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New Zealand performing arts, recreation and sport sectors generate $6.2 billion in economic activity

New Zealand performing arts, recreation and sport sectors generate $6.2 billion in economic activity
February 7, 2020

New Zealand’s 'active' industries delivered $6.2 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, according to new research from Skills Active Aotearoa.

Skills Active has just published the latest in its regular series of reports – the Workforce Scan, covering the following industries: community recreation and aquatics; exercise; outdoor recreation; performing arts; and sport..

The Scan found that these industries employed a total of 85,812 people in 2018. All industries barring exercise saw healthy increases in the size of their workforce.

Outdoor recreation, grew by 5.1% to a total of 12,164 people. Over the course of the year, this industry contributed $845 million to the economy.

Sport, community recreation and aquatics was up 3.4% to 37,233 people, and contributed $2.6 billion in 2018 GDP.

Performing arts was up 2.9% to 29,825 people, and delivered $2.3 billion to the economy.

Exercise saw a slight dip of 1.5% in 2018, down to a total workforce of 6,590 people. This industry generated GDP of $429 million in 2018.

The final report in the group, covering the snowsport industry, will be published later this year.

Skills Active have also announced that after nearly 10 years as Chief Executive of Skills Active Aotearoa, Dr Grant Davidson will be leaving this month (February 2020)

Skills Active Chair Sam Napia advised “Grant has served our industries and stakeholders exceptionally well,” says Skills Active chair Sam Napia.

“He has led significant achievements and shown sound leadership over the years. He leaves on a high note, having supported the creation of a Creative, Cultural and Recreation Services Workforce Development Council, to promote the joint interests and goals of our industries in the new structure of the vocational education sector. We sincerely wish him the best as he moves on to new opportunities.”

Dr Davidson added “It has been an honour to lead Skills Active Aotearoa over the past 10 years.

“The industries we serve are full of dedicated and passionate people, all committed to improving the lives of their fellow New Zealanders. It has been extremely rewarding to lead this organisation through massive changes, working closely with our clients to ensure our qualifications and modes of delivery make learning relevant and accessible.

“I look forward to seeing how our industries can make even greater gains as the current changes in vocational education take shape. Thanks to everybody who has supported me and the Skills Active vision during this time.”

To access the full Skills Active reports: community recreation and aquatics; exercise; outdoor recreation; performing arts; and sport go to

Image above of Dr Grant Davidson courtesy of Skills Active Aotearoa

Related Articles

30th January 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Beddie calls for New Zealanders to be more active in 2020

16th January 2020 - Skills Active appoints Bentham Ohia as acting chief executive

11th December 2019 - Skills Active Apprentice of the Year winner shares secrets of success

4th December 2019 - Skills Active national event generates energy for positive change

14th August 2019 - Skills Active showcases major client Christchurch City Council

2nd July 2019 - Prime Minister Ardern congratulates Skills Active performing arts graduates

15th May 2019 - Skills Active Aotearoa shares Cardrona Alpine Resort’s workforce development practices

22nd March 2019 - Skills Active Aotearoa launches new qualification entertainment and event technicians

17th January 2019 - Skills Active Aotearoa announces final award winners for 2018 

13th December 2018 - Arts continue to deliver value for New Zealanders

30th November 2018 - Skills Active 2018 Māori Sport Scholarship awarded to Raiha Ensor

26th November 2018 - Skills Active awards leaders in the fitness and wellness industry

18th July 2018 - ExerciseNZ calls on Government to support physical activity

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