Our Board

MARK BOWATER (BOARD CHAIR)


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).


MICHELE FREY (DEPUTY CHAIR)


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.



BRENT EASTWOOD


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 NZRA 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.




SARAH MURRAY


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.


FIONA MCDONALD


Appointed Member : March 2018

Fiona McDonald works in the education and outdoors sectors. She is involved in qualification development and assessing with Skills Active Aotearoa, she is a lead auditor for Qualworx, and works supporting schools deliver quality Education outside the classroom for their students. She is co-chair of Education Outdoors NZ (EONZ), and on the Selwyn Waihora Water Zone Committee.

Fiona is a keen advocate for the high country environment and all things conservation, in particular the removal of wilding pines and wasps.


GRANT DAVIDSON

Elected Member: December 2020


Grant has a PhD in risk management from the Department of Management Studies at Waikato University, a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota (USA) and a BSc in Physics and Applied Maths from Auckland University.

He is also a trained and certified teacher and a certified Lead Auditor with Global Exemplar. Grant still follows an active lifestyle with his wife, three children and border collie

Grant says "I have been a teacher, instructor, lecturer, manager, director and Chair. I have enjoyed all of these roles and love working as part of a high performing team. I am still a learner and hope to continue learning from the inspirational people that are all around us."

"I love being able to make a difference at governance, management or hands-on level in an organisation that contributes to our society. I have worked in the sport and recreation sector for over 30 years and have had the privilege to lead small and larger teams to have positive impacts on those who want to enjoy and explore the recreational opportunities in our incredible country."

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