Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Amateur Sport Association calls on New Zealand Government to enable affordable access to community clubs

Amateur Sport Association calls on New Zealand Government to enable affordable access to community clubs
March 11, 2021

The New Zealand Amateur Sport Association has expressed its belief that cost should not be a barrier preventing children from participating in sport.

Mindful that New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner has reported that 21% of New Zealand children (236,048) live in low-income households, with over 13% (146,125) experiencing material hardship - and of Government policy to halve these statistics over the next seven years, the Association has this week called on the Government to enable affordable access to community sport clubs.

Highlighting that children should be able to benefit from the value  sporting volunteers create for their local communities, the Association points out that low-income families experiencing material hardship are less likely to enrol their children in club-based community sport, owing to the financial barriers created by membership fees, costs of equipment to play and the costs of travel to regional sporting facilities, or out of community sporting hubs.

It goes on to advise “the Association believes that local sport clubs offer an effective way for children to connect with others in their community in pursuit of common sporting interests, with families also benefiting from the social interaction offered by a supportive club environment.”

With 817,040 children aged between five and 17 years of age in New Zealand, the Association says that up to 31% of the New Zealand Government’s $265 million Sport Recovery Package (between $23 million and $82 million) could provide access to local community club-based sport for children.

Suggesting that “if made available using a similar voucher scheme as provided by all Australian states, in which between $100 and $200 per year per child, is provided to pay for community sport club memberships (such a) scheme would not only benefit families who elected to take-up the offer on registering their children with a local sport club, it would also provide the sport club with a much-needed financial boost to support the delivery of sport by the sport club’s volunteers to their local community.”

Wellington City Mission supports the aspiration of the Association to improve access of low-income families to club-based community sport, which is consistent with the work the City Mission does with those who are struggling in local communities.

Wellington City Mission is a leader in providing free access for families to regional Community Sport Banks and Play Days, which are initiatives the Association strongly supports.

Both the Association and the City Mission acknowledge that while volunteers in local community sport clubs create positive, life-forming experiences for young New Zealanders, which will equip them with relationships and skills for adult life, the costs of providing that experience (including providing equipment, maintaining infrastructure and paying local authority levies) mean that membership fees are necessary.

However, they should not be a barrier to enabling all members of society to benefit from what New Zealand’s sporting volunteers provide to their local communities.

Image: Courtesy of New Zealand Amateur Sport Association.

Related Articles

1st March 2021 - High Performance Sport New Zealand looks to gift Apollo Project Centre

26th February 2021 - Global Leisure Group teams with ActiveXchange and SportsEye New Zealand

15th February 2021 - More than 300 schools in New Zealand participate in Healthy Active Learning programme

16th December 2020 - Sport NZ announces integrity initiatives to keep sport and recreation safe, fair and inclusive

19th November 2020 - New Zealand Community Trust funds new starting equipment for Hamilton’s Porritt Stadium

18th November 2020 - Sport NZ invests $7 million to enhance Maori wellbeing

4th November 2020 - Sport New Zealand names Raelene Castle as new Chief Executive

24th September 2020 - Hawke’s Bay community anticipates economic gains from sport event hosting

28th August 2020 - Recreation Aotearoa to host ‘Election Special’ between Grant Robertson and Mark Mitchell

24th August 2020 - Sport NZ opens applications for new $68 million community fund

19th August 2020 - Hawke’s Bay to benefit from investments in play, recreation and sport

17th May 2020 - New Zealand budget includes $265 million for sport and recreation

7th May 2020 - Sport NZ provides guidance on activity under Alert Level 2

7th May 2020 - Sport NZ announces $25 million short-term relief package for clubs and regional organisations

5th December 2019 - Hamilton Play Strategy gets recognition from Recreation Aotearoa

15th October 2019 - Sport NZ’s new Disability Plan looks to address inequality

9th August 2019 - Alarming decline in secondary school rugby in New Zealand

3rd December 2017 - Physical activity can play a key role in breaking down disability barriers

12th March 2015 - More New Zealand children participate in school sport

14th March 2013 - Sport participation grows in New Zealand schools

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


    SimplySwim is a school management solution that helps swimming school owners and managers optimize operations by automating functions such as managing class schedules, billing and…

read more

Aquatics / Education / Recreation / Safety / Technology



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



SPORTENG specialises in the Planning, Design and Construction inspection of Fields of Play for all sports. Blending engineering with the specialist knowledge gained from working closely with sport…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces / Venues


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport



Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology



iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business