Kia Kaha, Kia Ora | Be Active, Be Well


Sport Hawke's Bay in the Community

Sport Hawke's Bay is proud to work alongside a wide range of play, active recreation, sport and health programmes and initiatives in Hawke's Bay. Check out some of the great stories and successes below


Riding for the disbaled

Since 1972, Hastings Riding for the Disabled (RDA) have been providing therapeutic riding lessons and horse mastership to the physically, mentally and intellectually disabled youth of Hawke’s Bay and in 2022 Tū Manawa was able to assist this kaupapa.

Hastings RDA have 50 participants every week from Kowhai Special School, Havelock North Intermediate and Havelock North High School, along with individuals who have been referred from their doctor or physiotherapist. Unlike traditional riding schools Hastings RDA are more in-depth and individualised for their participants. Each rider is assessed and placed in sessions with other children with similar disabilities, riding abilities and their goals. The sessions are: sports and recreation, education and therapy. With each rider and their horse having support from a volunteer lead, a volunteer
supporter, a coach and assistant, there is the opportunity for social
connections and development in all classes not just for the rider,
but volunteers as well.



Parkvale was successful in their application to the Sport Hawke’s Bay Tū Manawa Play Activation Fund, where the school received $500.00.

The funding was used as a koha, to hire a local artist, Cherie Meerlo to bring the project and ideas to life by ‘chalk bombing’ the school. This was completed on the teacher only day before the first day of school, adding something new and exciting for when new and returning students arrived at school.

With the support of the Senior Leadership Team, Amy, alongside Healthy
Active Learning Advisor, Stevie-Jean Nicholson started the “Parkavle Play Project”. The aim of this project was to increase play and movement of all ākonga, through various paint designs in under-utilised areas.

The team’s first approach was to scan the areas, brainstorm design ideas and gather insights from various students of what they would like to see around their kura. Through using these insights they were able to create a Tū Manawa funding application.



Cyclone Gabrielle upended the lives of many throughout Hawke’s
Bay and Eskdale was a community heavily impacted. Eskdale School
classrooms sit atop a small rise in the lower valley, spared from the
torrent of water, however their rugby field and playground were covered
in water and silt.

The school relocated their students to continue
their learning in nearby communities. This meant the students were
disjointed with intermediate students at Westshore School and year
1-6 students were in converted classrooms at the football and rugby
clubs at Petane domain.


Read about Jack Eagles conquering the Ruahine Ranges

Omakere School in Central Hawke’s Bay put the Council funded, All Terrain Wheelchair to test on a school camp hikoi to Sunrise Hut in the Ruahine Ranges.

The use of the wheelchair allowed Jack to experience the climb and be active in a way that met his needs alongside his peers.

There were plenty of challenges for Jack, Rob and the Middle Room but they easily overcame them through sheer determination and a bit of kiwi ingenuity.  


Supporting Hawke's Bay Cricket create an enjoyable environment for all.

Balance is Better and GoodSports are two key initiatives from Sport New Zealand that focus on participation and development while keeping the needs of youth athletes at the centre.

Craig Ross, Comunity and Pathway Manager at Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association (HBCA), has championed these philosophies in recent years using them to guide HBCA’s approach to working with players within its junior representative programme- seeing beyond the attributes of the cricketer to support the development of the whole person.

Read their journey here.


Wellness Riders create a safe and inviting space for kotiro (girls) to explore and experience skating. Established 6 years ago in Auckland, they have brought their sessions and kaupapa to Hawke’s Bay.

Holding youth-led sessions, creating space for wellness conversations and discussions as well as skate carnivals to showcase new skills, Wellness Riders are breaking down barriers and stigmas.

Tū Manawa funded the  Wellness Riders to purchase protective equipment and skateboards so the girls are confident and safe when performing their new tricks and skills.  


Supporting Lumsden Place in Heretaunga activate whānau throughout their residential street.

Hastings saw its first Play Street in Lumsden Place in mid-march as a way for their tamariki residents and their whānau to connect and reflect with each other after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Lumsden Place Play Street is part of a region-wide approach by all four Councils to enable more opportunities for whānau to connect and strengthen relationships, and be active in their communities comfortably, confidently and safely.

With the ultimate goal of developing a consistent regional framework to ensure resident-led Play Streets are easy and accessible for all.


Supporting tamariki of all abilities to be active in a way they want to be

Frimley School have showcased the importance of listening to student voice to provide opportunities and the impact that it can have within their wider school. To encourage more inclusive opportunities and to coincide with the new basketball hoop, Sport Hawke’s Bay’s Disability and Inclusion Advisor, Blanche Paewai- Ashcroft delivered two teacher inclusion training sessions. These sessions were focused around adaption to their current teaching methods, inclusive language and ensuring all students receive an inclusive physical activity session within their schooling curriculum.

