Beyond the pitch – The enduring benefits of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™

Published: 02 February 2024

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country benefitted from the government’s leverage and legacy programme for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.

A report released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) highlights more than 50 projects delivered as part of the programme and the outcomes they achieved.

MBIE’s Major Events Manager, Kylie Hawker-Green says the report shows the broader impact co-hosting the event had for Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and we knew that co-hosting the event here in Aotearoa New Zealand provided us with a unique opportunity to create lasting change for our communities, both on and off the sports field,” says Kylie.

“To achieve this and to ensure we got the most out of co-hosting the event, MBIE led the development of a comprehensive leverage and legacy programme alongside 24 other government agencies and partners.

“As a result of the leverage and legacy programme, we were able to achieve incredible things such as putting 30,000 school students through a programme that helped them learn about the world through football, carrying on the legacy of using poi in stadiums to celebrate and show support for our female athletes, and helping to grow trade connections with our co-host Australia through the first ever all-wāhine trade mission.”

In addition to the initiatives delivered through the leverage and legacy programme, the government also supported upgrades at 30 sporting facilities across the country. The upgrades involved pitch, lighting and facility enhancements, stadia overlay and gender-neutral changing spaces.

“The upgraded sporting facilities are a key legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The communities and different sporting codes that use these facilities will benefit from them for a long time,” says Kylie.

FIFA, New Zealand Football, and the Host and Team Base Camp Cities also delivered a range of leverage and legacy activity during the tournament.

The leverage and legacy report follows the release of the economic evaluation impact report released by MBIE in December which showed the event delivered a net benefit to Aotearoa New Zealand of $109.5 million and for every dollar spent on the tournament, the return to New Zealand was $1.34.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Puawānanga Leverage and Legacy Report can be found on MBIE’s Major Events website:

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Puawānanga Leverage and Legacy Report [PDF, 9MB](external link)  – Major Events

MBIE also released a summary document today about Aotearoa New Zealand’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 which can be found on MBIE’s Major Events website:

Striking Success - Co-hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 [PDF, 7.7MB](external link)  – Major Events

An overview of some of the initiatives from the leverage and legacy programme can be found below.

New Zealand Football also recently released its leverage and legacy report for the event:

FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 - Legacy Impact Report released(external link)  – New Zealand Football

Puawānanga Leverage and Legacy – Key highlights

Kōtuitui School’s Programme – New Zealand Football and Sport New Zealand

A learning module was developed as part of the Kōtuitui School’s Programme that leveraged off the excitement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to support years 4-8 students to learn about bicultural and multicultural societies and how to connect with one another through the global lens of football. Around 30,000 students from 1,500 classes and 268 schools and kura participated in the programme.

GirlBoss ‘Make Your Move’ – Ministry of Education and GirlBoss New Zealand

GirlBoss NZ partnered with the Ministry of Education, Sport NZ and MBIE to deliver a leadership and resilience programme designed to empower and build confidence for young women, with a focus on Māori and Pasifika wāhine. The initiative included an online school holiday programme for 928 young wāhine with access to well-known mentors, such as Dr Hinemoa Elder, activation hubs at Career Expos reaching more than 25,000 wāhine from 258 schools, multiple speaking events, and a hackathon. Almost 90% of participants described the programme as life changing.

Poi Tukua – Sport New Zealand and Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori

Poi Tukua built on the momentum of previous world cups, particularly Wā Poi from Rugby World Cup 2021, as a unique way for New Zealanders and our manuhiri to celebrate Māori culture and show support for our female athletes. Poi Tukua was comprised of 3 parts – a waiata, education resources for schools, and a campaign supporting and empowering people to use poi in stadiums. More than 70,000 poi were handmade by Māori businesses, marae and community groups and gifted at stadiums and fan festivals.

Tūmanako – Te Puni Kōkiri and Mr G

Tūmanako 2.0 was a large-scale mural project by renowned artist Mr G who mentored young wāhine artists as they painted portraits of current and previous Māori and Pasifika Football Ferns and other wāhine toa around Host Cities, supporting the development of Māori rangatahi.

Wāhine trade mission – New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Aotearoa New Zealand’s first ever all-wāhine trade mission to co-hosts Australia, leveraged a pinnacle moment in women’s sport to provide a unique opportunity for female business leaders to accelerate international growth. The mission laid a robust foundation for the ongoing growth of the participating companies.

MBIE media contact