Many government agencies (for example, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Waka Kotahi) have projects or initiatives that promote physical activity but these projects and initiatives are not always coordinated across government. Building on the success of the cross-agency collaboration to deliver Healthy Active Learning, government agencies have worked together to consider how we can better coordinate our respective mahi on physical activity and play. This work has led to the development of a National Physical Activity and Play Plan, which identifies how government agencies can use a focus on physical activity and play to achieve government priorities and deliver significant wellbeing benefits for New Zealanders.
Consultation with the sector on the draft plan in early 2022 supported the direction of the draft plan and the plan was subsequently endorsed by Cabinet in June 2023. The plan will now be used to guide government work to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders through a focus on physical activity and play. While the plan outlines a range of areas and opportunities for government agencies to work together, in the short-term the focus 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
- improving the uptake of active transport in schools and communities.
This National Physical Activity and Play Plan provides the framework for our cross-agency work and will be used to guide our engagements with other government agencies so we can get greater impact from our collective mahi on physical activity and play.