Sport Hawke’s Bay were able to support this kaupapa through Stevie Nicholson, Frimley School’s Healthy Active Learning Advisor. Frimley are part of Healthy Active Learning, a multi-organisational initiative with Sport New Zealand, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education involved.


Supporting the Hawke's Bay Sports Coalition raise awareness about adult behavious in childrens sport.

28th of February 2022 saw 16 sport leaders come together at Hawke’s Bay Hockey’s pavilion in Tamatea for a Trainers workshop designed to explore the Good Sports initiative and how it could impact children’s sport in the future.

All six members of the Hawke’s Bay Sports Coalition, Hawke’s Bay Hockey, Hawke’s Bay Netball, Hawke’s Bay Cricket Assn, Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union, Central Football and Basketball Hawke’s Bay were represented by Regional Managers, Coach Developers, Administrators and Development Officers alongside Sport Hawke’s Bay leaders within secondary school and disability sport.


Supporting Waka Ama Kahungunu to develop coaches 

In 2019 Sport Hawke’s Bay Sport Development Manager, Tim Motu, commenced a project collaborating with Waka Ama Kahungunu in developing a coach training programme tailored to the needs identified by coaches for the benefit of tamariki, rangatahi and all kaihoe participating in this traditional Māori sport.

The coach development strategy involved gathering insights from the Waka Ama Kahungunu coach community, workshop planning, deliverer engagement, workshop delivery, a series review and reiteration.


A Sport Hawke's Bay led initiative that supports young people to gain confidence biking around their community.

Sport Hawke’s Bay have been working within the Te Tupu project
with the outcome of enabling children to move safely through their
community without having to rely on vehicle transport while enjoying
their freedom from what their community has to offer. To achieve this a cycling session every week is held named ‘Wellness Wednesday’.

Through the programme, students have been on a variety of excursions. Trips of cultural interest are incorporated, with students visiting the Ātea a Rangi – Waitangi Regional Park, Waka hourua in Ahuriri, various Pā sites, the New Zealand Aquarium as well as other rides to the Hastings Sports Park, Pakowhai Park, Te Awanga and along the Tutaekuri River.

SUPPORTING STARJAM TRUST through the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund

Jamming in Hawke's Bay

In early 2020 Sport Hawke’s Bay held a Disability and Inclusion Information Gathering Event to determine what is currently happening within the disabled community, what they perceive is missing, what they would like to see happen and how to get there. One theme that emerged was they would like more regular and diverse opportunities. StarJam is just one of these opportunities to present itself.

Working alongside Sport Hawke's Bay, the StarJam Trust made a successful application to the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund.

Young people, known as ‘Jammers’, who participate in these workshops experience respect, confidence and empowerment as well as gain new friends,


A Sport Hawke's Bay led initiative that supports people of all ages to increase their confidence to swim in open water

As a coastal region, Sport Hawke’s Bay understands the importance in increasing peoples confidence and knowledge within the open water and have been running block courses since 2012. The courses, ranging from 4 - 6 weeks depending on weather conditions, focus on how to manage the conditions, entering and exiting the water safely, treading water, extending
strokes, breathing and what to do when feeling anxious.

Open to all ages, the 2021 course saw an increase of 167% in participation from tamariki and rangatahi compared to the 2020 course.


Supporting young peoples safety in and around water

In 2015 Wayne Forrest was at his local school swimming sports when he
saw a child who seemed confident in shallow water seriously struggle
as soon as they entered the deep water. Wayne had lost a friend to
drowning in the sea years ago and these 2 incidents sparked a desire to
want to help our young people be safer in the water, so CHB Swim-4-
Lives Group was formed and the idea of a swim-a-thon quickly followed
as a way to raise funds, which was welcomed by the community as a
fun, active and relevant fundraising project to support programmes
that would improve children’s safety in and around water.

Supported by a a range of organisations, including Sport Hawke's Bay, this initiative works alongside local schools across the Central Hawke's Bay district.


Working collaboratively with organisations to get more people cycling, more often

Sport Hawke's Bay, alongside the Hastings District Council brought together 7 organisations to deliver a collaborative cycle instructor training session to support more people living with a disability to be able to take part in cycle skills training.

The two main objectives of the two-day workshop were for instructors
to leave with an increased confidence around including disabled
people within the existing cycle skills programme and to have an
increased knowledge around disability with practical skills to modify

Special thanks to Hastings District Council, Halberg Foundation, Deaf Aoteaoa, Blind Sport NZ, Paralympics NZ, Special Olympics, Blind and Low Vision NZ and Autism NZ.


