Auckland Council’s proposed draft Long-term Plan contains a Capital shortfall for sport and recreation of at least $500m over the next 10 years, significantly impacting than one million Aucklanders, adult and children, who are active each week, says Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation (Aktive).

New research further demonstrates the value of the sport and recreation sector, which contributes at least $1.9 billion to the Auckland economy per annum, provides more than 25,000 jobs for Aucklanders with more than 300,000 volunteers giving 22 million hours of their time free.

Dr Sarah Sandley, Chief Executive Officer, Aktive is concerned this significance is disregarded in Auckland Council’s refreshed Auckland Plan and draft Long-term Plan (LTP) for 2018-28.

“Sport, recreation, physical activity connects the people of Tāmaki Makaurau, and delivers significant physical and mental health and wellbeing, social, economic and educational benefits,” says Dr Sandley.

“The draft Long-term Plan proposed by Auckland Council contains a Capital shortfall for sport and recreation of at least $500m over the next 10 years. Even with the increase in funding shown in the draft Long-term Plan, Council itself has said that at this nominated baseline level, there will be a decreased level of service, deteriorating assets, and risk of failure and asset closure.”

“If the proposal proceeds without amendment, there will be a negative impact on our city, communities and economy. This will exacerbate already recognised shortfalls in spaces and facilities.”

Aktive’s submission on the Auckland Plan and Long-term Plan outlines initiatives that can be implemented to mitigate the current situation, including:

  • Establishing an evenly proportioned Regional Partnership Fund for Capital projects of at least $250 million;
  • Fully funding sport and recreation Local Board priorities;
  • Increasing budgets for Capital investment in both renewals and growth at a consistent level across the Long-term Plan timeframe for parks, recreation and community, and;
  • Referencing the huge influence and impact sport, recreation and physical activity has on Aucklanders and our wellbeing in the Auckland Plan.

“Auckland Council is the major provider of our sports and recreation facilities, which we value, and we acknowledge the challenge of balancing the various issues impacting Auckland, as well as capital constraints,” says Dr Sandley.

“What also can’t be denied is the incredible value of sport and recreation on our communities. It is critical this is acknowledged and supported with sufficient investment to address the current shortfall and Auckland’s growing, increasingly diverse population.”

Recent Sport New Zealand Value of Sport research notes 92% of participants agree that being active keeps people physically fit and healthy. It also indicates a positive association between children’s physical activity participation and academic achievement.

Dr Sandley adds: “The sport and recreation sector is working together to ensure every Council dollar is invested wisely for maximum return in benefits to the community. Aucklanders love to be active so it’s critical we have a say and get involved in protecting sport and recreation investment and support.”

All Aucklanders can make submissions on the Auckland Plan and Long-term Plan to Auckland Council, with public consultation open now to 8pm, 28 March 2018. Ways people can have their say are detailed on www.akhaveyoursay.nz.

Together with Sport Auckland, Sport Waitakere, Harbour Sport and CLM Community Sport, Aktive is committed to making Auckland the world’s most active city. For more information, like and share https://www.facebook.com/aklsportmatters/