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National Policy for Gender Equity in Governance


A core function of the board is to consider issues from a range of perspectives.  Diversity around the board table brings a breadth of perspective and experiences that results in better decision-making by boards and creates stronger, more sustainable organisations.

Diverse boards also play an important role in increasing the visibility and profile of underrepresented or traditionally disadvantaged groups.  Board members are role models and leaders, and diverse boards demonstrate to all people that they too can participate in and lead the way within their chosen fields. 

The Sport NZ Group encourages and expects all partner boards to take a leadership role in introducing and maintaining diverse, equitable and inclusive organisational cultures, starting with diversity and inclusion within the board. Over time the Sport NZ Group encourages and expects that this way of working expands out to all the organisations in the networks boards directly influence or invest in.

In October 2018, the Government launched its strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation.  At the same time Sport NZ launched its response to this strategy, which recognised the need for and value of increased diversity and gender equity on Boards and included a commitment to achieving better gender equity and representation.

Application of Policy

This Policy applies to each organisation which is a party to a Relationship Agreement with Sport NZ or High-Performance Sport NZ (a Partner).  This is a Sport NZ Group national Policy which Partners must comply with, as required by the Relationship Agreement.

For the purpose of this Policy, Qualifying Partners are Partners which receive more than $50,000 in any 12-month period commencing on 1 July 2020 or in any subsequent year, under Investment Schedules of the Relationship Agreement.


The board of each Qualifying Partner must have at least 40% self-identifying women ("the requirement").

The requirement is calculated by reference to board members in office at any point in time who have voting rights on the board.  The requirement does not apply to any non-voting members or observers on a board.

To illustrate, a board of 8 voting members with 3 self-identifying women would have 37.5% self-identifying women and not meet the requirement.  A board of 7 with 3 self-identifying women would have 42.9% self-identifying women and would meet the requirement.

Each Qualifying Partner must meet the requirement on and from 31 December 2021.

Exception for casual vacancies

If a Qualifying Partner fails to meet the requirement due to a casual vacancy arising on its board (that is a vacancy arising other than due to the expiry of the term of a board member), the organisation will not be in breach of the requirement, provided that it meets the requirement as soon as reasonably practicable after the casual vacancy occurs.

Gender equity for non-Qualifying Partners

A Partner receiving less than $50,000 in any 12-month period commencing on 1 July in any year is encouraged, but not required, to meet the requirement on its board.

Other steps

Sport NZ encourages all Partners to take proactive steps to achieve gender equity and diversity more generally within their Boards.  Gender equity means having close to equal proportions of self-identifying women and self-identifying men on the Board.  Diversity more generally means aiming for better representation and inclusivity across all dimensions of diversity, such as ethnicity, Māori whakapapa, LGBTQI+, age, culture, disability, background, and experience.


All Qualifying Partners must report annually on the gender make-up of their board.  Sport NZ will advise Qualifying Partners on the timing and detail of the reporting required.

Qualifying Partners must inform Sport NZ if they anticipate that they will not be able to meet the requirement, or if any time they do not meet the requirement.  They should provide Sport NZ with an explanation, and their proposed actions and timetable to remedy the situation.


Sport NZ may exercise its rights under the Relationship Agreement to not make an investment payment, or terminate the Relationship Agreement, if a Qualifying Partner does not meet the requirement.

Sport NZ activities

Sport NZ will provide advice, support, and encouragement to all Qualifying Partners to meet this Policy.

Sport NZ may publish reports setting out the gender composition of boards of all Qualifying Partners.


This Policy applies two days following publication and will be reviewed on a biennial basis.

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