Community Sport Strategy 2015-2020

Our Community Sport Strategy aims to get more New Zealanders participating and volunteering in sport and active recreation.

New Zealand’s first national Community Sport Strategy, launched in 2009, paved the way for the provision of dedicated national support to young people and adult participation across New Zealand.

Five years on, Sport NZ has learnt much about the opportunities and challenges of Community Sport and the role of different stakeholders in delivering sporting opportunities to New Zealanders, including its own role in leading change.

To better understand this, we have:

  • worked with and learnt from our sector partners
  • focused our research efforts
  • developed a number of international connections.

This strategy is the culmination of five years of learning, new evidence and scanning good practice at home and abroad. Sport NZ aims to sustain the positive momentum that has been created and lead the New Zealand sports sector in taking the next step in the evolution of Community Sport.


  • The current state of community sport
  • A case for change
  • Focus areas and strategic outcomes
  • Strategic priorities
  • Investment principles


Community Sport Strategy 2015-2020 (PDF)

Interactive version

Q&As for the launch of the Community Sport Strategy 2015-20

What is the focus of the new Community Sport Strategy 2015-2020?

The new Community Sport Strategy signals a step change for Sport NZ in the way it helps drive the delivery of community sport.

The strategy is aimed at building a stronger information base for future investment and planning to foster the growth of sport in the community and to better align our resources with regional investors and stakeholders. It will also see more cross-government engagement and collaboration (e.g. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health), and will be focused on a system-led, participant-centred approach.

We will continue to have a strong focus on young people and schools and to work with our partners to both sustain and grow traditional sport structures and pathways, as these are the backbone of our sports system. Additionally, we will focus on improving local delivery of sport, particularly in communities where participation is low.

While the change is not revolutionary, it does signal Sport NZ’s determination to play a more decisive leadership role in community sport.

How will it impact the way Sport NZ currently invests in community sport?

Sport NZ will continue to place importance on National Sports Organisations for their strategic leadership role, especially in building and maintaining competitive sporting pathways and talent development. It is anticipated that NSOs will continue to be key partners.

Similarly, RSTs are important as they offer a breadth of delivery across sports, support pathways locally and regionally, and are critical to reaching our priority markets of school-aged children and low-participation communities.

We will also be seeking greater alignment of resources with regional investors and stakeholders, who invest heavily in community sport.

The new strategy will lead to some changes in how we invest in community sport, and we will work closely with our partners over the next few months to understand their value proposition through the lens of the new strategy. Investment with many partners is already in place for the 2015/16 year.