1 May 2018: The Government announced in January 2018 that the Better Public Services programme would not continue in this form. These pages have been archived.

Result 2 Case Study 9

Photo shows (from left to right) Sosaia Feki, Siliva Havili, Education Minister Hekia Parata, Suaia Matagi and Thomas Leuluai at the signing of the “It’s More Than Just A Game” Integrated Outcomes Agreement.

It’s More Than Just a Game kicked off in November 2014, opening the door for thousands more league players and their families to live more educated, healthier and safer lives.  

Building on the success of the playgroups-in-clubrooms initiative, New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) has joined forces with a number of public agencies under an initiative called It’s More Than Just a Game. The Ministry of Education, the Accident Compensation Corporation, the Health Promotion Agency and New Zealand Police are partnering with NZRL on the programme.

This unique way of working together backs rugby league communities to take the lead on key education, health and safety issues in a way that works for them. It’s More Than Just a Game recognises that people respond far more positively to messages from their own communities.

NZRL attracts over 40,000 players as well as 140,000 fans and supporters across the country, many of them in Māori and Pasifika communities. NZRL has the relationships, connections and influence to see real change and success among its own communities. With support from public agencies, it’s a winning combination for all.

Through It’s More Than Just a Game, the number of early learning playgroups around the country will increase, more junior players will attain NCEA Level 2, and families with young children will have more support for health checks. More smoke-free environments will be created, and healthy and safe lifestyles will be widely promoted.

The overall aim of It’s More than Just a Game is to seethe NZRL community:

  • ENGAGED in education (though playgroups, well child checks, whānau education plans, career aspiration development and help to move in to the work force or further education)
  • CONNECTED to one another (through more Safe Communities initiatives and more community hubs)
  • LEADING their communities (through the Leaguewise leadership development programme).

This initiative reflects a new way of working across the public sector that delivers a more educated, healthier, better off and safer New Zealand.

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