The results are in but the challenge is ongoing – to ensure the importance of sport and recreation, and the incredible impact and value it has on a growing, increasingly diverse Tāmaki Makaurau is recognised.
The lay of the Local Board land, with Ward Councillors and Local Board Members, has been set here, and Local Board plans will be refreshed in the first half of 2020. As supporters of sport and recreation, we are committed to advocating that these plans prioritise the support and provision for sport and recreation for how and where Tāmaki Makaurau will grow.
Last year Aktive identified a capital shortfall in Auckland Council’s draft sport and recreation budget of at least $500 million over the next ten years.
After sector advocacy, an additional $120 million was added to the sport and recreation budget in Auckland Council’s latest Long-term Plan – a step in the right direction for the one million Aucklanders, adult and children, who are active each week. But there is still a huge gap of $380 million. It is imperative to address this to support our growing city and the wellbeing of all its citizens, and recognise the proven benefits of regular participation in play, active recreation and sport.
The numbers around sport and recreation in Tāmaki Makaurau are significant. The one million plus Aucklanders who are active each week are supported by 308,880 volunteers contributing more than 22 million hours of their personal time per annum, worth $337.3 million, 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. There is also a saving of $115.4 million per annum in healthcare costs for Auckland (ACW Auckland City Report 2018, Portas Consulting).
These statistics prove what we know – Aucklanders love physical activity and it’s incredibly important in our lives and the lives of our whanau and friends. What’s more, there is clear evidence of the huge and wide-ranging benefits of sport and recreation – improved physical and mental health and wellbeing, social connectedness, economic and productivity gains, and educational outcomes1.
We believe all Aucklanders, regardless of age, ethnicity and ability level, should be able to participate in sport, recreation and physical activity in fit for purpose facilities and spaces to enable them to live active, healthy lives with positive health, community and economic benefits. Without local government support and funding, our growing, increasingly diverse population will not have access to suitable opportunities to participate in physical activity – whether it’s a competitive rugby match, social tennis, outdoor netball, school sports events or kilikiti.
For the sake of all Aucklanders, our current generation of young people and generations to come, acknowledgement and investment in sport and recreation are key to this now and in the future. We encourage all Aucklanders to continue to have their voice heard on this significant aspect of our community – talk to your Local Board, share your stories and make sure your voice is heard.