Auckland City Council and Sport NZ have worked in partnership to develop the Sports Field Demand Model and toolkit that can assess the capacity and usage of sports fields within a given region.
The toolkit is available on Sport NZ’s website for anyone to download and provides a framework for assessing field supply and demand, shortfalls and surpluses. The model allows the development of robust strategies for managing the supply of sports fields.
The toolkit is a sophisticated development that could revolutionise sports field provision and management in New Zealand.
The need for the toolkit was identified by Auckland City Council who is experiencing significant pressure on the demand for sports fields in the city. With continued population growth and changing participation trends the pressure for field space in Auckland is predicted to further increase.
In Auckland City, sports field management decisions had previously been based on factors such as the number of winter related field closures, complaints by users, political pressures and investment schedules.
There had been no robust methodology for identifying where any shortfall or surplus capacity lay across the city or for assessing trends in demand for space to play sport and train.
The sports field demand model takes the subjectivity out of the equation and lifts decision making to a new level, based on hard data. The information it provides will help ensure effective provision of sports fields in Auckland or in any other region that uses the model.
Sport NZ Senior Advisor Debbie Curgenven says the model, is a very exciting innovation. “From this one-off project we now have a valuable toolkit available on our website free for organisations to use into the future.”
The development and first application of the toolkit
The model, utilising Microsoft Excel, is based on the Playing Pitch Model developed by Sport England and has been adapted to New Zealand conditions. In addition to the current supply and demand information, predictions on future requirements for sports fields can also be made with the addition of population projection data.
Auckland City Council commissioned a consultant to build the model and then use it to gather information from Auckland clubs and sporting codes on their current and likely future requirements.
The consultant also worked with the council’s parks advisors to gather information on the capacity of the fields across the city. Working with the toolkit, the number of teams plus the space and time required by each of the teams was compared to the capacity of the fields. Shortfalls and occasional surpluses were identified.
From the early developmental stages, the project has had a high level of visibility. It has been peer reviewed by a number of council’s including Christchurch, Wellington, North Shore, Waitakere, and the Far North District Council.
From the shortfall in sports field capacity identified, Auckland City Council is now developing a sports field plan that identifies priority projects across the city to ensure the adequate provision of a winter sports field network in to the future.
Strategically this plan will sit within the Council’s overarching Open Space Framework and within one of the key priority areas of Auckland City’s recreation plan ‘Active Auckland’.
Using the sports field toolkit
The online toolkit and associated materials are available for download.
Sports field strategy guidelines (DOC, 1.62 Mb)
Sports Field Model: Data Entry Template (XLS, 1.06 Mb)
Sports Field Model: Data Entry User Guide (DOC, 2.39 Mb)
Sports Field Demand: Sports Club Questionnaire (DOC, 116 Kb)
Sports Field Demand: School Questionnaire (DOC, 67 Kb)
To discuss in more detail the application of the toolkit by Auckland City Council please contact:
Recreation Planner | Recreation and Events Policy
Auckland City Council
Ph: 09 307 6024 Extn 7824
Back to top