What is the purpose of play? 
​​​​​​​Play is one of the four ways we can support our tamariki getting active, alongside physical education, active recreation and sport.

A child’s earliest physical experiences are through play and it’s also where they develop and practice life skills. Play allows children to experience fun, joy and laughter in a way that is important to them.

In the resources below, learn more about our commitment to promoting and advocating on the importance of play for tamariki in New Zealand. See the play principles that help guide our work in partnering and collaborating with others interested in play, and find out how you can encourage play and what to think about when designing spaces for children’s play.

Why Play?
Active play is essential for growth in cognitive, physical, social and emotional deveoplment. It develops fundamental movement skills and knowledge, fosters creativity and innovation, and builds an ability to identify and manage risk. Ensuring tamariki have the time, space and permission to play helps build a healthier and thriving Tāmaki Makaurau. Play contributes not only to children's lives, but also to the wellbeing of their famalies, whanau and wider community. 

Contact us:
If you want to know more about play please contact:

Matt Johnson
​​​​​​​Play Systems Advisor

Te Whai Kori

Regional Play Framework for Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland

Providing strategic oversight and advocacy, Aktive works with and through its System Build Partners and regional stakeholders to advocate for and support play. With input from a range of stakeholders, this Regional Framework outlines the plan to develop play across Tāmaki Makaurau.

View our Regional Play Framework and Play Guide.

Kia Hīanga Sport NZ's Play Plan​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa has developed Kia Hīanga which is their Play Plan for 2022-2025. It sets our Sport New Zealand Ihi Aoteroa's vision for bi-cultural play with a focus on tamariki aged 5-12.

See the links below for Sport NZ's Play Plan, and more information about play via their website.

Sport Aucklands' Play Path
​​​​​​​The Play Path was developed by Sport Auckland to help provide guidance for schools on their play journeys. Sport Auckland is able to assist at any point during their jounney, please reach out to your Healthy Active Learning contact or Matt, our Play Systems Advisor.

Let's Talk Play workshops
​​​​​​​These workshops are designed for school staff and whānau. In this workshop, we discuss the value of play, challenges faced in modern society and where play will be in the future. We also discuss the key enablers of play 'Time, Space and Permission' along with how our use of language can help develop tamarikis perceptions around risk. The last part of the workshop is all about Risk, but how the learning benefits outway the risks and how we can ensure our tamariki get these experiences in a safe environment. 

Say Yes to Play Series
​​​​​​​Play is vital in ensuring tamariki have the best possible start in life. ​​​​​​​‘Say Yes to Play’ is a series of three short online learning modules to support parents and caregivers to grow their knowledge of play and inspire more play. Every adult has the potential to create more play for their whānau and these modules will support you to do that.In Module 1 ‘Say Yes to Play’, learn about play principles and definitions and why play is important in a child’s life. The aim is to support you to enable quality play opportunities every day and address the barriers to play, wherever you are.Module 2 ‘Play Free at Home’ lets you dive deeper and explore how to create a playful culture and playful environments at home. You will learn about barriers and obstacles to play in the home environment, as well as how to overcome them. Wherever we go, we can ‘play on the way’ in the places we live. Module 3 ‘Inspiring Play in your Neighbourhood’ focuses on how to make neighbourhoods more playful, offering new ideas and motivations to help you connect to the right people to get started.

Neighbourhood Play Systems (NPS) Reports
​​​​​​​NPS is an exciting approach to urban play design that places the key stakeholder – tamariki – at the centre of the process.Supported by Sport New Zealand, NPS brings together a school or kura, local organisations and community groups who work together to bring to life play projects that suit the needs of tamariki and their communities. Tamariki are crucial to the success of the NPS – they tell us where they play, how they play and what is preventing them from playing more at school and in their neighbourhood. NPS lets us explore an entire neighbourhood for potential play opportunities – through the eyes of tamariki and whānau who live, work and play in the community – and plan, design and provide sustainable, quality play opportunities and play spaces in neighbourhoods.

Read our completed reports below.

Puketāpapa Play Project
​​​​​​​The Puketāpapa Play Project (PPP) is a co-created initiative between Sport Auckland, the Roskill Schools Cluster and Auckland University of Technology (AUT). The PPP was established following a successful Tū Manawa funding application based on increasing physical activity through play. Sport Auckland and the cluster recognised an opportunity to maximise benefits for tamariki through the inclusion of expert knowledge and professional development opportunities. 

The Puketāpapa Play Project is an initiative that enables schools to create more opportunities for free unstructured play, in a way that is appropriate for their community and environment.

Useful Links
Below are some awesome websites where you can continue to develop your knowledge around play:

Play Aotearoa: https://playaotearoa.org.nz/

Sport New Zealand: https://sportnz.org.nz/get-active/ways-to-get-active/play/ 

AKTIVE: https://aktive.org.nz/funding-services/play/

Junky Monkeys: https://junkymonkeys.org/​​​​​​​