include Rowing NZ, Canoe Racing NZ, Yachting NZ, Athletics NZ, Swimming NZ, Golf NZ, Hockey NZ, Tennis NZ, Waka Ama NZ, and Recreation Aotearoa. Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ are meeting with these partners this week for an online onboarding hui to welcome them to the programme, and to begin the Strengthen and Adapt process.

Wave Three partners include Snowsports NZ, Special Olympics NZ, Badminton NZ, Equestrian Sport NZ, Cycling NZ, Bowls NZ, Halberg Foundation, and Softball NZ. The Strengthen and Adapt process for Wave Three partners will commence in April 2022. 

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ recognise this programme as a unique and significant opportunity to assist with driving change and to help create a stronger sector for the benefit of New Zealanders into the future.

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