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Sport NZ Active Recreation Sector

Sport NZ Active Recreation Sector

08 November 2016

About the Report

As participant trends move towards more informal forms of activity it is important we understand the changing needs and expectations of Kiwis, and that there is a co-ordinated approach to delivering the spaces and places, resources and opportunities to meet demand.

The report is based on input from sector organisations and a Cross-Government Steering Group, which includes representation from 14 Government agencies. It signals the first steps towards a 10-year vision for active recreation that would see:

  • more people active, more often, for life
  • a wide range of active recreation opportunities available for everyone, regardless of their age, income, culture, physical ability, or geographical location
  • the value of active recreation widely understood
  • a diverse network of individuals, groups and organisations working effectively together to meet the active recreation needs of New Zealanders.

Where to from here?

Sport NZ's role in the active recreation sector is to provide leadership and advocacy, and to help build sector capability. Within this space we have developed a three-pronged response to the Future Proofing the Active Recreation Sector report:

Harnessing cross-government support

Sport NZ is leading and facilitating work to ensure a collaborative response from the various government departments and agencies which contribute to the active recreation sector or have an interest its outcomes. This includes establishing a series of cross-government working groups – the first of which is being jointly convened in December 2016 by ACC and New Zealand Search and Rescue to discuss skills development and quality participation to minimise risk.

A Sport NZ action plan

Sport NZ has developed its own action plan in response to the report's recommendations. This includes:

  • Identifying opportunities to align and leverage our current work to achieve active recreation outcomes.
  • Sharing information, data and best practice case studies with government and sector stakeholders.
  • Looking for opportunities to promote the value that active recreation offers to participants, funders and other key agencies.
  • Ensuring our staff are 'thinking active recreation' so that it is incorporated where possible into our work, including the tools, resources and communications we develop for sector partners.


We have ensured alignment of the recommendations from the report to our Community Sport Strategy (2016-20) so that investment into National Recreation Partners is also aligned.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the purpose of the report?

The purpose of the report is to provide an overview of the active recreation sector, recommendations and a planning framework that can be utilised at a cross government level and by active recreation organisations to achieve greater alignment and sustainability.

Who fed into the report?

The report was commissioned by Sport NZ on behalf of the active recreation sector. Both the active recreation sector and a Cross-Government Steering Group, which includes representation from 14 Government agencies, have advised the report.The recommendations from the sector were distilled from a consultation process that included information from 192 on-line questionnaire responses, 20 face-to-face interviews, cross government agency input and a participant's view gathered from a qualitative research project. Additional information was also gathered from the Active New Zealand Survey, Young People's Survey and the report on National Participation Trends.

What are the report's key recommendations?

A key out take from the report is that there is real opportunity to align work and provide a more co-ordinated approach to the delivery of active recreation.The key recommendations from the report include:

  • Investigating further opportunities for cross-Government and sector collaboration in understanding the active recreation participant market
  • Actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate, share resources and facilities
  • Prioritising investment into multi-purpose spaces and places
  • Promoting a common view on strategic priorities which align funding to participants needs, strategic priorities and multi-year investment, where possible
  • Prioritising development, support and potential investment into peak bodies, looking to build capability (and influence) to lead and support their sectors
  • Improving the governance capabilities for active recreation organisations

How do the report's recommendations align with Sport NZ's Community Sport Strategy 2015-20?

Active recreation represents an increasingly important component of community sporting activity in New Zealand. The report's recommendations and the subsequent development of a planning framework for active recreation is a real opportunity to align much of our current work in growing participation with other work taking place across the sector.

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