Hillary Commission Active Living
spacer Introduction Young People First Coaches Count Funding Allocations

Active LivingCommunity Sport Fund - helping coaching and kids
This is our flagship funding stream for sport in local communities. Clubs apply to their local authorities for assistance with young people's sport, coach and volunteer training, or other community physical activities. Over 6,000 projects or events are supported throughout New Zealand. The Commission is grateful for the support of local authorities, which administer the Community Sport Fund in their area. Many also add their own funds to those provided by the Hillary Commission. People in rural areas face special problems when participating in sport and active leisure. The Hillary Commission provides a minimum of $25,000 to small district councils (such as Kaikoura, Opotiki and Waitomo) to ensure sports clubs and active-leisure groups can overcome any difficulties associated with widespread populations.

Case Study

The Southland District Council covers a large geographic area - almost 10% of New Zealand. The Community Sport Fund distributed by the Southland District Council Allocations Committee reaches far and wide into the Southland community. In 1997/98 the Council received almost $45,000 from the Community Sport Fund and added over $5,000 from other sources to help local clubs.

The Community Sport Fund makes a big impact in assisting small rural communities in Southland. Of 61 clubs that applied, 50 received a grant, including:

  • The Edendale Netball Club received $325. As Edendale has a resident population of 566, of whom 85% are teenagers, the benefits are huge for the young participants
  • Southern Netball Inc received $350 to establish a programme to train girls (11-19 years) for junior and intermediate umpiring responsibilities - this organisation represents a number of small communities located in the South Catlins coastal area
  • Gorge Road Gymnastic Club received $150 to help three coaches attend training courses - this benefits volunteers and parents - it promotes confidence and increases the skills of the coaches as well as the junior participants
  • Riversdale Hockey Club received $1,000 for its junior members to travel to play at Mataura throughout the season
spacer Our Investment
By Year 2000 we will see
  • A 10% increase in the number of people doing a minimum of 2.5 hours active leisure a week

People are becoming more inactive in nations with lifestyles and economies similar to New Zealand's. In the United States obesity has been described as an epidemic - in children as well as adults. The situation in New Zealand is not so bad, but there are signs that we are less active now than at any stage in the past. This slow-down in active living is occurring in all parts of the adult population. Among Maori, those who are active tend to be more active than non-Maori, but overall there are more Maori who are not active enough for their health to benefit.

In 1998 the National Health Committee recommended that adults should aim to be active for a total of 30 minutes each day. This standard is being adopted world-wide. Overall, two thirds of New Zealand adults are active to this level - we are ahead of most other nations in this. The remaining one third, about 900,000 adults, are described as inactive or insufficiently active. They run a greater risk of obesity, heart disease and colon cancer, as well as many other chronic medical conditions. The good news today is that the benefits of exercise can be achieved without hard or vigorous exertion. As long as an adult is active at a moderate level for at least half an hour each day, then he or she will experience some health benefits.

Healthy exercise is now 'no sweat' - this is the message the Hillary Commission has to take to the New Zealand public. Our strategic target by 2000 is to increase the number of people who are physically active by 10%. We have a great deal of research on inactive people to assist our efforts. Active living can include sports activities or other forms of physical leisure such as walking, swimming or gardening. If it takes a moderate amount of effort - the activity's got to be good for you.


ISSUE More People More Active More Often
The Commission's strategic target is to increase the number of physically active people from 64% to 70% of adults by 2000. This requires better results than we have been able to achieve so far. We will need to promote the active-living message in the community so that people accept and act on it. We will also need to work closer with our partners, the general practitioners, regional sports trusts, local authorities and health providers, to make sure that they give people the support and opportunities needed to change activity habits for the better. We will fail in this important area without greater co-ordination with other agencies and a campaign reaching New Zealanders' hearts and minds.

Active living is a personal lifestyle choice. People need opportunities that are close to home and relatively quick and easy. Sports trusts and local authorities are our key partners in providing these opportunities. The 17 regional sports trusts, now linked in the network Sportnet, are our main community partners. With funds from the Commission they provide a range of events and activities to get people into the active living habit.

The Hillary Commission provided $5.32m to regional sports trusts to help get people active in their communities. Special emphasis is placed on older adults, women and people with a disability. Throughout New Zealand people in their hundreds of thousands - including over 300,000 young people - became active through sports trust events and promotions. While this result shows some progress, it is not enough to achieve the Commission's strategic target. New approaches will be needed to get more people leading active lifestyles.

STRATEGY Doctors Deliver the Medicine
Green is the colour we associate with things natural and healthy. Green Prescriptions are a healthy natural alternative to some medicines. Green Prescriptions enable doctors to act as coaches, by encouraging their patients to live actively. Patients receive a green prescription from their GP, which contains specific information and advice about physical activity. GPs in the upper North Island and Christchurch could issue Green Prescriptions in 1997/98, but a full national spread will be completed in 1999 as a result of the success to date.

After training GPs and making the Green Prescription materials easy to administer, two thirds of the 433 GPs involved in the northern region pilot 'prescribed green'. These GPs liked the promotion and felt it to be useful in helping them to improve their patients' health. The Commission is now working with practitioners' associations to provide training and information so that Green Prescriptions become a normal part of many people's visit to the doctor.


STRATEGY Greater Maori Participation
Every activity of the Hillary Commission, in sport and active living, takes the needs of Maori into consideration. He Oranga Poutama provides the vital Maori dimension for our strategies. We are in partnership with the Health Sponsorship Council, ALAC, Community Employment Group and Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development) in this exciting joint venture. He Oranga Poutama is based on the concept of participating for life, and this is the core message that kaiwhakahaere (leaders/co-ordinators) are taking to iwi in Tamaki Makaurau, Tauranga Moana, Mataatua, Ngati Porou, Turanganui-A-Kiwa, Ngati Kahungunu, Taranaki and Ngai Tahu.

Eleven kaiwhakahaere have been appointed to promote the active-living message and create opportunities for Maori to play sport and be active. Many activities (such as line dancing and touch) can be organised on marae, and inter-marae games within iwi are highly popular. Over 150 marae are actively involved in the programme, and participants are reporting greater levels of activity and improved health as a result.

STRATEGY Fast Walks for Busy People
KiwiWalks were launched by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys in 1997. KiwiWalks have been developed to get people enjoying the great outdoors and make better use of New Zealand's many superb paths and tracks. Taking no more than an hour, they are appropriate to our busy lifestyles. "Walking is one of the great joys," says Sir Edmund. "No-one should ever be so busy that they can't go for a good solid walk!"

By July 1998, 26 councils and DOC conservancies had established KiwiWalks - rural and urban. We expect KiwiWalks to be available in every community in the near future. Call your local authority for information.


STRATEGY Improving Local Services and Facilities
City and district councils are the biggest investors in sport and active living. Last year they spent $340 million providing facilities and services for New Zealanders, which was up 7% since 1991. The Hillary Commission provides technical advice to help local authorities plan and deliver their services so that more people can enjoy active-living opportunities.

We provided support and advice on strategic planning development, policy and advocacy advice, and resources and expert opinion on the design and management of sport and active-living facilities and services. 93% of councils have rated our advisory and information service as satisfactory or better and none were dissatisfied.

Hillary Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Dave Gerrard said physical activity is fun and good for everyone.

"It is never to late to start being active. You don't have to have a hard or long workout for it to be good for you. Any physical activity is better than none at all. It is easy to be active."


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The Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure
Te Komihana Haakinakina a Hillary
Our programmes are funded by the NZ Lottery Grants Board