December 2021,

HPSNZ announces $131 million direct investment in sports

HPSNZ announces $131 million direct investment in sports
  • $43.7 million per annum direct investment to 44 National Sporting Organisations over the next three years
  • $7.4 million additional investment in wellbeing initiatives
  • $25 million in direct financial support for athletes through Tailored Athlete Pathway Support • 16 new sports to receive high performance investment


High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) will invest $131 million directly into National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) over the next three years, an average of $43.7 million per annum.

The investments are the first announced under HPSNZ’s new Targeted Investment Framework, a key element of its 2024 Strategy, and will see more sports and more athletes supported than ever before.

HPSNZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle says the investment package is designed to maintain the targeted approach that has helped deliver ongoing international success for Kiwi athletes, while increasing support for the wellbeing of those in the system and investing in a wider range of sports to achieve results that inspire New Zealanders.

“Confirming investment through to Paris 2024 will provide NSOs and their athletes with more financial security than the previous annual funding allocation. It will enable them to work towards pinnacle events with more certainty,” Raelene Castle says.

Raelene Castle says HPSNZ has worked closely with NSOs throughout this process, to achieve the best possible outcome.

“There were outstanding presentations from NSOs that made the decisions very challenging, but we are excited about the opportunities that are in front of us.”

“We look forward to bringing our investment and specialist expertise to the partnership with NSOs to support their high performance programmes over the next three years.

Wellbeing and engagement

In addition to the $131 million, HPSNZ is investing $19 million into the provision of Performance Support services such as psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, medical, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and athlete life coaching, which support athlete wellbeing.

Wellbeing for athletes and all those in the high performance system is a priority in the allocated investment, with a further $7.4 million being allocated to wellbeing initiatives over the next three years.

This includes funding for the first of several wellbeing managers for NSOs, increased access to independent support services and a range of pilot projects where sports have identified specific opportunities in their investment applications.

Raelene Castle says HPSNZ will also be working with NSOs to improve mental health literacy and athlete voice throughout the system.

“We want to empower athletes to have a voice and to be able to influence decisions that affect them. We will work with NSOs to ensure their athlete voice mechanism within the sport is fit for purpose as well as working to develop an effective system wide athlete voice mechanism.”

“We acknowledge and understand more work needs to be done in this area and this investment and our ongoing work with sports aims to ensure performance environments empower and support individuals and allow them to thrive on and off the field of play.”

Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS)

Raelene Castle says the approach to HPSNZ’s investment decisions has put athletes first and that is reflected in the $25 million investment in direct financial support for athletes through TAPS.

“TAPS includes a Base Training Grant which is designed to provide a baseline level of financial support for the training needed as a high performance athlete, with flexibility to work and / or study part time.

“TAPS is also intended to support athlete wellbeing by providing increased certainty of support. The minimum level that an athlete starts on will be guaranteed for three years and athletes have the opportunity to increase that through Excellence Grants, as well as access to fully funded medical insurance and Prime Minister’s Scholarships.”

The change from the Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGs) to TAPS will see direct financial support to for athletes increase from approximately $6.7 million in 2021 to $8.4 million in 2022.

New Aspirational Sports

HPSNZ is now investing in a wider range of sports through its new Aspirational Fund, with 16 new sports receiving funding, including Basketball (3×3 men and 5×5 women), Skateboarding, Diving, E Sports, Water Polo, Para Waka Ama, Climbing, Motocross and Touch Rugby.

“By supporting such a variety of sports, we are looking to help generate performances now and in the future that will engage a more diverse range of New Zealanders in high performance sport,” says Raelene Castle.

“We’re also backing sports that will showcase and provide pathways that resonate more widely with New Zealand’s culturally diverse population, such as touch rugby, women’s rugby league and badminton.”

“For many of these sports, this is the first step in a partnership, and we are as excited as they are to begin that journey.”



Breakdown of investment by sport

Further Information and Comment

HPSNZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle and General Manager Performance Partnerships Eddie Kohlhase will hold an online media conference via Zoom at 10.00am today.

If you wish to attend, please contact Michelle Pickles on 021 833 244 or at


Sports / NSOs included in this investment Announcement

Podium Sports (10) – Rowing, Cycling, Yachting, Athletics, Canoe Racing, Equestrian, Rugby 7s, Para Athletics, Para Cycling, Para Swimming.

Aspirational Sports (34) – Hockey, Basketball*, Triathlon, Swimming, Canoe Slalom, Gymnastics, Football, Boxing, Weightlifting, Beach Volleyball*, Water Polo*, Shooting, Surfing, Golf*, Tennis*, Diving*, Skateboarding*, Karate, Badminton*, Climbing*, Paralympics NZ, Para Canoe, Shooting Para Sport, Para Waka Ama*, Cricket, Rugby League (women)*, Squash*, Surf Life Saving, Bowls, Softball, Touch*, Motorcycling*, E Sports*, Orienteering*.

*New Sports for HPSNZ investment (i.e. did not receive HPSNZ core investment in 2021)

This announcement does not include investment in:

  • Snow Sports New Zealand, who are currently preparing for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will confirm investment into SSNZ for the Milan 2026 Olympic / Paralympic Cycle after the Beijing Games.
  • Netball New Zealand, who have a four-year funding investment agreement which concludes at the 2023 Netball World Cup.


Cycling New Zealand

Cycling New Zealand’s investment has been evaluated on the same criteria as other podium sports. The specific allocation of that investment within the Cycling NZ programme will be conditional on the outcome of the current Independent Inquiry.

Key Facts and Figures

  • HPSNZ’s new Targeted Investment Framework makes the transition from what has previously been known as core funding, to a more holistic model.
  • Investment into NSOs is now made up of targeted areas such as campaigns, performance pathways, wellbeing, athlete financial support, performance support, intelligence and high performance capability support, with the aim of ensuring all those in the high performance sector are supported, inspired and empowered to succeed.
  • Investment is centred around the performance pathway developed and led by each sport, designed to support the identification and development of athletes and coaches who have the potential to win on the world stage.
  • TAPS replaces ‘carding’ for athletes and Performance Enhancement Grants (PEGS), which were based on performance at a pinnacle event. Eligible TAPS athletes will receive an annual base training grant, which is not performance based, and can be confirmed for the duration of the pinnacle event cycle to provide greater certainly and financial security.
  • A minimum of 240-260 elite performance and performance athletes will receive a base training grant of $25,000 per annum, while a further 140-160 performance potential and foundation performance athletes will receive $10,000 per annum.
  • TAPS athletes will have the opportunity to top up their base training grants with excellence grants, across the length of the cycle and these can increase with higher levels of performance throughout the cycle. TAPS eligible athletes will also be able to access fully funded medical insurance and Prime Minister’s Athlete scholarships.
  • Under the new investment framework, sports will be classified as either Podium or Aspirational. Podium sports are identified and targeted as those likely to succeed at pinnacle events. Aspirational sports are those which were previously classified as campaign sports. There are 10 Podium sports and 34 Aspirational sports, including 16 new sports. See attached table for breakdown of sports and funding.


Media contact:

Michelle Pickles
Group Media Manager
021 833 244