Sport NZ - ihi Aotearoa - Sport New Zealand
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Investment Framework

Sport NZ has an investment framework that applies to National Sport Organisations (NSOs) and National Recreation Organisations (NROs) seeking investment.

The investment principles provide an over-arching framework of the organisational attributes that Sport NZ wants to see in its investment partners.  

The eligibility criteria are used to ensure the organisation has the attributes that Sport NZ is looking for in an investment partner and whether it has the capability to receive and manage public monies.

The total amount of funding available for investment is not changing.  We will continue to target organisations that can most effectively and efficiently deliver on Sport NZ’s priorities of getting more kids in sport and recreation, more adults in sport and recreation, and more winners on the world stage.  

Organisations need to understand that meeting the criteria does not guarantee investment and will be subject to meeting the criteria, and the availability of specific investment funds.


Sport NZ will receive applications for eligibility twice a year.  The eligibility criteria only apply to NSOs and NROs (application form (DOC, 370 Kb)).

The next period for receiving applications is August 2013.

All applications will be considered within six weeks of the closing date.  

Investment principles and description


Investing in strong, capable partners


Investing in organisations that have a strong performance record of delivering on outcomes.


Prioritising investment that helps to achieve the government sport and recreation priorities.


Investing for a strong and measurable outcome

Value for money

Investment should be focussed on organisations that represent the most effective and efficient use of funding to achieve Sport NZ’s desired outcomes.  

Avoiding duplication

Investing in partners who support cohesion and collaboration in the sport and recreation sector.

Partnership leverage

Investing in organisations that attract other investment and can leverage the value of Sport NZ’s investment.

Evidence of effectiveness: Reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of investment through robust monitoring and evaluation.

Eligibility Criteria

There are two categories of criteria that we will be considering.  Our eligibility criteria include a mix of mandatory and evaluative criteria, and reflect basic requirements of good governance and management of public funding.  Some requirements are only applicable to sport organisations.

Category One: Mandatory

Participation and Performance

The organisation has a focus on increasing participation and/or winning on the world stage.


The organisation:

  • complies with the World Anti-Doping Code and accepts the jurisdiction of the Sports Tribunal (or has acceptable policies in place for addressing disputes)*.
  • has current status as an incorporated society, registered charity, or charitable trust.

Accountability/Partner Capability

The organisation:

  • has management systems that are responsive to addressing any concerns;
  • is able to provide financial reports that have been audited or subject to an engagement review by a chartered accountant for the previous three financial years of its existence;
  • has the capacity and capability to provide  accurate reporting on participation and performance; and
  • has an acceptable strategic plan covering three or more years.

Category Two: Evaluative

Promotion, supporting or delivering sport and/or recreation is a core function

  • To what extent does the organisation focus on the delivery of sport and/or recreation outcomes? 

Organisational structure

  • Is it a national body?
  • Can other organisations affiliate to it?
  • Does the organisation perform a coordination role across similar organisations in New Zealand? 
  • Is the organisation structured in a way that provides a cohesive and collective approach to sport and recreation administration? 

International Linkages

  • Is the organisation affiliated to, and recognised by, an international federation where one exists?
  • Is the organisation affiliated to the New Zealand Olympic Committee*?

Participation and/or performance

  • How well does this organisation perform on increasing participation? 
  • What have been the participation figures for the previous three years?
  • How well does the work of the organisation tie in with government priority of more New Zealanders winning on the world stage?*

Supporting sport and recreation

  • How well does the work of the organisation tie in with the government priority of more New Zealanders participating in supporting and delivering sport and recreation opportunities?


  • How successful has the funding relationship been between the organisation and its funders, including Sport NZ?
  • How well has the organisation partnered with other organisations?


  • Barring any Sport NZ investment, is the organisation able to generate sufficient financial resources to meet its administrative commitments without compromising its reserves or ability to carry out its mandate.

* Only applicable to sports organisations and not recreation organisations.



Why has Sport NZ established eligibility criteria for investment?

Previously national sport and recreation organisations had to be `recognised’ by Sport NZ in order to qualify for investment.  However, it makes better sense that investment in an NSO or NRO should be based on the organisation’s capability to manage public funds and deliver results according to Sport NZ’s Strategic Plan (PDF, 1.33 Mb).

How is this different from the previous recognition process?

The previous process only recognised one organisation as the national body for each particular sport or recreational code.  This was the organisation that we would partner with for investment purposes.  The new investment process focuses on the capability of organisations and could mean that more than one organisation within a particular sport or recreational code could be eligible for investment.  However being eligible for investment is not a guarantee of investment.

How will I work out whether my organisation is eligible to receive investment?

Any organisation that has a reasonable claim to be a national sporting or recreational body can seek investment from Sport NZ.  In order to receive investment, NSOs and NROs will have to demonstrate they are capable of receiving and managing public monies. That is, they will have to meet a set of eligibility criteria.

There is a set of mandatory criteria that organisations have to meet in order to be eligible.  There is also a set of evaluative criteria that an organisation will be assessed against.  These criteria include that an organisation must be a lawful entity, show financial reporting for the past three years, and have a strategic plan covering three or more years.

However, the new investment framework means that Sport NZ’s investment decisions will target investment to only those organisations that are most likely to deliver on the outcomes in Sport NZ’s Strategic Plan (PDF, 1.33 Mb).

If our organisation is eligible for investment, does that mean we are guaranteed to receive it?

No.  Eligibility for Sport NZ investment doesn’t guarantee investment.  Investment decisions depend on the current priority areas as well as the amount available to invest.

What happens if a similar organisation from the same sport also wants to apply for investment?

In some sports there is no clear national body and in some cases, several organisations may be capable of delivering good outcomes for Sport NZ.  The criteria are deliberately broad and open to allow any national organisation that is capable of delivering good sport and/or recreation outcomes to apply for investment.  Actual investment decisions will ensure investment is not spread thinly among rival organisations.  Collaboration and co-operation between organisations, rather than competition, is strongly encouraged.

How can we use this new investment framework for other investment applications?

The new eligibility criteria provide a much better indication that an organisation is suitable for investment from other funders than the previous recognition criteria.  Therefore, there should not be an issue for third party funders if an organisation can demonstrate that it meets the new eligibility criteria.