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New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Fears For Future Of Community Sport Organisations

The passage of the Incorporated Societies Bill into law is likely to result in unintended consequences for community sport organisations (CSOs) in New Zealand, which have not been fully considered in the drafting of the legislation, according to the New Zealand Amateur Sport Association Inc.

The Association believes that the Bill (as currently drafted) is likely to:

  • accelerate the voluntary and involuntary dissolution of CSOs
  • impair the recruitment of volunteers to govern and administer CSOs
  • reduce the ability of CSOs to deliver the physical and social benefits of organised amateur sport to local communities and as a result
  • decrease the overall level of participation in CSOs nationally.

In preparing its submission on the Bill to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, the Association notes that nearly 1,000 CSOs have been dissolved by the Registrar in the past five years, in many cases involuntarily for failure to comply with the requirements of the existing Act. Based on a survey of CSOs undertaken since the Bill was introduced to Parliament in March, 98% of respondents were not aware of the Bill and had not been contacted by their national governing body concerning their obligations should it pass into law.

Association President, Marian George said that, “while the Association is generally supportive of the objective of the Government in modernising the existing Act, it opposes certain aspects of the draft legislation owing to concerns that some reforms contained in the Bill will place additional regulatory burdens on CSOs and their volunteers, which have the potential to negatively impact on community participation in sport, (both on and off-field).”

Association Chairman, Gordon Noble-Campbell notes that, “in principle, the Association believes that legislative reform should seek to ameliorate (rather than further impair) the governance and operational capability of non-profit CSOs”, which is why it has recommended seven proposed changes to the Bill for the consideration of Parliament’s Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee.

The Association, was formed and incorporated in April 2017 to work collaboratively with all sporting codes in promoting, fostering, advancing, and encouraging the core values of organised amateur sport. Its vision is that all communities (both urban and rural) have viable and enduring amateur sporting bodies which attract, engage, build, and sustain membership based on each participant’s and each community’s unique needs. Participation and achievement in organised amateur sport is essential for healthy communities and must be a critical goal, for the well-being of society.

You can download a copy of the Association’s submission at https://www.asa.org.nz/news/blog

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