Sport New Zealand is excited to announce that Cohort Two of the 'Local Play Workforce Project – Councils' has now been finalised – with six more Local Play Advocates recently appointed inside the following councils: Invercargill, Selwyn, Waimakariri, Central Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, and Wellington.

The Local Play Workforce Project – Councils will establish, and support, a total of 18 Local Play Advocate roles (in four cohorts) inside larger local councils across Aotearoa, over four and a half years from January 2022 to June 2026, through investment of $4.3m. Each region (as defined by Regional Sports Trust boundaries) will have at least one of these roles within the project lifespan and Sport New Zealand will fund each role for two years.

The Local Play Advocates focus on influencing better play outcomes for tamariki inside their councils, aiming to create better quality play experiences and encourage physical activity for tamariki and their whānau across our neighbourhoods and cities.

The Local Play Workforce Project – Councils offers exciting opportunities for RSTs to work closer with Territorial Authorities, and each Local Play Advocate will work closely with the respective RST Regional Play Lead, as well as across council teams, to drive new actions, messages and infrastructure that improve play outcomes.

Cohort One began in February 2023, with roles established inside Auckland Council, Hamilton City Council, Palmerston North City Council, Gisborne District Council, and Christchurch City Council. Cohort Three is planned to be in place by July 2024.

The Local Play Workforce Project – Councils is a key action from Kia Hīanga, Sport New Zealand’s bi-cultural play plan, which takes a ‘waka hourua’ approach representing both tangata whenua and tangata tiriti.

The Local Play Workforce Project – Councils sits alongside the Local Play Workforce Project – Tākaro Māori, which aims to strengthen the national infrastructure supporting tākaro Māori. Last week, Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa opened an EOI process to identify potential stakeholder organisations suitable for tākaro Māori strategic development roles.

Find out more

For more information on the 'Local Play Workforce Project – Councils', contact Cathy Henry, Senior Communications Advisor at Sport New Zealand.