Rautaki Rohe

Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua

Te Tai Tokerau moving forward in partnership - a regional strategy for play, active recreation and sport

What is Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua?

Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua is the 2021-31 strategy for play, active recreation and sport in Te Tai Tokerau. 

Undertaken as a collaborative project between the Northland Sport Coalition, Sport Northland, the four Northland Councils, Te Kahu o Taonui (the Iwi Chair’s Collective) and Sport NZ, the strategy provides a high-level strategic framework to guide decision making for play, active recreation and sport in Te Tai Tokerau.  

First and foremost, the strategy looks to create a bi-cultural future for play, active recreation and sport in Te Tai Tokerau, with the name (Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua) reflecting a desire to move forward under the waka hourua (double-hulled canoe/waka) partnership, allowing people to give effect from a tangata whenua (iwi/hapū /marae/whānau) approach and a tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty/non-Māori) approach. ​​​​​​​

Te Kaupapa o Te Rautaki | Purpose

This strategy and its insights will help guide our approach, programme of work and how best to undertake planning for future provision. By working in a collaborative manner, a view of the priorities for future play, active recreation and sport needs has been developed. It is intended this will help guide Councils across Te Tai Tokerau, and relevant funding agencies, in their decision making. It will also help the sector as a whole be better informed as to what the needs, rather than wants, are across the region. 

He rautaki e here ngā kōrero | Strategic Fit

This strategy provides a high-level strategic framework to guide future decision making for play, active recreation and sport. There is an importance and need for Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua to be supported by district level, facility and programmes focused plans and strategies. Whangārei, Kaipara and the Far North district level plans will help inform future reviews of the over-arching regional strategy and will collectively inform council long term plans (LTPs) and work programmes across the full range of sector organisations.  

Click here to see the district plans

A mātou moemoea | Vision

Keeping Te Tai Tokerau moving in partnership, using our tikanga (way of doing things) to guide how we act now and in the future. 

A mātou whakapono | Our Principles and Values

He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene me Te Tiriti o Waitangi  

We acknowledge the mana of the articles of He Whakaputanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi and in doing so acknowledge Māori as mana whenua. 

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai  

Young people (mokopuna, tamariki and rangatahi) will be our primary focus. We will focus on fun and encourage young people to not specialise too early. We acknowledge that childhood sporting success is not a reliable predictor of adult athlete success. We value the importance of play and the right of young people to have varied, self-directed, playful experiences. 


We will use play, active recreation and sport to support the mahi of other sectors (through strategic partnerships). Working together - using our local connections, knowledge and input to create a better, more active future throughout Te Tai Tokerau. 

Oranga Taiao, Oranga Tāngata  

We actively encourage the connection of people to place. It is important that play, active recreation and sport supports holistic wellbeing. Our spaces and places will be increasingly used for a wide range of play, active recreation and sport and community outcomes. We will empower individual communities to create participation initiatives specifically suited to their place and their people. 

Ngā putanga rautaki | Strategic Outcomes

From engagement with individuals, whānau and organisations across the sector and region, there were different views expressed, but also many consistent themes regarding what the key strategic outcomes and areas of future focus should be in the region. The key strategic outcomes are:

  • Opportunities to be active for life
  • Connecting tangata to te taiao (people to the environment)
  • Quality experiences
  • Facility development - multi-code
  • Inclusive, accessible and affordable
  • Increase participation
  • Supporting local capability
  • Focus on supporting young people

Ngā Pou | Strategic Pillars

Mana Orite | Partnerships

Tāngata whaiora | People

Whanaungatanga | Connectivity

Ngā whai wāhitanga | Programmes and Participation

Whakamahere me ngā kaupapa here | Planning and Policy

Ngā wāhi o Te Tai Tokerau | Spaces and Places

For more information on Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua, contact Brittany White, Sector Strategy & Community Funding Lead on 022 4753054 or

Access all strategies and plans here:

Kōkiri ai te Waka Hourua

Whangarei Active Recreation & Sport Strategy

Kaipara Spaces & Places Plan

Far North Spaces & Places Plan

Northland Aquatic Facilities Plan

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