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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Focus area 7: Recognise the value of arts, culture, sports and recreation to quality of life

Our quality of life is central to our physical and mental wellbeing. We get fulfilment from having a purpose and feeling we contribute to society.

How we spend our time is important to a balanced and healthy lifestyle, whether it is spending time with family and friends, taking part in outdoor activities or going to an event.

Many Aucklanders already enjoy a lifestyle where they engage in a wide range of activities that contribute to their quality of life. The ability to take part in sport and recreation, and arts and cultural activities is particularly important. It supports both mental and physical wellbeing – they feed both body and mind.

Providing opportunities for all Aucklanders to access, participate in and experience arts and culture, helps create cohesiveness amongst people and communities through learning, understanding and appreciation of difference. Participating and engaging in the arts can:

  • improve self-esteem and confidence
  • foster identity and pride
  • build social connection
  • increase our sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Participating in arts and cultural initiatives also enables Aucklanders to express our unique cultures and see ourselves reflected in public places. Creativity, culture and the arts make Auckland a vibrant and dynamic city.

The Toi Whītiki - Auckland's Arts and Culture Strategic Action plan (PDF 9.30MB) aims to integrate arts and culture into our everyday lives and create a culturally rich and creative Auckland.

Appreciation of our cultural heritage, especially our built heritage, is an equally important aspect of what contributes to our quality of life. It reminds us of our past and provides a visual context of where we have come from. It is one aspect of our culture that is easily observed and there for everyone to see and appreciate.

Participating in sport and recreation is a major contributor to our quality of life, health and general wellbeing. More active lifestyles help combat obesity and related health issues. Evidence shows that participation can have a positive impact on physical and mental health, social cohesion and educational outcomes.

Recreation and sport draw people from different backgrounds together. They promote social interaction and help build relationships within and across diverse communities. Participation is especially important for children and young people. It helps them to develop life skills and confidence and life-long, healthy living habits. Providing a wide range of recreation and sport opportunities enables all Aucklanders to be more active, more often contributing to healthy lifestyles.

The sport and recreation sector is diverse. It relies on the significant contribution of volunteers, local clubs and community organisations to support delivery. The Auckland Sport and Recreation Strategic Action plan provides an example of regional sports organisations and sporting codes working together to target resources more effectively and build capability. Read more about Creating a community-led physical activity space in Grey Lynn.

Access to and the ability to participate in cultural events or sport activities are not equitable across the region. Common barriers are distance, affordability, location across the region and physical access, particularly for people with disabilities.

How this can be done

  • supporting a range of arts and cultural activities that reflect Auckland’s diversity
  • providing a range of arts, culture and heritage experiences that all Aucklanders can enjoy
  • integrating arts and culture as part of our everyday lives
  • providing innovative and flexible options to meet the changing lifestyles of all Aucklanders including
  • programmes for older people and disabled people
  • continuing to build the sector’s capability to deliver quality recreation and sport experiences.

Related information