InterAktive LIVE Whiria ngā aho o Tāmaki | Weave together the strands of Tāmaki

by Aktive
Published on Thursday 10 November, 2022
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The benefits of being physical activity are well known, but the Covid-19 pandemic has restricted the ability of many communities around the world to keep active. Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is no exception.

As we look to the future, how do we raise the level of physical activity in our region? How can we make sport, recreation and play possible? And what do our tamariki and rangatahi want and need to be active?

These are just some of the many questions that sport and recreation leaders from across Auckland considered yesterday at InterAktive LIVE, an event designed to encourage collaboration through sharing insights and experiences.  

Held at Mt Smart Stadium, InterAktive LIVE brought together more than 100 attendees from across the region to work together to address shared challenges, learn about new and innovative approaches, and be inspired by some different thinking.

The one-day event was delivered by Aktive with support from Auckland Council, and Sport NZ, and provided a platform to leverage the extensive networks, knowledge and expertise of Tāmaki Makaurau’s sports and recreation sector.

Jennah Wootten, Chief Executive of Aktive, says: “The common denominator for everyone in the room at InterAktive LIVE is the passion we share about Tāmaki Makaurau becoming more active.

“Our region has a significant inactivity challenge. The latest Active NZ survey shows that busyness is the number one reason why our young people aren’t more engaged in physical activity.

“Encouragingly though, 71% of these young people say they want to be more active. The organisations taking part in InterAktive LIVE are committed to figuring out how to unlock that interest, to help make Tāmaki Makaurau the world’s most active city.”

Hosted by Olympian and sports presenter Sarah Cowley Ross, InterAktive LIVE explored topics including leadership, participant and youth voice, resilience, diversity and culture, to help inform how leaders and organisations can work together to support the play, recreation and sport needs of Auckland and Aucklanders.

Attendees heard from a range of world-class speakers, including:

  • Raelene Castle ONZM, Group CEO, Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ, who reflected on the impact COVID-19 has had – including for our young people who are taking part in less physical activity than before the pandemic – while urging attendees to “listen and deliver outcomes that young people want.”
  • Dave Adams, Head of Government Relations and Strategic Foresight, Sport NZ, looked into the future, covering how to understand and adapt to change, while challenging the sector not to get bogged down in being too busy in the present to plan for the future.
  • Izzy Fenwick, Guardian & Emerging Director, The Aotearoa Circle, spoke about the importance of the voice of youth in governance, saying that an intergeneration approach within organisations is transformative, revolutionary, and “the kind of approach that leaves legacies.”
  • Zion Armstrong, former President adidas North America and 2022 Kea World Class Award Winner, shared his life story and career journey, stressing the importance of listening and the difference that a conversation can make, while highlighting that “through sport we have the power to change lives.”
  • Kereyn Smith MNZM, Transformation Director, Cycling NZ and Vice-President (NZ) Commonwealth Games Federation Executive Board, recounted how the resilience of New Zealand’s Olympic team was tested by the 2020 Tokyo Games being delayed a year, but adaptability helped the team achieve one of our country’s best-ever Olympic showings.
  • Alia Bojilova, Organisational Psychologist and former psychologist with the New Zealand Defence Force, encouraged attendees to “keep being restless”, and to consider what the sector can achieve “if we lift our gaze above the target, and see the target as a stepping stone?”

Panel sessions allowed tamariki and rangatahi to share their thoughts, with four students from Waikōwhai Intermediate speaking on what they want for their future. Leaders from Auckland Council’s Youth Advisory Panel and the Halberg Foundation offered their insights on the impact the youth voice can have, particularly around governance tables.

Zion Armstrong, Kereyn Smith and Alia Bojilova also joined forces with Sarah Cowley Ross in a wide-ranging discussion on the power of culture, resilience and wellbeing to leadership.

These thought-provoking sessions were complemented by two interactive workshops, with attendees getting the chance to have their say on how to build a better future for our tamariki and rangatahi, and what’s worked for them and their organisations to foster leadership, diversity and culture.

Jennah Wootten says: “InterAktive LIVE has been a chance for people in our sector to press pause and take the chance to think about the future of a more active Tāmaki Makaurau. It was brilliant to connect in a room together, after so many lock down restrictions, and hear from some inspirational speakers together as a united sector.

“The more we can work together, the more it will be a game changer for us all, as we continue our collective mahi to make ours the world’s most active city."