Legislation establishing an independent body to strengthen and protect the integrity of the sport and recreation system has passed its final reading in Parliament with near unanimous support.
Sport and Recreation Minister, Grant Robertson said the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission will be an independent Crown Entity when it is becomes operational next year.
A central focus of the Commission will be on the wellbeing of participants and ensuring they have better support and protections to safely raise integrity matters.
“The new Commission will help protect the wellbeing of participants at all levels and uphold the fairness of competition. It is an important step towards better protection of integrity in sport and recreation,” Minister Robertson said.
“I want to acknowledge the many athletes and participants that have courageously come forward to raise integrity concerns. The Commission will help resolve the serious issues that do unfortunately occur from time to time in sport and recreation and, vitally, will seek to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
“This independent entity will enable a simpler, more accessible, and participant-focused approach. It’s important the new entity retains the expertise and functions performed by Drug Free Sport NZ and Sport NZ, as well as broadening the capacity.”
The Commission’s core role will be to set integrity standards, and provide education, advice, and complaint and dispute resolution services for participants in sport and recreation, and to investigate breaches of integrity standards. The Commission will also incorporate Drug Free Sport New Zealand and become New Zealand’s national anti-doping organisation.
Another key function of the Commission will be to create a Code of Integrity for Sport and Recreation. The Code will set clear standards for organisations and individuals in the sport and recreation sector.
“As well as being responsible for promoting integrity at all levels, the Commission will provide much needed support for grassroots organisations and administrators,” Minister Robertson said.