COVID-19 placed an immense strain on the play, active recreation and sport system in New Zealand.
In response, Government announced a $264.6m investment into the sector to be distributed over a four-year period.
In total, Sport NZ has so far announced $201.8m of much-needed funding to the sector. Over the next four years, a further $62.8m will be provided based on the needs of the overall system.
We developed a Recovery funding framework with three key outcome areas (Reset and Rebuild, Strengthen and Adapt and Different and Better) to help guide our decision making. In addition to this we have ensured that we continue to focus on our priority groups in order to raise the levels of physical activity among New Zealanders. This is reflected in our 2020/21 Strategic Priorities document.
This means we have focused on women and girls, Māori, disabled, tamariki and rangatahi when allocating investment through the recovery process. We have also worked closely with our partners to understand their needs and provide funding to all levels of their organisations.
Our funding package to date includes:
- An investment of $4.6m was made in June 2020 to assist professional sport in New Zealand to navigate the initial phases of recovery. This investment was for the ANZ Premiership Netball League and clubs, Wellington Phoenix, Vodafone Warriors and Super Rugby teams to help them remain viable and return to competition. Up to $5.5m has subsequently been approved for the New Zealand Breakers, Vodafone Warriors, and Wellington Phoenix to contribute to increased costs, incurred directly as a result of COVID-19, of participating in their respective 2021 NBL, NRL and A-League seasons.
- A $68 million activation fund (Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa) to provide physical activity opportunities for tamariki and rangatahi - $34 million is from the Sport Recovery Package with the remaining $34 million from existing Sport NZ baseline budgets. Tū Manawa is focused on tamariki and rangatahi who are less active, or missing out on opportunities for play, active recreation and sport.
- Additional investment of $25.4 million for Sport NZ’s Investment Partners to respond to the pandemic. This funding included support for Regional Sports Trusts and National Partners to Reset and Rebuild as well as support for specific sports with the cost of running their national leagues affected by COVID-19. A breakdown of how much Reset and Rebuild funding has gone to each partner is available on our Partner Support page.
- $15 million into the Community Resilience Fund 2 to provide short-term assistance to a broad range of community organisations across the play, active recreation and sport sector, which had been impacted by the loss of membership fees and Class 4 revenues. A list of the organisations that received funding is available on our Community Resilience Fund page.
- $9.3 million to improve facilities for New Zealand’s upcoming hosting of world cups: Rugby World Cup 2021, ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and scoping support for the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup 2023. Many of the match venues and training grounds that teams will use are being upgraded to provide gender neutral, fit-for-purpose, multi-sport amenities for players, referees and umpires.
- We are partnering with two agencies to pilot Individual Hardship initiatives, with $3m committed over two years. The initiatives will provide financial support for tamariki and rangatahi in the context of whānau who are experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities. The first of these was announced in March 2021 – the Active Me – Kia Tū fund is a two-year pilot partnership with Variety NZ.
- $7m Kaupapa Māori initiative that provides support for Māori, across four components: Support for Māori NSOs, an expansion of He Oranga Poutama (Sport NZ’s only kaupapa Māori programme), funding for MaraeFit Aotearoa - a marae-centric ‘Everybody Active’ initiative, and funding for a Te Ihi activation fund.
- High Performance Sport NZ has developed its 2024 Strategy with a focus on three key system shifts which will advance the high performance sport system’s recovery from COVID-19 by stimulating the performance pathway for athletes and coaches, supporting athlete and coach wellbeing and providing greater financial certainty for NSOs. $33.2m of Recovery funding will support the delivery of this strategy, aligned to our outcomes of Strengthen and Adapt and Different and Better.
- An additional $30m has been committed for existing partners to rebuild in the medium term and make changes to their organisation and networks to strengthen their capability and capacity so they can operate successfully post-pandemic and create a better future. Sport NZ is working with eleven partners to ensure that approved initiatives are complementary to those supported by Sport NZ Partnerships Investment, and sustainable over the long term. After an independent review of wave one is completed, Sport NZ will consider the criteria for eligibility into the future and engage with partners on next steps for wave two.
- $1m has been invested into a two-year pilot for Sport Diplomacy to utilise our sport assets and event platforms to develop and maintain international influence and relations, resulting in economic growth and delivering social outcomes. We will work with key agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Tourism New Zealand, NSOs and international networks to develop a Sport Diplomacy Strategy for Aotearoa, New Zealand.
- $25m contingency that will be available to respond to new needs if New Zealand moves to increased COVID alert levels again. Support for athletes’ MIQ costs for a small number of approved qualification events (Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games) and significant sporting events that meet the Border Exemption criteria will be supported by this contingency, estimated at around $3m.
- An additional $4.3m over three years for Drug Free Sport New Zealand to help the agency improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, as well as enhance its testing programme to keep up with changes in technology.
A number of other potential investments are currently under discussion and negotiation.
We will continue to update this webpage as our Recovery Programme of work continues.