Summary of sector engagement hui on the future of integrity in sport and recreation

Overview of engagement approach 

A total of 22 on-line engagement hui were held in February and March 2022, with 550 people from more than 230 organisations invited to attend. The last of these hui was a webinar, which was recorded and made publicly available here: Webinar: Developing a national code of integrity for the sport and recreation sector. 

All hui were led by the Transition Director, supported by the Integrity Transition Programme team. A short presentation was delivered, followed by questions and feedback.  

The sessions covered: 

  • The journey to date, from high performance reviews in 2018, through to the transition programme and plans for establishment of the new entity; 
  • Experiences and expectations, based on survey data and insights;  
  • Opportunities to engage in development of the Code and the Select Committee process; and 
  • Ways the sector can support and promote opportunities for their members and others to feed into the Public Consultation relating to development of the Code.  

Participants / Attendees 

A total of 140 people attended the hui and shared their whakaaro. The participants were predominantly representing sector organisations including Board, executive and operational team members. 

Attendees of the Webinar (the final hui in this series) represented a range of perspectives and backgrounds within sport and recreation including as athletes/participants, coaches and administrators, volunteers and parents/whānau.   

The participants were involved in a range of sports and recreation activities. 

The sessions were received positively. Many groups expressed that they agreed with the overall direction – with some commenting that the time was right to establish a new entity dedicated to integrity, if not a little overdue.  

General questions and feedback 

Discussion about the scope of the new entity 

  • Participants were interested in discussing the reasons for including active recreation organisations in the scope of the new entity, and how the entity’s functions would apply to them. 
  • There were similar discussions about the meaning of ‘participant’.  (Note that this is addressed through a definition in the Bill: section 4 of the Integrity Sport and Recreation Bill.) 
  • There was discussion also about the extent to which the new entity might absorb the functions currently performed by NSOs, particularly in relation to a disciplinary panel and investigative and adjudicative functions. 
  • Several people asked whether school sport would be covered. This has been added to the FAQs. 
  • The view that there is a close link between organisational culture and integrity was expressed often, identifying the needs for the new entity to educate on culture. This led to discussion around the monitoring role of the new entity.  

Code related  

  • The range of opportunities for people to engage and provide feedback and their views on the development of the Code were well received. Several groups stated the importance of hearing from a wide audience.  
  • Participants raised the importance of rangatahi voice in relation to consultation and engagement on the development of the Code.  
  • The timing of the Code being issued and adopted was top-of-mind for organisations with Olympic sports, considering what if any impact it would have on the lead into Paris 2024. 
  • Participants discussed the need to maintain a balance, including: 
  • How to balance protection of participants without placing an undue compliance burden on community organisations reliant on volunteers.  
  • Ensuring that the types of levers or incentives the new entity would use to encourage adoption were appropriate for the sector.
  • High performance groups commented that safeguarding seemed to be a heavy focus and noted it will be important not to lose sight of fairness of competitions and a level playing field. 
  • The process of adoption of the Code and the scope of inclusion of affiliate organisations was of interest.  A phased adoption process was discussed.  
  • In reference to the Code being human rights-based, this raised a question around what would be covered in the Code that wasn’t covered by Member Protection. One group expressed that “general rules for everyone does make it a bit easier” and that a Code is “possibly a means to achieve clear, concise accountability across multiple organisations”. 

“I obviously support safety and fairness on and off the field. Concerned though about adding to accretion of compliance burden on community sport organisations reliant on volunteer time and grant funding. So, the question – How to get the balance right?”

Dispute resolution feedback 

  • Views were expressed that avoidance of a formal process for dispute resolution would be important, which related to the need to equip people with tools before issues escalate.  
  • A somewhat opposed viewpoint was that one of the biggest challenges was buy-in from the sector to engage in a formal process and that resolution was key. That the new entity will need to encourage engagement with the resolution process.  
  • Points about public awareness of the complaints and dispute resolution services in general, and specifically relating to Māori, were raised.  

Māori lens 

The feedback and questions raised emphasised the importance of consultation with Māori, not just in the context of the Code but in capturing the wider views of Māori, in the organisational and process design of the entity itself.   

  • One group gave feedback on the importance of ensuring the new entity processes do not further perpetuate colonisation and Western whakaaro.  
  • Strong views were expressed that the drivers are different for Māori, with several stating that their Māori organisations were set up to strengthen hapu and iwi development through sport for social and health reasons, e.g. to reduce alcohol harm, or with an anti-smoking focus.  
  • Focus is on whakapapa, mātauranga Māori and tikanga. That MSOs do not need high-performance (Māori are inherently high performing), not focused on getting more elite athletes.  
  • Māori sports maintain their Mana Motuhake and will question why they are being told what to do with respect to integrity. They are focused on a wellbeing, wellness model based on what makes them Māori – te reo, tikanga and whakapapa.  
  • Māori sports are kaupapa-driven and focused on strengthening whanau wellbeing. If you have a strong kaupapa, then the focus on integrity and conversations about integrity are not needed.  
  • Insights into the need for strong Governance and leadership were shared based on the need to drive the kaupapa and that most are volunteers.  
  • The issue of accountability was raised with Māori Sports Organisations understanding whakapapa and the accountabilities, in that, Māori are accountable to their iwi, hapu and not necessarily the organisation. 

“Integrity is similar to the tikanga and kawa that applies on Marae – you know or, if you don’t know, you will get told”

Disability lens 

  • It was expressed that discrimination is a topic that is important to the disabled community and that this could be perception; or may be actual discrimination, or feasibly both.  
  • In reference to safeguarding, it was mentioned that documents are often in reference to children; but vulnerable adults also need safeguarding. It will be important to ensure that definitions encompass the broader range of vulnerable people.  
  • Another group mentioned the importance of considering the needs of people at high risk of bullying and those who may be perceived as not having a voice of their own. 
  • Manipulation of classifications in Disability Sports was raised as an integrity (more specifically Competition Manipulation) issue.

“Have to ensure that consultation includes Disability Sport Organisations, including regional e.g. Disabled Tennis, not just Tennis”