Māori Participation in Community Sport Report

11 June 2019

Published in May 2017, the Māori Participation in Community Sport report was commissioned by Sport NZ to understand how the sport sector can mobilise to better foster Māori participation in sport and active recreation. It was not designed to provide a review of all the work undertaken by Sport NZ, or across the sector, to support Māori participation.


Māori Participation Review Report (PDF 758 KB) 

About the review

The Māori Participation in Community Sport review was conducted by independent consultant Karen Vercoe. A variety of people across the sport sector were consulted, including Iwi providers, Sport NZ partners and the Sport NZ Board and staff.

The review showed:

  • sport and recreation is a positive space for Māori and one in which Māori excel
  • while Māori participate and volunteer in sport in high numbers, like all New Zealanders, these rates are declining 
  • there are a number of opportunities in the sport sector to better engage with Māori participation in sport and physical activity to achieve wider government outcomes, such as improvements in health and educational outcomes
  • opportunities to further increase participation, and impact on multiple social outcomes via sport, especially in communities where there is low participation among Māori, and where there are multiple disadvantages


Where to from here

  • We welcome the review’s recommendations.  Sport NZ is continually looking for ways to improve our engagement with Māori and the work we do to improve Māori participation.
  • Put simply, we need to find ways to do more – which is why we commissioned an independent report. Participation by Māori in sport and active recreation has declined significantly over the last 16 years. That’s why Māori are a Targeted Participant Group identified in our Community Sport Strategy.
  • Across the review’s 21 recommendations there are three overarching themes to enable us to build stronger engagement with Māori: leadership; cultural capability; and advice, tools and resources.
  • Our key immediate actions will be to:
    • recruit a Māori Participation Senior Advisor
    • build Māori cultural capability within Sport NZ
    • develop a Māori Participation Plan
    • form a Māori Advisory Group to support the development and implementation of the Māori Participation Plan
    • further develop relationships with key agencies such as Te Puni Kōkiri.
  • Once on board, our Māori Participation Senior Advisor will lead the development of the Māori Participation Plan and, through this, consider the full set of recommendations outlined in the report.



For more information on the review and our response you can get in contact with Sport NZ General Manager Community Sport Geoff Barry

Search for other related resources