Working alongside Sport NZ to deliver sessions to the Play, Active Recreation and Sport Sector

Across two days, over 100 people from our play, active recreation, sport
and education sectors joined us at one of three workshops to discuss
the Balance is Better philosophy. We were joined by guests Alex Chiet, Sport New Zealand’s National Sport Development Consultant, Donna Trow, Badminton New Zealand Development Manager, Charissa Barham, Netball New Zealand National Youth Development Manager and Dillon Boucher, ex-
Tall Black and ex-NZ Breakers player and General Manager to discuss
the meaning behind Balance is Better and what is happening across the

The philosphy is in place to ensure that all young people who play sports receive a quality experience, irrespective of the level at which they compete, and develop a life-long love of sport and physical activity.


Parterning with Hastings District Council to work alongside community

Camberley, Flaxmere, Mayfair and Raureka in Hastings have been apart
of the Hastings District Council’s Targeted Communities programme
that sees Sport Hawke's Bays Community Activator delivering sessions for tamariki alongside the community.

These are centered around having fun whilst learning and being active. Every week day during school terms there is at least one session happening within these communities.


Grant Place Gets Out to Play

Local residents of a Napier community got in behind a new initiative that saw a local cul-de-sac closed and allowed for the neighbourhood to get out and play safely and freely outside their own front door. With thanks to support from Waka Kotahi and Napier City Council, this close knit community were able to deliver the first ever 'PlayStreets' in Hawke's Bay.

If you are interested in a PlayStreets happeing in your local community, contact Tina Haslett here


Activating Hastings Girls' High School

Hastings Girls' High School Students looked at non-traditional ways of getting the school active. Following a meeting with Sophie Hickford (Secondary School Sports Director) and Kate Benny (Community Partnerships Advisor), the Akina Colour Shamozzle was born - an event that saw a 6950% increase on the 2019 school cross country event. 

For more information on the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa fund click here


Tamariki Rugby

Following a series of sideline behaviour workshops to supporters at Taradale Rugby Club, Bridge Pa Rugby Club and Napier Boys High School, Sport Hawke's Bay teamed up with Maria Mudd from EIT to carry out some sideline behaviour observations to see if they had a difference to the way supporters encouraged tamariki on the field.

Special thanks to Taradale Rugby Club, Bridge Pa Rugby Club and EIT.


Growing the Kahikatea Tree

Irongate School wanted a sustainable way to increase their hauora while connecting to their wairua. As a result, the Ka Tipu Nga Kahikitea project was developed.

Special thanks to the wide range of partners that we worked alongside to deliver this, including Irongate School, Hastings District Council, Hawke's Bay DHB, iWay, Downer, Skills Active, Te Aranga Marae and Bikes in Schools. Click here to watch the video


A hapū and community based health programme

The Live Well programme focuses on sharing healthy eating advice, physical activity guidance and is a simple way to socialise and share experiences.

Read how this Live Well group who are are all Kaumātua from Takapau in Central Hawke’s Bay. have found the programme beneficial. They have previously established relationships prior to this programme and thus can keep each other accountable.


Developing Active Men of Valour alongside Te Aratika Academy

Through the support of Sport Hawke's Bays Regional Active Recreation Advisor, Jackson Waerea and funding via the Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa fund, Te Aratika were able to provide an opportunity for their students to be active and learn at the same time.

Outcomes for the camp were to provide a series of experiences that would not be readily available to rangatahi and their whānau, upskill rangatahi through active recreation, promote transferable soft skills such as confidence and leadership, create supportive networks for rangatahi and identify, promote and connect with kaupapa Māori.

For more information on Tū Manawa, click here


Sport Hawke’s Bay and the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council have been working together to create healthier and stronger communities by creating safe and accessible residential play areas for kids to be active, to learn, and for neighbours to come together. Following a social media campaign to find local ‘street champions’, Sally from Francis Drake Street was found, and it was agreed this particular street would be ideal for the first PlaySteets Central Hawke’s Bay pilot.

Play Streets are short, resident-led road closures for neighbours to play safely and freely outside their own front door. The focus is on encouraging play and physical activity by temporarily opening the street for play and closing it to cars. They are small, local events on quiet, low risk streets and the process to close the street for this type of event should ideally be simpler than the process for closing a high-volume, high-risk street for a large-scale event.

In a team effort, Sally engaged with Sport Hawke’s Bay and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council to go through the revised street closure process, complete the application form and submit it to the traffic management team at Council for their approval and sign-off and on Sunday 23rd May, the street was turned into a safe area to play for 21 children and their whānau.