AK Have Your Say: Auckland Council Long-term Plan Submission

by Aktive
Published on Monday 22 March, 2021
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Aktive is a charitable trust that has been established to make Auckland the world’s most active city. It is a key strategic partner of Sport NZ, Auckland Council and major grant-makers and fundersand invests in a range of delivery partners, organisations and projects that will get more people recreating and playing sport in Auckland, with focuses on young people (tamariki and rangatahi)and communities.

More than one million Aucklanders –adults and children –are active each week.They are supported by 308,880 volunteers contributing 22.1 million hours of their personal time per annum, worth $391million to keep the sport and recreation sector moving.

This sector contributes at least $1.9 billion to the Auckland economy, providing more than 25,000 jobs for Aucklanders. In addition, there is an estimated $372 millionin healthcaresavingsinAuckland1.

Sport, recreation, physical activity connects Tāmaki Makaurau, and delivers significant physical and mental health and wellbeing, social, economic and educational benefits.

We are pleased to read the statement that Council will continue working with key partners (Aktive and SportNZ) to invest into and target populations of low participation, and or are high risk of becoming inactive.

This submission by Aktive is based on evidence: bespoke research,desk research, sector plans adopted by Councilandinsights from recent surveys. It outlines options, opportunities and solutions that can be implemented to help to mitigate the current situation. These include:

Acknowledging the impact of Covid-19

  • Recognise the economic, social and community value of the sport and recreation sector
  • Recognise the impact Covid-19 has had on our sector

Capital and Operational investment

  • Retain the Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund, the Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities Operating Grant and the Sportsfield Development Capacity Fund
  • Increase the funding level of the Sport and Recreation FacilitiesFund, the Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities Operating Grant and the Sportsfield Development Capacity Fund to reflect sector demand

Supporting Local Boards

  • Support Local Board sport and recreation projects and priorities
  • Support the Local Board sport and recreation One Local Initiatives projects which address regional priorities
  • Support reinstating the local Board Transport Capital Fund to previous levels

Asset management and delivery

  • Seek clarification about Council’s proposal to move from an asset-based approach to alternative ways of delivering services
  • Supporting a focus on renewals and proactive asset maintenance
  • Urging caution around the implications and potential impacts of community asset divestment
  • Ensuring Council has the capacity to deliver the budgeted projects

We know our communities, clubs and recreation providers are vulnerable and struggling. They need Auckland Council’s investment support to recover from the pandemic impacts. Some short-term solutions could include:

  • Funding to enable making membership fees affordable or free
  • Budget to fill the gap for the reduced revenue due to lack of membership fees, loss of income, funding and sponsorship reductions and ongoing administration costs
  • Operational support for a loss of staff, not having enough hours for staff, staff affordability and lack of and retention of volunteers.