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National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme

National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme

Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ established the National Partner Strengthen and Adapt Programme 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.

Examples of projects now in implementation include:

  • Swimming NZ forming a national collective with other aquatic sports such as Diving NZ, Water Polo, and Artistic Swimming to improve efficiency in delivering safe water experiences for New Zealanders.
  • Golf NZ partnering with its 14 District Associations, NZ Māori Golf and NZ PGA to pool resources and bring the golf workforce together under one strategy.
  • Netball NZ developing an app (NETFIT) to engage with the grassroots netball community and provide digital programmes, coaching and nutrition information.

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 include:  

Basketball NZ, GirlGuiding NZ, Netball NZ, NZ Cricket, NZ Football, NZ Rugby League, NZ Rugby, Paralympics NZ, Touch NZ, Volleyball NZ and YMCA NZ.    

All 11 partners have 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.

Wave Two  

Organisations 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. The Strengthen and Adapt process for Wave Two partners commenced in October 2021.

Wave Two partners include:  

Athletics NZ, Canoe Racing NZ, Golf NZ, Hockey NZ, Recreation Aotearoa, Rowing NZ, Swimming NZ, Tennis NZ, Waka Ama NZ and Yachting NZ. 

Wave Three  

The Strengthen and Adapt process for Wave Three partners commenced in May 2022.  

Wave Three partners include:  

Badminton NZ, Bowls NZ, Equestrian Sport NZ, Halberg Foundation, Snowsports NZ, Softball NZ and Special Olympics NZ.  

Wave Four

The Strengthen and Adapt process for Wave Four partners began in March 2023.

Wave Four partners include:

Squash New Zealand, Triathlon New Zealand, Scouts New Zealand, Education Outdoors New Zealand, Physical Education New Zealand, and School Sport New Zealand.

Programme Review of Wave One  

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 was undertaken and the learnings informed an updated programme scope and approach to future Waves.  

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.  

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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