Our Board


Elected Member : AGM 2014 - AGM 2017

Mark Bowater is currently the Head of Parks Services for the Auckland Council, with a portfolio network of over 4,000 parks, and a unit of over 160 dedicated parks professionals. With over 20 years' experience in parks and recreation management and senior leadership roles, he offers a strategic outlook combined with a proven track record of achievements that make a difference.

He is passionate about the role parks and open spaces play in urban liveability, and the significant contribution the wider recreation industry makes to the quality of our lifestyles in New Zealand. He is actively engaged in helping to raise industry standards, is a champion for green and sustainability outcomes, and promotes a collaborative and future-focused approach.

Mark has been a member of Recreation Aotearoa for over 17 years, and is an Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro).


Elected Member : AGM 2015 - AGM 2018

Michele's career in the recreation industry began 15 years ago when she was at Lincoln University and working as a park ranger's assistant while studying. Over the years she has developed her experience in both the local government and private sector settings.

Today Michele is a Principal Environmental Consultant with Xyst Limited. In addition to Michele's extensive industry experience, she has played a leading role in building links between young recreation professionals and the broader recreation industry particularly through her involvement with the Generate Network, which she chaired from 2011-2014.

An active member of Recreation Aotearoa, she is a passionate advocate of intergenerational dialogue and closer collaboration between the parks, recreation, conservation, sport and leisure industries.


Appointed Member: March 2018

Born and bred in Northland, Brent graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Physical Education. He has been the Chief Executive at Sport Northland - one of the leading regional sports trusts in NZ - since 1999. Sport Northland's core business is leading and supporting sport and recreation in Northland. Brent is experienced in governance, having held a variety of directorships since 1996, from a local level right through to national level. He was a board member of Sportnet NZ for 6 years and was a Director of Northland Rugby for 5 years, and is currently Deputy Chair of the Northland Foundation.

Brent's many strengths led to him winning the Leadership Award at the 2016 Sport NZ Sport and Recreation Awards and the Mark Mitchell Memorial Award at the 2016 Recreation Aotearoa Awards.

He has been a keen member of Recreation Aotearoa for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging more NZers to get off the couch and enjoy their leisure time through active recreation.


Elected Member : AGM 2018
Sarah began her career with the Department of Conservation working in recreation planning, community engagement and environmental education, before moving into local government in 2016.

In her current role as Community Partnerships Manager, Parks Sport and Recreation with Wellington City Council, she is focused on helping diverse groups and organisations work together to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders through recreation and physical activity, and protect our fantastic natural spaces.

Originally from the Bay of Plenty she has lived and worked across the country and now calls Wellington home. In her spare time you can find her out on the trails around Wellington and beyond, tramping, mountain biking, rock climbing and occasionally white water kayaking.


Appointed Member : March 2021

Dan is a descendant of Ngāti Maniapoto and he is proud to call Otago home. He has always loved outdoor recreation and he spent his early years collecting kaimoana, tuna and learning to hunt, gather and explore the wild. He completed a Bachelor of Recreation Management at Lincoln University before assuming policy, project and management roles in the government sector.

Dan returned to Otago in 2012 where he works as a freelance strategic and project consultant and is a Director of Dive Otago Ltd. He also has current governance roles in the education, recreation and social service sectors. Dan is an avid outdoorsman who continues to spend considerable time in the mountains and off the coast. His love of the wilderness is shared with his partner and two children who all thrive on a whānau centric approach to recreation.


Appointed Member : March 2021

Bobbi, a descendant of Tainui (Ngāti Korokī-Kahukura, Ngāti Te Wehi) is an advocate for supporting Māori communities to a healthier and active lifestyle. She resides in Kirikiroa with her family and is actively involved in community sport.

With a passion for IT systems and cultural capabilities, in recent years her expertise have been utilised within the sports sector in a Regional Sports Trust.

In her spare time, she enjoys Netball, Touch and Waka Ama.

In the words of Princes Te Puia "Mahia te mahi, hei painga mo te iwi" (Do the work for the betterment of the people) - where possible Bobbi endeavours to activate this call to action from a prominent Waikato tipuna.

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