Sport and Recreation

The Bay of Plenty region’s wide-ranging sport and recreational opportunities offer real potential as economic growth opportunities. To support the development of economic opportunities in the sport and recreation sector, the Rugby Sevens Strategy was developed and launched in 2013, led by the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.

A biking strategy has also been developed, led by Sport Bay of Plenty in partnership with the Bay of Connections and with support and advice from local, regional and national organisations, such as Tourism New Zealand (TNZ).

Rugby Sevens

The Rugby Sevens Strategy aims to establish the Bay of Plenty as the world’s leading Sevens rugby service provider, delivering sporting and sustainable economic development opportunities to the region through employment, investment and offshore revenue.

New Zealand has set the international benchmark for Sevens Rugby performance, with a proven ability to deliver results year on year. With Sevens Rugby experiencing a substantial increase in profile and participation in recent years, there is a real opportunity for New Zealand to capitalise further on its wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as the international market’s strong interest in our intellectual property.

The Sevens Rugby Strategy has seven focus areas, leveraging the opportunities that have been created by the growing popularity of Rugby Sevens internationally, and the introduction of the game to the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

The seven focus areas are:

  • Event Hosting
  • National Team Base
  • High Performance Facilities and Training Courses
  • Education
  • Tourism
  • International Opportunities
  • Funding

Implementation of the strategy is managed by the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union, along with the New Zealand Rugby Union, as well as the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Sport Bay of Plenty, Tourism Bay of Plenty, Rotorua Lakes Council, and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Strategy PDF

Rugby Sevens Strategy

For a hard copy, email


Cycling has been identified as a key special interest sector by Tourism New Zealand and it is seen as an enabler for growth of inbound, high-value visitors, which has the potential to create positive and sustainable economic growth.

A Cycling and Mountain Biking Tourism Marketing Network (CMBTMN) was established in 2013, with the support of Bay of Connections, to promote cycling and mountain biking in the central North Island for domestic and international visitors.

The Bay of Plenty has the natural resources and a national and international reputation as a cycling destination, specifically around mountain biking, and provides significant opportunity for further development.

Eight regional tourism operators (RTOs) in the CNI region are part of the strategy and have supported the development of the marketing plan. The three-year marketing plan (2015 – 2017) aims to ensure the opportunity to position the CNI region as ‘the’ cycling region within New Zealand is realised, through each individual RTO working together to achieve a joint vision.

The CMBTMN is a not-for-profit entity and is governed by a steering committee made up of members from RTOs and stakeholder groups, as well as independent members.