New Sport Integrity body a step closer

Sport and Recreation

The Integrity Sport and Recreation Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament, marking a major step towards establishing the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission.

“Once up and running, the new Commission will help protect the wellbeing of athletes and participants and uphold the fairness of competition,” Grant Robertson said.

“In recent times we have seen serious issues arise in a number of sporting codes with respect to athlete wellbeing and safety. It is the right time for an independent organisation that can work to both deal with cases like this and seek to prevent them from occurring.”

Its core role will be to provide education and advice, complaint and dispute resolution services for participants in sport and recreation, and to investigate breaches of integrity standards. It will also become New Zealand’s national anti-doping organisation, taking in Drug Free Sport NZ.

“It is clear from consultation just how important independence is for athletes and participants when it came to both raising integrity issues and making complaints. That’s been a core principle in the design of the new entity, and the commission will be independent of Sport NZ and High Performance Sport NZ.

“Grassroots organisations and administrators, who are largely volunteers, often lack the time and expertise to prevent and resolve complex integrity matters appropriately. The Commission will provide much needed support in this regard,” Grant Robertson said.

The legislation is now before the Social Services and Community Committee which will shortly call for public submissions. This provides an important opportunity for participants and organisations to have their say on the bill.

The Bill is expected to be reported back to Parliament and pass later in this Parliamentary term, with the intention that the new Commission will be established in 2024.