Government investing $7 million in effort to get disabled people involved in sport, recreation

The Government is investing $7 million in an effort to get more New Zealanders with disabilities into sport and recreation.

Children playing soccer. Source:

The initiative will include training to develop a workforce which understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni said in a joint statement.

It also includes advocacy for fit for purpose and accessible playgrounds and parks, as well as a more inclusive approach to strategy, policy and communication with Sport NZ and its partner organisations.

A new Sport NZ role will be created to lead the delivery of the plan.

Mr Robertson said, "More needs to be done to improve the range and quality of physical activity on offer for disabled people, and that's why as part of this plan, the Government will invest a further $7 million over four years through Sport NZ".

"These funds will go a long way towards establishing equity and ensuring disabled people across Aotearoa New Zealand can be just as active as non-disabled people."

Around 1.1 million New Zealanders identify as disabled, with just over half having more than one type of impairment.

Sport NZ's Active NZ data revealed that disabled young people are less likely to participate in a range of sports and activities, particularly play-related activities, such as using playgrounds and scootering.

Ms Sepuloni said the Government "is committed to building a truly inclusive society and supporting disabled people to live their lives to their fullest potential".

"The plan by Sport NZ and associated investments are further steps in making this a reality for disabled people in the important space of sport, active recreation and play," she said.

The initiative forms part of a wider cross-government agency plan to be launched later this year.