It is important that everyone within our sector continues to work hard to maintain the safety and integrity of play, active recreation and sport in Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes responding to new and evolving challenges, and keeping abreast of the latest legislation, international developments and societal changes.
Sport NZ is a crown agency established under the Sport and Recreation Act 2002. Our functions as outlined in the Act include, but are not limited to:
- develop and implement national policies and strategies for physical recreation and sport;
- provide advice and support for organisations working in physical recreation and sport at national, regional, and local levels; and
- facilitate the resolution of disputes between persons or organisations involved in physical recreation and sport.
Sport NZ is leading the implementation of a new world-class integrity framework comprising of comprehensive safeguarding and protection measures – some which aim to prevent issues arising, and others which enable issues and disputes to be quickly and successfully resolved.
This new framework builds on earlier steps taken over many years. It also involves us working closely with others who also have a role to play in maintain integrity. This includes Drug Free Sport NZ and the Sports Tribunal of NZ – both of whom, like Sport NZ, were created under Acts of Parliament, as well as individual sport and recreation bodies, High Performance Sport NZ, Paralympics NZ, the NZ Olympic Committee, the NZ Police and the Human Rights Commission.
Some of the key steps taken in working towards the formation of our new integrity framework and associated safeguarding and protection measures include:
Drug Free Sport NZ (1994)
Drug Free Sport NZ (DFSNZ) is a crown entity established under the New Zealand Sports and Drug Agency Act 1994. This was replaced by the Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006.
The act charges DFSNZ with the responsibility to implement and apply the World Anti-Doping Code in New Zealand. DFSNZ is funded by the New Zealand Government and is accountable to the Minister for Sport and Recreation and the New Zealand Government.
The Sports Tribunal of New Zealand (2003)
The Sports Tribunal was established in 2003 by the Board of Sport New Zealand (then SPARC). It is an independent body that determines certain types of disputes for the sports sector. These are set out in the Sports Anti-Doping Act 2006, with the main types of disputes being:
- Anti-doping violations
- Appeals against decisions of National Sport Organisations or the New Zealand Olympic Committee, mostly in relation to disciplinary or selection decisions
- Other sports related disputes referred by agreement of all the parties
- Supporting diversity
Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Act (2014)
Passed ahead of Aotearoa New Zealand’s hosting of the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Under 20 World Cup in 2015, this Act enables criminal sanctions to be available to address match-fixing in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is not designed to capture every form of match-fixing activity, but rather to address the most serious of match-fixing activity where influencing a better outcome is intended by improperly manipulating a sporting match or race.
Sport NZ Integrity Framework (2016)
Sport NZ first introduced an Integrity Framework in 2016 to support the sector in taking a consistent approach to a wide range of issues that can compromise the integrity of sport. It provided a summary of the issues and offered advice and resources for use by partners and others. The framework covered seven areas of integrity:
- Player welfare
- Member protection
- Child protection
Sport NZ Integrity Review (2018)
In its role as a kaitiaki of the play active recreation and sport system, and to ensure the policies, systems, tools and resources within the integrity framework were world-class and reflective of current challenges, Sport NZ undertook a comprehensive integrity review in 2018. This involved extensive consultation with partners, other sector stakeholders and the general public.
The resulting report, published in 2019, outlined 22 recommendations, which Sport NZ then began to implement. The extensive nature of the review itself was reflected in the comprehensive and bold 22 associated recommendations. Together they form a world-class, holistic response for ensure the play, active recreation and sport system in Aotearoa is safe, trusted and inclusive.
Two of these recommendations included the establishment of the Integrity Guidance Portal and the establishment of the Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service (SRCMS).
- Integrity guidance portal launched October 2020.
Sport NZ launched an integrity guidance portal containing a range of free resources and e-learning to support all sport and recreation organisations.
- Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service (SRCMS) launched February 2021.
The SRCMS is an independent complaints and mediation service which is free and available to everyone involved in sport and recreation in Aotearoa New Zealand, from grassroots to elite level.
Integrity Working Group (2020-2022)
In response to the Sport Integrity Review, Sport New Zealand formed the Integrity Working Group (IWG) to evaluate institutional arrangement(s)/structure(s) to manage all the various integrity elements across the system.
The IWG was formed in December 2020 and published its final report in April 2022.
The most significant of the IWG’s recommendations was the establishment of a new standalone organisation incorporating Drug Free Sport NZ and Sport NZ’s integrity functions.
Establishing an independent entity for integrity
The Integrity Sport and Recreation Act 2023 is new legislation that was passed in August 2023. This Act establishes an independent Crown entity – the Sport and Recreation Integrity Commission (the Commission). The Integrity in Sport and Recreation Establishment Board (the Establishment Board) is supported by the Integrity Transition Programme to set up the Commission.
The Commission will commence operations by July 2024, including:
- advocating and promoting respect for and an understanding of integrity
- providing education, guidance and advice to the sector
- complaint and dispute resolution services for participants in sport and recreation (including responsibility for the independent Sport and Recreation Complaints and Mediation Service)
- undertaking anti-doping testing, services and education; and
- investigating breaches of integrity standards.
A key responsibility of the Commission will be to issue a code of integrity for the sector (Code). This will be in addition to the anti-doping rules that will transfer from DFSNZ to the Commission.
The Code will predominantly focus on ensuring that sport and recreation organisations have policies and good practices to protect members, handle complaints, and resolve disputes.
Opportunities to engage in the development of the Code are promoted on the Integrity Transition Programme website.
The Integrity in Sport and Recreation Establishment Board (the Establishment Board) is a Ministerial Advisory Committee created for the purpose of establishing the Commission). The Establishment Board is chaired by Don Mackinnon. Biographies for each board member can be found in the Integrity Transition Programme (ITP) website.
High Performance Sport NZ 2020-24 Strategy (2020)
High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) launched its four-year strategy in early 2021. The Strategy includes a focus on athlete wellbeing initiatives, performance pathways and funding & investment. Learnings from High Performance Sport reviews (Heron, Muir, Dew) informed this strategy as did the 2032 High Performance System Strategy which involved extensive input from people throughout the sector.