Voice of Rangatahi

Voice of Rangatahi 2021 Report
01 Jan 2020
Voice of Rangatahi infographic
01 Jan 2020


The Voice of Rangatahi (VoR) survey is a collaboration between Sport New Zealand and Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) and the Regional Sport Director network. VoR has been developed to understand how rangatahi (young people) experience physical activity specifically within a secondary school/kura setting.13,490 students voluntarily completed the survey, which was delivered to 96 schools/kura in 11 RST regions.

The RSTs and schools which took part have direct access to their data, which helps them establish what is working and
what could be improved with physical activity at secondary schools. Responses were received from Aktive (Sport North
Harbour, CLM Community Sport, Sport Waitakere, Sport Auckland), Sport Waikato, Sport Bay of Plenty, Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti, Sport Taranaki, Sport Whanganui, Sport Manawatu, Nuku Ora, Sport Tasman, Sport Canterbury and Sport Otago.

The 2021 survey was the third year VoR was undertaken. For further detail on the method refer to slide 35.


Schools are enrolled to participate in VoR via RSTs and the RSD network. Schools that agree to participate distribute a survey link to their students for completion during class or form time. The survey is hosted, and responses collected, via a survey platform provided to Sport NZ by 4GLOBAL. Surveys are jointly branded Sport NZ and the RST or RSD.
The overall response rate in 2021 was 20.1%.


Results for this report have not been weighted and therefore should not be considered to be representative of all NZ schools but read as indicative of NZ Rangatahi feedback regarding physical activity.

The impact of COVID-19 on schools over the last 2 years is evident. Caution should be used when comparing results year-on-year.

Responses have some demographic skews:

  • Responses are skewed towards female respondents with 57% of respondents identifying as female.
  • Responses remain slightly skewed towards higher decile schools, although this has reduced somewhat this year.
  • Responses remain slightly skewed towards some RSTs, particularly Bay of Plenty this year with 22% of all responses. However, again, this skew is less pronounced this year.
  • There is also a skew towards younger rangatahi, with 50% in years 9-10 (ages 13-15)

Key Results

Only one in three students are highly satisfied with their in-school physical activity experience

  • Rangatahi that are less satisfied with their physical activity experience are also less active.
  • Satisfaction tends to decrease as students go through secondary school.

Females and gender diverse rangatahi are not as well served by their in-school physical activity experiences

  • Most metrics (satisfaction both overall and with all drivers and the perceived barriers to physical activity) paint a picture that females do not have as positive an experience as their male peers at school when it comes to physical activity.
  • Gender diverse students fare even worse, with most metrics significantly lower. These students show an environment where they do not feel included, supported or confident enough to participate.

Rangatahi indicate that they want physical activity at school to be fun, to provide a range of sports and activities, to be the right amount for them, to feel supported in their endeavours and to feel that they have a voice in determining the approach the school takes

  • Whilst having clean and well maintained facilities remains the most desirable improvement, other opportunities identified are likely to drive a larger improvement.
  • Concerns with the experiences at school include students that do not consider themselves to be ‘sporty’ feeling unsupported to participate.
  • Over one in five students would not improve anything.

Most rangatahi want to be more physically active, but they face a number of perceived barriers

  • The main barrier to undertaking more physical activity is feeling too busy, and this barrier increases as rangatahi journey through secondary school.
  • Females face more barriers than males, and gender diverse rangatahi face more barriers than all others.

Rangatahi understand why taking part in physical activity is good for them, but often struggle with confidence

  • Confidence drops off as students get older, but desire to participate remains reasonably stable.
  • Agreement that school culture supports physical activity is not particularly high overall, especially regarding involving the student voice in determining physical activities done at school.
Page last modified: 18 Jan 2024