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The Future of Sport

Icon SportTamatea – Central Hawke’s Bay is well known for its outstanding Sportspeople across the spectrum of sport in our community – from rugby to cycling and bowls.  

Sport in this conversation is about all the organised activity we do where there are formal rules, competition and conditions of play, such as rugby and netball.  Most people who participate in sport often belong to a club, although ‘pay-for-play’ sport like indoor hockey at the Stadium, or business house tennis or squash are included, as they use similar facilities and often have similar benefits.  

We’re thinking about play and active recreation activities like casual running and cycling separately, so we can best understand the specific sports needs in our district. 


Why is sport important? 

Participation in sport has many health benefits for all ages and is key to development of physical, social, and intellectual capabilities in children.  Sport contributes to building strong, self-sufficient communities and community pride as evident in many places across our district.  Some of our sports clubs have been around for over 100 years creating an incredible legacy for our communities.  

Sport and Recreation Parks and some indoor facilities make up important infrastructure in the district for playing sport. These include (but are not limited to) Russell Park, Centralines Sports Complex, Central Park in Waipukurau, Coronation Park in Waipawa, Takapau Recreation Ground, Otane Recreation Ground and White Domain in Porangahau. There are also tennis and squash clubs, bowling clubs, and other sporting venues all with various ownership models. The majority of sports clubs and activities are run by volunteers.     


Why are we having this conversation? 

Levels of participation in traditional sports are continuing to decline, along with the availability of community and trust funding and often voluntary support.  Despite this, the demands on clubs keep increasing, whether it be meeting new health and safety and legislative requirements, increased operating and insurance costs, auditing or growing building maintenance requirements. 

Nationally, there is a move away from structured traditional sports and the ‘pay-for-play’ market is increasing, along with a greater choice of sporting activities on offer.  In Central Hawke’s Bay sport participation levels while remaining fairly static, are being spread over a wider range of sports rather than the ‘traditional’ sports like rugby and netball.    

We also know we’ve got a number of existing community sports assets that need investment and others will need upgrading in the near future.  Historically Council hasn’t always been equitable in its investment or support for clubs or activities.   As a community we are also growing and need to be prepared for this.

We’re partnering with support and funding from Sport New Zealand and Sport Hawke’s Bay to understand what the future demand and need for our community is for sport.  We want to do this collaboratively to understand not just the local need, but to also understand what facilities or services are best placed regionally.  We also want to try and understand how we equitably fund and support our local clubs and sporting organisations and who pays for that.

Council also has a number of legislative responsibilities to meet under the Reserves Act 1977.   


What does success look like?  

With the help of others, we’ve done some early thinking and think that success for the future of sport is: 

  • A wide range of sport opportunities are available to all our community. 

  • We make the most of what we have available.   

  • We ensure our facilities meet the needs of our community now and into the future.  


Want to know more? 

To understand more about sport, what we are trying to achieve and who is involved, read our full Discussion Document on Sport


Let us know your ideas? 

We’re still in the early phases of this work, however we are keen to hear your ideas to support sport in Tamatea - Central Hawke’s Bay.  You can do this by completing our online survey or emailing us on  



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