Advocacy priorities

Our advocacy work focuses on three key priorities

Priority One: Greater recognition of the economic and social value of recreation

Recreation is part of what it is to be a New Zealander. Most of our kids are introduced to the outdoors through recreation with whānau and friends. Many of us are members of clubs and groups that enjoy recreation for fun, health and social reasons. And the names of our outdoor pioneers – like Sir Edmund Hillary – are wired into our national psyche. 

Recreation contributes to our individual physical and mental wellbeing. It provides us an opportunity to meet people. Recreation can foster community collectiveness. It helps people integrate and fosters a sense of togetherness. 

New Zealand is known globally for its landscapes and the recreation opportunities they offer. It generates tourism and makes a community more desirable for professionals and young families.

Greater understanding of these benefits and their downstream impacts, along with awareness of how legislative reform can influence recreation delivery, are key to ensuring New Zealand’s recreation industry remains among the world’s best.

Priority Two: Grow local and central government investment in recreation

Recreation makes a considerable contribution to a community’s physical and social infrastructure. Recognising recreation as a core service is imperative if the industry’s workforce and our country’s recreation programmes, services and infrastructure are to receive the financial and policy support needed to deliver for their communities.

Central and local government planners need to consider the long-term benefits recreation provides. Investment in recreation is an investment in healthy people, connected communities and a strong economy – all of which are important to New Zealanders. And all of which can be achieved cost-effectively through recreation investment.

Priority Three: More development opportunities for recreation workers to support a sustainable industry, which meets and needs and expectations of participants. 

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata! He tāngata! He tāngata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!

This well-known whakataukī rings true for recreation. Yet many within the industry are overworked and under resourced. The industry is heavily reliant on volunteers putting in long hours, often with little recognition. As the age, expectations, and socioeconomic and cultural makeup of New Zealanders change, recreation workers are having to work harder than every to understand and engage them. 

Greater appreciation of paid and unpaid recreation workers - both in terms of the recognition they receive and the rewards, remuneration and development opportunities they are offered - is vital to ensure a sustainable industry that can meet the changing expectations of participants and customers.