New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Aktive are extending their partnership, continuing to work together to implement a three-year programme to deliver outcomes for the rugby community across wider Auckland.
The collaboration is a cornerstone of the “Wider Auckland Strategy”, a key part of the 2020 Strategy for NZR. With a focus on having more players and communities participating, it will ensure rugby is well placed to adapt to the changing needs of Auckland. It does this by bringing together the major rugby stakeholders across the region, working collectively to tackle issues and build on rugby’s proud position, so that rugby can be enjoyed by future generations of Aucklanders.
Steve Lancaster, Head of Participation and Development, NZR says: “The Wider Auckland Strategy is unique in the fact it is designed to specifically deliver to the needs of those in our largest city, supporting Aktive’s own vision of making Auckland the world’s most active city.
Dr Sarah Sandley, CEO, Aktive highlights the impact of rugby on the region: “Rugby is responding both to the fact that Auckland is a growing and diverse city, and that the ways in which Aucklanders participate in sport, play and active recreation are changing.”
“By exploring opportunities and challenging convention, rugby can respond to these changes, leverage the scale of the country’s largest city and deliver positive rugby experiences across Tāmaki Makaurau.”
Working together since 2016, the next stage of the partnership will focus on two areas – an implementation phase of the Rugby Facilities Plan and Strengthening Rugby Clubs. There has been significant progress to date in developing the Rugby Facilities Plan 2018-2028 and prioritising core playing infrastructure needs. This plan serves as the basis for rugby’s engagement with its key stakeholders, largely Auckland Council, in the delivery of fit for purpose and accessible field facilities for community rugby to thrive.
Under this partnership, Steve Kidd, Senior Advisor – Sector Development/Spaces & Places, Aktive will continue in the role, with a focus of bringing to life aspects of the Wider Auckland Strategy with Counties Manukau, Auckland and North Harbour Rugby Unions.