Sector research


All of our sectors have a real and vital impact on New Zealand and the wellbeing of its population. And we've got the research to back it up!

Employing over 112,000 people in 2020, and contributing more than $10 billion to the economy, our industries provide significant value to New Zealand.

The industries we work with are complex and diverse, with more than 33,000 operators – most of which are small-to-medium-sized businesses. On average, each operator employed 3.4 people in 2020. 

We have contributed to research over a number of years exploring the economic, social and health impacts of te ahumahi ā-rēhia. Check out our Workforce Scan publications below, to drill down into the numbers and the stories behind our sectors. 

We've also listed a number of other research publications to help provide context for the contribrutions these sectors make to New Zealand life. 

Skills Active Workforce Scan

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Other research

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Our sectors touch the lives of virtually all those living in New Zealand. They bring communities together. The social and economic impact of sport and recreation is profound. All of our industries make a real and vital impact

Increased wellbeing

Our industries have the power to increase the physical, mental and social wellbeing of New Zealanders. Our workforce serves the local population, helps to look after the tourists who visit us, and supports older New Zealanders to stay active.


Contributing over $10 billion to the economy in 2020, our industries provide significant value to New Zealand. That's a lot of moolah! The rest of our industries' benefits are priceless.

Volunteers in our industry contribute to the social and economic value of our industries and are an important factor in achieving key social outcomes.

People come together

Our industries provide social benefits by bringing people together, building skills, and fostering a sense of community and belonging. Whether in a gym class, in teams, on the sideline as spectators, in recreation facilities as users, or at recreation or performing arts events as participants  - our industries bring communities together.

Our industries are a vital expression of our national biculturalism – they celebrate key aspects of Māori culture in the way New Zealanders engage in sport and recreation.

Active lives 

All of our industries play a crucial role in supporting and promoting healthy and active lifestyles. Whether skiing the slopes, lifting weights, playing sport or hiking trails, our industries get people moving and grooving! Lack of physical activity is a significant driver of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other leading causes of death in New Zealand. Promoting active lifestyles is an ideal way to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of our people.

Career opportunities

Our industries provide a wide range of fulfilling and exciting career opportunities. There are over 33,000 businesses across our industries, employing over 100,000 people. These people enjoy active careers that allow them to follow their passion and make a difference. 

There are massive opportunities in our industries, and career opportunities that cross over into business, health, tourism and more. You can turn your passion into a profession - it's our best kept secret.  


All industries we work with, aside from exercise, make substantial contributions to either international or domestic tourism. A significant number of tourists flock to New Zealand every year to enjoy the wide range of sport, recreation and performing arts activities. The opportunity to engage with the natural environment, provided by the outdoor recreation, dive, and snowsport industries especially, draws in many visitors. On top of this, events provided by the sport and performing arts industries, such as concerts, and international tournaments, provide a boost of domestic and international visitors.

Locals and tourists, both domestic and international, reap the myriad benefits of being active in our natural environment. This drives the need for skilled professionals to ensure safety in an industry that makes a big contribution to New Zealand tourism.