Nigel Stirling & Sarah Spicer
Published on
Maintaining good governance for your club or sport organisation:

There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to good governance.[1] Factors of good governance include, the diversity of the Board, the experience and capabilities of Board Members, the structure of the organisation and the processes and policies in place.

Governance is the responsibility of the Board or committee members. We outline below some of the factors that should be considered to achieve good governance.


Board Diversity

Diversity of people means different ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, national origins, races, religions, sexual orientations, beliefs or socio-economic status.

You should consider the best way of creating opportunities for diversity at all levels within your organisation, including on the board. The right people from different backgrounds and with a range of experience can deliver real benefit.

A diverse board can enable “better decision making, better organisational resilience and better performance”.[2] Diversity encourages constructive and open conversations. Board diversity may also assist you to attract a more diverse membership and participation.

Gender diversity is just one example that has been in the spotlight over recent years. You may recall Sport New Zealand put in place a target to achieve a minimum requirement of 40% self-identified females on their partners’ boards by December 2021.[3]

Diversity may be incorporated in your constitution. Alternatively, you may want to consider diversity in your policies and procedures. 

Governance Structures

The new Incorporated Societies Act 2022 provides an opportunity to review your governance structure.

Is your current structure fit for purpose? For example, do you have the right number of people and roles for your committee?


Policies and Procedures

Do you have appropriate policies and procedures in place for your organisation?

Your procedures and policies should be consistent with, and supportive of your constitution and the law. Policies and procedures can maintain trust within the community and can promote the safety of everyone involved. 

You may recall that one of our articles from earlier this year covered Code of Conduct for Players, Coaches and Parents. Other policies and procedures may include Dispute Resolution, Privacy, Member Protection, Coach Standards and Behaviour, Business Continuity, Social Media, Finance and Financial Delegation.  

Clear policies and procedures give confidence to individuals that the organisation is properly run.

Sport New Zealand has a good range of policies in the “Sector Guidance” section of it website. It also offers a Governance 101 online training course free of charge covering governance fundamentals for organisations, with a focus on not-for-profits. Please get in touch with us to discuss how to best ensure that your club has good governance mechanisms in place. 

For more information, contact or