Currently around 1.6 million people live in Auckland. Over the next 30 years this number could grow by another 740,000 people to reach 2.4 million (The Auckland Plan 2050, Auckland Council). As advocates for sport, recreation and physical activity, it is important that we build on existing strengths and hold on to the things that are dear to us during this growth. It is also critical to prioritise the support and provision for sport and recreation in plans for how and where Tāmaki Makaurau will grow.


To understand views in this area, more than 100 people, including sport, recreation and community leaders, academics and advocates, recently attended a Mayoral Debate on sport and recreation in Tāmaki Makaurau, organised by Aktive in partnership with Auckland University of Technology.


Moderated by Newsroom’s Tim Murphy, current Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and leading challenger John Tamihere went head to head in discussion, covering policies, plans and funding with themes including equity across the region, funding and facility strategies, the role of class 4 gambling, and council-controlled organisations.


This debate and Mayoral and Local Board candidate responses on views, plans and policies for sport, recreation and physical activity in Auckland can be viewed at


Political voices are key to recognising the importance of sport and recreation and realising the incredible impact and value it has on a growing, increasingly diverse Tāmaki Makaurau. Given this, those who we vote into leadership positions in our city are critical. Their support or otherwise for sport and recreation impacts this invaluable aspect of our community – so, we encourage all Aucklanders to find out about these potential leaders and ‘exercise’ their sport and recreation vote.


To help facilitate this, we invited all Mayoral candidates and all those standing for election as Ward Councillors, for their views, plans and policies on sport, recreation and physical activity. Local Board responses were also sought.


We have received responses from a number of candidates – read on to find out who has shared their views: