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Active NZ Survey 2013

What sports and active recreation do Kiwis do? How often do they do them? Do Kiwi adults belong to clubs to play, take part in events or play casually? Do they get coaching to improve their performance? Do Kiwis volunteer in sport and recreation? How much time is spent volunteering? Are more Kiwis participating and volunteering today than 15 years ago? These are some of the questions that Sport NZ's 2013/14 Active NZ Survey (ANZS) will answer.

The ANZS is a comprehensive, nationwide survey that explores sport and recreation participation and volunteering among New Zealand adults (aged 16 years and over).

The survey starts in April 2013 and will finish in March 2014. Results will follow later in 2014.

Find out more by following the links below that provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

On this page

About the Survey

About the approach

I've been asked to participate - for survey participants

About the questions

The findings and progress updates

About the Survey

What is the 2013/14 Active NZ Survey (ANZS)?

The 2013/14 ANZS is a nationwide survey that gives detailed insights into Kiwi adults' participation in sports, active recreation, and volunteering. Adults for this survey include people aged 16 years and above throughout New Zealand.

Sport NZ will soon be inviting adults in New Zealand to take part in the 2013/14 ANZS. To select adults for the survey, we first select households at random across New Zealand, and then interview one randomly selected adult per household. This ensures we get a good mix of men and women, and people from different age groups and ethnic backgrounds to provide a representative picture of sport and recreation participation by all adults in New Zealand.

Why is Sport NZ doing this survey?

Sport NZ's goal is to increase the number of Kiwis participating and volunteering in sport and recreation. This survey helps us know if we are making progress towards this goal. It also provides us with an up-to-date snapshot of the how, when and where adults are engaging in sport and recreation as participants and/or volunteers. The best way to find out this information is to ask adults themselves.

Has the ANZS been carried out before?

Yes, in 2007/08. Earlier versions of the survey were conducted in 1997/98, 1998/99 and 2000/01. Learn more about the previous surveys.

Why does the survey focus on adults and not children and young people?

Children and young people tend to take part in sport and recreation in different ways than adults. For example, they have opportunities to do sport at school. So, we have a separate survey for this group, designed especially to meet the comprehension and reading abilities of Kiwi kids aged 5 to 18 years old. This survey is called Sport NZ's Young People's Survey. It provides Kiwi Kids an opportunity to tell us about how they participate and volunteer in sport and recreation.  It was done for the first time in 2011.

About the approach

How are people selected to take part?

NRB randomly selects houses throughout New Zealand and then interviews one randomly selected adult per household. This ensures we get a good mix of men and women, and people from different age groups and ethnic backgrounds to provide a representative picture of sport and recreation participation by all adults in New Zealand.

How do people chosen for the survey complete the ANZS?

People are interviewed in their own homes at a time that suits them. Trained interviewers ask each question and record people's answers on laptops.

What does the interview involve?

The ANZS involves two stages – a main interview and a follow-up interview.

  • The main interview will take, on average, 30 minutes to complete.
  • To give people the opportunity to provide more information about their sport and recreation experiences, participants are then asked to take part in a 10-12 minute, follow-up interview at a later date and time that is suitable.

Who is carrying out the survey?

Trained survey staff and professional researchers help Sport NZ with the survey. National Research Bureau (NRB) is the research company we chose to work with us to deliver and run the survey in homes throughout New Zealand.

How many adults will be interviewed?

Over the 12 months, we aim to interview 6,400 adults throughout New Zealand.

What are the start and finish dates for the interviews?

The survey starts in April 2013 and will end in March 2014.  A set number of interviews are carried out throughout New Zealand each month over the 12 months.

Why does it take 12 months to complete all the interviews?

We could complete all 6,400 interviews in 3 months. However, to capture participation in seasonal sports, like skiing, rugby, cricket and tennis, we conduct a set number of interviews each month over 12 months.

I've been asked to participate - for survey participants

What is the Active NZ Survey?

The Active NZ survey is an in-depth study of participation levels in sport and active recreation among New Zealanders aged 16 years and above.

Who is carrying out the survey?

National Research Bureau (NRB) will be conducting face-to-face interviews with New Zealanders across the country over the next 12 months. NRB is an independent social research company that is carrying out this survey on behalf of Sport NZ.

How do I know if the interviewer is trustworthy?

Your NRB interviewer will have an identity badge. You will also receive a brochure that provides the contact details of NRB, so you can call them if you would like extra reassurance the interviewer is credible.

Why was I asked to take part?

We are asking over 6,000 adults across New Zealand to take part in this survey. We randomly select adults to participate, by first randomly selecting houses throughout New Zealand and then randomly selecting one adult per household to complete the survey. We randomly select people so we get a good mix of men and women, and people from different age groups and ethnic backgrounds to provide a representative picture of sport and recreation participation by all adults in New Zealand.

Is it compulsory to take part?

While you don't have to take part, your involvement would be greatly appreciated and would be very useful in creating sport and active recreation opportunities that would benefit many New Zealanders.

What if I don't play 'sport' as such?

We also want to know about active recreation as well as sport. Things like, going for walks or going for a bike ride, gardening, dancing and going to the gym.

What will I be asked to do?

We know your free time is precious so we have made the interview as brief as possible. The ANZS involves two survey stages – a main interview and a follow-up interview.

  1. First, you will be asked to take part in a 30-minute interview. This will take place at your home.
  2. At the end of the 30 minutes, the interviewer will ask if you would like to take part in a shorter 10 minute interview at a later date and time that suits you.

Both interviews ask about your involvement in sport and recreation, but the second interview provides an opportunity for you to tell us more about your sport and recreation experiences and what sport and recreation activities you would like to try or do more of.

What questions will I be asked?

You will be asked questions about your participation in sport and recreation and any volunteering you do.  The first part is about what sport and active recreation you do, how often you participate and the reasons why you do, or don't participate. We also ask about the different ways you choose to participate (eg. with clubs, causally with friends, at events, or through competitions), and whether you are coached.

The second part is about any sport and active recreation volunteering you do (eg. coach, referee), what sports you volunteer for, and how much time you spend volunteering.

What will the information be used for?

The final results will help us provide better sport and recreation opportunities to suit the needs of New Zealanders. The results will be published on this website by 2015. Results for previous studies are available at

Are the answers I give anonymous?

Yes, your answers are added to other people's to create group statistics, rather than used individually.  NRB's interviewers and office staff are also bound by the Privacy Act 1993, which means they cannot discuss any answers from the survey with members of the public.

Is there someone I can contact to ask a question about the survey?

If the information on this website doesn't help, you can email NRB's project manager. The contact details will be on the brochure you received from your NRB interviewer. 

About the questions

What questions are asked?

The questions focus on the participation and volunteering behaviours of adults.

The participation questions ask what sports and active recreation adults do, where they do them, how often they participate, the reasons for participating (or not), the different ways adults choose to participate (eg. with clubs, causally with friends, at events, or through competitions), and if they get coaching for their sport. The volunteer questions ask about what types of volunteer roles they do (eg. coach, referee), what sports they volunteer for, and the time they spend volunteering.

Are the questions asked in 2013/14 different or the same as those in earlier surveys?

Questions for topics that we want to compare and use to monitor change over time remain the same as those in earlier surveys.

Over time the opportunities available for adults to participate and volunteer have changed. An example of this is the existence of virtual teams and clubs that are organised through the internet. To reflect this ever-changing environment, new questions have been added and others updated. These adjustments ensure that the questions asked are relevant and reflect the current sport and recreation environment. The updated and new questions provide us with new baseline information to monitor in the future.

A key addition to the survey is the collection of more detailed information about how often adults participate in each of their chosen sports and recreation activities. The question asked allows us to estimate the number of times over a year an adult has played a sport or done an active recreation activity. Another new topic area is how people pay to take part. For example, do people pay annual membership fees, pay single entry cost to play (eg. court hire), pay to enter one-off events or don't pay because its free to participate. This provides indicative information about the financial commitment adults make to participate.

Are there any questions not being repeated from the earlier surveys?

Yes. Reflecting Sport NZ's current focus on sport and active recreation, we are not repeating questions about how physically active adults are. The Ministry of Health is now responsible for promoting and monitoring physical activity among New Zealanders. More information about its monitoring surveys can be found at

The findings and progress updates

When and where will the results be available?

The initial findings will be available towards the end of the 2014 calendar year. Results will be published on Sport NZ's website and in a series of reports and factsheets.

Will the findings be compared with those from earlier surveys?

Yes. There are certain questions that have remained unchanged since 1997/98. This allows us to conduct trend analysis on both participation and volunteer information.

How will the results be used?

The Survey will provide Sport NZ and the wider sector valuable information about how adults engage in sport and recreation – as participants and as volunteers. The results will inform our work in community sport and active recreation, and the development of our next strategic plan.

Want to keep up to date with the progress of the ANZS?

We will update this web page as the survey progresses and new information is available.

Other sport and recreation information

What to know more about our sources of sport and recreation information?

You might like to read about the results of 2007/08 Active NZ Survey that are still relevant now.

If you are interested in broader sport and recreation sector research, you can visit and sign up to the Sport and Recreation Knowledge Library and to our monthly e-publication Relay.